The Lake of Fire - Part 15

Installment XV - Part B

The Myth of Free-Will Exposed

ONLY THE SPIRIT CAN CAUSE THE CARNAL MIND TO REPENT

The carnal mind is a mind debarred of spiritual understanding. Not only does it not understand spiritual things; it is an impossibility to do so. The carnal mind cannot spiritually repent. Therefore it is not "free." It is in fact, enslaved to sin. No "slave" is "free." Let’s learn a few very basic Truths:

  1. "God [is] SPIRIT" (John 4:24).

  2. "…the Words that I speak unto you are SPIRIT…" (John 6:63).

  3. "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the SPIRIT which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
     
    Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy SPIRIT teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
     
    But the natural man
    [still being carnal-minded] receives not the things of the SPIRIT of God: neither CAN HE know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (I Cor. 2:12-14).

Clearly, the natural mind of man unaided by the Spirit of God, is not "free" to receive "the things of the Spirit of God, neither CAN HE KNOW THEM…"

God is SPIRIT and the words of Christ are SPIRIT. To understand these words we must have the Spirit, which is of God. We can then "compare" or (Greek: "match") spiritual with spiritual, and understand.

If we have the Spirit of God we can do this. But if we are carnal-minded and have not the Spirit of God, we cannot do this. Here is why:

"Because the carnal mind is enmity [hatred] against God: for it is NOT subject to the [spiritual] law of God, neither indeed CAN BE" (Rom. 8:7).

Now follow me closely. What, pray tell, happens between being carnally-minded and not loving God or being subject to His spiritual law, and later, loving God and being subject to His spiritual law? What happened and WHO was responsible for causing it to happen?

According to "free-willers," a person must choose of his own will, to love and obey God. Any person with a "free will" is supposedly able to hate and disobey God on one day and then decide for himself on another day to love and obey God. This is believed to be self-repentance. And this, we are told is something that every individual must do on his own, seeing that God will not make one or force one to do this. It must be "freely" chosen, or of what value is "forced love," as they argue?

Here is a problem of major proportions starring us right in the face with this free will assertion. If a carnal minded person cannot love God and cannot be subject to God’s law, how in the world is he going to choose to love and obey God with his carnal mind? God’s Word says that it is not possible ("…neither indeed CAN BE"—King James/"…for neither is it ABLE"—Concordant Literal New Testament).

God’s word tells us that the natural, carnal mind of man, [all mankind—the human race], cannot love or obey God. For it:

"receives not the things of the spirit," "neither indeed CAN BE/for neither is it ABLE."

Therefore the will of man, of all mankind—the entire human race, is not ‘free’ to contradict these Scriptural Truths of God.

I'm not talking about the verses here or there where a person is said to have made a "choice." We are not talking about "making choices." Dumb computers can made "choices."

What I am trying to draw your undivided attention to is the Scriptural teaching of the theological/physiological/philosophical power and ability of the natural, unaided human mind to choose good.

We need to stick to the current subject. The subject is not can a man make a choice. The subject is can a man make a choice to obey God with his natural mind?

And time and again I have shown you that God says in His Word that the natural, unaided mind of man cannot "will" and choose to do good.

The Scriptures have already concluded that man’s will is not free to do that which it cannot do. Yet should God intervene and cause this same person to repent and turn to God in obedience, how can this same person take credit for repenting and turning to God, seeing that it was ALL OF GOD? Yes, the human mind and will can will and can choose to obey God, but only when God causes it to do so.

Did Jesus obey His God and Father, without a cause?

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, [truly, truly—what Jesus is about to say is the Gospel Truth!] I say unto you, THE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF…" (John 5:19).

"THE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF"

Can we obey our Lord Jesus Christ, without a cause?

"I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING" (John 15:5).

"WITHOUT ME YE [‘ye’ means ‘ALL of you’] CAN DO NOTHING"

I repeat:

"THE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF"

"WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING"

Where then is the "freedom of will" and "freedom of choice" in these two statements of God’s Word? They are nowhere. There is no such thing. They don’t exist. The theory of "free moral agency" is one of the foolish and stupid wisdoms of this world.

"Love NOT the world, neither the things [nor the stupid wisdom] that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is NOT in him... And the world PASSES AWAY…" (I John 2:15 & 17).

The very second that something causes one’s will to do something that the person himself had not planned by an uncaused will or a will that was not influenced in any way, he ceases to have a free will. A will made to think or do anything is not free, and it is senseless to argue anything to the contrary. There is not a Scripture in the bible that presents us with a person willing something or making a choice for which there was no cause. And "caused" wills and "caused" choices are not free.

LIMITED FREE WILL

The free will scholars themselves have had to re-adjust their theory in the light of obvious scientific and Scriptural proof against free will. They assure us that although man does not possess total free will, he does, nonetheless, possess "limited free will." That is, man’s will is limited, but within those limits, the will is completely and totally free. Oh really?

I never cease to be amazed at the fact that contradictions never interfere with Christian doctrine. Believing in contradictions is absolutely necessary if one is to accept most Christian doctrines, and this "limited free will" is just another one of them. Let’s take a quick look at this idiotic proposal of "limited free will." It is nothing more than the "square circles" theory all over again.

Here is how my Twentieth Century Webster’s Dictionary defines "limited, a. restricted" (Page 963). And here is how this same dictionary defines "free, a. without restriction" (Page 682). Got it? "Limited" means: RESTRICTED, and "free" means: WITHOUT RESTRICTION.

So scholarly theologians would have us believe that man possesses a will that is, "RESTRICTED WITHOUT RESTRICTION." What? Does anyone see a problem with this limited free will theory? Does the word "contradiction" come to mind?

Now then, if the natural carnal mind of man cannot choose to love and obey God, and God absolutely will not cause one to love and obey Him, how is it then that ANYONE CAN EVER BE CONVERTED? Do any of you who believe in man’s free will or man’s limited free will have an answer to this Scriptural dilemma? Or do you all feel more comfortable just leaving these questions behind as though they were never proposed in the first place? I mean, why meditate on a problem that has no Scriptural answer other than to accept the fact that the Scriptures do not support any form of a "free will" theory?

WHAT GOD SAYS ‘CAN’T BE,’ MEN SAY ‘CAN BE’

It is impossible to contend with any amount of sanity that man’s natural mind cannot choose to obey God, and yet believe that man must choose by his own will to obey God. Such a contention is unscriptural, contradictory, nonsense. It is believed by most that not only can man choose to obey God by his own free will, but that he indeed must do so if he is ever to be saved.

