(Compilation began with the Will Duffy / Matt Slick debate and continues. The more than 575 verses below appear about 800 times because some relate to more than one category. Please promote this list with a link to opentheism.org/vv or directly to a category like this opentheism.org/verses#22 or by topic as with opentheism.org/vv#patience.)
33 CATEGORIES OF TYPES OF OPEN THEISM VERSES with all 575+ indicating that the future is not settled but open. These show that...
1 - God Hopes His Prophecies of Judgment will Fail so that reconciliation with even more people may succeed, and only an open future enables God to hope anything at all, and especially, for the following...
God said to the wicked, "You shall surely die", but repent, so that you will "not die" Ezek. 33:14-15; Judah should repent so that God "may repent [not of sin, of course, but] concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring" Jer. 26:3; God's people should repent so that "then the Lord will repent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you" Jer. 26:13; "I will judge you," God says, so "repent," because "why should you die"? Ezek. 18:30-31; when God speaks "concerning a nation... to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will repent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it" Jer. 18:7-8 (this is God's interpretation of this Potter and Clay passage. However, many rejected God's warning by elevating prophecy above God Himself Jer. 18:18; yet God affirmed the inverse); when God speaks concerning "a kingdom to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will repent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it" Jer. 18:9-10 (so contradicting the Calvinist interpretation, this meaning is exactly why God quotes this Potter and Clay passage in Rom. 9); implicit in God's urging Jerusalem to repent is that He wants to change His mind about the plan and disaster that He has fashioned and devised against them, so that He would not be compelled to bring it to pass, for "Thus says the Lord: 'Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.'" Jer. 18:11; "God repented from the disaster that He said He would bring upon [Nineveh] and He did not do it" Jonah 3:10. Why didn't He destroy the city? Because God is great! The Bible says that love is greater than both prophecy and having all knowledge (philosophers call these exhaustive foreknowledge and omniscience and theologians prioritize both above God's biblical attribute of love) for as the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write, "though I have... prophecy and... all knowledge... but have not love, I am nothing" 1 Cor. 13:2 [yet Christianity's most influential theologian could not see this because, as he confessed in writing, Augustine admitted he interpreted Paul's epistles through the lens of Plato's pagan Greek philosophy]; God cared more for the people of Nineveh than He did for the fulfillment of the prophecy of its destruction Jonah 4:11; etc., for example, see all of the repent verses below.
2 - God Exists in Time through duration contrary to the opposing claim of Plato and Augustine.
Jesus said, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working" John 5:17; Jesus is waiting until His enemies are made His footstool Heb. 10:13 and see the related passages Ps. 110:1; Mat. 22:44; Luke 20:43; Acts 2:35; Heb. 1:13; and also of God the Son, "the Word became flesh" John 1:14; etc.; God gets weary of repenting Jer. 15:6; He asks "how long" shall I bear with an evil people Num. 14:27; "Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you... Blessed are all those who wait for Him" Isa. 30:18; God existing outside of time would invalidate one of the Lord's most wonderful arguments "concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken" (Mark 12:26-27) and Jesus argument is not unsound, which it would be if God existed outside of time, for then Abraham would be alive to God eternally even if there were no life after death; and the Burning Bush passage itself therefore shows God in time Ex. 3:6; and with God in time, of course, so the rest of the spiritual realm exists in time Mat. 8:29; Scripture never describes God as atemporal, timeless, having no past or future, or outside of time; the Bible frequently though describes Him as in duration including "God who is - and was - and is to come" Rev. 1:4; "whose goings forth are from of old" Mic. 5:2; "forever and ever" Ex. 15:18; 1 Chr. 29:10; Ps. 10:16; 45:6; 48:14; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 4:9-10; 5:14; 10:6; 11:15; 15:7; "the Ancient of Days" Dan. 7:9; 7:13; 7:22; in the Greek, from before the ages of the ages 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; "from ancient times" Isa. 46:10; "the everlasting God" Gen. 21:33; Isa. 40:28; Rom. 16:26; [Deut. 33:27]; "He continues forever" Heb. 7:24; "from of old" Ps. 25:6; 55:19; 93:2; Isa. 57:11; "from everlasting" Ps. 93:2; Micah 5:2; "remains forever" John 12:34; has "everlasting dominion" Dan. 4:34; "abides" 1 John 2:17; "eternal" Rom. 1:20; 2 Cor. 4:18; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 5:11; Immortal 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16; "the Lord shall endure forever" Ps. 9:7; who "lives forever" Dan. 4:34; 12:7; Rev. 4:9-10; 5:14; 10:6; 15:7; "yesterday, today, and forever" Heb. 13:8; "His years" are without number Job 36:26; "manifest in His own time" 1 Tim. 6:15; "everlasting Father" Isa. 9:6; "alive forevermore" Rev. 1:18; "always lives" Heb. 7:25; "forever" Ps. 110:4; 146:10; Dan. 6:26; Rom. 16:27; 2 Cor. 9:9; Heb. 1:8; 7:21; 24; 28; 1 John 2:17; Jude 1:25; Rev. 1:6; "continually" Ps.40:11; 52:1; Luke 1:33; Heb. 7:3; "the eternal God" Deut. 33:27; God’s "years will have no end" Ps. 102:27; "from everlasting to everlasting" 1 Chr. 16:36; Ps. 41:13; 90:2; 106:48; "from that time forward, even forever" Isa. 9:7; not us but God the Son "finished" paying for man's sin when He said, "It is finished!" John 19:30; "He will reign... and of His kingdom there will be no end" Luke 1:33; etc. And see the closely related verses of Category 3 and of Category 4 showing that God acts in sequence and also of Category 28 that time exists in heaven.
3 - God has Qualities that can Only be had if He Exists in Time like patience, slow to anger, and hope.
Patience: 1 Peter 3:20; Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18; Neh. 9:30; Ps. 86:15; Rom. 2:4; 9:22; 1 Tim. 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9, 15; "In Your enduring patience" Jer. 15:15; and "God is Love" 1 John 4:8, 16 and "Love is patient" 1 Cor. 13:4 and He is "the God of patience" Rom. 15:5; etc.
Endurance: God endured His people’s complaints Num. 14:27 with "enduring patience" Jer. 15:15; He endured their misery Jud. 10:16; their cries Luke 18:7; the wicked Rom. 9:22; hostility Heb. 12:3; the cross Heb. 12:2
Slow to anger and long-suffering: Neh. 9:17; Ps. 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nah. 1:3
Provoked: God can be provoked to wrath Zech. 8:14; in the wilderness Deut. 9:7; in Horeb 9:8; three other times 9:22; in Jehoiakim's time Ez. 5:12; provoked to jealousy and be aroused to anger, by Jeshurun Deut. 32:16; 32:19; by that perverse wilderness generation 32:21; by Judah 1 Ki. 14:22; during Shiloh's downfall Ps. 78:58; the generation after Joshua Jud. 2:12; by King Jeroboam 1 Ki. 15:30; by King Ahab 21:22; by King Ahaziah 22:53; by King Hoshea 2 Ki. 21:15; by Manasseh 23:26; by King Ahaz 2 Chr. 28:25; by Sanballat and Samaria's army Neh. 4:5; [9:18; 9:26]; at Paran Ps. 78:56; 78:58; at Beth Peor 106:29; by Judah Isa. 1:4; by God's people Jer. 8:19; by Israel 32:30; and Jerusalem specifically 32:31; by Ephraim Hos. 12:14
Curiosity: "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name" Gen. 2:19; [Gen. 18:21; 22:12]; etc.
