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Author Topic: Limited free will!  (Read 1910 times)

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Limited free will!
« on: May 18, 2007, 02:51:47 PM »

In a recent conversation I had with my brother about the "free will" topic, he described understanding it like this:

Being confined in a house.  You cannot go outside of the house, but within the house you are free to do whatever you want.

At least he is beginning to open his mind to idea of there not being free will, but it struck me that it is a common struggle to give God TOTAL sovereignty.  The carnal mind just doesn't want to give up it's illusion of power, and so instead comes up with something like "limited free will" to satisfy itself, while thinking at the same time it is giving God sovereignty.  What a maze of confusion this creates.  I have seen this argued in some very well written intellectualized papers that on a first read seems quite logical.  But the holes become apparent when we try to line it up with scripture.

But I identify with where my brother is at right now in thinking this through.  Giving up our illusion of freedom when it comes to our wills is a very difficult thing to do, proven by the fact that man will come up with such silliness like "limited free will" and then intellectually try to argue it.  I'm talking about myself here, since I was there once, and only by God's will to give me eyes to see this truth, can I even look behind me, and laugh at myself... ;D 

From Ray's paper:


The free will scholars themselves have had to re-adjust their theory in the light of obvious scientific and Scriptural proof against free will. They assure us that although man does not possess total free will, he does, nonetheless, possess "limited free will." That is, manís will is limited, but within those limits, the will is completely and totally free. Oh really?

I never cease to be amazed at the fact that contradictions never interfere with Christian doctrine. Believing in contradictions is absolutely necessary if one is to accept most Christian doctrines, and this "limited free will" is just another one of them. Letís take a quick look at this idiotic proposal of "limited free will." It is nothing more than the "square circles" theory all over again.

Here is how my Twentieth Century Websterís Dictionary defines "limited, a. restricted" (Page 963). And here is how this same dictionary defines "free, a. without restriction" (Page 682). Got it? "Limited" means: RESTRICTED, and "free" means: WITHOUT RESTRICTION.

So scholarly theologians would have us believe that man possesses a will that is, "RESTRICTED WITHOUT RESTRICTION." What? Does anyone see a problem with this limited free will theory? Does the word "contradiction" come to mind?

Now then, if the natural carnal mind of man cannot choose to love and obey God, and God absolutely will not cause one to love and obey Him, how is it then that ANYONE CAN EVER BE CONVERTED? Do any of you who believe in manís free will or manís limited free will have an answer to this Scriptural dilemma? Or do you all feel more comfortable just leaving these questions behind as though they were never proposed in the first place? I mean, why meditate on a problem that has no Scriptural answer other than to accept the fact that the Scriptures do not support any form of a "free will" theory?


It is impossible to contend with any amount of sanity that manís natural mind cannot choose to obey God, and yet believe that man must choose by his own will to obey God. Such a contention is unscriptural, contradictory, nonsense. It is believed by most that not only can man choose to obey God by his own free will, but that he indeed must do so if he is ever to be saved.

We cannot say, "Well God gives us His Holy Spirit so that we CAN choose to love and obey Him." Nope, hereís why that wonít work:

    "And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to them that OBEY Him" (Acts 5:32).

And so Romans 8:7 teaches us that we canít obey God without His Spirit, and Acts 5:32 teaches us that God only gives His Spirit to those who do obey Him. So free will is blasted out of the sky with just these two statements of Scripture. Besides, manís free will would cease to be free if God does anything to actually cause man to repent and turn to God.

But maybe you are one who believes in the contradiction of Scriptures? Maybe you are one who believes that your idol of the heart supercedes the plain Word of God.


The truth of conversion is a simple one, if we believe the Scriptures and donít try to bring it about by some phantom free will. It is all of God.

How do the Scriptures say we become converted? Does an ounce of "free will" enter into the conversion process according to the Scriptures?

