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God’s will or man’s will? Bible verses showing clear FREE WILL examples

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Verses used to suggest that God’s will always happens

The Bible is replete with verses that show how God is warning, begging, urging, persuading and pleading with people to do his will, and other verses which show his anger, disappointment, sadness, etc, when they do not. Man’s free will choices are very apparent in the Bible, and yet there are christians (like calvinists – if they want to be consistent with their doctrines) who believe that man is not able to act against God’s will at any time. The article would be too long to include all verses which show man’s free will (isn’t that close to 1/3 of the Bible?), but further down below are a few examples.

First a few verses which calvinists often use to support the idea that God’s will (whether people sin or not) always happens. For the most part they try to defend the bible contradictions they themselves produce by suggesting that God has two wills. (Just as though our Lord has conflicting wills, and just as though at least one of them wants man to sin and be evil…). If God’s will always happens – what is SIN? Surely not breaking the God’s commandments which can’t be broken?

Rom. 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

The topic is God’s prerogative to bring about salvation in any way he wants, and Paul is trying to make the jews understand that they are not saved only because they are born jews – Rom 9:2-9; 24-33. He mentions that he has grief in his heart due to being deeply concerned about his countrymen (something that should not bother him, had he trusted in that God’s will always happens), and that the blood line of Jacob will brought forth the Messiah. He also emphasizes that people are being saved due to God’s mercy – but certainly not unconditionally. God has the right to show mercy on those who choose to believe, and harden those who stubbornly sin like Pharaoh did. (The mere fact that God chooses to harden people shows that their hearts were not fully hardened to start with.) If God decides to arrange his salvation plan in this particular way, there is no way anyone can resist his will because it’s his exclusive right. That is the subject of  his ”will” here, and it does not say that God can not change his mind and/or let man’s will happen in other areas. We already know from the Bible that God has changed his mind in numerous occasions due to man’s actions – like in response to man’s repentance.

Ps 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Ps 135:5 For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.6 Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.7 He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.

The above are psalms, and psalms can contain poetic language. That is why we should be careful to not use psalms and proverbs to start new doctrines. Yes, God has done whatsoever he pleases, but it does not say that he likes to micro manage human kind nor that he predestines every thing that happens. It could definitely have pleased God to create man with a free will. The point is that no one is like God, and it would not make sense to argue with him or try to find faults. God created man animals and the entire universe in exactly the way he pleased. It pleased God to create man with free will, despite knowing that man might use this will to disobey him. Israel often chose to do just that:

Psalm 81:11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me

More examples where God is described as the mighty one who has created everything exactly as he wants:

Is. 46:5 “To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?6 They lavish gold out of the bag, And weigh silver on the scales; They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god; They prostrate themselves, yes, they worship.—8“Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors.9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’—12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: (NKJV)

Isaiah is referring to God’s creation in general terms. God may have created everything as he pleased (the foundation), but this does not mean that he programmed human beings to always obey him. A universe that works in that way (filled with programmed robots) would not please him. Above we can read that man can choose to worship false gods and be stubborn-hearted. They are referred to as transgressors. Transgressors of what? Surely the law of God? They are far from being those righteous people who God would have wanted.

Isaiah 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children BECAUSE of the iniquity of their fathers, Lest they rise up and possess the land, And fill the face of the world with cities.”—24  The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,“Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:25 That I will break the Assyrian in My land, And on My mountains tread him underfoot.Then his yoke shall be removed from them, And his burden removed from their shoulders.26 This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?” (NKJV)

The horrible events that Isaiah is warning about, are due to man’s actions. Isaiah suggests, that unless the children of the sinful fathers are not killed the same would grow up and act in the very same way as their parents and fill the world with cities (and their wickedness). Who else than a Creator could figure this out with certainty, and who else has the authority to do something about it? Apparently God is not pleased with either the fathers or how the bring up their children. What we can read ”will come to pass” above, is not every single detail under the sun, but those things listed in this context.

Jer. 4:27 For thus says the Lord:“The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end.28 For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it.29 The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen.They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks.Every city shall be forsaken, And not a man shall dwell in it. (NKJV)

Job 42:2 I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. (NKJV)

Same thing here. It’s about showing that God can do anything he wants, and if he has truly decided to bring something about (like the global flood) it will happen. He might also choose to wait with his decisions depending on mans’ actions.

Eph. 1:7 IN HIM we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things IN CHRIST, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—IN HIM. 11 IN HIM also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted IN CHRIST should be to the praise of His glory.13  IN HIM you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; IN WHOM also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (NKJV)

The promises in Eph 1-2 are only tied to those who are IN CHRIST, and we are in Christ only if we believe in him – and naturally show our faith with our deeds. As children of God we have been given the holy Spirit and the promise/guarantee that we will enter the kingdom of God because we belong to the body of Christ. However, this promise is still hinged on the condition of faith/loving God. If we no longer believe or bear fruit (see John 15), we are no longer in Christ. If you get a guarantee receipt you need to read the fine print, and you can’t expect to make use of your receipt if you throw it away. God ”works all things according to the counsel of His will”, but this does not mean he has a desire to force salvation on someone, nor save someone who has turned to living in sin. It’s about his marvelous salvation plan, and the wonderful promises to those who are IN CHRIST.

Verses that show that God’s will does not always happenacts 17

Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven.

”He that doeth the will of my Father”? Apparently the Father’s will does not always happen, since Jesus seems to separate those who do the will of his Father from those who do not. If everyone would always do the will of God – whether good or bad – then everyone would enter the kingdom of God, according to this verse.

Matt. 12.50 For WHOSOEVER SHALL DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Mark 3:35)

”Whosoever shall do the will of my Father”? If everyone would always do the will of God – whether good or bad – then the same would be Jesus ”brother, and sister, and mother”. (Meaning universalism).

John 7:17 IF ANY MAN WILL DO HIS WILL, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

”If any man will do his will?” Apparently Jesus does not believe that everyone always does the will of God.

John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and DOETH HIS WILL, him he heareth.

”If any man—doeth his will”? Again, apparently Jesus does not side with the idea that God’s will always happens. Jesus separates those who worship God and obey him (doeth his will) with those who are SINNERS. This suggests that sinners are not doing the will of God (quite obviously since ”sin” by definition is an action against God’s commandments).

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD ABIDETH FOR EVER. 

”He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever”? If everyone would always do the will of God, then everyone would abide for ever. Since everyone does not get saved according to the Bible, it shows that some people are not doing the will of God, and God’s will does not always happen. Moreover, the previous verse tells us that ”the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world”. No wonder we can read that such things are not of the Father since the things listed are clear sins (of the world). If such worldly things take place, they are obviously against God’s will and ”not of the Father” as John plainly states.

Hebr. 10: 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (NKJV)

Why must we have endurance/patience? What happens if we lack in patience? Would that result in a scenario where we do not always do the will of God? Would we still receive the promise if we failed to show endurance? The author does not seem to think so. Why would he warn us about something that could never take place?

Col. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Ok, and what would happen if Epaphras would not labor fervently for the Colossians in prayers with the aim to make them stand complete in the will of God? Would they stand perfect and complete in the will of God regardless of prayers? Why pray if everyone always performs the will of God at all times?

Mark 13:14“So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing WHERE IT OUGHT NOT” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (NKJV)

”Ought not” according to whom? God?

Luke 12:16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Why did God call the rich man ”fool”? Surely it would not be foolish to accomplish God’s will perfectly? This parable seems to be there as a warning, but how could this be if it’s not possible to act in the foolish way that is described in the parable?

Rom. 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Apparently Paul does not think it’s a good idea to be conformed to this world, and urges us to renew our minds so that we can learn what is the perfect will of God. This means it’s up to us to start this process. Paul continues to tell his readers what they ”ought not”, which suggests that they might act in an opposite way which is not approved by God.

Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (NKJV)

Jesus does not suggest that only believers ought to pray, but ”men” (can be translated all mankind, or men and women) should always pray and not lose heart. We know that not all men do this, so God’s will does not always happen.

1 Tim. 5:13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, SAYING THINGS WHICH THEY OUGHT NOT. (NKJV)

So they were saying things which they ought not, according to Paul? Interesting.