Sustain emotion: I will not remain angry forever Jer. 3:12
Faithfulness: from everlasting to everlasting He endures in faithfulness for He is "the faithful God" Deut 7:9; possessing great faithfulness Lam. 3:23; Ps. 36:5; 37:3; 71:22; Ps. 89:24; God's faithfulness is not an inability (because He cannot change) but an ability (which He must actively maintain) Ps. 89:33; 92:2; 98:3; 119:75; 119:90; 143:1; Isa. 11:5; 25:1; Hos. 2:20;
Hope: as many verses show (see above) that God hopes His prophecies of judgment will fail, clearly God hopes; biblical hope is knowledge influenced by love and faithfulness for "hope that is seen is not hope" Rom, 8:24 yet God hopes, for just as Paul describes Him as the "God of love", so too he writes of "the God of hope" Rom. 15:13; whereas hope is weakness and error to those who believe in divine unchanging knowledge, however God unhesitantly acknowledges His hope as through Zephaniah, "I said, 'Surely you will fear Me, you will receive instruction' but... they corrupted all their deeds" Zeph. 3:7; comparing Israel to a tended vineyard, "He expected it to bring forth good grapes" but it did not for instead "it brought forth wild grapes" Isaiah 5:1-2; "What more could have been done...?", God asks, thus He says, "I expected it to bring forth good grapes" but instead He got "wild grapes" Isa. 5:3-4; "My Father... is One who seeks and judges" John 8:49-50; for "He seeks godly offspring" Mal. 2:15; (and see the Category 11 expectation verses below, including Isa. 30:15-16; 63:8-10; Jer. 18:7-8 and the Category 1 judgment prophecy verses above including Ezek. 33:14-15; Jer. 3:7; 18:7-8; 26:3, 13; Ezek. 18:30-31)
Can be limited: "they... limited the Holy One of Israel" Ps. 78:41 (because love must be freely given, thus limiting God when His love goes unrequited)
Related abilities: See also the remembers and looks forward to verses in the next category.
Consider also Wisdom Job 12:13 (and even discernment Heb. 4:12). About 1,000 times God's Word mentions wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, four times more frequently than the mention of miracles, signs, and wonders. Wisdom is the application of experiential knowledge and good judgment. Wisdom, like insight, involves outcomes Prov. 3:19, 9:10; etc., and doing now what you will be satisfied with later. So God is frequently described as wise and having wisdom Job 9:4; 1 Kings 3:28; Dan. 2:20; 1 Cor. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:17; Jude 25; Just as the Bible says that "hope that is seen is not hope", likewise, [good] judgment that is seen is not judgment, it's just vision. Further, experiential knowledge (see below), like good judgment and hope, is a kind of knowledge that can only be had by one who exists in time.
4 - God Acts Externally in Sequence showing that He is not outside of but in time (and see also just below, sequence within the Godhead).
In actions: "But this Man [God the Son], after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies" are subdued Heb. 10:12-13; prior to this, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God" Ps. 90:2; God then first created and then ceased from His creative work Gen. 2:1-3; later God waited while the ark was being prepared 1 Peter 3:20; God has not pre-determined everything He will do but He says that when certain things happen, then He determines what He will do next, by saying "I determined to punish you when your fathers provoked Me" Zech. 8:14; and likewise see Jer. 26:3 and "If you will not listen to Me... then I will make this... city a curse" Jer. 26:4, 6"; "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working" John 5:17; God speaks in heaven 1 Kings 22:20 and from heaven Mat. 3:17; 17:5; Speaking requires sequence which is why Augustine claimed that God could not speak because Augustine, sadly, had been convinced of divine atemporality by Plato so he denied that God could have said this, "Then a voice came from heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" Mark 1:11; "And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, 'You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased'" Luke 3:22; and Augustine claims that God could not and did not utter those words even though they are self-evidently from the Father and even though the Apostle Peter explicitly attributes them to God 2 Peter 1:17; God was manifested in the flesh and (then after His death for Man's sin) justified by the Holy Spirit 1 Tim. 3:16; God the Son "finished" paying for man's sin saying, "It is finished!" John 19:30; He suffered, was killed, buried, and raised the third day Mat. 12:40; 16:21; 17:23; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22; Acts 4:10; Rom. 14:9; 1 Cor. 15:4; regarding the old and new covenants He took "away the first that He may establish the second" Heb. 10:9; Jesus rose and then sought His disciples Mat. 26:32; Mark 14:28; John 21:14; God the Son went from not having a body John 4:24, to indwelling a form Gen. 3:8; 18:1-3; etc., to taking on a human body Luke 1:31, to having a "glorious body" Phil. 3:21; and God the Son "passed through the heavens" Heb. 4:14, whatever that means, to get from Earth to the Father's throne room; "but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" Heb. 9:26; "so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" Heb. 9:28.
In remembering and looking forward: God remembers as when He remembered His covenant with Abraham Ex. 2:24; and with Jacob Lev. 26:42; and His holy promise to the Israelites Ps. 105:42; etc.; Cornelius (the Gentile saved before baptism and apart from circumcision) had his alms remembered by God Acts 10:31; and God will remember Babylon's sins Rev. 16:19 and their iniquities Rev. 18:5; See also Gen 9:12-15; Ps. 136:23; Mal. 3:16; etc. (Also, when theologians say that God "enters" into time, what they're actually referring to is when God interacts with His creation. So as seen throughout Genesis to Revelation, even the common theological way of speaking admits that God acts in sequence, as there is a before He "enters" time and an after.) Jesus, who is God the Son, looked forward to the future time when His apostles would sit on twelve thrones and when He would sit on the throne of His glory Mat. 19:28; the Holy Spirit cannot act in someone's life until that person exists, so, significantly, the Scripture says to believers, "the Spirit of God dwells in you" 1 Cor. 3:16, something He could not do until you exist; "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" Acts 1:8; "the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you" John 14:26; "I tell you the truth... if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin" John 16:7-8; "when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you" John 16:13; "having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit" Eph. 1:13; etc.; "My Father... is One who seeks" John 8:49-50; "He seeks godly offspring" Mal. 2:15; He held the righteous dead in "Abraham's Bosom" awaiting Christ's death, figuratively, with Abraham's Bosom as the Cities of Refugee, "until the death of the one who would be high priest in those days" Joshua 20:6; and literally, and symbolic of the entire group, upon Christ's death many graves were opened and the saints who had died were raised Mat. 27:52; at which time the deceased saints could finally then enter into heaven; also all "the days are coming" passages, like Amos 9:13-14; Mal. 3:17; etc.
Et cetera: [Mark 2:8]; And see the closely related verses above showing that God having duration exists in time and below that time exists in heaven.
5 - God Experiences Sequence Internally within the Godhead, including sequence of relationship, deciding, planning, becoming things, and even sharing.
