Archive for free will

Predestined: A Dry Nile River

Posted in Egypt/Nile River, Isaiah, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2019 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 19:5-7 And the waters of the sea will be dried up, and the river will be dry and parched, and its canals will become foul, and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away. There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile, and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched, will be driven away, and will be no more.

This prophecy was written approximately 2,800 years ago. There is not any record where the Nile River has dried up since this was written. The prophecy is quite a statement. The Nile River is predestined to go dry.

The notion of a dry Nile is also noted in… 

Zechariah 10:11b …And He will strike the waves in the sea, so that all the depths of the Nile will dry up…

Ezekiel 30:12 And I will dry up the Nile and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers; I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it, by the hand of foreigners; I am the LORD; I have spoken.

God states this is His will.

God does not say what causes the Nile River to go dry.

How is this going to happen? There is the obvious answer of drought. Outside of the Nile River, Egypt is not a hospitable place. It is desert and nothing grows there. It would take a drought in central Africa in the highlands of Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile.

Humanity is exerting its will to control the waters of the Nile River. Human intervention does not always result in its desired intention. History is littered with ecological disasters at the hands of humanity. Countries across Africa and the Middle East threaten each other with limited access to water.

A possibility is the Aswan Dam in southern Egypt. The waters behind the dam could be withheld.  Ironically, the primary purpose of the dam is to manage flooding of the Nile River.

There is also the matter of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam construction continues on the Nile River. Construction of the dam is located in northwest Ethiopia. When finished, the GERD will be the largest hydroelectric plant in Africa. As of the Spring of 2019, the project is estimated to be completed in 2022. Once finished, it estimated to take 5-15 years for the reservoir to fill to capacity.

As a trend, the levels of the Nile River are receding in recent times. This is due to countries up river in central Africa who are using more of the water as a resource. As of December 2006, the following statement was issued by NASA based on satellite imagery. “Several African basins, such as the Congo, Zambezi and Nile, show significant drying over the past five years.”  A February 2010 headline from a newspaper in the Sudan read, Nile River Volume Decreases, The Problem To Local Communities.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Ethiopian_Renaissance_Dam

God can use the free will of humans to achieve His purpose. It does not mean He will.

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Predestined With Free Will: Egyptian Idolatry

Posted in Egypt/Nile River, Isaiah, Prophecy with tags , , , , , on March 3, 2019 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 19:3 and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers…

Demoralized, their chosen attitude, the Egyptians will turn to idols, talking to the dead, and the occult in Isaiah 19:3. That is the Egyptian response and plan. God allows the Egyptians the free will to make their own way.

God in turn responds to the Egyptians and their plans. The translation of “confound” does not tell the whole story. He will “confound” or bala in the Hebrew. The idea communicated is intentional, intensive, and repeated action of swallowing their strategy. One could get the idea that the Egyptians will have many ideas and solutions to try to stop the civil war. These ideas (political, economic, religious, etc.) will be repeatedly shot down by God. The Egyptian solutions to the civil war will not succeed because God directly acts. Translated another way, the LORD will swallow or engulf their plans. Again, God allows the people to have their own ideas. Humanity’s ideas are no match for the LORD.

Photo: Ancient Symbols

Isaiah 19:4 Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master, and a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

God will intentionally give (piel stem verb form in Hebrew) the Egyptian people this leader. There are two adjectives that describe this leader in the verse. You can bet this leader will likely use force on the population.

Qasheh or “cruel”: This word can be defined as hard, cruel, severe, obstinate, difficult, fierce, intense, vehement, stubborn, stiff-necked, rigorous (of battle).

`Az or translated “mighty”: This word can be defined as strong, mighty, fierce. (Strong’s Concordance)

Will a God-given overbearing dictator likely act cruelly toward his populous? Yes. Are the people responsible for how they respond to this tyrant? Yes.

These first four verses of Isaiah 19 make one point over and over and over. God is managing the action. Yet, people have choices and actions. God does not make Egypt or us do anything. We don’t always get our way.

This is a direct quote from God Himself. God states in the language and grammar, He is in charge.