   1. "Or despise you the riches of HIS goodness [ĎHis goodness;í not our free will] and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God LEADS [Godís Ďleadingí is the CAUSE] you to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4). Where is the Ďfree willí in this statement? "God LEADSÖ" is the cause of repentance, not free will.
   2. "No man CAN come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw [Gk: Ďdragí] him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44). This verse is plain: "No man CANÖ" come to Christ of his own will. It is the Father "dragging" him that is the cause of one coming to Christ, not his own supposed free will.
   3. "You have not chosen Me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOUÖ" (John 15:16). "I have CHOSEN youÖ" is the CAUSE and it is by Christís will, not manís will.
   4. "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God [not faith ĎINí the Son of God, but the very faith ĎOFí the Son of Godóit is His faith, not ours until He gives us some of it] Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). It is not by the Ďfree willí of our faith that we live, but the by the faith OF Jesus. There is no human free will in all this.
   5. "I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without ME YE CAN DO NOTHING" (John 15:5). According to Godís Word, what is it that we can do by our own will? Answer: "NOTHING." It is Christ "IN him" that brings forth much fruit. Man does not bring forth much fruit by his fabled free will.
   6. "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:11). Is this manís part in his own salvation? Must man confess that Jesus Christ is his Lord by his OWN FREE WILL, or it will have no real meaning? Is that how this confession is made? Answer: "Öno man can say [with his fabled free will] that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" (I Cor. 12). Do we profess Jesus as our Lord by our own will or by the Holy Spirit? "By the Holy Spirit" is the cause. Our own will is not the cause of our calling Jesus, Lord.
   7. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [Ďthat faithí] not of yourselves [NOT of your own faith or will] it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).
      Are we saved through the faith of our own will? NO. Do we do good works by our own will? NO. It is: Godís faith, Godís gift, Godís Workmanship, Godís creating, Godís ordaining. The cause is "His workmanship," not our own will.

I could go on and on like this for a hundred pages. I could go through the entire Bible proving that all is of God, not of manís will. It is always God; it is never manís will that is the first cause of all things. Nowhere in the entirety of the Bible is there anything suggesting that man has a "free will." Manís will is not free. Man has a will, but it is not free from the causes that make it do what it does.

Millions and millions of times it is stated by the clergy that man must live by his "free will" that God gave him. God never goes against our own free will, we are told. Hogwash!

Since God says we cannot obey Him with our natural mind [our own God-given will], and yet we have much Scriptural proof that God does cause men to do what He wants, then we also have proof that God does go against manís will, and He does it often.

    "For it is God [who? ĎGODí] which works in you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

According to Christendom, this verse is a fraud. We are taught that, "It is OUR OWN FREE WILL that works IN us both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure." But no, it is God Who works in us both to will and to do. There is no "free moral agency" at work in this verse of Godís Word or anywhere else, for Godís Word does not contradict. These Scriptures I am giving you are so very simple and so very plan, yet, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

As I have pointed out in another installment of this series, that if there were a Scripture that stated: "God our Saviour; Who will NOT have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth," that my detractors by the thousands would use and quote that Scripture to me to PROVE that God will NOT save all humanity. Yet it is obvious to all that there is NO such Scripture. What I Tim. 2:4 really says is:

    "God our Saviour; Who WILL have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

And so, if there were such a Scripture stating that God "will NOT save all men," they would believe it. But since the Scriptures actually say that God "WILL save all men," they refuse to believe it. And so in the final analysis: If God "will NOT" save all men, then they would believe that He "will NOT" save all men. And as God says He "WILL" save all men, then they believe that He also "will NOT" save all men. Itís insane! Yet I am put down and ridiculed because I believe the Scriptures.

And in the very same way, if Phil. 2:13 had stated the following: "For it is your own free will which works in you both to will and to do of Godís good pleasure," all of Christendom and all of my detractors would use that verse to prove that it is manís free will that "works in you both to will and to do of Godís good pleasure." But since there is no such verse. and since Phil. 2:13 really says, "For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" they still believe that this verse means, in the final analysis, that it is "manís free will" and "not God" which does these things. Again I say: Itís insane!


In the last installment we read John 6:36:

    "If the Son therefore shall MAKE you free, ye shall be free indeed."

I said that this verse has nothing to do with free will. But it certainly does have to do with freedom. But freedom from what? From what is it that Jesus frees us? Why free from what we were in bondage to before He freed us, of course.

    "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered [freed] from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21).

The whole creation will be delivered from this bondage one day. But until then, only those destined to become the manifest sons of God receive this deliverance.

Here is the same thought in slightly different words:

    "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free [here is this Ďcause and effectí thing again] from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

No one can "freely" change his will from hating and disobeying God on one day to loving and obeying God on the next. No, it takes a supernatural miracle from God to accomplish this. God must Personally remove and free [here is the cause] us from being under the "Law of sin and death" to being under the "Law of the Spirit of life in Christ."