The Father prepared a body for His Son Heb. 10:5; then He became the Father of a Son with two natures John 1:14; Luke 1:35 when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary; then the Father increased in favor with His Son Luke 2:52; the Son increased, for He must increase John 3:30; after the Son took upon Himself Man's sin, the Holy Spirit justified the Son 1 Tim. 3:16; (and if the throne at God's right hand suffices to refer to the Godhead, then consider also) God the Son, having become "the Son of Man", looks forward to again sitting on the throne of His glory Mat. 19:28; God "chose us in Him" (i.e., planned for the members of the Body of Christ) "before the foundation of the world" Eph. 1:4; the glory the Father gave to the Son because He loved Him before the creation John 17:24; and the glory He had shared with the Father before the world began John 17:5; "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name" John 14:26; "Then the Lord said in His heart, 'I will never again... destroy every living thing as I have done'" Gen. 8:21; Heb. 9:24; etc.
6 - God Says Certain Things Happened that Never Entered His Mind.
They burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings which I did not command or speak nor did it come into My mind Jer. 19:5; they cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech which I did not command them nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination to cause Judah to sin Jer. 32:35; they burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to sacrifice them which I did not command nor did it come into My heart Jer. 7:31; [For other sins like adultery and theft God never says, It didn't enter My mind and I didn't command it. So why say this regarding child sacrifice? First, He did command the sacrificial system. And second, He commanded Abraham to offer up his son Gen. 22:2; Heb. 11:17. (God prevented that from happening. But 2000 years later the Father Himself would offer up His own Son Rom. 8:32 and on that very same Mount Moriah, 2 Chron. 3:1.) Thus God made two things abundantly clear. Back when He ordered Abraham to demonstrate the kind of love (commitment) that the Father Himself would later demonstrate (Rom. 5:8), first, He certainly had not commanded that men sacrifice their children, and secondly, it hadn't even entered His mind that men would actually do such a thing. See also Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut. 12:31; 18:9-10; 2 Kings 3:27; 2 Kings 16:3; 17:17, 31; 21:6; 23:10; 2 Chr. 28:3; 33:6; Ps. 106:35-38; Isa 57:5; Ezek. 16:20-21; 20:26, 31; 23:37].
7 - God Indicates the Future is Uncertain by saying perhaps, by chance, lest, etc.
"Perhaps everyone will listen and turn [repent, so] that I may repent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them" Jer. 26:3; "Then the Lord God said, '...now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever' therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden... and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden... to guard the way to the tree of life" Gen. 3:22-24; "Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, 'Lest perhaps the people change their mind and return to Egypt'" Ex. 13:17; if the Egyptians "do not believe you nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. The water... will become blood" Ex. 4:8-9 (the Bible doesn't record but Egypt's secular writing does that indeed it did come to this, when Moses poured the water on the ground); "If she had not [Heb. perhaps] turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live" Num. 22:33; "It may be [Heb. perhaps] that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin" Jer. 36:3 showing the extent and significance of the possibilities; “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind... the stalk... shall never produce meal [but] if [Heb. perhaps] it should produce, aliens [foreigners] would swallow it up" Hos. 8:7; "The Lord said, "Indeed the people are one... and this is what they begin to do; now nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them" Gen. 11:6; perhaps regarding Israel, "it may be that they will consider" and repent Ezek. 12:3; "by chance a certain priest came down that road [to Jericho] Luke 10:31; "if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land... it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them Num. 33:55-56 (that is, God threatened to cast out Israel, as happened by the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, instead of casting out the pagan nations); "Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He [Jesus] indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him saying, 'Abide with us...' and He went in to stay with them" Luke 24:28-29; "Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by" except that His disciples cried out and He replied to them Mark 6:48; "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" 1 Cor. 10:12; and see Ezek. 7:23-24, the future now being different from what it would have been, but for their bloody crime.
8 - God Says He Repents and Changes His Mind and His Actions and actions are not words, so reversing an action cannot be a mere figure of speech; for example, putting a man on a throne and then repenting by removing him is an action and not conceivably a mere figure of speech; and God of course does not repent as a man repents, from sin.
God saw Nineveh's turning away from their sin and so God repented (standard Hebrew word for repent, nacham, as throughout) Jonah 3:10; 3:2-4; 4:11 that is, "God repented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it"; then there's Samuel's repent sandwich 1 Sam. 15:11, 29, 35 in which God says 15:11 and 15:35 that He repented that He made Saul king (so He replaced Saul with David), and in the middle of those two statements, 15:29, He insists that He will not repent of having ended Saul's dynasty, that is, He will not repent from having repented. (This cannot be a figure of speech because it is an action, see below, i.e., actually removing Saul is not just words; it is action 1 Sam. 15:26-28; 1 Sam. 13:13-14. Like other times when God repents, here He does not only repent in word but also in deed. So therefore, the repentant deeds themselves cannot be figures "of speech" and thus they show actual, not figurative, repentance of heart and mind.) The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and He repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart Gen. 6:6; So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth... for I repent that I have made them" Gen. 6:7; Num. 14:12, 20; Ex. 32:14 (etc.); "the Lord was moved to pity" [repented, Heb. nacham] Jud. 2:18 deciding to avert the consequences of their actions; 2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Chr. 21:15; Ps. 106:45; 135:14 (in the Hebrew); God says He is "weary of repenting" (from not meting out more severe judgment) Jer. 15:6; weary, for example, from repeated episodes such as when Israel "served... the gods of the Philistines... So the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines... they harassed and oppressed the children of Israel... so that Israel was severely distressed and... cried out to the Lord, saying, 'We have sinned against You' ... So the Lord said... "Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians... Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress." And the children of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray." So they put away the foreign gods... And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel" so God repented in that He did again deliver them Jud. 10:6-11, 13-16; "Perhaps [Israel] will listen and turn... that I may repent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings" Jer. 26:3; God wants to repent "concerning the doom that He has pronounced against" Jerusalem Jer. 26:13; God repented from the doom which He had pronounced against them Jer. 26:19; in forbidding Judah to flee to Egypt God repents of the destruction that He had brought upon them 42:10 (i.e., He is willing to give them a reprieve); God repents of destroying Jerusalem by way of Micah’s prophecy Micah 3:12 with Jer. 26:18-19; God is worthy of Zion's trust because He repents Joel 2:13 as Jonah knew the Lord also as the kind of God who repents Jonah 4:2; the Lord repented of destroying Jacob's late harvest Amos 7:1-3; the Lord repented of His desire to bring a fiery judgment upon His people Amos 7:6; when I say I will destroy a nation, if that nation repents then I will not destroy the nation "that I thought" to destroy Jer. 18:7-8, 11 (again, this is the actual interpretation, God's interpretation of The Potter and the Clay passage); when I say that I will bless a nation, if they disobey Me, I will not do that which I said I will do Jer. 18:9-10; so, implicit in God's urging Jersualem to repent is that He is willing to change His mind about His own plans Jer. 18:11.
9 - God Says Things Are Possible that would be Impossible if the future were settled or decreed.
