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Do we really have free will?

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I agree. I think we have free will within the confines of the internal and external conditions as the best way I can put it. I cannot will myself to fly from point A to point B, but I can by a ticket and take a plane to point B. There are things that make me wonder about those conditions. Brain injuries that alter our mental abilities and changes the choices seems to confound my view, for instance.
In my case, it is emotional issues that impair my ability to do what I might otherwise be able to do. It seems ridiculous to other people why I cannot seem to do simple things, like go into the downstairs of my own house. Just the thought of going down there puts me in a tail spin. I cannot go into my garage either. All this is about fear of what I might find and how I will deal with it if I find something untoward. So if I have to know what is in there I get my husband to check for me, before I will go myself. It is a hell of a way to live. :(
 
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Dan From Smithville

Monsters! Monsters from the id! Forbidden Planet
Staff member
Premium Member
In my case, it is emotional issues that impair my ability to do what I might otherwise be able to do. It seems ridiculous to other people why I cannot seem to do simple things, like go into the downstairs of my own house. Just the thought of going down there puts me in a tail spin. I cannot go into my garage either. All this is about fear of what i might find and how I will deal with it if I find something untoward. So if I have to know what is in there I get my husband to check for me, before I will go myself. It is a hell of a way to live. :(
I understand what you are saying. Maybe better than many would. Fear can be overwhelming and definitely impact our will to do things. Sometimes I am not sure if I am being brave or if I just no longer care. I think the latter is much worse. And I try to avoid that if I can.

I am still exploring the idea of free will with hope that it has the validity I think it does.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I understand what you are saying. Maybe better than many would. Fear can be overwhelming and definitely impact our will to do things. Sometimes I am not sure if I am being brave or if I just no longer care. I think the latter is much worse. And I try to avoid that if I can.
But some things that other people say they would be afraid of I am not afraid of. For example, I used to ride my bike to work on the highway and through city traffic 12 miles each way in any weather and at night, but I am afraid to go downstairs in my own house...
Go figure! I am also not the slightest bit afraid if getting Covid and I have not been vaccinated. I am definitely different from most people.
I am still exploring the idea of free will with hope that it has the validity I think it does.
I already know that free will is limited by our abilities and our opportunities but I believe we are free to make moral choices.
My big question that remains is now much of what happens is due to my free will choices vs. something God has willed for me. I mean how much of what happens is a fate I could not have changed even if I had done something differently?

I believe that we have free will to make moral choices but there are some things we have no control over. Perhaps those are the things that were fated by God.

Question.—Is man a free agent in all his actions, or is he compelled and constrained?

Answer.—This question is one of the most important and abstruse of divine problems. If God wills, another day, at the beginning of dinner, we will undertake the explanation of this subject in detail; now we will explain it briefly, in a few words, as follows. Some things are subject to the free will of man, such as justice, equity, tyranny and injustice, in other words, good and evil actions; it is evident and clear that these actions are, for the most part, left to the will of man. But there are certain things to which man is forced and compelled, such as sleep, death, sickness, decline of power, injuries and misfortunes; these are not subject to the will of man, and he is not responsible for them, for he is compelled to endure them. But in the choice of good and bad actions he is free, and he commits them according to his own will.

For example, if he wishes, he can pass his time in praising God, or he can be occupied with other thoughts. He can be an enkindled light through the fire of the love of God, and a philanthropist loving the world, or he can be a hater of mankind, and engrossed with material things. He can be just or cruel. These actions and these deeds are subject to the control of the will of man himself; consequently, he is responsible for them.

Some Answered Questions, p. 248
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
Because the event this chapter is describing, as we see in the wording clearly, will be so overwhelming that every knee on Earth (100% of human beings) will bow (in whatever way they can, which for the majority would be falling literally on their knees).

So, that won't be simply millions, or even a large portion like 1/2 of people. In that moment, 100% of all human beings on Earth -- together -- the text tells us, will be acknowledging the undeniable reality.

So, of course, any and every instance of anyone showing up where less than 100% of people bow would not be and could not be the "coming on the clouds".

So, every prophet/figure, 100% that have come, but didn't have this total Earth human population of all-at-once recognition, isn't the event here in the text.

There will not be any doubters after this occurs.

