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Discussion Forum : Miracles that follow the plow : SURPRISE...SURPRISE!!!

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savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1822


 SURPRISE...SURPRISE!!!




Romella asks,

“Hello Pastor John! Is it true that nothing ever takes God by surprise?”

Yes, that is true. God is never surprised. To be surprised you have to be uncertain about what is coming. You have to be ignorant. God is never ignorant about the future or about anything. He is never uncertain about what is coming.

We can know this for at least two reasons. One is that the Bible shows that knowing the future, even the future of human decisions, is part of what it means to be God. And the other is that the Bible shows that God’s foreknowledge is not the knowledge of something different from his will and plan, but that he knows the future because he plans the future. So, let’s look at those one at a time along with passages to support them.

“God knows the future because he planned the future.”

1. Isaiah 41:22–23, God calls the idols to give an account. And he challengers them to show that they are gods. How does he do it? Like this: Announce to us what is coming! “Declare the things to come . . . that we may know that you are gods.” What does that mean? In other words, in God’s mind, the capacity to predict the future belongs to God as God. It was part of his deity to be able to declare things that come afterwards.

He makes the same point in Isaiah 42:8–9. He connects the power to foreknow and divine glory. “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” So, you see the connection. I am Yahweh, and this is part of my divine glory. Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you. Foreknowledge, knowledge of the future, is part of my glory, he says.

Here it is again in Isaiah 45:21. God throws up the challenge of whether there is any other god besides him. And he does it by asking about their powers to announce the future. “Declare” — he says — “and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.” So, here it is again. God says that what is at stake in his capacity to announce the future affairs of men and nations — that is a lot of human decision — what is at stake is his divinity, his goodness: I, the Lord. There is no other god besides me. When I predict the future, I show that.

And then this is really important, I think, in settling the issue. Then we see Jesus do the very same thing as God. He connects his foreknowledge — even his knowledge of sinful choices like Judas’s sinful choice and Peter’s sinful choice to deny him — he connects that with his deity (just like Isaiah did with God’s deity) in John 13:19 where he says, at the Last Supper, “I am telling you this now, before it comes to pass” — he is referring to Judas’s betrayal — “that when it does take place you may believe that I am” — period.

“Knowing the future, even the future of human decisions, is part of what it means to be God.”

Now, most of the English translations say, “that I am he,” which is understandable, because it sounds odd to just say, “that you may believe I am.” But that is what the Greek says. And we know where that phrase “I am” comes from. That is a play on the name of God from Exodus 3:14–15, “I am who I am. . . . [Tell them] ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Jesus is claiming to be God, and the basis of it is: I know Judas is going to betray me. This is huge.

The same thing is true of Peter’s denial. Jesus knows precisely who will deny him. He knows how many times he will deny him. He knows when in the morning he will deny him. Same thing with Judas. When, where, why. And he knew this about Judas from the beginning. We know that from John 6:64. When he chose Judas, he knew what he would do.

2. Now, here is the text that connects the prediction of God with the planning or the performing of God: Isaiah 46:9–10. “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me” — now, this is foreknowledge — “declaring the end from the beginning.” So, he declares it. He knows it. And then he goes on, “And from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my good pleasure [or purpose].’”

So, now we get a window on to how God knows the future. He knows it because he plans it and does it. He knows it because he plans it and performs it. Similarly, in Jeremiah 1:12 the Lord said, “I am watching over my word to perform it.” God doesn’t just predict; he does what he predicts. Or Ezekiel 12:25, “For I am the Lord; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. . . . I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord God.”

“God doesn’t just predict; he does what he predicts.”

In other words, God knows the future, because he performs the future. He is never surprised, because he is not surprised at his own work. Foreknowledge is not an awareness of what the fates will make happen. Foreknowledge is not an awareness of what random chance is going to bring about. Foreknowledge is not an awareness of what ultimate human autonomy is going to produce. There is no fate. There is no random chance. There is no ultimate human autonomy.

What God knows is what God will do. The future is not some kind of freewheeling reality separate from God’s will that he is trying to catch on to and adapt to. He knows the future because he plans the future, and he is never surprised by what he plans. - J. Piper

 2018/12/4 9:33Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 4964
NC, USA

 Re: SURPRISE...SURPRISE!!!

Gross.


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Todd

 2018/12/4 9:54Profile
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1822


 Re: RD



Insightful comeback there Rodney!

Yet, I must say, it didn't surprise me!

I knew you'd be the first one to comment.

 2018/12/4 10:19Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 4964
NC, USA

 Re:

Yep- nice baiting.


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Todd

 2018/12/4 10:30Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1822


 Re: fishermen use worms




As for others who seek wisdom, I offer this;


“Consider how great it is to know the thoughts and intentions, and works of one man from the beginning to the end of his life; to foreknow all these before the being of this man, when he was lodged afar off in the loins of his ancestors, yea, of Adam. How much greater is it to foreknow and know the thoughts and works of three or four men, of a whole village or neighbourhood! It is greater still to know the imaginations and actions of such a multitude of men as are contained in London, Paris, or Constantinople; how much greater still to know the intentions and practices, the clandestine contrivances of so many millions, that have, do, or shall swarm in all quarters of the world, every person of them having millions of thoughts, desires, designs, affections, and actions! Let this attribute, then, make the blessed God honourable in our eyes and adorable in all our affections. . . . Adore God for this wonderful perfection!” - Stephen Charnock


