Archive for free will

Where Is God??? Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2020 by paulthepoke
@beholy404

Joshua of Ghana @beholy404 on Twitter

Psalm 10:1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?

In 1755, an earthquake struck the city of Lisbon. It was All Saints Day when it happened, meaning that the churches were full. In just six minutes, 15,000 people were killed and another 15,000 severely wounded. French philosopher, Voltaire could not accept this disaster. He revolted against the problem of evil in the world. How can a person possibly believe in a good, wise and powerful God in the face of human suffering? Voltaire became a celebrated and a dedicated atheist. And he died in overt rebellion against God because of his inability to reconcile the presence of evil in a world governed by a merciful God.

wikipedia

Psalm 10 could be taken as a request for God to act. The Psalmist cataloged the presence of evil and several actions of the wicked that should have resulted in instant judgment and punishment from God; but there seems to be no immediate penalty. This confusion continued until he got a clarification from God.

Forgetting the problem of man’s rebellion against a just God that often prevents Him from answering our prayers, atheists would rather use the presence of pain and suffering in the world as their biggest talking point. Whenever we violate God’s laws and set aside His commandments, trouble will certainly come; because hard is the way of transgressors.

Man is a free moral agent and therefore can choose to do good or evil. God would not take away the freedom of choice from man, otherwise, as a robot, man can be excused, if he is not responsible.

When we experience these kinds of situations where we cry to God and He appears silent, it calls for self-examination to discover our sins and shortcomings instead of blaming Him for failing to act. We must understand that God knows and will definitely uphold justice either immediately or at a future time.

Free Will & Love… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on December 3, 2019 by paulthepoke

Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair. ―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

One of the most powerful and wonderful gifts God has given humanity is free will. When He created us, it was for love. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Problem of Pain, “We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the divine love may rest ‘well pleased. ’”

Love is not love if it is forced; therefore God gave us the ability to choose Him, to accept Him or reject Him.

When we turn on the news, or read a book such as this one, we may find ourselves asking, “How can a loving God let these things happen?” The truth is that our sinful human choices are a consequence of rejecting the One who made us. What is more profound than the fact that He gave us the choice to reject Him is the fact that He loves us and never leaves us even in our darkest moments, and even when we don’t yet know Him.

As you read this story of human darkness, be reminded that God so filled me with His love and gave me beauty for ashes by giving me the courage to share my story and not give up on love. My love of Christ, my love for the broken, and even my love for the ignorant who still want to label me are powerful testimony of just how far–reaching God’s healing love can be when we choose to accept Him.

Let this story also serve as a reminder to us of all the wars people fight every day of their lives. We may not see these wars on the outside, but they are there. To love like Christ, unconditionally, means we love without demanding that the other person prove their worthiness of that love.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”
Our very ability to love exists because it was initiated by love Himself. Who are we to ever deem another unlovable or undeserving?


“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Angels: Created With Free Will

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels, Creation with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2019 by paulthepoke

aggelos/ἄγγελος: In the Greek, an angel or messenger, generally a supernatural messenger from God conveying news or behests from God to men.

malak: In the Hebrew, a messenger. -Strong’s Concordance

What does the Bible have to say about Angels? God’s word does not give an account about how angels were created. The Bible does not say when angels were created. But we do know that angels were created before the universe and humanity. 

Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 

The context of this verse is a line of questioning directed to Job by God. Job is being asked if he was present prior to the creation of the world. God is explaining to Job that He laid the foundation and measured it out. Then God informs Job that the “morning stars” and the “sons of God” observed this event, sang, and shouted. “Sons of God” is an idiomatic expression for angels in the Old Testament. “Morning stars” is a term for angels. These beings saw God create the earth.

We do know that God, specifically Christ, created the angels.

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Psalm 148:2, 5 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.

In comparing angels to resurrected humanity, Jesus tells us that angels are immortal and they do not marry. Apparently, marriage is not intended in God’s program for angels.

Luke 20:35-36. But those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

Psalm 148:6 He has also established them (angels and host) forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away.

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

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There are two groups of angels, the elect and those fallen. There are those elect angels who follow God the Father and Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 5:21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.

1 Kings 22:19 Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.

Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word!

The fallen angels are those who are evil and follow Satan. Of the fallen angels, there are two groups. Some of the fallen are incarcerated. 

2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment… 

Some of the fallen angels are currently loose and free. These angels are currently under the leadership of Satan.

Revelation 12:7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back.

Granted the book of Jasher is an extra Biblical source, but there is an interesting note in regards to the ratio of fallen angels who are incarcerated and those who are not. Noah made the following comment when praying to God about angels and demons. These comments indicated 90% are bound and only 10% are free to maneuver under the will of Satan.

Jasher, Book of Jubilees 10: 9, 11 And He said: Let the tenth part of them remain before him, and let nine parts descend into the place of condemnation.’ And we did according to all His words: all the malignant evil ones we bound in the place of condemnation and a tenth part of them we left that they might be subject before Satan on the earth.

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Angels will ultimately be judged by humanity.

1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

Humanity was not created to go to a fiery end. Man was originally created perfect and eternal. Hell was designed for fallen angels. These are the words of Jesus Himself.

Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…'”

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.

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!

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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