The humanistic perception of a “free will” that inclines to choices made spontaneously as if nothing determined the choice, implies an effect without a cause; but this is a rational impossibility. For a choice to have moral significance, the mind must have had a prior knowledge that have led to a prior inclination or disposition and the choice must have motive or reason and therefore intent. The choice will then fall on what is most desirable at that moment, even if external force or coercion reduce the options. Even if this decision making process often seems to be instantaneous, must the mind (with its memory) have been involved so that no decision can be purely spontaneous and without thought.
The true Christian will probably understand from “free will” that God as a perfect Father, as Love (1 Jn 4:8) that never manipulates (Jn 3:17-21; 1 Cor 13:4-13; Jm 1:13-18), have designed [given] us an ability [mechanism, faculty] to voluntary exercise choice and never removes this freedom from us. This freedom to choose, to exercise our will, does not mean we can by any means escape the repercussions or outcomes as a result of us having exercised this apparent “free will”! It rather points to God’s magnificent Love.
The perception that “free will” implies no responsibility and accountability to God, is obviously flawed and a grave error in reasoning for The Bible (the authority of this Book is discussed in the meditation “The Bible”) is not silent on self-righteousness and ungodliness (refer to even just Rev 21:8; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Mt 7:15-23; 1 Jn 2:4; 4:1-3). The meditation “The Gospel” tries to explain how God’s grace is not only underestimated on the one hand, but on the other hand misunderstood. Jesus paid for all sin we repent of, not for us to continue in sin. Sin (Jn 16:9) means man in his fallen state surrender to fleshly or evil desires rather than submit to Christ – freely. The free moral agent always acts according to the strongest inclination at a given moment. And yes, naturally power of an external force or coercion reduces our options. A sinner chooses to not follow Jesus Christ because in his fallen state has lost moral liberty and is so inclined to evil; therefore the spirit [God-consciousness] has to be reborn (Jn 3:3; 2 Cor 5:17). Note that God gave us the faculty to make choices with our will that the mind first approve, hence Scriptures for example, such as Rom 10:17. The mind and the will is inseparably related, as discussed in “Body, soul, spirit of man”. Free will then, seems to consist of an action [choice exercised] and its inevitable and eventual end result. The point to take care with, is to not become complacent in a false sense of security (or immunity!) by thinking that the bounds [limits and limitations] of either the fleshly or spiritual realms has removed your necessity for a continuous following of Jesus Christ [Rom 8:11,14] in a personal relationship; hence the “Daily Bread” (Mt 6:13; Jn 6:51)… and this will take us to Gal 6:7 that is possibly our ultimate result as stipulated in Gal 6:8. The meditation “The Testimony” expands on this.
Our “free will” as discussed in this meditation, is therefore by no means assumed to be (i) a license to boundless, unbridled pleasing of the self in the flesh (Rom 8:6-8; Jm 4:1-10); or (ii) that a “free will” implies we can escape accountability to God; or (iii) that the dictates of either fleshly choices (Rom 6:6-8) or the spiritual (Jn 4:23-24; 1 Cor 10:31; 2 Cor 5:10; Col 3:2 [Jn 8:23!]; Jm 3:17-18), removes the ability and privilege given by God to keep on choosing prudently for we clearly can backslide (2 Pet 2:19-22)!
God is true, consistent Love (Heb 13:8; Jm 1:17) and will not remove our “free will” (Refer to the meditation “Body, soul, spirit of man”). So please bear with this author as we read this meditation to its end, first considering the will of man, and then the will of God?
Note at Gen 2:15-17; 3:1. Disobedience should not be misidentified as the mechanism, but should be seen as the result [fruit] of an incorrect response of a rebellious choice exercised. This can [logically] only be done by a free [voluntary] will; hence, for instance, Heb 11:6. The fall of man was to separate, by tragic wrong choice, from [being clothed with] Christ (Jn 1:1-4,14; Col 1:13-21; Rev 1:8; 3:14; 21:6); hence Gen 3:9-10 and Rom 13:14; Col 3:10,12; 2 Cor 5:1-12; Phil 3:9. Sin is what Jesus defined in Jn 16:9 and the result of this sin is referred to in at least Rom 5:12, but note then, Rom 8:2 and 1 Cor 15:45-51.
Please read this meditation with the meditations such as “Prayer” and “The Testimony”, for an enormous revelation. The reader will also have to confront the absurd and bizarre suspicion that God’s omnipresence and omniscience [His Holy Spirit, Jn 4:23-24] implies that He is guilty of cruelty and/or neglect. Another crucial practical understanding to get right is that, just as there is ample evidence that accidents can happen on earth, must the opposite also be true; namely, that plain good luck can also be encountered! There are for example, cases where people randomly came in contact with bacteria and died due their poorer condition at the time compared to others who survived the same exposure due to better health [immunity, condition at that same time]. The popular statement, “Nothing happens by chance” or “There is no such thing as chance”, will at closer inspection reveal a thought process that has crossed the line of acknowledging a perfect God to a point of irrationality that ignores [deny] the practical creation God gave us here on earth and that such statement in fact borders on no less than fanatical religion and bigotry. So, let’s Selah and examine this, shall we?
We regularly encounter the customary question, “How could/why did God allow this?” This question is not uncommon when someone dear is lost to death, especially due to an awful or wicked deed such as a toddler being killed by an evil-doer, or a drunk driver, or by some other gruesome circumstance or perhaps an obvious unnecessary and untimely death. But, in such questioning lurks a camouflaged tragic and gross misunderstanding that urgently needs further scrutiny (Hos 4:4-11).
Often, the question of why God allowed a tragedy is in fact an accusation of neglect aimed at God! The insinuation is that God in consequence failed to show the compassion [intervention] that a human would! The amazing self-righteousness herein is then yet obscured to the accuser. If not understood as an accusation, the “innocent” and “natural” question still requires some thorough thought. Observe how a question to God can be put from a position/disposition of either trust or distrust [suspicion]. Refer here to examples such as Zachariah (Lk 1:5-20), or Mary (Lk 1:26-38); or Abram/Abraham (Gen 15:2-6; 17:1-5,15-21) and Sarah (Gen 18:10-15; 1 Pet 3:6). Observe the wicked [twisted] question [tone and evil intent] in Gen 3:1! For a human to expect God to explain Himself first before a relationship of trust in any of His attributes such as His Love, goodness or fairness can continue, shows a failure in reasoning [understanding]. In such instance the assessor of God will not, and indeed cannot, receive a direct answer from God! The simple reason is that we cannot expect God to in effect abdicate His authority [supreme position, sovereignty] to first explain to a human self-appointed judge; for the process of role reversal cannot happen for a moment. If it could, God would be expected to “get back on His throne” only after our scrutiny and then we suppose we can be subject to Him again after the “hearing”? The hindrance to the human here is the concept of God’s sovereignty. This will be expanded on in the section further on, entitled “The will of God”. Consider for now, the free will and authority God has given us on earth and our poor spiritual authority [responsibility] – Gen 1:28; Lk 10:19; Jn 17:15-20; Heb 2:8.
Love and hurt (tragedy) are part and parcel of the same life given by Love to free moral agents (Refer to the meditations “God is Love” and “Christian suffering”). The one comes with the other but requires us to display [our] responsibility. The error is to think we can at our will and whim expect God to interfere while we are often ignorant and arrogant without identifying our failure or self-righteousness. For instance, if we would ask God to explain why He did not interfere on His own initiative to prevent a tragedy, say, to prevent a killer from murdering my child, could He just as well ask me why I (or my acquaintances) have not exercised His commission (Mt 28:19-20) so that this murderer could have been a re-born Christian [that would not have murdered my child]. God is omnipresent but not as the culprit for bad things that happen (even Jm 1:13,16-17), but in the roles that Jesus mentioned in Jn 14:26. God [as Source of righteousness and fairness, has to] allow bad just as He allow us to choose whatever we seek as good. If the bad could not co-exist with the good, there would have been no real free will. Ponder Mt 28:17-18 with Ps 8:6; Rom 8:14-17; 1 Cor 15:27; Eph 1:22-23; Heb 2:6-8. Note the suffering in Rom 8:17, with Jn 3:14-21, can relate to Rom 1:16-17 and 1 Cor 15:26-28!!… Please do not skip these Scriptures and let’s then again look at the will of man and the will [sovereignty] of God…
We’ll examine this idea of humans being free moral agents so created/designed by God – that is Love and hence never manipulates – further (on p.10/23); but hopefully discover here already what Jm 1:13-18 states and implies, namely that just as temptation is not of God [from God to trap or test us], will no situation ever be created or produced by God to “lure” [attract in temptation] us in any way, shape or form! The decision will always be left untouched to each and every individual as his/her own choice and this is why something such as responsibility even exists. This extends to our perception of being “blessed” or “cursed”. This understanding is crucial for a genuine relationship with God that far exceeds the externalism of mere religion [rituals, ceremony, tradition, rhymes with no real supernatural result; i.e. mere monologues ]. Ponder Mt.7:16-23; 15:6-9 or even Rom 12:9 (with Prov 8:13; 11:20-21; 16:5; Is 5:18-21; Jer 23:10-24; Rev 22:11,18-19; i.e. mere monologues; and even more so, self-righteousness misnamed as Christianity that thinks the purpose of being saved is to go to heaven]. The meditations “The Gospel” and “God is Love” will explain this crucial understanding that the re-born Christian should become Love (like Jesus, God). ). (1 Jn 3:1-3; 4:7-13). Ponder also Mt.7:16-23; 15:6-9 or even Rom 12:9 (with Prov 8:13; 11:20-21; 16:5; Is 5:18-21; Jer 23:10-24; Rev 22:11,18-19!)…
Note at Mt 16:19. This is often preached and quoted completely opposite to what is given us in context, by Jesus, even Is 22:22. The Amplified Bible helps make this concept clear. Note that “bind” means to declare what is improper and wrong on earth to line up to what is already done so in heaven (refer to the meditation “homosexuality”, even 1 Jn 1:9-10, for example), and likewise does “loose” mean that we declare what is right and proper on earth to what is already done so in heaven. This is reiterated by Jesus in Mt 6:10 and correlates to Rom 12:9 (Ex 23:1; Ps 119:104,128; Jn 14:6; 2 Cor 11:3-4,7-20; Gal 1:6-9; even Ex 23:1; Prov 6:19; 12:17; 14:5; 16:19; Mt 17:15-23; 24:11,24;19:5,9). To preach a “blab it and then grab it” is unscriptural if it implies [falsely] heaven alters and [then] is “forced” to fall in with what we command on earth, spoken in ignorance to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Note that Rom 12:14 in plain language, relates rather to Mt 6:12,14-15 and is not saying at all that we should [can] sanctify someone else or put a spell on someone [bewitch them]. It is rather addressing self-righteousness (offense taken, pride) and an admonishing to become love and not to think and operate according to the world’s ideas (1 Cor 13:5; 1 Pet 2:18-25).
Blessing is greatly misunderstood. Contemplate Eph 1:3; 2 Pet 1:3-12 (Ampl). A blessing – or a curse – is not imparted like voodoo. Know therefore why God is uncompromising about us that should have nothing to do with witchcraft in any way (see the meditation on pornography and witchcraft). So please be careful of religious play-actors speaking blessing over you – they are probably totally ignorant of what they are trying to do (1 Tim 5:22). God has no part in evil and false practices such as hypnotism or magic. A blessing (or curse) is rather a declared result! In Is 45:9 God says He declares what is right. Of course He can! He is not a manipulator (that’s why Jesus did not bring [forced] peace amongst men but between God and man – Mt 10:34-39; Jn 16:33); and will therefore not force [“make”] any person right [blessed] regardless of their choice(s) and insanity. (Insanity is basically to expect a different outcome whilst blindly carrying on to think and do the same). Read Col 3:1-25 as well?
To speak a blessing to someone, therefore, seems at most thus a kind of congratulatory remark where you acknowledge that someone has ended up in a good place or a type of declaration that you grant someone (and those they love) every [improvement in] success and wholeness in spirit, soul and body. They then have to [still] make their choices carefully on their own! Opportunities may even be provided by God, but how we act to/upon it, will be entirely up to us (Jm 1:5-8; 4:1-10)! We’ll look at this closer as we progress through this meditation. On p.9-11 we should hopefully make the right deduction from Rom13:14 with Mt 5:43-48 and Eph 1:3 (even Jn 10:9). We’ll continue this discussion on page 15 under the heading “To bless (or curse) someone”.
Note at Acts 19:12. These seem to have been unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul who was [chose to be] obedient to God (Mt 10:8; Jn 17:20). Take also note then, of Acts 19:13-15.
So, this short meditation is also about the ability to choose, not the last will and New Testament (Heb 9:16-18).
In other meditations (such as “The Gospel”), this author discusses the enormity in the understanding that Jesus Christ was still talking to an Old Covenant people in their era up to His sacrifice on His cross, before overcoming death for us. Note how “Christians” today, beg of God things repeatedly (to an omniscient and omnipresent Almighty God) or relegate to the future events that have all been provided long ago (Eph 1:3-12…). Or, equally ignorant, are many hopelessly phlegmatic (atheists are too) thinking God is a manipulator and that He will make things happen without us having any choice in the matter, as part of “His big plan”. Such opinions of man should be obvious in their error by just contemplating Jn 3:17-21.
In this meditation, we will consider a few aspects on this subject of our God-given ability [privilege and proof of Love] called will [choice]. More importantly, is it the will of God that is difficult to understand as long as you are trapped in religion and yet have to really meet Him personally and have a relationship with Jesus Christ (not self-righteousness, Moses, some preacher, or some denominational doctrine).
Typical erroneous ideas that stem from wrong and illogical “church” teachings are:
– A marriage couple can choose anything except their partner, they are destined by God
– God’s “pre-elect” means He favors certain people regardless of them not following Him
– The Sovereignty of God means He controls everything by doing it Himself, or seeing to it that it gets done exactly the way He wants it done, humans cannot “override” God’s intent.
We will in this short discussion check the above (and a few more similar misconceptions) with Scripture. For now, remember and apply the following:
– God’s character and integrity is beyond reproach. He is a Perfect Father! He is consistent!
– God is [agape] Love and will not manipulate in any way. A manipulator is a coward- selah.
– God is omniscient and omnipresent (He created time), therefore He could see ahead who would follow [elect] Him, and so chooses those who [will] choose Him (Rom 9:5-26; Jn 3:16; 13:17; 14:15; 15:14). Note, though, that God is not trapped/bound by time He created!
– No man can obtain eternal life without Jesus Christ. (a) People who lived before His cross, needed to believe [trust, have faith] that the Savior Jesus Christ would come; (b) people that lived when Jesus paid on His cross with His Blood and since then, can likewise also obtain eternal life only by faith in Jesus Christ [that Jesus is God/Lord and was resurrected from the dead].