We cannot say, "Well God gives us His Holy Spirit so that we CAN choose to love and obey Him." Nope, here’s why that won’t work:

"And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to them that OBEY Him" (Acts 5:32).

And so Romans 8:7 teaches us that we can’t obey God without His Spirit, and Acts 5:32 teaches us that God only gives His Spirit to those who do obey Him. So free will is blasted out of the sky with just these two statements of Scripture. Besides, man’s free will would cease to be free if God does anything to actually cause man to repent and turn to God.

But maybe you are one who believes in the contradiction of Scriptures? Maybe you are one who believes that your idol of the heart supercedes the plain Word of God.

THE SCRIPTURAL PROCESS OF CONVERSION

The truth of conversion is a simple one, if we believe the Scriptures and don’t try to bring it about by some phantom free will. It is all of God.

How do the Scriptures say we become converted? Does an ounce of "free will" enter into the conversion process according to the Scriptures?

  1. "Or despise you the riches of HIS goodness [‘His goodness;’ not our free will] and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God LEADS [God’s ‘leading’ is the CAUSE] you to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4). Where is the ‘free will’ in this statement? "God LEADS…" is the cause of repentance, not free will.
     
  2. "No man CAN come to Me, except the Father which has sent Me draw [Gk: ‘drag’] him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:44). This verse is plain: "No man CAN…" come to Christ of his own will. It is the Father "dragging" him that is the cause of one coming to Christ, not his own supposed free will.
     
  3. "You have not chosen Me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU…" (John 15:16). "I have CHOSEN you…" is the CAUSE and it is by Christ’s will, not man’s will.
     
  4. "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God [not faith ‘IN’ the Son of God, but the very faith ‘OF’ the Son of God—it is His faith, not ours until He gives us some of it] Who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). It is not by the ‘free will’ of our faith that we live, but the by the faith OF Jesus. There is no human free will in all this.
     
  5. "I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without ME YE CAN DO NOTHING" (John 15:5). According to God’s Word, what is it that we can do by our own will? Answer: "NOTHING." It is Christ "IN him" that brings forth much fruit. Man does not bring forth much fruit by his fabled free will.
     
  6. "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:11). Is this man’s part in his own salvation? Must man confess that Jesus Christ is his Lord by his OWN FREE WILL, or it will have no real meaning? Is that how this confession is made? Answer: "…no man can say [with his fabled free will] that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit" (I Cor. 12). Do we profess Jesus as our Lord by our own will or by the Holy Spirit? "By the Holy Spirit" is the cause. Our own will is not the cause of our calling Jesus, Lord.
     
  7. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [‘that faith’] not of yourselves [NOT of your own faith or will] it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).
     
    Are we saved through the faith of our own will? NO. Do we do good works by our own will? NO. It is: God’s faith, God’s gift, God’s Workmanship, God’s creating, God’s ordaining. The cause is "His workmanship," not our own will.

I could go on and on like this for a hundred pages. I could go through the entire Bible proving that all is of God, not of man’s will. It is always God; it is never man’s will that is the first cause of all things. Nowhere in the entirety of the Bible is there anything suggesting that man has a "free will." Man’s will is not free. Man has a will, but it is not free from the causes that make it do what it does.

Millions and millions of times it is stated by the clergy that man must live by his "free will" that God gave him. God never goes against our own free will, we are told. Hogwash!

Since God says we cannot obey Him with our natural mind [our own God-given will], and yet we have much Scriptural proof that God does cause men to do what He wants, then we also have proof that God does go against man’s will, and He does it often.

"For it is God [who? ‘GOD’] which works in you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

According to Christendom, this verse is a fraud. We are taught that, "It is OUR OWN FREE WILL that works IN us both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure." But no, it is God Who works in us both to will and to do. There is no "free moral agency" at work in this verse of God’s Word or anywhere else, for God’s Word does not contradict. These Scriptures I am giving you are so very simple and so very plan, yet, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

As I have pointed out in another installment of this series, that if there were a Scripture that stated: "God our Saviour; Who will NOT have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth," that my detractors by the thousands would use and quote that Scripture to me to PROVE that God will NOT save all humanity. Yet it is obvious to all that there is NO such Scripture. What I Tim. 2:4 really says is:

"God our Saviour; Who WILL have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

And so, if there were such a Scripture stating that God "will NOT save all men," they would believe it. But since the Scriptures actually say that God "WILL save all men," they refuse to believe it. And so in the final analysis: If God "will NOT" save all men, then they would believe that He "will NOT" save all men. And as God says He "WILL" save all men, then they believe that He also "will NOT" save all men. It’s insane! Yet I am put down and ridiculed because I believe the Scriptures.

And in the very same way, if Phil. 2:13 had stated the following: "For it is your own free will which works in you both to will and to do of God’s good pleasure," all of Christendom and all of my detractors would use that verse to prove that it is man’s free will that "works in you both to will and to do of God’s good pleasure." But since there is no such verse. and since Phil. 2:13 really says, "For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" they still believe that this verse means, in the final analysis, that it is "man’s free will" and "not God" which does these things. Again I say: It’s insane!

FREE INDEED

In the last installment we read John 6:36:

"If the Son therefore shall MAKE you free, ye shall be free indeed."

I said that this verse has nothing to do with free will. But it certainly does have to do with freedom. But freedom from what? From what is it that Jesus frees us? Why free from what we were in bondage to before He freed us, of course.

"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered [freed] from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21).

The whole creation will be delivered from this bondage one day. But until then, only those destined to become the manifest sons of God receive this deliverance.

Here is the same thought in slightly different words:

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free [here is this ‘cause and effect’ thing again] from the law of sin and death" (Rom. 8:2).

No one can "freely" change his will from hating and disobeying God on one day to loving and obeying God on the next. No, it takes a supernatural miracle from God to accomplish this. God must Personally remove and free [here is the cause] us from being under the "Law of sin and death" to being under the "Law of the Spirit of life in Christ."

Does man accomplish this by his own will? Not unless you want to make a liar out of Jesus. Jesus says that He "frees us," so how can we say that we freely free ourselves?

ONLY GOD DELIVERS FROM BONDAGE

So we read in Romans 8 that the whole creation was subjected to corruption and in bondage. Man possesses no such power as freedom of the will by which he can free himself from such bondage. It takes the Spirit of God to even give someone the desire to come out of bondage. People foolishly believe that when they hit bottom in life that they can then "free-will" themselves into turning to God. No one turns to God by his own will. It is God Who is already at work in a person’s life before they ever feel the need to turn to God.