Titus 1:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they OUGHT NOT, for the sake of dishonest gain. (NKJV)

More people who are saying things which they ought not.

Hebr. 5:12 For though by this time you OUGHT TO BE teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. (NKJV)

The author of Hebrews clearly does not believe God’s will always happens.

Jam. 3:Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

If they ought not to be so, then clearly God’s will does not always happen.

Ephesians 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Do we have any other option?

Col. 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But HE WHO DOES WRONG will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. (NKJV)

”He who does wrong”? In a world where God’s will always happens?

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (NKJV)

Resisting the Holy Ghost is resisting God.

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Acts 13:21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

In 1 Sam. 8 we can read that God did not think it was a good idea to set up a king for Israel at this time. In fact, he thought it was a very bad idea and warned the Israelites against it. When they were still adamant about the project, God gave in to their wishes. Still, God ended up regretting making Saul to be a king (1 Sam. 15:11), and in 1 Sam. 13:14 we can even read the reason;  ”thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee, clearly showing that Saul did not act according to God’s will. King David did so much better as a King, and even though he did accomplish to be a faithful servant who obeyed God during all his life time we still know there was at least one exception in relation to the matter of Uriah and his wife (1 King. 15:5). That ordeal was evil in the eyes of God (2 Sam. 12:9) and therefore against his will.

Jer. 17:22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

More stiff-necked people who refuse to do God’s will, and God is unsure if they will ”hearken” to him.

Ez.  16:26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger.27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.

Why would God be angry at fornication and whoredoms if his will always come to pass? And why does God, due to man’s actions (Israel), deliver them ”unto the will” of their enemy? Why would he separate the will of Israel’s enemy with his own will, as though they would not be one and the same? This procedure certainly sounds like a punishment against Israel for the only reason that they did not obey God.

Is. 48:17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit,Who leads you by the way you should go.18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.19 Your descendants also would have been like the sand, And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand; His name would not have been cut off Nor destroyed from before Me.” (NKJV)

Why does God exclaim ”Oh, that you had heeded my commandments”? Why all the ”would have been”, had his people obeyed him?

Ps. 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Why this urgent need? Does not God’s will happen if David is not sufficiently taught to do his will?

Lev. 4:22 When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty;23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:— .27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty;28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.

”Things which ought not to be done”? I did not think that was possible in a world where God’s will always happens?

Deuteronomy 8:20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; BECAUSE ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.

”Because ye would not be obedient…” That is the reason for perishing.

Jer. 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Jer. 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Those couple of verses speak for themselves. People sinned severely and caused others to sin, which naturally didn’t even enter God’s mind that they would do. Throwing children in the fire as an offering to Baal is naturally an abomination and why would God force people to commit such a horrible sin?

Jer. 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

Ez. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

If God’s will always happens, he would not be dependent on man’s actions.

1 Peter 2:15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. (NASB)

We are asked to not use our freedom as a covering for evil. Peter does not believe God’s will automatically takes place.

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (NKJV)

But surely doing evil would be equally acceptable if all things happen according to the will of God?

Matt. 23: 47 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! + Luke 13:34

Exactly.

God will judge us based on our faith and KNOWLEDGE

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I believe that we all have a chance to be saved, including those who have never had a chance to hear about Jesus Christ – like the oft-mentioned jungle people. The Bible teaches us that we will be judged based on what we know, and also IF we are striving to get more knowledge about our Creator, his mighty deeds and his eternal power. We are encouraged to believe the truth (and to DO the truth) and to come to the light.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

We are not able to choose between believe or believe not unless we have reached a certain mature age, which means that babies and small children are not able to make such a decision. Babies (whether born or unborn), are not able to lose their souls because they are not aware of the law and they have no ability to sin. Hell is for unrepentant sinners, and not for innocent blood.

Deut. 1:39 Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.

Rom. 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Those who lived during the old testament were not able to believe in a person who had not appeared in the flesh yet (Jesus Christ), but they were of course able to believe in GOD (which Jesus Christ also is) and to get to know his will. In the old testament it was faith in God and living holy lives which could save a person, and just like in the new testament, people were able to REPENT and be restored back to life again. God is merciful!

Is. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,—7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.—18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.—20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.—26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Isaiah continues on the same note a few chapters later:

Is. 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. —8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.—10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.-–31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

Our conscience bears witness of what is in our hearts, and we will be judged accordinglyproverbs

Paul warns us about ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, but in order to act in a wicked way we must first be old enough to be aware of the law and choosing to be disobedient (despite that we could have chosen to be obedient). We will be judged according to our choices and actions, but babies are not able to make any choices whether good or bad. If we repent for our sins, ALL our transgressions will be forgiven and we are completely cleansed!

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:—28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;—:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

It’s possible to by nature DO the things in the law, even if we do not have the law. This is revealed by the law written in our hearts, and what our conscience and thoughts reveal about us.

Romans 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another😉

We will be judged based on what we know, what we don’t know, and our willingness to get to know God and his ways. If we are blessed with lots of knowledge and abilities, much is also required from us.

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, NEITHER DID ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, shall be beaten with many stripes.48 But he that KNEW NOT, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

If we are able to see mighty works of God, God expects more from us.

Matt. 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, THEY WOULD HAVE REPENTED long ago in sackcloth and ashes.22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

The parable about the servants who were given different amounts of talents. It shows us that we might start out in a way that might not seem equal, but we will be judged based on what we do with what we have. Our permanent life is not spent on this planet, but in the afterlife.

Matt. 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

You would have no sin if…

John. 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. 

Not everyone is doing the will of God

John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

1 John. 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1 Cor. 7:6 But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry. 37 Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin,[b] does well. 38 So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better. (NKJV)

Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Do we seek knowledge or do we refuse to fear the Lord?

Prov. 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.—22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Prov. 2:5 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

FREE WILL is in the Bible, as well as CHOOSE

narrow gateIt’s interesting that words such as sovereign, sovereignty, depraved and depravity are not mentioned in the Bible (KJV), but free will, and choose are used several times – in relation to man’s ability to choose between two or more options. These words must not be present in the Bible for them to be true, because the Bible is replete with people who make choices – and often very bad choices against God’s will. We certainly can’t accomplish all the things we want in this world, but free will is often labeled as the ability to make contrary choices.

The lack of a word in the Bible is of course not necessarily evidence for that the concept of this word is non-existent in the Bible, because most christians believe in both monotheism and the trinity without the actual presence of these words. However, if the words themselves are not present in the Bible, then at least the concept of them must be there – just as the case is with monotheism and trinity. Problems start to arise when people change meanings of words, or add ideas into the Bible that simply aren’t there.

God is ”sovereign” but certainly not in the way that reformed believers suggest. A sovereign God can do whatever he wants, including creating man with free will.

Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into thekingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

He who does the will of God the Father? I thought 100% of all people always did his will – in the calvinistic world?

Free will in the Bible

The following verses are mainly about man’s free will offerings, but if all of our offers are based on God’s decree and predestination, why even using expressions such as ”and of every one that willingly offered a free will offering unto the Lord” as though there is a free will and an actual choice involved? In the reformed view, are not 100% of all offers based on God’s will alone? So why all these confusing ”free will” terms? Isn’t it also strange that words must change meanings in order to fit with a preferred doctrine? It seems like some words have one meaning outside of the Bible, and another meaning inside the Bible – such as the term Free Will. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Leviticus 22:18 Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering;

Numbers 15:3 And will make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the Lord, of the herd or of the flock

Ezra 3:5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the Lord.

Ezra 7:16 And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:

Psalm 54:6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.

Hosea 14:4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

”Choose” – chooseExamples where God is asking man to choose between options, and/or indications of that man can choose the wrong path

Deut. 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.—14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.—19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.20 If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord.22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel.—27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

2 Sam. 24:10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. (+ 1 Chron. 21:10-11)

Prov. 1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Prov. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

Is. 41:23 Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

Is. 56:4 For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

Is. 65:12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

Is. 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

Ez. 21:18 The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,19 Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city

Phil. 1: 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which isfar better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, (NKJV)

”Chose” and ”chosen” – Examples in past tense, where God is asking man to choose between options, and/or indications of that man can choose the wrong pathcalvinism 4

 Gen. 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

Gen. 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other

Jud. 10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation

1 Sam. 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.—18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; (1 Sam. 12:13)

Ps. 119:173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

Is. 66:3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

Jer. 8:1 At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:—3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts.—5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.

Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 14:7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: 8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. (NKJV)

Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Acts 15:40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.

God is GLORIFIED if we praise him and obey him, so contrary actions are AGAINST HIS WILL

glory of god 3

It should be rather self-evident that God gets the most GLORY if we praise him, worship him, obey him and tell the world about him, but strangely enough there are christians who force themselves to believe that God also gets glory if we transgress the law and sin! I of course think about our calvinistic friends here, because they have chosen to believe in TULIP (which you can read more about here), and the idea that nothing that comes to pass happens against the will of God. Some of them will protest and say that they do NOT at all believe that God is glorified when people sin against him, but if they insist on believing in TULIP and in calvinism, that is the only outcome of their doctrines. They frequently phrase themselves as though they believe that all men have the ability to repent, avoid sin and freely decide to become good citizens, but then they are not consistent with calvinism that instead presents a closed-door for most people – namely all those who Jesus didn’t even die for according to L in TULIP. They will be left in the darkness only because their God doesn’t want them to be saved (or else he would save them).

“God NOT ONLY foresaw the FALL of the first man, and in him the RUIN of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure ARRANGED it” .(John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, XXIII)

“The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

”So my aim in this second message is to commend to you this absolute sovereign control of God over all things, including evil, because it is Biblical, and because it will help you become stable and deep and God-entranced and God-glorifying in all you think and feel and do”.”God may hate a thing as it is in itself, and considered simply as evil, and yet . . . it may be his will it should come to passconsidering all consequences. . . . God doesn’t will sin as sin or for the sake of anything evil; though it be his pleasure so to order things, that he permitting, sin will come to pass; for the sake of the great good that by his disposal shall be the consequence.” ”Therefore I conclude with Jonathan Edwards, ‘God decrees all things, even all sins.’ Or, as Paul says in Ephesians 1:11, “He works all things after the counsel of His will.’”/John Piper

“If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”/R C Sproul

Examples of how we can glorify Jesus, as per the New Testament

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Jesus explains that his Father is glorified IF WE BEAR MUCH FRUIT. With other words we do NOT glorify him if we do NOT bear fruit, and this must mean that all those individuals who do not show good fruit are acting against God’s will. Jesus is warning his own spiritually alive disciples – and all of us – that we must make sure to abide in him, or else we will be cut off the vine (Jesus) and thrown in the fire. (Jesus doesn’t say that he is glorified if the elect bear fruit and the non-elect do not bear fruit.)

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things

There wouldn’t be any reason for God to show any wrath against a people who always did his will, but if we do NOT do his will it makes perfect sense that we can be affected by his wrath whether we are non-christians or not. We can read that ”ungodliness and unrighteousness” are two things that God is angry about, and consequently showing such attributes would not be according to his plans. The people spoken of did NOT glorify God, and neither were they thankful and instead became vain individuals with darkened hearts. They changed the glory of God into something sinister and started to idolize elements in God’s creation instead of God himself. Clearly all those things are against the will of God, because he is certainly not glorified by people who are rebellious and worship false gods.

Rom. 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

If all have sinned and for this reason fallen SHORT of the glory of God, this must surely indicate something didn’t go as God intended. If ALL sinned, it must mean that both elect and non-elect have sinned and we already know from the verses above that God is glorified if we live holy lives and show good fruit. So if we live in the opposite way, we do not glorify God and consequently act against his will.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

Rom. 15:Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Above are a few verses about spreading the gospel also to the gentiles. From these passages we understand that they can be influenced to glorify the Lord if they see the jews doing good works, and of course by hearing the gospel. All gentiles will obviously not be saved but only those who repent for their sins. Evangelizing, praying and showing good fruit are some things that we can do to influence others to seek the only true God, and if someone ends up glorifying God thanks to our witnessing and behavior, something good has been accomplished and there is much joy in heaven.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

”On their part he is evil spoken of (or ”blasphemed”), but on your part he is glorified”. Apparently some people will cause God to be glorified and those in opposition will cause God to be blasphemed. Which option do you think will glorify God the most? There is no need to even answer this question due to the obvious answer, and we can only remain puzzled as to why some people still insist on that God can somehow be glorified by people who speak evil against him and his followers.

Phil. 1:And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Above we can see that we are giving glory to God if we are being filled with the fruits of righteousness and living without offence till the day of Christ. Each time we deviate from this road, would consequently be against the will of God. 

Phil. 2:Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

If it gives glory to God if every knee should bow down to him and every tongue should confess him, it would be strange indeed if someone would be prevented from doing just that. If such things give glory to God, then it would make more sense if he enabled everyone to perform such signs of adoration. To force people to bow down and confess him, on the other hand, wouldn’t be true worship or love.

Glorifying God in the Old Testament

glory of god 4

Also here we can see that God is glorified if he is praised and worshiped. Daniel explains that Belshazzar did NOT glorify God by not being the humble man he could have been. Instead Belshazzar rebelled against God by praising false gods and doing other evil deeds.

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Daniel 5:22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified

Psalm 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

If God is glorified by people on the earth praising him and worshiping him, then all those who reject him are walking on their own ways away from God and contrary to his plans.

Are you stiff-necked and resist the Holy Ghost against the will of God? – Acts 7:51

stiff-necked

Acts 7:51 Ye STIFFNECKED and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always RESIST THE HOLY GHOST: as your fathers did, so do ye.

sklérotrachélos (Greek): stiff-necked, stubborn, obstinate (Strong’s 4644)

oreph (Hebrew): back of the neck, neck (Strong’s 6203)

It’s apparent that we can resist the Holy Ghost by being stiff-necked and walking our own way, and if we take this route it’s obviously against God’s will. Still, there are some of our reformed friends who feel the need to stick to the notion that ”nothing that comes to pass happens against the will of God” so they are reluctant to accept the clear meaning of Acts 7:51 and prefer to believe that God has either predestined people to be stiff-necked and/or suggest they are born stiff-necked and will continue to be so until God perhaps decides to open their eyes to bring them out of this spell. If the idea is that nothing happens against God’s will, then people who are born stiff-necked are born that way according to God’s will, but then we are no longer talking about the God of the Bible. 

Stephen (who is talking in Acts 7) is making a reference to the fathers of the pharisees and claimed they too were stiff-necked and resisted the Holy Ghost, and we can see in the verses below how painfully true this statement has proven to be. The Bible is a book that describes how people throughout all of our history have turned their backs on God. Not every single individual of course, because there are also examples of some very righteous and just people who have lived in obedience to God, like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot and Job.

Most cases in the Bible where ”stiff-necked” people are mentioned can be seen below.

Examples of stiff-necked people during the Exodus

People even made a golden calf to worship and this provoked God to anger, naturally because it was against his will. Israel didn’t get the promised land because they were particularly good people, but rather because the inhabitants were very evil, and because of the promise that God had given to Abraham before them.

Ex. 32:They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation

Ex. 33:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it:Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.

Ex. 34:And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.

Deuteronomy 9:Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you.

2 Kings 17:12 For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.

Neh. 15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations

Jer. 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.

Being stiff-necked is something negative, and God tells his people to cease being stiff-neckedstiff-necked2

Clearly God wouldn’t want his people (or anyone) to rebel against him, refuse to hearken to him, turn their backs on him, transgress his laws, do evil, become corrupted, provoke him to anger, worship idols, harden their hearts, neglect to receive corrections, etc, but this is exactly what his people often did due to their stubborn and evil hearts. God’s will does not always happen and that is because he has given us free will – resulting in that we are responsible for our own actions and will be judged accordingly.

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Deut. 31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?28 Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Isaiah. 48:I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

2 Chronicles 29:And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs.—.Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.

2 Chronicles 30:8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

2 Chronicles 36:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord.13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel.14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

Neh. 9:28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

Jer. 2:26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets.27 Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.28 But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.29 Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the Lord.30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.

Jer. 17:22 Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.24 And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein

Jer. 19:15 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.

