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Cliche #5 - There Is No Time In Heaven


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#1 Fred Williams

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 05:08 PM

Many Christians state that there is no time in heaven. It is essentially not disputed that this idea was also held by the Greek pagan philosophers (Plato, et al). The question is, did it originate with the Greeks, or with the Bible? I submit with the Greeks:


Rev 8:1 - When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Does this verse also mean there are no women in heaven? Posted ImagePosted Image

Fred

#2 Teejay

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:03 PM

Many Christians state that there is no time in heaven. It is essentially not disputed that this idea was also held by the Greek pagan philosophers (Plato, et al). The question is, did it originate with the Greeks, or with the Bible? I submit with the Greeks:


Rev 8:1 - When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Does this verse also mean there are no women in heaven? cry.gifcrazyguy.gif

Fred


Fred,

That's funny! It may be true.

On this cliche', I don't want to hog all the stage as I did on the cliches'. I would like Christians on this thread to do a little research and contribute. I would like to point out that "no time in heaven" can't be found in the Bible. But next time you're in church check the hymn book on the back of the seat in front of you. It's in there. I believe it's "when the roll is called up yonder, time will be no more."

I would like to add one verse to rebut that hymn: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,' says the Lord, 'Who IS and Who WAS,and Who IS TO COME, the Almighty'" (Rev. 1:8). Notice the time words: Beginning, End, is, was, and is to come.

TeeJay

#3 Teejay

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 02:42 PM

Many Christians state that there is no time in heaven. It is essentially not disputed that this idea was also held by the Greek pagan philosophers (Plato, et al). The question is, did it originate with the Greeks, or with the Bible? I submit with the Greeks:


Rev 8:1 - When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Does this verse also mean there are no women in heaven? cry.gifcrazyguy.gif

Fred


Fred,

I've waited long enough. I was going to write on this but I stumbled across this on Bob Enyart's KGOV webside. I can't improve on it one bit. And perhaps it will engender some argument and discussion:

Here is a biblical PROOF that GOD IS IN TIME and experiences change in sequence:

In the "eternal state" before the foundation of the world God the Son was not also the SON OF MAN; then He "became" flesh as "the Son of Man" and so the Son remains eternally "the Man Jesus Christ" (1 Tim 2:5).

Many theologians reject this proof that God is in time. Why? They claim that their historical-grammatical hermeneutic, that is, their method of interpretation, proves that God is not in time. So let's look at the relationship of God and time.

When Reading "In the Greek" about God and Time, We See that God is:

- timeless,
- in an eternal now,
- not was nor will be but is, and
- has no past
- nor no future.

Of course NOT ONE of these phrases are in the Bible. They're from Plato.

By Greek there, I meant pagan Greek philosophy (and pagan Hinduism, etc.). In contrast, the Bible's Hebrew and Greek terms are TOTALLY different. They all speak of God existing through unending duration and everlasting amounts of time. The above terms are foreign to the student of God's Word, whereas the Bible's terms are all so very familiar from our Scripture reading. Even though typically translated by those who claim that God is outside of time, yet still, the Bible's many descriptions present God as existing in a never-ending sequence of time.

When Reading Your Bible about God and Time, We See that God is:

- Everlasting - From of old - Before ever He had formed the earth - The Ancient of Days - Before the world was - From before the ages of the ages - From ancient times - He continues forever - Immortal - Remains forever - Forever and ever - Godââ¬â¢s years - God who is - Alive forevermore - Who was - Who is to come - Always lives - Forever - In the age to come - Continually - Godââ¬â¢s years never end - From everlasting to everlasting - From that time forward, even forever - And of His kingdom there will be no end.

None of these biblical descriptions means "timeless." All of it is the opposite of no past and no future. Open Theism claims that the future is open (and not settled) because God is free and eternally creative and will always have new thoughts. The Settled View claims that ALL scripture about God and time is a FIGURE OF SPEECH. But it takes Plato literally. Why?

The human philosophy of the pagan Greeks (as adopted by Augustine) assumes God exists outside of time, something the language of Scripture could easily present if that were God's intention.