Lest God consume Israel on the way Ex. 33:3 (i.e., during their forty years in the wilderness); Jesus could call for twelve legions of angels Mat. 26:53 (to save Him from the cross); God has provided a way for believers to resist any temptation 1 Cor. 10:13 (if only they trust Him); God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones Mat. 3:9; Luke 3:8; at times Jesus speaks in parables so that some of His opponents will not understand Mat. 13:15; Isa. 6:9-10; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; (by then putting His clear interpretation of the Sower parable into the Bible proves that Jesus' purpose was to thwart those unbelievers of His day, and not to confuse all generations of unbelievers who today can simply read the interpretation in any Bible); God could destroy Israel and raise up a new nation to Himself Num. 14:12; God could have destroyed Nineveh in forty days Jonah 3:4 (as He had said He would, but they repented so He did not Jonah 3:10); God doesn’t bring the Israelites through the wilderness by a certain route so they won’t be tempted to go back to Egypt Ex. 13:17; I could come up in one moment and consume Israel Ex. 33:5; God could destroy the land Ezek. 22:30; God could have enabled Eli’s sons to have ministered forever to Him 1 Sam. 2:30; God could have given to Saul a perpetual dynasty 1 Sam. 13:13-14 & 2 Sam. 7:15; God could have totally destroyed Jerusalem 1 Chr. 21:11-12, 15; God could destroy a nation but may not if it later repents Jer. 18:7-8, God could bless a nation but may not if it later does evil Jer. 18:9-10; that as the tabernacle and the ark had been in Shiloh for centuries but then left never to be returned, likewise God threatened to permanently remove his Temple from Jerusalem Jer. 26:6; Ezekiel shall bake a specific cake that never gets baked Ezek. 4:12-15; I will fulfill My anger against the Israelites while they are still in the midst of the land of Egypt Ezek. 20:8-9, and in the wilderness Ezek. 20:13-14, 17; God says to the righteous, you shall surely live, but it turns out that he shall die Ezek. 33:13; God says to the wicked, you shall surely die, but it turns out that he lives Ezek. 33:14; on those in the wilderness I will "pour out My fury [but] nevertheless I withdrew My hand" Ezek. 20:21-22; destroy Jerusalem by Micah’s prophecy Micah 3:12 with Jer. 26:18-19; Hezekiah is about to die Isa. 38:1; 2 Kings 20:1; God would have healed (blessed) Israel but for their sin Hos. 7:1; God hardens people’s hearts (against what?), so that they wouldn’t do the things that they couldn’t do anyway, if everything had been decreed Ex. 4:21; 9:12; 10:20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17; Deut. 2:30; Josh. 11:20; 1 Sam. 6:6; John 12:40; the wicked "limited the Holy One of Israel" from doing what He otherwise would have done Ps. 78:41; because of the unbelief of the Nazarenes Jesus did not do many miracles among them like He would have done Mat. 13:58; of course within the constraint of rationality and including the saving of men, "with God all things are possible" Mat. 19:26; (see also other passages among the God repents verses; and see Mat. 18:6; and see those passages in the next category: God Said He’ll Do Something He Never Does).
10 - God Says He Will Do Something that He Never Does.
Drive out: "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites" Josh. 3:10 yet a generation later, "I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you... But you have not obeyed My voice...' Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side'" Jud. 2:1-3; "Thus the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites" Jud. 3:5; with the Bible emphasizing this repeatedly, "I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite." Ex. 33:2; "When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites" Deut. 7:1; "When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land" Deut. 12:29; this prophesy to the generations that entered Canaan promised a steady and methodical possession of the land for, "If you should say in your heart, 'These nations... how can I dispossess them?'— you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh... So shall the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. Moreover the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left, who hide themselves from you, are destroyed. You shall not be terrified of them; for... the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed. And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them Deut. 7:17-24; yet "you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you [Israel] no more" Jud. 10:13; so the generation following Joshua did not see fulfilment of the prophecy as promised for, "'Because this nation has transgressed My covenant... I also will no longer drive out before them [in the timeframe prophesied] any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the Lord, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.' Therefore the Lord left those nations, without driving them out immediately; nor did He deliver them into the hand of Joshua" Jud. 2:20-23 as had been prophesied; of course, after the recreation on the New Earth pagan nations will not occupy the land but these prophecies were not of the distant future but about Israel's entrance into the land.
Etcetera: "let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them [Israel] and I may consume them. And I will make of you [Moses] a great nation" Ex. 32:10; "I will not go up in your midst" Ex. 33:3 yet God repented and did accompany the Israelites through the wilderness for Moses said to the Lord, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people.' But You have not let me know whom You will send with me... Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now... And consider that this nation is Your people. And [God] said, 'My Presence will go with you...'" Ex. 33:12-14; "Behold, I will bring calamity on you" Ahab 1 Ki. 21:21 yet "See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days..." 1 Ki. 21:29; "Therefore [God] said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy [Israel]" Ps. 106:23; "I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’ But [then] I acted for My name’s sake" and did not destroy the Hebrews Ezek. 20:8-9; then "the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness... Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. But [then] I acted for My name’s sake" though I had "also raised My hand in an oath... that I would not bring them into the land... because they despised My judgments... Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness" Ezek. 20:13-17; and then again, for "I said I would pour out My fury on them... Nevertheless I withdrew My hand" Ezek. 20:21-22; "Therefore because of you [Israel's lying priest and prophets] Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins" by Micah's prophecy Micah 3:12 yet God repented of Micah's prophecy for "Micah... prophesied in the days of Hezekiah... 'Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins' ... [Yet] the Lord repented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them" Jer. 26:18-19.
See Also: Category 20 is even stronger than this category in that in those verses God Himself is the one who says that He will no longer do something that He said He would do, such as, "I will repent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it" Jer. 18:7-8, whereas this Category 10 is based on the Bible text showing, though God Himself may not state it, that He will not do something (for divinely perfect reasons of course) that He had said He would do.
11 - God Expects that Something Will Happen that Doesn’t Happen.
Communicating His expectation and hope through Isaiah, comparing Israel to a well-tended vineyard, "He expected it to bring forth good grapes" but it did not for instead "it brought forth wild grapes" Isa. 5:1-2; "What more could have been done...?", God asks, thus He says, "I expected it [Israel] to bring forth good grapes" but instead He got "wild grapes" Isa. 5:3-4; for hope is knowledge influenced by love yet those who claim God's knowledge is static see any hope in Him as weakness and error, whereas in reality God said, in the Hebrew using the future tense, "she will return", that Israel "will return to Me, but she did not return" Jer. 3:7; God said, "I have caused the whole house... of Judah to cling to Me... but they would not hear" Jer. 13:11; "I said, 'You shall... not turn away from Me.' [but] as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with Me" Jer. 3:19-20; "I said, 'Surely you will fear Me, you will receive instruction' but... they corrupted all their deeds" Zeph. 3:7; Because Israel didn't act as God expected, He said, "Surely they are My people [and will act in truth] but they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit, so He turned Himself against them" Isa. 63:8-10; "For thus says the Lord God... 'In returning you shall be saved...' But you would not, and you said, 'No...'" Isa. 30:15-16; God says, I will not destroy the nation "that I thought" to destroy Jer. 18:7-8 as God had said, forty days and Nineveh will be destroyed Jonah 3:4, 10; Jesus, as God the Son, was surprised "And He marveled because of their unbelief" (John 6:6); [see also Jer. 26:3] etc.