Israel was in bondage under the rule of Egypt for four hundred years. Who put them under Egyptian bondage? We shall see that it was God. Who is the only One Who can release them from bondage? Again it is God:

"And they [Egypt] made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service wherein they made them serve, was with rigor" (Ex. 1:14).

When God’s time came to release Israel from bondage, we read this:

"And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them" (Ex. 2:23-25).

And just what "caused" Israel to "cry unto God?" Their own free will? No. "Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried…" There is always a cause, but it is never man’s fabled free will.

Just how much of this release from bondage was dependant upon the will of the Children of Israel? And is it by our own will that we also repent and come out of our Egypt of sin and bondage? Or is it all of God?

"Wherefore say unto the children of Israel,

I am the Lord and

I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians, and

I will rid you out of their bondage, and

I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And

I will take you to Me for a people, and

I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that

I am the Lord your God, which brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And

I will bring you in unto the land, concerning that which

I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and

I will give it you for an heritage:

I am the Lord" (Ex. 6:6-8).

Eleven times in one sentence, we read God saying that it is "I" [GOD], and not man’s will that, performs these miracles. When God says that He will cause a dozen national and international interventions of colossal proportions, how are the millions of people involved "free" to do anything but react according to what God causes to come about?

Do we fare any better than Israel of old? Do we possess the weapons of free will so that we can by-pass the intervention of God in our lives to repent and turn to God? Answer:

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23).

"…for without Me, YE [all of you] CAN DO NOTHING" (John 15:5).

Not only can we not deliver ourselves from sin; we cannot even truly repent of our sins by our own will. This too requires a miracle from God.

Repentance is not predicated upon the "free will" of man, but on the will of God. We have already cited this verse that we will now examine more closely.

"Or despise you the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Rom. 2:4).

What leads us to repentance? The goodness of our illusionary God-given "free will?" NO, "…the GOODNESS OF GOD…" But can the carnal, natural, unconverted mind of man appreciate God’s goodness and then repent by his own will? No, absolutely not. Let’s read it again: "the goodness of God LEADS you to repentance?"

This is the one and only time in the whole Bible that the Greek word ago is translated as "leadeth." If you check Wigram’s Englishman’s Greek Concordance of the New Testament, you will find that this Greek word ago is translated into much stronger words than "leadeth." Dozens and dozens of times ago is translated as bring or brought. The word, in fact, also means to drive. (Remember that in John 6:44 the Father "draws" [Gk: ‘drags’] us to Christ?)

Yes, repentance is a process, but it is the goodness of God that does the actual bringing us to and bringing about of our repentance.

Would it shock you to know that not even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ possessed this phantom of free will that is maybe the most important single doctrine in all the Church today? ‘Tis true. We will now consider the Scriptures.

JESUS CHRIST DID NOT POSSES FREE WILL

I am sure that there may be more than a few out there who are by now ready to start casting stones at me. But don’t take my word for anything. Check the Scriptures.

The theory of free will argues that anyone possessing this God-defying power can freely choose his own course in life by making his own decisions and choices that are CAUSED by no thing or no one. Every free-willer is said to have the power to do or not do, to think or not think, anything they wish, without anything causing them to do contrariwise. So surely Jesus possessed this power as well, did He not? Not.

Here is a blanket statement of Scripture that proves Jesus did no more have a "free will" than anyone else does:

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what He sees the Father do: for what things so ever He does, these also does the Son likewise" (John 5:19).

Do you know of one Scripture that contradicts this verse in John 5:19? If you don’t then you must admit that Jesus could not do anything by a supposed "free will" which is said to have the ability to act independently of God.

But wait, there’s more:

Jesus plainly had a will, but the Father willed that Jesus would bring His will into line with that of His Father. The Father would not allow Jesus to give up the good fight of faith. It pleased God to bruise His Son for our salvation,

"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: When you shall make His soul an offering for sin…" (Isa. 53:10).

God said that He would "make" the soul of Jesus an offering for sin. God doing the "making" is the CAUSE. Therefore, Jesus was not free to run from the cross. God inspired Jesus [caused] Him to pray. And God caused Jesus to pray that His Father’s will, would be done, not His Own will. It was a real battle for a few hours. The will of Jesus cried out for another way other than to drink the cup and go to the cross. Hour after hour He poured out His heart to His Father. And hour after hour His Father propped Him up so that He would not and could not give in to His flesh.

God MADE Jesus go through that spiritual battle of His will, but never for a second was the plan of God in jeopardy! God had clearly prophesied the positive outcome of this battle hundreds of years before its actual occurrence. And absolutely nothing in the history of the universe has ever thwarted God’s plan, purpose or intention.

The Father inspired [caused, made] Jesus state time after time, "Not My will but Thine, Not My will but Thine, NOT MY WILL BUT THINE"!!

It was the very words of His Father that Jesus prayed. Those words that came out of the mouth of Jesus first came out of the heart of His Father, and God’s Words never ever return to Him void.

"So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth [and into the mouth of Jesus]: it shall NOT RETURN UNTO ME [as when Jesus prayed back those same words to His Father] VOID, but it SHALL ACCOMPLISH that which I please, and IT SHALL PROSPER in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55:11).

As I have said a hundred times to my detractors, your argument is not with me, but with God and His Word.

I will show you from Scripture that the thoughts, words, works, and deeds of Jesus were only those things that came directly from His Father, not from some phantom "free will" of His own.

And so the very words that Jesus prayed that night in the garden were the very words of His Father, and the words of His Father of the purpose for which they were sent. But then again, "Lord, who has believed our report?"

When there is a conflict between wills regarding the bringing about of that which pleases God, whose will is it that will always win out? Is it possible for man’s will to thwart the will and intention of God? Does man possess such a God-defying power? Can man with his illusionary free will, will against and contrary to the predetermined plan and intention of God Almighty? No! No, he can’t. And yes, we do have a Scripture on that:

"For it is GOD which works in you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

When our very own Lord cried out in agony to His Father because His flesh did not want to go through the crucifixion necessary because of the sin of the world, whose will prevailed?

"And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto you; take away this cup from Me: nevertheless not what I will, but what YOU WILL"

And He comes and finds them sleeping…"

"And again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when He returned, He found them asleep again…"

"And He comes the third time…" (Mark 14:36-41).

Now then, what was the outcome of this heart-wrenching prayer and request of our Lord to His Father? Was the will of our Lord free to override the will of His Father? Or did not Jesus recognize that it was His Father’s will that would prevail and that His will was not free to think or do contrary to His Father’s intentions? Answer:

"And he came the third time, and said unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour IS COME; behold, the Son of man is betrayed [is being betrayed] into the hands of sinners… and when they had crucified Him…" (Mark 14:41 & 15:24).

