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Providence

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Mike Burke

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Why is this Crazy?
« on: September 22, 2011, 01:23:07 am »
If a sovereign God timelessly wills everything that happens (except for those things caused by creaturely freewill), why is this brother wrong to see meaning in the things he sees them in?

My son has been seeing 333 for years. He and I talked about it all of the time. About six months ago I started waking up to my digital alarm at 333. Like most comments it has progressed to seeing 333 quite often. I started thinking that it was a sign that perhaps it was a message from Satan that I was half way to him. About one week ago I prayed to Jesus to stop my 333 occurrances. It stopped. I then had the courage to google this site and realized that it was Jesus that was making this happen. Last night I begged in his name to keep the 333 messages coming. I woke up this morning to 333 on my clock! The only thing that I am troubled about is when I started my car to go to work this morning my miliage reading was 76661 miles. Any imput on this from anyone?

http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu333.php

Is the fact that he's seeing these things (and is troubled by them) evidence that he's unsaved?

Are such things "coincidence," and what does that mean if the universe is governed by Providence?

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FNB - Former non-believer

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Why is this Crazy?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 07:07:00 pm »
How do you know that God wasn't simply trying to tell him that He answers prayer? It could be what I just said, or a coincidence, or the whole story could be made up in the first place.

I am familiar with the bible, and I would challenge you, if you believe you can identify the number of the beast with someone, to show biblically that this person is the anti-Christ. There have been so many false predictions in the past I couldn't count them all.

Cheers,

- Jeff


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Mike Burke

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Why is this Crazy?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2011, 02:23:06 pm »
emailestthoume wrote: How do you know that God wasn't simply trying to tell him that He answers prayer? It could be what I just said, or a coincidence, or the whole story could be made up in the first place.

I am familiar with the bible, and I would challenge you, if you believe you can identify the number of the beast with someone, to show biblically that this person is the anti-Christ. There have been so many false predictions in the past I couldn't count them all.

Cheers,

- Jeff

I don't believe I can identify the number of the beast with anyone, but I am interested in Providence and coincidence.

You said it could be coincidence, but how could anything (or at least anything not attributable to freewill) be "coincidence" if the universe is governed by Providence?

Are the two concepts mutually exclusive?

That's my real question here.

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Why is this Crazy?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2011, 04:17:43 pm »

Materialistic determinism is not what I sense in my experience.  I know of no one who lives that way.  Providence implies purpose.  Free will imposes ambiguity. Ambiguity entails some coincidence.





Knowledge is proud that it knows so much; wisdom is humble that it knows no more.    William Cowper

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FNB - Former non-believer

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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2011, 06:00:01 pm »
Michael_gb wrote:
Quote from: emailestthoume
How do you know that God wasn't simply trying to tell him that He answers prayer? It could be what I just said, or a coincidence, or the whole story could be made up in the first place.

I am familiar with the bible, and I would challenge you, if you believe you can identify the number of the beast with someone, to show biblically that this person is the anti-Christ. There have been so many false predictions in the past I couldn't count them all.

Cheers,

- Jeff

I don't believe I can identify the number of the beast with anyone, but I am interested in Providence and coincidence.

You said it could be coincidence, but how could anything (or at least anything not attributable to freewill) be "coincidence" if the universe is governed by Providence?

Are the two concepts mutually exclusive?

That's my real question here.

I'd agree that strictly speaking that if God providentially orders everything, (which there is probably debate between Calvinists and Armenians on which the last poster representing an armenian position hit on) there is nothing that is actually coincidental. However, the trouble is that its very hard to determine what the providential plan of God is with any specific instance. As with the instance you gave at first, it seems very plausible to me that the repeated occurrence of certain numbers after a prayer could be to show that God answers prayer. Or God could have some other purpose.  

Also, there are things which appear coincidental. That doesn't mean they are, but I think it does mean that if God providentially orders everything, in those instances we cannot deduce why he ordered things in such a way. For example, in the book of Job about all of his friends and family and wealth are consumed by a fire from heaven, and naturally Job assumes such thing was God's judgement against him. However, God was actually very pleased with Job, and it was Satan sending the fire according to the story. In this case, the "obvious answer" that it was God's judgement was wrong.

Even if you don't accept that story, I am sure you can imagine similar apparent coincidences where God's actions can be easily misinterpreted because his providential order is not fully known.

