Archive for the Jude Category

Predestined With Free Will: Pharaoh’s Choice

Posted in Egypt/Nile River, Jude with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2019 by paulthepoke

Exodus 5:3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

Look at how Pharaoh was approached by God, Moses, and Aaron. They were respectful. God introduced Himself and was formal. He used His proper name, YHWH. He is known as Yahweh or Jehovah.

Moses and Aaron used their manners and petitioned Pharaoh. They acknowledged his authority and position. The term translated is “Please”. This is the Hebrew word “na”. This is a sincere, humble request. The word “na” is defined as: we pray, we beseech. The majority of time “na” is translated as “please”.

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Pharaoh, in his free will, responds to reverence and respect in the following manner. Nobody made or influenced him to act this way. He was rude and crude all by himself. Pharaoh is the one imposing his will on his servants in the Egyptian government and the Hebrew slaves. Look at Pharaoh’s actions in Exodus 5:6-17.

  1. Pharaoh indicated to taskmasters to stop providing straw to Israel for brick production.
  2. Pharaoh now required to Hebrews to go get the straw.
  3. Pharaoh required more work and expected the same production.
  4. He viewed the Hebrews as “lazy”.
  5. Pharaoh re-emphasized his will to increase the labor demands.
  6. Pharaoh considered the idea of the LORD a lie.
  7. The conditions of finding straw and brick production were restated.
  8. Pharaoh and Egyptian officials continually hounded the Hebrews about brick production.
  9. Israeli leaders were physically beaten for not meeting production quotas.
  10. Egyptians continued to harass the Israeli work force for sustained production.
  11. Pharaoh repeatedly told the Hebrews they were “slackers”.
  12. He blamed their lack of production on God.
  13. Pharaoh closed with restating his expectations and labor demands.
https://pharaohoppressionmosesisraelegyptdynasty.wordpress.com/category/mud-bricks-containing-straw/

This is how Pharaoh responded to decency and manners. Pharaoh was an unrealistic, rigid, and inflexible task master. He made things harder for the Israeli people. Pharaoh did all of this without God’s influence. This is who Pharaoh was all by himself.

At this point, the LORD God had not responded to or influenced Pharaoh. But things were about the change…

Exodus 7:3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.

God is promising to harden Pharaoh’s heart. God has yet to do anything to him. Exodus 7:3 is a prophecy of what God will do. The LORD is about to exert His will.

Exodus 7:4 When Pharaoh does not listen to you, then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt by great judgments.

Exodus 7:4 is a prophecy of Pharaoh’s lack of response. Notice, God gives Pharaoh a chance to respond positively. He allows Pharaoh to fail before He executes judgment. But, God knows the end result before it happens.

Pharaoh is going to have many opportunities to align his heart and his will with God. The LORD did not make Pharaoh do anything. God appealed to Pharaoh’s heart. We all know how this ends for Egypt.

There are at least 14 examples of Pharaoh’s heart being hardened in the book of Exodus. Every time Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, he responded negatively with actions and attitude. God did not make him respond negatively. That was Pharaoh’s active choice. Pharaoh was the captain of his actions and decisions.

Exodus 7:13, 7:22, 8:15, 8:19, 8:32, 9:7, 9:12, 9:34, 9:35, 10:1, 10:20, 10:27, 11:10, 14:8.

God closes with hardening the heart of the Egyptian army at the Red Sea in Exodus 14:17. The Egyptians were all in as they pursued Israel.

How many times have we had the opportunity to align our hearts and our wills with God? How many times have we not responded to God’s plea for good works and deeds? How many times will a person refuse God’s will before He hardens the individual’s heart?

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Predestined With Free Will: Pharaoh Meets the LORD

Posted in Egypt/Nile River, Jude with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2019 by paulthepoke

Romans 9:16-17 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

The Apostle Paul is quoting Exodus 9:16.

Here is a text book example of a man’s will on display verses the will of God. Pharaoh is representing the nation Egypt. The Apostle Paul is pointing out man’s will or a nation’s will is no match for God’s will. Pharaoh clearly exerts his choices and will towards the Jewish slaves in Egypt. Little does Pharaoh know, he is being used by God.

Critics would say Pharaoh had no choice in the matter. They argue Pharaoh was made for failure. The critic says God is not fair and unjust towards Pharaoh.

Moses has one simple request.

Exodus 5:1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’”

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Exodus 5:2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

But look at Pharaoh’s attitude when he first encounters Moses the representative of God. Pharaoh clearly understands Moses and Aaron. There is no confusion. Pharaoh does not acknowledge God. He questions His authority and existence. Pharaoh is not interested in playing along with this so-called LORD’s request. Pharaoh will have his way and do what he wants regardless of any request. Israel is going nowhere. Israel will stay under the authority of Egypt. The Hebrew people have work to do for Pharaoh.