– God is not a murderer, sadist or the angel of death! He is Love (1 Jn 4:8; Jn 1:3-4; 10:10). God [Love] is terribly misrepresented by many a religious person in ignorance [blinded by self-righteousness]. Read even just the meditation “Apparent Controversies in The Bible” to make a few sobering discoveries of how our self-righteousness before a perfect God blinds us to ourselves. Many not even baptized or re-born (Jn 3:3; Eph 5:5) want to “demand” of God to explain Himself first before they follow Him; yet with an unrenewed mind still darkened by the self (Col 1:9-22). Please read on.
Now please remember this, when reading further what this author has to say on this subject (“in part” – 1 Cor 13:12): “Believe” in Greek is a present continuous form of “trust + act” [both]. To place ourselves in a position from where we demand of God to justify Himself first before we would get ourselves so far as to trust Him and act on His Word (believe Him), is ridiculous; for to such a god we would have elevated ourselves and would never [truly] worship [follow] Him thereafer. See Heb 11:1,6; 2 Cor 5:7; Rom 12:3 (all received the same ability to trust); 1 Jn 4:19; Eph 3:12; and so on.
Seek God and His Kingdom (Jesus Christ, Mt 6:33; 12:25-30; Mk 12:31; Jn 1:17; 14:6), but be cautious with attempts to analyze God that are prone to being extremely ignorant and self-righteous. To ask a question (Jm 1:5) is not wrong when we seek to better know the Source of Love, intellect, wisdom, creativity, righteousness, hope, etc. (Mt 7:7,8,11); but know what humility is (see meditation so entitled).
The will of man
The final authority is the Bible – the Word of God, not tradition (Mt 15:6-9; Mk 7:13; 12:24), not reason ( 2 Cor 10:5), no man, but Scripture (Matt 5:18,19; 2 Pet 1:20; Deut 4:2; Rev 22:18-19). The great thinkers (schoolmen) of the past would often lose sight of the simplicity of the Scriptures, becoming so preoccupied with their questions and own confusion, transliterations, interpretations and justifications, that they would neglect to proclaim the Bible`s message. This is – sadly, and amazingly – still true of many today. Even today doctrines of man are groped at to answer questions instead of realizing that the Bible has the ability to explain itself. We need to take extra care with any other source of reference (Rom 10:17). Jesus, when tempted by Satan in the desert, never argued with Satan about the devil’s [even wilful] misinterpretation of a particular part of Scripture, but instead quoted another part of Scripture revealing the true meaning of His Word. So put down the catechism and open your Bible… and your heart… and trust the anointing of The Holy Spirit that is from the Holy One – the Lord Jesus Christ. Then get to the real Truth, the Person Jesus Christ. Talk and listen to HIM!…
When a person is saved, he can receive the indwelling Holy Spirit by submission to God’s Spirit, and He enables the believer to discern between truth and error. And there is only one way to be saved (Jn 14:6). Today “rapture” preachers seem to make people think they are reborn if they “accept” Jesus merely not to be “left behind”, failing dismally to see the self-righteousness therein! Consider honestly and seriously the meditation entitled “Rapture raptured” for an exegesis on this subject. No man-written catechisms, dogmas or tradition supersedes His Word. Rom 9:16, by the way, does not mean man`s will is not involved in his salvation – the gospel invitation is clearly directed at your will, (choice) as shown in Rev 3:20; 22:17. Jesus exposed the unbelieving Jews as being unwilling to come to Him (John 5:40). This confirms 2 Pet 3:9 to be true! God is [agape] Love, and God [Love] does not manipulate!
 Jn 3:3; 1 Jn 2:20; but also 1 Jn 4:1-4; 1 Cor 2:2. Always test how – what you think, hear, or say – aligns to the finished work of Jesus Christ on His cross. In other words, 1. What did Jesus say about this? 2. How does this relate to His death, His resurrection, and His intercession for us? We should follow His teaching, not those about Him. We must get out of the “become mode”, and get into the “I AM mode”. We should be AD not BC; NT not Old Covenant. See the other meditations on this website and test it to the Word of God, not novels of puffed-up men.
The Calvinistic view that man has no option/will/choice in his own salvation, is not Scriptural correct and therefore false. Ponder Rom 10:1-10, 16-21; Heb 4:3-16 and the fact that God offers a choice to accept Him. Why would God do this if man had no genuine choice? If God left man no real choice in his salvation [destiny], it would imply that God made the biggest blunder in the universe with Jesus on His cross!! Consider Scriptures such as Josh 24:15; Mk 7:13; 12:24; Lk 6:46-49; 24:25; Mt 6:1-8; 7:21-23; Heb 3:12; Col 1:20-23; and Jn 3:16-21; 6:37; and let’s consider this ability to freely exercise our given choice…
God [Love] made no man to be pre-determined to be lost! This means lost men had a genuine choice (an honest, fair and real chance) to reply to John 3:16 to be saved. Yes, even Gal 3:8. A certain amount of spiritual earnestness and willingness are necessary to receive what God initiated.There is no relationship without choice (will). 2 Cor 9:7.Without own free will (as a free moral agent), man cannot show real love (in return and reaction) to the love of God (for us) and would we be down to fatalism, which many world religions and even Satanists believe…How can man resist or grieve the Holy Spirit without having exercised his own free will (Acts 7:51; Eph 4:30; Heb 10:29)? God`s expectancy of us to be obedient means we have a responsibility. Response + ability is responsibility. So we have a choice how to respond. This response is called our will. Yes, God initiates it as Rom 10:5 (lev 18:5) to verse 21 says. But read (the Amplified) carefully, especially verse 21. The open invitation on the one side and the pre-election of God on the other side is not opposing each other – it is the same thing! God`s pre-election is simply His foreknowledge (His omniscience) and not to be confused with man`s concept of pre-election (prejudice). The revelation that hits the saved [that submit their will to God], is that, if God gave you your will, it really belongs to [with] Him. That is what it was designed for: you can only be trusted when in Christ (Eph 2:5-10; Col 1:27), and when you allowed Him to remain in you (1 Cor 6:17-20). Jesus Christ came to save us from ourselves. Sin is who we were, not just what we do. A murderer is not classified as such after committing the murder, he killed because he was a murderer. A thief steals because he is a thief, he does not become one by taking things without permission. A child is completely self-centred, and left unchecked, will develop into a juvenile delinquent. See what the following Scripture has to say about the sinful nature of man: Is 64:6; Jer 17:9; Mk 7:21; Gal 2:21; Eph 2:3; 4:20-24; Rom 3:10,23; Prov 20:6,9…
We are born in sin, ignorant, weak and totally dependent on God for His wisdom and His guidance. In the meditations “Body, Soul, Spirit” and “Baptism” it is expanded how we start off on a tangent as soon as we become self-conscious and from then we have to consciously make a choice and have our spirit [God-consciousness] be re-born. Even the faith we are saved by, comes from hearing, and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that comes from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself) – Rom 10:17, Ampl. So between the hearing and accepting comes a choice. A choice can only be made by applying your will. It was given by God and is part of the soul. It is a mechanism that excludes manipulation, a spiritual law that shows His mercy, justness and Love all in One: Jesus Christ that made an exchange at His cross on Calvary. God will therefore not use extortion and expect us to make a [forced] “choice” after threatening first and manipulating our choice through fear! Our salvation is a genuine choice and only through God’s mercy, grace and loving kindness, His longsuffering and understanding (of us as His creation), has He done His most awesome work by paying for us with the Blood of His Son. By redeeming us and reconsolidating us (with Him) through the only possible way: His sinless Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our First-born. His empathy and compassion was so enormous and – as the Source of righteousness and sincerity – so sincere, that He gave His most Precious in a Love and humbleness above our grasp (Is 55:8; Ps 139:6) so that we can be saved. The Source of righteousness could not force us to love Him, could He? This would not result in true love (from our side). So can we choose? Why, for example, the trouble of relating Mt 11:25 and Lk 10:21 if not to show how Jesus reacted to (the cities of Galilee’s) impenitence? Carefully consider Heb 8:13; 9:8, 14; 10:5-14,19-23; 12:23-29…
Perhaps we should stop digging up centuries old debates between the extremes of Calvinism and Melanchthonism. Jacob Arminius probably had it right [as well] and sees it this way: The same sun that melts snow, hardens clay… the same sun that bleaches cloth, tans a skin… the same God Who shows mercy to the broken hearted (that confessed) also “hardens” the impenitent (because God cannot change from being sovereign and a hardened heart will be in futile rebellion by its own conceit. This is expanded on further on when discussing God’s will). i.e. Grace rejected is grace denied. It is like walking through a gate reading “whosoever will come to Me” signed [“made by”] the “Mercy of God”. And once you – by your decision [reaction, response] – have passed into His Kingdom through this gate by trust in His Word and looking back, you read the words on the inside of this same entrance (Jesus, Jn 10:9; 14:6): “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God”. There is only one Door, not two (Jn 10:9 is Rev 3:8; 4:1; 22:14 – the city: Is 6:14; Mt 5:14; 1 Pet 2:4-10; Heb 3)!
We discover thus that the Bible as one progressive unfolding revelation – of Jesus Christ, God is Love – really show us the choice between self-righteousness as opposed to God [Jesus Christ] being our Righteousness (Phil 3:9); hence Rom 13:14 explains part of Gen 2:9-11 – observe how God ask Adam to check his spiritual position and Adam replied with shame in his exposure that reveals a perception of lesser value as similarly seen in Is 55:7-9; Eph 6:12; Is 5:18-21; 54:13-17; (Jer 29:11-14); etc. The old way [nature, place] opposes and cannot co-exist with the new way [lifestyle, continuously devoted thought-life that shows lasting supernatural results] when re-born in Christ (Jn 3:3). Note also that God did not make the first Adam (Rom 5:12) defect, neither did God make Eve as a “watered-down”/weakened version of Adam. The fact that Eve, and then Adam, chose self-righteousness (own knowledge between good/evil and own knowledge between blessing/calamity) to live by [occasionally in moments of self-indulgence] as opposed to God being their sole permanent Source, does not imply that God gave them a defect mechanism in a free will. The free will is not a defect just because it can cause calamity; it is in fact a wonderful gift of choice as proof of real Love [trust that knows what can be but allows commitment only when it would be fun and a joy (Rom 12:9)]. Note at Gen 2:18 that God said that Adam was incomplete (that it was not good, sufficient, satisfactory for him to be solitary amongst animals and plants) without a wife (helper, aid, succour, mate). The fact that God then gave Eve (male/female sexuality and reproduction ability with a physical element of pleasure) reveals another aspect of this amazing will and corresponding requirement for consideration [thoughtfulness, kindness, unselfishness, patience] that reflect a Perfect Father, Friend, Protector, Guide, Teacher, Provider, Counselor, Intercessor, Helper, Advocate, Strengthener… that was given [provided] in our last Adam (1 Cor 15:45) that can – when we choose to commit to Him – transform us [again], hence 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:18-19 that could very well mean that our DNA can actually be re-written but only in Jesus’ Blood (Prov 3:3; 7:3; Heb 10:16; 1 Jn 2:8; Rev 3:12)! In other words, stop blaming God and take responsibility for your own choices!…
The responsibility (response + ability) of man by his own free will is given by God, and so the grace of God by His mercy and loving-kindness and longsuffering alone. Those outside still only know sin (Jn 16:9), self-righteousness [law, religion, enmity, strife, offence], and rebellion. So, 2 Cor 1:20 (Ampl) teaches on our response to God`s promises: to believe (accept) is to glorify God, through unbelief (rejection) we rob God (and ourselves) of what Jesus paid for in full! There is one Source: God, and there is one channel: Jesus Christ. God`s glory gets all the credit once our self-confidence and ignorance is exhausted. Ask and seek the Father in your heart, not traditions and dogmas of man… Let’s conclude this thought with Joshua 24:15… and remember, we are righteous when we truly accept [trust, believe, apply] the completed exchange and provision of Jesus Christ (Rom 8) on His cross and follow Him.
Man’s destiny is self- determined (Jn 3:15-21; 16:9-11) because of Love [God] that gives us a genuine free choice. Carefully contemplate Mt 5:8 (Jn 3:3); 15:6-11,19,20; 22:37-40; Lk 6:45-49 with Ps 50 (especially vs. 15-23) and Heb 13:5… (Please don’t skip this, do it now). It is quite possible that you are receiving a word and support from God right now as you are considering this meditation (Mt 7:7-8).
Note at Phil 2:12. Paul encourage these people to “work out their own salvation”; but we know that no man can save himself, not even by following the 10 commandments – Rom 3:20,23; 7:4,6; Gal 5:4,18! (The meditation “The Covenant and the Law” expands on this). Only by faith in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ for us (Jn 19:30), can we be saved (Jn 1:12,13,17; 3:3). We therefore observe (a) that a choice is present and in our power and rather demonstrate how we can choose and manifest spiritual growth in Christ – 2 Pet 1:3-11; Eph 4:12-16; 5:5-12. Observe also 1 Thess 5:9; 2 Cor 5:19; Rom 8:2-10; 2 Tim 3:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jude 1:3; Rev 7:10; 12:10; 19:10; and (b) that Paul encouraged them to “complete” their salvation more so in his absence than his presence, re-iterating Jn 4:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:5 and the correct choices [the will of man] to be made conscientiously and in line with 2 Cor 10:5 (1 Jn 2:4). Compare Mt 7:14-23; 15:6-9… Phil 2;12, has at any rate, its context in verses 3-11 and 15 around it; and it clearly reveals our full choice – and responsibility (Rom 12:9) – in our lives and that God is not a manipulator and does not do (causes) everything as is so popularly advocated in “church” (Hos 4:4-11; Is 5:18-19). Phil 2:13 conforms also with Jn 14:6-26; 15:1-5 and even Phil 4:13. (By the way, there is an enormous possibility in verse 16 explored in “The Testimony” p.27/30… if you will…)
Ponder Mt 15:6-9 (Mk 7:13; 12:24). How could Jesus say man can “make the Word of God to no effect” if man was not given a free will by Love [that never manipulates]?