Clearly: It "pleased" God to crucify Jesus, and it was God Who "worked in His Son both TO WILL and TO DO of His Father’s good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). Where is free will in all this? It is debarred.

Maybe there be some who didn’t think Jesus made Himself clear when He said,

"The Son of man can DO NOTHING of Himself…"

Let’s try another one:

"I can of mine own self DO NOTHING: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the father which has sent Me" (John 5:30).

When God wants to emphasize something He often repeats it. If God gave all humanity a "free will," and it is a good thing to have a "free will," then why is it that not even our Lord trusted in such a gift from God? If Jesus had His own "free will," why did He trust only in the will of His Father? Maybe man’s will is not as "free" as theologians would like you to believe.

We have already read the Scriptural answer to this dilemma. The reason Jesus didn’t trust in His own free will is because Jesus didn’t have a free will to trust in. Jesus didn’t have the power to always will what is right by His own power or freedom of the will. Jesus trusted in the will of His Father, ONLY! Just whose will was it that took Jesus through ALL of His many trials and hardships? Was it His Own will? Jesus just told us that of His own self He could do nothing. He couldn’t have made it through life, SINLESS, without the mind and will of His Father in Him!

"For IT IS GOD which works IN YOU both TO WILL and TO DO of HIS good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

By the time you finish this paper you will either start to hate this verse in Phil. 2:13, or perchance you will for the first time, begin to believe it.

Jesus certainly wanted us to see the Truth of what He is telling us:

"For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine Own will, but the will of Him that sent me" (John 6:38).

It is hard to even imagine that some will not get this point:

"Jesus said unto them, My meat is TO DO THE WILL OF HIM THAT SENT ME, and to finish His work" (John 4:34).

Jesus didn’t even speak His own words:

"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I DO NOTHING OF MYSELF: but as My Father has taught Me, I speak these things" (John 8:28).

"For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave me commandment WHAT I should say, and WHAT I should speak" (John 12:49).

Not only did the Father do the speaking through His Son, but He also performed all of the works as well:

"Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwells in Me, He does the works" (John 14:10).

If Jesus had a "free will," He sure didn’t use it very much:

"He that loves Me not keeps not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is NOT MINE, but the Father’s which sent Me" (John 14:24).

So then, does anyone believe that WE have a greater power of will than our own Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? Or maybe some believe that God could save His Son, but He can’t save us (or at least not all of us) because we possess a power of will greater than our Saviour Jesus Christ and that of God Almighty?

Jesus Christ was very content to have His Father live in Him, and think in Him, and do good works and deeds, in Him. But the very thought that God will and does do the same, in US, is absolutely REPULSIVE to most Christians. "Why we would be little more than robots," they retort. Jesus didn’t feel like a "robot;" I don’t feel like a "robot;" none of my like-minded, believing friends feel like "robots."

Could it be that you trust your OWN WILL living your life more than you would trust GOD’S WILL living your life?

UNDENIABLE EXAMPLES AGAINST FREE WILL/CHOICE


JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN HAD NO FREE WILL/CHOICE

In Chapter 37 of Genesis beginning in verse 18 we read of how Joseph’s brothers conspired together to kill him. First they decided to kill him and blame it on an evil beast (Ver 20). Reuben however, talked them out of killing him and suggested that they draw no blood, but just put him in a pit to die (Ver 24). While they were eating a band of Ishmeelites with camels came by headed for Egypt. And so Judah suggested they sell Joseph as a slave for 20 pieces of silver (Ver. 26). They carried Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Pharaoh’s captain of the guard (Ver. 36).

In Chapters 38-41 you can read of Joseph’s many trials in Egypt and how he eventually found favor with the Pharaoh because Joseph could interpret dreams. Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that he made him the number two man in all Egypt. Then came the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine that was prophesied through Pharaoh’s dream. During the years of famine many countries came to buy grain from Egypt (41:57).

Jacob received word of the grain in Egypt and sent ten of his sons to go to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph recognized his brothers, but hid his own identity from them. Joseph was going to make his brothers go through severe fear and trails before he would reveal his identity to them. He planted his own gold in their sacks and then had them searched and accused them of stealing.

Finally Joseph could not contain his compassion for his brothers any longer and he revealed himself to them (Gen. 45:1-4).

And now we will learn that God never works his plan according to the supposed "free will" of men. God is always in control of everything.

Now then, just who was responsible for Joseph being sold down in Egypt as a slave? Didn’t Joseph's brothers conspire against Joseph first to kill him and then to sell him as a slave to the Ishmeelites, by their own free will? No, no they didn’t. But don’t the Scriptures that I referenced plainly show us that they did all this by their own free will? No. These Scriptures tell us nothing of a supposed "free will" of Joseph’s brothers. The referenced Scriptures above tell us what Joseph’s brothers "willed" and what they actually "did." They tell us nothing of any presumed "free will."

But cannot it be assumed from the context that they did have a "free will" and that they exercised that "free will" in the things that they did to Joseph? No, we cannot assume any such thing, seeing that God tells us at the very beginning of this episode and again at the end just what it was that caused (made) Joseph’s brothers do what they did, and it was not their own assumed "free wills."

Here is the inspired answer to what caused Joseph’s brother to do what they did:

"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither…"

Oh yes, Joseph admitted that it was his brothers who "…sold me hither…" Of this there is no doubt. Just as there is no doubt that all of mankind makes billions and billions of choices and decisions. Many of them just as evil as the brothers of Joseph. And just like Joseph’s brothers, billions of people make such decisions and choices, and do such deeds according to their own will. But, are their wills "free" to think and do these things, or are their wills controlled and made to do what they will to do, by a Higher Power?

As Paul Harvey likes to say, "And now for the rest of the story":

"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: FOR GOD DID SEND ME BEFORE YOU TO PRESERVE LIFE" (Gen. 45:5).

And so once again, we have the plain Scriptural truth regarding man’s fabled "free will"—HE HAS NO FREE WILL!

Joseph tells them to not grieve or be angry with themselves for selling him into Egypt. But they did feel guilty and grieved because they knew that they did what that did from their hearts. It was mean and cruel and evil what they did, and willingly did it. Of this there is absolutely no debate whatsoever. But that they made these choices freely, without a cause, is both ridiculous and unscriptural.

They grieved because they knew they did this evil to Joseph. And yet Joseph is telling them that it was God who brought Joseph down to Egypt. Yes God used Joseph’s brothers, yes God used the Ishmeelites to bring it all about, but it was all of God.

