THE KINGDOM OF SATAN IS EARTH

What is most important for all to become aware of is how Satan is god of this world; therefore wants all to love themselves, their church, or whatever any human being on this earth may direct their belief towards, which includes all that worship him as Satan being the world ruler – because just as human governments – once he has gotten his use from any that have been misled into his world of evil – they will become exterminated through many ways of death. Therefore know that this is no religious sermon filled with wrong direction, and that is because all religions, including Christianity have also been misled, therefore loved by congregations through smooth sound good words worldwide that pay tithes for lies. So now, according to the signs of the times in Matthew 24:4-13 and Revelation 6 beginning to magnify worldwide – truth on just how powerful Satan truly is – is being presented for those wanting to know their own future through these coming years.

What could possibly be more important than reality as it truly is? or do you prefer the father of lies all believe in unknown ways? So decide in your own mind to make a secure appointment for just sitting back, reading, and absorbing the most valuable words that you will ever be confronted with: because they contain human destiny in ways not known, taught, understood, or believed – because humankind teaches differently than our creator.

From the start, know also even though this is an excellent writing, I have made very few changes being from God and Jesus Christ to YHVH, Yehovah Elohim, and Yeshua HaMashiach, also did away with only once or twice when the false Trinity was mentioned, also the rapture being another mislead hundreds of millions have been led into believing. In addition the eternal suffering in the fires of hell being another false belief as if our all knowing creator also loves placing eternal torture on billions.

At the end, for any wanting additional truth not taught, links provide many answers such as who I am, my only purpose in this life, and what it means to live own faith through putting no trust in humankind for help or even just basic needs.

LET THE TRUTH BEGIN

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Beyond the world of phenomena is the real world – the unseen world – from which great and decisive influences emanate with an impact on all people’s lives. Since humans also have a spirit, they are conscious of the spirit world and receptive to communication from it. The immense importance of spiritual influences necessitates a sound knowledge of spiritual realities. Even if people wish to ignore these realities they are nonetheless profoundly affected by it. The two great realities in the spirit world are the Kingdom of Yehovah Elohim [God] and the kingdom of Satan.

These two kingdoms are in opposition to one another, contending for the souls of people and preparing to reveal themselves on earth. The kingdom of Satan will send the Antichrist to physically rule the world, while the kingdom of YHVH Elohim will send the true Yeshua HaMashiach, [not the human title Jesus Christ] to destroy the earthly kingdom of Satan and set up His millennial kingdom.

All the people of Elohim Most High are engaged in a struggle against the devil who is the great adversary of YHVH. It is critically important that we understand the principles and strategies of Satan’s kingdom in order to prevail in the struggle.

  1. THE REALITY OF THE BATTLE AGAINST SATAN

The spiritual battle against evil forces is a very real one, and it is intensified as we approach the end of this dispensation. It confronts us with the responsibility to thoroughly understand the objectives and methods of the enemy. There are different spheres in which this struggle is waged. The most important battlefield is human lives that were created in the image of YHVH God. Satan’s attacks on the kingdom of light are aimed at dethroning our Most High Elohim and enthroning himself as the ruler of the universe. In the process, he aims at controlling all people, spirit soul and body, and at being worshiped by them as if he were YHVH.

There are various forms and degrees of control that Satan presently has over people, and his final objective is to further expand this control. The Bible says that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 Jn. 5:19). However, the kingdom of YHVH also has established interests here and a considerable number of followers on earth, but they are a minority in a predominantly evil world.

Despite this situation, YHVH still has undisputed sovereignty in the universe. But in His eternal counsels, He decided to give to man the authority to subdue the earth and have dominion over it (Gen. 1:28). By yielding to Satan’s temptation in the Garden of Eden to rebel against YHVH, our first parents died spiritually and became subservient to another god – the devil. In this way, the devil and his fallen angels became “the rulers of the darkness of this world”.

Fallen humankind was now confronted by two kingdoms – the kingdom of YHVH Elohim and the kingdom of Satan. A free will to decide for themselves to which kingdom they want to belong would be the deciding factor whether spiritual light or darkness would prevail on the earth, or specific parts of it. The wrong inclinations and unrepentant hearts of the majority of people is the reason why believers everywhere find themselves “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom [they] shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

By deliberately living in darkness and sin, the great majority of people are the objects of YHVH’s judgements: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (Jn. 3:19).

The majority support that the kingdom of darkness enjoys on earth is the reason why the Bible refers to “this present evil world” from which YHVH wants to deliver us (Gal. 1:4). The large masses that tread the broad way that leads to death and destruction are those “in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Cor. 4:4). The god of this dark world is Satan. In John 14:30 Yeshua refers to him as “the prince of this world.”

But Satan does not rule over Christians as he has been dethroned in their lives. “The Son of YHVH was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). Although being set free from the control of the Evil One, Christians are nevertheless engaged in the fierce battle that is waged against the kingdom of light. That is why the Bible emphatically commands us: “Put on the whole armour of Elohim, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).

Satan’s attacks are not aimed at the people who are already in his power, as he oppresses and manipulates them at will. His attacks are aimed at the believers who oppose him and have committed themselves to help other people to be liberated from the powers of darkness. As such, the Christians have also declared war against him: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through Elohim to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Elohim, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Yeshua wrongly known as Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

  1. WARS OF SATAN AGAINST THE KINGDOM OF ELOHIM

Satan applies different strategies in his war against the kingdom of Elohim. His ultimate purpose is to gain absolute control and to establish a fully-fledged satanic world order in all spheres of life. He obviously realizes that time is running out for him and is now dramatically increasing the severity of his attacks. The different wars that he is waging are the following:

2.1 Religious war

It is a high priority of Satan to deceive people spiritually, thereby gaining control over their lives. Various methods are employed to achieve this objective, all of which are aimed at eroding faith in YHVH and replacing it with superstitions, or at supporting and perpetuating the superstitions and false religions of the deceived people:

False prophets

In his most disguised form, Satan attacks the church of Yeshua by infiltrating it with false prophets who pretend to be apostles of Yeshua. 1 John 4:1 says that “many false prophets are gone out into the world.” The Bible also reveals that, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:14-15). They utterly distort the Word of Elohim and also falsify it by way of new translations that deviate from the original text. A false Christian church is a powerful tool in the hands of Satan to deceive nominal Christians into believing that they are saved and heading for heaven, while it is not the case. Millions of naïve people expose themselves to damnable heresies without putting them to the test by discerning, in terms of Biblical principles, the spiritual powers that are at work in the preaching, in the ‘religious shows’ and in the literature that are presented to them.

False religions

In a more direct way, humanity is deceived by the non-Christian religions to worship idols that are disguised demons. The Bible says that the idols to which the heathens sacrifice, are demons (1 Cor. 10:19-20). Anyone participating in these sacrifices has fellowship with demons. The heathens do not know that Satan has deceived them. Neither do compromising, liberal, and ecumenical Christian churches realise these dangers, as they subscribe to the false idea that all religions worship the same Elohim. Multireligious deception proliferates in our time and amounts to a complete denial of the unique position of Yeshua HaMashiach as the only Saviour of the world. The ecumenical ‘Christians’ should endeavour to become more aware of the activities of the god of this world who blinds the minds of people so that they do not see the truth.

Occult powers

A still more ostensible revelation of Satan is by means of occult or mystical practices. He still does not associate it openly with his name and his kingdom so that people may be more easily deceived into becoming unfaithful to YHVH. The power of Satan is marketed and promoted by way of the New Age Movement, the Human Potential Movement, and related occult and mystical practices such as spiritual channeling, shamanism, magical powers, transcendental meditation, yoga, fortune-telling, psychic powers, astral projection, holistic healing, extrasensory perception, clairvoyance, etc. People are influenced to open themselves up to these powers and cosmic wisdom, and to freely draw on these resources. Eastern meditation is one of the most popular methods of effecting an altered state of consciousness, which leads to an openness to occult powers, cosmic wisdom, spirit guides and demons.

Satanism

The direct revelation of Satan can, because of the inherent repulsiveness of the idea, only be made to highly deceived, morally decadent, and spiritually degenerate people. In the past, these direct revelations were confined to small groups of people, but during the past two decades their numbers have vastly increased in the world. To these worshippers, Satan and his demons reveal themselves in all their abomination, vileness and bloodthirstiness. They demand animal or human sacrifices from their worshippers, as well as the murdering of certain persons.

2.2 War against moral values

The moral norms which Yehovah Elohim has established through His laws and precepts, and which the human conscience should acknowledge as right and good, are continually questioned, challenged, and broken down by Satan. Moral decline is promoted by demons. This is done with a view to replacing YHVH’s morality in the world by the opposite values of a satanic immorality. These two sets of values can be contrasted as follows:

GOD’S MORALITY SATAN’S IMMORALITY
Truth Lie
Righteousness Unrighteousness
Self-control Lawlessness
Honesty Deceitfulness and theft
Moral chastity Moral depravity and vileness
Soberness Drunkenness
Sincerity Slyness
Reverence to God Blaspheming of God
Orderliness Disorderliness
Meekness Arrogance
Peacefulness Violence
Forgivingness Revengefulness
Love Hate
Kindness Cruelty
Conservation Destruction

Satan knows that with his war against moral values he can achieve a great victory in the control and eventual destruction of humankind. The Roman Empire, for instance, was never defeated by military force but destroyed itself by way of internal moral decay. Sexual orgies, drunkenness, fornication, homosexuality, materialism, corruption, theft, and bribery gave rise to one scandal after another. Widespread immorality completely ruined the integrity and effectiveness of the governments in Rome and Constantinople.

The apostle James also contrasts the morality of YHVH with the moral depravity of a fallen world that lies in the sway of the Evil One:

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good [conduct] his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, develish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (Jas. 3:13-18).

Under the cloak of humanistic reforms the world is, over a wide front, being drawn into a demonic immorality. When this process has advanced far enough the Antichrist, as the man of sin, will be revealed. He will be the leading figure in the new world order’s culture of sin. He will act according to his own will (Dan. 11:36), rule by means of satanic powers (Rev. 13:2), blaspheme God (Rev. 13:5-6), will, together with Satan, be worshipped by a morally and religiously utterly depraved human race (Rev. 13:4), be a tyrant and mass-murderer (Dan. 11:44), and order the execution of all people who refuse to worship him as god (Rev. 13:15).

2.3 Psychological war

A psychological war is also waged against humanity by inducing people to stop relying only on rational thinking which is based on logical facts. They are influenced to discover and use their hidden psychological potential by switching over from their rational ‘left brain’ to their creative ‘right brain’. Here they will discover a super memory, powers of self-healing, the ‘gifts’ of clairvoyance, telepathy, etc. These discoveries are allegedly associated with a hitherto unknown side of our human potential, referred to as the deeper self or the higher self. The extra-sensory techniques used to affect such a switchover are mainly transcendental meditation, self-hypnosis and yoga.

Various psychics, psychologists, and deluded ‘Christian’ counselors are guiding people in this new self-discovery that helps them to attain altered states of consciousness. Some of them discover their deeper self; others discover spirit guides that help them to regress to earlier lives, while others discover their abilities towards self-healing, etc. However, these ‘gifts’ and other discoveries are clearly mystical and demonic in nature. In doing so, people relinquish all forms of self-control by subjecting themselves to higher powers, they open themselves up to the working of unknown spiritual agents, and move into a cosmic realm in which ‘gifts’ are experienced that are clearly not from YHVH. They abandon all logical and rational arguments from the Bible, and thereby render proof that the god of this world (Satan) has indeed blinded their minds (2 Cor. 4:4).

