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Featured The Foreknowledge of God Put in Biblical Context

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by JD731, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    First a clarification; foreknowledge and omniscience are not the same in the scriptures. God is omniscience which means he knows all things by one eternal act of knowing. He is God after all. He is able to give his prophets perfect prophecy of people and events of thousands of years in advance and on in to eternity. Foreknowledge is presented as an attribute of God and is clearly defined for us in the scriptures. The scriptural definition differs greatly from what we are led to believe by the Calvinists, and frankly by most non Calvinists, most of whom have been influenced or intimidated by Calvinism's false error concerning this great doctrine..

    Most teaching about foreknowledge says that God knows who will be saved and who will be lost, everything that will happen at any time and he knows everything from before the creation of the world. I agree that he does know all those things but that is not what he means when he uses the word foreknow or foreknowledge. That would be under the term omniscience.

    Here is foreknowledge in the scriptures;

    1) It is a New Testament doctrine
    2) It is used exclusively in the context of God and Israel, whom God says hundreds of times in scripture that they are his people
    3) It means in it's simplest terms that God knew them before, in time past.
    4) It is not used of gentiles in time past.

    Here is a comparison of two passages that should be a great instructor in the term foreknowledge and how it is used in scripture. Read these and consider them.

    Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    Now, look at who Paul thinks he is speaking of since he wrote both passages in the same discourse, Who does he say is foreknown of God, or known before?

    Here is the biblical answer;

    Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? (who are his people - keep reading) God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

    2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,

    Why would anyone get the idea that God has cast away his people Israel? Because for 1500 years before Christ came he had been dealing with this people exclusively and had a relationship with them and now, 28 years after the ascension of Jesus Christ, when this epistle was written and for 18 years previously, the Apostle Paul and others had been preaching that God will receive gentiles equally with his people through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, making them sons of God and receiving them into the body of Christ which he is forming upon this testimony and in the name of Jesus Christ. Romans 7 through 11 explains the history that is contained in the first few chapters of the Acts and by studying it we can know why God included the gentiles in Acts 10, ten years after he began to form his church through Jewish believers.

    This will be an important lesson and should stamp out a great deal of ignorance concerning foreknowledge. I will continue to make my points in the coming days. I hope some will participate.
     
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  2. Sai

    Sai Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think Paul deals with Israel until chapter 9.
     
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  3. Sai

    Sai Well-Known Member

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    Omniscience means to know everything simultaneously at the same time. God knows everything past present and future simultaneously.

    Foreknowledge means pre-planning.

    The problem you have is that you think it is possible for God to be unfair and the doctrine of predestined salvation from a creature perspective can have that appearance. However, as good created beings it is not our place to judge God. Furthermore, if God knew that many would come into life that would work iniquity and perform horrible abominations, why would he not just cancel the creation of Adam? He did not have to save Adam or you and I, but he has - praise him. The answer to why God allowed life knowing that men would be born evil is because he chose to reach into creation and pull out for himself the redeemed. That is not unfair. Even if infants do not obtain salvation that is still not unfair. Because God did not need to do anything, did not need to save anyone once he knew that Adam was going to be lost.
     
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  4. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    A excellent narrative passage describing God’s omniscience is found in 1 Samuel 23.

    David fears for his life while being pursued by King Saul and his forces.
    In verses 10 and 11, it describes David turning to the LORD for advise and the Lord tells David exactly what Saul is going to do in the future. David acts upon this foreknowledge.

    David said, “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me.
    Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him?
    Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard?
    Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.“
    And the LORD said, “He will.”

    In response, David changes his plans and the LORD’s prediction that Saul and his army would come down to Keilah never happens.

    Here the LORD has knowledge of all possibilities, he is omniscient.

    Rob
     
  5. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    As a Particular Baptist, I am a “Calvinist” and that is not what I believe “Foreknew” (as in Romans 8:29 and προέγνω) means. That is also not what any Calvinist that I know teaches it means. We believe that God DOES know all of those things, but that is not the “Foreknew” of Romans 8 or Romans 11.