But just how did God actually CAUSE Joseph’s brothers to do what they did. Did God supernaturally make them all murders? Did God force Joseph’s brothers to hate Joseph and do this evil to him? No, God did not force them. God didn’t need to force them, seeing that if God would bring about the exact necessary circumstances, they would all agree to do this dirty deed, VOLUNTARILY. But God did cause it nonetheless, and God tells us exactly how He did it and what it was that caused Joseph’s brother to do this evil to him. Let’s read it:

"Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brehren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, THEY HATED HIM…" (Gen. 37:3-4).

"And Joseph dreamed a dream and he told it to his brethren: and THEY HATED HIM YET THE MORE" (37:5).

After Joseph tells his brothers his dream we read this:

"And his brethren said to him, Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us? And THEY HATED HIM YET THE MORE for his dreams, and for his words" (Ver. 8).

"And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold the sun and the moon and the eleven stars [his eleven brothers] made obeisance to me [bowed down to me]… And his brothers ENVIED HIM…" (Vers. 9 & 11).

Later Joseph goes out into the fields to meet his brothers:

"And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they CONSPIRED AGAINST HIM TO SLAY HIM" (Ver. 18).

And so, did God have to FORCE Joseph’s brother AGAINST THEIR WILLS to do this evil deed? No. All God had to do (and it was God Who did bring it about) was to inspire Jacob to make Joseph a robe of many colors. All God had to do is have Joseph dream a silly dream. That’s all. And the carnal mind and heart of Joseph’s brothers took it from there and ran with it just as God knew and intended for them to do. Contrary to Christian doctrines, God is really quite good at what He does.

We can learn a great deal about how God operates in the world of humanity by studying these few verses. Were the dreams that God caused Joseph to have, evil? No, of course they were not evil. The fulfillment of these dream/prophecies, pictured the salvation of the Children of Israel down in Egypt. Had God not provided for them through their brother Joseph, they would have starved to death. So, no, these dreams were not evil.

But what effect did these benevolent dreams have on Joseph’s brothers? Why, exactly what God wanted them to have—they made them hate Joseph, they made them mad, they made them want to kill Joseph. God had to intervene in Reuben’s heart or they would have killed Joseph.

So who was ultimately responsible for Joseph’s brothers doing their evil deeds? Why, GOD, of course. It was GOD who caused Joseph to have his dreams and God knew that those dreams would excite the carnal passions of his brothers to do their evil deed. It was all planned. It was God’s plan. It was a good plan. The plan worked perfectly and beautifully. So why do most Christian hate the fact that God has a plan for their life that is beyond their own control? It all has to do with the unconverted, carnal mind, which hates God, and hates His spiritual Law.

God knew exactly how to insight hatred out of Joseph’s brothers. And God knows exactly how to insight hated out of US toward HIM. God has the entire human race born under "The law of sin and death." This is why,

"…the carnal mind [the natural mind] is enmity [hatred] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7).

The natural mind of man with his non-existent free will is NOT at liberty or free to love God and obey His Spiritual law. Rom. 8:7 along with hundreds of other supporting Scriptures proves this beyond any shadow of a doubt.

God Almighty caused Joseph’s brothers to hate and desire to kill their brother because of a dream that would have caused any carnal-minded person to hate their brother under the same circumstances.

Joseph was the youngest of the brothers, so naturally all the other brothers would think themselves superior to him. Jacob loved Joseph more than the others, so naturally they would have jealousy toward him. Then Joseph tells his brothers of a dream he had where his sheaf in the field was standing upright and the sheaves of his brothers all bowed down to him. What audacity they thought of their little brother presenting such a haughty representation of himself. And then to add insult to injury he tells them of another dream he had where the sun [his father] and the moon [his mother] and eleven stars [his eleven brothers] all bowed down to him.

That was the last straw! They, Joseph’s elder brothers, would all bow down and worship Joseph, their little brother? Over their dead bodies. From then on they hated Joseph with a passion. And what caused this hatred? Why Joseph’s silly dream, that’s what. And just Who was it that caused that silly dream? None other than God. And yet, there are those who will insist that Joseph’s brothers did not need to do what they did. That their wills were ‘free’ to do good even though they were accustomed to doing evil under "the law of sin and death," and even though none of them were able to "change an Ethiopian’s skin or a leopard’s spots."

LEMONS TO LEMONADE?

Many Christian teachers and theologians like to look at examples such as this one with Joseph and conclude that God merely turns the lemons of Joseph’s brothers into lemonade. That is totally untrue and unscriptural. Was the selling of Joseph into Egypt as a slave (their lemons), that God then used to preserve life (His lemonade)? Is that what took place here? God used their lemons to make His lemonade? Absolutely not.

It was GOD who made these "lemons" in the first place—"GOD DID SEND ME…," and it was also God Who turned those lemons into lemonade, "…TO PRESERVE LIFE" (Gen. 45:5b). Or as Gen. 50:20 states:

"But as for you, ye thought evil [lemons] against me: but God meant it for good [LEMONADE], to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

Joseph and his brothers is a parable for the whole plan of God, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear:

God made the lemons and God changed the lemons into lemonade.

God is the Potter and we are the clay. God first made the clay in His hands "marred/ruined"—LEMONS, before "…He made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the Potter to make it"LEMONADE (Jer. 18:4).

Therefore, "For as in Adam ALL DIE [the marred, ruined clay—lemons] even so in Christ shall ALL [it’s the same ‘all’ as ‘in Adam’—it’s the SAME CLAY {Adam means ‘clay’}--lemons] BE MADE ALIVE [‘another vessel, as seemed good to the Potter to make it’—LEMONADE]."

It is God Who makes both the lemons and the lemonade. God is in control of His creation from beginning to end:

"Having made known unto us the mystery of His will [God’s will is still a mystery to the world of Christendom], according to His good pleasure [‘For it is GOD which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure—Phil. 2:13] which He has purposed in Himself [not in man’s fabled ‘free will’]: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in ONE, ALL things in Christ, both which are IN HEAVEN, and which are ON EARTH [that’s ALL the heavenly host and ALL humanity that has ever lived]; even in Him: In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance [in this age and this lifetime, ahead of the rest which must go through judgment first], being predestined according to the purpose of Him [not by the ‘maybe yes/maybe no’ uncertain shaky possibility of man’s supposed free will] Who works ALL THINGS after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL" (Eph. 1:9-11).

It is GOD Who does the working of the clay. The clay does not determine its own destiny, that is the POTTER’S job:

"Nay but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed [we, the clay] say to Him that formed it [God, the Potter], Why have You made me thus? Has not the Potter power over the clay [and the clay’s powerless imagined ‘free will’], of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour [lemonade], and another unto dishonour [lemons]" (Rom. 9:20-21).