Jer. 32:31 For this city hath been to me as a provocation of mine anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even unto this day; that I should remove it from before my face,32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Proverbs. 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Read, Isaiah 5:1-7, Isaiah 63:10, Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34, Romans 13:2 and Ephesians 4:30, for further examples of people who are stiff-necked and act against the will of God. 

The pharisees REJECTED the counsel of God, and God’s will can be thwarted (Luke 7:30)

eggGod doesn’t want anyone to perish, but people DO perish

God certainly doesn’t want anyone to perish, but things don’t always turn out the way God wants. God COULD of course force every single person to repent and get life in abundance but he preferred to create us as human beings in his own image (he actually said ”our” image referring to the trinity) and with a free will which means that we have a personal responsibility for our own actions.

Ez. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

Ez. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

2 Peter 3:The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Deuteronomy 8:20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; BECAUSE ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.

We can REJECT the will of God

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

The pharisees and the layers REJECTED the counsel of God according to Luke.

Luke 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the COUNSEL of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. (KJV)

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (NKJV)

As you can see NKJV translate the same word with THE WILL of God, and also the KJV translators chose to translate the Greek original word with ”the will” in the below verse:

Acts. 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: (KJV)

”Counsel” and ”will” are here translated from the Greek word boulén as in boulé  (Strongs 1012) from boulomai, and it means counsel, decree, plan, motives, decision and/or purpose.

Below are the cases where this word is used in the KJV, starting with Acts. 20:27–31. Paul warns his disciples, the elders of the church in Ephesus who were naturally christians, that they must TAKE HEED unto themselves and to all the church which God had purchased with his blood. Acts 20:27–31 gives us the following information:

  1. Individuals (the church or the body of Christ consists of individuals) can be lost despite being purchased with the blood of Jesus.
  2. Despite that certain christians have been made overseers of a church by the Holy Ghost (who always leads us on the right path) there is still a risk that the individuals in the church will be lost, indicating that people don’t always adhere to the Holy Spirit.
  3. Grievous wolves shall enter the body of Christ also from among themselves, with the aim to draw away disciples from the true church of God to themselves. This shows that some christians will at one point leave the sound teachings in the church and instead start to speak perverted things and deceive others who might also leave the true church. This is a lot more than a mere risk since Paul says that he KNOWS that this will happen, likely because he knows how man’s heart works.
  4. False preachers who speak perverted things can apparently make christian believe in these twisted claims and some of them will become disciples of these false preachers and hence lose their salvation. The flock shall not be spared even though it was a true flock of God.
  5. By taking heed and be careful we can affect the future and reduce the harm.
  6. If people were chosen for salvation and damnation before the beginning of the world, Paul would be wasting his time by  warning every one for night and day with tears – for three years! Paul should have known that no warnings or tears in the world can change God’s decrees which he made before he even created us, if such decrees were made. If God predestined certain people to be saved and others to be lost, then Paul has no business crying over those who God has chosen to damn, and those who are predestined to be saved will be saved regardless of Paul’s intense efforts. So Paul would actually be guilty of trying to thwart God’s plans by his constant warnings, pleadings and crying for people who already have their future written in stone. This speaks heavily against the reformed type of thinking.
  7. We can affect the future with our prayers.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Jesus showed himself to Paul and selected him to be doing his work by spreading the gospel (which Paul accepted), so would Jesus want people to listen to Paul? Yes, of course.  Yes, here is one example among many that a certain centurion did not listen to Paul’s advice, even if what Paul said didn’t concern the gospel but their own physical safety.

Acts 27:11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.—42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:

Here is the famous Ephesian 1:11. (See more here.) Paul is writing to the saints in Ephesus, and as saints they of course were IN JESUS and wonderful promises were tied to them since they had obtained an inheritance by choosing to be God’s children. The counsel of God’s own will might here concern his will that those who are in Jesus (naturally by their own choice) and endure to the end shall be adopted as children and inherit his kingdom. The conditions are that we believe, trust in Jesus and remain as saints. If 100% of all things under the sun always happen according to God’s will, then of course every murder, abortion, rape and divorce must also be according to God’s will, and every time people rebel against him. Clearly that is nothing but absurd, and Satan would simply be acting as God’s right arm.

Eph. 1:1 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:—11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.—18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power

Only God is good, but here is an example of another ”good” man (the same word) and that is Joseph. He can’t compare himself with the Creator, but he was still good and just:

Luke 23:50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

Jesus was delivered by the counsel and foreknowledge of God. God the Father did not force anyone to betray or kill Jesus, but he knew someone would, and his death was also predestined to happen. There are numerous ways in which Jesus could die for us so Judas betrayal was not necessary at all, but he was first in line. Those hands who crucified Jesus were WICKED, which means that God certainly didn’t approve of what they did, and let’s not forget that it was Satan who entered Judas when Judas rose up to betray Jesus. God allowed it to happen of course, but he didn’t predestine Juda’s betrayal.

Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

What God determined before to be done was to offer up his son to die for us, and we can also read that Jesus actually gave up his own life and that no one took it from him. He did not determine that Judas must betray him. Read more about Judas severe sin here.

Acts 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

If Jesus is the son of God and the many miracles he performed too, then it would be unwise to try to fight it back, which was the advice of  Gamaliel. A Messiah is a Messiah no matter what we do.

Acts. 5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

And a couple of more examples with boulé

1 Corinthians 4:Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Hebr. 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us

We are being wise if we do the things the Lord says we should do.

Luke: 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

95 Open Theism verses

reality is not optional

This is worth reproducing in whole. From ApologeticJedi from TheologyOnline:

1. God worked in six day-divided time spans, but rested on the seventh day (Gen 2:1-2)
2. God brought the animals before Adam to see what he would call them. (Gen 2:19)
3. God is uncertain whether they will eat of the Tree of Life after the fall. (Gen 3:22)
4. God repents that he made man. (Gen 6:6)
5. God must patiently wait while the ark is being built (1 Pet 3:20)
6. Satan is willing to wager with God over how the future will turn out. (Job 1:11-12)
7. Abraham challenges God over his promise, and lives! (Gen 15:2-3, 6)
8. God is prevailed upon by Abraham over whether to spare Sodom. (Gen 18:23-33)
9. The angels of God argue with Lot about sleeping in the square (Gen 19:2-4)
10. God learns that Abraham would go to…

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People hearkened NOT unto God but closed their ears

The word ”hearken” is not commonly used today, but it’s an oft mentioned word in the Old Testament. It means: To listen attentively; to give heed, to give attention to what is said, to listen, or to hear in order to obey or comply. Below are some Biblical examples of people who did NOT choose to hearken to God or his prophets (contrary to God’s will) and they mainly concern his own people – the Israelites. Note that there are of course many more instances where we can read about people who refuse to listen to God or obey him, where the word ”hearken” is not used. Did God want people to hearken to him? Of course he did! Why pleading with people and attempting to get their attention if he wouldn’t want them to listen to him and obey in the first place? This means God’s will doesn’t always happen, but he is still in control. God can be sovereign and in control even though he doesn’t direct each of our steps. The Bible is a book filled with examples of individuals and large groups of people who disobey God and refuse to listen to him, and we can take these instances as warnings for ourselves.

Let’s ask ourselves, does God want us to rebel against him, to sin, to harden our hearts, to provoke him, to be evil, to not believe him, to gather together against him, to tempt him, to worship idols, to disobey his commandments, to forsake him, to be wicked, to cause him to anger, to go a whoring, to corrupt our ways, to transgress his covenant, to be stubborn, to harden our necks, to despise him, to be proud, to dishonor him, to reject his law, to refuse to repent, to speak lying words, to kill his prophets, to be deceived, to not receive correction, to do worse than our fathers, to not incline our ears to him, to not serve him, to turn our backs on him, to cause others to sin, to commit villany, to defile his house, to make abominations, to do something that he hates, to not turn to him, etc? I hope you say with emphasis that God of course does NOT want us to behave in such a way. Yet this is what we can read happened, and his own people reacted wickedly. To deny man’s free will is to deny major parts of the Bible, resulting in a Book that doesn’t make much sense.

Exodus 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

Exodus 16:20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

Numbers 14:11 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?—22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:—35 I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die

Deutoronomy 1814 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.—

Deutoronomy 28:1And it shall come to pass, IF thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, IF thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy GodThe Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways—15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:—20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.-45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee–62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.