As you can see, I believe what the text is saying, and thus I believe this event will occur eventually.
Do you actually interpret all of the Bible literally? Logically speaking, if some of the Bible is written in figurative language, that means that other parts are also figurative language and not ever intended to be interpreted literally.

But no matter, Christians who believe that Jesus is going to return in the clouds and all will see Him are never going to think logically, they are going to believe what they want to believe. How logical is it to base one's beleifs upon one verse or a few verses that could mean something entirely different? And what if it means something entirely different and you missed the REAL return of Christ? There could be serious consequences.

I have used the Bible to demonstrate to Christians that Jesus is not coming back at all but it does not matter that the Bible shows that Jesus is not coming back, because Christians who believe that will never relinquish their belief. Obviously they have no interest in knowing of Christ has already returned, they just want what they want like a small child wants a lollipop. They have not even considered the possibility that they could be wrong.

Can you explain how it would be possible to have total Earth human population all-at-once recognition of Jesus? No, I didn't think so.
 

InvestigateTruth

Well-Known Member
But some things that other people say they would be afraid of I am not afraid of. For example, I used to ride my bike to work on the highway and through city traffic 12 miles each way in any weather and at night, but I am afraid to go downstairs in my own house...
Go figure! I am also not the slightest bit afraid if getting Covid and I have not been vaccinated. I am definitely different from most people.

I already know that free will is limited by our abilities and our opportunities but I believe we are free to make moral choices.
My big question that remains is now much of what happens is due to my free will choices vs. something God has willed for me. I mean how much of what happens is a fate I could not have changed even if I had done something differently?

I believe that we have free will to make moral choices but there are some things we have no control over. Perhaps those are the things that were fated by God.

Question.—Is man a free agent in all his actions, or is he compelled and constrained?

Answer.—This question is one of the most important and abstruse of divine problems. If God wills, another day, at the beginning of dinner, we will undertake the explanation of this subject in detail; now we will explain it briefly, in a few words, as follows. Some things are subject to the free will of man, such as justice, equity, tyranny and injustice, in other words, good and evil actions; it is evident and clear that these actions are, for the most part, left to the will of man. But there are certain things to which man is forced and compelled, such as sleep, death, sickness, decline of power, injuries and misfortunes; these are not subject to the will of man, and he is not responsible for them, for he is compelled to endure them. But in the choice of good and bad actions he is free, and he commits them according to his own will.

For example, if he wishes, he can pass his time in praising God, or he can be occupied with other thoughts. He can be an enkindled light through the fire of the love of God, and a philanthropist loving the world, or he can be a hater of mankind, and engrossed with material things. He can be just or cruel. These actions and these deeds are subject to the control of the will of man himself; consequently, he is responsible for them.

Some Answered Questions, p. 248


This might be an interesting quote, from a Tablet, in case you haven't read it before:

"O ye two patient souls! Your letter was received. The death of that beloved youth and his separation from you have caused the utmost sorrow and grief; for he winged his flight in the flower of his age and the bloom of his youth to the heavenly nest. But he hath been freed from this sorrow-stricken shelter and hath turned his face toward the everlasting nest of the Kingdom, and, being delivered from a dark and narrow world, hath hastened to the sanctified realm of light; therein lieth the consolation of our hearts.
The inscrutable divine wisdom underlieth such heart-rending occurrences. It is as if a kind gardener transferreth a fresh and tender shrub from a confined place to a wide open area. This transfer is not the cause of the withering, the lessening or the destruction of that shrub; nay, on the contrary, it maketh it to grow and thrive, acquire freshness and delicacy, become green and bear fruit. This hidden secret is well known to the gardener, but those souls who are unaware of this bounty suppose that the gardener, in his anger and wrath, hath uprooted the shrub. Yet to those who are aware, this concealed fact is manifest, and this predestined decree is considered a bounty. "


According to this Tablet, Abdulbaha says, time of "death" is predestined.



And in this Tablet, Baha'u'llah says, everything has a fixed measure which is already prescribed by God:


"Blessed is He Who, in a well-guarded Tablet, hath prescribed a fixed measure unto all things."

It means, for example, how wealthy or poor each person would be, is predestined according to fixed measure.
If you have an apple tree in your backyard. How many apples will it have this year? This is a prescribed measure. It is part of fate and destiny.
How many children we would have? It is fate.