Furthermore, observe that Judas the Iscariot possibly went lost despite the perfect stewardship of Jesus Christ when comparing Jn 17:12 and 18:8-9; to Ps 41:9 [Jn 13:18]; Jn 6:39, 70-71 [1 Jn 4:1-4] and Acts 1:3,8,22; 5:32. Judas could have repented and then 1 Jn 1:9-10; 2 Pet 3:9 would apply if Judas’ suicide (Mt 27:5) indicated a possible remorse, we can’t be sure; but that Judas acted contrary to what Jesus taught, demonstrated and stood for, is obvious. God knew what was foreseen in the prophecy (Jn 13:3,11,21-26; 18:4; even Jer 18:11; Zech 11:12-13. Even more so, that He would be sold out for a woman-slave’s price [Gen 37:28; Ex 21:32] and not a man-slave’s price… probably because Jesus the Bridegroom with no sin was about to pay for His Bride – us); but God certainly did not program Judas to be wicked (Jm 1:12-18; and remember with Lk 22:3 and Jn 13:2 that there remains a choice mentioned in Jm 4:7! Note the choices made by men in just 2 Ki 17:13; Ezek 33:11; Zech 1:4); no, this corruption in Judas could not have happened unless Judas was a free moral agent (Jn 3:17-21; especially Jn 8:40-47; 12:47,48). Reading the Scriptures (above) relating to the Last Supper, it is clear that Jesus knew what was coming but just as God did not program Judas to steal money from the purse (Jn 12:3-7) has God not caused Judas to sell Jesus out. Note that the Bible says that the devil entered Judas’ mind (Lk 22:3; Jn 13:2,27) and that Judas had a choice to resist the devil if he wanted to (Jm 4:7). Neither did [could] God have programmed the devil as if God (Ex 3:14; Heb 13:8; Jn 14:9-11,20; 17:18-26) needs the devil to work for Him in the manner of a human underhanded narcissistic criminal-boss (Mk 3:22-25; Jn 8:47-50; Jm 1:12-18)!!
We can summarize the will of man as a genuine free will [option] to exercise our own choice. And then in such a way and so complete that we can blame no one or nothing else for our own choices made.
Further on, we will briefly look at Is 5:18-21 as well, and God’s sovereignty.
Please read this meditation with “Who is Jesus Christ” on www.gospel-truth.co.za that also touches on the question of [spiritual] authority on earth that should be made visible by true Christians.
The will of God
Eph 5:17 says we should not be vague and thoughtless and foolish but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of God is (it is no mystery)!
So, 1 Thess 4:3-4 might sound simple enough, but very carefully contemplate the effect [result] of impurity of thought, and of purpose and thus life in just Heb 10:26-31… For that matter, refer to the meditation “Healing”, p. 12/16 and consider the very plausible [second] reason why we are unable to heal the sick (Mt 10:8)!…
Also Jn 6:40, for example, is apparently grossly underestimated and even unnoticed by many! This verse joins Eph 2:1-9 in a special Way, also mentioned in Scriptures such as Jn 14:6 and Gal 3:11-14 (refer to the meditation “The Covenant and The Law” for a fuller explanation).
Have you noticed Jn 3:3; Eph 5:5 (Lk 17:20-21)? If you are baffled, start again with Eph 5:1-16, and please read this meditation to its end.
The doctrine on the Sovereignty of God is probably the single most damaging religious doctrine that totally misrepresents God by wrongly saying that His [indisputable] sovereignty means that He controls absolutely everything, even ultimately controls/manipulates everyone. The world has heard this, and even in the legal profession today, they think themselves wise by proclaiming calamities as “acts of God” (Is 5:18-21; Rom 1:22?).
We must come to realize that God’s sovereignty means He is self-governing, supreme, independent and the uppermost authority as the Creator, not that He does or cause everything, especially calamity! Consider also the meditations such as “Tithing”, “Christian suffering” and “The Gospel”, and it should become evident that our suspicion should rather be on the institutions (Hos 4:4-10; Rom 3:3-17); that tries to explain away their failures and that manipulate through fear that spread this false doctrine on God’ sovereignty as their fundamental suspicion on God’s character and nature of being a manipulator or that God often neglect to be kind and protective – this doctrine is often used to take the heat of them who fail to demonstrate Mt 10:8 or Mk 16:16-18! Think about it very carefully.
“Christians” – and the world – need to know what God wants [approve, provided, permit]; but instead of applying Rom 8:14 (with v. 17; Jn 14:26; Heb 12:1-3; Rom 12:1-3), run to humans who placed themselves in an office, and a “gospel” based on own merit and fear. (Gal 4:16?).
 Note that this suffering is any form of victimization due to persecution from the religious and the world, not from lack and want (Ps 23)! See the short meditation entitled “Christian Suffering” on www.gospel-truth.co.za, if you will.
This renders senseless virtually the whole Bible that gives us Scriptures such as Gen 1:26-28; Dt 30:19; Ps 115:16; Jm 4:7; Mt 9:16-17 (mix OT law with NT grace and mercy); Lk 9:62; Jn 16:33; 1 Pet 4:2; 2 Pet 3:9; Gal 5:4; and so on. We will do well to pay particular attention to Is 5:18-20; and Eph 4:23-25 with Rom 12:9 (God hates falsity, religious play-acting). Consider reading “The Gospel” by the author.
Be sure of this: God is the Creator and can intervene; but understand that God’s sovereignty does not mean He does everything, it means He is above everything! God intervened with a Flood (Gen 6-8) but ultimately with Jesus Christ (Jn 3:15-21; 6:47-51; 10:27,28; Rom 8:2,14-17,29-39). God is Love and therefore will never manipulate [He is not underhanded, sadistic, cruel, or a coward]! Beware how you present the Source of Righteousness! Contemplate again just Jer 29:11-14; Is 5:18-21; 54:13-17…
The following two statements will probably utterly shock most people. But, we will examine this.
God does not do everything!
The statement “God is in control” is in most cases completely false! Just stay calm and read on for one of the greatest revelations you will find.
God is superior to all and everything. There is no other God than Him (note Dt 32:39 with careful observation of verses 4-5,16-21; and Is 45:5-6 with Is 5:18-21); there is no name above His name (Eph 1:19-22; 4:6; Phil 2:8-11; and note Acts 2:36; 4:12; 10:36 with Rom 10:12-13; 14:9). This is absolutely true. And yes, the Creator does and can intervene (refer to the meditations “Prayer” and “Healing”); but understand that God’s sovereignty does not mean He [automatically] does everything, it means He is above everything! Note that this does not mean God is distant and uninvolved, for He is Love! God intervened with a Flood (Gen 6-8) and with the destruction [judgement on homosexuality and fornication and adultery] of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 13:13; 18:20-33; Lk 17:29; 2 Pet 2:6-10; Jude 1:7; Rom 1:18-22,26-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Rev 21:8); but ultimately God intervened [provided] with Jesus Christ (Jn 3:15-21; 6:47-51; 10:27,28; Rom 8:2,14-17,29-39). God is Love and therefore will never manipulate [He is not underhanded, sadistic, cruel, or a coward]! Beware how you present the Source of Righteousness! Contemplate again just Jer 29:11-14; Is 5:18-21; 54:13-17…
The revelation that God is Love
As long as you read the Bible [God’s Word, Jn 1:14;14:6], in self-righteousness (even more so in typical ironic self-denial of self-righteousness), you’ll lack the revelation that is discussed also in the meditation “The Covenant and The Law”, namely that God is not a manipulator or sadist! Love [God] gave us a free will! Contemplate Rom 10:2-4. 1 Cor 13 is not instructions for you to follow, as with Law; it is describing to us some traits of God [Love, grace and righteousness]! It shows examples of what [results] should show in our lives with God [Love] permanently (not only certain days and times or places] inside of us. In other words, as stated in 1 Cor 13:5, does God [Love] not insist on [its] own way and takes no account of evil done! Shocked? Please be calm and before you freak out, just think about it carefully and prayerfully. Consider here Is 43:25; Lk 1:68, 77-79. Note (i) that God [Jesus Christ] paid for all our sin but not for us to continue in sin and/or ignorance! (An exegesis of God’s grace, mercy and righteousness is given in the meditations “The Gospel” and “The Covenant and The Law”). (ii) This section (1 Cor 13) ends with “… and so faith, hope [of eternal salvation], love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (v 13). Now read 1 Jn 4:16-21… Get it? God is Love and this same God is the greatest – He is above all; hence also above false preachers (Phil 2:8-11; Ps 118:8)! God forces no one to love [follow and cling to] Him, we all have a genuine choice! Observe how many rather cling to their men in positions, manipulating their followers with fear (intimidation) with their ideas of their institutions instead… The meditations “Church”, “Tithing”, “Christian suffering” and “The Gospel” expand on this.
Note. God’s provision is not intended to make/render us useless and pathetic! God’s provision means He provided Life, abilities and mechanisms for us here on earth so we can choose our results. It does not mean God will do your part for you [while you are capable/able] or that He will be an accomplice to your laziness/distrust to do something positive; neither does He want you to sit passively and wait on a delivery at your doorstep! Contemplate Eph 1:3-14; 4:12-15; 1 Pet 1:3-5; 2 Pet 1:3-4. So, watch how you pray… are you asking Him to do this and do that and bless this and bless that? Consider Mt 10:8; Heb 2:8-13; and so on. The meditation “Prayer” expands on this. We should become responsible (response + ability) and the “more than conquerors” and the “enlightened” (Col 1:10-20; 3:1???) that we profess to be and stop making hollow statements when confronted with bad people or bad situations! Statements such as discussed next, that is in fact none other than implying and even saying that God is the driver and we are merely passengers on this bus that He is taking somewhere, as if God is somehow in the background manipulating all the events on earth, even thoughts of us as His creation. Carefully again contemplate just Col 1:10-20; 3:1, as an example.
Combining Mk 11:24 with Mt 16:19; Jn 20:23 and Eph 1:3 is powerful. The heavenly realm (1 Pet 1:4; 2 Pet 1:3 with Lk 17:20-21; even Heb 9:26b are expanded on in the meditation “The Testimony”), but for now we must realize it is what we should operate in on earth (2 Pet 1:4)! First, note that God’s blessings are only in Christ (Rom 8:17,19; Jn 1:12-13; 14:6; Eph 1:3-12). Observe also that the word “receive” in Eph 6:8; Col 3:24; Heb 9:15; 10:36; Jm 4:3; 1 Jn 3:22 is λαμβάνω (lambanō, G 2983) that is a prolonged form of a primary verb, which is used only as an alternate in certain tenses; to take (in very many applications, literally and figuratively [probably objective or active, to get hold of; whereas G1209 is rather subjective or passive, to have offered to one; while G138 is more violent, to seize or remove]). To “receive” in this instance all spiritual blessing what is God’s will (Lk 11:32), is therefore more than to passively accept, it means you must obtain your inheritance in Christ and take [live] it by faith! Don’t beg God for what He already provided and paid for as if He must still consider your particular circumstances before He can bestow it upon you – be in Christ and be blessed! Live a victorious life in Christ (Phil 4:13)!
The statement “God is in control”
This statement is made by many a Christian [still sadly not beyond 1 Jn 2:4, let alone Heb 2:1; 6:1-3], and is in fact usually none less than a kind of desperation and hopelessness responding to all the wrong, ungodliness and negativity around us today (Ex 22:28???). It might sound good, but is actually blaming God for ungodliness!!! Allow this author to explain.
First, this author dares you to show him the Scripture that says “God is in control”, as in controlling everything or that God uses bad for good. (If bad is no part of God then certainly He would have no use for bad, i.e. God does not need bad to show He is Good! This is expanded on further on page 7 in this meditation when we consider Rom 8:28 and its context as also in the meditation “Christian suffering”). You might be amazed to find that the scripture saying [teaching] God is controlling [manipulating, stage-operating] absolutely everything does not exist in the Bible!
Second, where did Jesus make this statement (Jn 1:14; 8:28; 14:16-17,24,26-27; Rev 22:18-19)? No, what we find instead (Mk 7:13; 12:24) in Scripture is that what is stated in, for example, Jn 1:12,17 and Rom 8:14; hence 1 Cor 10:13-15; Eph 4:3-8; and Phil 3:9!! Note that Jn 1:13 is speaking of the re-birth as in Jn 3:3, not that God manipulates the thoughts and results of all men! Jn 1:13 is saying that the re-birth only happens by God’s grace and righteousness (Truth as in Jn 8:32,36; 14:6) alone when we choose to follow Jesus Christ and [allow] His Spirit (Christ) in us as a perfect Guide (Jn 14:26) – no man can save himself [by following a Law or rules] – hence Jn 1:17; Rom 3:20; 7:4,6; Gal 5:4,18; Jn 14:6; and Acts 4:12 (expanded on in meditations such as “Mixing Old and New” and “The Covenant and the Law”).
Typical “church” views that God wants humans to roll into a hole He created for them, come hell or high water, is a wicked and false teaching. The fact is that God allows us to make our own choices on career, soul mate, address, and so on; but in His omniscience has “gone before” and prepared that place (Eph 2:10, Jn 14:23-26) where He foreknew we would end up by His grace and mercy. My wife can have a far better husband than me but while I am her husband, I must live faithfulness and commitment consistently and continuously [in my thought-life first], for better or worse, sickness and health, for richer or for poorer, as long as we both shall live… This is what His love [commitment] is about, a free choice by a free moral agent created by God. So then, get out of the “worse”, the “sickness” and the “poor”! Be a proper husband and father and priest! My employer can have a better employee but while I’m there, I must do unto others… and give my best. My self-satisfaction is my biggest enemy, but don’t go and deprive you in an effort of self-righteousness! (See p. 9 in “The Gospel” by the author).
Also, consider the meditation “Marriage” for a discussion on the fact that God does not manipulate and therefore is unlikely to “pre-arrange” a marriage. It is more about right choices and faithfulness and commitment and trust [faith] in what God has provided for us in this NT earth. Seek as in Jm 1:5…
“God will provide” (Gen 22:8)
More happened in this personal and experiential demonstration, from where we get the name Jehovahjireh, than we might think. (From Gen 22:14, יהוה יראה yehôvâh yir’eh, yeh-ho-vaw’ yir-eh’. From H3068 and H7200; Jehovah will see (to it); Jehovah-Jireh, a symbolical name for Mt. Moriah: – Jehovah-jireh). Abraham wanted to know (intimately, Gen 4:1) and see [experience, know] that day (Ps 118:24 points to Heb 9:26 while men in self-righteous attempts, get stuck at Gal 4:10). The role-play of the Father (Abraham), and the Son (Isaac) and the Holy Spirit (EliEzeker of Damascus, Gen 24:2) and His Bride (Rebecca, the useful wife as in Gen 24:11-20 who drew about 200 gallons of water, the church, found at the same well where Jesus about 1 900 years later spoke “politically incorrect” to the Samaritan woman in Jn 4 and later in Jn 7:38 before His price on His cross for us). Observe how the father knew his son would be resurrected (Gen 22:2,4) and how the son had to carry the wood (dead tree, cross, Gen 22:6; Heb 11:19; 1 Cor 2:2) up that hill, the same spiritual place about 900 years later, where David could say (Ps 121:1) and then ultimately John the Baptist (Jn 1:29) and John the apostle (Jn 19:16-18,30). Suffice for now to point to the meaning of this provision by using the word ראה H 7200, râ’âh. raw-aw’. This is aprimitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively): – advise self, appear, approve, behold, X certainly, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, X indeed, X joyfully, lo, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, X be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, (fore-, cause to, let) see (-r, -m, one another), shew (self), X sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, X surely, X think, view, visions. (Underlining emphasis mine to point to our response + ability and a God that is [agape] Love that will – by definition – never manipulate as man does in various forms of extortion, while pretending to be/do “good”…).