If the evil deed of selling Joseph into slavery was the "lemons," then it was GOD who made them lemons. Well doesn’t that then make God the evil One? No, no it doesn’t. Here is why. It all has to do with the intent of the heart.

From the intentions of the heart of Joseph’s brothers, the deed to sell Joseph into slavery down in Egypt was EVIL. But from the intention of the heart of GOD, the deed was one of great benevolence and righteousness! And the Scriptures actually say so in just so many words, when Joseph’s brothers did indeed bow down to him:

"And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought EVIL AGAINST ME; but GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Gen. 50:18-20).

You won’t find many statements in Scripture more profound than this one. "…you thought EVIL AGAINST ME; but GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD…" This is absolutely not a case of turning the lemons of men into the lemonade of God. It was GOD who made both the lemons and the lemonade. Why was this act a sin and an evil on the part of Joseph’s brothers? Because they "thought EVIL" against Joseph. And why was it NOT a sin or an evil when God takes credit for this act? Because "GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD." No, contrary to those who hate God’s ways, God is not evil, nor does He ever sin through all His dealings with evil on behalf of mankind’s good and eternal welfare.

One final point, just in case you didn’t catch it: Nowhere in any of these statements of Scripture do we see God "changing" the original evil of men into something good. No, not at all: for it was God, Himself Who is responsible for both the original act of evil and the final consummation of blessing.

Joseph plainly states that "God meant it unto good." The "it" was the evil act of Joseph’s brothers. God did not change "it" unto good. No, God meant for the "it" to take place—"it" was His doing. But God’s motivation for the "it" was for good and not evil as Joseph’s brothers intended. So God brought about the "it" by the dream that He caused Joseph to have. And it was God’s intention from the very conception of the "it" (the dirty deed) to be used for good!

And this IS how God operates. Not just with Joseph and his brothers, but with all humanity in all ages. "God is no respecter of persons," and "God changes not."

THE NATION OF ISRAEL HAD NO FREE WILL/CHOICE

Did any in the nation of Israel have "free will" or did their own carnal-minded hearts and exterior circumstances always dictate what their will would be?

After leaving Egypt and coming into Sinai God spoke these words to Moses:

"Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people for all the earth is Mine: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:5-6).

Here then is the response of the people to God’s proposal:

"And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, ALL THAT THE LORD HAS SPOKEN WE WILL DO. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord" (Ex. 19:7-8).

What external cause beyond their control do you suppose forced the nation of Israel to say that all that the Lord spoke they will do? Or do you suppose they made this momentous decision based solely on some fictitious freedom of the will? No. God caused them to make this decision based on great fear. (Remember Peter and the disciples?)

"And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God has showed us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God does talk with man, and he lives. Now therefore why should we DIE? For this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then WE SHALL DIE" (Deut. 5:24-25).

So there we have the cause, and the cause was GOD.

"For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go you [Moses] near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak you unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto you; AND WE WILL HEAR IT, AND DO IT" (Deut. 5:26-27).

Say, did you notice that the people were so fearful that they agreed to do everything God commanded BEFORE they even knew what it was God had commanded? That my friends is real motivating, will-causing fear!

Was God impressed by this overwhelming response of the people to be obedient and obey God? Let’s see:

"And the Lord heard the voice of your words, when ye spoke unto me, and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto you: you have well said all that they have spoken. O THAT THERE WERE SUCH AN HEART IN THEM, THAT THEY WOULD FEAR ME, AND KEEP ALL MY COMMANDMENTS ALWAYS that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever" (Deut. 5:28-29).

Does God really believe that Israel now will obey Him and do all that He commanded them? Hardly. Why not? What is the problem with these people? Is there "will" not working properly? No, there will is working perfectly—God scared them half to death and that fear CAUSED them "to will" to say they would be obedient to God. Why then is this decision of theirs to be obedient, not going to work? Because there is NO "such an HEART in them," that’s why.

Remember in Part A I showed you that it all starts in the HEART and mind, not in the will. Just start adding up all the Scriptural truths that we have learned and this whole thing of human will becomes very simple to understand.

  1. "For from within, out of the HEART of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (Mark 7:21-23).

  2. The HEART is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked [Hebrew: ‘exceeding weak’] who can know it" (Jer. 17:9).

  3. "Because the carnal mind is enmity [hatred] against God: for it is NOT subject to the law of God, neither indeed CAN BE [neither is it ABLE]" (Rom. 8:7).

  4. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed [carnal-minded from our birth, as the nation of Israel was] to do evil" (Jer. 13:23).

  5. "For it is God which works in you both TO WILL and TO DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

  6. "In Whom also we have OBTAINED an inheritance, being PREDESTINATED according to the PURPOSE of Him Who works ALL THINGS after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL" (Eph. 1:11).
     
    There are FIVE "causes" listed in just this one sentence.

  7. "For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, [this is the cause an force behind our Christian walk. We are ‘His workmanship’ in action, not some presumed freedom of the will in action] created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has BEFORE ORDAINED that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).

Etc., etc.

Now then, since the nation of Israel did NOT have "such an HEART in them," and since they were all born with "carnal minds," and since Israel as a nation was "accustomed to do evil," and since God had not at that time purposed to perform His "workmanship in them," etc., etc., is there any possibility that Israel will be able to follow through and perform obedience to God according to their own power of the "will" to do so?

"And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your father; and this people will rise up and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will FORSAKE ME, and BREAK MY COVENANT which I have made with them"(Deut. 31:16).

"And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and FORSOOK THE LORD AND SERVED NOT HIM" (Judges 10:6).

As we all know Israel did utterly corrupt themselves. The whole generation, which left Egypt, died in the desert and never did inherit the promise land. And those who entered into the land of promise were driven into captivity for their evils and sins. But how did God know they would do that? Was it just a good guess? No, God not only prophesies the future, it is God Who brings about the future. Israel’s will was not "free" to say or do anything. Israel’s history was all of God.

ISRAEL’S HISTORY AND DESTINY WAS IN GOD’S HANDS

Did the nation of Israel have the power to determine their own will and hence their own destiny? Or did God control their destiny? And do we have a statement of Scripture for proof? Yes, it was God, and not Israel’s free will that took them where they went and determined their future:

"But it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you…" (Deut. 28:15 thru 19).

Later God told Moses which course of action Israel would take: obedience and blessings or disobedience and cursings. God then prophesied that Israel would be disobedient and utterly corrupt themselves. Once God pronounced which way the would go, then that is the way they had to go.