And again:


"Glorified is He Who causeth whomsoever He willeth to ascend unto the heaven of grace, and sendeth down therefrom whatsoever He desireth according to a prescribed measure"

This means, spiritual station of each person is already prescribed according to a measure, which determines the level of spiritually of each person.

Now, even Jesus said, God causes two people to marry.


I don't know what is left, that can be really our choice.


But it seems to me, this subject, is one of those subjects which according to a wisdom was not revealed explicitly to everyone.

See, someone asked Abdulbaha about fate and destiny and He seems not to wish to reply completely or avoid it:

"Thou hadst asked about fate, predestination and will. Fate and predestination consist in the necessary and indispensable relationships which exist in the realities of things. These relationships have been placed in the realities of existent beings through the power of creation and every incident is a consequence of the necessary relationship. For example, God hath created a relation between the sun and the terrestrial globe that the rays of the sun should shine and the soil should yield. These relationships constitute predestination, and the manifestation thereof in the plane of existence is fate. Will is that active force which controlleth these relationships and these incidents. Such is the epitome of the explanation of fate and predestination. I have no time for a detailed explanation. Ponder over this; the reality of fate, predestination and will shall be made manifest."




Will is that active force which controls these relationships and incidents!


What does that mean?

Well, to me, it is like, there is this bus, which is scheduled and planned to be in so and so place at a given time. The driver still is needed to drive it to fulfill this predetermined plan.

So, is our lives and everything else. It is as if the story is already written. But our free will, is to fulfill this story!
 
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Trailblazer

Veteran Member
So, is our lives and everything else. It is as if the story is already written. But our free will, is to fulfill this story!
I agree that we can only do what God knows we will do but I do not think it has all been predetermined ahead of time. God is all-knowing so God knows what will happen from start to finish, but God’s foreknowledge is not what causes anything to happen. We cause things to happen by making choices and acting on them.

“Every act ye meditate is as clear to Him as is that act when already accomplished. There is none other God besides Him. His is all creation and its empire. All stands revealed before Him; all is recorded in His holy and hidden Tablets. This fore-knowledge of God, however, should not be regarded as having caused the actions of men, just as your own previous knowledge that a certain event is to occur, or your desire that it should happen, is not and can never be the reason for its occurrence.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 150


I believe that some of our fate is fixed and cannot be changed, like the predestined decree of that child that Abdu’l-Baha was writing about, but other fates that are impending can be altered along the road, as we walk the path through life. The thing is that we cannot ever know what our fate is, or if it is fixed or impending, so all we can do is allow God’s teachings and laws to guide our path through life.

“Know thou, O fruit of My Tree, that the decrees of the Sovereign Ordainer, as related to fate and predestination, are of two kinds. Both are to be obeyed and accepted. The one is irrevocable, the other is, as termed by men, impending. To the former all must unreservedly submit, inasmuch as it is fixed and settled. God, however, is able to alter or repeal it. As the harm that must result from such a change will be greater than if the decree had remained unaltered, all, therefore, should willingly acquiesce in what God hath willed and confidently abide by the same.

The decree that is impending, however, is such that prayer and entreaty can succeed in averting it.

God grant that thou who art the fruit of My Tree, and they that are associated with thee, may be shielded from its evil consequences.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 133

Note that it says it “can succeed” not that it “will succeed.”
What that amounts to is that we are completely at the mercy of God...
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
"Glorified is He Who causeth whomsoever He willeth to ascend unto the heaven of grace, and sendeth down therefrom whatsoever He desireth according to a prescribed measure"

This means, spiritual station of each person is already prescribed according to a measure, which determines the level of spiritually of each person.
I can believe that, although that spiritual station is only known to God. I do not think we can know our own spiritual station.
Now, even Jesus said, God causes two people to marry.
If that is true and what I just posted in my last post -- “Know thou, O fruit of My Tree, that the decrees of the Sovereign Ordainer, as related to fate and predestination, are of two kinds. Both are to be obeyed and accepted" -- is also true, then that means that if it was my fate to meet my husband and get married I should accept it, but does that mean it was my fate to remain married for life? if it was my fate and everyone's fate to remain married for life there would be no divorces, if everything that happens to people is God's fate that we have to accept.
I don't know what is left, that can be really our choice.
I guess things like whether we will go on vacation or not.
 