12 - God Increases and Learns for He must increase.
The fully divine Christ didn't foreknow but learned, "when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves..." (Mark 2:8) thus an inability to learn is not an essential attribute necessary for the Son to be fully God; the Father became the Father of a Son with two natures (adding to the Son's eternal divine nature was the human nature that He took upon Himself by the Incarnation); watching the Child grow, the Father’s favor, itself, increased (grew) toward His son Luke 2:52; [Mat. 3:17] (and the Father's favor grew undoubtedly infinitely beyond the combined increase in joy experienced by all other fathers seeing their own children grow); as the Son began His public ministry, the Father's joy and favor continued to grow as He was well pleased with Him 2 Peter 1:17; this increase in natures of course affected the Son also John 1:14 (in that He took upon Himself a human nature), He learned obedience Heb. 5:8; and became obedient even to the point of death Phil. 2:8; He was tempted Heb. 4:15 [within the constraints of James 1:13; consider also that Adam, Eve, Lucifer, etc., sinned without possessing a sin nature; instead, they had the nature of free moral beings; further, if Jesus Himself could not have sinned, then first, He could not have been tempted; and secondly, He could not have been fully human, which of course, He was; fully human, and fully divine, having taken on Himself a second nature through what theologians call the hypostatic union, something that God the Son did not have through eternity past but something He took upon Himself and shall have through eternity future]; iniquity was found in Lucifer (i.e., found, not foreknown by God nor decreed to be there, but found) Ezek. 28:15; at the cross God the Son learned firsthand, experientially, the consequences of sin Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; etc.; He must increase John 3:30; Classical theologians deny that God has all knowledge in that they deny to Him entire classes of knowledge, as in the experiential knowledge category below, such as when they claim that God does not know what it is like for Him to learn something.
13 - God Shows Regret similar to repent and uses the same Hebrew word, nacham.
I greatly regret making Saul king 1 Sam. 15:11 therefore God deposed Saul from the throne and gave the dynasty to David. For "Samuel said to Saul, 'You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD… For… the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue…'" 1 Sam. 13:13-14. [An "action" cannot be a figure of speech. Why not? Because an action is not only speech; it is an action. God "repenting" that He made Saul King 1 Sam. 15:11, 35 could theoretically be a figure of speech (but if so, then as a figure, it would have to convey some actual meaning). However "to repent" does not refer only to words or thoughts, but it can also refer to an action (to turn from). When any word, including the word "repent", refers to an action, then it cannot be a figure "of speech", because it is an action. When God removed Saul from the throne, and then actually gave the dynasty to David, that deposing of Saul was an action that God performed. This powerfully illustrates a reason why God inspired His Word as a historical narrative rather than merely as a series of abstractions, so that we would constrain our interpretations based on the biblical accounts.] The Lord repented that He had made man on the earth and was grieved Gen. 6:6-7 so He destroyed the earth's population, which is not speech but an action [except for Noah's family Mat. 24:37-38; 1 Peter 3:20] etc., including the other repent verses.
14 - God Wants to See What Men Will Do so He tests men, looks to see, searches, and didn’t know what men would do.
God said to Abraham, "now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" Gen. 22:12; "the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name" Gen. 2:19; "there He tested them and said, 'If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God... I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians'" Ex. 15:25-26; "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not" Ex. 16:4; "And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not" Deut. 8:2; "the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart" Deut. 13:3; "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth" with the "eyes" figure of speech referring to the reality that God looks and sees so that He can "show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" 2 Chr. 16:9; "The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God" Ps. 14:2; "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings" Jer. 17:10; "I also will no longer drive out before [Israel] any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the Lord, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not" Jud. 2:21-22 (and as with God repenting by removing Saul from the throne, an action, removing him, cannot be dismissed as a figure of speech; thus if it God "looking" to see what men would do were only a figure, He would not have to take an action to accomplish that "looking", therefore actions taken in a text are one way to falsify a "figure-of-speech dismissal"); Jud. 3:4; Ex. 20:20; 2 Chr. 32:31; Ps. 17:3; Jonah 3:10.
15 - God Does Not Have All Present Knowledge.
The Holy Spirit, third person of the Godhead, did not know something that the Father knew, namely, the planned day and hour of the Second Coming for "of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" Mark 13:32 and of course that lack of knowledge did not negate His divinity, for the amount of information as suggested by the quantitative attribute of omniscience is not essential in the way that the absolute qualitative attributes are; likewise, no man, no angel, nor even the Son knew, for "of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only", so of the persons of the Godhead only the Father knew the timing for the Second Advent, with the Spirit and even the Second Person not knowing the schedule for His own Second Coming, which was in the purview of the Father alone Mat. 24:36 (and of course, not knowing the timing of the Second Coming, like not knowing when WWII ended, means that an enormous quantity of additional information is not known, including, as the Second Coming that may be hastened, the identity of countless human beings who may or may not be conceived), thus these times "the Father has put in His own authority" Acts 1:7; God the Son in anticipation of the Incarnation temporarily empties Himself of knowledge, and in a Christophany says He will go down to Sodom to see firsthand the state of its depravity Gen. 18:21; God does not have the present firsthand knowledge of knowing what it is like to sin for He is described as "He who knew no sin" 2 Cor. 5:21 for He is sinless, holy and good 1 Sam. 2:2; 1 John 1:5; Mark 10:18, yet billions of creatures possess such firsthand knowledge (Paul writes that God the Son became "a curse for us" and became "sin for us" on the cross but of course that does not mean that He Himself sinned but rather that He took the sin of others onto Himself; if anyone argues otherwise, aside from being wrong, they would also be arguing that at the cross, God's learned what it is like for Him to sin; He did not, but at the cross God the Son did learn firsthand the consequences of sin Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; etc.); other present knowledge God lacks is in not having all experiential knowledge; etc.
16 - God Intervenes to Prevent what could Otherwise Happen and addresses contingencies.
Cherubim block the way to the Tree of Life lest Adam and Eve physically never die Gen. 3:22-24 by eating of the tree's super-nutritious fruit Rev. 22:2; the men of Babel will accomplish things that God wants to prevent them from accomplishing Gen. 11:5-8; "God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines... for God said, 'Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt'" Ex. 13:17; etc.
17 - God Indicates Certain Prophecies Will Go Unfulfilled, i.e., God says what will happen but then says that it won’t happen.
God says He will "without fail" cast out the Canaanites, Jebusites, etc., but a generation later because of Israel's rebellion, God says that He will not cast them out Josh. 3:10 with Deut. 7:1, 23, Jud. 2:1, 20-23, 3:5, 10; Ex. 32:10; 33:2, 3; Deut. 12:29; Judges 2:3; 10:13; God issues prophecies against Tyre and then reveals that the prophecy did not come to pass (and certainly not in its various details) Ezek. 26:12; 29:18; see there regarding Egypt also; etc.
18 - God Gives Men Choices and Options and Recognizes that They Can Choose Among Them and gives them invitations and the freedom to choose but not the freedom to not choose and not the freedom to choose the consequences of their choices, affirming that both God and people have what some theologians refer to with a double redundancy, libertarian free will.