The victims of Satan’s psychological war all think and act differently than before. Apart from their reliance on higher spiritual powers of unknown origin, most of them develop an entirely new world-view. They see everything as one (monism, or synthetic thinking), for instance, the inherent unity of all religions. They no longer subscribe to antithetic thinking in which distinction is made between opposite categories of things such as the kingdom of Elohim and the kingdom of the devil, the lie and the truth, etc. Satan’s world government (Rev. 13:3, 7) and his alliance of world religions (Rev. 17:3-5) will be perfectly acceptable to them.

2.4 Social war

As the Creator of human beings, YHVH also laid down rules for social identity and group forming to ensure the orderly functioning of social groups. Satan also relentlessly attacks these institutions in an effort to sow disorder and chaos.

YHVH created humans as male and female, with different characteristics and social roles assigned to each sex. Their appearance, conduct, dresses and hairstyles should reflect and conform to these differences. The men should in all respects be truly masculine and the females truly feminine. Satan tries to eliminate these differences through unisex reforms and endeavors to establish homosexuality as an alternative and socially acceptable lifestyle. Under his influence, society is also restructured on a non-sexist basis with a view to introducing uniform roles for all individuals irrespective of gender. Because YHVH appointed the man as head over his wife, resulting in a paternalistic society, Satan employs humanism and radical feminism to give impetus to his egalitarian reforms.

Cultural differences among various societies are also minimized by superimposing universally acceptable trends and institutions on groups with a strong sense of identity – the aim being to erode their patriotism and transform their members into planetary citizens. These reforms, in which national and ethnic identity are denied, form the basis of the neo-Babylonian world society of the future. In that society, any ideology can be subscribed to, any religion can be practiced, any type of marriage may be practiced (e.g. same sex) or none, and no moral norms are enforced. When this stage has been reached in the demonic war against YHVH’s standards for individuals, groups, and nations, Satan will have achieved his objective of creating cultural chaos and a lack of identity among human beings.

2.5 Economic war

In the kingdom of darkness, money and capital goods are regarded as very important means to control people’s lives. With it people can be controlled, bribed and induced to do things that they otherwise might not have done. The mere desire to become rich in material terms gives rise to a form of idolatry. The god of money is Mammon, which is one of the descriptive names of the devil. According to the Bible you cannot serve Elohim and Mammon at the same time (Mt. 6:24).

Satan clearly prepares to make full use of the power of money in the end-time. According to Revelation 13, the Antichrist will be in control of a cashless monetary system for the whole world, operated by a number system. Nobody will be able to buy or sell without this number.

Not only individuals, but also nations, will be economically controlled by a future world government headed by the Antichrist. Economic subservience to global economic structures, like the IMF and World Bank at present, will contribute towards the loss of national sovereignty.

2.6 Political war

Satan is clearly also engaged in a political war against humanity. YHVH’s order for human communities is based on the principle of sovereign nations, each with its own government and territory. According to Acts 17:26, YHVH determined the boundaries of their habitation. Satan’s first rebellion against the existing order of independent nations was the motivating force behind the establishing of the ancient Babylonian Empire and the building of the tower of Babylon. This effort was aimed at political, religious, economic, and linguistic unity on earth (Gen. 11:4-6). The Babylonian ideology of globalism was wrong in the eyes of the YHVH; consequently He confused their plans and forced the participating nations to move away and follow an independent existence without domination by a world empire.

The devil never relinquished his plans for an alternative order of global political domination of the nations. Various world empires were established through the ages. They all oppressed and exploited the nations, imposed a heathen religion on them, and also undermined other cultures by enforcing cultural and linguistic conformity to their own institutions. Some of the efforts to establish such world empires were unsuccessful, for instance that of Hitler in World War II.

Whenever Satan makes an attempt in this direction he prepares a suitable strongman who rises to a position of political leadership, to the extent that he becomes a military dictator who conquers and subjects other nations. Through the expansion of his empire he then becomes a world leader. Such power was always abused by inducing or forcing people to rebel against YHVH by bowing the knee to man-made idols. Due to their inherent immorality, corruption, and oppression of other nations, all these empires eventually collapsed.

According to the Bible Satan will, before the Second Coming, use all his means to once more overthrow YHVH’s order of independent nations by incorporating them into a new world order of international political, religious, economic, social, and linguistic unity. The man that he has chosen to head the new world order is called the Antichrist, the beast, and the man of sin in the Bible. The world empire that he will establish will be a repetition of the Babylonian Empire of Nimrod and Nubuchadnezzar. For that reason, the end-time world empire is quite aptly called Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18.

Like Nimrod of old, the Antichrist will deify himself. Through deceptive diplomacy he will persuade other nations to join the new world order of global unity. It will initially, therefore, be a common, negotiated agreement. In their vision for a united world they might paraphrase Genesis 11:4 as follows: “Come, let us build ourselves a city as world capital in the Middle East, and establish a powerful world religion which exalts and enthrones man; and let us make a name for ourselves as planetary citizens, lest we be divided and scattered over the face of the earth.”

Diplomatic negotiations for the establishing of a new world order have already been conducted under the auspices of the USA, the United Nations and other world bodies. When the Antichrist is revealed, he will pursue these negotiations to their final conclusion. Daniel says: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week” (Dan. 9:27). This prophetic week represents a period of seven years, and refers to the coming tribulation period.

When the Antichrist is accepted as world leader, it will be at the cost of the deceived nations with whom he has confirmed a covenant. He will not act in their best interests, but in the interests of Satan who prepared and empowered him for his position. John says: “…and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2).

We must clearly understand that apart from his attacks on individuals and groups, the devil also follows a strategy to deceive the nations to serve him and to join his antichristian new world order of political and religious unity. In Revelation 20:3 we read that Satan will, after the second coming of Jesus, be bound and confined to a bottomless pit “that he should deceive the nations no more.” After the thousand years he will be released to once more deceive the nations and mobilize them for a war against the kingdom of God (Rev. 20:7-10).

At present, the nations are deceived into sacrificing their sovereignty on the altar of regional and global unity. The moves to achieve European unity are good examples of this dangerous trend. The process of political unification will end up in a new world order and global governance. By that time Satan’s strongman, the Antichrist, will offer his services to the deceived masses. Revelation 13 says: “…and all the world wondered after the beast… and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Rev. 13:3, 7).

2.7 Military wars

In association with his political war against independent nations – particularly those nations who strongly resist satanic ideologies – Satan actively resorts to military wars of conquest to establish and expand evil empires. He is the “God of forces” (Dan. 11:38) who uses his power in various ways to deprive nations of their independence by subjecting them to strong adversaries who, wittingly or unwittingly, advance the interests of the kingdom of darkness.

Many wars have been instigated by Satan against Israel in an effort to obliterate the Chosen People from whom the Messiah was born and to whom He will shortly return to rule the world from the throne of David. These wars were often motivated by conspiracies against YHVH:

“Keep not thou silence, O God… For, lo, thine enemies… have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: the tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites… the Philistines… Assur also joined with them” (Ps. 83:1-8).

Relentless wars against Israel and various Christian communities and nations were waged in New Testament times by the Roman Empire, Islamic nations, the Vatican, the Nazis, various Communist countries, etc. Satan inspires these wars, and will continue to do so. Two wars that are probably the highest on Satan’s agenda for the end-time are the Russo-Arab invasion of Israel (Ezek. 38-39) and the Third World War (the battle of Armageddon). Active demonic instigation will occur to mobilize the armies of the world:

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty… And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Rev. 16:13-15, 16).

As we move closer to the tribulation period, wars and revolutions will continue to escalate with a view to bringing about total disarray among the nations. In this way they will be prepared to accept the temporary peace and unity that the Antichrist will offer them, and become subjects of his world empire. They will relinquish their political and economic independence and also willingly worship Satan’s ‘Prince of Peace’ as their Messiah.

  1. SATAN’S SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

The seven types of war that Satan wages against mankind and the kingdom of YHVH are planned and co-ordinated within his own kingdom. Although he operates from spiritual spheres he has a power hierarchy and typical institutions of government for the execution of specific tasks. It is the actions of these principalities and structures of authority that we should resist: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). From its diverse activities it is evident that the kingdom of Satan has the following seven departments:

3.1 Department for personal attacks

This department functions like the intelligence section of a human government, with the difference that its members collect information on all people on earth. The information is used to exploit people’s weaknesses, to encourage their passions and evil desires, to seduce mislead, oppose and accuse them, and also to rob or kill them. On this level every Christian is continuously involved in spiritual warfare against such demonic attacks. We must achieve victory in the power and in the Name of the Lord Yeshua. “[Therefore] take unto you the whole armour of YHVH, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:13).

3.2 Department for groups and governments

The Bible clearly alludes to the fact that from the kingdom of darkness attacks are leveled against all interest groups and governments in order to distort their vision and to mislead them ideologically. Worldly, humanistic ideologies are offered to them to seduce them to play into Satan’s hands. Paul warned against deceptive philosophies when he said: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit” (Col. 2:8). This phenomenon increases in the end-time:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1).

The perverted and godless world in which we live has its own ideological principles. Examples of the corrupting ideologies embraced by governments, political parties, educational institutions and other bodies are humanism, atheism, evolutionism, socialism, communism, liberalism, existentialism, relativism, pragmatism, globalism, New Age thought, as well as all the false religions. If only one of these ideologies gains control over a country or an organization, it constitutes a great victory to the kingdom of darkness. Just think of the potential for mass deception in countries that are officially identifying with communism or one of the non-Christian religions.

Because a government has extensive powers to determine the ideological orientation of a country, its educational policy and other public matters, it is a high priority of Satan to deceive nations, their political leaders and governments. In Daniel 10:13 and 20 we read about the princes of Persia and Greece. They were highly ranked demons with the assignment to deceive entire nations and use them as instruments in Satan’s struggle against the people of YHVH (Israel). These demons withstood the angel of the Lord, indicating that there are also conflicts between the angels of YHVH and the fallen angels of the devil. In The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 1366-7, Profs. Walvoord and Zuck say the following about the war against Satan’s angels who are controlling certain nations:

“In Daniel 10:12-14 Gabriel explained the reason for the delay in YHVH’s answer to Daniel’s prayer. YHVH had dispatched Gabriel with a message for him, but Gabriel was hindered by the prince of the Persian kingdom… who must have been a satanic adversary.

“YHVH has arranged the angelic realm in differing ranks. Gabriel and Michael have been assigned authority over angels who administer Elohim’s affairs for the nation Israel (cf. Michael in Dan. 10:21, 12:1 and Jude v. 9). In imitation Satan has also apparently assigned high-ranking demons to positions of authority over each kingdom. The prince of the Persian kingdom was a satanic representative assigned to Persia.

“To seek to prevent Gabriel’s message from getting to Daniel, the demonic prince attacked Gabriel as he embarked on his mission. This gives insight into the nature of the warfare fought in the heavenlies between Elohim’s angels and Satan’s demons to which Paul referred in Eph. 6:12. The battle between Gabriel and the prince (demon) of Persia continued for three weeks until Michael, one of the chief princes of the angelic realm (cf. Dan. 10:21 and 12:1) came to Gabriel’s assistance. Such angelic-demonic conflict indicate something of Satan’s power.”