Predestined With Free Will: Egyptian Civil War

Posted in Egypt/Nile River, Isaiah, Prophecy with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2019 by paulthepoke

There are many examples in Scripture where God addresses individual nations. The prophet warn Russia, Turkey, Iran and others in Ezekiel 38-39. Damascus, Syria has a destructive date with destiny in Isaiah 17, Amos 1, and Jeremiah 49. Ancient Nineveh or modern-day Mosul, Iraq is warned in Nahum. Amos 1 warns modern day Lebanon. The Gaza Strip is informed of judgment in Ezekiel 25. Prophecy against Iran is noted in Jeremiah 49. And the list goes on and on and on…

The focus here is the destiny of the nation Egypt. A significant prophecy regarding the future of Egypt is located in Isaiah 19. Like every other nation, Egypt is predestined in their journey through history. God knows the collective choices they will make. God knows literally and figuratively where their road leads. The prophet Isaiah lays out the course of Egypt prior to the coming of the Messiah.

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Isaiah 19:1 The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.

The first observation is that the LORD directly intervenes. God is the one pressing these events. The Hebrew word for “oracle” is massa’. Simply stated, it means a burden or load. This same word, massa’, was also the name of Ishmael’s son (Genesis 25:14). Ishmael’s name means burden. Ishmael’s mother Hagar is Egyptian (Genesis 16:1). Prophetically speaking, Hagar’s offspring were destined to carry a burden.

Photo: Shutterstock

The LORD is coming quickly on a swift cloud. The Hebrew word for “cloud” is `ab. What is not stated in the translation is the type of cloud. It is a dark, thick cloud. The introduction states this is going to be swift, quick, and ominous. It reminds me of a supercell thunderstorm you can see rolling in on the plains.

Isaiah 19:2 “So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians; and they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor, city against city and kingdom against kingdom…”

This is how God is going to bring the nation of Egypt together and return them to the LORD or Yahweh. God is going to bring about circumstances that will knit them as a unified country and be His people.

The first thing to happen is an Egyptian civil war. God says He will “incite” or cakak in the Hebrew. This word is also translated as “cover” per Strong’s Concordance. This is the same term used repeatedly in reference to the angels’ wings of the Ark of the Covenant. Their wings “covered” or cakak the Ark.

Exodus 25:20 The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.

See also: Exodus 37:9, 1 Kings 8:7, 1 Chronicles 28:18b.

Figuratively, cakak can be seen as protection, hedge in, or join together.

Will the people choose to fight each other? Yes, the Egyptian people will opt to fight against one another throughout the country. But Egypt will be watched and protected by Yahweh or the LORD. The idea is to intensively, purposely weave together the Egyptians against each other repeatedly.

God is in control regardless of our actions. He can overcome our repeated bad decisions.

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Predestined With Free Will: Nations and Their Foreign Policy

Posted in Jude, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 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 claims He is the One who controls the destiny of nations and history. He is the ultimate authority.

Do politicians and countries choose their foreign policy? Sure they do. Countries make strategic decisions and direction. In today’s world, we are currently watching politicians discuss “peace and security in the Middle East”. Do you think world leaders are consulting God and His will in their potential actions? Do world leaders even consider God as they plot their course?

Will nations be held accountable for their decisions and how they relate to God’s chosen people? Yes they will. God will have a response.

Isaiah 17:12-13 Ah, the thunder of many peoples; they thunder like the thundering of the sea! Ah, the roar of nations; they roar like the roaring of mighty waters! The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters, But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away, and be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind, or like whirling dust before a gale.

The attitude exhibited in Isaiah 17 is consistent with today’s world leaders. They talk tough and threaten each other with guaranteed destruction. Nations impose economic sanctions and create various trade deals with their partners. Their design is to protect their interests and inflict hardship on their adversaries. Israel’s enemies threaten to shove the Jews into the Mediterranean on a daily basis. Kingdoms against kingdoms are promising to blow the hell out of each other.

Despite all these human instruments of death and tragedy, God compares the nations and their bravado to chaff and dust. He is the wind. God is the gale. Chaff and dust have no control. These light weight particles are at the mercy of air currents. He is the wind who steers the nations. To quote the song from Kansas, “All we are is dust in the wind.”

Nuclear weapons and 21st century instruments of warfare are no match for God and His plan for history. Humans love thumping their chests and showing off their explosive toys. Which country can bring about the most destruction? These are ultimately no match. God will preserve Israel.

Isaiah 54:15-17 If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from Me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from Me, declares the LORD.

In Psalm 79, we see this mindset in the world today. People question whether or not there is a god let alone the God of the Bible. A time is coming when the world will question Israel whether or not their God is real. But, God will respond.

Psalm 79:10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!

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?

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?

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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