“There is nothing man is more apt to be proud of than his knowledge; it is a perfection he glories in; but if our own knowledge of the little outside and barks of things puffs us up, the consideration of the infiniteness of God’s knowledge should abate the tumor. As our beings are nothing in regard to the infiniteness of his essence, so our knowledge is nothing in regard of the vastness of his understanding. We have a spark of being, but nothing to the heat of the sun; we have a drop of knowledge, but nothing to the divine ocean. What a vain thing is it for a shallow brook to boast of its streams, before a sea whose depths are unfathomable! As it is a vanity to brag of our strength when we remember the power of God, and of our prudence when we glance upon the wisdom of God, so it is no less a vanity to boast of our knowledge when we think of the understanding and knowledge of God”
Stephen Charnock

 2018/12/4 10:36Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 4964
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 Re:

Who denies God’s omniscience? Certainly not I.


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Todd

 2018/12/4 15:03Profile
Oracio
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Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1934
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
So, now we get a window on to how God knows the future. He knows it because he plans it and does it. He knows it because he plans it and performs it. Similarly, in Jeremiah 1:12 the Lord said, “I am watching over my word to perform it.” God doesn’t just predict; he does what he predicts. Or Ezekiel 12:25, “For I am the Lord; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. . . . I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord God.”

“God doesn’t just predict; he does what he predicts.”

In other words, God knows the future, because he performs the future. He is never surprised, because he is not surprised at his own work. Foreknowledge is not an awareness of what the fates will make happen. Foreknowledge is not an awareness of what random chance is going to bring about. Foreknowledge is not an awareness of what ultimate human autonomy is going to produce. There is no fate. There is no random chance. There is no ultimate human autonomy.

What God knows is what God will do. The future is not some kind of freewheeling reality separate from God’s will that he is trying to catch on to and adapt to. He knows the future because he plans the future, and he is never surprised by what he plans. - J. Piper



So in other words, it sounds like according to Piper’s logic and interpretation of certain scriptures, God didn’t just permit and know beforehand that every evil act would occur in the future (e.g. child rape, abortion, Hitler’s Holocaust, Stalin’s Great Purge, adultery, etc); He foreknew them because He “performed” and “did” them Himself. In other words, God knows every future event and human decision because He authors/performs/does every future event and human decision, including every evil act committed.

Friends, if that does not seem to implicate God in unholy behavior, I don’t know what does.

Also, many of us believe it is more impressive that God knows every future human decision without Himself “performing” or “doing” every human decision.

For example, which of the following two scenarios would be more impressive?

Scenario # 1: Let’s say I knew for certain (based on an intrinsic ability to know future events beforehand without me necessarily causing them) that my 9-year-old son was going to be selected as student of the month next June.

Scenario # 2: Let’s say I knew that same data but based on a certain type of ability to pull it off somehow (let's say I had a certain type of power to make it happen by force).

Do you see how the first scenario would be more impressive in terms of "foreknowledge?" Even so we’d argue that our view of God’s omniscience is more impressive than what Piper seems to advocate in the above quote, him as well as other sincere brethren.

There's a huge difference between God being in control of and permitting every human decision on the one hand, and Him being the author of every human decision on the other, which is what some sincere brethren seem to be advocating. That's a certain type of "high" view of their systematic which seems to have gained ground among them in recent times and I think it's unfortunate.


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Oracio Sandoval

 2018/12/4 23:14Profile
CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 157
Cambodia

 Re:

Hopefully, what John Piper says is only important if he is speaking what God says. I hate string sites but in this case it might be helpful:

God Is Sovereign Over . . .

Seemingly random things:

The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the LORD.
(Proverbs 16:33)

The heart of the most powerful person in the land:

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
(Proverbs 21:1)

Our daily lives and plans:

A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
(Proverbs 20:24)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
(Proverbs 19:21)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . . Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:13-15)

Salvation:

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
(Romans 9:15-16)

As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
(Acts 13:48)

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
(Romans 8:29-30)

Life and death:

See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
(Deuteronomy 32:39)

The LORD kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
(1 Samuel 12:6)

Disabilities:

Then the LORD said to [Moses], “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”
(Exodus 4:11)

The death of God’s Son:

Jesus, [who was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
(Acts 2:23)

For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
(Acts 4:27-28)

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief. . . .
(Isaiah 53:10)

Evil things:

Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the LORD has done it?
(Amos 3:6)

I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things.
(Isaiah 45:7)

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. . . . “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
(Job 1:21-22; 2:10)

[God] sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. . . . As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
(Psalm 105:17; Genesis 50:21)

All things:

[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will.
(Ephesians 1:11)

Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
(Psalm 115:3)

I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
(Job 42:2)

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”
(Daniel 4:35)


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Robert

 2018/12/5 6:07Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
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 Re:

If a master chess player takes a mallet to his chess pieces because he made a bad move, we might find it humorous but obviously we know it was not the chess pieces’ fault that he didn't move them properly.

For some reason men like Piper find it perfectly acceptable that God punishes men for moves HE MAKES.

The idea is so absurd that for the life of me I cannot understood how it even gets a fair hearing.


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Todd

 2018/12/5 7:06Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1822


 Re: US court or the Court Above



"....I cannot understood how it even gets a fair hearing."

I cannot help but wonder if you read the same Bible as men have been reading for millenia.

When you make statements like this what comes to mind is this;

"Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man, for I will question you, then you answer me!
"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding."
Job 38:2-4





 2018/12/5 9:40Profile





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