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live" Deut. 30:19; Go and tell David, "Thus says the Lord: 'I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you'" regarding optional punishments 2 Sam. 24:12 A prophet named Gad came to David and said to him, Thus says the Lord: "Choose for yourself, either three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel." Now consider what answer I should take back to Him who sent me. And David said to Gad, "...Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man." 1 Chr. 21:11-13; "Thus says the Lord: 'Because you have let slip out of your hand a man [Ben-Hadad] whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life [King Ahab] shall go for his life, and your people for his people'" 1 Kings 20:42; And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Gen. 2:16-17; Ezek.18:30-32. [Mat. 22:8-9, 14; Also, any Calvinist claim that their theology recovers that of the early church is falsified by the realization that for 400 years on free will the church taught only "libertarian" free will and thus knew nothing of the false and far future new doctrine of "irresistable grace".]
19 - God More Explicitly Says He Does Not Know What Will Happen (similar to the "uncertainty / perhaps" Category 7 above).
"God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines... for God said, 'Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt'" Ex. 13:17; perhaps Israel will repent so that I can repent Jer. 26:3; how long until Israel repents Hos. 8:5;
20 - God Says He Will No Longer Do Something He Said He Would Do.
Isa. 5:1-6; When I say that I will bless a nation, if they disobey Me, I will not do that which I said I will do Jer. 18:9-10; Drive out nations Joshua 23:13; Judge 2:21; Jonah 3:10.
21 - God Did Things Before the Creation showing sequence before the foundation of the world, i.e., before He allegedly created time.
God chose us in Him (i.e., planned for the members of the Body of Christ) Eph. 1:4-5; the persons of the Godhead shared their glory John 17:5, 24; God foreordained wisdom for our glory before the ages 1 Cor. 2:7; Christ was foreknown before the foundation 1 Peter 1:20 [i.e., that God the Son would become the Messiah, even though we’re told, wrongly, that God can’t do anything in sequence].
22 - Things that God Became for though He was not always these things, if He wants to, even though it contradicts classical theology, God can change and He did become such.
Savior/Redeemer: God became the Savior as He says, "I became your Savior" Isa. 63:8
Man: God the Son “became flesh” John 1:14 (after saying He is not a man Hos. 11:9; 1 Sam. 15:29; Job 9:32; [Ps. 146:3]) "in the days of His flesh... though He was a Son... having been perfected" He became a perfect man Heb. 5:7-9, the "Man, Jesus Christ" Rom. 5:15; "the Man Christ Jesus" 1 Tim. 2:5; see also Isa. 7:14; Rom. 1:3; 8:3; 9:5; 1 Cor. 15:27; 1 Tim. 3:16; Phil. 2:7-8; etc.
Son of Man: No creed, confession, systematic theology textbook, etc., claims that being the Son of Man is a divine attribute from everlasting of God the Son, for humanity is not co-eternal with God. Neither is God the Son the "Son of Mary" from everlasting. Yet through and as of the Incarnation humanity has become [a] second nature to Him. Thus God the Son became the "Son of Man" Mat. 16:13; 19:28; Mark 2:28; Luke 9:44; John 6:62; Acts 7:56; Rev. 14:14; Dan. 7:13; etc. The everlasting Father has had that role from everlasting, just as God the Son has been His Son from everlasting. But, making explicit the obvious, of course the Son has not eternally been a man from everlasting, for as we read in the Old Testament that "God is not... a son of man" (Num. 23:19) for at that point, He was not
Creator: God became the Creator by creating for, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" Gen. 1:1 [Also, "In the beginning" does not refer to a beginning of time but to "the beginning of the creation" Mark 10:6 and see too Mark 13:19 and 2 Peter 3:4.]
Sovereign: All three persons of the Trinity became Sovereign, by creating so that God had something to be sovereign over, and as part of this He even became an Enemy, for example, to King Saul, as Samuel said, "the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy" 1 Sam. 28:16
Lord: "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" Gen. 2:7; etc.
God of Abraham: Have "you not read in the book of Moses" Jesus aked, "in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?" Mark 12:26; Luke 22:37; etc. Abraham was not co-eternal with God and as the only necessary and self-existent being God could not have been "the God of Abraham" for eternity past, because if He had been, then Abraham would have been necessary from everlasting and God would not have been self-existent.
Obedient to the Death: God the Son became obedient to the point of death Phil. 2:8
Eternally Embodied: God the Son became the possessor of a "glorious body" Phil. 3:21
More Glorified: "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit" John 15:8; etc.
Author: God "became the author of eternal salvation" Heb. 5:9 and to do so God the Son first "became a curse for us" Gal. 3:13 and even "sin" 2 Cor. 5:21 and then as the last Adam He became a life-giving Spirit 1 Cor. 15:45;
23 - God’s People Believe God Can Change His Mind.
Ex. 32:11-13; God promised Abraham to give him a son by Sarah and "Abraham said to God, 'Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!'" Gen. 17:16-18; Abraham pressing God to be merciful to Sodom and Gomorrah Gen. 18:23-32; "the Lord was very angry with Aaron and would have destroyed him; so I prayed for Aaron" Deut. 9:19-20; David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted... Then his servants said to him, "What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate..." And he said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?'" 2 Sam. 12:16, 21-22; "Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them" Ps. 106:23; etc.
24 - God’s People Believe they can Change God’s Mind and they Do Change His Mind including as Jesus teaches.
"Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God" Ex. 32:11-13; "I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the Lord was angry with you, to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me at that time also. And the Lord was very angry with Aaron and would have destroyed him; so I prayed for Aaron" Deut. 9:19-20; Jeremiah believed people could change God's mind, and especially Moses and Samuel, as indicated by him writing this under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "Then the Lord said to me, 'Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me [even then!], My mind would [still] not be favorable toward this people...'" Jer. 15:1; "Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them" Ps. 106:23; persistent widow Luke 18:4-7; Abraham pressing God to be merciful to Sodom and Gomorrah Gen. 18:23-32.
25 - God’s People Believe a Prophecy Does Not Have to Come To Pass which belief the Scriptures report not as their error but positively, with this strongly indicating their belief, and by His inspiration, the Holy Spirit's strong affirmation, that the future is not settled but open.
"Thus says the Holy Spirit, 'So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt...' Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem" Acts 21:11-12; Hezekiah was sick and near death and Isaiah the prophet went to him and said, "Thus says the Lord: 'Set your house in order for you shall die and not live.' " Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, "Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you." ' " 2 Kings 20:1-5 and Isa. 38:1-5; Moses Ex. 33:15-16.
26 - The Bible Says Some Things Happen By Chance and if there is true chance (as the Scriptures indicate there is, and as we can understand emerges from any or all of the following, from within the meaning of the doubly redundant term "libertarian free will" of God and His creatures, and from the truly random behavior of willful human beings and angels, and even from an animal's ability to choose among instincts, and from the randomness within the realm of physic including chaotic weather and quantum mechanics) then the future is not settled but open.
"Now by chance a certain priest came down that road" to Jericho Luke 10:31; "I returned and saw under the sun that [often] the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all" Eccl. 9:11; "Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened [Hb. chanced] to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz" Ruth 2:3; "Therefore [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened [Gk. chancing] to be there" Acts 17:17.