God is formal with Pharaoh. He introduces Himself by His proper name. YHWH (scholars refer to this as the Tetragrammaton, Greek for four letters) is the proper name of the Hebrew God of the Bible. The correct spelling is YHWH. Note, there are no vowels in this term. Vowels from the name Adonai were substituted and the term Yahweh emerged. Jehovah is a word that has been translated to English from the Hebrew, Yahweh. The name for LORD is Jehovah. It means the existing one. This name is so sacred, Jews refuse to pronounce it. The name is first introduced in Exodus 3:14 when Moses and God are having a discussion. His name is a statement of existence.

Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

If one is looking for proof that God created or God exists, you are wasting your time. It is assumed. God is eternal and self-existent. God always has been and always will be.

Predestined With Free Will: Apostle Paul and Israel’s Future

Posted in Jude, Millennial Kingdom, Prophecy with tags , , , , on January 27, 2019 by paulthepoke

The Apostle Paul in the New Testament book of Romans makes it very clear. God is not finished with nation Israel. He makes this statement writing to members of the church in Rome. His writings included the idea of Israel’s election, Israel’s rejection, and Israel’s future restoration. Paul is in serious angst and agony regarding his fellow countrymen. He would go to Hell for Israel. God has not kicked Israel to the curb let alone replaced them with the church or any other group of people or nation.

Romans 9:3-4 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises…

The Apostle Paul is emphatic. There is NO way God has broken His promise to His people and nation, Israel. The idea is consistent in the Old Testament and New Testament. God has not changed His mind.

Romans 11:1-11:2 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?

Malachi 3:6 “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”

Romans 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”

Focus on the word “saved”. It is the Greek word σοζο/sozo. The word is defined as to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; one (from injury or peril); to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health (Strong’s Concordance).

The tense of the verb is future. The verse is prophetic. Israel will be spared and preserved in the future. At the time of the writing in the first century, Israel had yet to be dispersed to the world let alone regathered back to the land. The nation will not be destroyed.

Today in the early 21st century, Israel is back in the land and a nation as prophesied. Israel has resurrected as a nation. Ultimately, they will not reject their Messiah. A little detour with the Antichrist will come first. The statement below is becoming more of a reality as time passes. There are Jews who believe in Jesus and the number is growing. The world will ultimately receive blessing.

Romans 11:15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Predestined With Free Will: Israel’s Chosen History

Posted in Jude, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , on January 13, 2019 by paulthepoke

Genesis 25:23 And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

Romans 9:11-12 …though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad-in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of Him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”

God chose Israel as His people. Romans 9:11-12 tells us that God chose Jacob (Israel) over Esau in order that His purpose might stand. It was His choice. He chose Israel not because they are better than other nations; or not because they are larger or smaller. It was not because they (Israel) are good. Israel did not earn their selection. It was His choice and purpose.

Israel is not a perfect people and neither are any of us. They use their free will just like we do. And free will choices are not always for the greater good as God would see it. As human’s, we elevate our free will as equivalent or greater than God. Really??? Go look at the stars on a clear night and ponder.

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Over twenty times in the book of Genesis alone, God stated His covenant with the offspring of Abram is an eternal and everlasting promise. He made the claim to Abram (later Abraham), Isaac, Jacob (later Israel) and his descendants.

In the book Toward an Old Testament Theology, Walter Kaiser commented, “Sixty-nine times the writer of Deuteronomy repeated the pledge that Israel would one day ‘possess’ and ‘inherit’ the land promised to her.” (p. 124-5).

Genesis 32:28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

The verse above has proven to be prophetic for nation Israel. The country struggled against Egypt and was held captive for 400 years. God delivered His people out of slavery and bondage in Exodus.

God’s chosen people were taken captive by Tiglath-Pileser and the Assyrian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar led the Babylonians and plundered Jerusalem. Those who survived were taken back to Babylon. Israel was under Persian rule after they conquered Babylon.

They were dispersed throughout the world in the first century at the hands of the Roman Empire. They survived the Spanish Inquisition in the late 1400’s. Hitler attempted to exterminate the Jewish people during the middle of the 20th century in World War II.

Israel was reborn as a country in a day in 1948. The rebirth of Israel in one day was prophesied in Isaiah 66:8-9.

Isaiah 66:8-9 “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.

The same promise of Ezekiel 37 and the vision of the valley of dry bones was fulfilled. Israel is a nation again.

The fact Israel is a nation again defies history. Name one other country who disappeared for about 2,000 years and resurrected into being from the past.

Predestined With Free Will: Nations

Posted in Jude, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2019 by paulthepoke

Psalm 115:2-3 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.

God is in control over the nations. Yet, the nations have free will to choose their destiny.

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A nation’s destiny is based on one simple foreign policy decision. How will that nation relate to God’s chosen people, Israel? And God states…

Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” -God

A nation’s course of history is determined by their interaction and response toward nation Israel. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s judgment toward the enemies of Israel. Likewise, nations who show favor towards Israel are blessed.