Judges 2:2 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:—12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.13 And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.14 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.—16 Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.18 And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.20 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;

1 Sam 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.30 Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men.

2 Kings 22:13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us

Nehemiah 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.—26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.—34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.—35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.

Psalm 81:11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me

Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;—23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lordcommanded them:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.—39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.40 Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.—43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.

Jeremiah 6:Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.—10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord;—16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Jeremiah 7:For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.—12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.—23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.—31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Jeremiah 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

Jeremiah 17:27 But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

Jeremia 25:From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that theLord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. –Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord—

Jeremia 26 Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,5 To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

Jeremiah 29:For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.—19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith theLord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord.—23 Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord—31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie:32 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the Lord; because he hath taught rebellion against the Lord.

Jeremiah 32: 23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them:—30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the Lord.-33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Jeremiah 34:13 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,14 At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.15 And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:16 But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.17 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof—

Jeremiah 35:12 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,13 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the Lord.14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:17 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

Jeremiah 36:It may be they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the Lord hath pronounced against this people.31 And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.

Jeremiah 44: Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers.—Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.Therefore now thus saith the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain;—15 Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying,16 As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.—22 So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.23 Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.

Ezekiel 3:But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.—As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.—20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand—27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 20:Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.—13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.—18 But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.—30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.—39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.

Hosea 9:1  Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.—They shall not offer wine offerings to the Lord, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the Lord.—9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.—15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters—17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Zechariah 1:The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.—Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord.

Zechariah 7:Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts:

God’s will is not always done – Bible verses

Bible verses which show that God’s will can change depending on man’s actions

Man’s free will is even more obvious in the Bible than the trinity (which is VERY obvious) and we can be read about man’s free will from the first page of the Bible to the last. Below are just a few examples. One would think that the obvious FACT that people so often have hardened their hearts against God and rebelled against Him, would be proof enough that God’s will does not always happen, but strangely enough there are people who don’t feel this is clear at all. Believe it or not, but they believe that God predestines/causes/forces/decrees people to rebel against him! If this is true, then we would just be doing God’s will by being wicked and rebellious, and we really should be rewarded for doing His will instead of getting punished for something which is totally out of our control. The word ”sovereign” is not in the Bible (KJV) but isn’t our Lord powerful enough to create man with free will? Or is this too difficult for Him? Wouldn’t God be in control even though man has free will? The Bible is a book FULL of examples of people who are NOT obeying God, resulting in God’s wrath against them! If man does not have free will, then GOD is to be blamed for our actions. If we are born ”totally depraved” as some think (another unbiblical expression) then whose fault is that? Are we ”totally depraved” according to God’s will or against his will? Where did this depravity come from, if not by God? Please close your ”reformed” type of books with all kinds of gnostic claims which deceive you, and open up your Bible and see what it says. If I go for a walk with my dog and decide to let it loose for a  while, can we say that the dog has overpowered me and made me lose control over it against my will? Did the dog remove some of my sovereignty? Did I lose control over the situation even though I’m well aware of the likely behavior of my dog, including the tiny risk that it might find a rabbit and chase it?

New Testament

Matt 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:21Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Matt 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

Matt 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Matt 17:17 Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?  

Matt 15:6 …And you voided the commandment of God by your tradition.

Matt 23:37.O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how  often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Mark 7:13 making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have delivered. And you do many such things.

Mark 3:35 whosoever shall DO THE WILL OF GOD, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him

Jn. 7:17 Jesus said, If any man will do his will

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 

Acts 8 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness 

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,—: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

1 Tim. 5:12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

1 Thess 4 brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you OUGHT to walk and to PLEASE GOD.. Therefore he who rejects this does not REJECT man, but GOD, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, BUT to the will of God.

2 Cor 5: 19 God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though GOD WERE PLEADING through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, BE RECONCILED TO GOD.”

1 John 2:7 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Old Testament

Zechariah 7: 11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. 12Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. 13Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts: 

Exodus 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt

Numbers 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me?

Hos. 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children

Isa. 5:Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Isa.1:2 I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me?

Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured...

Isa.66:3 Regarding those who would not hearken to the Lord, God said ”I gave them up unto their own hearts lust: and they walked in their own counsels

Gen. 6:5 it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth

Exodus 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people

1 Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

Lev 26:23 IF YOU WILL NOT be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; THEN will I also walk contrary unto you.”

Jeremiah 8:5Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. — 9The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? 

Jeremiah 15:6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting evil that I thought to do unto them.

Jeremiah 26:3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

Jeremiah 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech;which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Jeremiah 42:10 If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.

Eze:33:11-16 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then THEY turn from their sins and do what is just and right. If the wicked restores the pledge, gives back that which he has stolen, walks in the statutes of life, WITHOUT SINNING; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.”

Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

Ezekiel 36:32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: BE ASHAMED and confounded FOR YOUR OWN WAYS, O house of Israel.

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; andGod repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Ps. 81:11. Yea, they have chosen their own ways

Ps. 7:9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heartGod judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Ps. 78 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. 

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. 

Theological Development Through the Scriptures (from PinPoint Evangelism)

Genesis 2:19
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them

From this passage, what was God’s reason to bringing the animals to man? It appears by the language used, God didn’t know what Adam would in fact name each animal; this appears to be the point being made.& is correct, then this could not be the actual reason why God performed this act, and the wording of Scripture becomes vague.

Genesis 18:20-21
The  outcry  against  Sodom  and Gomorrah is so great and their sin  so grievous that  I will  go down and see if what they gave done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me.  If not, I will know.

This verse is truly a stumper if absolute foreknowledge is true. God himself states quite openly that he will do something (go down) in order for him to know something. Now did he know it before he went or not?  How can God use the future tense when addressing his knowledge?  To say that God already knew but the wording is just saying that he will also know in the future does violence to language not to mention that it is stating the obvious. God uses language as we do.  To do anything else would be utter folly. How could God faithfully communicate with man if he pulled a Clinton speak.  If God’s word usage is different that ours is, we  have a communication dilemma of the first order. (The analysis of this story provides wonderful insights into God’s nature and will be the subject of another paper altogether.)

Genesis 22:12
”Do not lay a hand on the boy“, he said. “Do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Here again God states that he has just learned something.  Some scholars try to get around this by stating that the angel who delivered this message was interjecting his own opinion. Well if this is the case, then Abraham didn’t withhold his only son from the angel.  This is clearly preposterous, but it shows the length that theologians will go to in order not to change their theology.  God tested Abraham to know what he would do.

Exodus 4:8
Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground.

They MAY believe!  Why is God giving Moses all of these contingencies?  If God knew exactly how the Egyptians were going to react, then these instructions make little sense. Was he trying to give Moses the false belief that He didn’t know exactly how things were going to turn out? Remember that this is God instructing Moses. This sounds like plan A, B and C.

Exodus 13:17-18
When  Pharaoh let the people  go, God did not lead them  on the road through the Philistine country, though that was  shorter.  For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. This passage seems to let us in on God’s deliberation of how he is going route the nation of Israel.  It clearly says that the reason God didn’t take the most direct route was that the people “might” turn back. Here we see that God knows and inderstands the people’s hearts and their “probable” reaction to a war at this point, but clearly the outcome is not certain. Remember, this is God speaking as it is in quotation marks. God made the people take the long route through the desert because he was not sure of what the outcome would have been had he not.

Exodus 16:4
In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

Why does God test us?  Theologians say that it is for our sakes and not God’s. This is indeed strange.  Do you learn anything in a test, or does that which is already in you become manifest. Clearly the schoolteacher doesn’t expect a student to learn from a test.  A test is to determine what a student already knows.  Now some may say that we cannot relate a school teacher’s knowledge to that of God, and I would indeed  agree.  However, this Scripture appears to correlate the two.  God tested them in order to find something out. Are we going to say that God already knew, but he wanted to stimulate his sense of vision?

Numbers 14:11-12
The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people that me with contempt?  How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?”  I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger then they.

