Let us bury this false humility and false Christianity and misrepresentation of a perfect Father right here. Children of God Almighty cannot [should not] perpetually be beggarly and in want, but the ones that are overall able and capable and equipped to help the suffering world that is in darkness. Do not be offended, but be honest [in your right mind], how on earth can we take the Word of a Good Shepherd to them if we ourselves don’t ever have money for petrol [a lack of resources]; or, is suffering in bitterness [unforgiveness] towards someone who has wronged us? Read Jn 10 and 2 Cor 9:8 very carefully. We all must die to self – Col 3:1-8! Temporary mishaps can certainly occur, but overall, Rom 8:37?… Please bear with this author as we think this over, and read this paper in its entirety to its end.
The suffering of Christ for us to bear (Rom 8:17), is most probably what transpires in verse 18 and Jn 15:18-21. As a re-born Christian, the cross to bear (Mt 10:38; 16:24; Lk 9:23-26; 14:26-35) will be the enmity of religious people, whoever they are! No man can do [pay for] what Jesus had to do [pay for] on His cross at Golgotha; thus Lk 23:26 was for Simon physical but only for a short distance due to Jesus’ physical state at the time and short of being nailed to that cross and the rising out of hell and fulfilling all the prophecies of the Messiah (see paper “Who is Jesus Christ”). However, the fact that Simon helped to carry Jesus’ wooden cross is possibly indicating a reality for us all, not in the sense of paying for all – or even one (1 Thess 5:9) – of humankind’s sin for that only Jesus could (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; etc), but in the sense of what we’ll be suffering at the hand and mouths of the religious as mentioned earlier in this paragraph.
Are we practicing what we preach, demonstrating dominion on earth, ruling as a kingly-priest? Carefully contemplate Jer 23:29-40 with Ps 118:8 and Acts 5:29. Indeed, 1 Cor 4:20!…
Emotional suffering due to our own irresponsibility?
Of course not all emotional suffering, such as the tragic loss of a loved one, is our direct fault – or God’s. There are many things we simply just don’t have complete answers for yet (1 Cor 13:8-13). But, as we contemplate these issues, we’ll come to realize a glimpse of Heb 2:8, Eph 1:3 and so on. Shall we try to do this with an open heart?
An elucidation to the often-encountered question, why God did/does allow tragedy to occur, is discussed in the paper “The will of man and the will of God”. Suffice for now, to point out that the self-righteousness of man is, ironically, blinded [to itself]; hence Scriptures such as Col 1:10-28; 3:1-8. Consider again, Heb 2:8 or Jn 11:26; Rom 8:2,11. Why would a human suspect God of being guilty of neglect? Why would a human think he would have been better at showing love and compassion than God – that is Love – by reasoning that he would have intervened to prevent tragedy or disaster to “innocent” people? (See the papers “God = Love” and “The will of man, the will of God”) We probably don’t even believe God and His Gospel (Gal 1:6-9; Jn 16:9) but dare to, in effect, accuse God [Love] of neglect?! (See “The Testimony” and “The Gospel” before rushing to a claim that we are not guilty here)
The misunderstanding about God’s sovereignty is probably due to us having been subtly indoctrinated through the ignorance of, assuming, well-intending preachers who were taught wrong. God’s sovereignty means He is above [supreme to] all, not that He does all. Especially in the negative! The paper “The Will” expands on this. For now, we will do well to realize that we have been confused by the lack of understanding of a very elementary fact, namely the complete separation between the reality of calamities on the one hand and the fact that our Perfect Father-God is always welcoming us back to Him with open arms, on the other hand. The possibility of a wonderful and gracious growth closer to God now makes many Christians make a grave error in deduction. The fault is to connect the two [bad and good, blessing and calamity] by thinking God [must] have caused the bad to get us closer to Him, instead of acknowledging [accepting our response+ability] that we – in our selves – have most likely previously just been more superficial, reckless [casual] and self-righteous and now came to the obvious realization that we are dependent on Him! To think God causes bad to get us close to Him is insinuating – accusing – Him of being a manipulator and is grossly incorrect and shockingly poor reasoning [lack of faith, lack of trust and lack of accurate knowledge of Him]! How did Jesus present God as a Father to us (Mt 7:9-12)? Think about it. Would a perfectly good God [the Source of all good, ethic, etc.] need anything bad to reveal His goodness [Himself]? This is the reasoning of a darkened human mind, not at all who God showed Himself to be – Mt 5:45; 7:9-12; Rom 3:8; 6:16-23; 2 Cor 9:8; Eph 2:4-13; Ps 34:8; 86:5; 136:1-4; 145:9; (Is 29:13); and so on! God = Love, Life, Good, etc; God has NO evil or bad and therefore never causes [has no need for] evil, calamity, disasters to let us know He is only Good!!! Then, also, is there only one way to God, and it’s not via calamity (Jn 14:6).
Let us commence this short discussion with our honest reading of someone [David] in [temporarily] need of worldly comfort and security in that most famous OT passage, Ps 23. “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want…”, this even claim verses 5 and 6! Does it sound like Jn 10:10; 16:33?
Now hear Jesus (Jn 14:7-11; 17:26; Col 1:13-15; Lk 4:16-21). Was Jesus poor, with a beggarly lifestyle? Or was He a Giver, a Provider, like His Father? Jesus said Jn 5:17-20. God is not a sufferer, neither should His children be. Even as a baby Jesus received gold and expensive gifts, and seems to have had enough money to support at least twelve disciples (and their families?). Roman soldiers were prepared to cast lots over His seamless undergarment despite it being blood-stained and possibly partly shredded. The suffering of Christ [by the rejection of His own, Jn 1:1-5,9-13,17] and the religious [Jewish] leaders (Mt 23), has been twisted to suit the people not exercising their authority. It must be said though, that those Roman soldiers probably desired that [seamless undergarment] of Jesus [that has been in contact with His body] after the mighty events that they knew He caused (Mt 27:50-54). Would unsaved people today try so desperately to get hold of what was in contact with us (1 Cor 6:19; 12:27; Eph 4:12; Acts 19:11,12); as His Church? Are we the Light [enlightenment + LIFE] to the world (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; Jn 1:4)?
Just for the record: no artifact per se possesses any [supernatural] power! Objects are inanimate!
We could divide this discussion into two categories, namely material suffering and then emotional suffering; but both really come down to the same problem –the over-consciousness with self, the over-estimation of self and the under-estimation of a perfect God. Emotion is part of your self-centered soul, not Spirit that is God-trusting and God-dependant and unsuspicious of Him. Self has a huge misconception of Who God as a Perfect Father and Provider is and Who He is not and is nothing less than judging a perfect God by humans who do not know His Word or His power [righteousness]. The papers by this author entitled “Counseling and Deliverance Ministries” and “The Will” expand on this.