    The meaning is closer to “always loved” and reflects that God had a personal relationship with His People even before they were born. It reflects the RELATIONAL nature of the Godhead. God loves, God cares, God wants fellowship with His creation ... so God does what is necessary to make it happen.
     
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  6. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Well I'm an Old School/Old Line Sovereign Grace Primitive Baptist who agrees with Pollard... They were put in Christ before Adam and Eve ever sinned... As soon as they did, the remedy was there but its not because of what they do, Salvation by Grace is NEVER a ME DO Salvation, if it is there is no room for Christ... He stood where you and I can never stand and did what you and I could never do... SALVATION IS 100% CHRIST!!!... Brother Glen:)

    Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
     
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  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The biblical concept how Gods foreknowledge is that God knows us as he decided to have us as His own covenant people, to be found in Christ, so that election of His was personal and individual unto salvation!
     
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  8. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    Can it be that God only knows us when we are saved ?
     
  9. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    Thank you for posting this and I want to thank Atpollard as well. It gives me an opportunity to demonstrate what foreknowledge of God is not. It is not what you say. The scriptures do not teach your philosophical views.

    I posted two passages from Romans 8 and Romans 11 showing by a comparison that God knew the physical offspring of Abraham through his grandson Jacob before this present age. He established this family as a people and a nation and gave them his law and made unconditional covenants with them and made them legally binding with oaths. He gave a conditional covenant, the Law of Moses to test them and prove them and use it as the operative principle of his dealings with them. He dealt with them under this principle for 1500 years until Christ came and the Law ended as an operative principle of his dealing with them when he died for them on the cross, according to Romans 10:4 which states "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth." That 1500 year period is known simply as “time past” by Paul. 2 Cor 3 would be a great read to see the contrast between that principle of Law for Israel and the one of the "present time." I encourage you to read that now. It was God's perfect will that Israel be saved as one man and be led of the Spirit of Christ that was poured out from heaven on them in Acts 2. That did not happen because Israel would not believe, God's words, not mine.

    Rom 11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
    20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

    Paul is speaking particularly to gentiles about the reason the Jews were cut of and why we gentiles got in on their blessing.

    Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

    If all the information we have ended there we could reasonably conclude that had Israel believed God they would not have been cut off and gentiles would not have been grafted in to fill his house, the church, the body of Christ he is forming in this age.

    Luke 15:15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

    16 Then said he unto him, A certain man (God) made a great supper, and bade many:
    17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden (Israel), Come; for all things are now ready.

    18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
    19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
    20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

    21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. (Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you)


    22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

    (23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.} This is the gentiles.

    24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

    Here is what God said about Israel in the beginning of these days and it can also be said about the professing church.

    Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

    Since God works out his will in time and in consideration, and in spite, of the rebellion of men I not only can reject Calvinism's doctrine that God chooses anybody before the creation but I must reject it as being false. This story could have been written differently.

    Consider these things please.
     
    #9 JD731, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  10. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    You are wrong about that. He begins chapter 7 with these words;

    Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

    He speaks to these through Rom 11:12. Then he speaks to the gentiles.

    Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

    Now, gentiles had never been under the Mosaic Law, except for a few proselytes. They were required to become Jews and live as one. He then explains that the death and ending of the Law in the present age was like a wife losing her husband through death. She was no longer bound to him and she had liberty to marry another man. These two men are Moses, who represents bondage and law, and Jesus Christ who represents liberty and grace. He goes on to complain that for one such as himself who had a great desire to keep the law wound up being frustrated because try as he might, he failed and was condemned by it. This law did what it was intended by God to do. Make a man come to the end of himself and trust Jesus Christ, who could live the law through the believer in the person of the Spirit of Christ.(read Gal 2:20 here) Because Jesus Christ had already kept the law perfectly and yet had paid the consequences of breaking it, not for himself, but for others, there would be no more condemnation whether a believer was unable to keep it perfectly or whether he wasn't. God had put away sin through Christ.