The Above Proof By Proof Texts: Let's demonstrate the above proof again this time using only Bible excerpts. Those who claim that God is outside of time also frequently use the unbiblical phrase, "the eternal state." Actually, every moment is in the eternal state, including those moments before creation and those after the new creation. Regardless, the following purely scriptural phrases show that in the "eternal state," WHO GOD WAS in eternity past differs from WHO GOD IS now and in eternity future:

"The Fatherââ¬Â¦ is Spirit" and "invisible," "from of oldââ¬Â¦ from everlasting," just "like the Son of God," who "loved [the Son] before the foundation of the world." Yet "God was manifested in the flesh" for "the Word BECAME flesh," having "partaken of flesh and blood," and "coming in the likeness of men" "to be made like His brethren." So "He is the SON OF MAN," "from the seed of David," "Jesus Christââ¬Â¦ the Son of Abraham." And "this MAN, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God." And "He ever lives to make intercession," for "the Mediator between God and men" is "the MAN Christ Jesus." So "Godââ¬Â¦ will judge the worldââ¬Â¦ by the MAN whom He has ordained," and "in the regenerationââ¬Â¦ the SON OF MAN sits on the throne of His glory."

The second person of the Trinity, God the Son, was not OF MAN through eternity past. Neither David, nor Adam, nor any of us, were necessary for God to be God. But the second person of the Trinity is now Jesus, the SON OF MAN. But willing to trade away God's freedom, holiness, and a thousand literal Bible verses, many theologians will sacrifice anything in sight for Platonic immutability (some even saying that they would reject Christ if God had actual freedom). As we've seen in the "comment thread" to Bob Enyart's Open Theism Debate with the president of The North American Reformed Seminary, a reader responding to our own BEL producer Will Duffy, wrote:
"Jesus Christ is God and man, he is both, he has eternally existed as both."

Christians desperate to win an argument that God is outside of time will even flirt with the unbiblical claim that God the Son was always a man, from eternity past, even before the natural man Adam was created...

"However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earthââ¬Â¦ the second Man is the Lord from heaven." 1 Cor. 15:46

But if that's just another figure of speech that means its EXACT OPPOSITE (like a thousand others claimed by those who say the future is settled), we can safely ignore it. But in truth, Jesus was the Son of God from eternity past, and He became forever the Son of Man only at the Incarnation. Moses introduced Melchizedek without parents making it appear that He had no beginning, "like the Son of God" (Heb. 7:3).

The Son of Man: As men, we probably would never pick the same title for Jesus as is His favorite for Himself, "the Son of Man." That title seems almost common to us, because we are all sons of man. But He took that title for Himself after much humbling and lowering and emptying of Himself. The title, the Son of Man, cost Him so much, it is precious to Him. But many theologians reject that the Incarnation shows change in God, as in our TNARS Open Theism debate above, saying that Open Theists are confusing Christ's humanity with His divinity. However, there are not four persons of the trinity, as is often implied by such objections, for His humanity did not become human.

To defend Platonic utter immutability those who hold to Settled View will deny that God has the freedom even to think new thoughts. So what do they get in trade for God's freedom? They can claim that before the criminal was ever born, God decided how often to rape that child and how filthy each time would be, "all for His glory and pleasure" including the rapist being beat to death in prison. The fact that God says, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ezek. 33:11) is irrelevant because it's all a double figure of speech meaning the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the text says, as we can see from the sad reality that many theologians believe that God did ordain the rape, and the beating death, "for His pleasure." And they even claim that God is impassible, that is, that He can have no emotion or passion, for in contrast to a hundred verses in Scripture, John Calvin wrote that God is, "incapable of every feeling." So really they claim that He can have NO pleasure. Yes, God's ways are higher than our ways, but they're not lower. He doesn't take pleasure from adultery.

When pressed, as in the above debate, many theologians will admit that Sovereignty is NOT an eternal attribute of God. That is a valid position, for otherwise, God's very existence would be dependent upon the creation. And in sovereignty also we see God changing, for in eternity past He was not sovereign. Yet after He returns "in His own time" as "the King of kings" (1 Tim. 6:15) He will reign Sovereign in His kingdom that will never end (Isaiah 9:7).

Bad Translations

- "before time began" (2 Tim. 1:9 & Titus 1:2) there is no verb "began" in the Greek text; the singular word "time" doesn't appear; instead, Paul wrote, "before the times of the ages"

- "time shall be no more" (Rev. 10:6; hymns) is corrected even by Calvinist translators in virtually all translations as, "There will be no more delay!"