Many nations and governments in our time clearly demonstrate that they are influenced and even controlled by the kingdom of Satan! They heed the call of the prince of darkness by abrogating Christian constitutions in which the supremacy of YHVH is recognized, the phasing out Christian education in state schools, the degrading of Christianity by demoting it to the same level as the non-Christian religions, and by substantially lowering the moral standards in a country through the legalizing of prostitution, homosexuality, abortion, and other immoral practices. In this way a lawless, immoral, violent, and barbaric lifestyle is promoted. All that remains to happen in such a pernicious world society is the revelation of the man of sin, the Antichrist, who will be Satan’s ruler over a wicked and perverted generation.

3.3 Department for the infiltration and deception of the Christian faith

In this department, much emphasis is placed on theatrics. The church of Christ is studied and imitated to enable false prophets to easily infiltrate and deceive it. The demons that are assigned to this duty select the best possible human collaborators to do their evil work. These are then converted into false prophets who are wolves in sheepskins. These people are usually esteemed and influential persons in society whose opinions as pastors or theologians carry a lot of weight. Their deceptive teachings are very subtle forms of disinformation that cannot be easily discerned from the truth. Their supporters must have blind and unconditional faith in them. Paul says:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

Such people cause great confusion in the kingdom of YHVH Elohim. The following features are typical of false prophets:

Misleading Pharisees

“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Mt. 23:28). They pretend to be what they are not. They proclaim a dead form of godliness “to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Mt. 23:15). We are clearly warned against these heretics: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Mt. 7:15).

Stumbling-blocks in God’s kingdom

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in” (Mt. 23: 13). These preachers are esteemed spiritual leaders who are not only unsaved themselves, but they act as stumbling-blocks to hinder those who are searching for the Lord. In their preaching they split hairs over trivial issues, but the important subjects of sin, condemnation and salvation are not addressed. “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel” (Mt. 23:24).

Proclaimers of a false peace

For the sake of popularity, a false prophet proclaims a false peace to pacify people and induce them to continue with their sins under the premise that a loving Elohim will not condemn them. At the same time the false prophets who are used of Satan, keep themselves busy with corruption and self-enrichment. “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:13-14; cf. also Jer. 14:13-16).

They deny Yeshua HaMashiach [Christ]

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Pet. 2:1-2).

The collaborators of Satan enjoy great public support. Peter says that many will follow their false teachings. They abhor and scoff at the evangelical churches who still preach a Biblical doctrine of salvation based on the virgin birth of the Yeshua [Lord Jesus], His Deity, His atoning death on the cross post or tree, His resurrection from the dead, and His coming again in glory. The false prophets are also campaigning against those who believe in the divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. They describe such people as naïve, uninformed and outdated in their views. Satan especially hates Genesis and revelation, as his doom is predicted in the former and his execution is described in the latter. His collaborators embrace evolution and deny the literal truth of the Creation account. They also try to spiritualise away the end time prophecies in their campaign to undermine the credibility and literal application of God’s Word.

False prophets who deny the Divinity of Yeshua [Christ] abound in most of the large theological seminaries and faculties of theology at the various universities. Their influence is most destructive, as they are busy training the following generation of “unfaithful servants” who will further lower the spiritual standards of denominations.

[Also realize that through thousands of years, Bible translation has made many mistakes; thus added many flaws to all versions of the Holy Bible – but through following its written instruction in ways very few actually do while looking only to YHVH, and proving all things – His truth will be made within any He calls out of this world. John 15:19 means becoming disassociated with all worldly ways through walking the walk in Colossians 3.]

Extra-Biblical revelations

The false prophets turn away from sound Biblical exegesis and rely on extra-Biblical revelations of a highly questionable nature. They prefer to follow their intuition and justify it by saying, “God told me this or that.” They also talk about their dreams, visions, messages received from angelic beings, and even astral travels to heaven where they allegedly talk to deceased saints. These messages are conveyed to their followers rather than preaching the Word of God.

Small gods, signs and wonders

In the end-time, many false prophets appear on the scene and deceive large massive crowds with sensational signs and wonders. Some of them do not hesitate to call themselves apostles, prophets, or even gods. They command powers that can make people swoon and fall down on the floor, behave as if drunk, shake or laugh uncontrollably, shout at the top of their voices, bleat, roar, make animal noises or behave in other bizarre ways. Biblical justification is then given for these phenomena. The Lord Yeshua warned against the false prophets and their deceptive methods:

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many… For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall [show] great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Mt. 24:11, 24).

So do not underestimate Satan’s department for the infiltration and deception of the Christian church. Take ‘cognisance’ of this possibility and guard against it. The Lord Yeshua “spoiled principalities and powers, He made a [show] of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15). We should be able to identify the false prophets and expose their deceptive teachings under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. John said:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1).

3.4 Department for the perversion and destruction of Elohim’s Word

Throughout the ages, incessant attacks were made against the written Word of Elohim by perverting and distorting it with wrong exegesis, and also by providing and using new translations that deviate from the original manuscripts. In this way people become doctrinally deceived and also ignorant about vital promises and warnings in the Bible. There is only one way to correct their heresies and falsifications, and that is the continued proclaiming of the true and unadulterated Word of Elohim:

“I charge thee therefore before Yehovah Elohim, and the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Tim. 4:1-5).

3.5 The department for false religions

It is obvious that Satan concentrates largely on the founding and expansion of false religions in his efforts to deceive mankind. In this way he confronts and persecutes Christianity from the outside and deceives millions billions of people to worship idols [or anything material or worldly]. In this context, he and his demons still disguise themselves behind masks in order that the deceived people may remain under the impression that they are dealing with gods, spirit guides, ancestral spirits, or ascended masters of wisdom. By sacrificing to these gods and spirits, camouflaged demons are actually worshiped. Paul warned against this practice:

“What say I then? That the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” (1 Cor. 10:19-20).

The Biblical command is: “[Therefore], my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:14).

3.6 The department for occult powers

From his mystical, supernatural spheres Satan and his demons can manifest a great variety of occult powers among people on earth. It is done selectively and in such a way that they will not realise that these powers come from the devil. Occult powers manifest as supernatural abilities such as psychic powers, extrasensory perception, signs and wonders, holistic healing, witchcraft, magic, spells, divination, fortune-telling, clairvoyance, astral projection, levitation, and the ability to go through fire by walking over hot coals. Thousands of years ago, Israel was strictly warned against engaging in practices of this nature:

“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a nacromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy Elohim doth drive them out from before thee… For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners” (Deut. 18:10-14).

3.7 The department for Satanism

The seventh department in the kingdom of darkness is concerned with the unconcealed worship of Satan as the cruel, revengeful, and power-hungry god of a fallen world. Because of the highly gruesome nature of this practice it is only people who are in the darkest depths of spiritual and moral depravity who would feel inclined to go to these extremes.

As the spiritual and moral falling away in the world increases, there are more perverted human beings who take pleasure in violence, rebellion, curses, bloodshed, skeletons, liquor and drug abuse, sexual orgies, and the most grisly satanic rituals. What were earlier small groups of people who met in dark dens in deserted places to worship Satan and to sacrifice to him, have now grown into millions of supporters all over the world.

Apart from the fact that Satan is a rebel and a murderer he also wishes to be worshiped and honoured by his followers. Those who are prepared to accept and worship him in spite of his cruelty and ugly characteristics become involved with Satanism. In America and other countries there are also branches of the Church of Satan that was established by Anton LaVey in 1966.

In Satanism there is a hierarchy through which a member moves to the top structure; consequently, many of the new members have only limited knowledge on who and what Satan really is. As they become deeper involved in the movement they also learn to know him better and become more and more like him.

There are various reasons why people become involved with Satanism. Some are motivated by a spirit of extreme rebellion. They revolt against the social order, reject all authority and the norms of decency, and then associate with the great rebel, Lucifer. Others crave for mystical, supernatural power and approach the devil to get it from him. There are also people with murderous inclinations arising from a thirst for revenge, who join forces with the great murderer and execute their plans with accomplices of an equally corrupted spirit. A common attraction is the sexual orgies and the availability of liquor and drugs at the meetings of Satanists.

Another reason why people approach Satan is to become financially prosperous. Many of the members of rock bands in America have approached high priests or witches of satanic groups to sell their souls to Satan in exchange for fame and prosperity. With their own blood they sign a covenant with Satan. The obligation then rests on them to promote themes like witchcraft, magic, drugs, Eastern cults, or Satanism in their songs.

One of the most important activities at their meetings is sacrifices to Satan, accompanied by prayers to him. Animals are sacrificed to him, but in some cases also humans. Instances are known where abducted people have been sacrificed to Satan, as well as the unregistered babies of cult members. Those participating in the ritual drink blood mixed with liquor or drugs. Demons also appear at meetings and take possession of people who open themselves up to them.

The captives of Satan are on the lowest level of spiritual and moral corruption imaginable. Nobody should even take the first step in this direction. The Bible says: “Neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). The advice of James is: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). Peter adds to this when he says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). Do not take the dangerous risk of becoming acquainted with the depths of Satan by descending into the pit of Satanism (Rev. 2:24).

  1. CHARACTERISTICS OF SATAN AND HIS ACCOMPLICES

From a study of Satan’s methods of work among people in general, as well as the unbridled and extreme manifestations of his evil nature within the Satanist movement, the following 13 basic characteristics of him and his accomplices are evident:

4.1 Rebellion

Satan means Adversary. His rebellion and opposition against God started in heaven. In the book of Isaiah God says about Satan:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart:, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?’” (Is. 14:12-17).

Satan is still the great adversary who promotes anarchy by rejecting all authority and laws. He undermines divine and human authority in an effort to create total chaos. That is part of the struggle that he waged against the kingdom of light through the ages. Satanists are possessed by the same spirit of rebellion and anarchy. They show it by painting the Anarchy symbol (A) on walls or floors of public buildings. The circle around the symbol, which is also used with other symbols, is the circle of power. The occult power of Satan must be kept inside the circle, and danger outside.

4.2 Destruction of Elohim’s creation

The entire creation of our Supreme Creator is a target for Satan’s destructive works. He is intent on polluting, poisoning, burning and destroying the earth and its natural resources with the aim of making it uninhabitable. The more control Satan gains over a people and their culture, the more he blinds the minds of people, erodes their values and sense of responsibility, and transforms them into materialistic and covetous people who overexploit or destroy nature in a callous and unscrupulous way to benefit themselves at any cost. Trees are cut without replacing them, pastures are overburdened and destroyed, soil erosion is allowed to continue unchecked, land and sea animals are hunted without allowing stocks a reasonable chance to recover, while land, water and the atmosphere are polluted to the extent that the survival chances for man and animals are seriously endangered. It is clearly Satan’s agenda to destroy the world which YHVH has given to man to be cultivated and controlled in a sustainable manner. In the great tribulation, Satan will come very close to causing a total ecological collapse on earth.

4.3 Destroying of Elohims’s institutions

Satan and his followers not only endeavour to promote the destruction of the physical creation, but also Elohim’s institutions for the orderly existence of human societies. Of these, marriage and government institutions are the most important targets for attacks. Satanists often curse the marriages of Christians in the hope that they will succumb to pressure and divorce. Sexual promiscuity and cohabitation is promoted in various ways.