InvestigateTruth

Well-Known Member
I can believe that, although that spiritual station is only known to God. I do not think we can know our own spiritual station.

If that is true and what I just posted in my last post -- “Know thou, O fruit of My Tree, that the decrees of the Sovereign Ordainer, as related to fate and predestination, are of two kinds. Both are to be obeyed and accepted" -- is also true, then that means that if it was my fate to meet my husband and get married I should accept it, but does that mean it was my fate to remain married for life? if it was my fate and everyone's fate to remain married for life there would be no divorces, if everything that happens to people is God's fate that we have to accept.

I guess things like whether we will go on vacation or not.
I would think, divorce is also fate.
Similar to life and death, beginning and end, are both given by God.


"we must realize that everything which happens is due to some wisdom and that nothing happens without a reason."

"If it be the will of God to protect man, a little ship may escape destruction, whereas the greatest and most perfectly constructed vessel with the best and most skillful navigator may not survive a danger such as was present on the ocean. "


"If God protects, nothing can imperil man’s safety; and if it be not His will to safeguard, no amount of preparation and precaution will avail."


Abdulbaha




Though, words of Jesus is like this:

"Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate" Matthew 19:6


My understanding is, the verses or words of God also is an element that makes the fate of people.


"Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for you" Baha'u'llah


This tells me, the spiritual station of each person is a destiny which God has determined.
 
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Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I would think, divorce is also fate.
Similar to life and death, beginning and end, are both given by God.

"we must realize that everything which happens is due to some wisdom and that nothing happens without a reason."

"If it be the will of God to protect man, a little ship may escape destruction, whereas the greatest and most perfectly constructed vessel with the best and most skillful navigator may not survive a danger such as was present on the ocean. "

"If God protects, nothing can imperil man’s safety; and if it be not His will to safeguard, no amount of preparation and precaution will avail."

Abdulbaha
Thanks, those are good quotes, and so very true. By all rights I should have been dead by now given all the risks I have taken and my suicidal ideation, so God must be keeping me around for a reason.
Though, words of Jesus is like this:

"Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate" Matthew 19:6

My understanding is, the verses or words of God also is an element that makes the fate of people.

"Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for you" Baha'u'llah

This tells me, the spiritual station of each person is a destiny which God has determined.
But how can we ever know what God has destined for us?
Then there is this: "Verily we will all abide by the will of God" at the Bahai wedding ceremony.....
The problem is knowing the Will of God. How can we ever know it?
 

halbhh

The wonder and awe of "all things".
Can you explain how it would be possible to have total Earth human population all-at-once recognition of Jesus? No, I didn't think so.
God can instantly suspend the laws of physics.

In a heartbeat.

How? He still has all of the tools by which He designed/altered this very physics we have.

There isn't any 'impossible' for Him in such situations, basically.

He can make everyone instantly awake, and so on.

In that post with the quote from Matthew chapter 24, did you notice all of those wordings: we are very directly warned, repeatedly, to not believe Christ has returned somewhere.

When it does happen, no one will be able to continue to think it hasn't happened yet.

That's one of the ways we can know it has not happened yet.


 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
God can instantly suspend the laws of physics.

In a heartbeat.

How? He still has all of the tools by which He designed/altered this very physics we have.

There isn't any 'impossible' for Him in such situations, basically.

He can make everyone instantly awake, and so on.

In that post with the quote from Matthew chapter 24, did you notice all of those wordings: we are very directly warned, repeatedly, to not believe Christ has returned somewhere.

When it does happen, no one will be able to continue to think it hasn't happened yet.

That's one of the ways we can know it has not happened yet.
It does not MATTER what God can do. That is completely irrelevant.

If no one will be able to continue to think it hasn't happened yet that would mean that God took over their thinking capacity in order to make them believe it had happened. God has always allowed humans the free will to choose for themselves what to believe. Since the Bible says that God is unchanging, that is how we know God will never take away anyone's right to choose what to believe.

Baha’u’llah wrote that God could have made all men one people. In the context of the passage below, it means that God could have made all people believers. The passage goes on to say why God didn’t do that... In short, God wants everyone to seek Him and find Him. The same would apply to Christ if He returned. God would not MAKE everyone believe it was Christ, God would allow them to decide for themselves.