Note on forgiving. From the paper “Counseling and deliverance ministries”, the following: … If you have not forgotten, it is not forgiven! This forgiveness is to set you free [in your mind, and from the results of our own irrational actions]. Un-forgiveness shows a total lack of understanding of what Jesus Christ came to do. Contemplate Mt 6:14,15; Lk 23:34; 2 Cor 2:10; Jn 20:19-23). Why keep yourself captive? If God has forgiven [paid for] all sin once for all, why would you try to retain it? Note however, that forgiving does not mean you must repeat the same mistake like a fool! If evidence show that someone will keep on hurting you, like a leopard that does not change its spots, then exercise your sound judgement by asking God [His Holy Spirit] for wisdom and discernment (Js 1:5). A discussion on Mt 5:27-29 is found in the paper “Counseling and deliverance ministries”.
Is the great wealth of God’s children only applicable to the OT?
What does your Bible [God, 2 Tim 3:15-17] say? Consider Heb 7:18-19,22; 8:13; 9:9-14; Js 1:17.
Then continue the principle with contemplation of Eph 4:28. Yes, you get to [be able to] give! If your Perfect heavenly Father is a Giver [Source of giving all good], then surely we should (Mt 10:8)!
In context, 1 Cor 10:11 teaches that the OT is good for instruction [facts and examples], but the law of the OT is done away with as a means to try and obtain righteousness before God. The law was actually never intended for obtaining righteousness (2 Cor 3; Gal 3:19), but added later on for a certain period in history only to reveal to a stiff-necked people that self-righteousness can never work, [faith, trust in] Jesus Christ [and living Him] alone can be our righteousness (Rom 3:23-31; Jn 14:6; even Gal 3:8).
By the way, have you noticed that the apostle Paul had great wealth? Governor and Judge Felix and his wife Drusilla visited Paul in jail to try and get Paul to bribe them – they were after Paul’s money! (Acts 24:24-27). Yet that detail is obscured [diminished] by his teachings in Jesus Christ [Truth].
Jesus is the Bread of everlasting Life, He expects us to lead souls to Him so they can feed on Him, not the leftovers [crumbs of gospels about Him, Gal 1:6-12]. (Acts 5:14-20; Jn 5:37-47; 8:51; 11:26)
What then, is this suffering mentioned in 1 Pet 4:13?
The very next verses (:14-19), read with 2 Cor 4:11-17; can be better understood – in context – with 1 Pet 2:18-25; and what Jesus demonstrated in His mock-trial (Mt 26:59-27:14), Jesus demonstrated perfect trust in His Father. No, the suffering Jesus Christ endured is what Jesus referred to in Jn 12:25 and 15:18. Jn 16:2 refers to Mt 7:21-24 (also study Jn 9). This was the rejection and mocking of Him (Jn 1:1-4) for His message of an abundant and everlasting LIFE (Jn 8:51-52; 11:25-26). Of a new dispensation that He introduced of having His Spirit [Life] in His followers continually, and not fading [“passing”] as in the OT– yet; ignorant, supercilious, disdainful, contemptuous humans in stupid arrogance choose to not take [just inherit] this but [half-heartedly, hesitantly, only partially accept and so] take offense at His good news!
So yes, you will at some stage have to “suffer” social [religious] “boycotts” when confessing Christ. But know that the physical suffering in order to pay for all sin, was done once for all only by Jesus Christ with His blood on His cross at Golgotha (Heb 9:11-17; 10:1-14). People even having themselves nailed to a cross and carrying a cross around, are popularized as “suffering for their faith in Christ”; but this is nonsense. A Christian will not try to do [again] what only Jesus Christ could do! That exchange and overpayment of Jesus Christ crucified, is a done deal – it is accomplished!
So, if Jesus Christ is consistent (Heb 13:8; Js 1:17), then we as His followers must be consistent as well and be more than conquerors (Phil 4:13) and believe and demonstrate and live Jn 6:33; 5:39,40 – in Christ. We must overcome (Rev 2:7,17,26; 3:12, 21,22) and not be weaklings sunken in need and lack or despair, even pathetic and incapacitated by ignorance [often by failing to use our God-given talents and abilities]. We should not be the ones giving up on everlasting Life (Jn 1:4; 11:26; 1 Thess 5:23)!
Does adversity necessarily mean you are outside God’s will?
Per se, no. Not unless you receive a distinct admonishing in your spirit – or a word – from God that you are on the wrong track. Refer also to the paper “The will of God”. Jn 6:18 tells us about the same incident as Mt 14:22-29 (:18); only in more detail, as could be expected from John (Jn 21:20; Rev 1:1-2). The point here is that adversity can happen to followers of Jesus Christ, even while following His instructions correctly at the time (Mt 14:22); and hence scriptures such as Js 1:13-17; Phil 4:13; 1 Jn 4:4; Jn 10:29 and so on. The disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee on Jesus’ instruction. In fact, Matthew mentioned that Jesus had to “direct” them (14:22) to get into the boat. The word used is actually “constrained” (ἀναγκάζω, G315, anagkazō). This implies to compel, – probably because these ex-fishermen knew the approaching inclement conditions well enough to be hesitant to cross the fickle Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias, Jn 6:1) in a boat just then. We do not read that John makes any special mention of this particular fact, as he probably took Jesus’ word with more absolute trust; but trust this John to specifically mention what Matthew did not, namely a miracle within a miracle, in that they at once reached (not continued traveling at the same speed towards) the other side (Jn 6:21) after Jesus – and Peter while he trusted Jesus – walked on the very water that threatened to sink the boat! John specifically said they were about three to four miles out (Jn 6:19), slowly making way against the wind; that means they had at least another four miles then covered at once [immediately]! perhaps consider again Rom 5:9,18; 8:37-39; Ps 84:5; Mt 5:13-14…
Note at 1 Tim 6:5-11. The root of much [not all] evil, is the love for that money, not the money in itself. Money is an in-animate object and can therefore neither be evil nor good. It is the person using it that determines what material riches is applied for and this in turn produces good or evil results. See what 1 Tim 4:7,8 explains. Gain is not necessarily [a result of] godliness, but godliness can certainly lead to gain (also 2 Tim 3:5) in all areas of life – Ps 23! Being a son of God [godliness], will certainly not get you into despair and lack. Think about Is 60:11 and Rev 21:23-27, speaking of the heavenly city. The world will [should] bring its wealth to the church [the Body of Christ, His Bride, His City] who as godly persons will utilize it for doing good and furthering His purposes right here on earth.