Here we see God asking questions of Moses that we can confidently conclude that Moses didn’t have the answers to. Clearly God knew that Moses didn’t have the answers.  Why then was God making these comments?  Could it be to show his breaking heart?  Why would God ask these questions when he already knew the answer?  The final point is even more curious.  God states emphatically that he will do something that he knew that he would never do.  God didn’t strike them down with a plague, and he didn’t make Moses’s descendants greater and stronger than Abraham’s.  So, if God knew that these were all false statements, were does these lead us?  Did God mislead, lie to, and manipulate Moses?  If you cling to absolute foreknowledge, you are in fact leveling this charge whether you want to or not.

Numbers 14:30
Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Here again we see God reneging on a promise.  Now if God knew when he made the promise that he would not keep it, then he lied to the people. He gave them a false hope that he knew he would later dash to pieces. God even swore with an uplifted hand to do something that he knew he wouldn’t ever do. Where does this leave us?  If this is true, can we ever trust in a promise of God?  Does believing God require more stupidity than faith?

Deuteronomy 8:2
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in you heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

Here again we bring up the whole testing issue.  This appears to be quite plainly stated.  Does our theology call God a liar?  Why did God humble and test the people?  A forty year long test appears to be a bit over the top if God already knew everything.  If God already knew what was in their heart, then I think God owes the people an apology.

Deuteronomy 13:3
The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Ditto.

Judges 2:22
I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did.

Judges 3:4
They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses.

Does anyone think that this passage is talking about literal sight?  While this test does involve observation, it is not for observation purposed only.  For completeness however, the Judges 3 passage has a dual purpose as stated by God.  The first was to train the Israelites for battle (v2), and the second was to “see” what they would do as far as obeying God’s command (v4).

I Samuel 23:10-13
David said, ”O Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard DEFINITELY that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me.  Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to  him?   Will  Saul come down  as your servant  has  heard?   O Lord, God  of Israel, tell your servant.”   And  the  Lord said,  “He  will.”  Again  David asked,  “Will  the  citizens  of  Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will.”  So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.

Now  what  do  we  have  here? David  asks  God two  very  direct  questions  and got two  direct answers.  David asked would the town be destroyed.  God said ‘Yes’.  David also asked would the  people  of the town  give  him over to Saul.   God again  said  ‘Yes’.  However,  none  of his happened.  Didn’t God know what David was going to do?  Was God misleading David?  Upon hearing this, Saul didn’t even go to the town that God said that he would destroy.  Why didn’t David simply throw up his hands and cry, “Woe is me”, when God told him his future?  Why did God tell David how things would be if he in fact knew that they would never be?  How can God say that Saul will go to the town and not be in error when Saul never goes?  Is God lying to David or just “pulling his leg”?  The obvious answer is that if David stayed there, these things would have happened.  David obviously didn’t believe that God’s knowledge of the future was unalterable or he would have just sat there and succumbed to his fate.   No, David knew what God  said would happen if  he  didn’t  change  something.  He also  knew that if  he  did change something, what God said would not happen and would be invalid.  The future is open!

I Kings 20:42
“This  is  what  the  Lord  says:  ‘You  have  set  free  a  man  that  I  had  determined  should  die, therefore, it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’”

God  determined  something  knowing that there was  no  possible way of it happening?   Also, “therefore” is a contingent word, but if God knew absolutely that he would spare the king, then there is no contingency about this or any other act.  God simple determined that he should die, and made up this scenario to justify his actions.  This is clearly a false statement, but what else could this mean?

II Chronicles 32:31
But when the envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

Again, wrongo!  God didn’t leave him to know anything!  What kind of radial theology is this! God already knows everything from eternity, from before the foundations of the world!  We need to rewrite the Bible and take out all of this bad theology and these misleading passages.

Jeremiah 3:7
I thought  that  after  she  had  done  all  this  she  would  return  to  me  but  she  did  not,  and  her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

This passage appears to have God admitting to a mistake in his knowledge. Was God mistaken? What about absolute foreknowledge of all future events, how could this be?  How can God think one thing  about the  future, be incorrect, and still  have  absolute  foreknowledge of all future events?

Jeremiah 3:19
I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.  But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of  Israel, declares the Lord.

What!  We have found another passage that needs to be expunged from the Bible!  Clearly the thought of God being mistaken about the future acts of man cannot be true!  Heresy, I say!

Jeremiah 7:31
They have build the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire – something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.

Jeremiah 19:5
They  have  built the  high  places  of Baal to  burn their  sons in the fire as offerings to Baal  – something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.

Jeremiah 32:35
They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though  I  never commanded,  nor did it enter my mind, that they  should  do  such  a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.

All of these verses state the same thing.  Now I will be serious for a moment. God states that this thought ever entered his mind.  What can this mean except God did not think that man could stoop to  such  a level as to  do this horrendous thing.  Will you accept what God says about himself in his Word, or will you refuse to believe it, instead clinging on to what man’s tradition has told you is an attribute of God? Remember that the only concept of God that is correct is one that can be determined through the Scriptures.   Omniscience is  not  found in the Bible.  God knowing the future is never directly stated.  Some verses may appear on the surface to imply this attribute, but an implied attribute must square with all Scripture.  If it does not, the implication of God’s  character  or essence  is  incorrect.  If your logical  conclusions derived from selected Scriptures do not harmonize with other Scriptures, then you need to reconsider your theology. Do not wave your hands and try to explain away passages with obvious meanings.

Jeremiah 26:2-3
Tell them everything I command you do not omit a word.  Perhaps they will listen and each one will turn from his evil way.

“Perhaps”,  what  kind  of  word is this  for  God to  be  using?   This passage again  alludes to a contingent event, but our theology states that God knows absolutely what the outcome of the event will be.   To a god with  absolute foreknowledge no event is  contingent all events are absolute.  If this is indeed the case, why does God address man with contingent language?   Is God trying to portray an idea that is false? Would the prophet think that with such language that it was vitally important to not omit a word?  In the end, the people did not listen, so why did God have Jeremiah do this, to justify his own actions, to make the guilty guiltier?

Let me make one additional point here.  God  knows absolute reality.  If to God there are no contingent events (a  mandatory conclusion if absolute foreknowledge is true), the absolute eternal truth is that there are no contingent events.  If you believe that your future is contingent, then you must be deceived. It matters not how God knows the future and who determines it.  If God knows the outcome, then that outcome must occur. Therefore the concept of contingency is lunacy. Everything is  fate.  If  you think that the future is  open, then you cannot believe in absolute foreknowledge.  For centuries,  theologians  have been  arguing  if  we  are  free to determine our future or does God decree it.  This is unimportant for the discussion at hand.  If the future is fixed, then regardless of how it was fixed, it is fixed.  Your future has been determined absolutely,  and  you  have no  other choice except to walk those steps.  Your  future  has  been known, and therefore cannot be altered if God knows it unchangeably.

Ezekiel 20:6 & 15
On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I should not bring them into the land I had given them – a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands.

These passages reiterate one listed earlier, but they are listed here for more clarity.  Here God stated he searched out an area for the people knowing before the search which area it would be, and that the people would never see it. Strange actions indeed.  He then swore to them with an uplifted hand that he would so something, and then later  raised his hand again and swore the opposite.  Now did God mean it when he swore the first time or just the second?  How could he be sincere the first time if he knew inevitably that he could never do it?  Do we start to have a credibility problem with God?  How do we know when he tells us something that he will indeed do it and not renege?

Ezekiel 22:30
I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

Did God just have some time to burn off so he performed a useless search?  Was God’s heart in the search since before he commenced searching, he knew what the outcome would be?  Was he constrained to search to prove a point?  The question is: Why does God do futile things?

Ezekiel 33:13
If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered, he will die for the evil he has done.

Again, we have more credibility problems with God.  He states emphatically that someone will live when he knows when he gives the statement that it could be false.  Then if someone takes God at his word (that he will live) and lets his guard down, he then risks death.  What kind of message is this?  If God tells you something, don’t believe it?

Psalms 69:28, Exodus 33:32
May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. But now, please forgive their sin – but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.  The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”

In the first verse we see that David has a notion that God will write someone’s name in the book of life, and at some later date, that person might be removed. Now if God knows absolutely who is going to be saved before he created the world, then what is the point of a holy eraser?  Where did David get such an idea?  Well one place might have been Moses.  Somehow, Moses had bad theology.  But wait, it appears that God propagated that bad theology.  God didn’t just let Moses’ theology  stand, but he compounded it even further.   The  fruit of  this theology is found in Revelation 3:5 when John the Apostle reiterated this idea thousands of years later.