Cheers,

- Jeff

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Mike Burke

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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 10:49:49 pm »
Also, there are things which appear coincidental. That doesn't mean they are, but I think it does mean that if God providentially orders everything, in those instances  we cannot deduce why he ordered things in such a way. For example, in  the book of Job about all of his friends and family and wealth are  consumed by a fire from heaven, and naturally Job assumes such thing was  God's judgement against him. However, God was actually very pleased  with Job, and it was Satan sending the fire according to the story. In  this case, the "obvious answer" that it was God's judgement was wrong.

Thank you.

This is the most interesting thing anyone has said on this subject (and I've started more than one topic heading looking for something I could understand.)

Could you elaborate a little?

Are there other examples of this in scripture?

(I mean where "the obvious answer" was clearly wrong?)

Could there be a reason for God to sometimes order things in such a way that we aren't able to deduce His purpose?

Could there be a reason that He sends us circumstances that might sometimes really seem to point in a direction that He doesn't want us to go?


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FNB - Former non-believer

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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 02:15:51 pm »
Michael_gb wrote:
Also, there are things which appear coincidental. That doesn't mean they are, but I think it does mean that if God providentially orders everything, in those instances  we cannot deduce why he ordered things in such a way. For example, in  the book of Job about all of his friends and family and wealth are  consumed by a fire from heaven, and naturally Job assumes such thing was  God's judgement against him. However, God was actually very pleased  with Job, and it was Satan sending the fire according to the story. In  this case, the "obvious answer" that it was God's judgement was wrong.

Thank you.

This is the most interesting thing anyone has said on this subject (and I've started more than one topic heading looking for something I could understand.)

Could you elaborate a little?

Are there other examples of this in scripture?

(I mean where "the obvious answer" was clearly wrong?)

Could there be a reason for God to sometimes order things in such a way that we aren't able to deduce His purpose?

Could there be a reason that He sends us circumstances that might sometimes really seem to point in a direction that He doesn't want us to go?



Michael, thanks for the nice comments, I am glad you are getting something out of this. I'll do my best to answer, and even though I am majoring in biblical studies, the bible is a big book and so I could forget about some parts, so don't expect a perfect answer.

I think it will be helpful to first backtrack a bit. The situation you gave of seeing the same number and all of that... I can't think of a biblical story like that at all. When God communicates it is usually either by a direct appearance, a dream, a vision, or a word spoken by someone to you in prayer. I can't think of an instance where strange things keep happening and its actually God communicating.

It seems to me that God both because of his good nature, and his revelation in the bible, is clear to people when he wants them to do something. I think the purpose of the book of Job was to keep people from inferring God's actions by the prevalence of calamity on ones life. It would show, I think, that just because someone has had a bunch of horrible things happen to them, it doesn't mean that they are being punished by God.

In the correct ordering of the biblical books maintained in Judaism, Job is right after Proverbs. Now the book of Proverbs promises many blessings to the righteous person. It makes sense to me why Job comes after Proverbs in the original ordering of the books, since Job was a righteous person and didn't get those blessings that seemed to be promised in Proverbs.

So the book of Job is sort of showing that despite the blessings promised to the righteous person, they don't always come to the righteous in this life. And one cannot infer that a person is sinful because of calamity which comes upon them.

Forgive me if I am droning on, and let me know if I can help better answer your question, I am not sure if I got at what you were looking for.

Cheers,

- Jeff



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Mike Burke

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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2011, 04:40:50 pm »
I just read something that seems to answer my questions about Providence and coincidence.

If a coincidence has no particular value, or purpose,  then it is coincidence, and that it that.  It is a matter of chance events.   By chance events I mean, those things that happen that are not directed  by God's purpose, but are the result of the laws of nature He has created.  Because He created these laws, He is, in a sense, the author of all that  happens. But when he just allows the laws to function, and does not enter  into them to interfere for a specific purpose, you do not call that providence.

        For example, I worked for 4 years at a printing company.  My job included  the laying out of paper for the paper cutter.  I would lay out tons of paper  on any one day, and over the years filled out thousands of orders.  Every  once in while I would go the shelves of stock with an order.  The order  would call for 325 sheets of blue 20 lb. paper 18 by 34.  I would start  counting the sheets in an open package, and to my surprise, I would end  up with exactly 325 sheets-just what I needed.  It was always a surprise,  because it was a rare coincidence, but it did happen, and I was impressed  with how often the unlikely could happen by chance.  What I was experiencing  was coincidence.  It had no meaning or purpose.  It would happen to anyone  who spent hours everyday counting out paper.  It was a mere matter of chance.   The only way it could be of value would be if it happened every time, and  made you the best paper counter in the world, because you would not need  to count at all, knowing the package had just what you needed.  If a coincidence  does not serve any meaningful purpose, it cannot be considered providential.  

