Archive for free will

Predestined With Free Will: Old Testament Prophets and Israel’s Future

Posted in Millennial Kingdom, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , on January 20, 2019 by paulthepoke

Every single Old Testament prophet except Jonah states Israel will be restored to future glory.

Granted, Jonah did not promise of Israel’s restoration in the book of Jonah. But Jonah was noted to proclaim Israel would be restored in 2 Kings.

2 Kings 14:25 He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher.

Jonah observation compliments of a viewer from Twitter. Iron sharpens iron. Way to go Johnna!!

Isaiah 65:9 “I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and an heir of My mountains from Judah; even My chosen ones shall inherit it, and My servants will dwell there.”

Jeremiah 30:3 For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, “when I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah.” The Lord says, “I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers and they shall possess it.”

Ezekiel Chapter 34

Daniel 7:14 And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.

Hosea Chapter 2

Joel 2:19 The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied in full with them; and I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.”

Amos 9:14 “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit.”

Obadiah 1:17 “But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.

Micah 2:12 “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; like a flock in the midst of its pasture they will be noisy with men.”

Nahum 2:2 For the Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, even though devastators have devastated them and destroyed their vine branches.

Habakkuk Chapter 3

Zephaniah 3:20 “At that time I will bring you in, even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes,” says the Lord.

Haggai 2:9 “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,” says the Lord of hosts, “and in this place I will give peace,” declares the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah Chapter 8

Malachi 3:12 “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts.”

Thus says the Lord…

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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.

click on link for audio/video and additional commentary

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.

Click on the link above for video/audio.

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.

Click the video link above

…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.

Freedom & Apostasy…Thoughts from an American Soldier

Posted in American soldier with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2018 by paulthepoke

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

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.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

The Bible states that humanity has free will to choose the object of their worship.

 

islam

Apostasy? I’ve been asked, does Islam allow freedom of religion or does it threaten the death penalty for apostasy?  Well the truth is… they believe and practice this everyday…

From what I’ve seen in the Middle East and speaking with the locals over here, they believe that “Anyone” and mainly “Westerners” are INFIDELS in their belief. Those who turn their back on Islam are to be executed. This is confirmed by the words and deeds of Muhammad. The only freedom of belief in Islam is the freedom to become Muslim.

Islamic Law: There is also a consensus by all four schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (Maliki, Hanbali, Hanafi, and Shafii), as well as classical Shiite jurists, that apostates from Islam must be put to death. The process of declaring a person to be an apostate is known as takfir and the disbeliever is called a murtad.

The “Religion of Peace” expanded across the globe by conquering people of other religions and then making life miserable for those who did not embrace Islam. Once spoken, a person was locked into the faith. Any sign of false witness, such as raising their children in another faith, was punished with death. Thus, Islam gradually supplanted other religions.

Some apologists bend the truth in order to distance Islam from one of its most draconian rules. The world’s most popular Muslim apologist recently affirmed that the death penalty should be applied to those who leave Islam and share their faith with others.

 

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

 

 

 

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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