27 - The Bible Describes Men as Omniscient, Unchanging, Having Sovereignty and Foreknowledge therefore having foreknowledge, or being described as immutable, sovereign or omniscient, does not require having knowledge of an exhaustively settled future.
"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things" 1 John 2:20; "concerning you, my brethren... you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge" Rom. 15:14 (see especially the Greek); "God will hear, and afflict them, even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change" Ps. 55:19; "They knew me from the first" Acts 26:5 (see the Greek, foreknowledge), regarding sovereignty, the New King James Version, for example (though produced by Calvinist translators) never once uses the word sovereign or sovereignty for God but does once state, "Saul established his sovereignty" 1 Sam. 14:47. [See also 1 Cor. 13:2.]
28 - The Bible Shows that Time is in Heaven.
Jesus opened the seventh seal and then there was silence in heaven for about half an hour Rev. 8:1; martyrs in heaven (don't ask God to forgive those who killed them, but rather, lacking the false spirituality common on Earth), inherently acknowledging time in heaven, ask: "How long O Lord… until You… avenge our blood…?" Rev. 6:9; Greek philosophers with Christian theologians quoting them deny that God was or will be and claim He only "is", whereas God is "the One who is and who was and who is to come" and in heaven awaits the "time of the dead" when "they should be judged" Rev. 11:17-18; the tree of life bore twelve fruits, a different one each month Rev. 22:2; "this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down… from that time waiting till His enemies are defeated Heb. 10:12-13; As the LORD says, "I have held My peace a long time" Isa. 42:14; [etc.; plus the scores of verses above describing God as existing in everlasting duration.] If God's knowledge were unchanging however, then He could not know if heaven's silent half-hour were still future, had just begun, was past, etc. Some knowledge can only be known to a being that has changing knowledge. Creatures certainly have a "now" that we are experiencing and by the false teaching of timelessness and unchanging divine knowledge, then God could not even know what day it is. And if God had unchanging knowledge (as claimed by Plato and Augustine quoting him) then the LORD could not know what time it is. For even if you knew every line of a script you couldn't know which scene is currently being performed unless, like our God, you have changeable knowledge.
29 - Prayer Can Change What Would Otherwise Be the Future.
Jehoahaz pleaded and God listened and helped deliver Israel 2 Kings 13:4; God told Hezekiah to prepare for "you shall die and not live" but the King pleaded with God who then said, "I have heard your prayer and surely I will heal you... And I will add to your days fifteen years" 2 Kings 20:1-6; a persistent widow pleaded with an unjust judge and Jesus interpreted His own parable, Shall not God answer the prayers of those who continue to ask God Luke 18:1-7; the friend who comes asking for bread at midnight is resisted until his persists and Jesus interprets His parables saying So ask God "and it will be given to you" Luke 11:5-9; Jesus could call for twelve legions of angels (to save Him from the cross) Mat. 26:53; etc.
30 - God Gains Experiential Knowledge.
Of course Jesus is the eternal Second Person of the Godhead (though reformed theologians James White and R.C. Sproul Jr. seem to deny this out of their commitment to the pagan Greek philosophical absolute version of immutability), and even as the Son Jesus learned, for "though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" Heb. 5:8; "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" Luke 2:52 so not only did the Son gain experiential knowledge, so too the Father increased in favor with His Son experientially while watching Him grow through the Incarnation; God the Son "made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death" Phil. 2:7-8; against impassibility, the Bible says of "Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" Heb. 12:2; Jesus endured hostility Heb. 12:3; most Calvinists deny that God has all knowledge by rejecting that He has or even can have experiential knowledge. Yet the Bible explicitly declares that God has experiential knowledge as with the "go down and look" see-for-Myself verses during which God the Son, pre-figuring the actual Incarnation, had temporarily emptied Himself of much knowledge, power, and presence. Scripture also demonstrates God's experiential knowledge by the Incarnation-related temptation verses and by the "learned" verses (just above). And of course, agreed to by all, God does not have the experiential knowledge of what it is like for Him to sin. Yes, God the Son gained firsthand experiential knowledge when He became a "curse for us" and became "sin for us" as Peter and Paul wrote (Gal. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24), not though by His own sinning but by taking upon Himself the sin of the world. So countless human beings and angels have knowledge which God lacks, to His glory!, the devastating and unholy experiential knowledge of what it is like to sin. Settled viewers deny also that God has the experiential knowledge of knowing what it is like for Him to learn. And Calvinists and even Arminians deny that God has the experiential knowledge of planning things yet future (to Him), and knowing things yet future (to Him), and then seeing those things come to pass. For by the unbiblical claim that God is outside of time, Calvinists, etc., deny that He can know (or experience) anything in sequence. So Calvinists view predestination and foreknowedge as mere figures of speech, whereas we open theists believe these are literally true of God as in Acts 2, the "foreknowledge of God". We affirm that GOD HIMSELF actually has foreknowledge, that is, that He knows some things in advance. And that God Himself actually predestines, that is, that HE plans things before HE then brings them to pass. Selah. If you disagree with this, ignore the following verses. But if you agree that open theists are correct that God literally has foreknowledge (Acts 2:23; Rom. 11:2; 1 Peter 1:2; [Ex. 3:19; Deut. 31:21; Ps. 139:4; Isa. 42:9; 44:7; Jer. 1:5]) and literally predestines (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:5, 11; [Acts 3:18; 4:27-28; Isa. 46:10; Dan. 2:8]), then we can add these verses to this Category 30. Thus, by denying that God has experiential knowledge, Calvinists, etc., do not believe Him omniscient, i.e., that He has all knowledge, for their theology inherently rejects that God can possess an entire category of knowledge, namely, experiential knowledge, including what it is like for Him to learn, to have One's favor grow, to suffer, to endure, see brought to pass things known and planned in advance, etc. See also, God increases and learns, above.
31 - The Bible Shows Certain Prophecies Were Not Fulfilled as Given and that some will never be fulfilled which leaves some as permanently unfulfilled prophecy. [Category 17 above is even stronger than this one and differs in that it lists verses in which God Himself says that one of His prophecies will not come to pass. Here in Category 31, the verses do not quote God explictily saying that a prophecy will fail, but rather, the text conclusively indicates that the prophecy will not come to pass.]