In Psalm 2, God makes it perfectly clear who is in charge. Notice, the nations are exhibiting their free will. They are “raging” and “plotting”. Nations are gathering together under their sovereignty. Their choice is to take on the Creator, God. And the nations think they can break free from God and His will.

Psalm 2:1-3 “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

God’s response to humanity’s rebellion towards Him… He laughs. He taunts. Then God explains how things are going to be. The Creator is in charge despite the creation’s free will. Note the terms wrath, terrify, and fury. God means business and He will emphatically put down the rebellion. His answer is The Lord Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is the headquarters.

Psalm 2:4-6 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then He will speak to them in His wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

It is stated that He (Jesus) will rule with a rod of iron and shatter them (the nations) like clay pots. Yes, nations can choose the destiny of their nation. Their free will and choice are no match. Nations are either with God or against Him. God will rule and Christ will be in charge.

Psalm 2:6-9 I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

A warning has been issued to the leaders of Earth. Use some common sense. Homage to the Son is expected.

Psalm 2:10-12 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.

Use your free will and choose the Son, Jesus Christ. Take safety in His provision for sin. He has you covered. Otherwise, sin will be judged. There is accountability and consequence to your free will sin. The destination is an eternal lake of fire.

Predestined With Free Will: Humanity

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2018 by paulthepoke

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

It is God’s will that each created, individual human being should not perish or face judgment. God wants all of us to have a change of heart and mind and return to Him.

But God created us with the capacity to choose our own way and choose the things we want. Every day we make multiple decisions. For example, I chose to hit the snooze button when the alarm clock went off this morning. I had oatmeal instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast. I put on brown pants and a sweater. I did not want to shave but I chose to brush my teeth. You get the point.

On this planet, there are over 7 billion individual wills who have this same capacity. People are acting on their own behalf. Religion, culture, and lifestyle influence and dictate behavior on a global scale. Some have chosen sides for either good or evil. Some have not chosen sides and drift to their own drum. Some choose to believe in nothing.

As altruistic humans, we love to believe our free will is for the greater good. We conveniently neglect the consequences of our sinful choices. When we screw up, we blame God. The reality is, we are responsible for our thoughts and actions.

James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

With eternal consequences for sin, humans love to blame God as an overbearing, unfair task master. “God wants to crush us with His thumb like a bug! God is a mean, cruel ogre!” This just is not true. Listen to what the prophet Ezekiel has to say. And this is even in the Old Testament…

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

The issue is us, humanity. We have a choice. Do we choose Jesus or not? Do we accept His payment for sin or not? Eternal judgment is the cost for sin. God provides a solution for the consequence of sin. The solution is Jesus’ death on the cross.

1 Timothy 2:4-6 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

God knew before the creation of time and Earth who was going to choose His path. He also knew who was going to refuse His path. This is God’s plan for all of humanity before time. He Chose Us, Every Single One of Us.

Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…

see also Romans 8:29-30

But, humanity has free will.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 When the sentence for a crime is not speedily executed, the hearts of men become fully set on doing evil.

Jude: Predestined With Free Will

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2018 by paulthepoke

Jude 1:4a For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation…

Sneaky, ravenous false teachers were known and predestined before time. That is what Jude and the text are saying. The vocabulary and grammar state the following.

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…who were long… This is the adverb πάλαι/palai. Its meaning is of old, former; long ago.

These “persons” were beforehand marked out. This is the root word προγράφω/prographo in the Greek. The prefix “pro” meaning before is attached to “grapho” meaning to write. The verb tense of the term προγράφω/prographo indicates it was written with binding results. When it was written long ago, it was written once and for all. It was written a long time ago before these folks were even a thought and it is a done deal. The results are not changing.

Some will argue this may not seem very fair God to create someone for the express purpose of being a false teacher then sentence them to judgment. Remember these people, as well as us as individuals, have free will and freedom of choice. And with our choices come consequences. This is the problem with the critic, specifically the atheist. These folks want no part of consequences for their actions.

Romans 13:2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

As fallen and broken people, who are we to challenge or question the will and authority of God? He created and gave us life. We all have chosen to sin. We are all under the physical death penalty in this life.The question is when that death will occur. In our condition, do we really want to be in the business of challenging God?


A great example of God’s sovereign will and individual choices is Jeremiah 18. God’s divine plan go hand and hand with free will. God knows our choices before we were made. He knows the end from before the beginning. Our individual wills are nothing in comparison to the will of God. As individuals, we overvalue the impact of our free choice.

God is the potter. We are figuratively and literally lumps of clay.

Jeremiah 18:4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he made it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.

Jeremiah 18:10 …if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.

Yes, God’s will is supreme. Suppose we did not have the freedom to make choices. Without free will, would there be a need for commandments? NO! We were not created to be mindless robots or taskmasters of an all-powerful God. Commandments were written by God to appeal to our sense of volition. We can choose to obey just as well as we can choose to disobey.

Jeremiah 18:11 “So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.”’

Jeremiah 18:12 “But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’

With choice comes responsibility and consequences to a just God.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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