“He Who is the Day Spring of Truth is, no doubt, fully capable of rescuing from such remoteness wayward souls and of causing them to draw nigh unto His court and attain His Presence. “If God had pleased He had surely made all men one people.” His purpose, however, is to enable the pure in spirit and the detached in heart to ascend, by virtue of their own innate powers, unto the shores of the Most Great Ocean, that thereby they who seek the Beauty of the All-Glorious may be distinguished and separated from the wayward and perverse. Thus hath it been ordained by the all-glorious and resplendent Pen…”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 71

According to this passage, is that God wants everyone to search for Him and determine if He exists by using their own innate intelligence and applying their free will. God wants those who are sincere and truly search for Him to believe in Him. God wants to distinguish those people from the others who are not sincere, those who are unwilling to put forth any effort. As that applies to the return of Christ, the sincere seekers if truth will recognize Christ with His New Name (Isaiah 62:2, Rev 2:17, Rev 3:12) and the wayward and perverse will reject Him and keep waiting for Jesus despite the fact that Jesus said His work was finished here and He was no longer in the world (John 14:19, John 17:11, John 17:4, John 19:30) .

This is related to free will. Everyone has free will so it is a level playing field. Everyone can look at Baha’u’llah if they choose to do so... However, that requires willingness and effort, just like anything in life... God wants us to make a sincere effort, and thereby prove our sincerity to ourselves; not to Him, because God already knows who is sincere and not.

“The incomparable Creator hath created all men from one same substance, and hath exalted their reality above the rest of His creatures. Success or failure, gain or loss, must, therefore, depend upon man’s own exertions. The more he striveth, the greater will be his progress.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 81-82
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
In that post with the quote from Matthew chapter 24, did you notice all of those wordings: we are very directly warned, repeatedly, to not believe Christ has returned somewhere.
Matthew 24 KJV

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.


The reason Jesus said that is because Jesus Christ was never planning to return (John 14:19, John 17:11) so that means that anyone who came claiming to be Christ would be a liar and a deceiver. Please note that Jesus never answered saying that HE was coming back.

Baha'u'llah never claimed to be Christ, He came with a new name, just as the Bible prophesied.

Isaiah 62:2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.

Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Revelation 3:12-13 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


 
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halbhh

The wonder and awe of "all things".
Where does it say that in the Bible?
Hi friend, how are you today?

So, it's not a rush to understand this complex chapter (where 2 different times are talked about, first the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple there in 70AD, but then also the 2nd coming that will overturn all things in the world).

Of course, we'd need to notice every verse, and not only some.

So, when the text reads:
26“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

We are clearly being told that this won't be a thing that only some would find out about. It will not be that someone has to tell you where He is....

It won't be at that city or this one, in that place over there, or this mountain, etc.


27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

A lightning stroke that stretches around the world isn't a thing that would require God to make us notice it.

So, this concern is not a concern:
If no one will be able to continue to think it hasn't happened yet that would mean that God took over their thinking capacity in order to make them believe it had happened.

Rather, it will be so dramatic it would not even be possible to not notice it.

God will of course be intervening though. He would wake up any that are asleep we could guess, and make those inside buildings or underground be able to perceive this dramatic thing. One possibility: perhaps it is more than only light and sound.

In any case, that moment will not be a moment that only some people find out about. It will be a moment when everyone finds out.

So, this has not happened yet, of course.

Will it be Christ Himself?

so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
So, when the text reads:
26“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

We are clearly being told that this won't be a thing that only some would find out about. It will not be that someone has to tell you where He is....
That is what you believe that verse means but that is not what I believe the verse means. We are not being told that this will be a thing that everyone will know about as soon as it happens. In fact, we are being told that not many people will even realize it has happened because Christ will return like a thief in the night. Just as a thief comes in and out in the night with nobody seeing him, so shall the second coming of Christ be. All the verses are in this post to CG Didymus. #168 Trailblazer
27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

A lightning stroke that stretches around the world isn't a thing that would require God to make us notice it.
The verse does not say it will stretch around the world and the verse does not say that everyone will see it.
Again, that is just your opinion but it is not stated in the verse.

The verse says "For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.." That is all it says. Anything else you add is just your opinion.

This prophecy and other Old Testament prophecies that refer to the coming of the Messiah have clearly been fulfilled by the coming of Baha'u'llah. Baha'u'llah came from the east and his message spread quickly, like lightening, from the east to the Western world. This can all be corroborated by reading Baha'i history.