Continuous efforts are also made to bring down or subvert governments and institutions for the maintenance of law and order. The police are strongly despised and hated because they maintain law and order and thus impede a movement towards anarchy. They also hunt down Satanists who contravene certain laws. The police force and other security services are consequently undermined and sometimes infiltrated by Satanists to get covert protection through inside information. To protect themselves against the police, Satanists use code names for one another at meetings, and they also maintain secrecy about their addresses and places of employment. In this way, a member who may be arrested by the police does not have valuable information that may lead to the prosecution of other members. In this way, Satan protects his agents who must sow chaos, disorder, and anarchy in society.

4.4 Sabotage and underground activities

In Satan’s empire there is a strong commitment to sabotage in order to break down what has been built up. That does not only involve the ruining, burning or destruction of buildings, cars, and other property, but also the non-material possessions of a nation. This includes the sabotage of educational standards and other forms of academic terrorism by which tertiary institutions are threatened. Most of these activities are planned underground by a network of secret societies. The evil plans of Satan are then executed by various front organisations. Covert attacks are in this way made on a society to deprive its members of their material and spiritual goods, and leave them destitute. Christian civilization is incessantly attacked and undermined by the forces of darkness in their campaign of hatred.

4.5 Lying and the spreading of evil doctrines

Because the devil is the father of lies, he fights all forms of the truth and endeavours to substitute it with lies. This attitude emerges from the demonic ideology of opposite values in which everything that is good, is, in Satan’s domain, regarded as bad. Nice, clean, honourable and positive things are despised by the devil and his followers. In their place ugly, vile, dishonourable and negative things are presented. Filthy, pornographic material is displayed in public places to promote the process of spiritual, psychological and bodily defilement, thereby putting Satan’s stamp on society. Doctrines of demons are also disseminated in the form of distorted religious, political and philosophical ideologies. Churches, governments, political parties, and universities clearly show the results of this assault from the underworld. In many theological seminaries, demonic teachings have been firmly established in which the Deity and virgin birth of Yeshua as well as the inerrancy of the Bible are denied. Demonic signs and wonders have also found their way into many churches and Christian movements through the mediation of false prophets. Satanists also infiltrate many churches to spread their evil influence there.

4.6 Cursing and blaspheming

The devil and his followers hate, despise, reject, and slander the only true and Most High Elohim, the Christians and Israel. Devil means False accuser or Slanderer, and that is exactly what he is doing. An extended vocabulary of swear-words, curses, and slanderous talk is used. Curses are placed on individuals, groups, churches, and even on an entire country. The Name of Elohim is also blasphemed. This will be a major characteristic of the Antichrist: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies… And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven” (Rev. 13:5-6). All people who participate in this evil practice are playing directly into the hands of Satan.

4.7 Opposition against the cross of Yeshua and the Christian church

The kingdom of darkness is fanatically opposed to the church of Yeshua and tries to question, discourage, deceive, infiltrate, oppress, forbid, or destroy it in every possible way. Some of the symbols that they use in this campaign are the following:

The broken cross

In this symbol, the cross of Yeshua is turned upside down and the horizontal bars broken to point diagonally to the bottom. It represents the rejection and destruction of Christianity – something to which every Satanist must commit him or herself. Witches use the same symbol. A number of radical peace movements also use this symbol, to which they refer as the peace sign. One of these groups campaigns against the use of nuclear weapons. Although their cause may be just, they are guided by Satan as the angel of light and are looking for a false, humanistic peace outside Christ. In their concept of peace there is no place for peace with God based on the atoning death of Jesus on the cross. To the contrary – the cross of Yeshua is broken and rejected to allow fallen man to establish his own peace outside Elohim. This false peace, which is also promoted by the New Age Movement and the new world order, is a deceptive prelude to the great tribulation: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).

The inverted cross

This cross is not broken but turned upside down. It indicates the rejection of Yeshua Hamashiach and contempt for the gospel of salvation. Inverted symbols are typical of the opposite values pursued by Satanists. People who are sometimes sacrificed to Satan on Black Sabbath are crucified upside down in accordance with this tradition.

The cross of confusion

This is a cross of which the long lower leg is curled to resemble a reversed question mark. It is also a satanic cross by which the genuineness and power of the cross of Yeshua is questioned. The rock group Blue Oyster Cult uses this symbol on their record covers.

The Ankh cross

This is an Egyptian symbol of life, of which the short upper bar forms a circle. It also depicts a combination of the female and male signs of Isis and Osiris. Satanists use it as a sex symbol for their sexual orgies.

4.8 Immoral behaviour

Because the Bible upholds high moral standards, the Adversary makes it his business to break down these standards and replace them with the most extreme forms of immorality and misconduct. Filthy habits, swearing and vile conversations, anti-social behaviour, a propensity for nakedness, fornication, homosexuality, corruption, violence, and theft are all part of an immoral lifestyle that is continuously promoted by Satan. He is the author of sin and seeks to establish an international culture of sin among all nations. That is why his future world leader, the Antichrist, is also referred to as “that man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3).

During the rule of the Antichrist the decadence and immorality on earth will be comparable with the days of Noah and Lot. Of the time of Noah the Bible says: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually… for the earth is filled with violence through them” (Gen. 6:5, 13). In the time of Lot, homosexuality and violence were rife. Because of the extreme immorality and rebellion of people, God poured out His wrath over them.

During the coming rule of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, immorality and rebellion against Elohim and His norms will again take on unprecedented proportions. As a result, the world will be surrendered to a great tribulation as there was never before; and if those days are not shortened no flesh will be saved (Mt. 24:21-22). Sin is the reason why YHVH Elohim judges people. Satan makes it his job to plunge individuals, groups, and even whole nations into sin by presenting it as human freedom and an acceptable way of life. In the Satanist movement the culture of sin already reigns supreme.

4.9 The use of occult power

Satan doubtlessly has considerable power, which he actively uses for the promotion and extension of the interests of his kingdom. He makes it available to Satanists, magicians, witches, diviners, necromancers, psychics, and various other practitioners of occult powers and wisdom. Through these people, it is channeled to the wider community. Occult powers are also offered to false prophets who infiltrate Christian churches and work sensational signs and wonders. In the end-time, this phenomenon will increase considerably.

In His prophetic discourse the Lord Yeshua said: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall [show] great signs and wonders” (Mt. 24:24). In this way Satan and his collaborators will pave the way for coming of the ultimate false Christ, who is the Antichrist. Paul says his coming is “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9). The false prophet will have the same occult powers. John says about him: “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast… And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth… And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast” (Rev. 13:12-14). In the coming new world order, the occult powers and ‘cosmic wisdom’ dispensed by Satan will be much sought after by both political and spiritual leaders. Those without it will be disregarded as ignorant and powerless.

4.10 Self-deification

In his kingdom, Satan insists on being referred to as the god and ruler of the universe. People must also accept him in this capacity when they conclude covenants with him. It is his great desire to have dominion over all people. He already has a considerable degree of influence and authority over the deceived nations of the world but he is not content with that. Like so often in history, he wishes to institute a world government with absolute powers over the inhabitants of the earth. People must be ruled with an iron fist and be forced to worship Satan or his demons that pose as idols. According to the Bible, a satanic world government will indeed be instituted by the Antichrist. It will be a revival of the Babylonian and Roman world empires in which occult powers and idolatry were rife. Satan will give his power and authority to the Antichrist and also insist on being worshiped by all people (Rev. 13:2-4). Many of the followers of Lucifer also deify and exalt themselves, and become very arrogant.

4.11 Murderer

Satan “was a murderer from the beginning” (Jn. 8:44). He takes pleasure in killing people so that they may be plunged into hell/grave where eternal death awaits them. His followers are also attracted by murder, murder weapons, blood, and skulls. The more gruesome a murder scene is, the more they like it. When Satan is finished using people for a certain task, he kicks them aside, drives them to commit suicide, or uses other people to kill them. Anton LaVey, the satanic priest who started the First Church of Satan in America on the sixth day of the sixth month in 1966, and who also wrote the satanic bible, died in 1997 in a very mysterious way. The last few months before his death he suffered heavily from depression and may have committed suicide.

4.12 Demonic possession

A commonly used method in the kingdom of Satan is that of demonic possession. Satan and his fallen angels are spirits who are dependent on possessing people and working through them. They can also influence and deceive people without possessing them, but it remains a priority with them to get full control over their victims. A demon who possesses a person, completely changes the personality of his host, controls his will and emotions, intimidates and commands him by way of telepathic orders, or even by talking to him/her in an audible voice. He tortures the person if he refuses to execute orders. The victim gets frightening nightmares, is forced to display weird pictures on the walls of his room and to wear black clothes. In the satanic cult there are high priests who are possessed by a number of demons, each with his own name. They can be given certain assignments by the high priest.

4.13 The worshipping of Satan

Satan is the undisputed head of his kingdom and demands the loyalty and worship of all his subjects. The Satanists must continually worship him and bring sacrifices to honour him. They mainly use the name Lord Satan when they worship him, but they sometimes invert the name to become Natas. They also address him as Lucifer or Leviathan. In illustrations he is depicted as a human-like being with the head of a goat, or only as a black goat. The symbol that is mostly used in connection with him is the inverted pentagram. The head of a goat is sometimes drawn in the pentagram. At satanic meetings a large, encircled pentagram is drawn on the floor and black candles are placed on each of the five points of it, which are lit by magical power. Demons that are called up appear in the middle of the pentagram.

Although Satan and his demons are indirectly worshiped by millions of people who worship idols, it remains his final objective to be directly worshiped in his undisguised form as Lucifer. Together with the Antichrist, who will be the leader of the future luciferic world order, the dragon (Satan) will be worshiped by all people. Refusal to obey will be punishable by death:

“…and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?… and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:3-4, 15).

In the coming hour of darkness, millions of people will openly worship Satan.

  1. FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS

We will now briefly indicate from the Bible how the struggle between the kingdoms of light and darkness will develop in future. Due to its increased perversion and corruption, the world is heading inexorably toward a satanic take-over. At the height of the Antichrist’s reign of terror during the great tribulation, Satanism will be the only officially recognized and compulsory world religion. This darkest hour in human history will commence in the middle of the tribulation period, shortly after a war between angels and demons has broken out in heavenly places during which Satan will be cast down on earth. He will know that he has little time to accomplish his evil plans and will act with intensified anger and viciousness:

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not… And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him… Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Rev. 12:7-9, 12).

Satan will know that he only has 3½ years to implement his plans for world domination and to be worshiped by all people. The Bible is very clear about the fact that Yeshua will return to earth with a heavenly army at the end of the great tribulation, placing His feet on the Mount of Olives outside the Old City of Jerusalem, and judging His enemies. Satan will muster all his forces to fight against Yeshua to try and prevent this divine intervention in his kingdom. This conflict is called the battle of Armageddon. Satan will use evil spirits to incite the kings of the world to send their armies to Israel for this great battle against Yeshua and His heavenly hosts (Rev. 16:13-16).

The battle of Armageddon will not last very long, as it will be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim. The Lord will quickly and effectively deal with Satan and all his deceived horde:

“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that [worked] miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone… And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years; and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled… And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations… and fire came down from Elohim out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Rev. 19:19-20; 20:1-3, 7-10).

