What is time and pre-eternity?

The most important cause for misunderstanding the issue of destiny is confusion about the concepts of “time” and “pre-eternity” and misinterpreting them.

People live in time and place and so they evaluate every event according to time and they make a mistake by assuming “pre-eternity” as the beginning of “time”.  Misunderstanding destiny is the result of this wrong comparison.

Time is an abstract concept. It starts with the creation of the universe and many events happen in it. Time is divided into three parts: Past, present and future. This division is for creatures. Namely, the concepts such as century, year, month, day, yesterday, today, tomorrow are for creatures.

Pre-eternity does not mean before the beginning of the time. In pre-eternity, there is no past, present and future. Pre-eternity is a station where all times are seen and known at the same moment. Now, we will try to understand the pre-eternity of God with some examples:

Example-1:

Suppose that this line is the time line. The middle of the line is the present. The left point of the line is the past. At this side, the universe was created and then the first man Adam was created. And everything that was created from that time to the present existed between these two points which symbolize the past and the present.

The right side of the line is the future. This side includes future events, Judgment Day, Heaven, Hell and eternal life. Between the present period and the future period, there are our grandchildren, their grandchildren and everything that will be created until the Judgment Day. Beyond the Judgment Day, there are revival after death, reckoning, the weighing of the deeds and passing the Sirat bridge.

Eternality is not the left side of the past. The main cause of misunderstanding destiny is thinking that pre-eternity is at this period and placing pre-eternity in a place on the time line because when we assume pre-eternity at this period, according to this assumption, God will know tomorrow only when tomorrow comes. This wrong assumption and misunderstanding the concept of pre-eternity will cause us to ask this question: “If God wrote that I was going to be a sinner in my destiny, what is my fault?”

When we show the concept of pre-eternity on our time line, it will be understood that this question is insignificant. Pre-eternity is here.  It is not the left side of the past. It is timelessness. It holds the present, the past and the future at the same moment. Consequently, God sees today and knows today. Likewise, God sees tomorrow, the other day and everything until eternal life that includes Heaven and Hell at the same moment with today.

For God, there are no concepts such as present, past and future. These concepts are for people as they are not independent from time. Now, we will examine this issue with another example:

Example-2:

Suppose that this board is our time line. The middle of the board is the present; namely, now. The left side is the past and the right side is the future. Now, we are holding a mirror on the time board. The mirror is close to the floor; so only “the present time” is reflected on the mirror. The past and the future are not included. Now, we will lift the mirror a bit and in this position, the present time and a part of the past and the future are reflected on the mirror. When we lift the mirror a little more, the remaining part of the past and the future are also reflected on the mirror. Namely, when we lift the mirror more, the time frame which appear on the mirror expands. Now, we will lift the mirror to the highest period.

At this point, the mirror encompasses the present, past and future as a whole… This period is named as the period of pre-eternity. Pre-eternity means seeing all the times as a whole at the same moment. When we say: “God is pre-eternal” we mean that God sees and knows all times and places at the same moment and God is timeless.

Example-3:

Now, we will see the concept of pre-eternity in another example: We assume that from Erzurum to Istanbul three vehicles take the road. The first one is in Izmit. The second one is behind the first one. It is in Eskisehir and the third one is behind them. It is in Ankara.

Now, when we pay attention to these three vehicles, we see these: The vehicle which is in Izmit is at the front when it is compared to other vehicles. Namely, it is in the future because it passed the roads that other ones did not reach yet. The vehicle in Eskisehir is in the past when it is compared to the vehicle in Izmit because the vehicle in Izmit already passed Eskisehir. However, this is in the future when it is compared to the vehicle in Ankara because this vehicle did not reach the other vehicle’s place yet. The vehicle in Ankara is in the past when it is compared to the other two vehicles because these two vehicles already passed Ankara.

The words such as the past and the future are used about the vehicles, but these words that express time are not used for the sun which is on the top of them and enlightens three vehicles at the same moment. Namely, we cannot say that the sun is in the past according to this situation, or the sun is in the future according to that situation because the sun enlightens three vehicles and encompasses all of them with its light at the same moment. This condition of the sun, namely, not being limited with time and encompassing the three time periods at the same moment unlike the vehicles is an example for pre-eternity.

Likewise, we are in a period of the time road that starts with the creation of the universe. Everything that passed before us is in the past when it is compared to the present time. Namely, it became a thing of the past. The times after today and this moment and the creatures that will be created in those times are in the future when it is compared to the present time. Now, our grandfathers became a thing of the past. However, before that, their grandfathers were also waiting for the grandchildren who will come in the future. Namely, our grandfathers, who were in the future when their time is compared to their grandfathers’ time, came to this world, lived here and became a thing of the past. Similarly, we are in the future when our time is compared to our grandfathers’ time and we will also become a thing of the past. And our grandchildren are in the future when it is compared to our time and they will be in their present day.