18. Lightning from the East

I now began an earnest search for clues that would tell me something about the place in which the Messiah would appear. Two interesting things came to light. For the first coming, Daniel had given the time and Micah had given the place. Daniel had prophesied exactly when the Messiah would appear the first time and when He would be slain. Micah had said of the place: “But thou, Bethlehem … out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.”(Micah 5:2)

Daniel had also prophesied with even greater exactness the time of the second coming of the Messiah in 1844 (see p. 20). Therefore, I turned to Micah for a possible clue as to the place of His second appearance. I was richly rewarded. In Micah 7:7 and 12 I found:

“I will wait for the God of my salvation … In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria …” (Micah 7:7, 12)

The Assyrian Empire at one time covered the entire area in which both Daniel and Micah lived out their lives. Therefore, I chose to study those parts of the Empire, in which these two prophets traditionally lived and taught. To my surprise, I found that there were many other clues to follow as well. Gradually one led to another, until a definite picture began to emerge, and I knew at least in which direction to turn my gaze.

The book of Ezekiel spoke of a great Figure who would come in those days. He said: “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east.” (Ezekiel 43:2)

This was clearly a reference to the second coming of Christ and not the first, for Jesus did not come from the way of the East, He came from north and west of Jerusalem. Isaiah in like manner spoke of the wondrous Figure who would come from the East. Isaiah said that it was God Himself Who had “… raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings.” (Isaiah 41:2) Even Christ Himself pointed to the direction from which He would appear in the day of His second coming. Speaking of that day, He said: “For as the lightning cometh out of the East … so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”(Matthew 24:27)

The Jewish Oracles, the Sibylline books, prophesied that the ‘King Messiah’ of the time of the end would come ‘from the sunrise’.(The Messianic Idea in Israel, J. G. Klausner, 1956, p. 376). Daniel had written his words of millennial prophecy while in the East. In fact, he was in Elam, a part of ancient Persia, when he foretold with such startling accuracy the exact time of both the first and the second comings of Christ. It was in the capital city of Persia, Shúshán, (Ancient Susa, Khúzistán, south-west Írán) that Daniel had the prophetic vision that revealed the year 1844 as the time for the return of the Messiah. Daniel not only gave the time 1844, but he also directed attention to the place, saying that ‘Elam’ (Persia) would be given as a place of ‘vision’ in the latter days (Daniel 8:2). The Prophet Jeremiah speaks of things that ‘shall come to pass in the latter days’ and in the verse preceding this, he says: “And I will set my throne in Elam (Persia) … saith the Lord.”(Jeremiah 49:38). I came across a prophecy well known among the Arabs. Speaking of the time of the end, it said:“When the promised One appears, the ‘upholders of His faith shall be the people of Persia.’”(The Dawn-breakers, Nabíl, p. 49). All these prophecies clearly showed that the Messiah would come from the East, and they put a strong emphasis on the territory of Persia. It was something definite to go on. The circle was narrowing.

William Sears, Thief in the Night, pp. 73-75

Daniel 8:2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

The Throne was set in Elam, not in Jerusalem, as many Christians believe.

The Lord was prophesied to set His throne in Elam, from which the Messiah would rule.
Elam is modern-day Persia, where Baha’u’llah was born.

Jeremiah 49:38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

When that verse was recorded Elam existed and the verses for the coming of the Lord refer to the latter days.

Jeremiah 49:39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

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Do you think we have free will to make choices or do you think that fate/God is controlling everything we do? In other words, can we make our own choices or is everything we will ever do already been decided upon by God and we are just acting out what has been written on the Tablet of Fate? Are we all just actors in a movie that God has scripted?

I ask this because I do not think I have the free will to change much of anything in my life yet I feel like I need to change many things. But I cannot seem to change them. I am very strong willed person so whenever I set out to do something it gets done, but I cannot seem to make up my mind to do certain things and do them, so I feel stuck in a lifestyle I do not like.

Maybe I am stuck because it is not meant to be that I change anything right now, because I am doing what God has willed/scripted for me, or maybe I should be doing these things. One thing I know is that I cannot make myself do things to change my situation even though I am somewhat unhappy with the way certain things are.

