Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
To the natural man (aka the carnal mind) the ways of God are indeed foolishness. Such is the case with the truth that the Lord does indeed give us commandments such as “thou shall not eat of it”. Yet in the wisdom of God these commands are given to us even though we have no free will of our own to obey those very commandments. How can this be?
1Co 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The spiritual truth is that God’s ways are different than the logic of our carnal minds which just proves that the word is true and that faith is indeed the gift that it is. Without faith it is impossible to please the Lord much less believe in the Scriptures which is His Word. Many know this verse but extremely few actually believe it and understand its depth and breadth.
Isa 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
The SUM of God’s word is the truth and not some of it. Until the Lord opens a door to one’s heavens and gives them ears to hear they won’t be able to grasp the power of what Psalm 119:160 says. But when one is given to understand it then look out as many false doctrines are fixing to be kicked out of God’s temple.
Psa 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and each righteous ordinance of yours is everlasting.
It is essential we learn how to apply this macro principle. Some of the Scriptures put together at the exclusion of others is not the truth but the lies that men build in their carnal minds and why we have 40,000 denominations in orthodox Christianity (aka BABYLON). That is where we all must first go and we are all guilty of making our own bread and creating these false doctrines and believing them.
Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
No prophecy of scripture is of its own private explanation yet the carnal mind will continue to be trapped by this principle until it is given ears to hear and eyes to see.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
A common carnal question, I partly addressed in my last post on Carnal Questions That Demand Answers was why does God find fault if we have no free will? Clearly free will is an insidious lie to anyone with ears to hear as the Scriptures declare in stunning clarity and repetition. But one must believe them to believe this most basic pillar of God’s truth.
The reason God gives us commandments is to seek an occasion against us for wrongdoing and thereby teach us righteousness thru His judgments.
Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
We do not learn the true ways of the Lord unless and until our day of judgment comes. To the blessed few, that is in this life, in this AION (life).
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (they will be judged too in their appointed times)
Understanding that judgment is the way we come to possess eternal (Aionious) life is fundamental to growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Indeed that is the only way we will “then know He is the Lord”. The Scriptures tell us over and over again that we will not know the Lord unless and until we live thru His righteous judgments against our sinful flesh and carnal mind.
The very definition of Eternal Life is to know Him and the Father.
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Living thru the wrath of God on our old man and carnal mind, as painful as it is, being tormented in the presence of the lamb and His Elect angels is a very good thing. Wonderful for the new man and development of Christ in us, but a very bad thing for the old man who must be destroyed within us,
Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
All the churches of men I grew up in taught that salvation meant avoiding all of this. Yet the truth be told, the exact opposite is the truth. Nobody will ever know Jesus Christ until and unless they experience that wrath against their old man, carnal nature and innate lusts that make of these marred vessels of clay we first possess. Here is a profound truth if one can receive it.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple (Into Christ), till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
So the answer to this age-old carnal question about why we are given commandments to obey even though we have no free will is that this is the Lord’s way of bringing judgment upon us which is the way salvation comes to us in our appointed times.
Maybe now the dichotomy of these two verses which seem to conflict with one another can be understood.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God (not your free will) which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Maybe now one can begin to see the mystery of how the Lord works, how He causes us to obey Him by the scourging and chastening of His true grace.
Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
We are given commandments by the Lord and He knows full well we will not keep them initially and in doing so, judgment is brought against us and that is how we learn His true ways. This Scripture applies to all of God’s Elect, His Christ in which Christ appears the second time for salvation apart from sin.
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Just to be clear, Jesus was made sin, yet without sin. His flesh had to go just as our flesh has to go as it cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Far beyond me to explain that here but please see these links if you want to know more. Coming to understand the law of the offerings and what that typifies for us today is essential to grow into the fullness of Christ.
But to us that live in these marred vessels of clay, without the Spirit of God in us the ways of the Lord are indeed foolishness to our natural and carnally minded way of thinking. If one has been given the spirit and the gift of faith then they will begin to believe the Scriptures, all of them and including this one.
Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.
The Lord both makes us to err from His way (disobey) and He also causes us to obey, He the Lord indeed does it all if we only can believe it.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
The depth of the riches of His wisdom and knowledge and judgments cannot be known by the carnal mind, they are only known when we are given to know the mysteries of the kingdom.
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
The answer is no carnal man has known the mind of the Lord. These things are hidden from the world and must be revealed to us, yea even the deep things of God.
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Learning Good and Evil Requires Experience
The plan of God remaking the vessel of clay into a new vessel of honor, IN THE APPOINTED TIMES, requires us to learn good and evil. That is the only way we can become like God. We become this way via the process of experiencing good and evil and experiencing the righteous judgment of God.
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens:it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.
The Lord must cause us, He must give us this experience of evil for us to learn righteousness and become like Him. We must be shown our own innate wickedness and not just see it in others. To do this, He causes us to stumble.
Pro 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
We cannot learn good and evil in fullness until our day of judgment begins and we hear the WORD which brings judgment upon our personal earth and heavens,
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
This is why judgment begins at the house of God, the Very Elect in this age and everyone else will be judged later in the lake of fire at the 2nd resurrection. The fire being the word of God that consumed the adversaries of the Lord the day it begins to be heard and understood by spiritual ears and spiritual eyes.
Becoming like God is a blasphemous thought to the carnally minded. Yet that is exactly what the Lord is doing and what this life and going thru our time of judgment is all about. The word of God is an offense and stumbling-stone to the carnal mind yet hopefully a few will begin to understand what Jesus was saying and whose words have never passed away.
Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
In order us to become like gods and learn good and evil, the Lord must give us many experiences both good and evil.
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
The Lord caused Samson to marry a Philistine, so He could bring judgment against them. He did this even though it was a clear commandment in the law of Moses not to do so. This concept of judgment and the Lord seeking an occasion is key to knowing God’s plan.
Jdg 14:3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
So in due time for all of us, the Lord will seek an occasion to bring judgment against the Philistines that are living in your heart and mind (YOUR HEAVENS). This is how your old man will be decreased so Christ in you can be increased assuming Christ is actually in you.
All that any man does is ALL done in HIM. Our every thought, move and being is from the Lord.
Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
The things that do not bring fruit, (our dead works, our sins, etc.) are cut off in due time; but notice these works that get burned up and are taken away are still “in Him”
Joh 15:2 Every branch IN ME that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Pieces of clay have no say so in what they are molded into by the Lord, He indeed works ALL THINGS.
Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
The Lord is truly the Potter and He is giving us commands and then remolding and shaping us, teaching us good and evil by His divine ways. No man chooses to do anything else but what the Lord has determined to do.
Dan 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?“
There is just so much Scriptures that says this, even this one that reaffirms the plan that all will be saved because that is what the Lord has declared is His desire. We just must wait on the Lord to bring it about just as He has described.
Job 23:13But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
Such folly of the carnal mind to think it has free will that flies directly in the face of what sayeth the Scriptures.
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
The Lord is indeed “the Lord” and He need absolutely nothing from any of us.
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
So I pray this post has demonstrated the rhyme and reason of the Lord’s ways and doings. He indeed is working all things for the greater good including creating and causing evil. This is His MO on how He saves many people alive which will eventually mean all of mankind. Joseph’s brothers doing evil to him typifies how the Lord causes us to err from His ways and to rebel and persecute His Elect at first. But those evil acts, even our very sins are used in the appointed time to bring about good and the salvation of all men.
Gen 50:20 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.
Psa 90:3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
The Lord is the one who turns us into death and destruction so that in His timing He calls us to return and then brings forth Christ from within us. This is the plan of God for all men and we just need to have the faith to believe it and wait upon the Lord.
Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
May the Lord give the increase to those HE has prepared their hearts to receive it and opened their ears to hear it.
Psa 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
Your brother in Christ, PETE
For some related posts on the sovereignty of God, please see the following posts