How does God provide?
It can be direct and via angels or humans or other creature, or nature; how do we know? There is a story of a soldier, for instance, that was separated from friendly forces that was completely outnumbered and outgunned, who fled and crawled into a shallow cave. Sitting inside, he heard the enemy approaching and prayed to God for help. The enemy got to the entrance, and after having a short discussion on whether they should throw a grenade into the cave, strangely left the scene without any further investigation to what seems an obvious hiding place. When the soldier later moved out, he found a spider’s web spanning the entrance.
But, what we will look at for the purpose of this short meditation, is at God as the Source and only Provider of life, creativity, goodness, Truth (Jn 8:32,36), etc. Consider Scripture such as Jn 1:1-4,12; 10:10; Col 1 :12-20; Rom 8:14,19; and so on). God will never forsake us. Heb 13:5 points to a Father, Son, Holy Spirit (Jn 4:24) that will never disappoint our spirit or soul or body (1 Thess 5:23; Jn 11:26)!! It is us who get trapped in false ideas (Mk 7:13; 12:24; 1 Pet 1:18) and so, instead of following Jesus Christ and His Word [command, teaching, precepts], talk like parrots after “church” men and the institutions they created. Very carefully consider and contemplate Dt 30:11-19; Prov 18:20-22; Is 5:18-21. Our salvation and well-being is for body as much as for the soul and spirit. All should be ever-lasting as a whole!
Yes, we see the results of our own choices and resultant actions. Or are you also backing the wicked “church” teaching that God makes [made] deformed and handicapped people for a special purpose? You of course, understand Jer 29:11 correctly; in that God does not say in the following verse (12-13) that an Almighty God needs sickness to show how good He can heal (Jm 1:13-23; Rev 22:11,18-19)! See the short meditation by this author called “Healing” as well, if you will, for a short discussion on this issue.
Just logically speaking, the prognosticators of this wicked god who causes deformities and handicaps, should then also teach that this god have caused numerous mothers to take [consume, use] substances that caused these defects in their yet unborn children, or that he even killed some mothers during childbirth; or that God caused defects and anomalies in the human DNA. This is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is ridiculous and devoid of reason or any accurate knowledge of a Perfect Father-God. No, the only real handicap here would be the wicked mind (2 Cor 10:5; Is 54:13-17). God gives [designed, originated] Life and this same God our Creator gave us this privilege out of His goodness, mercy and grace. No man can earn [deserve on own merit or that of his human ancestors’ merit] to live, thus we have no right to live – it is a privilege, a gift (Ezek 21:27; Rom 5:12,17-18; 6:23; note that Heb 9:27 is explained in the meditation “The Testimony” on around page 5). In the only One Who’s right it is, in Him alone we have the privilege of existence – His Name is Jesus Christ (Jn 1:12; 3:16; Gal 3:29). We see then what is a disturbing and shockingly distorted teaching: that a Perfect Creator Father will make a defect child [human, or beast]. What would this purpose be – to show that a Perfectly Good God can heal?? So these wicked teachers then teach this nonsense and “Christians” buy these ridiculous lies?
Note on God’s [OT] guidance. We read Rom 8:14, Jn 14:26; and so on. Then we read at least 24 times in The Bible – before Jesus’ ascension – where lots were cast, even by priests (Neh 10:34). For that matter, the urim (H224) and thummim (H8550) were apparently used exclusively by the high priests as [unspecified] articles when the high priest would seek God’s counsel for all Israel (Ex 28:30; Lev 8:8; Num 27:21; Dt 33:8; 1 Sam 28:6; Ezek 2:63; Neh 7:65). Ironically this casting of lots could acknowledge the existence of random events and the admition that they could not hear [then] from God in a [more] clear way! We today, also have Heb 13:5 to consider. The idea of lots cast, however, probably merely implies cleromancy as simply a form of sortition, or casting of lots, in which an outcome is determined by means of what normally would be considered as random to alleviate partiality such as nepotism, politics, favouritism, and so on. The intent with casting lots seems in this context to be an honest [desperate] attempt to be impartial but also that they seemed to believe that the preference of God (or some supernatural entity) will so be revealed (Like Solomon apparently stated in Prov 16:33). Examples of lots cast are referenced in Lev 16:8; Josh 18:6-10; 1 Sam 14:42; 1 Chron 24:31; 25:8; 26:13,14; Neh 10:34; 11:1; Joel 3:3; Obadiah 1:11; Jonah 1:7; Nahum 3:10; and perhaps most significantly Ps 22:18 with Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:24. Also, of course, Acts 1:26.
Note at Prov 16:33. This passage can of course also reveal that God did not control the dice as if all events that seem accidental are in fact all controlled by God! Because this would imply fatalism and that God [that is Love] is a manipulator and such an idea would contradict the numerous instances where The Bible stipulates and give examples of the results of exercising our free will (as in Jn 1:12-13; 3:16) and that we as people should be responsible in our choices. No, this passage very plausible just states the general fact that God is supreme and that His perceived will and unfathomable love for us – as in Jer 29:11 and the meditation “God is Love” – cannot be altered by our actions [shortcomings and little faith]; but that we have a choice [and hence responsibility] to exercise our trust [faith] in Him alone and then by at least knowing His will better (Jn 6:32-33, 48-50,63 with Jn 1:1-4,14!) If not so, Heb 11:6, for one passage, would not make sense. So, it seems to rather teach us that God knows our thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, purposes and endeavors and that we, to reciprocate our love (Rom 12:9), must get to know Him better [more accurately, Rom 10:1-4; 12:1-2] as well; and that we should in fact not tempt fatalism – although we can with the free will God gave us – but should instead know God’s “heart”, His council, precepts and desires for us from His Word and from what Jesus revealed to us (Jn 1:1-4,14,17; 14:6-26; Phil 3:9) and still does by His Holy spirit (Jn 4:23-24; Jn 14:26; Rom 8:14). Our more accurate understanding of God [His nature and character] is what is attempted to be discovered in this meditation as a whole, so please read it to its end?
Regarding Solomon and him given as an example to/for us (2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Cor 5:13); refer to the discussion about Solomon in the meditation “Rapture raptured”, note 4, about the “The sign of a beast”, with the six paragraphs following exploring the meaning of “The beast” on p.10 [of that meditation]. Grasping Heb 11:13,39,40 correctly is at stake, the same stake as mentioned by our Lord Jesus Christ – after His ascension – in Acts 26:14; hence Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 1:17-2:2! Feel free to correct/contact this author on firstname.lastname@example.org… or just be blessed?
The immediate paragraphs above can be applied in practice to the idea that we can play the lottery and so try to get God involved to either reveal the “winning” numbers in some supernatural way, or manipulate the “machine” to issue our [randomly] chosen numbers! The idea might stem from the indications that they (the priests) used to cast lots apparently believing that God would somehow supernaturally furnish the better choice (through the urim and thummim?) when they became stuck between options (Ex 28:30; Lev 8:8; Num 27:21; Dt 33:8; 1 Sam 28:6 (Prov 1:24-30?); Ezekra 2:63;Neh 7:65 and even Acts 1:26). The comparison is however, not quite compatible [valid] because the lottery leans more to greed and obtaining unearned riches in a very lazy way (for both the player and the government) via a corrupt [government] system.
Here is a short list of what could be wrong in such reasoning: (1) It places trust and hope on a false god of luck to satisfy an inordinate desire for wealth (1 Tim 6:9-11; 2 Tim 3:2-5); (2) The desperation probably stems from unbelief that God has provided us with talents and abilities (Eph 1:3); but probably simply our plain laziness; (3) We are prone to ascribe the results [falsely] to God in disappointment [resentment] when such “prayer” to “win” the jackpot is not granted (Jm 4:3-10?); (4) God cannot be made an accomplice to a crooked system whereby a government legalize [for them] what is considered illegal for their citizens without the government’s approval first [to get a cut, share]; (5) The ethics are questionable for enrichment to corrupt governments. Note the disproportional pay-out to someone who has 5/6 numbers right – typically a mere 0.005 % of the “jackpot” and/or the amount received by the players. Probably the only good of state lotteries is that it can help us fathom the probability of Jesus not being the Messiah [not being who He claimed to be] , for some mathematician is said to have calculated that the prophecies Jesus fulfilled would roughly equate to winning 22 consecutive American state lottery jackpots by betting the same number all 22 times. So no, “winning” a lottery rather simply insinuates the player (probably poor at algebra) wonder above wonder happened to get the [pseudo] random number right against virtually impossible odds and probably just shows that minute random possibilities do exist.
But, I bet the reader now has had enough of this?
Note at Jer 1:5. Does this mean malformed or handicapped people were so created by God? Some of them even travel extensively with the testimony that claims God created them handicapped to be a strong witness. This is absolutely irreconcilable with a God of Love that gave us a free will and does not need evil to show His goodness! Hear Jesus in Jn 10:10 and think about it carefully. Jer 1:5 would rather be a manner of expression of God the Creator that designed and created life (Gen 1:27-28; Mt 19:4-6). Just as God does not arrange marriages and prevents divorce [interfere against our will], but rather declares that the institution [prophetic design] called marriage is of God and cannot be altered by man with alternatives (with ideas such as “same gender marriages” – refer to the meditation “Homosexuality”). The first man [Adam] and the first woman [Eve] were created by God with the capability and capacity to [re-]produce the rest of mankind as their offspring. Man was given authority more than realised by most (Mt 9:8; Heb 2:8; even Hos 4:4-11 and Is 5:18-21!) People – especially the religious – display this tendency to avoid responsibility and blame God for things that have gone wrong. Consider the meditations “God is Love” and “The Gospel”.
Consider the meditation “Trinity Doctrine” by this author. God is beyond our feeble suspicions of evil.
God’s grace is unconditional, otherwise it cannot be called grace anymore (Rom 11:6; 3:24-28).
Christianity is not about getting God to give, but to release what He has already provided in Christ.
As a “bottom line”, God’s will [intent, purpose] for us is to be a mature son [child] like Jesus demonstrated (Eph 1; 4:12-20; Col 1; Jn 14:11-15). Can you see Heb 11:39,40 with Jn 10:10; 11:26?
Religious institutions promote the idea of “casera sera”, but is inconsistent and utterly selective because the same people will try to get help (healing, assistance, gifts, etc). If they truly believe that God’s will for them is suffering, calamity, infirmity, poverty, etc. – why go against “God’s will” to get out of it? Many act out roles as “sufferer’s in/for Christ” because they claim to be “taking up their cross” for Him. This is absolute nonsense. Jesus provided for us to have abundant, immortal Life. Mt 10:38 [Jesus] is saying that we are supposed to conform to His example in living, only dying to “self”. He was also warning those that preach and live His message of grace & everlasting [immortal] life, that we will suffer the same [social] boycotting and hate from the religious people that He did. Peruse Mt 10:1-42 (v 38); 16:24; Lk 9:23; 14:27 with Rom 6:6 Gal 5:4,11; 6:14; Phil 3:18; Col 1:20; 2:14; 3:1-17; Jn 5:18. Do you understand why Paul made the statement he did in 1 Cor 1:23; 2:2? Have you considered the exchange (Is 53) and the provision (1 Jn 3:8) of Jesus Christ on His cross? Jesus’ mission is not ours, it is done. Our commission is Christ in us and us in Him (Col 1:27; Jn 17:15-26). He came to give us abundant Life not death (Rom 8:11; Jn 5:37-47; 6:48-50; 8:51; 10:10; 11:25-26; 12:50; 1 Thess 5:23)!
The false teaching of God’s absolute rule implies that God manipulates as a godfather and contradicts Him as a Father-God. It implies God is underhanded by pretending to not forsake us, but then uses the devil as a dog on a lead, or as a messenger or is an accomplice with Satan to manipulate us to Him! Satanic lies are saying that God causes death, sickness and calamities, and that God uses the devil so that eventually absolutely everything is “for the better” or “good”, misquoting Rom 8:28. What utter nonsense! Rom 8:28 talks of “labor” [as in birth, bringing forth, not labour as in works]; it talks of “taking hold together” [as in being a partner with God in spirit and in Truth, in harmony with His will, closer to Jer 29:11]; it talks of verse 26; and it talks of vs. 29-39; it talks of vs. 1-19. The “all” that works together, are at least (a) Holy Spirit, (b) our spirit, (c) faith, (d) Grace, (e) Love [God]… it is not all calamities and wrong and hurt and trash that was supposed to not happen (Jm 4:7)! Think about it!
A probable cause for misconception on the sovereignty of God, can also be wrong teaching (Rom 10:17) on Scriptures such as Jonah 20:9 and Ex 32:10-14!! But have you considered Ex 32:7,9; 20:19-21? Was God evil and Moses righteous [good], and did Moses get God to change from evil to good [repent, change His mind]? Of course not! God is omniscient and eternal, and had different scenario’s at hand that He could deal from; but God did instate Gen 1:26-28 (Num 23:19). He completely gave [away] His authority on earth to man (Heb 2:8)! Man still wrestle with this enormity, and the more “modern” they become [blinded by our own technology and philosophy, with abilities given by their Creator], the more they give away [loose] their authority to a defeated foe (Col 2:15)! God [Love] will not manipulate! He wants a genuine relationship of genuine trust in Him. When we fully trust His Word, we will believe Him and act on His Word. However, when we try to disregard Him, we might also say Jer 20:7-12a. Jer 12b still needed Jn 16:33; Mt 11:28-30; Rom 8:14-17; Eph 2:4-22! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!
Another misunderstanding from OT examples could be Job 3:6. Refer to Gen 1:26-28; Jm 4:7 (note that no age or religious/social status is prescribed to resist the devil) and Job 3:25. Observe that God gave His authority on earth [away!] to humans with our free will [to choose who to trust]. Adam gave this authority away [unnecessary, Rom 5:12] and the Last Adam has won it back (1 Cor 15:45; Mt 28:18). For the fuller meaning of this exchange, see the meditation “The Testimony” by the author, and brace yourself!
Now, in Christ only, have things changed (Rom 3:20-28; 8:29-39) and are we enabled (Phil 4:13). Actually, it has been the same all along (Dt 30:10-19; Jn 1:1-4; Col 1:16)!! Slowly digest Is 5:18-21 and Hos 4:6-16. God could not just take back the authority He gave man, He had to be just as the Source of righteousness, and therefore provided Ezek 21:27 – a Son of Man that as a Man and behalf of man[kind] could win back that authority (Mt 28:18; 1 Cor 15:45). Yes, Jn 3:16 is true! Note that Rom 10:9-10 does not require membership to a “church” or attending “church” services – you are the Church. Read the meditations by the author entitled “Church”, if you will, if you are shocked by this statement.