       Paul Aurandt in The Rest Of The Story tells of a marvelous coincidence in  the filming of the Wizard of Oz.  Frank Morgan played the wizard, and Professor  Marvel, the traveling sideshow man that Dorothy met.  MGM'S wardrobe department  was notified that they needed a coat for Professor Marvel.  It had to reflect  a sort of shabby gentility, a grandeur gone to seed.  The staff went to  second hand shops in Los Angeles, and they came back with 50 coats.  The  director and Frank met to select one.  The one they decided on was a Prince  Albert coat, with a velvet collar.  It was worn, but spoke of former elegance.

        One day, as the Professor Marvel scenes were being shot, Frank Morgan pulled  out the pocket of his coat, and he noticed the name of the original owner.   It was such a surprise, the MGM executives wired the tailor in Chicago to  confirm what they had discovered. It was confirmed-the coat they had selected  was originally made for the man who wrote the book-The Wizard Of Oz.  It  is an amazing story, it is so highly unlikely that you feel almost compelled  to see forces beyond man involved.  But because it has no significance or  meaning, that is recorded, it is not likely it was providential.  It made  no difference, for had it not been his coat it would have served the same  purpose.  No purpose was achieved by this amazing coincidence, and without  purpose it is not providential.  

http://www.faithmania.com/glenn-pease-article-coincidence.html



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jayceeii

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Re: Why is this Crazy?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 01:53:12 pm »
If a sovereign God timelessly wills everything that happens (except for those things caused by creaturely freewill), why is this brother wrong to see meaning in the things he sees them in?

My son has been seeing 333 for years. He and I talked about it all of the time. About six months ago I started waking up to my digital alarm at 333. Like most comments it has progressed to seeing 333 quite often. I started thinking that it was a sign that perhaps it was a message from Satan that I was half way to him. About one week ago I prayed to Jesus to stop my 333 occurrances. It stopped. I then had the courage to google this site and realized that it was Jesus that was making this happen. Last night I begged in his name to keep the 333 messages coming. I woke up this morning to 333 on my clock! The only thing that I am troubled about is when I started my car to go to work this morning my miliage reading was 76661 miles. Any imput on this from anyone?

http://www.ridingthebeast.com/numbers/nu333.php

Is the fact that he's seeing these things (and is troubled by them) evidence that he's unsaved?

Are such things "coincidence," and what does that mean if the universe is governed by Providence?
People lie. But it is worse than this. They can lie without knowing that they are lying. Like George Costanza said on “Seinfeld,” “It’s not a lie, if you believe it.” People are looking for a devil without, but there is also a devil within, intent on dominating the world around itself. The soul has depths, and these deeper parts if impure can concoct stories which feel real to the individual, and these stories can have consistency as well as seeming marvelous to other humans who hear about it. The occult claims people are making, as in the post quotation, are not crazy in the usual sense of the term, instead in a more rarified and precise sense of a human finding a way to draw attention to himself.

This is important because the situation is almost certain to get worse, not better. There are two levels of superstition. The first level hasn’t risen to sufficient reason to appreciate science, looking for ways to avoid work and learning. Voodoo might be an example of this stage. Then for a time the mind adopts science, but later once the inner experiences of spirit start to come the mind longs for occult powers and the superstition comes right back in, though in a more “sophisticated” form. Examples are people believing in the power of crystals or planetary “force lines,” or “mediums” claiming to channel the dead.

The way to recognize these imposters is that they fail to display properties of purified souls, especially when it is noted the pure souls make no occult claims. It’s a case of claiming mastery, when anyone can see the basics are unlearned. People get by with it because the metaphysical is an invisible realm. If someone who never skated before states he could skate better than Scott Hamilton, you know it is a lie, and people know to avoid such obvious lies. But claiming to contact the dead is not a claim that is tested so easily. Mediums are easiest to disprove as they claim to channel figures such as Aristotle or Newton. As they start speaking it is the usual selfish nonsense, from a disorganized mind.