Before the second coming of Yeshua, when the dragon, the beast and the false prophet will be conquered and judged, a mustering of satanic powers will occur on earth as never before. The devil will know that his time is short, and the Antichrist will also have knowledge about the prophecy that he will be destroyed by the coming of the true Yeshua HaMashiach (2 Thess. 2:8). As in the case of Lucifer, his hatred and revengefulness will know no bounds, “therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (Dan. 11:44).

  1. ARE YOU A VICTIM OR A CONQUERER?

In the light of this information on the kingdom of Satan, there are a few questions that each of us needs to seriously ask ourselves. Some people may be shocked to learn about the plans and modus operandi of the kingdom of darkness, but nevertheless remain under the illusion that these things do not directly influence them. The fact is that Satan does not miss a single person on earth. As a result of the fall of man that was planned by Satan, all people are born with a sinful nature from which they desperately need to be saved. Otherwise, they are lost sinners on their way to eternal damnation. Because of their sins they will share eternity with the devil and his fallen angels. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). “Except a man is born again [and gets a new nature from God], he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3).

The question is not whether you became involved with Satanism, practiced false religions, experimented with occult powers, or were deceived by false prophets. These are all very real dangers, and people who were lured into the evil practices of darkness urgently need to be redeemed. Millions of people are not lost because of these things but because of their own sins, despite the fact they were, by human standards, reasonably good people. A definite decision must be taken for the Lord Yeshua and against your sins from which you must sincerely repent.

Although you have not explicitly chosen to be evil-minded and inherited a sinful nature because of Satan’s deception of Adam and Eve, the father and mother of us all, you nevertheless have the responsibility to do something about it. Elohim has given each of us a free will to take independent decisions and thus to accept accountability for whatever we have decided to do. Because your sinful nature is part of your personality, which includes your free will, God holds you responsible for your own sins: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (Jas. 1:14-15).

The devil does exploit your evil passions and strengthen wrong desires, but because of your inherently sinful nature you mostly commit sins without the direct intervention of Satan and his demons. You always take a decision to either yield to a temptation or to resist it.

Is your life characterized by continuous sins, or are you born again with a new nature that was created according to Elohim, in righteousness and true holiness? (Eph. 4:24). Do you live a sanctified life in the power of the Holy Spirit? If you live in sin you will go to harsh judgement just as certainly as all the deceived victims of Satan to whom we referred in this article.

Examine yourself as to whether you are in the faith and bear fruit that befits repentance. A few straight questions may help you to conduct this examination: “Sir, do you practice a dead form of godliness without a clear testimony of being born again? Then you are deceiving yourself. How is your conduct at work? Are you overcome by rages and do you often lose your temper? Are you honest, do you avoid corruption, and do you refrain from cursing, participation in filthy conversations and pornographic material? How is your conduct at home? Do you love your wife and are you true to her? Do you set the right example to your family of holiness and a godly life? Do you regularly worship the Lord and read the Bible in family and private devotions? Do you read good Christian books?”

Ladies, you need to face up to similar questions about your conduct, also.

The one and most important question we must ask ourselves through self examination is; do we love others as we love ourselves? Because if we do not, lack compassion, and fruits of genuine love with deed for others in need – YHVH cannot be known; thus bringing the greatest form of deception on billions that walk not their commanded walk. Matthew 22:36-40, 25:31-46, John 13:34, 14:21, 15:1-6, James 1:22-25, 2:8, 13-26, 1 John 3:15-18, 4:7-8, 20-21

These questions will help you to determine whether you belong to the Lord Yeshua or to the devil. All habitual sinners are children of the devil. Yeshua said to the unsaved religious leaders of the first century: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father [which are sins] you want to do” (Jn. 8:44). When a child of Elohim sins it is a disaster in his life and he must immediately confess and forsake the sin. The rule of the Christian life is that we should not sin (1 Jn. 2:1). We must even resist to blood, striving against sin (Heb. 12:4).

If you are a saved person belonging to the Lord Yeshua, then “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). Help others who are bound by Satan, that they may be liberated by the only Saviour of the world. “For this purpose the Son of Elohim was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn. 3:8). “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (Jn. 8:36). Praise His Name!

Source http://www.indaweb.com/oil/bibleguide/articles/kingdomsat.htm

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/about/  Myself

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/539/  My Efforts for Spiritual Knowledge

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/  Contains writings on faith, truth, obedience, end times, human suffering, slavery, and more.

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble offers a good choice being many [over 250] individual reads on various subjects concerning the major mess America and our entire world civilization is truly in; and includes worldwide misled Christianity according to the Bible which has left billions not spiritually prepared for what is soon to become the worst timesoftrouble ever on this planet.

http://vigilantcitizen.com/ – How Powerful This World of Darkness Truly Is

http://www.newworldordernews.com/ – Accurate news on twisted people in every position so true people cannot believe.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/ – Continual reports which reveal just how deranged our human race has become.

Contact

timesoftroubles@gmail.com

Because my wife and I have been living on faith, have no income and many difficulties; any help at all will be seen as a blessing from someone with a caring heart.

jeffcallarman@ymail.com  Paypal email

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Nobody Knows What All Think They Know

Just how many uncountable times have these following words from Proverbs been discussed, analyzed taught or interpreted according to what man believes to be right?

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How often is our world of Christianity been told this following scripture from Revelation being so true that none of this world believe them? but rather all have been deceived less saved Christians, when in truth according to the Bible — they are the most misled and deceived people on this earth!

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I am 61, and my drawing from YHVH first began in 1989; however, just as all believers and people of this world — I have been very deceived in many ways — but now, by the will of YHVH, all things within my life have been on His steady course of revealing unknown truth which has become very clear to me; and reason is because I have not only been called out of this world and away from all those misled as written in Proverbs 14 and John 15. . .

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But also have become as a living sacrifice spiritually speaking of my wife and I that have had no life other than hardship in all ways since YHVH brought us together from different parts of this world in 2007.

In 2006 just prior to leaving the USA on a one way ticket to the Philippines, my last work as a welder millwright paid over $200 per day; and after so many years of lacking even basic needs — this is where I was fortunate to work in October and November last year for $6 per day . . .

So what does or should this mean for our world of few genuine believers leaving billions with unknown knowledge equaling who Israel is, who the gods of this world really are, who is the 144,000, and what their purpose is?

How can truth be made known for a world walking in their own unknown shades of grey having no true light while not even knowing how and why Yeshua HaMashiach wrongly known by most as Jesus Christ was created? and thinking they know all things which seem right to them?

Who really wants fact never taught in this world overflowing with religions and belief having bias and human spirit for their guide?

What is a believer to do through a decade of experiencing this world of Christianity being filled with so much iniquity that they all have been separated from YHVH? Are not we to live by every word? Study to show ourselves approved? Prove all things? Yet the billions that take part in one of the most favored and pagan holidays known as Christmas and Easter do none of what who they claim to love instructs in the Bible — but rather live in iniquity which has separated them from Yehovah Elohim.

Truth for these end times can only become known to those it has been given by YHVH.

This link https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/539/ shares some efforts towards my spiritual growth with understanding for those choosing total disassociation from all of this world while living as instructed in Colossians 3.

Mylene and I have been fighting the fights of life for 10 years being illnesses, hunger, and never even having a stove or even use for one; we now have run out of rice and really do need some help from a compassionate heart, please allow our Father and creator to direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6

jeffcallarman@ymail.com  Our Paypal ID and email

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/about/  Me

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble offers a good choice being many individual reads on various subjects concerning the major mess America and our entire world civilization is truly in; and includes worldwide misled Christianity according to the Bible which has left billions not spiritually prepared for what is soon to become the worst timesoftrouble ever on this planet.

http://www.newworldordernews.com/ accurate bad news so true people cannot believe.

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/5YnNPy/30_population_control_quotes

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/YNeEQn/health-symptoms-hint-at-global-depopulation-slow-kill

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/aw99py/sinister-sites-the-georgia-guidestones

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/E7WVay/video_regarding_americas_coming_fall_via_emp_explosion

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/rLjExR/mystery_babylon

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/the-beasts-of-revelation-and-daniel/

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/L31ZKp/who_or_what_is_the_antichrist

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/the-millennial-resurrections/

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/M3Qjoa/a-well-worn-bible-reveals-what-dust-collectors-hide

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/parable-of-the-fig-tree-is-for-end-times/

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/r9bxXr/the-edomites-in-end-time-bible-prophecy-being-christians

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/OzPBmQ/what-compelled-me-to-author-my-first-book-message-for-this-entire-human-race

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/MqzyPJ/welcome-to-our-sick-dying-world

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/7JqnKL/homelessness-around-the-world

http://ttimesofttrouble.webs.com/masterofillusion.htm

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/PgPKOo/why-worldly-minds-know-only-what-they-choose-with-nothing-more-or-less

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/wjvzLJ/efforts-for-spiritual-knowledge

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/RJP16w/how-christians-lacking-spiritual-knowledge-hate-god

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/qNp5qM/warning-christians-cannot-understand

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/6aJoxv/the-church-is-not-what-billions-believe

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/LgWkvJ/the-shocking-pagan-origin-of-christmas

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/r7xvZV/humanity-royally-screwed

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/mpxzXp/lifes-misfortune-in-different-ways-for-us-all

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/p28Wab/the-true-pronunciation-of-the-sacred-name

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/KqWyop/the-relation-between-faith-and-action

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/eXR9on/yehovah-yahweh-yhvh-say-the-name-of

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/VDR3rV/to-tithe-or-not-to-tithe

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/Dx3Wxv/tithing-is-unscriptural-under-the-new-covenant

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/q9zxW6/tithing-and-excessive-giving-is-a-dangerous-gospel-of-greed

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/gv1vr3/flaws-in-all-translations-of-the-bible

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/Vy5RnZ/which-bible-version-is-best

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/ljD9ZQ/vital-untaught-truth-in-all-religions-worldwide

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/X5zwlM/the-pagan-doctrine-of-hell

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/2ZD8nP/hell-hades-and-the-second-death

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/8ngko1/the-absurdities-of-the-doctrine-of-hell

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/4EaWjW/lake-of-fire

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/pV1EQb/the-deceptions-of-satan-the-devil

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/azozgy/father-of-lies-all-believe

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/P6DJyj/the-shocking-pagan-origin-of-christmas

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/NPRXp7/the-worlds-most-evil-corporation

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/v6pYpW/lifting-the-veil

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/Pja1wQ/getting-prepared-for-electromagnetic-pulse-attack

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/38X47R/israels-idenity-for-truth-seekers

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/jvL8Wv/mysteries-being-many-worldwide-along-with-questionable-events

http://ttimeofttrouble.webs.com/index.htm – Two Educations in Life – Worldly or Spiritual

timesoftroubles@gmail.com – contact me regarding what this world cannot see being destiny; and that includes all misled Christianity worldwide in every divided denomination.

 

THE MYSTERY OF YEHOVAH: THOSE PREDESTINED-WHY HUMAN SUFFERING-AND SALVATION FOR ALL


Note that all the categories and tags I use are deeply covered when any with open minds seeking spiritual truth from not of this world investigates my links at the end of this informative article, and shares what all need to know.