If you still cling to an insecure and wicked god who manipulates people to him by using the devil underhandedly [“under cover”] “so that we can see how good he is”, just contemplate Eph 1:3-23.
See how religious leaders and preachers today try to cover up their false teachings and ineffective “church-life” by claiming that God causes calamities to get people closer to Him! Their audiences (congregation) heat the pews Sunday after Sunday and despite all their prayers and efforts remain in the same situations. Why do Christians not ask these heretical preachers to explain Mt 15:6-9; Mk 7:13; 12:24?
Even temptation is only possible if you want to be tempted! It is the sign of a beast [without spirit, in lust and greed] that seeks its own self interest (Jm 1:13-17; 1 Cor 10:13; Jn 10:10). For example, would you hardly be tempted to eat a box of dog poop! Now read and grasp Rom 12:9 and see what it implicates and results in when you tolerate wrong teachings [heresies, iniquity] and ignore 1 Cor 6:16-20 and cling stubbornly to traditions of man. You can make the Word Of God to no effect by giving more weight [trust, faith] to doctrines [explanations, ideas] of man than the Word of God (Jn 14:1; Mt 6:33; 17:5)! And this is only possible with your free will God has given you. Hear Jesus again in Mk 4:24; 7:13. Check your theology with that of Jesus Christ – is your final destination heaven? Are you “getting ready” to be removed from earth? Why, because you are more than a conqueror in Christ or because some confused and ignorant preacher says so? Try the meditation “Rapture raptured” for these ideas.
When we ask God for wisdom (Jm 1:5), remember to not do it in pride (vs. 6-8). In other words, not under law [a merit-system where you are attempting self-righteousness – Rom 3:20,23; go for Rom 3:21,22,24-28!]. Please see the double-mindedness in reliance on “self” whilst claiming to fully believe [trust and cling to] Jesus Christ! Jer 23:29-36; 19:11-13… play-acting in a religious thought-life…
Rom 8 speaks of a consistent and continuous Spirit-Life that will bring immortality, not the nonsense that false preachers advocate that each and every thing is God’s will and “for good”! Rom 8:28 is not saying that all [each and every thing, including all bad] is used [caused] by God in order to do “His will”! It is talking about Spirit Life (:26), and says that even if God is quite capable of using anything [even bad that has happened, not caused by Him] to work out good; that He is talking about a Spirit-filled Life with His Spirit, our spirit and faith in it and His unmerited favour called grace and mercy. And this is for those who love Him (according to His definition of Love, Rom 12:9; Jn 14:15-21,23-26) and says what Jesus [God] has said all along (Is 55:8-11). This will result in good fruit [answered prayers, Jn 14:10-14; 15:1-9] which will cause joy (Gal 5:22)! See the relationship vs religion.
And how can I be preaching this message of God’s grace, mercy, goodness, glory, Love and our free will – opposing those that blame all bad things on God – if He did not allow me to? Think about it.
Carefully contemplate Jm 1:13-17; Is 5:20; Jn 1:17. Take a concordance and look up in your Bible how it repeatedly speaks of His GRACE and MERCY [that will endure forever]. Your heavenly Father is Perfect, stop defiling Him! God’s will does not happen automatically – we have to speak His Word in faith [trust] and in an accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ and His accomplished work on His cross. If we fail to live out 1 Jn 3:9-11, Jesus is still asking Jn 3:3 (2 Cor 5:15-21).
A magnificent redeeming truth, I believe, is the revelation that the “curse”, “wrath”, and “punishment” of God can be better understood by understanding it as a place [position], not a deed [act of God]. God placed the spiritual laws there, just as He placed natural laws there (Rom 8:1,2; Dt 30:19). The destroyer was made by God (Is 45:7; 54:15; Jn 1:1-5; Col 1:15-17). And although bad things that happen are in God’s will [permissive knowledge], are they not done [planned, caused, manipulated, approved, longed for] by Him. 2 Pet 3:9 also tells us that God is extraordinary patient, waiting for us to renew our minds (Rom 12:1-2; 2 Cor 10:5); He wants us to line our thinking up with His way of thinking – study Rom 8.
Note on Dt 30:7. God does not [cannot] “curse” the man He has made with a free will in the way some preach it! It is illogical to think that Jer 10:23, for example, is saying that man has no choice and is absolutely controlled and manipulated by God, and that God then “curse” the actions that He [God] Himself had the man done! This is absurd. Jer 10:23 is saying that in oneself, without God’s Guidance, we are doomed- by our self, hence Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14, Ps 37:7, 22; and so on. The word curse (H423 אלה‘âlâh) is from H422 (adjure); an imprecation: – curse, cursing, execration, oath, swearing. In context it means that God, in the Bible (2 Tim 3:15-17), declare where man finds himself that is an abomination to God (Prov 8:13; 11:20,21; 16:5; Rom 12:9). This Jesus (Jn 3:14) did similarly in Mt 23:13-15 by “cursing” (declare) to the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes (the fig tree) that they were doomed by their [own] stubborn self-righteousness (Jn 3:17-21; Rev 22:11-15). Carefully contemplate Jn 5:36-40; 13:17; 14:9-17,21-26; 15:7-11; 17:15-20; 20:21-23; Mt 5:8; Jn 1:18; 12:45… See the “roadmap” below for a pictorial explanation.
Following, is a short-hand-version of a “roadmap”-explanation of how we can perhaps better understand it: In the sketch, read C as Confess, R as Repent, B as Believe, and R as Receive… through the cross of Jesus, taking up our own [sacrifice the self]… The town [place] called “curse” [“wrath”, or “punishment”], is explained – in part – by 2 Pet 3:9; and the place [town] called “blessing”, by Eph 2:10…
Note how we draw to ourselves calamity with cords of iniquity, and that those cords can very possibly be none other than self-righteousness and hardness of heart towards God. Remember that Jesus pointed out that amazement [surprise] at His miracle-working power reveals our hardness of heart (Mk 6:6,52; 7:21; 9:19)! Do we see the hatred of God (Rom 12:9) for religion [as apposed to a genuine personal relationship] – Mt 9:14; 15:6-9; Mk 7:1-13? Do we know Ps 40 is all about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Who alone is our righteousness, and not we following a set of rules that was given unto them?
So then, contemplate the sketch below, to perhaps better understand this concept; but first, a few important notes applicable to this sketch as a description:
- We commence the travel along our path at our beginning, our start (Mt 19:4; Col 1:16-17). There already, exists a crossroads as we start in darkness and are supposed to get into the light. Ponder here Gen 1:3-5 with Jn 1:1-17; 3:17-21; 14:6. Note also even just Mt 13:34-35 (Ps 78:2); 2 Cor 4:3-7; 1 Thess 5:5-9; Rev 21:3-4, 22-27 (Col 1:9-20); also Ps 119:104-105; Prov 6:23; 2 Tim 3:16-17; even Prov 20:27 (13:9)
- The destination that God intended for us is a spiritual place where our perception [happiness] will be untainted. Contemplate here Jn 9:4-5,39 (3:17-21); 1 Thess 5:5-9 with the ideal dwelling place (depicted in the sketch as a “town”) mentioned in Eph 2:4-10 (just note that the word “predestined” in verse 10 means “planned beforehand “or “prepared [made available] ahead”, and not that you have no choice in this matter). Consider also Phil 4:4-9.
- The road or way to our place (our “town”) called “blessing” is only through Jesus Christ by God’s grace alone. Likewise the “short cut” (2 Pet 3:9) back after repentance, via the cross of Jesus Christ, paid for by His Blood. The meditation “The Gospel” expands on this. This “road” have identification markers along its way, such as humbleness, perceptiveness, receptiveness, obedience [to God’s Word, The Bible and an accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ – Jn 1:12-17; 3:17-21; 14:6,23-26; Rom 8:14-17; 10:1-4; Col 1:9-10; 1 Tim 2:4-5].
- The alternative road, self-righteousness, leads to disaster [self-destruction], and hence the place called a “curse”. Markers along this way will be things such as indifference towards God’s Word [The Bible, the precepts of Jesus Christ – 1 Jn 2:4; Gal 1:6-9], hardness of heart (Prov 22:5; Mk 4:13-19; 23-24; Heb 3:8-19), unbelief in God’s Love and grace, ignorance (Hos 4:4-10); neglect, religious [external] pride and arrogance (content sounds dangerously close to contempt); and so on.
Now, with the above in mind, please ponder the sketch below…
Note. Obedience is to God’s Voice (Jn 10:27,28), not law (self-righteousness, Rom 3:20; Gal 3:11,12; 5:4,18). Note also, that a “command” [Jn 14:15, Word, teaching, precept, guidance] of God, is not a “law” [“if you, then I”]. A covenant is provisional (Dt 28), grace and mercy is unconditional (Rom 11:6). Contemplate Col 1:13-22 and Jn 1:1-5,9-17; 3:17-21 concerning the darkness and light depicted above.
Note that Is 5:18; Acts 10:38 and Jm 1:13,17; 4:7 (for just four Scriptures) clearly say that God does not control every single thing! This doctrine of “Sovereignty” has been a gross misrepresentation of God in the church for too long. Even these prognosticators of this idea [that God causes all, including bad], is not consistent, for you will often observe them go against their own belief (“God’s will”) by obtaining help or trying to get healing! Think about it. Those “cords of iniquity” (in Is 5:18) that people draw calamity to themselves with, is in essence, self-righteousness [law-mentality, distrusting God’s Voice]. We should have enough trust [faith] in Jesus Christ, to follow [heed] His Voice (Jn 10:27,28; 14:23-27). If you have enough trust in Jesus Christ, you will be able to cast the law (mountain in Mk 11:23; Gal 4:21-31) away, and follow His Voice! How can you even think God cannot lead you right (Rom12:9)? What else than self-righteousness [law, 2 Cor 3 leads to 2 Cor 4:3-7] blinds man to God’s ability and Righteousness and make man think a man can use rules to “check up” on God’s guidance?
As a summary then, consider the following:
– God’s sovereignty does not mean He controls each and every thing, it means He is the Supreme and Absolute Chief, Ruler, Emperor, King. It means He is unlimited, effectual, efficacious, efficient, excellent… It means the dictionary definition, not the religious one!
– God does not do all, but He can certainly use all [not orchestrate all, or manipulate all]. Jm 1:17; Jn 13:17.
– God gave us an ability to hate. We should hate [loathe] what is not of God, we should hate falsity. Consider Rom 12:9; Prov 8:13; 11:20,21; 16:5; Jer 23:10-14; Rev 2:6; Amos 5:14-15; Tit 1:13-14; Col 2:20-23; 2 Tim 2:21-22; Rom 6:7 and Phil 1:21 is advising dying to “self” (Col 3:3). This should be understood to mean the self-righteousness in trying to follow the law or religious traditions for salvation (Rom 3:20; 7:4,7-10; 10:11-19; Gal 3:11; 5:4; Jn 15:1-8 (“commandments” in v 10 means “Words”, “teachings”, not the 10 commandments given “unto them” – Neh 9:14; Rom 9:4-12; Gal 3:19).
– God is not the author of calamity and heartache; if you resist the devil he will flee from you (Jm 4:7). Don’t let thieves steal your sonship (Jn 10:1-10, 27-28). Is 55:13-17; 2 Cor 10:5.
To perhaps better understand how everything can be in the will of God, without God ever doing what is bad (Is 54:15; Jm 1:13-17), the following explanation might help. Remember that God did create Satan (Jn 1:1-5; Col 1:15-17; Is 45:7; 54:16), but carefully read Is 54:12-17 and realize this destroyer is there to destroy what is evil (thoughts and words not consecrated to God), and has nothing on the child of God who realizes his inheritance in Jesus Christ. Men, through their own attempts (not Scripture), have come up with doctrines to try and defend God. He is God and does not need man to defend His perfect wisdom (2 Chron 6:14; Is 44:8; 45:5).
Never forget that – for all of us – the will of God is [for us] to be in Christ and have His Spirit dwell inside of us [permanently, habitually, continuously]. Consider Rom 8:11! This does not matter at all where we are geographically or according to a status given by man (Acts 10:34-36). You can do what you want and live where you want but to be in God’s will, you have to know Jesus Christ personally and follow His Voice inside of you always! Then you will, in all and whatever, have joy unspeakable and His peace. This is the peace between God and man that only Jesus Christ paid for as the Lamb of God, not the false notions of “peace” between politicians and between other people in religious play-acting.
With this in mind, God`s will can perhaps still be seen in three distinct forms (refer to the sketch above):
1. The decreed will of God. This is what will [has to] happen (Gen 8:22; Jn 3:16; Rom 10:9).
2. The perceived will of God. This is what He wants for us, for example Gen 22:17 (Gal 3:16,29) for our benefit! To be like Him (not be Him!), to be Christ-like (like Jesus, not Jesus, but Christ – His anointing, Spirit – in us), means we resemble the characteristics of Jesus (thus God the Father – John 5:19). By expecting His children to heed His Word (will, wish), implies we have a response + ability to choose right (above wrong) – Rom 8:14. We were made to the image of the Triune Godhead (“We” in Gen 1:26); and 1 Cor 15:1-4 sums up again how, through what Jesus (alone) did for us, we can be reconciled (back) to this personal relationship with God the Father. Rom 6:3-5 was explained by Derrick Prince as riding a lift (Elevator!) With the “B” meaning basement (burial/baptism) and then being able to press every button (reaching any floor). The burial signifies the death to “self” (Col 3:1-3), death to all attempts at self-righteousness, that includes trying to win favour with God through works (law). Rom 3:20; 7:4,6,10; 8:1-4; 10:1-4; Gal 5:4; and so on might help.
3. The permissive will of God. When God allows, it is not to say He agrees. When we go outside His perceived will (His provision for us, in His all-knowing, omniscient wisdom) by applying our will without hearing from Him (asking for His counselling), and not taking the thoughts (Satan’s attacks) captive, we end up in the “place” where we experience His “wrath”, “punishment” and “curses”. God can do nothing wrong or bad, so expel the thought of demanding from God to explain how He could allow this bad thing to happen to you! This is, by implication accusing the Creator with a very presumptuous “how dare You, God!” – all while we went into that “place” (Satan – or our “self” – only dropped that thought in the mind of “completely innocent me”)! That was not His deed, but that of our enemy, the old, carnal self (Rom 8:7), or Satan, or just our plain stupidity, ignorance or disobedience [inherited old nature, Adam]… Did your child (or you) ask God if he/she should go there then before he/she got into that tragedy? Did you heed that “little voice” saying “leave the phone” when your small child drowned?. Note how even Ex 20:18-21 clearly reiterates the personal, intimate relationship. Dt 28:2,15 mention the results of heeding the voice of the Lord your God (Jn 10:27)!! Throughout the Bible you see God in His loving-kindness, looking at your heart (innermost centre, core) – He is not the impersonal, distant and factitious “god” mankind defined and invented and called “religion”! He is the ONE and only living, creating, saving I AM of Ex 3:14 and John 6:20 (I AM; stop being afraid!)…; 4:26; Mark 14:62; John 6:48,51; 9:5; 10:7,9-11; 13:13; 14:11,20; 15:1,5; 18:5,6,8; Acts 9:5; 22:8… I AM is not I BECOME [one day]…
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; Jm 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 meditation “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; 2 Cor 5:19; Rom 8:2; 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 meditation “Prayer” with Scriptures such as Jm 1:5-8,17 and 4:1-6? In summary then, God is 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.
