January 26, 2016

Well, if you read much of what I write you already know that I am not going to take the conventional view of that question. It seems to me to be a waste of time to just repeat the views of others. That is not to say the views of others are not correct, but sometimes, viewing a question from a different angle, we can gain understanding. There is no gain from always studying scripture and expecting the same outcome.

The Bible states that there is nothing impossible for God (Mat 19:26, Mark 10:27, and Luke 1:37) and then says it is impossible for God to lie! (Heb 6:18) So, which is correct? Can God lie, or can He not lie?

As I understand, everything is possible for God, but if He lied He would cease to be God. (Psa 31:5 and Isa 65:16) If He lied then He could not be the God of truth.

Because I believe there is nothing impossible with God and there are verses that indicate God did not know before hand the outcome of some act, then it only seems logical that He hid the outcome from Himself.

It would not be consistent with the belief that nothing is impossible with God and then say He cannot hide something from Himself.

So, I do not believe God knows everything before it happens, and I will attempt to explain that belief, as I believe Scripture indicates this concept.

I believe, as I have said in a previous post, that we are here to be tested. I think it is a real test and being a real test the outcome cannot be known. If the result of the test is known it would not be a test, only an account. It would be history, before it happened!

If you can accept this concept, then you can understand some of Scripture that indicates that God did not know what man would do, even though He could have looked into the future and would have seen it.

God hates sin and therefore, I believe He does not look at it. After sin has been committed it cannot be hidden, it is there for all to see, and it can no longer be hidden from anyone.

God asked Adam and Eve if they had eaten from the tree that He commanded them not to eat from. He did not say that He knew they would eat from the tree. He even asked them if someone had told them that they were naked. If He had looked at their sin beforehand He would not have asked these questions.

Then, before the great flood, mankind grieved God with all of their sin and it filled His heart with pain. If God knew that man would become so wicked would it have filled His heart with pain? Would God have hurt Himself for no reason?

One might say that the time before the great flood was a failed experiment, but it was not God that failed, but man failed. If God had known the outcome of that test, would the test have been necessary?

Then there is the account of Abraham and when God tested him. God did not say to Abraham that He knew that he would complete the sacrifice of his son, but He said “Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”.

Then I consider the present time and for that matter all of time. It would be cruel to give life to someone that was already condemned to Hell. Our Father is anything but cruel and therefore would not do such a thing. If God knew our sin before it was committed, and did not stop us, we could rightly accuse Him of not loving most of those He gave life to. That would not be consistent with His nature and therefore I cannot accept the notion that He knows sin, before it happens.

My life is not a test for God, but a test for me and your own life is a test for you. It is a true and fair test, just as it must be. We must make every effort to pass the test.


January 15, 2016

That seems like an easy question to answer. After all we are told that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. What does that really mean? What seems simple at first glance is not so easy to completely understand.

It is sometimes said that Jesus died in our place, so that we do not have to die, and if you view that statement from one angle it is true. However, if taken literally it would mean that I would not have to die: but of course I must die. (Exo 33:20 NIV) But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

Jesus died a physical death, partly to show how terrible it is to die, but that is not all his death means. Actually it is not the main purpose of his sacrifice.

The result of my sins, any sin, no matter how small that sin seems to man, is to be removed from the presence of God forever. That is the second death. My physical death is not punishment for my sins, but the second death is the true punishment for sin.

That is the punishment that God has ordained and God must inflict it on anyone that sins. Not to do so would brand God an unjust judge. And, of course God is not unjust.

Now, I do not want to be removed from the presence of God and God does not want to see me removed from His presence, so He devised a plan to save me. Not just me, but anyone that reveres Him and learns to love Him.

That plan is Jesus Christ. You see Jesus was removed from the presence of God when he took my sins as his sins. That, to both our Father and Jesus, was much worse than a physical death, no matter how horrible that death might be; and the cross was certainly a horrible way to die.

That in itself is a wonderful thing for me, but if Jesus was removed from the presence of our Father, forever, it would be too great a price for one such as me. However, God knows that Jesus is perfect and therefore had no sin of his own to be punished for, so he has not been permanently banished from the kingdom of God.

So, to be as accurate as I can be, and I do like to be accurate, Jesus died the second death for me and I will never be banished from the presence of my Father!

Jesus is in me (John 14:20) or part of me and because he will never die, I will never die (John 14:19).

Now, I know that you already know this. So, you are asking yourself why I took the time to write this post. Well, it seems to me that when we say that Jesus died for our sins that we should be as accurate as we can be. Therefore, I think that we should always say, “Jesus died the second death in my place” and that might induce the unsaved to ask what the second death is. They only know about one death and they believe it is the end of life, so to say Jesus died for us would not make a lot of sense to them.

Actually, the more I understand about God, it seems the less I make sense to the unsaved (and even, sometimes, the saved)!


January 12, 2016

In Genesis 32:29 Jacob asked God what His name was and God asked Jacob why he asked! Well, it surprised me that God answered Jacob with a question. Now it surprises me that I did not realize that I should have understood that I already knew both His name and why God asked Jacob why he even asked the question.

(Gen 32:29 NIV) Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

I am going out on a limb here and I am going to say that you also already knew the name of God and if you could audibly hear God’s voice, He would ask you the same question He asked Jacob.

You did not name yourself. It will come as no surprise that your name was given to you by those that came before you: that is why it is called your “given name”.

Now, ask yourself “Who came before God, to give Him a name”?

That is right; God does not have a name like we have. However, I believe you will see that, though His name is not like our name, He really does have a name.

While I am out on this limb I am going to say that not only He has a name and you already know His name, but that you named Him!

His name is printed plainly in His Word, but it has been hidden from us, until the end times, and this is the end times, so it is now made clear.

When Jesus was asked how to pray his answer was, “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name (Mat 6:9 NIV).

That is right, God’s name is Father, and you named Him, and claimed Him your Father when you were baptized into His name. Only a child of God can truly call Him Father. (Rev 2:17 NIV) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”

I could tell the name of God to someone who was unsaved and they still would not “know” it. Because they are not a child of God they cannot call Him Father. I think Deuteronomy 32:31 better explains this than I can. (Deu 32:31 NIV) “For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede”. Their “father” is not like our “Father”, as even our enemies “will” concede.

By the way, I use to read that verse and think God was saying that He would rename me, but now I understand the verse. God is called a Rock in Genesis 49:24, Deuteronomy 32:4, 13, 15, 18 and many other places. It is the Rock that the name belongs to, and the Rock is mine, and I know the name of the Rock, and I can call Him by His name!

God made everything that is made (Genesis 1:1-31) so He is the Father of all, but only those who want to be His child can rightly call Him by His name; Father.

We were given our name by those that came before us, but God has been given the name, that He wants to be called, by those who come after Him!

See, I told you that you already knew His name and that you named Him.

Now, I am laughing out loud. I get great personal joy that I cannot claim that you learned anything from me. God, not me, had already told you His name. I am really laughing at how slow I am to understand. Well, I am laughing, a little, at you too.

Isn’t God, and this life He has given us, wonderful?