- "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" at Rev. 13:8 can be corrected (as at the NIV footnote) by Rev. 21:27 which shows that it is, "the Lamb's book of life." In the Old Testament God looked forward to the cross and since then He looks back to it, and if Christ were slain previously there would have been no need for the righteous dead to wait in Abraham's Bosom for His sacrifice. Also, a similar passage at Rev. 17:8 shows that the qualifier does not apply to the slaying of Christ but to the wicked, "whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world." This means that these evil men were not believers who had fallen away, but that their names were NEVER written in the book. [cp. Jer. 2:32] Rev. 13:8 can even be seen as giving the title and sub-title of The Book of Life ââ¬â Of the Lamb Slain.

There is Time in Heaven

- Rev. 8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about HALF AN HOUR.

- Rev. 6:9 When He opened the fifth seal [martyrs in heaven said]: "HOW LONG, O Lordââ¬Â¦ until Youââ¬Â¦ avenge our bloodââ¬Â¦" & Rev. 11:17-18

- Rev. 22:2 ââ¬Â¦the tree of lifeââ¬Â¦ bore twelve fruits [a different one] EVERY MONTH.

- Heb. 10:12-13 But this Man, AFTER He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat downââ¬Â¦ FROM THAT TIME WAITING TILL His enemies are [defeated].

- Mat. 8:29 [God will not punish demons] "before [their] time."

If the TRUE perspective is God's ETERNAL NOW, then David is now killing Bathshebaââ¬â¢s husband, each believer is still in his sin, and the Father is right now pouring out wrath on His Son, right now. But this is false for Hebrews says that Jesus suffered "once for all."
Neither men nor angles can be omnipresent, even in heaven, for they would thereby have to be divine. The same limitation would apply with timelessness. If God existed outside of time the angels before His throne ("who do not restââ¬Â¦ saying, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come'") and the men ministering to Him forever would also have to be timeless, which would mean that they were divine also. And Jesus said we shall receive much "in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life" (Luke 18:30), and as for things that can happen, as He said in a parable, some things happen "by chance" (Luke 10:31). And "In the beginning" does not mean in the beginning of time, for that's Augustine's interpretation based on Plato, but we have the Lord's interpretation based on Mark, for as Jesus said, the phrase means in "the beginning OF CREATION" (Mk. 10:6; Mat. 19:4).

God did many things before creation (John 17:24, 5; Rom. 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:20; Eph. 1:4) and His children shall "endure forever" (Ps. 39:36) enjoying God eternally through an "everlasting covenant" (Gen. 17:7), "established forever." So the Bible teaches that God is in time. And a foundation of the Settled View is seen to be heavily based on human philosophy and contradicted by the entirety of the relevant biblical material.

TeeJay

#4 Adam Nagy

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 05:53 AM

Is God in time or is time in God?

#5 Teejay

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:47 PM

Is God in time or is time in God?

 

Adam,

 

How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

 

TeeJay



#6 Adam Nagy

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 04:35 PM

Adam,
 
How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?
 
TeeJay

I don't think my question is without merit. If time is eternal then time is not God's domain but instead God is in time therefore time is above God and by nature greater than Him.

Are you saying God is subject to time and not the other way around?

#7 Teejay

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:34 PM

I don't think my question is without merit. If time is eternal then time is not God's domain but instead God is in time therefore time is above God and by nature greater than Him.

Are you saying God is subject to time and not the other way around?

 

Adam, good question.  Let me mull it over so that I can give you a good answer.

 

TeeJay



#8 Teejay

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 08:43 PM

Is God in time or is time in God?


Adam,

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, he First and the Last, the God Who is, Who was, and Who is to come."  I think God existed in time, He now exists in time, and He will always exist in time.  Can time be created?  I think not.  One can't exist except in time.  A baby exists in time one nano-second after conception.  Time can be called many things:  a passing of events, a system of measurement, and so on.  But can we perceive time with our senses.  No.  Time is not a physical entity.  We can perceive the ticking of the clock with our senses, but not time itself.  Time is just time, if that makes sense.

 

Now if you want a real mind bender, try this:

 

On Infinity & God

Settled View Criticism of Open Theism regarding Infinity
[Question neutralized but not answered]

Criticism: If God were in time, then an infinite amount of time would have to pass before He could create, and thus the Creation could never have happened since an infinite amount of time can never pass. The Settled View solves this dilemma because God exists outside of time, and created time.

Initial Response : The error in this line of argument is that if it were true, it actually would mean that an infinite Being could do nothing whatsoever, and could not even exist. If the Settled View were correct, and God created time, then the very act of creating time itself could not have been an act inside of time, but had to be an act outside of time. The "timeless" Creator operating outside of time would have conceived of the idea of creating time, and so that conception, and then the act itself of creating time, would both have occurred outside of time. Time itself could not be created time within time, for then time would have existed before its creation.