The whole world and all in and on it belongs to God (Ps 24:1). God has no problem with money, man has. Man thinks that the money provides, not God. God knows He is the provider. God alone provides life, abilities, and opportunities [not manipulation, but mechanisms or spiritual laws]; man then gets the self-blinded illusion that the money is a problem. Some Christians even starts to rationalize that their lack [even destitute] is then a suffering for Christ. This is a lie from Satan. God wants no more lack in health than in wealth, and He [alone] is the Healer! The salvation [Gr. Sozo] Jesus as the good Shepherd provided on His cross, is actually a complete package that includes no lack and offers at least salvation + health + delivery + prosperity. Have an abundant life, not an abundant death, -suffering, -sickness, or -poverty – have abundant Life, not an abandoned life (Heb 13:5c)!
Watch out for camouflaged strife, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, perhaps even a party-spirit (Phil 1:17-20). The mechanism behind this is actually offense and even a possible accusation against God that He should not allow some of His children to enjoy more [material, worldly] comfort than others. This is absurd, no one is stopping you from being very successful in all areas without being ungodly. The world should come to the church [you] for help. The way most “churches” operate at present, is rationalizing why they are in utter destitute and lack. No wonder the world avoid “churches” today.
Note on Heb 13:5a. It is not the money, but the love for money, that reveals the wicked thought processes of:
- Greed, lust, insatiable self-feeding
- Thinking God is not needed (“self-made” millionaires, etc.); making self your own god
- Thinking material things are [can be] security, safety, provision; and not God as the Source
- Thinking material things gives [exercise] control [power]; is your strength
We can, in essence, perhaps divide people looking for happiness in money into two groups. (i) Those trying to be happy by obtaining things [material status-symbol possessions], and (ii) those who use money to pay for experiences. The first is in vain for it deals with the hoarding self and what is dead, and vanity, selfishness, and ultimately uselessness. The second group may find their experiences gratifying probably because of a sense of enrichment through some form of fulfillment; and can even include deeds of welfare or charity – and perhaps even more useful by helping others to better equip themselves and so not remain in lack (Eph 4:28; 1 Thess 4:11,12; even Ps 23:1). Still, we’ll probably discover that the second group acts more on God’s Voice and not mammon (see the paper Hearing God’s Voice), in which case the money was not the provider but the One that guides, councils, teaches, comforts (Jn 14:26). Take care, however, not to fall in a trap of self-righteousness (Rom 9:11b; 11:6; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:9; Tit 1:16; 3:5-6; Heb 6:1; 9:14; and so on).
Remember that giving, in fact only for the [“giver’s”] self to gain in some way, shape or form, is a farce and cannot produce real happiness [or gain]!
Note at Ps 23:1. A very feasible interpretation is clear only once we have discovered [and lay down] our self-righteousness. This will cause us to realize the difference between coveting and necessity. The one is due to insatiable lust and greed [the sign of a beast, not truly God-conscious (Rom 12:9; even Js 4:1-7)], the other is plainly knowing that we [can] need no more than God [to lead us and guide us to fulfill Rom 8:14; even Jn 14:26]. What we won’t lack in God’s midst, is His provision summarized in Eph 1:3-10. Read this with the paper “Body, Soul, Spirit of man” to see God’s Love allowing us a complete free will. We should then better grasp Mt 6:31-34; Lk 10:41-42; (even Lk 15:7). Consider also the following: Gen 11:6; Heb 2:8; Is 40:17-31; 49:4 (52:3). This meaning [in Life] becomes richer when you hear Jesus in Jn 14:30; 15:5; 1 Cor 13:2 (1 Jn 4:16-17… God [Jesus Christ] = Love!); 2 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 6:7-8… Similarly, hear Paul in Acts 20:32-35 (Rom 12:13; Eph 4:28; Heb 4:16)… we can now be useful.
All this is actually about realizing that our new nature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17) will have us renew [update] our minds (Rom 12:2) so that we will not be selfish, self-centred, self-righteous people anymore, but a new creature – 1 Jn 2:24-25 (Jn 11:26), which is discussed in the papers “Body, Soul and Spirit” and also “The Testimony” – what more indeed, would we need than [being given/offered] ever-lasting Life?… This we tragically miss due to our own self-righteousness [haughtiness, pride, ignorance, a gospel short of what Jesus Christ offers]…
And, for those concerned about the wicked being wealthy, contemplate Ps 73 and note the change at verse 17 when Asaph dropped his self-righteousness! Also, Ps 49 and especially verses 13-20; Prov 13:7 (more so if the bread in Prov 12:9 is Him – everlasting Life – in Jn 6:48-51).
The connection between sin and adversity, and blessings and righteousness
Phil 3:9 (Ampl).
Many people are of the opinion that the prospering people (rich, healthy, successful and fortunate) are so blessed by God; and that those who find themselves in some form of adversity, are being punished by God. Even calamities in nature are attributed to God punishing or “guiding” people [back] to Him. Is this correct? Where does this idea come from and is it scriptural correct? Does God really need bad to show His Goodness? Not even humans can rightly say this is logical and morally acceptable yet accuse God of it!
There are many atheists, people from other religions and ungodly people alike who seem to enjoy great success, health and wealth – often more so than the very pious “Christians” who think they are doing what God wants them to. We have numerous examples in the Bible that support the suspicion that the theology of a godfather is flawed. We have a Father-God Who is good only (Jer 29:11; Jn 10:10)! One example is the comparison between two kings, one seemingly good and one bad, in Amaziah and Jehoash (2 Ki 14). We read that their lots were opposite to what many would expect because the good guy had it bad and was slain by the bad one while the bad guy got the riches and won the battle. Likewise Job seemed to have thought – and was told so by his friends – that his sin was the cause of the terrible things that happened to him.
However, we note Job’s idea in 1:21; God’s word in 35:16, and Job’s subsequent realization/admission in 42:3. At most Job had unbelief in 3:25, if we refer to Is 5:18-21. The sobering fact that emerges is that the calamities were not caused by God. In the NT, we find that all God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus Christ at Golgotha when He paid with His Blood at His cross for all sin of all mankind once for all – Heb 10:14; 1 Thess 5:9. Jn 3:17-21 also clearly states that man should take responsibility (response+ability) for his own actions; and, when things happen outside our control, that we should be able to overcome if we are in the right place spiritually (Phil 4:13). This will come only from inside (1 Jn 4:4) and not from outside. Hence does God not have any need for calamities and adversities to herd us [back] to Him. There is only One Way, and that is Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12), Who alone can set us free (Jn 8:32,36). Even in the OT they had to believe that God would send our Saviour Joshua Messiah to pay on our behalf. This is rather God’s will [plan], not what religious theologians have come up with and their followers stubbornly cling to – Mk 7:13; 12:24. It is foolish to combine good and evil, blessing and calamity, and think the two are connected with a manipulating god behind all – Mt 5:45; 7:9-11,15-27; Js 1:6-8. The same principle is found in Mt 12:25.