Does man accomplish this by his own will? Not unless you want to make a liar out of Jesus. Jesus says that He "frees us," so how can we say that we freely free ourselves?

It is amazing that we would even WANT to cling to the idea that "salvation" is in our own hands.  I have always known what a mess I am, and before coming to the truths on free will, and universal salvation, I was quite simply terrified that I wasn't going to make it (to heaven), because I just knew that I would screw it up somehow!

Today, I'm having one of those days of serene peace and gratefulness to God for setting me free from at least some of my delusion.  I look forward to more scales falling off in the years to come.

I pray for Ray and his team, and everyone on this forum, that God continue to grant us eyes to see and ears to hear!

« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 04:25:47 PM by skydreamers »


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Re: Limited free will!
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2007, 03:42:41 PM »

Hello Diana

It is wonderful how Christ shows us where He has lead us away from illusion, self reliance and the need to controll.

I believe that it is the idols of our hearts that keep us fixed on the heroin of heresy or addicted to the opium of approval. At the core, no matter what the drug fix need, the centre can always find itself back to Gods Sovereignty and the degree of acceptance or rejection of this glorious teaching. Of course, understanding comes only from the Spirit of God. 

I believe all strife and all opposition arises out of the basic clash in acceptance of the good news that  God is Sovereign and that He is also Love. Not human love but the source of Love, and Love itself.  In fact there is a Scripture that shows this.

Ecc 12 : 13 All has been heard; the end of the matter is : Fear God, revere and worship Him, knowing that He is and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man, the full original purpose of his creation, the object of the God's providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun and the whole duty for every man.

So what is the whole duty for every man? To accept, acknowledge, understand and know that God is Sovereign!

I am happy for you and your brother that he had the opportunity to hear some truth through you!  8)

Peace to you

Arcturus :)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 06:41:46 PM by Arcturus »


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Re: Limited free will!
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2007, 04:19:51 PM »

Hi Diana,

Thanks for that refresher course on God's sovereignty.
You said;

I was quite simply terrified that I wasn't going to make it (to heaven), because I just knew that I would screw it up somehow!

My odd way of thinking was that I felt assured of going to heaven, if I sayed faithfully in the 'church'  :-[
And it turns out I had to come out of the church to have any hope of the kingdom.
Like 'limited free will' things are turned upside down, when you don't have the knowledge of the truth.

John 8:31-32  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him, "If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

mercy, peace, and love



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Re: Limited free will!
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2007, 04:21:38 PM »

Great post Diana :)

It's really something how those in the church twist the meaning of the following Scripture:

Jhn 8:31   To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ďIf you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

Jhn 8:32   Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.Ē

Well of course they will answer: "We have free will, we follow Christ and He gives us freedom!"

Yet, how closely do they follow? Let's see.  :)

Jhn 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 
  1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 

They seem not to be able to get passed these two; if only they had eyes to see.

Arcturus, you wrote :)

So what is the whole duty for every man? To accept, acknowledge, understand and know that God is Sovereign!

Absolutely :) However, only on God's terms and in God's time.  The Church ignores this one too. Ray summed it up perfectly :D

"Since God says we cannot obey Him with our natural mind [our own God-given will], and yet we have much Scriptural proof that God does cause men to do what He wants, then we also have proof that God does go against manís will, and He does it often." - Ray Smith

  Phil. 2:13 For it is God [who? ĎGODí] which works in you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure

However, those who have been called, who have the Spirit of Truth are expected to do even more. Such as these and hopefuly most in this forum must live accordingly. :)

James gives us a very good example of Abraham  "working by faith."

  Jam 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

  Jam 2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

  Jam 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Many may ask then, what is works. Well I think in a nutshell, it is the fruit of the Spirit.

  Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,   

I might be wrong here, but I am thinking that without such fruit, our faith is dead. :(

  Jam 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Well this is how I see it. I might be wrong........ ::)

Love to you both my sisters,

Your brother in Christ,



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Re: Limited free will!
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2007, 06:16:38 PM »

before i could ever grasp the idea that we do not possess any such free will, i had to finally see that i am the beast, i am the anti-christ, that set himself on the throne and claimed to be a god. and when the true God finally opened my eyes, ears and heart to that, i had no trouble with the free will issue. i think that is why most people resist the idea that they have no free will because they have yet to see the beast. just my thoughts..........rick
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