Who can see all things? Who feels they know all required? Who feels secure? How many know that absolutely nothing about them being thoughts, ways, actions, and hearts intent can be hid from Yehovah Elohim?

Excellent read on God’s sacred name unknown to most; https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/ZOXmRb/the-true-pronunciation-of-the-sacred-name

And that includes this world of false brethren, sisters, shepherds, evangelist, singers, Bible study teachers, and every religious title on this earth being believers that talk their Christian talk, but never walk their commanded walk while living as lovers of themselves accompanied with extreme selfishness I have experienced this entire past decade; and all reasons why have been spiritually made known for any being drawn by the words in John 6:44, and all that you shall read in this lengthy writing on truth for these end times.

Welcome to Christian love and obedience within a deceived and misled human race.

What is Yehovah really trying to accomplish here on earth?  This is a question that religious men and women have pondered since the dawn of creation.  Paul tells us that the mystery of Yehovah Elohim was hidden throughout all the ages and generations from the time of creation until the appearance of the Messiah.  After his first coming, however, the heavenly Father revealed this mystery to His saints (Col. 1:26).  Yet how well do those who profess to have accepted Yeshua the Messiah really understand Yehovah Elohim mysterious plan?

Most Christian denominations believe that they have a good grasp of the mystery of YHVH the Father.  They think He is saving those who, of their own free will, accept the sacrifice of His son Yeshua.  Conversely, they believe that Elohim will condemn and eternally punish those who do not accept that sacrifice (either because of conscious rejection or ignorance).

Under that basic premise, most of Christianity has implicitly decided that Yehovah is going to end up saving just a minority of humanity, since even the most optimistic assessment can only conclude that most people throughout history have NOT accepted the saving sacrifice of Yeshua.  Yet does this understanding agree with what Elohim says He will do in His Word?  In this writing we will examine what the Bible truly teaches about this misunderstood mystery of YHVH God that even now so few really comprehend.

In order to lay out the mystery of our creator, we must first understand some things about Yehovah that the Father reveals of Himself through telling us quite a bit about Himself and His abilities in the Bible.

Yehovah Elohim the Father – Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent

These three impressive sounding words describe God’s presence, knowledge, and power, which are concepts found often in the Scriptures.  We will examine each in turn:

OMNIPRESENCE

The term “omnipresent” refers to the ability to be present everywhere at the same time.  The Scriptures tell us that God the Father, through His Holy Spirit, maintains a presence in all of His creation:

Note that most all Bible versions have done away with Yehovah and Yeshua being their proper personal names — and through these links below, much can be learned for the reason why.

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/ZOXmRb/the-true-pronunciation-of-the-sacred-name

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/NnWnPv/authority-of-the-bible-as-written-autographs

https://dochub.com/timesoftrouble/gv1vr3/flaws-in-all-translations-of-the-bible

PSALM 139:7 Where shall I go from Your Spirit?  Or where shall I flee from Your presence?  8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there!  If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there!  9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.  11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You. (ESV)

JEREMIAH 23:23 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away?  24Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD.  “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD. (NIV)

PROVERBS 5:21 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and He examines all his paths. (NIV)

PROVERBS 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. (ESV)

OMNISCIENCE

To be “omniscient” means that one has total and complete knowledge of all things.  What does the Bible tell us about God the Father’s knowledge?

ISAIAH 46:9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me.  10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say:  My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. (NIV)

ISAIAH 48:3 I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. (NIV)

ISAIAH 42:9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (ESV)

PSALM 139:1 For the director of music. Of David.  A psalm.  O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.  2 You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.  3 You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.  4 Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O LORD.  5 You hem me in — behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me.  6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. (NIV)

LUKE 12:6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?  Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.  7 Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.  Do not be afraid.  You are worth more than many sparrows.” (NAB)

MATTHEW 24:30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  31 And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. . . .  36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (NKJV)

These Scriptures show that God knows all things, and that He often foretells the future to us through His prophets.  But we are told even more here; God does not just make known future events, but He actively works to carry out His plan.  It’s not simply a case of the heavenly Father being able to see the future.  God specifically tells us that He takes action to make prophesied events occur.

OMNIPOTENCE

The term “omnipotence” means having power over all things.  Let’s see what the Scriptures tell us about God the Father’s power:

ISAIAH 44:24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the earth all alone,” (NASU)

JEREMIAH 10:12 But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. (NIV)

JEREMIAH 27:5 “With My great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please.” (NIV)

JEREMIAH 32:17 Ah Lord GOD!  It is You who made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too hard for You. (NRSV)

JEREMIAH 51:15 “He made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.” (NIV)

ISAIAH 40:25 “Who will you compare Me to, or who is My equal?” asks the Holy One.  26 Look up and see:  Who created these?  He brings out the starry host by number; He calls all of them by name.  Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing. (CSB)

JOB 36:22 See, God is beyond reach in His power; who governs like Him? (JPS Tanakh)

God’s power is so great that He created the entire vast universe using it.  The power of God is also manifested in His ability to design a plan and ensure that it is carried out to achieve His will and purpose:

ISAIAH 14:24 The LORD of hosts has sworn:  As I have designed, so shall it be; and as I have planned, so shall it come to pass: (NRSV)

ISAIAH 14:27 The LORD of hosts has planned; who can thwart Him?  His hand is stretched out; who can turn it back? (NAB)

ISAIAH 43:13 “Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand;I act and who can reverse it?” (NASU)

ISAIAH 46:10 I foretell the end from the beginning, and from the start, things that had not occurred.  I say: My plan shall be fulfilled; I will do all I have purposed. (JPS Tanakh)

LAMENTATIONS 3:37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? (NIV)

II CHRONICLES 20:6 [King Jehoshaphat] said: “O LORD, God of our fathers, are You not the God who is in heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.” (NIV)

Yehovah’s power is such that whatever He has decided to do, that is what will be done.  YHVH tells us that He has designed a plan that will be implemented because no one (not man nor angel) has the power to thwart or withstand His purpose.

If YHVH truly is all powerful, and if He has a definite plan for mankind, then nothing happens outside the scope of that plan.  Logically this means that He is the author of everything that happens, both good and bad.  Numerous Scriptures confirm this to be the case:

ISAIAH 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness:  I make peace, and create evil:  I the LORD do all these things. (RWB)

LAMENTATIONS 3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come? (NIV)

ECCLESIASTES 7:13 Consider what God has done:  Who can straighten what He has made crooked?  14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider:  God has made the one as well as the other.  Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future. (NIV)

DEUTERONOMY 32:39 “See now that I, I am He, and there is no God besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life.  I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” (NASU)

I SAMUEL 2:6 The LORD both kills and gives life; He brings down to the grave and raises up. (NET)

JOB 5:18 For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hands also heal. (NIV)

HOSEA 6:1 “Come, let us return to the LORD.  He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds.” (NIV)

Because He is all powerful, Elohim is the source of everything that happens, both good and bad.  The Scriptures show that He is the One who wounds and kills, in addition to being the One who heals and makes alive.  As the Almighty Creator and Supreme Power in the entire universe should, God the Father takes complete responsibility for all things in this world, evil as well as good.

Yet very few believe Elohim when He claims to be the source of evil.  They refuse to accept the very words of Elohim recorded in the Bible and instead prefer to believe in a different Elohim being there are many Elohim meaning God’s, thus choosing one of their own devising.  The Elohim of most Christians isn’t the source of the evil in the world.  Instead, they believe Elohim simply allows His creation to choose evil because He has given them the free will to do so.

Many cite the first half of Habakkuk 1:13 in support of their contention that YHVH, far from being the creator of evil, cannot even so much as look upon it:

HABAKKUK 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. . . . (NIV)

“There!  The Bible says it, so I believe it!” proclaim those who hold this view.  But if this is really the point the prophet is making here, then he is contradicting the scriptural wisdom of King Solomon (Pro. 15:3).  Since the Messiah told us that the Scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35), let’s look at the context of the entire first chapter of Habakkuk to understand what he is really saying about God.

Habakkuk 1:2-4 records the prophet’s cries to YHVH regarding the sin and violence that were rampant within Judah during the reign of the latter kings.  In Habakkuk 1:5-11, God reveals to him that He is going to raise up the Babylonians against Judah to punish them for their sins.  This in turn causes Habakkuk to wonder why God would use a people more violent and wicked than Judah to punish His chosen ones:

HABAKKUK 1:12 Are You not from eternity, Yahweh my God?  My Holy One, You will not die. LORD, You appointed them to execute judgment; my Rock, You destined them to punish us.  13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.  So why do You tolerate those who are treacherous?  Why are You silent while one who is wicked swallows up one who is more righteous than himself?  14 You have made mankind like the fish of the sea, like marine creatures that have no ruler.  15 The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook, catch them in their dragnet, and gather them in their fishing net; that is why they are glad and rejoice.  16 That is why they sacrifice to their dragnet and burn incense to their fishing net, for by these things their portion is rich and their food plentiful.  17 Will they therefore empty their net and continually slaughter nations without mercy? (CSB)

In reality, we see that the words of Habakkuk about YHVH prove the exact opposite point from what most understand from the first half of verse 13.  Even though Judah’s sins were grievous, Habakkuk was appalled at God’s solution after He showed him how He was going to deal with them.  Habakkuk wondered how YHVH could choose the treacherous, vicious, arrogant Babylonians (i.e., Chaldeans) to punish His people.  Although he realized that the Jews needed to be corrected, Habakkuk could not understand YHVH’s choice of people to serve as His instrument of punishment.  So Habakkuk’s point really was, “YHVH, I know You hate evil, yet You are going to choose a people even more wicked than we are to punish us.  WHY?”

YHVH has and continues to make use of various (and often evil) proxies to carry out His will.  The Heavenly Father uses fallen angels such as Satan (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7) and the unnamed spirit who enticed King Ahab to his death through deception (I Kings 22:19-23; II Chr. 18:18-22), pagan prophets such as Balaam (Num. 22:5-24:25), and despotic men such as Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 25:9; 27:6; 43:10) and Persian king Cyrus (Isa. 44:28; 45:1-4; II Chr. 36:22:23; Ezra 1:1-4) to accomplish His will.  Despite what men and nations plot in their own minds to do, it is the will of God that is ultimately done:

PSALM 33:10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. (NIV)

Because YHVH is using His creation to complete His plan, it is often incorrectly assumed that the Father is simply doing His best to rescue a plan gone horribly wrong.  For instance, many believe that a powerful angel now called Satan (the Hebrew word for “adversary”) rebelled and became the archenemy of YHVH at some point in the distant past.  They believe that this Adversary almost succeeded in derailing YHVH’s plan to bring many human sons into His family (Luke 3:38) by tempting Adam and Eve into disobeying YHVH Elohim.

However (as this line of thought goes), the heavenly Father was able to salvage His plan for humanity by sending His Son Yeshua to the earth to provide a means for humanity to be forgiven and saved from the sin and death that entered the world through Adam’s choice (Rom. 5:12).  It appears that although the devil and his angels will ultimately be defeated, first they will succeed in dragging down most of humanity into the fiery pit of hell with them (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10).