God prophesied to David by way of the ephod that Saul was on his way and, as to whether the men of Keilah would betray him to Saul, "the Lord said, 'They will deliver you.'" So David departed from there and, "Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition" 1 Sam. 23:9-13 and the Keilahites never delivered David to Saul; Nebuchadnezzar himself did not take Tyre nor did he receive the spoils as prophesied Ezek. 29:18 Ezekiel prophesies that Nebuchadnezzar will take Egypt Ezek. 29:19 but compared to the rest of sacred and profane history, Nebuchadnezzar never conquered Egypt; many scriptures indicate that Jesus would return soon after His departure, such that the apostles would not have time to go through the cities (villages) of Israel before Jesus returns Mat. 10:23; that some standing there may not die until they see the Son of Man returning in power in His kingdom Mat. 16:28 (not referencing the Transfiguration, because that occurred almost immediately); the apostle John might have remained alive until Christ's return John 21:23; [the near Second Coming explains the otherwise seeming reckless teachings of "Sell what you have" Luke 12:33; "And everyone who has left houses... or lands, for My name's sake" Mat. 19:29. "do not worry about your life, what you will eat" Luke 12:22. The "ravens... neither sow nor reap" yet "God feeds them" Luke 12:24; "Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your moneybelts" Mat. 10:9; "Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and... come, follow Me" Luke 18:22;] the generation Jesus was speaking to would not pass until the tribulation and Second Coming prophecies took place Mat. 24:34; yet God had warned He may not give Israel their kingdom as prophesied for "the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice [such as in rejecting their resurrected Messiah], then I will repent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it" Jer. 18:9-10; thus God views the end times calendar as changeable, "I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time" Isa. 60:22; and even the saints can change the time of Christ's return as Peter wrote that believers too should set about "hastening the coming of the day of God" 2 Peter 3:12; and even the length of the tribulation will change as Jesus said that, "those days will be shortened" Mat. 24:22; [so expecting Christ's soon return therefore, in early Acts, the converts of the Lord, of Peter, and of the rest of the Twelve, sold their homes and their land Acts 4:34-35; 5:1-2; (but the converts of the one sent to the Gentiles, the apostle Paul, did not sell their homes or fields for from them He raised relief 1 Cor. 16:1–4; 2 Cor. 8:1-9:15; Gal. 2:10; Rom. 15:25–31; Acts 11:27–30; 24:17 for the believers who had sold their homes]; and like the shortening of the tribulation, the three days of God's punishment were cut short, for "Thus says the Lord: '... choose... seven years of famine... Or... flee three months before your enemies... Or... three days' plague..." And David said... "Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great..." So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time [i.e., of the evening sacrifice]. And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented from the destruction and said to the angel who was destroying the people, "It is enough; now restrain your hand." ... Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people and said, "Surely I have sinned and I have done wickedly but... what have they done? ... So the Lord heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel." 2 Sam. 24:12-17, 25; the prophecy of expelling the pagan nations from the promised land would not be fulfilled as it had been prophesied Josh. 3:10 with Deut. 7:1, 23, Jud. 2:1, 20-23, 3:5, 10; Ex. 32:10; 33:2, 3; Deut. 12:29; Judges 2:3; 10:13; God issues prophecies against Tyre and then reveals that the prophecy did not come to pass (and certainly not in its various details) Ezek. 26:12. [See also Jer. 18:6-10.]
32 - The Bible Shows Things Could Have Been Different.
Saul’s descendants could have reigned on his throne forever as Samuel said to him, "You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever" 1 Sam. 13:13; and likewise, some of God's priests who were cut off could have served Him forever: "Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron's sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar" Ex. 28:1 for "the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever" Deut. 18:5 yet God killed two of the sons for "Nadab and Abihu died when they offered profane fire" Num. 26:61 for "fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord" Lev. 10:1-2; and about their father, "the Lord was very angry with Aaron and would have destroyed him; so I [Moses] prayed for Aaron" Deut. 9:20 and God did not kill him; also in the wilderness God had considered destroying the entire nation, for: "I would have said, 'I will make the memory of [Israel] to cease from among men' [but] lest their adversaries should misunderstand" and think that false gods and "not the Lord [had] done all this" Deut. 32:26-27; and to the whole nation once in Canaan, "if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land... it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them" Num. 33:55-56 a punishment they could have avoided if they had obeyed; God told David that Saul was on his way and, as to whether the Keilahites would betray him, "the Lord said, 'They will deliver you.'" So David departed from there and "Then it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah; so he halted the expedition" 1 Sam. 23:9-13 so that in a few minutes the outcome changed from what it otherwise would have been; God said He "caused the whole house of Judah to cling to Me... but they would not hear" Jer. 13:11 [that's the Hebrew use of "cause", that is, provide the opportunity; make possible or even likely, i.e., Mat. 5:32]; "God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it. As he was destroying, the Lord looked and repented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying, 'It is enough; now restrain your hand'" 1 Chr. 21:15 so that Jerusalem was not totally destroyed as it could have been; to Adam God commanded, "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" Gen. 2:17; etc.
33 - God Says What He Wants to Do, But Can’t or Doesn’t Do.
Jesus said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets... How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood... but you were not willing!" Luke 13:34; "Come now [Moses], I will send you to Pharaoh..." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh..." So [God] said, "I will certainly be with you. ...you shall come... to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him... 'let us go...'" ... Then Moses said... "O my Lord, I am not eloquent... I am slow of speech..." So the Lord said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes... the seeing...? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say." But he said, "O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send." So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. ... Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. ... So he shall be your spokesman... And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Ex. 3:10-12, 18; 4:10-16, 30 and thereafter 68 times then the Bible mentions "Moses and Aaron"; "the Lord met him and sought to kill him" Ex. 4:24 but after Moses' wife resentfully circumcised their son God let her husband go; God said He would destroy the nation of Israel and start over with Moses Ex. 32:9-14; the wicked "limited the Holy One of Israel" from doing what He otherwise would have done Ps. 78:41; to have Ezekiel eat gross bread Ezek. 4:12; God says, "I sought for a man among them... but I found no one" Ezek. 22:30.
The Top Seven Categories of Verses that Don’t Exist: Hear the seven categories of non-existent verses discussed in Will Duffy's opening statement from his first debate with CARM's Calvinist theologian Matt Slick. If the future were settled, the many passages that could exist, and the many passages that believers are led to believe actually do exist, but don't, could include verses that say:
- That God is outside of Time (timeless, in an eternal now, not was nor will be but only is, has no past, has no future)
- That God knows everything that will ever happen
- That God can intervene in the past
- That God has decreed everything that will ever happen
- That God created time
- That God exists in the past and or the future
- That God knew us before the foundations of the Earth.
Note on Fetology: God knows us from the moment of conception in the fallopian tube where each of us began as a single-celled boy or girl, still "unformed". Over the next few days we entered the womb. See Jeremiah 1:5 and David's fetology verses, Psalm 139:13-16. Thus it is in the human genome which God wrote, and the fetal development that it controls, where the days of David's development in his mother's womb were written. For "in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them." The final day implied there is not the day of David's death but the day of his birth. At conception a human being is immediately in the "likeness" of God, but not yet in the "image", i.e., form, of a person, for he is in the relatively amorphous "unformed" spherical shape of a single cell. The Bible teaches that God knows us from that point, even before we were "formed", but it does not teach that God knows us from before the foundation of the Earth or even, from before our conception. If the Scriptures did state this, then the underlying philosophical claims of the Settled View would be confirmed. But the Bible does not say that God knew us in eternity past. Instead, hundreds of times over as in the above 33 categories, the Bible affirms the Open View.
Bonus Categories: We've tallied the more than 575 unique verses above in an open theism spreadsheet and could add to them...
- Every Divine Warning in Scripture
- Every Divine Command in Scripture
- Every Divine Word Spoken (for atemporalists like Augustine argue that God can do nothing in sequence, not even talk, which Augustine pointed out requires putting syllable after syllable)
- Hundreds of Subjunctive Passages (including for example the God-breathed Scriptures in the New Testament that use the uncertainty mood of the Greek verb)
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