Christians sing, “Draw me close to You, never let me go…” with a tear in the eye. Is this scriptural correct? So, must God act on your request otherwise you stay afar? And then, Heb 13:5 is ignored? Have we read what Jesus said in Mt 6:33; 12:28-30? Did the lost son ask his father to reel him in with a long rope and then tie him at home second time around? Not according to Jesus (Lk 15:17-20). Perhaps we should be careful with our emotional (self-centered) religious piety and stop being so blinded by self-righteousness. Contemplate Phil 3:9 (Ampl), and study the papers “The Covenant and the Law”, “Mixing Old and New”, and so on, as well. It is entirely possible that we have had even the basics completely wrong. Selah.
Note on Mt. 5:5. Blessed means happy, blithesome, joyous, prosperous, fortunate. Fortunate means there is a fortune (Ps 23:5,6). With a fortune [more than enough for your own requirements, a surplus], you are in a position to bless others, and then you [the church] contribute to a society, and don’t drain them. Think about it. Note also that the poor will inherit the whole earth, with all its wealth (Ps 24:1; 1 Pet 3:7; Gal 4:7; Rom 8:17; and so on). You should be a co-heir with Jesus Christ the Author and Finisher of your faith [trust in Him] – not your works. Carefully recall Prov 21:30.
Our gracious God, our Father; our Friend and Brother and Lord Jesus Christ; and His Holy Spirit as our Guide, Counselor, Teacher and Comforter is all for us… so who can be against us? Our own minds and blinded reasoning? Let this not be the case! God help us. He is the Light to the world that is the Life – not death – of men. In Him is no darkness or any variation in His Word. And He looks at our hearts. We have to each check our motive, our ambition, our godliness. Giving is an immense satisfaction to those in Christ, and when Christ is in you, you should certainly be able to give… May you enjoy the immeasurable sozo – saving prosperity and gain in all areas of your life – and the glory Jesus has paid for and provided for you and your loved ones (Mt 5:43-48!), once for all, on His cross.
Jesus [God the Father] wants us to be generous givers like Him (Mt 6:2-4 says when we give, not if), then we must surely believe He has no problem with us being in a very good position to be able to give generously. He gave [provided for] us an abundant life, not an abandoned life.
Another subject associated with this issue of giving, can be seen in Js 1:3.
Note on Js 1:3. The false teaching on this passage is that trials of any sort produces good qualities like patience. This is wrong because it makes people think they must embrace their enemy. No, you must not welcome your enemy, the Bible says you must resist him and not even let those thoughts come near you, and to take those wicked thoughts [calamity] into obedience unto what Jesus Christ teaches!
If you tell someone to embrace trouble, they will stay in it and become miserable and confused and in despair, while they try and act out a pseudo-happiness to outwardly fit the concept they were taught, because “the Bible says so”. No, the Bible does not say so! Holy Spirit says that, when you are fully submersed into Christ and fully welcomed Him in you, you will not shrink back from adversity and neither will you [want to] be there. The Lord is your Shepherd and you will not lack anything (v 4 with the Psalms). Read the very next verses (Js 1:3,4). It is saying that the fruit of His Spirit [Christ] in you, will show forth when adversity happens. For one, will patience [and joy] have the opportunity in that circumstance to be revealed as a fruit of Holy Spirit that is indwelling you. It is not the enemy that gives it to you [producing properties you would not otherwise have], but it is a hidden secret inside of you, that all things that pertains to godliness is already inside of you and you just need a more full and accurate knowledge of [what is inside of you]. It is a gift of God, not the devil!
In context, Js 5:20; 1:12-17; Jn 10:10; and so on, all say that all good is from God [only], and that bad things are from the devil + self [buying his lies of self-righteousness]. This is a basic Truth that most “Christians” have completely wrong! Therefore Js 4:7; 5:8 – He is close at hand, very close – He is right inside of you, is He not? So then, does Js 1:13-24; 1 Jn 4:4 and 1 Cor 10:13 say the same thing.
Even in most worldly courts, the following principles hold:
- Anyone is assumed innocent, until proven guilty
- Any reasonable doubt on guilt will drop the case against you
Now then, consider this about the Lord, and see if ignorance has made us utter the wrong words:
- God is Love (1 Jn 4:8; 1 Cor 13; Ps 34:8; 145:17), and His [kind of, agape] Love does not hurt, fly off the handle, is not resentful, takes no account of evil done – Jesus took God’s wrath. We get what He deserved if we trust Him enough to believe His words [teachings]…
- In Him is no shadow of change (Js 1:17; Heb 13:8), and all good is from Him – He is not underhanded. Our heavenly Father is perfect in every way, He is Father-God, not [a] god-father! Abba Father (Rom 8:13-17) means a true Father that is able, willing and active to be only good and stays good only! Father-God is not a child-basher, a terrorist or a sadist! He does not manipulate and does not use fear to force anyone closer to Him.
- God does not use [need] the devil to do His “dirty work” (2 Cor 6:14,15; Jn 8:42-50)
- Mt 5:39-48; Jn 10:10
Note at Rom 8:28. This is one of the most misquoted scriptures in The Bible. The essay “The will of man, the will of God” expand on the general misconception about God’s sovereignty. What we will look at now is the context of verse 28. The popular statement [interpretation] that “Everything works for the better” is obviously false. For example, will you tell a widow her two year old son and five year old daughter and husband were killed in an accident so that “all work out for a better outcome in God’s plan”? So God then killed them [had them killed] so that she could marry someone else??? What a shame for “Christians” to let such wicked thoughts manifest into words [nonsense declarations!]. God is omnipresent Love and thus always there [available]; His presence [on a scene, His availability to guide, intercede, strengthen, even comfort or council] does not make Him the culprit!!! Refer to the essay “The will of God” for an exegesis.