Yet this imaginary scenario is absolutely contradicted by the Scriptures, which show that the sacrifice of Yeshua for sin was part of Yehovah the Father’s plan from the very beginning:

1 PETER 1:18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.  20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. (NRSV)

REVELATION 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast — all whose names have not been written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (NIV)

II TIMOTHY 1:8 . . . God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, (ESV)

ACTS 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words:  Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know — 23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles.” (NET)

ISAIAH 53:10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. (NIV)

YHVH did NOT have to improvise because the attack of Satan disrupted His original plan.  The Messiah’s sacrifice for mankind’s salvation was not a revision or addition to the Heavenly Father’s initial blueprint.  It was the focal point of the plan of Elohim even BEFORE the creation.

To believe that YHVH had to change or modify His plan in any respect is to believe that it was initially imperfect.  How could an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent God have designed a flawed plan that required revision to make it work?  The simple answer is that a perfect God would not, indeed could not, have drafted an imperfect plan.  Consequently, the design we now see unfolding must be EXACTLY what YHVH intended from the very beginning!

Is “All” Too Lofty A Goal For YHVH?

If taken at face value, the Bible convincingly shows that YHVH the Father is all powerful and that He fully intends to bring His plan to a successful conclusion, despite the best efforts of those in the physical and spiritual realms.  Therefore, what we see taking place in the world cannot be YHVH scrambling to make the best of a bad situation, but rather YHVH’s original plan unfolding.  But, as strange as it seems when viewed logically in the light of Scripture, this obvious conclusion that YHVH the Father is in total control of all things is not acknowledged by most who profess to worship Him.

The reason most have concluded that YHVH is NOT in absolute control is because they have accepted the idea that He has given His creation “free will.”  Even if the Eternal Father wants to save all of mankind (I Tim. 2:4), many believe that He can’t because they have been taught that YHVH God will not force anyone to be saved against their will.  Effectively, the common belief is that YHVH has ceded His sovereignty to His creation.  Therefore, the creation will determine the outcome of the divine plan, not Yehovah Himself.

The Father may not want anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9), but according to the prevailing view, YHVH will NOT get what He desires.  Because it is thought that He has given man the “free will” to choose life or death, some will choose NOT to be saved.  In this warped scenario, the choices of mortal men are allowed to override the outcome desired by the immortal YHVH Elohim.

Yet does this understanding square with what the Bible says?  Let’s see what the Scriptures teach about YHVH’s plan for ALL mankind:

JOHN 12:32 “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw [helkuso] ALL people to myself.” (NRSV)

In this statement, Messiah Yeshua gives us a glimpse into what YHVH planned to accomplish through the sacrifice of His Son.  It’s clear from the next verse (John 12:33) that the phrase “lifted up” was a reference to Yeshua’s impending crucifixion.  The Messiah plainly understood that his sacrificial death was a necessary part of YHVH’s plan which would eventually lead to ALL mankind accepting him as their Lord (“Master”).  Paul expands on the words of Yeshua to confirm the end result of his atoning death:

PHILIPPIANS 2:8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross!  9 As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee will bow — in heaven and on earth and under the earth — 11 and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (NET)

Yeshua’s ability to put aside his own desires and do the will of the Father resulted in YHVH exalting him above all things except Himself (I Cor. 15:27).  In the end, the entire creation will bow to Yeshua and confess that he is Lord.  This outcome will bring glory to YHVH the Father, because it will signal the successful completion of this phase of His plan.

TITUS 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of ALL men, (RSV)

Paul tells Titus that YHVH’s unmerited favor, which was manifested in the appearance of Messiah Yeshua, will ultimately lead to the salvation of all mankind.

I TIMOTHY 2:3 . . . God our Saviour, 4 who will have ALL men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (DRA)

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul states that YHVH will have all of humanity come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved.  He doesn’t say how or when this will happen, but it is communicated as a certainty.  Because this statement is so definitive, many modern translations try to water it down by rendering it as “YHVH, who desires all men to be saved.”  The implication of translating it this way is that YHVH really does WANT to save everyone, but for some reason He won’t be able to accomplish that goal.

Since we have already seen from the Scriptures that YHVH’s will and purpose cannot be thwarted, this slight change in rendering does nothing to invalidate the underlying sentiment of Paul’s statement.  If the omnipotent YHVH truly desires all men to be saved, there is nothing in this universe that can stop that outcome from happening.  Therefore, we are left to decide whether we believe YHVH is powerful enough to accomplish His will.  Unfortunately, many have believed Satan’s deception that He ultimately will not be able to achieve this desire.

I CORINTHIANS 15:22 For just as in Adam ALL die, so also in Christ ALL will be made alive.  23 But each in his own order . . . (CSB)

ROMANS 5:18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for ALL, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for ALL. (NRSV)

We know that everyone since Adam has died because of sin (Rom. 5:12).  The only human never to have sinned was Yeshua the Messiah (II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; I John 3:5), and sin still caused his death because he had to die for the sins of the world (I John 2:2).  So when Paul contrasts the death that was brought by Adam with the life that will be brought by Messiah, he has to be talking about the entirety of humanity.  “All” humans have been condemned to death because of Adam’s disobedience; for Paul’s comparison to be true, the same “all” must eventually be justified and made alive by Messiah’s act of righteousness.

II PETER 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some people think of slowness; on the contrary, He is patient with you; for it is not His purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that EVERYONE should turn from his sins. (CJB)

If it truly is NOT YHVH’s purpose to destroy anyone, but rather to see all mankind repent, how can anyone or anything prevent that from happening?  As we are told in the Scriptures, the purpose within YHVH‘s heart will stand firm forever (Psa. 33:11) and His plan will be fulfilled (Isa. 46:10).

I TIMOTHY 4:10 . . . We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of ALL men, and especially of those who believe. (NIV)

Paul received his insights into the mystery of YHVH by revelation from the glorified Messiah himself (Gal. 1:11-12; Eph. 3:3).  He probably understood what Elohim was accomplishing better than anyone else, before or since.  Throughout his letters, Paul casually drops theological bombshells regarding universal salvation.  Here in his first letter to Timothy, he plainly states that Elohim will save all mankind, starting specifically with believers in Yeshua the Messiah.  Once Paul’s universalist view is recognized for what it truly is, it’s interesting to note how often he states or alludes to the salvation of all mankind in his letters.

Is Our Destiny Preordained By God?

Another controversial matter that Paul addresses in several places is the topic of predestination.  In fact, his letter to the Ephesian congregation contains a considerable exposition on this concept and how it ties in to universalism:

EPHESIANS 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. (ESV)

Paul gets right to the heart of his message quickly.  In verse 4, he tells the believers in Ephesus that Elohim the Father “chose us” (each believer) to be blessed in Messiah Yeshua “before the foundation of the world.”  Many claim that this choosing refers to the church as a whole, and not to every individual believer.  This view, however, is based more on the natural human aversion to the concept of predestination than on the actual teaching of Paul.

In verse 5, Paul tells the Ephesians that in love Elohim predestined believers for adoption as His sons through Messiah Yeshua.  He did this “according to the pleasure of His will,” as the New English Translation renders the final part of verse 5.  In other words, the heavenly Father did this because it’s what He wanted to do.  It’s the way Yehovah Elohim wrongly known as God decided to achieve His goal of ultimately bringing all mankind into His family.

As Paul explains elsewhere, God does not choose us because of anything we have done or will do in the future (II Tim. 1:9; Rom. 9:11).  Instead, each of us was chosen because God the Father showed us favor.  The Greek root word translated “grace” in verse 6 is charis.  Although it is usually rendered “grace” in the New Testament, it literally means to bestow undeserved “favor” on someone.  YHVH predestined each one who is called and chosen in this age to the exclusion of all others.  When He did this before time as we know it began, He was showing us unmerited favor, as Paul told Timothy:

II TIMOTHY 1:8 . . . God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (NIV)

Paul’s comments elevating YHVH’s grace above our works must be viewed in the light of his understanding of predestination.  Paul never denigrated YHVH’s Law (Rom. 7:16; Gal. 3:21) or a believer’s observance of it (Rom. 3:31; I Cor. 7:19).  Rather, he showed that YHVH’s calling does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but solely on the Father’s mercy (Rom. 9:16).  Yeshua himself stated this to the Jews of his day:

JOHN 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws [helkuse]him.  And I will raise him up on the last day.” (ESV)

JOHN 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help.  The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life, 64 yet some among you do not trust.”  (For Yeshua knew from the outset which ones would not trust him, also which one would betray him.)  65 “This,” he said, “is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has made it possible for him.” (CJB)

Those who truly come to the Messiah do not simply decide for themselves one day to do so.  If we believe the words of Yeshua, only those YHVH specifically “draws” come to him.  The word translated “draws” in John 6:44 is from the Greek root helko.  Here is what Bauer, Gingrich, Arndt, and Danker (BGAD) have to say about the literal meaning of this word:

To move an object from one area to another in a pulling motion, draw, with implication that the object being moved is incapable of propelling itself or in the case of pers[ons] is unwilling to do so voluntarily, in either case with implication of exertion on the part of the mover. (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd edition)

Interestingly, helkuso (a form of the same Greek root word found in John 6:44) is used in Yeshua’s statement that his sacrificial death would eventually “draw” all people to Him (John 12:32).  Again, the implication is that these people will not come voluntarily, but will come because of the action of YHVH Elohim.

EPHESIANS 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, 8 which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite ALL things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (ESV)

Paul plainly tells us here that the mystery of YHVH’s will is that He is uniting all things in heaven and earth to Himself through His Son, Yeshua.  Every facet of the Father’s plan is aimed at achieving the goal of reconciling all things back to Himself, as Paul also stated in his second letter to the Corinthians:

II CORINTHIANS 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christand gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  19 that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (NIV)

YHVH’s goal is for us to develop His godly character and become spiritually complete; He wants His children to “grow up” to become just like Him (Matt. 5:48).  The way we become like Him is through the work of His Holy Spirit in us during the process of reconciliation.  YHVH is NOT working with everyone at this time; instead, He is only calling a few in this age (John 6:44) who were predestined before the beginning of time to fulfill God’s purpose:

EPHESIANS 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

In the 2nd chapter of Ephesians, Paul specifically states that our predestined salvation is not based on our works.  Rather, the favor Yehovah shows us is a gift:

EPHESIANS 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — bygrace you have been saved — 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  8 For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)

Our salvation does not give us cause to boast.  We are YHVH’s handiwork, His creation.  He has made us what we are; the good works we do were preordained before the beginning of time.  Therefore, we can take no credit for doing them.  We earn NONE of the good things YHVH does for us; they are a divine gift:

JAMES 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (ESV)

In his letter to Titus, Paul reiterates that our good works (which he urges believers to maintain) do not save us:

TITUS 3:4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by Hisgrace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.  These things are good and profitable to men. (NKJV)

Continuing in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul spells out how the mystery of God applied to those Gentiles in Ephesus:

EPHESIANS 3:1 This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 2 for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3 and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4 a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ.  5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:  6 that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (ESV)

Paul was a very learned man, having studied extensively at the feet of Gamaliel the Elder (Acts 22:3; cf. 5:34), one of the brightest Jewish sages of his day.  However, he takes no credit for having figured out for himself the mystery of Elohim.  Instead, Paul clearly states that this mystery (which had been hidden from all former generations) was made known to him by revelation from the Messiah Yeshua (Acts 26:15-18; Gal. 1:11-12).  This mystery was that just as the remnant of YHVH’s chosen people (the Jews) were destined for salvation, so were the rest of the people from all the nations (“the Gentiles”).