To hear His voice (Dt 28:2,15; Rom 8:14; Jn 10:27-28) implies you receive continuous information, advice and counsel [about LIFE] first hand! A revelation to me was that – just as “curses” [resultant adversity] is a place we ourselves were deceived into going to (Jn10:10), are “blessings” [prosperity, profit, gain] also a “place” rather than a direct intervention [act] of God that we are allowed to end up in – Jesus, Jn 13:17! We should ask, seek, knock – we need to walk with God, watch Jesus so closely, that we see that blink of His eye when the right opportunity comes our way. But, alas, if we are too haughty [full of ourselves, anxious in pride and distrust and unbelief], we will miss that “blessing”. He is honest, gentle, meek (not weak!) and genuine and will not violate your amazing precious will He gave you.
Note at Is 55:10. If we understand the Word [and Spirit] of God, we’ll recognize Him (Jn 1:10) as a Person from just Jn 1:1-4,14. Of course this Word of God can therefore not return void without accomplishing what He was sent out to do! (Is 55:11, even verses 12-13)!!! God’s spoken blessing and curse is therefore possibly a declaration of a resultant activity with an effort from our side that showed trust in the predictions of its outcome; rather than Him using voodoo-like manipulation and a type of stage-control! This is possibly exactly why God does not want us to have anything to do with witchcraft and magic [trickery, falsity]. This is expanded on in the meditation “Pornography and witchcraft”. In Is 45:9 God says “I declare things that are right”. Of course the initiative for our salvation[plan] and righteousness is from God [perfection], but in His unfathomable Love and grace, has He given us a genuine free will. Who better knows the outcome of trusting, following and clinging to His guidance, other than God? We therefore should connect Is 55:9-10 with 2 Cor 5:17-21!…
To bless (or curse) someone. We’ll now continue with the ideas on this subject from page 1. First, contemplate Mt 18:18 and Jn 15:5 (Jn 14:6). This seems to limit, that we can only declare what is proper and lawful what is already so in heaven, likewise regarding what is improper and unlawful. This is not a problem to Heb 2:8, considering references such as Mk 11:24 or Jn 14:12-14 in the context of Eph 1:3-14 or 2 Pet 1:3-21! The meditation “The Testimony” expands on this. This is a crucial understanding! Hear Jesus in Mt 6:10 and seriously ponder with it Balaam that could not curse even the hard-headed and stiff-necked Jews (Is 46:13; Dt 9:6; 31:27; Jer 17:23; and observe their participation in Acts 7:51-53. The meditation “Israel racism” expand on this); and see then Who Balaam got a glimpse of in Num 24:17 (Jer 1:11; 23:5; Zech 9:9); Consider 1 Pet 1:18-20 (Jer 31:29,31; Jn 4:38; Eph 1:3. For Gal 6:7 in context, refer to the meditation “The Testimony”). Second, note Rom 12:14-21 (Mt 5:44-48) regarding harmony and Jesus’ command that we must love each other (Jn 15:12,17; 1 Jn 3:8-11; also Eph 4:3-6; Mt 5:21-26). Note that, to understand “bless” and “curse” as verbs in the sense that a condition can be imparted to another person or persons as if the recipient will have no control over it, is nonsense; for it implies the same mechanism as in witchcraft or some form of sinister voodoo control. God is not a manipulator and is consistent (Heb 13:5,8; Jm 1:17), and will therefore not remove anyone’s free will [ability to exercise your choice]. Because God [Love] is not a manipulator, is witchcraft no part of Him and why we should have absolutely nothing to do with it (the section “Witchcraft” in the meditation “Pornography, Witchcraft” expand on it with scriptural references). The articulation of “blessing” someone, seems therefore more accurately expressed as a declaration of a positioning [realms of body, soul and spirit] that you hope someone to end up in, and accompanies the hope [trust, faith] that the recipient will actively contribute towards that perceived will in agreement. This gives more practical meaning to concepts such as admonish and Scriptures such as 2 Tim 3:15-17 that works [labour, as in giving birth] of a new creature as in Rom 8:19,28 and 2 Cor 5:17; and so together result in a certain blessing to the recipient in 2 Tim 3:17. Even the giver when considering the beatitudes in Mt 5:4-11. Observe – especially – Mt 11:6 (Heb 11:6)! Also, ponder Mt 13:16-21; 21:9; 23:39; 24:46. Even the very popular Jer 29:11 continues therefore with verses 12-14! Observe even the effective declaration “But” and “Because” with another outcome than what was declared as a hope [wish, perceived will of verse 11], in verses 17-19. Likewise the “curse” as a result in verses 21-32.
If our blessing or cursing could affect someone without their consent or without any wilful action on their side, why then would Jesus point out that the sun rises over the wicked [as well] and that rain falls upon upright and wrongdoers alike? (Mt 5:45; Lk 6:27-28,32-33) It seems clear from Lk 6:43-45 that we all remain responsible for our own actions and even [all of our own] words (Mt 12:35-37).
In the meditation “Tithing”, it is put like this: The religious (Jn 3:3) scared by a “curse”, or even trying to use it like magic (voodoo) for control, must still get the revelation that God is Love (see the meditation “God is Love”). “Curse” or “bless” is not to be understood as a verb [magic] but a declaration of either an observation where someone has ended up or a position where someone will probably end up in if no alteration is made by choice (Rom 8:14; Jn 14:6, 26), such as unselfish living (Mt 7:12). A “blessing” is therefore not a sanctification that can be imparted from one human to another (Jn 3:16-21; 14:6; Phil 3:9; Eph 1:3-10) but rather a good wish or hope or declaration [observation] that someone will be [or has ended up] in a good spiritual position. You cannot bewitch [“bless” or “curse”] someone into a condition or state without that person’s co-operation, for then that person’s free will has to be removed. God is Love and will not remove anyone’s free will (God is not a manipulator or dictator). Similarly therefore, does any notion that anyone can buy/pay his way into heaven or God’s Kingdom, show a dismal lack of insight and knowledge of Love [God as a perfect Father]. Hear then, the Spirit of God in Rom 10:1-4; even 12:14 (13:14) and let’s read on…
Revelations from God are for those pressing on and pursuing Him in a personal relationship – Mt 7:8; Lk 8:10; then with Rom 8:14,17 can you reveal Mk 11:24! This implies that victory (Rom 8:29-39) is for those who press on in faithfulness and commitment like a proper bride, even when we mess up (and this is where God’s unfathomable mercy and grace, His perfect nature – Love – saves us) and even if we fall back sometimes. Then Scriptures like Heb 12:15-17 leads to Rev 3:21; 21:3, if 2 Cor 10:5; Eph 4:23-25. (Note that this falsity, in Eph 4:25 to be rejected, reads with 1 Jn 2:4; Rom 12:9!). Then we see that, in His omniscience, He knew our pride and we didn’t. We see that overcome means that you have already been in a place where you should not have been… and there’s only one way out – Heb 12:1-4 gives advise that is greatly under estimated – there is no other way than Jesus Christ… inside!… Read, if you will the meditation “Worldly philosophies”, and the discussion on aliens [to the household of God].
Note that the concept “overcome” implies that it’s not a catastrophe that you are [you’ve been] in a mess because it obviously means you can by your own choice victoriously get out, over it, on top, conquer, and crush that temptation beneath your feet permanently because your old self is dead and the new prevail!
God is omniscient and omnipresent – no one and nothing can shock Him! Slowly digest Heb 4:12-16.
For those who persist in the erroneous thought that God did not make man a free moral agent (with own will), think of it this way: in reply to the question “do you love God (Jesus)?”, what (how) do you answer? If you say yes, was it your own choice (response to what your loving Father initiated)? If not, how could it be real love (unfeigned love of 2 Cor 6:6)? If you were “pre-programmed” to love God, it can not be real – it can not be your love, but instead some form of indirect self worship that God forced to make Him think you would actually get yourself so far as to appreciate and love Him, if you could really choose! This is ridiculous reasoning. God has no ego problem and is no manipulative control freak and certainly is worth loving! He made you to (be able to choose to) listen to His voice, so He did give you the choice, the “honour” in Isaiah 43:3. He placed your will [choice] right smack bang in the middle of your self-centredness [soul]! This is proof that God has no insecurity whatsoever – He is the Source of all things good, all righteousness, Love, intellect, creativity, and so on. You have to exercise your will [choice] to accept Him [Jesus Christ], but after your re-birth, discover that that was His will (Mt 6:10) [He gave you your will]!!! Also Rom 9:3 hides the new revelation [of God] for you…
Here again we see how pre-election with God stems from His omniscience (foreknowledge) while “pre-election” with man can only mean prejudice (corruption)! To confuse man`s restricted reasoning with that of God is fatal (Num 23:19; 2 Pet 3:5)! Acts 10:34; Rom 2:11 and Deut 10:17 say God is certainly no respecter of persons, and has made no man to be lost or ignorant (2 Pet 3:9), so stop robbing yourself – and God – by adopting a fatalistic, passive doctrine of not having a choice or responsibility to be victorious and constantly happy. Prayerfully contemplate Mt 15:6; and if you still choose to ignore Mt 11:15, Mt 7:21 should be a wake-up call and while you are at it, try and think why Jesus would command Mt 28:19 (Jn 6:54; 21:17; Acts 20:28; Rom 12:20)…
Note at Jm 1:2,3. This Scripture is not saying we must embrace adversity! Adversity does not develop patience, persistent adversity will get you despondent and pathetic – be real. Adversity is from the enemy, not God, so resist the enemy – not God! What this Scripture is (more likely to be saying is that, when adversity confronts you, that you [in Christ] have reason [opportunity] to gladly [readily] demonstrate what Holy Spirit has already imparted into you – patience (Gal 5:22,23)! Rom 8:29-39; Phil 4:13; Col 1:2,27! Even 1 Jn 4:4-6!
The Amplified puts Jm 1:3 as follows: “Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.” (Bold emphasis mine). Note that patience is brought out [from within the reborn believer], and is not imputed from outside by trial (the devil).
Note at 1 Thess 5:18. This Scripture is not saying that you must thank God for adversity [as if He caused it]! It is saying that there is always an overriding, weightier truth: to be always thankful for, namely your life, your everlasting life; even your abilities and all the opportunities and your choice to utilize these opportunities to your advantage [and others around you]. Not in selfishness, but such that it will bring you glory that will give God glory (1 Cor 10:31; Rom 8:29-39). See Eph 5:17,20.
Our [everlasting] life should have infinitely more weight than hindrances and obstacles; and is not worth mentioning in the same breath, with the same mouth, the same heart and mind – in Christ. (Jm 3:10-11; 1 Pet 4:1-4)
See it like this: let’s say that you have just made a wholesome breakfast [with flair!] for someone, and they respond by complaining about it. If they continue complaining with no apparent valid reason other than disaffection, most of us might respond with something like “stop moaning and just say thank you”. We would probably continue with something like “there are millions of people who do not even have something to eat right now [enjoy the same privilege]”
Now rethink Jesus’ words in Mt 7:11. Jesus was not saying that God as Perfect Father gives what is bad for His children; Jesus was teaching that God is a Perfect Father Who only gives what is best for His children and need not to force us by means of anything bad. If we as man want to only give good to our children, why distrust [suspect] our Perfect heavenly Father of being unpredictable, mean and sadistic?
The argument that parents have to sometimes exercise “tough love” to improve the character and personality of a child, and so suspect God to do the same, is greatly misunderstood and construed. By “tough love”, we probably mean to be putting short-sighted emotion [glorifying the self] out of the way in order to make our subjects (children) learn to appreciate true godly [long term] values. Its about maturing.
And you think God is not the Originator [Source] of all Good (Jm 1:13,17)? We must be careful to not be more filled with pride before God than what we think we are! Carefully consider Is 5:18-21 again (Rom 8:6-8). Wrong [erroneous, ignorant, haughty] thoughts are like cords [of iniquity] whereby we draw calamity to ourselves! And if we were to trace all the poor links [people’s choices] in this chain, we would get to Adam; but praise God, we have Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:18; Heb 10:14; Rom 5:12; 8:1-3,31; and so on). God, as the Source of good, is not the source of bad as well! So, 2 Cor 10:5 and Is 54:13-17 should refresh our minds (Rom 12:1-3). God has no problem with emotion getting in the way of His perfect Love, grace, mercy, righteousness [in Jesus Christ] and authority. He will not manipulate you into a bad spot so that you are so forced to go to Him for help. The relationship He wants, is infinitely more sincere and beautiful.
We should not fall so easily for those whispers of “… did God not say?…” (Gen 3:1; 2 Cor 11:3), and be so quick to distrust God’s Word (Jesus Christ), by swallowing lies of thieves (Jn 10). If you as a human will not give your child cancer, or poverty, or calamity, to make them love you; how on this earth do you think will God – as a Perfect Father – do any such atrocious thing? Such thoughts are wicked.
Surely we can end up in [even be born into] bad situations, but that was not caused [initiated] by God! God [Love] is the Healer, the Savior, the Redeemer – not the accuser, thief, or destructor! Consider 2 Cor 5:7; 12:9; Heb 11:1-3; Is 40:28-29, Jn 9. Note that Heb 12:1-13 does not say that God will use sickness and calamity to discipline you! It is a grave error to confuse discipline with punishment. They are not the same! Discipline has more to do with how you do something [methodically, orderly, right] and punishment what are given to couch you into doing [right]. Jesus is the accurate and full expression of God the Father and went about only healing people, never making anyone suffer “to teach them a lesson” (Col 1:13-29)! Consider again Jesus’ words in Jn 14:9-27 before He went to His cross. Now all is paid and we are supposed to be more than conquerors, proclaiming and demonstrating His Light in us to the world.