"Free will" was not even an option, because they had no free will.

And so, Who is it that is responsible for all of these curses that will come upon Israel? None other than "the LORD." Israel’s "will" was not free and was therefore helpless to prevent what "the LORD" had stated WOULD HAPPEN:

"The LORD shall send upon you cursing…" (Deut. 28:20).

"The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto theee…" (Ver. 21).

"The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption…" (Vers. 22-23).

"The LORD shall make the rain…" (Ver. 24).

"The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten…" (Vers. 25-26).

"The LORD will smite thee…" (Ver. 27).

"The LORD shall smite thee…" (Vers. 28-34).

"The LORD shall smite thee…" (Ver. 35).

"The LORD shall bring thee…" (Vers. 36-47).

"Therefore shall you serve your enemies which THE LORD shall send against thee…" (Vers. 48-58)

"Then the LORD will make your plagues wonderful [extraordinary]…" (Ver. 59).

"Moreover HE [the LORD] will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt…" (Vers. 60-63).

"And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people…" (Ver. 64).

"And the LORD shall bring you into Egypt again…" (Ver. 68).

God has provided us with hundreds of Scriptures which plainly in great detail state what He would, and will do, with and to the major nations of the world. And yet billions of Christians believe that man (all mankind) possesses a God-given ability (called free-will) by which all mankind can thwart the very words, declarations, pronouncements, and detailed prophecies which God has spoken and determined beforehand, absolutely will happen just as He has stated. And even when this total contradiction is pointed out to them, virtually none of them see a problem with it.

The world of Christendom has no problem in believing in doctrinal contradictions and square circles. God pronounced all of these evils and curses on Israel and He said that He would be the One to do it. The words of ALL the people of Israel barely stopped echoing off of the canyon walls before God told Moses that Israel would not do what they promised according to their own will. What ‘free will?" They had not free will. They had a weak will that was not free and was totally incapable of carrying out it’s own desire and declaration of obedience.

After God made these pronouncements upon Israel, there was no possible way that they could "free will" themselves out of these impending dilemmas. Israel did not have free will and they did not have self-determinism. God told them how it would be, and that's how it was. "And the rest," as they say, "is history."

Israel’s self-assured ‘free will’ pronouncement was dashed on the rocks of God’s sovereign will:

Man’s weak will:

  1. "And ALL the people [everyone’s will] answered together, and said, ALL THAT THE LORD HAS SPOKEN WE WILL DO. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord" (Ex. 19:8).
     
    Remember now, that according to the theory of free will, all Israel willed with their own FREE WILL to do all that they promised.
     
    God’s Sovereign Will:

  2. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; and this people WILL rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and WILL forsake Me, and break my covenant which I have made with them… For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord…" (Deut. 31:16 & 29).
     
    And the winner is:

  3. "And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they [Israel] returned, and corrupted themselves more than their father, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them, they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way" (Judges 2:19).

There is no problem or difficulty in determining from hundreds and hundreds of Scriptures that man has a will that is caused to be what it is by God’s will. Against this truth there really are no sound arguments. The real problem for people to understand this truth is two-fold:

  1. People want to be their own demigod, which cannot be controlled by anything or any one. This is the one area were all humanity can shine.
     
  2. People don’t approve of God’s way of doing things. They argue that if God is sovereign and operates as the Scriptures tell us, then it isn’t fair and it isn’t even morally right.

They say that for God to be in total control of us would be to treat us like robots. And that it would be evil for God to predetermine us to do evil before He allows good to be done in us. And so, as the world of Christendom does not approve of the God of Scripture, they create their own god in their own image—one that they themselves can control by the power of their own supernatural freedom of will. And because they cannot with a carnal mind love and obey God, and

"…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall SEND THEM strong delusion, that they should believe a [the] LIE: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thes. 2:10-12).

From Genesis to Revelation, God has provided us with hundreds and hundreds of statements, prophecies, declarations, etc., concerning the nations and everyone living in the nations. Nowhere can one example be found that shows a nation or an individual of a nation making an UNCAUSED "free will choice." But rather, example after example by the dozens, we see that it is always without exception, God Who is bringing about His plan through individuals and nations.

ALL IS OF GOD AND FROM GOD

Do we think that God is no longer in charge and in control of all individuals and all nations? What happened? Did God change from how He always operated in the past? No:

"For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT" (Mal. 3:6).

It is God Who has always done all the doing, whether physical or spiritual in nature. ALL IS OF GOD:

"In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose OF HIM Who works ALL things after the counsel of His OWN will" (Eph. 1:11).

How spiritually stubborn can we possibly be? I’ll tell you: As stubborn as God as predetermined and predestinated and purposed for us to be. But for those few whom God is calling to salvation by the "foolishness of preaching," let’s take a closer look at how things are done according to God.

"…we have obtained…" What we obtain from God, is not of our own will.

"…being predestinated…" What God predestinates is not of our own will.

"…the purpose of HIM…" What is God’s purpose is not of our own will.

"…works ALL things…" What is God’s work is not of our own will.

"…of His OWN will…" What is God’s OWN will is not of our own will.

ALL that we have, we have obtained from God. Not one thing have we obtained by our own presumed freedom of will. Can we take credit for anything that we have? Is our own will, independent of God’s will responsible for obtaining anything? Answer:

"For who makes you to differ from another? And what have you that you did not RECEIVE [Gk: ‘OBTAIN’]? [from God] now if you did receive it [from God], why do you glory [Gk: ‘boast’], AS IF YOU HAD NOT RECEIVED IT [from God, but rather of your own ‘free’ will]?" (I Cor. 4:7).

Since it is a Scriptural fact and truth that no one ever has received or obtained anything aside from it being given to him of God, why does all of Christendom boast of their achievements as though they were not gifts from God straight out of heaven, but rather the results of their own clever resourcefulness.

"EVERY good gift and EVERY perfect gift is FROM ABOVE, and comes down FROM THE FATHER OF LIGHTS, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning [in other words of Scripture: ‘I CHANGE NOT…’]" (James 1:17).

According to this verse and a hundred like it, does any good gift come from "below," from the "carnal mind of darkness," from the "fabled ‘free will of man," who is always changing being "tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine?" Hardly. So why then do we "boast and glory" as if these hundreds of verses of Scripture are not true, and that we really can choose to do good through our own carnal-minded, God-rejecting will?