The idea that “everything works out for the better” probably originated from a two-fold argument to try and rationalize negative [harmful] situations or events of the Christian’s life. Refer here to Rom 10:1-3; 2 Cor 10:4-6; 2 Tim 4:2-4; then consider the two arguments. The first is that God has done [arranged, orchestrated] the calamity in order to so get [force] people to Him. This is dim-witted reasoning. Refer also to the essays “The Testimony”, “The Gospel” and “Who by fire” for a fuller exegesis. God is Love [not manipulative or cruel], and certainly need nothing bad to do or be good or get good results! The second line of reasoning might be based on the general concept of synergy. Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. The term synergy comes from the Attic Greek word συνεργία synergia, from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together”. Ironically, in the context of Romans 8 the more accurate application is in fact startling. We will see that (i) “labor” is rather implying a type of giving birth to a new life (2 Cor 5:17; Jn 3:16 literally); and (ii) that the Holy Spirit of God indeed should manifest more than the sum of our [carnal-minded] parts!!!
A brief review of Romans 8 might shock the reader to the core. Carefully ponder the following:
:2 – If death is a result of sin, why die if your sins are paid for? – Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:45…
:3 – God [Jesus Christ] did what the Law cannot do (Rom 7:10) – for all those who accept His sacrifice
:4 – … In us who live… not by ways, standards or dictates of carnality but by Holy spirit [Life, Love]
:5 – 7 – Intellectualism [carnal-minded reasoning] is enmity towards God when rejecting His Truth
:8 – This cannot please God (Rom 12:9; Heb 11:6)
:9 – Only those with the Spirit of Christ [Light = Life, Love of God] are children of God (verse 14)
:10 – Afterlife for those saved (Rom 10:9-10; Jn 11:25; in part Jn 3:16; even resurrection 1 Cor 15:35-)
:11 – Everlasting [continuing] life for those who accept this (Jn 11:26; Heb 9:27 as (d) above; 2:8-15)
:12 – Again, Heb 2:8-10-15; Jn 11:26; 1 Cor 15:51…
:13 – Heb 11:6; Gal 6:7-8 (even 1:6-9)
:14 – Verse 9
:15 – Jn 1:12-13
:16 – Jn 1:12-13
:17 – Gal 3:29; Eph 1;11; 2:6
:18 – Heb 2:8; Is 54:13-17; Hab 2:3 with 1:12
:19 – The whole creation awaits the birth [manifesting] of these sons of God (verse 22)
:20 – Eccl 1:2; Hab 2:3; Heb 2:8; 9:11,14-18…
:21 – 1 Cor 15:26-27
:22 – Verse 19
:23 – Verse 17-22 reiterated
:24 – Heb 10:38-11:1; Jude :21
:25 – Repeat
:26 – Jn 4:24; (Jn 11:33,38!); Jude :20; 1 Cor 14:39…
:27 – Repeat
Hence, we now only arrive at verse 28 and see God being a partner in this birth [labor], and will see to it (Is 55:10-11) that all these things will together add to a creation [result] that is more than the sum of its parts! A life everlasting in Christ that exceeds a mere after-life (with bodies such as 1 Cor 6:14-20 lost)! Of course this everlasting life is only available for those who love God (Rom 12:9; Rev 22:7; Hos 5:15-6:2 with Heb 10:13) and are called [react by own choice] according to His purpose (Life everlasting in unity, Jn 17:15,20-26). Now see that Romans 8:29-39 seems to logically build on this premise and God as a perfect Father (:31, 39). This then would be the people He indwells like a city – permanently (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; Jn 14:23; Rev 21:3; also 1 Cor 6:15-20; 2 Cor 6:16-18).
Indeed, Ps 127:1 (Acts 7:48; Heb 3:3,6; 9:10-15; Is 66:1-2; 1 Cor 3:10-13…)!
Note on Eccl 7:14 (The joy of the Lord). Carefully refer to Is 64:5; Ps 35:9; 63:1-11. The crucial, vitally important distinction must be made between good and bad (even the mixing of the two, Gen 2:9; Rev 2:7; 22:14,19). God alone is the Source of Life and all good; and the devil (even the self) is behind death and all things bad. Do not confuse the two (Is 5:18-21)! A fatal error in reasoning is to connect these two extremes by thinking that, because you ended up closer to God after an ordeal, that God must have caused [orchestrated] the dread in order to get you closer to Him – this is wrong (Js 1:13; 4:4-8; 1 Jn 4:4)!!! The fact that bad had happened, and that you could [always] have turned to God for help, does not make Him the culprit!!! He is just always there for us. He is not an insecure, underhanded manipulator! Rather think how you got where you were [by yourself]. Of course you’ll be closer to Him after dropping the false guides and self-righteousness and going to Him; but this does not mean He needed anything bad or evil for you to go to Him! You could [should] have been that close – even in Him and Him in you – as He invited us to do from the beginning! Consider the “roadmap” in the paper “The Will” as well as the note on Js 1:3 above and Is 45:7 below in this paper. No, the joy that is of the Lord, is when you realize that – despite any trial and difficulty – you can always rest assure in the fact that God did not cause it and is always available as your Saviour, Guide, Teacher, Intercessor, Comforter, and so on (Jn 14:26,27). Only once we know Him to be above reproach, we’ll have that joy… and peace, not between men but between us and God (Mt 10:34-40; Heb 1:8; 4:12-16; Is 9:6-7) – always. This is what Jesus Christ overpaid for with His Blood on His cross – Eph 1:3-12 (Rom 10:1-3); and now we can rejoice in Rom 8:29-39; Phil 3:9-10; 4:6-9,13,19).
Note on Mal 3:3; Tit 2:14. It is a catastrophe to buy into the misconception [lie] that God will bring calamity over you in order for you to be “purified” in increasingly more demanding steps! It became popular to preach that, to be purged as gold or silver, means to be heated by (God’s) fire to scoop off the impurities as it boils to the surface until you have been purified – step by painful step. This might sound good, but is not true. When we contemplate Scriptures such as Num 19:12,19,20; 31:19,20; Job 41:25; is 66:17; Ez 43:26; Jn 11:5; and Acts 21:24, we see that it is the self [our own thought-life, “heart” of Rom 10:9] that must be purified such as read in Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 10:5; Js 4:8 with Js 1:6-8. This is why a coward is such a disaster and disgrace to God’s Kingdom (Rev 3:15-22; 21:8; Rom 1:16-22). What, in fact, therefore should happen to the real re-born Christian is that your Source inside (1 Jn 4:4; Phil 4:13) will show to be real when misfortune strikes for whatever reason; but never the reason that God caused any misfortune in any way, shape or form (1 Jn 3:18-24; Js 1:13). God does not need any mishaps, tragedy, disaster, etc. for any human to [be able to] go to Him! There is no other way than via Jesus Christ crucified (Jn 14:6; 3:15-21; Acts 4:12); hence 1 Cor 1:21-2:2! There is no requisite anywhere in God’s Word, and it is illogical (screams against Who God is and is not), to think you have to be “tested” and then found good on your own merit to be able to go to God as if God’s salvation plan in Jesus Christ failed and needs God to manipulate us in addition to what is said in Heb 10:14 (and the rest of the Bible, in context, as expanded on in the paper “The Gospel” in www.gospel-truth.co.za)!