This has nothing to do with money because I have plenty of money, much more than I could ever spend in my lifetime, even if I never worked one more day of my life. Time is an issue since there is only so much time, but why can’t I decide to take the time to do things that I feel I need to do? I am not a lazy person, anything but, so that is not the reason. I am also physically fit and mentally capable, so that’s not it either.

As you may know,God dignifies us with free will, the power to make decisions of our own rather than having God or fate predetermine what we do.
1)God created humans in his image. Unlike animals, which act mainly on instinct, we resemble our Creator in our capacity to display such qualities as love and justice. And like our Creator, we have free will.
2)To a great extent, we can determine our future. The Bible encourages us to “choose life . . . by listening to [God’s] voice,” that is, by choosing to obey his commands. This offer would be meaningless, even cruel, if we lacked free will. Instead of forcing us to do what he says, God warmly appeals to us: “O if only you would actually pay attention to my commandments! Then your peace would become just like a river.”
3)Our success or failure is not determined by fate. If we want to succeed at an endeavor, we must work hard. “All that your hand finds to do,” says the Bible, “do with your very power.” It also says: “The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage.”
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
3)Our success or failure is not determined by fate. If we want to succeed at an endeavor, we must work hard. “All that your hand finds to do,” says the Bible, “do with your very power.” It also says: “The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage.”
The same teachings as are found in the Bible can be found in the scriptures of my religion.

“The incomparable Creator hath created all men from one same substance, and hath exalted their reality above the rest of His creatures. Success or failure, gain or loss, must, therefore, depend upon man’s own exertions. The more he striveth, the greater will be his progress.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 81-82

“Whoso maketh efforts for Us,” he shall enjoy the blessings conferred by the words: “In Our Ways shall We assuredly guide him.”” Gleanings, pp. 266-267

I believe we have each been given a measure that has been pre-ordained by God but we can only realize our potential by our own volition. We largely determine our own fate by what we choose to do and act upon.

“Know thou that all men have been created in the nature made by God, the Guardian, the Self-Subsisting. Unto each one hath been prescribed a pre-ordained measure, as decreed in God’s mighty and guarded Tablets. All that which ye potentially possess can, however, be manifested only as a result of your own volition. Your own acts testify to this truth…”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 149
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
Will it be Christ Himself?

so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
We know that it will not be the man Jesus Christ who will appear a second time unless the Bible is in error.

John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.


.... and if some Bible verses are wrong that means that any other verses could also be wrong. That's logic.

The Christ Spirit did appear a second time in the person of Baha'u'llah and He brought salvation to those who were waiting for Him.

“I testify that Thou art the Lord of all creation, and the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible. I bear witness that Thy power hath encompassed the entire universe, and that the hosts of the earth can never dismay Thee, nor can the dominion of all peoples and nations deter Thee from executing Thy purpose. I confess that Thou hast no desire except the regeneration of the whole world, and the establishment of the unity of its peoples, and the salvation of all them that dwell therein.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 243
 

halbhh

The wonder and awe of "all things".
John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
This means we cannot visually see Him right now. For now. Until He returns in visually seeable presence. He is non-visually present to believers that follow His instructions though, in a very real way I've found out.

John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

As above.

The Christ Spirit did appear a second time in the person of Baha'u'llah and He brought salvation to those who were waiting for Him.



(see next post just below)
 
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halbhh

The wonder and awe of "all things".
We know that it will not be the man Jesus Christ who will appear a second time unless the Bible is in error.

John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.


.... and if some Bible verses are wrong that means that any other verses could also be wrong. That's logic.

The Christ Spirit did appear a second time in the person of Baha'u'llah and He brought salvation to those who were waiting for Him.

“I testify that Thou art the Lord of all creation, and the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible. I bear witness that Thy power hath encompassed the entire universe, and that the hosts of the earth can never dismay Thee, nor can the dominion of all peoples and nations deter Thee from executing Thy purpose. I confess that Thou hast no desire except the regeneration of the whole world, and the establishment of the unity of its peoples, and the salvation of all them that dwell therein.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 243

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."

This is very real, I've found out. It's not an allegory or future or past thing. It works here and now, today, for those that obey Christ's teachings.

If you want God to be with you here and now, simply begin to do what Christ taught. The whole. It's not that hard, and likely you are already doing some things Christ said, a part, and would only have to learn and add the things that He said you haven't yet.




 
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