Revelation 3:5
He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white.   I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.

The obvious converse of this passage is that non-overcomers will be blotted out.  Interesting!

What is not meant by the denial of absolute foreknowledge

By denying God knows the future free will choices of man, it is not assumed that God doesn’t know certain future events.  Clearly God has prophesied future events that have come to pass.

These events however could be spoken of as certainties previous to the event, because God has the power to do whatever he so wills.  Nothing can stop his plan.  Therefore, if God decided to have  Jesus  born in Bethlehem,  no force in the  universe  could thwart  his  plan.   He therefore knows the future act absolutely because he has determined to cause the event to occur when the time has been fulfilled.  This is how a Calvinist views every event.  However, I believe Scripture shows that this is the exception and not the rule.

The denial of absolute foreknowledge also does not mean that God does not know everything. Clearly Scripture teaches that God has  full and complete knowledge of everything that exists (I John 3:20).  The question therefore is, does the future exist?  If you decide that the future does in fact exist in some manner as related to God, then it is incumbent on the reader to prove such a position.  This position cannot be simply assumed.  If in fact the future does not exist, then it is not incumbent upon God to know it.

Now this is not to say that God couldn’t have created a world in which he did know the future, but that he did not.  One could ask themselves, if in this world God knows all  future free actions, how would a world where he didn’t know differ from it?  How would the Bible be worded differently?

Free will is Biblical, and the same as moral ability

MAN’S MORAL ABILITY AND THE RELATION IT HAS TO THE MORAL LAW
By Jesse Morrell (A section from the booklet “Free Will & Conscience”)

Moral ability and free will are synonymous terms, being identical in nature and meaning. Inability and free will are antonymous terms, being contrary in nature and meaning. Free will is the power of contrary choice. A man is able to do only what a man is free to do; and a man is free to do only what a man is able to do. Freedom speaks of the contingent, not of the necessitated, of that which was voluntarily chosen under liberty, and not that forced by necessity. A freewill choice is a choice that did not have to be chosen, but that was voluntarily chosen when the person could have chosen the opposite.

To be required or obligated to do better, and to be accountable or judged for failure to do better, one must be capable of doing better. To be capable of doing better, one must be free, or able, to do better. What a man is free to do, a man is capable, or able, of doing. If a man is not capable, then a man is not able or free, and if a man is not a free agent, then he is a necessitated agent who can no more have moral character than a puppet or a machine can have moral character. Moral character relates to voluntary or intentional choices commanded or condemned by the God-given intelligence, knowledge, revelation, or conscience, and moral accountability relates to moral character. Therefore, what a man is accountable for, he must not have been necessitated to do, but must have voluntarily committed.

A man is responsible only for that which he is intentionally the cause of, and a man is only the intentional cause of that which is voluntary, since what is voluntary is intentional, and what is intentional is voluntary. And since moral character consists only in free, voluntary, intentional choices, and moral accountability is according to moral character, a man is only accountable for his free, voluntary, intentional choices.

Thomas Chalmers said, “The morality of any act is with its willfulness.” And then again, “That an action then be the rightful object, either of moral censure, or approval, it must have had the consent of the will to go along with it. It must be the fruit of volition – else it is utterly beyond the scope, either of praise for its virtuousness or of blame for its criminality. If an action be involuntary, it is as unfit a subject for any moral reckoning, as are the pulsations of the wrist.”1

Respecting the moral government of God (Isa. 9:6-7), or the ruling and reigning of God in the realm of morality over moral agents (Lk. 17:21), in which God is the Governor (Matt. 2:6), the moral commandments of God never exceed the moral ability of men. The commands of God are directed to the ability of man, being instructions as to how a man is to use the liberty of his will, or how a man is to properly use his ability.

Since God’s moral commandments are directions for man’s moral ability, as to how to use this God-given ability, God’s moral requirements never exceed this God-given moral 3ability. Since God’s Moral Government is the governing of man’s moral agency (through persuasion and influence, not through force or necessity), God’s moral commandments never can, never do, and never will exceed man’s moral ability or moral agency. Because God’s commandments are directions to man, as to how a man is to use his ability, God’s commandments are in fact a declaration or a revelation of what man can do and what man should do.

The moral law of God’s Moral Government is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37) and “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). The moral law of God, in essence, is the law of love, love being the total and complete fulfillment of the whole of the law (Rom. 13:8, 10; Gal. 5:14; Jas. 2:8).

The law of love, or the life of love, is commanded, and the law of selfishness, or the life of selfishness, is condemned. Love is not an involuntary emotion or feeling, but it is a voluntary, impartial committal of the will towards the highest well-being of all (Jn. 3:16; 15:13); it is the intention of the heart, and is synonymous with “good will” (Lk.2:14; Eph. 6:7; Php. 1:15), and is the same as benevolence.

If love is truly love, it must of necessity manifest itself into action and conduct whenever possible and whenever necessary, performing the required means to secure the end of the well-being of others. The “readiness to will” results in the performance” or in the “doing” (2 Cor. 8:11). If the inside of the cup (inward intention) is first clean, then the outside of the cup (outward actions) will be clean as well (Matt. 23:26), because what is inside will manifest in what is outside whenever possible. A good tree can only produce good fruit, while a bad tree can only produce bad fruit (Matt. 7:17), because the heart, or intention, determines the outward life (Matt. 12:35; Lk. 6:45).

Love, good will, or benevolence satisfies the whole of the law (Rom. 13:8, 10; Gal. 5:14; Jas. 2:8), but selfishness or self-centeredness is a total and complete violation of the whole of the law (Jas. 2:10). To break one letter of the law is to break the whole spirit of the law; which the entire letter of the law is derived from. The letter of the law is derived from the spirit of the law; therefore, to break one letter of the law is to break the whole spirit of the law. He that breaks the one breaks the whole. Therefore, to “offend in one point” is to be “guilty of all” (Jas. 2:10).

Notice that God does not command that we love Him with faculties that we do not possess, but rather that we love Him with all that we currently possess, “with all thy,” as opposed to with that which is not currently yours. The commandments are  directions to man as to how he is to use his ability. The commandments of God are not impossible, demanding that we love Him with a heart, soul, mind and strength that we do not have. Rather, it is possible to keep the law of God, which demands that we love Him with all of what we do have, with all that we are capable of, to the very highest of our ability, no more and no less. It is possible to keep the law because we are capable, and we are capable because it is possible to keep the law; our God-given commandments and our God-given ability directly correspond with each other. The command of God is that we 4love to the very highest of our ability, no more and no less, and therefore we are able to keep the law of love; we are able to keep the commandments of Jesus (1 Jn. 2:3; 3:22; 5:2-3; Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 22:14). Obedience is always possible, and disobedience is never necessary or unavoidable. The highest that our ability is capable of is all that the law of God commands, no more and no less. The law of God is the law of our ability, to love Him supremely and our neighbor equally, according to our ability, with all of our ability, “with all thy.”

Clemens of Alexandrinus said that the call of “the Divine word – requireth but that which is according to the ability and strength of every one.”2 Gordon Olson said, “The words -all thy’ express our obligation. It is the exertion of -thy’ personality and ability that is required – all’ this ability.”3 Charles Finney said, “Entire obedience is the entire consecration of the powers, as they are, to God. It does not imply any change in them, but simply the right use of them.”4 Again Finney said that the law “simply requires us to use what strength we have. They very wording of the law is proof conclusive, that it extents its demands only to the full amount of what strength we have. And this is true of every moral being, however great or small.”5 And Asa Mahan said, “the law, addressing men -requires them to love God with all their – mind and strength,’ that is -with the power they now actually possess.”6

God commands that you use “thy heart” and “thy soul” and “thy mind.” Clement of Alexandria said, “What the commandments direct are in our own power”7 The command of God is directed towards our current faculties, and it does not exceed the limits of those faculties. We are to love him with “all” of these faculties, not with less or with more than those faculties are capable of. Man is not responsible for more than he can perform, and so man is not accountable for more than he can perform. Man’s responsibility is in accordance with all of his ability, and man’s accountability is according to his responsibility. Therefore, man will not be accountable for that which was beyond his power because man is not accountable beyond his responsibility, and his responsibility is never beyond his ability.