Note on Is 45:7. Before discussing this, let us first answer the following three questions honestly:
1. If you discover that a medical doctor makes people sick, so that all can see how good he can treat patients; would he be allowed on the role of medical practitioners, would you go to him?
2. If you were to find out that a counselor causes calamities, pain, infliction, hurt; all just so that all can observe him as a good counselor – will you love him for it and be drawn to him?
3. How do you suppose can God draw people [as free moral agents] to Him? In other words, does God [that is agape Love and never manipulates] need manipulation, or is His Love [as the Source of Love and Life everlasting] sufficient to be attractive to our wearied minds?
Now, contemplate Mt 7:11; Mk 7:13; Is 5:18-20. Jesus Christ is the sole expression of God the Perfect Father (Jn 5:19-27; 8:18; 10:30; 12:44-46; 14:6-11; Col 1:15); and where has He ever laid hands on someone when they were healthy and happy to make them sick or inflicted? Where and when?
Only someone utterly devoid of any knowledge of God as the Source of all goodness, will fall for the thoughts of suspicion that Father is an extortionist or blackmailer! Carefully consider Is 54:13-17; 2 Cor 10:5 with Eph 6:12. Are those principle principals [principalities] the thoughts ruling your mind (Rom 8:6-7; Jer 17:9)? Could these wicked thoughts be how demons manifest? This is probably so.
No, what God is saying in Is 45:7, seems to merely be that He is a responsible Father-God, Who acknowledges that He has made us [humans] as free moral agents; and that, even if we use(d) our will unwisely and incorrectly, that He will admit – He has made us so [free moral agents, that can/might do/cause evil or good or combine the two], also that the devil might/can cause calamitous disasters (evil) especially since we gave our authority on earth away unnecessary to the devil! God says He is the Creator. But He does not say He is an evil destroyer but that He certainly can/will destroy what is evil (Jn 10:10; Js 1:17)! Observe that this responsibility – not complicity – God as a Perfect Father took ultimately by paying for all our sin on His cross at Golgotha! Note also that Jesus (Son of Man) won this authority back for us (Mt 28:18; 10:8; 1 Cor 15:45) and now we can/should demonstrate that authority when in Christ and Him in us (Jn 17:15-20; 11:26)!!!…
Now then, let us again consider the sovereignty and foreknowledge [omniscience] of God. (The paper by the author entitled “The Will”, discusses this a little more extensively).
Isaiah wrote in Is 54:16 that God made the devil as a destroyer to destroy. But don’t be scared (See the paper “Lucifer” by the author). Read Is 54:13-17, and see the context. Demons, manifesting as thoughts, can only control our minds [thought-life] if we allow them (Js 4:7; 2 Cor 10:5). We should have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:13-16; Jn 10:27,28; 14:26); and the devil [“accuser”/“slanderer”] has actually nothing to do with us as long as we are in Christ. The moment we are in our self, as if Jesus Christ has not made us free (Col 2:15), the old system is what we chose to live by [as if we are BC]! Do we know what Jesus said in Jn 16:33? And Lk 9:61,62 with 1 Jn 2:4? The weapons [words] that are formed against us (Is 54:17), cannot do any harm if we know what Jesus said in Mt 12:7,30-37! What about Heb 13:15? What did the same Isaiah say in Is 57:16,18,19; or Paul in Eph 2:13-22? If you hear Jesus Christ again in Mt 15:11, and understand the principle of Is 5:18-20; and Heb 8:13; 9:8. Do you see Him?
Note how, in the Bible as one progressively unfolding revelation of Father in Jesus Christ , could get men to hear His Voice and pen – like Moses in Ex 12:23 – how the Lord would pass over the door and would not allow the destroyer to come into their houses to destroy them. Observe how (1) Jesus is not the angel of death, and (2) seems to slay the Egyptians [enemy]! Remember that the Bible unfolds as a progressive revelation and ends with the revelation of Jesus Christ [Rev 1:1, to John on Patmos]. Only later, once we have met Jesus Christ Himself, can we start to comprehend 1 Jn 3:8. Only then can we start to see the Light to the world of self-righteousness with its continuous anxiety and shallow reasoning that so quickly falls back on distrusting a Perfect Father, a Perfect Friend and Savior and First-born, a Perfect Guide and Counsellor! Jesus Christ is the Prince of peace between God and man, not between men that trusts Him unconditionally and those not trusting Him unconditionally – the religious people that are clinging to perpetual self-righteous mindsets with tiring reasoning [self-righteous arguments] and they are none less than the dust of the earth that is what Satan eats. Religious people resist [even refuse] stubbornly to let go of law and all efforts at self-righteousness and are therefore in turmoil and experience [focus on] huge problems with the devil and what they must do.
Note on Col 1:11. The “longsuffering” mentioned here is likewise not implying we should ever embrace adversity and certainly not as if from God! Contemplate Col 1:10 with what we have seen from pondering the few paragraphs above (1 Thess 5:18; Js 1:1-2) with scriptures such as 2 Tim 2:20-21; 3:16-17; 2 Cor 9:8; 2 Thess 1:11; 2:17; Heb 13:21; and to confirm this insight, the contrast in Tit 1:16.
Similarly, the wine Jesus provided at Galilee (Jn 2:1-11) was unlikely to be so that they who probably had already had too much (v. 7), could become [more] drunk (Js 1:13)! No, to the contrary, read 2 Tim 2:19-20 again and you should deduct that this is not about [alcohol] use but abuse and the hospitality [provision, care, love, grace] of a Bridegroom that is able to abundantly [over-] supply, not for a utterly self-consumed self-righteous to lose his own self-control in lust and greed, but an opportunity to demonstrate [manifest] respect and love for the one who provided, even with Js 1:5 and Rom 8:14; 12:9 (Jn 4:24)…
To endure a test does not mean that you should (i) stay in the test (adversity), or (ii) suspect God [Who is omniscient] of orchestrating the adversity to see if you would fail. No, the idea to the contrary is rather for us and those around us to see [test] if the correct insight [lesson, precept, principle, surpassing beyond knowledge] is present [taken by us] as part of being equipped for success to overcome any random adversity or sly and/or vicious attacks from an enemy and so to gain and to be useful to others as well to provide help or sound scriptural correct [Godly] advice and pray effectively (Mt10:8. See paper on “healing” and “Prayer”).