Note at Heb 12:5-6. Carefully, first ponder Heb 12:25 (Heb 12:15-29). Also, carefully contemplate Is 54:4-17; Jer 31:29-34 with Rom 8:29-39; 9:25-26; 10:9-10 and Heb 8:12-13. The meditations “The Gospel” and “Mixing Old and New” expand on this; but for now, let’s examine our understanding of vengeance. Note at Mt 5:44 that the thrust of Jesus’ statements in Mt 5:38-48 seems to be that we are not to take matters concerning vengeance into our own hands and defend ourselves. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord” (from Dt 32:35-36; Ro. 12:19; Heb 10:30). Striving to vindicate self then actually shows a lack of faith in God keeping this promise. It also indicates spiritual “near-sightedness” which is only looking at the present moment instead of seeing things in view of eternity. An example of this is David in 1 Samuel 24 and 26. David had many opportunities to avenge himself but refused to do it. He trusted God to avenge and promote him (Ps. 75:6-7). As a result, all of God’s promises to David came to pass and in his old age, God showed David mercy (2 Sam. 15-18) even as David had shown mercy to Saul.
Even as Christ did not come to condemn the world (Jn. 3:17) and was not holding men’s sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19; I Thess 5:9), even so, we have been given the same ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19-20). For those who do not receive the love we extend to them but rather take advantage of us because of our “turning the other cheek” (Mt 5:39), God will repay (Rev. 13:10; 14:9-12). See also 1 Pet 2:18-25, with verse 21 referring to Mt 27:12-14; even Lk 23:24 with Mt 6:15, for those thinking they are in superior power. We will be (can in fairness only be) forgiven as we forgive others (Mt 6:10,12,14-15)… Ex 21 (vv 21-27) should be read as compensation, not retaliation [retribution]. Num 23:19; Is 55:8,9; Rom 3:4; 1 Sam 15:29; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:17,18 is [also] true!
So then, consider that God was saying that ultimately He would take all His vengeance on Himself (Jn 1:17; 3:16-21; 1 Thess 5:9), for those who would accept this amazing sacrificial payment by Jesus Christ [in faith, in trust in Him and by clinging to His precepts and guidance; even Jn 5:21-23; Rom 5:10; Rev 12:10-11; 13:8]; and that this proves His Love, Mercy and Grace as His commitment and even His Trinity as one God? And here we are, in our self-inflated self-righteousness and pride, reasoning no further than our own conceited, blinded self.
Next, after having at least considered vengeance, we read of Jesus’ teaching in Lk 11:11-13 and then Lk 15:11-32 (Lk 15:7-24 with Heb 12:9-10). More are given in this Scripture than we will cover in this short meditation, but (referring to the diagram on page 19 above), let’s just remind ourselves that God, as Love and a perfect Father, will rather allow us to choose between a good outcome in His presence (Rom 8:14; 13:13-14), with Him inside of us (Jn 14:26) on one side, and on the other side a place where spiritual deafness and blindness will cause us much grief that yet serves as our “correction” – without being extortion – to prevent us from ultimately self-destruct if we don’t repent (Rom 12:1-3; 1 Pet 1:14; 2 Pet 3:9). “Punishment” is then in effect caused by ourselves (Jn 3:17-21; Col 3:1-15; Rev 21:6-8); while adversity outside our control is exactly that when it happens and not as “sent by God”; but once we get into an adverse situation, do we have to get out quickly as God wants us whole in spirit, soul and body (Jer 29:11; Mt 10:8; Jn 10:10; also refer to the meditation “Healing”).
The application of Jesus’ teaching referred to as the parable of the lost son, mentioned in the paragraph above, extends much further than just the lost son. Observe at the very least the following: (i) God is dealing with all of us as His sons (Heb 12:7; Rom 8:14,16,17, 21; even Hos 1:10; Rom 9:7,23-27, Col 1:25-27; Jn 1:12-13; 3:16), (ii) Both sons got their equal share (Lk 15:12 with Dt 21:15-17; Rom 12:3; Eph 1:3) and so we also learn of the son that stayed in the household (Mt 7:22-23; 15:8-9?), (iii) the choices [free, voluntary will] the sons exercised (Lk 15:13-18), (iv) the unnecessary and self-focussed jealousy of the son that stayed in Lk 15:25-30), just as people within “the church” today tend to forget Rom 3:20,23,28. Then, (v) the irony of a Jewish man that landed himself in a place where he had to eat the food of hogs he thought was taboo to eat [as pork] in order to survive (Lk 15:16; noting the self-inflicted “chastisement” described in Jer 30:14, that God takes responsibility for in Jn 3:16; Rom 10:9-10; also reflected on further on page 30 in the note at Is 45:7). But also, ponder our perceptions and poor grasp exposed by Jesus in Mt 15:6-11; Mk 7:15; Rom 14:1-2; even Titus 1:14-16 and then Heb 12:15; Rev 21:27. Amen?
God as a Perfect Father gives life, abilities, provide opportunities and this we, as NT believers, should know [show]. We should be the Light [Christ] to the world. We should be the enlightened ones who show our understanding of this great principle, namely that God provides opportunities in His magnificent way of Love [trust, fellowship], and not through manipulation. In other words, does God not provide [give opportunities] through manipulating circumstances or people, but by allowing us to exercise our faith [trust] in the fact that He is the Provider [Creator] and will not leave us to suffer when we “go for it” (Heb 13:5; Jer 29:11-13). It is about a genuine, lasting personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not about lust and greed [self]. We must check our motive, not distrust [check-up on] God’s motive!
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 meditation “Christian suffering”. 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 Jm 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 merely continued traveling at the same slow pace 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 on Col 1:11. The “long-suffering” 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; Jm 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.
To endure a test, does not mean that you should (i) stay in the trial (adversity), or (ii) suspect God of orchestrating the adversity to see if you would fail (Jm 1:13-17; and God is omniscient). The argument often heard is that God tested someone because He knew they could handle the test. This is unscriptural and irrational. 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] to overcome random adversity or sly and/or vicious attacks from an enemy and so to truly gain and to be useful to others as well to provide help or sound scriptural correct [Godly] advice and pray effectively (Mt10:8. See meditation on “healing” and “Prayer”).
Similarly, as discussed in the meditation “Apparent Controversies in The Bible” # 5.40, was the wine Jesus provided at Galilee (Jn 2:1-11) unlikely to be so that they who probably already had too much (v. 7), could become [more] drunk (Jm 1:13)! No, this is not about alcohol abuse [to become drunk, intoxicated] but the hospitality [generous 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 Jm 1:5 and Rom 8:14; 12:9 (Jn 4:23-24)… No, Jesus possibly just demonstrated with this deed (His first reported miracle in His ministry, Jn 2:11) that must have puzzled the religious zealots, that He (God, Jn 1:1-5,10-17; 14:9-11; Col 1:17-21!) is not merely another fanatic religious bigot threatened by small-mindedness of mankind [He created]!… He apparently just did not want to see gloom thrown over this social event (Eph 5:32) and shows that God [Jesus] is not a stern distant detached being without a sense of humor (Heb 4:14-16)! Prophetically, we can of course imagine a connection between Jn 2:1-11 and Rev 19:7,9… perhaps even Daniel 5:23 and Rev 17:2. The writing was figuratively again on the wall (Dan 5:25-28). Somehow, Jn 3:16-21 springs to mind.
There is a glory mentioned in Hab 2:14 and in part what was manifested in Jn 2:11. The glory in Hab 2:14 is כּבד כּבוד (H 3519, kâbôd kâbôd), that is from H3513 and means properly weight; but only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness: – glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able). The glory in Jn 2:11 is δόξα (G1391, doxa) from the base of G1380; as very apparent, in a wide application (literally or figuratively, objectively or subjectively): – dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship. Both seemingly implying that despite the obvious showing that Jesus was no ordinary man [to cause this transformation]; was there a symbolic meaning that could perhaps be linked to even Ezek 39:19; Dan 5:23 and Rev 17:2! The old was gone and the new had come (Lk 5:36-39; 9: 62). The meditations “Mixing Old and New” and “The Covenant and the Law” expand on this.
Note at Dt 32:39. Before demanding from GOD to explain Himself to you, read v. 39b and verses 4-5, 16-21. The lesson is merely that no one (not even Solomon, Rev 13:18 with 1 Ki 10:14,18-20; 11:1-6!) can survive when going against God. This is not a [manipulating] threat; it is a fact [result]. This was also prior to Jn 3:16-21 (1 Thess 5:9; 2 Cor 5:19; Rom 8:2)!! Isaiah must have known [seen, heard from God] this fact, hence Is 5:18; 54:13-17. God is not a manipulative extortioner; some chooses wrongly their own destruction. False teachers are equally deaf to Hos 4:4-11, the last sentence in verse 14; Ps 119:104; Mt 7:20-23!
God as a Perfect Father gives life, abilities, provide opportunities and this we, as NT believers, should know [show]. We should be the Light [Christ] to the world. We should be the enlightened ones who show our understanding of this great principle, namely that God provides opportunities in His magnificent way of Love [trust, fellowship], and not through manipulation. In other words, does God not provide [give opportunities] through manipulating circumstances or people, but by allowing us to exercise our faith [trust] in the fact that He is the Provider [Creator] and will not leave us to suffer when we “go for it” (Heb 13:5; Jer 29:11-13). It is about a genuine, lasting personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not about lust and greed [self]. We must check our motive, not distrust [check-up on] God’s motive!
Note at Eph 2:10. The provision God gives is not through any manipulation. God created laws and principles that operate through our free will [choice], which is not manipulated like instinct or a robot’s pre-programming – intuition involves a response [choice] + ability [trust, faith] and a Voice that spoke. These choices will reveal if love is feigned or genuine (Rom 12:9).
Note 1 at Acts 17:26. We end up in places physical, geographical, and spiritual not through God’s manipulation [direct or indirect control]; but by our own free will, including that of our ascendants and our belief in them [tradition]. Contemplate Mk 4:23-25; 7:13,14; 12:24; now consider 1 Pet 1:18. God is omniscient and omnipresent and almighty [the Source of intellect and creativity and activity, etc.] and He just saw [declared] ahead where all the uncountable variables would culminate, intermittently and ultimately, and there He made available a choice called Jesus Christ – like everywhere else (Heb 13:5)!
To use a parable or analogy for Eph 2:10 and Acts 17:26: My youngest son was in an uncertain place spiritually. He had flunked his university studies and made to no effect the best accommodation and provision we could offer, and ended up staying with us again for “plan B”. A huge amount of money and five years were wasted. One morning, after having waited in vain on his return from another impromptu “night out” with “friends”, I was sweeping the garage floor, waiting on his return with some trepidation and concern. The space I was cleaning was where he could park the car (registered in my name) that he was using as if it’s his own. He clearly disregarded my advice and “proved” his legal emancipation by exercising his own free will – sadly with apparent disregard for any responsibility or obligation toward us as parents who love him dearly. Still I was preparing that place for him where he could park safely and enjoy the privileges of our household freely and safely by just [merely] making [his own] sound choice(s). Mostly, the place of concern is in my heart for having some of my blood and DNA in him and having been part of his life with realistic and well-intended expectations since before his birth. However, ironically and tragically, he seems completely oblivious to real adulthood and messed up the possibility [full potential] of benefit. I have also apparently been made an accomplice to his irresponsible and reckless conduct in that my parenthood [guidance] seemed to have failed my son.
Not long, and I received a call at 01:45 from this son, saying that he’d lost control and rolled this car. The same “friend” was with him. He did not (could not) ask that friend to help him then. They both were in trouble. Fortunately there were no injuries except financial as my uninsured car was a write-off. The point is that I felt honored that he called me first, in part because he did not make the stupid assumption that I had caused this accident to “get him closer to me” or manipulate him into approaching me for help. Why then, would clever human beings suspect and [falsely] accuse a perfect Father-God; especially from an erroneous interpretation of Rom 8:28? And why would clever human beings rather take [false and useless] help [erroneous teachings, ideas] from fellow humans in the same calamitous spiritual position? This is pathetic and requires our immediate repentance!
The wonderful fact that God is always available to help us, and has done so successfully already in Jesus Christ, does by no means make Him guilty of causing the calamities we end up in! This is reiterated in even just Is 5:18; Ps 23; Rom 8:29-39 and Eph 1:3.
So this is how I perceive it: God is love and does not manipulate through pretense or underhanded tactics. He as the one and only Creator is the Giver of Life and especially for those who accept His only salvation plan in Jesus Christ – eternal life. We, however, in our “maturity” and “adulthood” does the same with God a perfect Father as my son had done to me; only infinitely worse. We are blind to His notice in 1 Cor 6:15-20 regarding our physical bodies (just as my son used my vehicle as not intended); and we profess to understand, but is oblivious to what He prepared for us (Eph 3:20). Consider the meditation “The Testimony” for a marvelous and shocking revelation. God went before in His infinity, and prepared a perfect way. God, in Jesus Christ, overpaid outrageously for our righteousness by His grace and have provided for more than we grasp (Heb 2:8); yet we are puffed-up in self-righteous religion and stay blind to Love [God]. When we die from sickness or are without victorious spiritual authority we are not where we should have been and have flunked as well.
Note 2 at Acts 17:26. (i) Compare Heb 9:27 as discussed in the meditation “The Testimony” (p.7). The word men there, is anthrōpǒs  and is from anēr , a primary word actually indicating an individual man, a husband! Even just reading the context of Heb 9, we read in the very next verse (28) that so it is with Christ, having offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of all once for all… The judgement then, for all sin, was thus on Him that took it [death] on our behalf! It is saying that Jesus is the Lamb of God and the only Savior of all that believes this outrageous deed of love! He had to die so that we can live. Live for God, don’t pretend to die for Him! At any rate, when reading Heb 9:27, observe verses 11-18 in that same chapter and check the context with Scriptures like 1 Thess 5:9; 2 Cor 5:19; Rom 8:2-11; Rom 5:8-11; Col 1:20; 2 Cor 5:15-21; 2 Tim 2:11-17; Gal 4:4-12; Mk 1:15; Ps 30:5; and you Zion (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14) in Ps 102:15-28; 118:17-19 (Heb 2:8-18)… (ii) Now, in Acts 17:26, we find the same word men (G444).
A further examination of Acts 17:26
Read Acts 17:24-33 with references to the Greek concordance; and then, in context (2 Cor 10:5), consider the following, highlighting some key words…
Acts 17:24. (1) God is the Creator – refer to the meditation “Evolution”. (2) God does not dwell in buildings made by man (Acts 7:48).
Acts 17:25. (1) The word hands is from χείρ (G5495, cheir), perhaps from the base of G5494 in the sense of its congener, the base of G5490, but remarkably through the idea of hollowness for grasping. Contemplate here Jn 2:19-22 with Eph 1:17-23. Do not carry on if you have not read these scriptures. (2) God does not need the human race to run errands for Him as if He could not take care of himself.