    The law of works gave way to faith in Christ. The old physical man and the new man. The law had done it's work.

    Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

    22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

    23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

    24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

    25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

    26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

    27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    This is an absolutely glorious truth. Anyone can be saved by believing in Christ and there is no condemnation after that.If you are trusting in Christ plus something else, take heed, please.
     
  11. Sai

    Sai Well-Known Member

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    Foreknowledge doesn’t just mean that God knew what we would do, it’s more than that, he preplanned what we would do. Yet he did not choose us because he knew what we would do, he chose us because he planned to choose us and gave us the divine enabling necessary for us to make a choice contrary to our sin nature thereby it was our choice to choose God. Our faith however, is never attributed to man as a work and that’s because if God did not enable us to call upon him (as Adam did not do but hid himself), then none would ever call upon God (just like Adam). This is the antinomy, that man’s faith is required yet God’s sovereignty is still intact over every act of man.

    How did God do that? How did he get man who could not call upon him to call upon him and still remain sovereign over everything involved in salvation? He put upon himself a limitation to his divine sovereignty and gave divine enabling to his fore known elect who he preplanned to save by grace alone thru faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing.
     
  12. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    Sal, please don’t think I am trying to be a smart elect because I really do appreciate the opportunity to address these subjects but I thank you that you did not post any scripture to try to prove what you just claimed because nothing you said can be proven from the scriptures. None of it is true. Foreknowledge is a NT doctrine that is applied to the context of Israel only. You can look up the references for yourself and you will find I am being honest about it.

    Paul, when he is speaking about the salvation of gentiles does not talk about God knowing any of us before. I will quote him and you tell me what you think.

    Ephesians 2:11-13
    11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
    12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
    13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    You can see here that gentiles were not even know in time past let alone eternity past. This is not just some gentiles, it is all gentiles.

    I am not trying to win an argument but our Christianity came out of the first century AD. It was revealed to and written down by eye witnesses of the events they wrote about. They were not writing conversationally. These things have become our Christian doctrines. Nothing has been added by God since. If you are going to understand true biblical Christianity then you are going to have to understand the players who were involved and believe what is said about them.
    Our Bible is a Jewish work. It is not a book of religion, it is the book of life. People from the third and sixteenth century who have spiritualized this book have deceived many.
     
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  13. Sai

    Sai Well-Known Member

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    Israelology the Missing Link in Systematic Theology by Dr Fruchtenbaum
     
  14. JD731

    JD731 Active Member

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    Why didn't God foreknow some gentiles in the 4000 years previous to the coming of Jesus Christ? Why did he start using the term after Jesus Christ and his earthly ministry? I ask this question because the Reformed says he "pre-planned" everything "before" the foundation of the world? Seems as if he would have foreknown at least one gentile in the OT, don't you think? Can you think of any?
     
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  15. Sai

    Sai Well-Known Member

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    Job
     
  16. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    This is a crazy question. Have you actually READ the OT? It is full of Gentiles being brought into the covenant nation.
    • Did Abram leave with just his wife, or did he bring Gentiles along?
    • What about the family of Rahab?
    • How about the entire nation that Israel was supposed to kill in the promised land that they made a treaty with to be their slaves?
    • Who are the Samaritans?
    • Ruth the Moabitess.
     
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  17. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    How does God have a personal intimate relationship with you before you exist ?
     
  18. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    Omniscience is an atteibute. Please see countless works on the Character and nature of God or Countless Systematic Theologies

    Ex JP Boyce, Calvin, Hodge (any of them), the list goes on and on
     
  19. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    Ninevites during the ministry of Jonah seemed to have turned to God by the tens of thousands
     
  20. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    God knew me and chose me and loved me enough to die to redeem me ... all before I was born. After I was born, God sought me out, drew me to the Son and transformed me from the inside out. Scripture says so, but if you want more of the technical details on a God that exists outside of His creation, then you will have to ask Him. I just take the great I AM at His word.
     
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