As can be seen, the concepts such as the past, the future and the present are used for us. However, there are no such concepts for God, who creates everything and time. God encompasses all these times at the same moment like a sun with the light of His knowledge. Then, we cannot say that “God wrote it; so we are doing it” because God encompasses all times at the same moment with His pre-eternity; so God knows all our deeds that we make with our free will and so whatever we do during our life time, God wrote them on the destiny board. The cause of our deed is not the writing of God. On the contrary, God wrote our destiny because God knows that we are going to do.

To be able to understand this issue better, we will give a final example   because understanding pre-eternity is a key for understanding the issue of destiny. The first cause of misunderstanding the issue of destiny is not understanding the pre-eternity of God and supposing that God is dependent on time.

Example-4:

If you know a poem as a whole, the relation of your knowledge with all lines of the poem is same. Namely, as we mentioned before, the sun encompasses the three vehicles at the same moment. Likewise, your knowledge about the poem encompasses all lines at the same moment. On the other hand, for the lines of the poem, sequence is important. For example, the sixth line is after the fourth line and before the tenth line. When you finish writing the fifth line and start to write the sixth line, the fifth line becomes a thing of the past. The sixth line is at the present time. The tenth line is in the future. Namely, it has not come into being yet and it has not been written yet. However, this tenth line that has not come to being yet is available in your knowledge. Then, the sequence in the poem is not a point at issue for your knowledge.

Likewise, the nineteenth century and the people living in this century is in the future when it is compared to the people living in the eighteenth century and they are in the past when it is compared to the twenty century. However, God, who is independent from time and sees all these centuries, the past, the present, the future at the same moment with His knowledge.

In other words, we name destiny as “pre-eternal knowledge of God” and it is not a plan that was made in the past. It is a time out of plan. It is a time out of knowledge which encompasses all times at the same moment.

Then, saying: “God wrote my destiny. I can never change it ” is an extremely wrong saying because God did not write the destiny board due to His ignorance about our acts in the future and God does not force us to obey to this writing. On the contrary, God knows with His pre-eternal knowledge what we will choose with our free will and which deed we will make; so, God wrote them on the destiny board.

The saying that is asserted as an excuse: “God wrote my destiny. I can never change it” is basically wrong because the destiny board is a manifestation of the knowledge of God. His knowledge does not force us. The writing is only a declaration. For example, if I write a sentence like this,: “You are going to turn off your television after fifteen minutes.” If you turn off your television after fifteen minutes, can you say that: “If there had not been such a sentence, I would have not turned off my television”? Certainly, you cannot say that because it is only a sentence. It is a message. It is not enforcement.

Likewise, “God wrote my destiny. I can never change it” is an extremely wrong saying. Our acts are not created by the knowledge of God so we cannot blame the destiny board which is the title of the knowledge of God.

Our acts are created by the power of God. The knowledge has not any effect in this creation. Then, how can we show the destiny board which has not any effect on the creation of our acts as responsible? The person who asks such a wrong question only cheats himself or herself.

Because if you say to this person, “Why are you going to school? You cannot change your destiny. If being a doctor is in your destiny, you will be a doctor in any case. You cannot prevent it. Even if you do not study, you will be a doctor. If it is not in your destiny, you can never be a doctor even if you study.” “Why are you opening your shop? If earning much money today is in your destiny, you will earn in any case so there is no a necessity to open the shop. Earning much money today is not in your destiny; you will not earn even if you open your shop. You can never change your destiny…” If we say these sayings, if we say that he can never change his destiny so there is no a necessity for him to go to school, to open his shop, this person defends himself and says: “You will work so that God will give your right…” However, when the issue becomes related to doing religious duties and escaping from the sins, this person uses destiny as an excuse, becomes submissive and blames destiny. This is only the person’s cheating himself.

However, as we have covered in the pre-eternity issue, God does not force us to commit any sin. God knows our acts in the future with His knowledge that encompasses all times and places and God wrote our all acts on the destiny board. Can the cause to blame destiny due to our sins and the cause to say, “God wrote my destiny. I can never change it” be the eternal knowledge of God about our all acts?

Namely, if God had not known our all acts, we would have become responsible but God knows everything. Then, will we not become responsible because of His eternal knowledge? The person who blames destiny due to his or her sins must check what he wants and he or she must feel ashamed.

With these examples, we tried to understand the pre-eternity of God. However, it must not be forgotten that all these examples are only small binoculars to zoom the fact which minds are too weak to understand completely. The minds are too weak to understand the greatness of the power and the majesty of God completely. Likewise, the minds cannot understand completely the eternality of God and the knowledge of God which encompass all times and places at the same time. However, even these weak binoculars understand that “God wrote my destiny. I can never change it ” is an extremely wrong saying and the issue is understood completely this way.

Along with the pre-eternity of God, when the rule, “the knowledge is dependent on the known” is understood, you are going to see that all questions that are assumed as unanswered about destiny are going to find the answers!

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