Acts 17:26. (1) All nations is from ἔθνος (G1484, ethnos), probably from G1486; a race as of the same habit, that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan)! Now contemplate Acts 7:48 (17:24); 10:34-36; 17:5 with Jn 3:16-21. Read it, and then proceed. (2) If of men is from anthrōpǒs (G444), we are reading about none other than Jesus Christ, as pointed out in Heb 9:27 (i) above and Gal 3:16; and then we in fact are reading here of a people that follows [the precepts of] Jesus Christ – His Church [body]! (3) We then find that the word times is καιρός (G2540, kairos), which is of uncertain affinity; but very possibly a fixed special occasion, that is a set or proper time. Compare Heb 9:11-15; and χρόνος (G5550, chronos), that is of uncertain derivation but a space of time (in genitive case, and thus properly distinguished from καιρός (G2540, kairos). (4) The word bounds following is from ὁροθεσία (G3734, horothesia), which is from a compound of the base of ὅριον (G3725, horion) that is neuter of a derivative of an apparently primary word ὅρος horos (a bound or limit and by implication a frontier (region); and a derivative of τίθημι (G5087, tithēmi), a prolonged form of a primary word θέω (theō) which is used only as an alternate in certain tenses to place (in the widest application, literally and figuratively; properly in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different from G2476, which properly denotes an upright and active position, while G2749 is properly reflexive and utterly prostrate to advise, appoint, bow, commit, conceive, give, X kneel down, lay (aside, down, up), make, ordain, purpose, put, set (forth), settle, sink down. G5087 is a limit placing. The bounds we find here in Acts 7:26 can therefore in this context very possibly be the spiritual place as the church of Christ that Jesus paid for all of us following Him. Contemplate here Heb 2:8-18! (5) The word their is from αὑτοῦ (G848, hautou) that is contraction for self (G1438); in some oblique case or reflexive relation. (6) The word habitation is from κατοικία (G2733, katoikia) that refers to a residence but importantly and properly rather the condition and so by implication the abode itself (habitation).
The conclusion when reading Acts 17;26 is thus that if we consider that we should be a spirit [spiritual being] with a soul in a body, the meaning here could very possibly point to the fact that God had prepared a place of authority and wholeness for us in Jesus Christ; and not that God made us like little pre-programmed robots with absolutely no choice in our actions and outcome.
In summary, we read that God’s consistency, righteousness and Truth determines the fact that God will not make any human live within a certain geographical or spiritual boundary against that human’s own will [choice]. This understanding is in line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and can be reconciled with the reason for God having paid our ransom and providing an intercessor only in Him – Jesus Christ. If this were not so, then heaven and hell would also have been pre-determined and forced upon humans by God and would contradict even just the following scriptures: Jn 3:17-21; Prov 18:20-21; 2 Pet 3:9 with Jer 29:11; 18:7,8; Rom 2:4-11; 3:25-28; Gal 6:7-8… (Consider also the meditation “The Gospel” on this).
Note at Isaiah 45:7. God is the ultimate Authority, He alone is Lord. Father is God, Jesus Christ is God, Holy Spirit is God. He is one God revealed in three Persons so that we can know Who we are dealing with. He is a Provider, a Perfect Father; a Guide, Counselor, Teacher; a Savior, a first Born Son of Man, and a Friend. He does not do [cause] all on earth, He is above all (Eph 4:6). He does not cause calamity (Is 5:18-21), He is saying in Is 45:7 that if we want to – in feeble irresponsibility – blame someone else that He will take the responsibility by stating openly, “I gave life to you all, I gave you all a free will out of Love… I have done it”, says the Lord. The One with maximum authority says He gave us that will [choice] that we misused in distrust and ignorance despite the people He spoke through [ears to hear].
So in His ultimate and perfect responsibility He also provided our salvation/solution to all [any] by taking God’s wrath on Himself as the Lamb of God on His cross, once for all (Heb 10:5-39).
So consider Hos 4:6-7; Rom 16:19. See how false preachers can steal your true sonship and how we can blind ourselves through self-righteousness [law] – 2 Tim 4:2-4; 2 Cor 4:4-7; 11:12-15; 1 Cor 2:13-16.
Note at Rom 11:8 (Also Ex 4:21; Dt 29:4; Is 29:10; Josh 11:20). Are you quick to siding with those who immediately assume to accuse God with “Yes God, it is Your fault – you made us so!”? Then first contemplate the following with equal enthusiasm: Dt 10:16; 15:7; Job 9:4; 39:16; Ps 95:8; Prov 28:14; 29:1; Ezek 11:19; Heb 3:8,13; 4:7… observe that, as Isaiah 41:10; 63:7 also reveals, is it our own twisting [wickedness] to change a perfectly good property [will, the gift to may choose] and apply it to “harden” our own minds and instead follow the wrong person and idea! Indeed, Ps 132:3-5; Prov 6:4-23; 24:24-25, 30-33; Is 5:18-30; 56:10-11; Hos 4:4-11; Neh 3:18-19! Note in Rom 11:8 again, that God did not blind them but that the supposed “followers” do not know the character of their God. God just says He took (Jn 3:16-21) responsibility of having given man this ability to trust/follow Him. But most people and their preachers seem to still fail to recognize that the problem is the “self” with its own ignorance, arrogance, pride, haughtiness and self-righteousness. Such mindsets resist their own gift to be [truly] re-born. Yet, you read Jn 12;40 and still think God made certain people blind [against their will] while they wanted so desperately to see? Then consider Mt 11:25 (:15-30 with Jn 5:16-24); 23:16-19,24-28; Jn 3:3; 17-21; 9:30-41; Rom 11:7-12; 2 Cor 4:4-7; 2 Pet 1:9; Col 1:11-20; 1 Jn 2:11; Rev 3:17 (Hos 12:8)… Jn 4:24…
Then try and get yourself so far as to grasp God’s possible ultimate [?] will for us in Dt 30:19 (Jn 11:26) and see most “believer’s” response (Jer 8:3; Is 28:15) and study “The Testimony” by this author if you will. But alas, have learned people taught themselves lies and now spread those through their “accredited” institutions via empires built by these same men who seem to not know or understand God truly at all. And yes, we should understand God correctly!!! (Jer 9:3,5,6; Hos 4:4-11; Mk 7:12; 12:24; Jm 4:4; and so on). And if Mt 11:27 (Lk 10:22) comes to mind as a contradiction, first consider the context of Mt 11:25-30 (even Mt 11:15-24!); then also Jn 1:18; 3:35; 5:19-27; 8:19,28 (17:11,15-26); 10:15,38; 12:50 (with the meditation “The Testimony”); 14:10-17, 23-26; 15:1-17. Even Ex 3:14 (Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13)!
Equally, by the way, is Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16) quite able to use creative styles and expressions such as irony when He is “overheard” saying to His servant Moses, in a close conversation, “I have hardened Pharaoh’s heart!”. The outsider (“Alien” mentioned in the meditation “Worldly philosophies vs the Word of God”), will be revealed as superficial in his interpretation and miss the irony that – as a tragic joke, perhaps a form of satire – God and Moses there just “shook their heads” at this hardened Pharaoh and the observers opinions and false accusations that it was God who hardened this man and not a man’s conceited self-righteousness (because he had his people mesmerized into thinking he [Pharaoh] was a god). The same principle applies today with false teachers, preachers and their institutions that fails to get the message about self-righteousness – even in this literal demonstration! Selah.
Note at Heb 12:6; Jn 15:1-5; 1 Cor 11:32 How do we reconcile what have been said up to now with God’s discipline in Heb 12:6-7; 1 Cor 11:32; Jn 15:2 (Prov 3:11-12; Rev 3:19; Ps 94:12)? As far as the context of Heb 12 is concerned, we should perhaps first also contemplate especially Heb 9:8,11-14; 10:14-26; also Jn 14:26,27 and then note that it’s about (a) directing us in a non-threatening [not forcing in extortion, but a sure correcting, educational,tutorage] way; and (b) our consciences that should be purified from dead works and lifeless observances [religious self-righteous efforts] and even silence (Mk 8:38; Rom 1;16; 2 Tim 2:15) to serve the ever-living God as His true sons [children, Eph 4:12-15]. We cannot accept God’s full forgiveness (Rom 8:29-39) and still feel guilty before Him (1 Jn 3:20-21)!! But, when we make a wrong choice, or series of poor choices, we (a) have Jesus as our Intercessor (1 Jn 2:1) and (b) can certainly be helped [coached, even with disciplinary correction] back to the right place spiritually by any number of possible ways, especially after we (or someone else?) have asked God to help us! (See again the little “roadmap” above for this author’s belief that it mostly results in us realising we have made mistakes; when we wake up to the harsh reality that we’ve made our own poor decisions/choices). Note that this assistance [discipline] of our Perfect Father does not turn Him into a cruel sadist! Discipline is not the same as, and should not be confused with punishment! He will never kill, maim or hurt “innocent” people around us to scare or manipulate us [back] to Him!!! It is unlikely that God will even mutilate us (Mt 5:29-30). The “chastening” in Heb 12:6 (G3811, παιδεύω,paideuō, means to train up a child, that is, educate, or (by implication) discipline (by punishment but can also be by guidance or tutorage): – chasten (-ise), instruct, learn, teach. Like to a boy (as often beaten with impunity), or (by analogy) a girl, and (generally) a child; specifically a slave or servant (especially a minister to a king; and by eminence to God):Interestingly, G3817, παίω,paiō, is a primary verb; to hit (as if by a single blow and less violently than G1580); specifically to sting (as a scorpion): – smite, strike. God is not a sadist! He corrects once and it’s done with! G5180, τύπτω, Tuptō, is a primary verb (in a strengthened form); to “thump”, that is, cudgel or pummel (properly with a stick or bastinado), but in any case by repeated blows; thus differing from G3817 and G3960 (lâshan, is a primitive root; properly to lick; but used only as a denominative from kı̂ylay, kêlay, from H3557, kûl, a primitive root; properly to keep in; hence to measure; figuratively to maintain (in various senses): – (be able to, can) abide, bear, comprehend, contain, feed, forbearing, guide, hold (-ing in), nourish (-er), be present, make provision, receive, sustain, provide sustenance (victuals). So the Hebrew meaning seems to be in the sense of withholding; niggardly: – churl. The Hebrew (H 3956) even means to only wag the tongue, that is, to calumniate: – accuse, slander [by self-doing]. Even “Scourge” in Heb 12:6 (G3146, μαστιγόω, mastigoō, to flog), can be taken as literally or figuratively. The bottom line is that God is I AM and Love beyond our comprehension, yet does God have no bad whatsoever and will not therefore use anything bad to improve us. Discipline [order] and even punishment, can certainly be done with no trace of anything “bad” except the “bad’ in the fault/mistake/poor choice of the person needing the correction.
It seems therefore as if the place we end up in is more a reflection [shameful result, incrimination] of our own doing as God allows us to “bump our heads” or “burn our hands”. Sometimes these “bumps” can surely be horrendous when we fail to take heed or listen or perhaps even read properly and so fail to exercise our God-given authority (Mt 10:8)! Still, there is always the promise in Heb 13:5; Rom 8:29-39!
So, if we stop living with Christ permanently inside, we’ll shrivel and pine away and reap ghastly consequences that are results not designed as an extortionist threat, but ultimately a result [cost] that we have brought on ourselves by being oblivious to God’s pure and perfect Love [intent, design, plan, will, care, guidance and even discipline]. Still, instead, we put first our own lust and greed all while we try to bluff our way with religious liturgical externalt frivolities, then turn around only verbally with false accusations of calamities – that were not generated by a perfect God.
The Bible [God] expects us to make the right choices, to apply our will wisely, and to exhibit a positive attitude. So, what is an attitude other than [own] choice – use it for what it was designed for: by faith in Jesus’ words, believe [trust in, rely on, cling to] Jesus Christ [everlasting Life]. See Jn 16:9,33; 11:26.
It is about a place [a self-inflicted, self-activated destination], rather than a deed [an act of God outside your control and without you having a choice]. Gen 26:4b. God choose those who choose [trust] Him.
Contemplate Mt 19:17; Eph 2:10; Phil 1:6; Col 1:10. Phil 4:6-9,13,19; and go for Mt 10:7-8 (Jn 17:15-24)!
So, prophecy! Say what God has said all along and believe and proclaim [demonstrate] Is 55:11!
And Jesus in Jn 11:26!!! With Paul, may your… (1 Thess 5:23)… (Dt 30:19; Heb 11:40)!!!…
So, did you remember what we said we would do and not do at the beginning of this little discussion? We agreed to not challenge God and demand of Him to first make us understand Him before we would get ourselves so far as to believe Him! This would be nothing less than being [remaining] our own god and absolute unbelief and utter ridiculous arrogance and self-righteousness! We all are where we are because of the choices we have made. The question is where we will [choose to] go from here!
The Love we are all seeking is a Person, and His name is God. Particularly, Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God, ex-Son of Man as First born to many brothers (and sisters) – Heb 2:7-18; Gal 3:27-29. There is no other way to the Father as a Person, than through Jesus Christ the Person (Jn 8:32,36;14:6). Note that He hates falsity and that [“the worst”] iniquity is falsehood (Rom 12:9; Is 5:18-21). Just read Mt 23 and also hate play-acting. We should therefore take special heed to rid ourselves of all false teachings (1 Jn 2:4; 2 Tim 3:16,17; Gal 1:6-12; 6:1; 2 Pet 3:15-16; and so on).
There is NO name above the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9; Is 62:2…)!
Jesus Christ is the only access any human can ever have to unfailing everlasting Love [God Himself].
Jesus Christ is the great mystery – Christ inside of you is the fullness of the hope of glory (Eph 1:18-23; 2:5-9; 3:5,6-21; 4:13-15; Col 1:19; 2:2:9…). Remember also Rom 8:29-39…
Peace, grace, glory and joy to you in Jesus’ name!
Smile, be happy, and live a victorious, abundant life –until Jesus returns (1 Thess 5:23)!!!
PS. Consider Gen 1:26-28; Ps 115:16; Ezek 21:27 (Gal 4:4); Mt 11:27; 28:18 (10:8; Jn 17:15-20; Heb 2:8-13).
Do you really believe [act on] Eph 3:20-21 (Jn 11:26); Phil 4:13 (Lk 18:27; Mk 12:24; Rom 8:11)?… Read “The Testimony” by this author, if you will.
 1 Jn 4:1-4; 1 Cor 2:2. Always test how – what you think, hear, or say – aligns to the finished work of Jesus Christ on His cross. In other words, 1. What did Jesus say about this? 2. How does this relate to His death, His resurrection, and His intercession for us? We should follow His teaching, not those aboutHim. We must get out of the “become mode”, and get into the “I AM mode”. We should be AD not BC; NT not Old Covenant.
 Rom 10:9-10; Mk 8:38; Rom 1:16-17
 Rom 9:4; consider reading the meditation entitled “The Covenant and the Law” by this author.
 Jn 17:3-10,15-26.