Man’s moral ability is naturally and obviously limited by moral possibilities; therefore, God’s moral commandments never require moral impossibilities, for that which is morally impossible cannot be morally commanded. God cannot morally demand a moral impossibility. Augustine said, “God does not demand impossibilities.”8  Charles Finney said, “The law of God requires nothing more of any human being, than that which he is at present naturally able to perform, under the present circumstances of his being.”9

The extent of God’s commandments is the exact extent of man’s ability, and the extent of man’s ability is the extent of God’s commandments; each one establishes and determines the limitations and boundaries of the other, and since man will be judged by the commandments, the extent of man’s accountability will be the extent of man’s ability. A man will not be accountable for that which he was not capable of; he will not be judged for that which was outside of the realm of his control. 5

The law of God is therefore the law of our ability: to love Him supremely and our neighbor equally, according to our ability, with all of our ability, to the highest of our ability, no more and no less. There is, then, no inability in which a sinner can hide behind as an excuse, no commandment that a sinner can point to as tyrannical, since all the commandments of God can be kept, without exception.

All sin is, therefore, inexcusable since all sin is voluntary and avoidable; that which brings moral guilt is always voluntary and avoidable. What is unavoidable is excusable, but what is inexcusable must be avoidable. What is punishable must voluntary, and what is voluntary must be avoidable. What is punishable must be vice, and what is vice must be voluntary. Only sin can be punishable, and only what is voluntary and avoidable can be sin. Therefore, sin is inexcusable and punishable because sin is voluntary and avoidable, and it is voluntary and avoidable because God has given man free will.

Justin the Martyr said, “We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishment, chastisement, and rewards are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Otherwise, if all things happen by fate, then nothing is ur own power. For if it is predestined that one man be good and another man evil, then the first is not deserving of praise and the other to be blamed. Unless humans have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions – whatever they may be – for neither would a man be worthy of praise if he did not himself choose the good, but was merely created for that end. Likewise, if a man were evil, he would not deserve punishment, since he was not evil of himself, being unable to do anything else than what he was made for.”10

Charles Finney said, “Moral agency implies the possession of free-will. By freewill it is intended the power of choosing or refusing to choose, in every instance, in compliance with moral obligation. Free-will implies the power of originating and
deciding our own choices, and of exercising our own sovereignty, in every instance of choice upon moral questions, of deciding or choosing in conformity with duty or otherwise in all cases of moral obligation . . . unless the will is free, man has no freedom; and if he has no freedom he is not a moral agent, that is, he is incapable of moral action and also of moral character. Free-will then, in the above defined sense, must be a condition of moral agency, and, of course, of moral obligation.”11

Miner Raymond said, “It is axiomatic that that for which any agent is morally responsible must be within his control. If man be responsible for obedience or disobedience to the divine commands, then obedience and disobedience are both equally
within his power. Which of them shall result is not determined by any thing external to him. His own power of choice selects the one, it being at the same time a power equally adequate to select the other. That for which an agent is morally responsible must be an election; that is, a selection with an alternative.”12 L. D. McCabe said, “Accountability necessitates the origination of choice between obedience and disobedience.”13 And again, “A free, original, independent, conscious choice between good and evil, is the sine qua non [condition] of every act that involves morality.”14

A man is only accountable for his moral character. His moral character is his heart or intention (which necessarily manifests into action whenever possible). A man’s intention is within the realm of his control (or else it cannot be his). Intention must be voluntary, and what is voluntary must be avoidable.  Therefore, a man is only accountable for his intentional, voluntary, avoidable choices or intentions.

God holds men accountable to their responsibility. What God requires of man God expects from men, what God expects from men is possible for men, and what is possible for men is the same as what men are capable of. Accountability implies requirement, requirement implies expectation, expectation implies possibility, and possibility implies capability. Man is accountable for choosing sin only because he is capable of choosing righteousness over sin. A man is accountable for choosing darkness over the light onlybecause he is capable of choosing the light over darkness. A man is accountable for disobedience because he is capable of choosing obedience over disobedience.

A man is accountable for rejecting Jesus only because he is capable of following Jesus. A man is responsible and accountable according to that which is within his realm of control, according to that which is within his power. A man will be judged by his ability, no more and no less, since the commands of God require nothing more then that which is within man’s moral ability, that which is within the realm of moral possibilities.

Consider the great disappointment of God over mankind (Gen. 6:5-6, Ps. 81:13, Eze. 6:9). Now consider the logical implications of disappointment. Disappointment requires expectation, and reasonable expectation requires capabilities or potential.
Disappointment arises when failed expectations, which were based upon potential possibilities, occur. God’s great  disappointment with mankind is rooted in mankind’s great potential, moral capabilities, or open possibilities, which were given to mankind by God Himself. And if God’s disappointment comes from God’s expectations, and if God legislates according to His expectations, that is, if God’s requirements are the same thing as His expectations, then all of God’s requirements are perfectly matched by mankind’s capabilities or potential because God’s expectations are according to man’s capabilities or potential. Once again we clearly see that God’s requirements never exceed man’s capabilities. What God genuinely requires God must genuinely desire. And if God genuinely desires it, then God will enable man to do it.

Irenaeus said, “God made man free from the beginning, possessing his own power, even as he does his own soul, to obey the commandments of God voluntarily.”15 If God does not grant man the genuine ability to obey it must be because God does not
genuinely want man to obey. But if God genuinely wants to be obeyed it must be understood that God grants man the ability to genuinely obey. If God wants man to voluntarily obey, God must make it possible for man to voluntarily obey since it is in His
power to make this ability available to man. That which He requires He supplies the ability to achieve. If God commands the parting of the red sea, God will supply the power to do it (Ex. 14:26-27). If God commands moral perfection of heart from men (Gen. 17:1, 7Deut. 18:13, Matt. 5:48) God supplies the ability for it to be achieved (1 Cor. 10:13). Those whom God holds morally responsible and morally accountable are those whom God has made or created morally free, morally capable, or morally able with open possibilities and natural potential.

So man has a free will because man was made with one, because man was made in the image of God. Winkie Pratney said, “Free choice is a reality with man because it is a reality in God.”16 Gordon Olson said, “God designed man’s constitution, with its
profound abilities and reactions, to enable him to achieve great heights of comprehension and moral nobility in the imitation of his Creator.”17

*1 Thomas Chalmers; The Bridgewater Treatise by T. Chalmers, 1835 Edition, p. 272,
273, published by Corie, Lea, & Blanchard
*2 Clemens of Alexandrinus; An Equal Check to Pharisaism and Antinomianism by John
Fletcher, Volume Two, p. 204, published by Carlton & Porter
*3 Gordon Olson; The Kindness of God Our Savior, p. 10, published by Revival
Theology Promotion
*4 Charles Finney; Finney’s Systematic Theology, 1878 Edition, p. 129, published by
Bethany House
*5 Charles Finney; Finney’s Systematic Theology, 1878 Edition, p. 134, published by
Bethany House
*6 Asa Mahan; The Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 118, published by Truth in
Heart
*7 Clement of Alexandria; A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p.
295, published by Hendrickson Publishers
*8 Augustine; Joy and Strength, 1929 Edition, p. 192, published by Grosset & Dunlap
*9 Charles G. Finney; Lectures on Systematic Theology, 1851 Edition, p. 35
*10 Justin the Martyr, First Apology Chap. 43
*11 Charles G. Finney; Lectures on Systematic Theology, 1851 Edition, p. 46-47
*12 Miner Raymond; Systematic Theology, Volume One, 1877 Edition, p. 520-521,
published by Granston & Stowe
*13 L. D. McCabe; Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies a Necessity, p. 67
*14 L. D. McCabe; Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies a Necessity, p. 74
*15 Irenaeus; A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published
by Hendrickson Publishers
*16 Winkie Pratney; The Nature and Character of God, 1988, p. 205, Bethany House
Publishing
17 Gordon Olson; The Kindness of God Our Savior, p. 61, published by Revival
Theology Promotion