However, this is not the only logical problem for the Infinity Criticism of Open Theism. Scripture teaches that God did certain things prior to creation. The Father loved the Son (John 17:24); God chose that the Body of Christ would be holy (Eph. 1:4); He foreordained Christ's role in creation (1 Peter 1:20). God did these things before creation. Thus biblically God did things sequentially prior to creation (and philosophically, even the Settled View requires that God, outside of time, created time itself).

FINISH: Further, the Bible refers to God's existence prior to the Creation not in terms of timelessness, which human language could easily accomplish, but in terms that imply duration. He is ever lasting (), from of old (), forever (), forever and ever (), "the Ancient of Days" (Dan. 7:9); from before the ages of the ages (Greek, 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2); "from ancient times" (Isaiah 46:10); " before the world was" (John @), He who is, and who was, and who is to come" (Rev. @).

Thus, the Settled View does not answer this Infinity question. The Settled View leaves open the question of how an eternal God could perform an action, if infinity must transpire prior to the action. It is not as though God were only infinite after the Creation, for He existed eternally, prior to Creation, "before the world was." He enjoyed an eternal relationship within the Trinity between Father, Son, and Spirit. Thus the question is even more difficult than the Settled View commonly asserts. For not only would their philosophical concept prevent an Infinite being from ever being able to do anything, neither could that Infinite being ever arrive at any moment of its existence. By the Settled View philosophical argument, if infinity must pass prior to any action taken, the same infinity also must pass prior to the moment of that action, regardless of the action. Thus, if this dilemma were valid (and not simply another example of human misunderstanding and lack of knowledge), then an infinite Being could not even exist, for He could never reach any moment in that existence, let alone actually do anything, owing to the need for infinity to first pass by in order to bring Him to that moment.

For now, the Open Theism answer to this question of infinity is the same as Christianity's answer for questions such as:
            How is our spirit interfaced to our body?
            How is there three Persons in one God?
            How does gravity work, and if matter bends space, then how?
            How is light a wave and a particle?
Christianity answers: we do not possess all knowledge, and there is much we cannot explain. Yet we know that gravity functions, and that light exists, as does spirit, and the Trinity is real, and eternity is never ending, even though there is much about these we do not comprehend. God put eternity into our hearts (Eccl. 3:11), but that means eternity future, not eternity past, which is God's domain alone. Thus it is not surprising that mankind has an intuitive and comfortable belief in the afterlife and eternity future. We have as much difficulty comprehending eternity past as a two-dimensional creature would have understanding depth. Thus, even committed theists struggle just to think about eternity past,  let alone understand it. For after all, God has not, and could not, make other Gods equal in all respects to Himself, and He has not made us as creatures who have existed infinitely through the eternal past.

Some objections form logical proofs against a proposition. Other objections merely highlight man's lack of knowledge and understanding. The Bible never presents God's past in terms of timelessness [CHECK@!!] but Scripture exclusively uses terms consistent with endless lengths of time. Further, while all of Christianity is unable to satisfactorily analyze "eternity past," the Settled View has specific problems with the scriptural teachings of God doing specific things prior to creation, since their view does not allow for a "before."

 

Bob Enyart



#9 Adam Nagy

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 06:36 AM

Thanks, Teejay.

That explanation from Bob Enyart is good.

First, for clarity, I don't believe time is turned on and off any more than I believe God's goodness could get turned on and off. This doesn't change the fact that God is the sustainer of time in much the same way as He is good.

As a mystery, I don't think we'll have answers for such things because we aren't God.

Just for the record, I too don't prescribe to the notion that God turns time off in heaven. If God made us in time then any other mode of existence wouldn't make sense.

#10 Teejay

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 02:23 PM

Thanks, Teejay.

That explanation from Bob Enyart is good.

First, for clarity, I don't believe time is turned on and off any more than I believe God's goodness could get turned on and off. This doesn't change the fact that God is the sustainer of time in much the same way as He is good.

As a mystery, I don't think we'll have answers for such things because we aren't God.

Just for the record, I too don't prescribe to the notion that God turns time off in heaven. If God made us in time then any other mode of existence wouldn't make sense.


Adam,

I glad we don't have to debate this.

 

TeeJay






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