Proofs that God cannot tempt [sin]
– as referred to in James 1:12-18 (1 Cor 10:13).
Or, why God [can] do not use extortion or manipulation to drive us to Him.
- The nature of God. Sin cannot penetrate the holiness of God. Evil is no part of God, but Satan, the adversary (Lk 10:18; Rev 12:9; Jn 16:11). The combination of bad [sin] with good, blessing with calamity, has it’s origin in Satan – the “self”-proclaimer, the counterfeit (Gen 2:9; 1 Cor 2:14; 2 Cor 4:3-7). It is to be one or the other, not a mix of the two! Contemplating the thoughts the devil suggests, are all lies [spirits] of rebellion that were invited in by our offense [accepting a spirit of rejection that denies Heb 5:13]. This rebellion will make us accept Satan’s offers of alternatives for real Love [God] and listen to the body [carnality] for its version of love – lust and greed, the signs of a beast [with no spirit/morality], and Rom 8:13 is the result. If we follow Rom 12: 1-2, we could get to Rom 8:11,14-19 (Jn 11:26; 1 Thess 5:23)… By the way, Rom 12:19 corresponds to Rom 5:9; 1 Thess 5:9,19!
- The nature of man[kind]. The enemy is within: the Adamic nature [mindset of self-righteousness] since the fall (Mk 7:15; Rom 1:22-24; 5:12-14; 8:5-8; 1 Cor 15:45-47; Jer 10:14,15; 17:9; ), and set right – for those accepting it – by Jesus Christ (Rom 3:24-28; Rom 8:29-39). Self-focussed passion, the longing to satisfy the self, is called lust /greed.
- The nature of lust. Ungodliness is not a single act [slip], but the end of a process that involves a sequence (Js 1:15). This is what God “hates” (Ez 18:4; Prov 24:9), the thing that is foreign to Him. Christ demonstrates God as a Giver, not a taker (Col 1:13-24).
Lust starts with desire [epothumia], a feeling of longing [misplaced longing for God – Love – designed to fill us] to be satisfied. This feeling is emotion, as part of the soul, and is self-centred, self-conscious, completely unlike Love (God) that culminates His Love in Jesus Christ, the Servant-King, the One Who gave His sinless Life. To lay your life down for someone [in commitment and faithfulness] is far superior to dying for someone. But He was the sacrificial Lamb of God as well – to pay for us what we could not. God gave us faith [the capacity/mechanism/the grace – Rom 12:3]. All received this ability to believe.
Deception follows. This lust takes the bait [trap] through the intellect that rationalises why it has a right to it. This intellect [mind] is also part of the self-centred soul. The fool misplaces and confuses the need for the gospel by seeking to gratify and deify the philosophies, dogma and ideas of self [mankind]. A wise man will realize [have ears to hear] that confusion is a state of mind, and therefore see that the mind cannot be trusted, but only the Word of God (Rom 10:17; Ps 95:10; Prov 4:23; 15:13; 16:123; 23:7: Mt 5:28 and so on). The power is in the Spirit [of God, His resurrection Life] inside of you, not in your mind. This thought [process] is then formed into a design by the will (the “switch/selector” of the self-conscious soul). This becomes an action [conceived through, was fed by contemplation, and given birth to]. This process ends in sin, as a product of the un-renewed mind [soul] of someone yet to be re-born of God. This sin is the disobedience ignoring God’s Love (Jesus Christ), not taking Him seriously (Jn 16:9). This is haughtiness toward God (1 Pet 5:5). Again, the fool thinks himself wise, while God knows his heart (1 Cor 1:18-21; 3:18-20; Rom 12:3; 8:6-14; Jer 17:9). Jesus summarised His mission [incarnation] in Jn 12:45-50; 1 Jn 3:8. Also contemplate Heb 3:12-19; 1 Sam 15:22, and the need for a continuous. Lasting, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- The nature of God’s gifts. All that God gives, are for ultimate good only. God gives nothing that is detrimental to mankind (Js 1:17), and this can never change (:17b; Heb 13:8). His ultimate gift is Himself, to reconcile us with Him. Do you know 1 Cor 6:15-20?
- The nature of our new birth. Verse 18. God is a Rescuer. According to the laws of first fruits, Jesus demonstrated what to do with oneself… Remember Rom 8:5-14 – the mind of the flesh is sense and reason without Holy Spirit, is spiritual death. God provided a new Life to cope with this life [lies and deception of false teachers and liars] on earth – Jn 17:15; 16:13; Phil 4:13. Contemplate 2 Cor 5:17-21; Col 3:1-3; with Jn 12:27-37. Jesus saves and heals (body, and soul, and spirit), and may we see Rom 8:11; 1 Thess 5:23 (Jn 3:16; 11:26) is true!…
The issue of self-righteousness and its effect on our mindsets [unconditional surrender to Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit as Guide – Rom 8:14!], are discussed in other papers by the author entitled “The Covenant and the Law”, “Mixing of Old and New”, and so on; and will not repeat it here. We’ll keep it short and sweet. The purpose of all these papers by the author is for us all to go to Jesus Christ…
So then, looking at the question whether God will actually cause calamity [pain, infliction] to make us go to Him for help, we see that His sovereignty means not that He does all, but that He is above all. It means that God has given us a mandate on earth (Gen 1:26-28; Job 2:2; Eph 6:12; Js 4:7). Now we have a commission (Mt 28:18-20; Jn 17:15-26; Eph 4:11-15) in the Name of Jesus Christ (Phil 3:9).
Remember Rom 1:24? God as [un-manipulative] Love, give us a genuine choice, He gives us over to our own will, but never leaving us without advise, guidance and support. We, by our own choice, then select to follow what has more weight for us. This God foresaw from before the beginning! This He calls His “pre-elect”, His supreme authority makes Him say “I have done it…” He gave us the choice!
This is so with Pharaoh and all the wicked results and calamities. We will observe how God in His Word, have no problem demonstrating His absolute authority by claiming “I have done it” – even though we may later see it could mean “I have allowed it”, even “not approved, but allowed it”; and so on. The paper called “The Will” might shed a little more light on this idea in its sub-section called “The will of God”. Also, consider the paper entitled “Counseling and Delivery Ministries”.