Giving credit to one’s presumed and phantom "free" will is a far more serious sin than most could ever realize. Whatever, we bow down to, give homage to, give credit to, in place of the one and only True God are Idolatry! The Scriptures tell us that everything that we have, we "received" or "obtained" from God. Every good gift comes from God. Then why do we believe that through the agency of a supposed "free" will or "free" choices, we are able to obtain these things? It is a SIN to believe in, take credit for, and trust in one’s own will, as though we can "will" to do and accomplish things ON OUR OWN.

JOB DIDN’T HAVE FREE WILL/CHOICE

Job finally saw this SIN in his life and repented of it. Must we be brought down as low as Job was before we see this sin in our own lives:

"If I rejoiced because MY wealth was great, and because MINE HAND HAD GOTTEN much…"

Have we not all said, or believed, that it is by man’s own free moral choices that he can either be a bum or make himself prosperous? Have we not all believed this, and acted on this, and taken credit, all through this belief in our own "free will choices?" Of course we have, and IT IS A SIN that needs to be repented of:

"…because MINE HAND HAD GOTTEN much… THIS ALSO were an INIQUITY TO BE PUNISHED by the Judge: for I should [would] have DENIED the God that is above" (Job. 31:25 & 28).

It is "iniquity" to take to one’s self, powers and accomplishments that belong to God and to ONLY God. Job repented of this iniquity. What is our excuse for continuing to cling to this idol of the heart?

SAMSON AND HIS WIFE HAD NO FREE WILL/CHOICE

I have heard many argue that God does not burden Himself with the billions of daily details required to run this universe. Oh really? And is this why God knows every bird that falls and every hair on our head? Of course God is in the details, no matter how small.

Most would not think God would bother Himself to get involved with the romantic affairs of young lovers. Not true. All is of God:

In Judges 14 we read of Samson wanting to take a wife of the Philistines. His parents protested. They wanted Samson to marry a woman from their own tribe. But Samson insisted because this Philistine woman pleased him much. Was there any way that this marriage could have been avoided? Was it the work of human "free will" that brought it about? No, human will had nothing to do with this marriage. It was all of God. Here is what the Scriptures say:

"But his father and his mother [who rejected this marriage] knew not [of course, most of humanity ‘knows NOT’ that all is of God] that it [this marriage that was thought to be sinful] WAS OF THE LORD" (Judges 14:4).

But why? Why would God arrange a marriage that they thought was sinful?

"…that He sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel" (Judges 14:4).

There is the Scriptural answer to the why of this romance between Samson and this Philistine woman—it was all of God, for God’s purpose. God could best bring about His judgment on the Philistines by having Samson marry a Philistine. Simple, huh? God has a plan for every person’s life, and this IS how God operates. God planned your wedding as well. God plans everything. It just that most of humanity, "…knew NOT that it was OF THE LORD."

THEY KNEW NOT THAT IS WAS OF THE LORD

This "knowing not" is still the problem with the world and with God’s people and church. If they only "KNEW" what the Lord is doing and why He is doing it, there wouldn’t be a thousand differing denominations in the church today. If they only "KNEW" that their lives are totally in the hands of God they wouldn’t be as spiritually frustrated as many are. If they only "KNEW" that ALL IS OF GOD, they could have a quiet confidence that all will turn out well, not for just those who "are loving God," but eventually for the whole world.

"That they may SEE, and KNOW, and CONSIDER, and UNDERSTAND together, that THE HAND OF THE LORD HAS DONE THIS…" (Isa. 41:20).

Done what? Done only the "context, context, context" of Isaiah chapter 40 only? Or the context of the whole book of Isaiah only? No, the entire Bible is filled with such statements regarding a whole plethora of thoughts, plans, and activities of mankind, in every conceivable context:

"And ALL THINGS ARE OF GOD…" (II Cor. 5:18).

"For OF HIM, and THROUGH HIM, and TO HIM, are ALL THINGS: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36).

"For it became Him, FOR Whom are all things, and BY Whom are all things…" (Heb. 2:10).

"And He is before ALL things, and by Him ALL things consist" (Col. 1:17).

"In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who WORKS ALL THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL" (Eph. 1:11).

"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me.

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, MY COUNSEL SHALL STAND, and I WILL DO ALL MY PLEASURE: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I WILL ALSO BRING IT TO PASS; I HAVE PURPOSED IT, I WILL ALSO DO IT" (Isa. 4 6:9-11).

"The lot is cast into the lap; but the WHOLE DISPOSING THEREOF IS OF THE LORD" (Prov. 16:33).

"For it is GOD which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).

"The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, IS FROM THE LORD" (Prov. 16:1). [Regardless of the proper translation of the first half of this verse, the second half is emphatically] "…FROM THE LORD."

"O Lord, I know that the way of man is NOT IN HIMSELF [not in his will or choice] it is not in man that walks to direct his steps [he is not ‘free’ to choice where he will walk]" (Jer. 10:23).

"Man’s goings [steps] are OF THE LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Prov. 20:24).

But of what value are these many Scriptures that I have cited if we don’t believe any of them? Is there even ONE Scripture that I have cited above that you believe to be an ABSOLUTE AND TRUE STATEMENT OF GOD regarding man and his ability to will and choose independently of God? Well if you can agree that even ONE of them is absolutely true, then you must admit that God and the Scriptures allow no place for any reality of man having his OWN WILL that is FREE from the sovereignty of God’s operations of all.

No, it was "the hand of the LORD" that caused Israel to first say they would obey and later decide to not obey. It was "the hand of the LORD" that caused Joseph’s brothers to hate him, sell him into slavery, and then later to bow down to him. It was "the hand of the LORD" that put Samson and the Philistine woman together, but as with these and hundreds of more dealings by "the hand of the Lord" mentioned in Scripture, they "KNEW NOT THAT IT WAS OF THE LORD."

Do you "know NOT" that all that you have said and done today, "was OF THE LORD?"

Most of humanity is born, lives, does evil and good, then dies, and "KNEW NOT THAT IT WAS OF THE LORD."

In Part C of this series, I will show you a statement where God Himself tells us that when He uses someone for His purpose, the one being used thinks that he himself is planning and carrying out the desires of his own heart and is making the choices of his own will; whereas God tells us that it is HE and not the one being used that is in totally control of everything, and that the one being used is totally unaware that he is being used like an inanimate object that doesn’t even have a brain!

Yes, God tells us that this is how He operates in ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH! A few have been aware of God’s operation of all, down through the centuries; most however, have not. I will share these Scriptures with you next time. Robots? Nay, we are but clay (albeit ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ clay, Psalm 139:14) in the hands of the Master Potter.

Till next time, may God be with you all,

Ray


HOME