Observe how people struggling with curses [in the OT], righteousness, calamities, what to do or not to do – they all really totally ignore Jesus Christ and His successfully completed work on His cross while they are pretending to be followers of Jesus Christ. What you hear from their lips, are floods of those weapons [pride, offense, bitterness, distrust, slander…]. No, God is genuine, so let us wake up and be genuine (1 Pet 1:15,16)! Let those thoughts not come near you! Why draw calamity to ourselves with cords of iniquity (Jn 16:9… 1 Jn 1:8-2:1!!)? O, Church, do we have to wake up (1 Pet 1:12-13)!!!…
Remembering Is 5:18-20 and Lam 3:33; contemplate the following prayerfully with Heb 12:1-29 in your heart of hearts: God’s foreknowledge (Is 44:24; 45:5-8); God’s sovereignty (Is 46:9-11); God as the sole object of worship (Dt 32:39); God is alone [the Source of] good (Neh 9:6; Mt 4:10); Jesus Christ is our only Savior (Jn 14:6; Mt 19:17); God is our only Source of pardon (Is 45:21,22); God is knowledge of eternal Life (Dt 4:32-35; Jn 5:39,40; 1 Jn 1:2; 5:20); We can acknowledge Jesus Christ without having saving faith [fellowship] (Js 2:19,20; 1 Jn 2:4); the wicked speak hypocritically (Is 5:18-20; Ps 28:3); even speak not (Ps 35:20); enjoy not (Is 48:22; Ez 7:25)… do we get the picture?
From the paper “The will of God”, consider the question, “How could God allow this [bad thing] to happen?” This type of question is in fact demonstrating [literal] incredible ignorance by in effect accusing God of dereliction and neglect of duty. Ironically, as a case in point, the audacity of this line of questioning God, needs some qualification. First, observe the ignoring of Scriptures such as Jer 23:36; 29:11-14; Heb 13:5-6,8 and 2 Pet 3:9, to name but a few, by many a self-proclaimed “believer” (1 Jn 2:4-6). Second, God is consistent (Heb 13:8; Js 1:17). Therefore, if you insist that God should have interfered on His own initiative without you having asked; perhaps because He “should have known [protect] better and so should have avoided something bad”, then be consistent in your expectation and realize that this would remove all your control [choice] as well! Think about it. Remember Scriptures such as Rom 3:23 or Jer 17:9? God is Love and not a manipulator. God is a perfect Father, also a perfect Guide, Teacher, Councilor (Jn 14:23-26). See the paper “The Gospel” for an expounding of God’s Kingdom and our misunderstood [under-estimated] authority through a relationship with Him in Christ. Have you any idea what was meant in Gen 1:28 and Mt 28:18 (Rom 8:17-22; Heb 2:8) and Lk 10:19? Third, God’s omnipresence means exactly that, so of course He will be found to be [available] at any crime or disaster scene [as well]; but it is ludicrous to make the deduction that His presence makes Him the culprit! It is not God who has shown a dereliction or neglect of duty, but rather think of all the time you have wasted in His presence! Think of the silence from your lips when you should have demonstrated a deep and accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ (Rom 10:2) and the authority [place] He has prepared for you with His Blood even long before you were born (Rom 5:8-12; 1 Thess 5:9; Heb 2:8-18; Col 1:9-20)! Think of the countless moments you simply were not in His presence, conversing with Him. Fourth, what does 1 Tim 2:5; 1 Jn 2:-2; Heb 9:26; 10:14 and Rom 8:2,29-39 mean? Yes, Jesus Christ is our Intercessor; but note the admission [humbling] required in for instance 1 Jn 1:9-10. Note that it is not your confession that pay for [remove your own] sin, but your God-given choice exercised to break your alliance with the father of all lies (Jn 8:40-47). Re-consider Rom 12:1-3 and Mt 15:6-11. Then, consider the paper “Prayer” with Scriptures such as Js 1:5-8,17 and 4:1-6? In summary then, God = Love and not a manipulator; so be extremely cautious with wild suspicions and accusations towards God – rather again ponder Is 5:18-21 and Selah.
Are we enlightened (Jn 1:1-5)? May we really get Christ inside and may we continuously be inside of Him – and enjoy ever-lasting LIFE! Consider the paper entitled “The Testimony” by the author. Contemplate those Scriptures with the Words that came from the lips of Jesus Christ – in the Bible. Talk to Jesus Christ, follow Jesus Christ, keep listening to- and heeding His Voice. Try it for real.
We can conclude with Asaph’s Ps 73 (compared with Jer 12) as a beautiful example of the difference perception [the right attitude, spiritual place] makes. Self-righteous self-pity had him initially blind, then in verse 17 comes the turning point – he turned toward God, and from verse 18 onwards start to being enlightened by God as a result of his conversation with God and trust in God as a perfect Father. Verses 1-16 were typical of a wrong frame of mind with questioning [doubt, Js 1:6-8] of God’s righteousness! From verse 18 onward, we see a clearer insight so that he actually starts to pity the poor lost souls he just recently envied. He turned from being like an animal (self-centred, v 22) to being spiritually more mature (God-centred). The conclusion in verses 27-28 is so true: those far away from God shall perish; but it is good to draw near to God and place our [absolute!] trust in the Lord God and to make God our refuge. Then we can tell of His good works and this is the joy of the Lord we can rejoice in – we know for a fact that God never causes any harm at all in any way, but is instead always our ultimate refuge, our Rock through all the ages. Let’s reconsider Phil 4:4-9,13,19.
Be blessed in our beloved, in Jesus the Christ of God. Go in peace and happiness and joy.
1 Thess 5:23 to you and those you love!
 Rev 1:5; 5:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-2:10; Mt 12:25,28; Lk 12:32; 17:21; Col 1:13; Rom 12:6; Eph 1:18-23…
 Job 1:3; 42:10; Gen 12:2-3; 22:17 with Gal 3:16,29. These promises are for Christ and His church, not Jews (Mt 21:42; Gal 3:28; Rom 10:11,12; Col 3:11). By the way, Abraham was a Chaldean (Gen 11:27-12:1), and Elijah a Tishbite (1 Kings 17:1), not Israelites (Gen 32:28) or Jews (descendants from Judah).
 We are not discussing Mt 20:20-28; 26:39 (Jn 18:11; 1 Tim 2:5; 2 Cor 5:18; Heb 9:26; Ps 118:24) here.
 Eph 6:13,14; Rom 13:14; Jn 14:10-26… leading to Jn 15:18-20…
 Heavenly city, not heaven city. It is a N.T. people, not a place (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; Gal 4:24-29; Acts 7:48-53; 1 Pet 2:1-10; Eph 2:19-22; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 1:21-23; and so on. Yes, on earth (Rev 21:3).
 Note at Jer 17:10. Check Isaiah 5:18-21. We have not a merit-system, but mercy and grace in Christ.