Paul addresses this universal salvation of all mankind in his letter to the Roman assembly:

ROMANS 11:25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:  A partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”  28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake.  But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.  29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.  32 For God has consigned [sunekleisen] ALL to disobedience, that he may have mercy on ALL.  33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?”  35 “Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?”  36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever.  Amen. (ESV)

In this chapter, Paul addresses how the salvation of all Israel will be achieved.  He clearly states that the unbelieving Jews, those who don’t accept Yeshua because YHVH Himself blinded them (Rom. 11:7-10), are still loved by Him.  But he goes on to show that the salvation of all Israel is not the final goal of YHVH’s plan.  In verse 32 he uses a form of the Greek root word sugkleio (which literally means to “hem in,” “enclose” or “imprison”) to describe what YHVH has done to all men.

Specifically, Paul tells us that YHVH has imprisoned ALL mankind (both Jew and Gentile) in disobedience – less those predestined and drawn out of this world as written in John 15:19.

Why would YHVH do this?  Paul tells us the reason is so that in the end He might have mercy on all.  This aspect of YHVH’s plan is so awesome to Paul that he launches into a praise of YHVH’s unsearchable and unknowable ways, which are beyond man’s ability to understand.  To paraphrase Paul, everything is FROM YHVH, THROUGH YHVH, and TO YHVH.  As humans, we can take credit for nothing.

EPHESIANS 3:7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s gracethat was given me by the working of His power.  8 Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in Godwho created all things; 10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.  11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that He has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. (ESV)

Here Paul says that even though he is the least of those whom YHVH has called (cf. I Tim. 1:13; I Cor. 15:9), through the gift of YHVH’s favor he was chosen to bring this good news about the mystery of Elohim to the people of the nations.  This is according to YHVH’s age-lasting purpose, which is being accomplished through the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

EPHESIANS 3:18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  20 Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen. (NRSV)

Paul realized that YHVH’s mysterious plan was very hard for man to grasp.  Here he prays that YHVH would help the saints understand the fullness (“breadth, length, height and depth”) of His plan.  He finishes this section of his letter by stating that the power of Yehovah Elohim (i.e., the Holy Spirit) working within us is able to accomplish much more than we can request or even understand.

Paul also speaks of predestination in his letter to the Romans:

ROMANS 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.  29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  30 And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified. (ESV)

Messiah Yeshua is the focal point of the Father’s plan, the firstborn of many sons of God to come.  Paul here states that for those who love God, everything that happens eventually works out for their benefit.  YHVH predestined those who are being called by Him to be justified in Messiah.  Those He justified by the Messiah’s sacrifice will also be glorified and used to further His plan.

When the topic of predestination is understood properly, we have to realize that nothing happens apart from YHVH’s plan Even though we occasionally go through painful trials, these are ultimately for our good and will help us to reach spiritual maturity, as James explains:

JAMES 1:2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (CSB)

In the 9th chapter of Romans, Paul used the example of Jacob and Esau to illustrate how YHVH has predestined those He calls:

ROMANS 9:10 And even more to the point is the case of Rivkah; for both her children were conceived in a single act with Yitz’chak, our father; 11 and before they were born, before they had done anything at all, either good or bad (so that God’s plan might remain a matter of His sovereign choice, not dependent on what they did, but on God, who does the calling), 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.”  13 This accords with where it is written, “Ya’akov I loved, but Esav I hated.” (CJB)

As a good illustration of YHVH’s predestination, Paul cites the example of Jacob and Esau.  He tells us that before their birth, before they had done anything (good or bad), YHVH Elohim decided to use Jacob in His plan, but to reject Esau.  Paul clearly states that the choice YHVH made was based on Him being the supreme ruler of the universe, not on anything Jacob or Esau did.  Some try and make this Scripture mean that Yehovah foresaw what each of the twins WOULD do later in their lives and then chose Jacob over Esau based on that foreknowledge.  But that interpretation specifically denies the point Paul is making here about Elohim’s absolute authority, not foreknowledge, being the basis for the selection.

Human nature causes most people confronted with this scenario to assert that YHVH was unfair to Esau.  Paul anticipated this objection and addressed it next:

ROMANS 9:14 What then shall we say?  Is God unjust?  Not at all!  15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh:  “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power in you and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  18 Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden. (NIV)

No, YHVH is not unjust, according to Paul.  The reason is because YHVH’s plan is not based on what a man wants or what a man does, but rather on YHVH’s mercy.  YHVH used Pharaoh for a specific purpose, so that the whole world might understand His awesome power.  YHVH had mercy on the children of Israel, but He hardened Pharaoh’s heart, bringing destruction upon the land of Egypt.  All of these events were orchestrated by YHVH the Father to further His plan and purpose for mankind.

Again, Paul expects that what he has just said will elicit hostile questions from his readers.  “If YHVH hardens my heart and makes me stand in opposition to His will (just as He did with Pharaoh), why does He still punish me?  How am I truly to blame?  Who can withstand YHVH’s purpose?”

ROMANS 9:19 One of you will say to me:  “Then why does God still blame us?  For who resists His will?”  20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?  “Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why did You make me like this?'”  21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?  22 What if God, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath — prepared for destruction?  23 What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory — 24 even us, whom He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (NIV)

Paul answers these questions simply.  Since YHVH the Father is the Creator and Ruler of the universe, He can do as He pleases.  Those created have no right to ask the Creator why they are made a certain way.  He shows that YHVH, the Master Potter, has created some vessels for holy use and some for common use (cf. II Tim. 2:20-21).  Paul goes on to state that the common vessels will be broken during the process of YHVH’s plan being carried out to show the holy vessels the riches of God’s glory.

Paul’s response regarding YHVH’s process for accomplishing His plan closely mirrors the Father’s words to Job, when he questioned YHVH Elohim following the occurrence of a series of tragedies in his life.  YHVH allowed Satan to test Job by destroying his children, his material goods (Job 1:13-19), and his health (Job 2:7).  Being a righteous man, Job did not understand why God was putting him through such pain and suffering.

After repeatedly professing his innocence and asking YHVH to prove that He was justified in causing his suffering, YHVH finally answered Job with a series of questions designed to illustrate His magnificence and power (Job 38:1-41:34).  Delineating His awesome acts of creation, YHVH caused Job to see that His power and authority gave the heavenly Father the right to do as He pleased in his life:

JOB 42:1 Then Job answered the Lord:  2 “I know that You can do all things and that no plan of Yours can be ruined.  3 You asked, ‘Who is this that made My purpose unclear by saying things that are not true?’  Surely I spoke of things I did not understand; I talked of things too wonderful for me to know.  4 You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak.  I will ask you questions, and you must answer Me.’  5 My ears had heard of You before, but now my eyes have seen You.  6 So now I hate myself; I will change my heart and life.  I will sit in the dust and ashes.” (NCV)

If we accept the biblical position that YHVH does have the right to make some human vessels for honor and some for destruction, the question then becomes:  “Will those broken vessels of wrath be cast away forever by God after their use, or will the Master Potter reshape them into holy vessels at some future point?”  By recognizing the scriptural doctrine of universal salvation, we can see that YHVH has committed to eventually remake those common vessels into holy vessels.

PHILIPPIANS 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. (NIV)

Paul tells us that we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.”  However, he goes on to show that it really isn’t us who does the work, but YHVH.  It is the heavenly Father who causes us to “will” (want to do something) and to “act” on those desires.  This is according to His purpose, which ultimately is for our good.

Paul clearly teaches predestination.  What Calvin, Luther, and others who recognized this teaching missed was that Paul also taught universal salvation.  They did not understand the timing aspect of Paul’s teaching.  Yes, some were predestined to be saved in this age.  However, this did not mean that the rest who are not saved in this age are forever lost.  God will save all mankind, but He will do so in the way and at the time He decides.  Each person will be saved when it is his or her time (I Cor. 15:22).

Predestination – Does the Rest of the Bible Support Paul’s Teaching?

There are very few today who accept the doctrine of predestination.  Most steadfastly assert that humanity has free will, and that YHVH does not limit the will of man, but allows him to exercise that will even to the point that it overrides His own.  But what do the rest of the Scriptures have to say about YHVH’s will and the fulfillment of His purpose?  Let’s examine some passages from the Old Testament to see if this teaching was a new innovation by Paul, or if it had its roots in the Hebrew Scriptures:

JEREMIAH 10:23 You know, O LORD, that man is not master of his way; man’s course is not within his choice, nor is it for him to direct his step. (NAB)

This is a very straightforward and direct statement from Jeremiah.  He clearly states that man does not control his destiny, does not choose his own path or direct his own steps.  The clear implication is that it is Yehovah Elohim who does these things.

PROVERBS 16:9 In his mind a man plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps. (NAB)

The Artscroll Tanach Series is a set of Jewish commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures from talmudic, midrashic, and rabbinic sources.  Here is what the commentary on Proverbs says about this proverb and its companion statement from Jeremiah:

Like many other verses in Scripture, this verse teaches that man is not in control of his own destiny.  He can only make plans; the ultimate outcome, however, is in the hands of Hashem.  The prophet Jeremiah also proclaims that (Jeremiah 10:23) . . . a man’s path is not his own.  Accordingly, we must learn to place our trust in Hashem and fervently pray that He set us on the path of success so that we may see our plans reach fruition (Meiri). (p. 301, vol. 2,Mishlei / Proverbs)

Similar comments are found elsewhere in the psalms of David, as well as in the proverbs of Solomon:

PSALM 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. (NIV)

PSALM 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. (NASU)

PROVERBS 20:24 Man’s steps are ordained by the LORD, how then can man understand his way? (NASU)

The Artscroll Tanach Series commentary on Proverbs ties together the theme of these final two verses:

This oft-quoted verse (similar to Psalms 37:23 . . . By Hashem are a man’s footsteps established) expresses the limited extent of our ability to understand Divine Providence.  Man is a puppet in the hands of Hashem and as such often has no comprehension of the circumstances of his mortal existence.  But this itself can be a source of encouragement, for we trust that whatever our condition, Hashem has our best interests at heart. (p. 408, vol. 2,Mishlei / Proverbs)

Notice how similar this rabbinic view is to that of the apostle Paul, who stated that YHVH causes everything that happens to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called in accordance with His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

PROVERBS 19:21 The human mind may devise many plans, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established. (NRSV)

PROVERBS 16:1 A man may arrange his thoughts, but what he says depends on the LORD. (JPS Tanakh)

These two related statements from Solomon indicate that the mind of a man does have some ability to formulate independent thoughts and schemes.  However, when it comes to actions and spoken words to express those thoughts, man is dependent upon YHVH.  There is no such thing as “chance” or “luck”; YHVH ELOHIM is in control of all things:

PROVERBS 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. (CSB)

Numerous stories from the Old Testament show the hand of YHVH in planning and carrying out His will through the actions of men.  Let’s look at some of them to see how YHVH guided events to fulfill His purpose.

JOSEPH

First, let’s look at the story of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob by his beloved wife Rachel.  Because of the special treatment that Joseph received from Jacob, the rest of his brothers hated him (Gen. 37:3-4).  Eventually, this hatred caused them to plot to kill Joseph.  Reuben, the oldest son of Jacob, was able to keep the other brothers from slaying him.  However, they did sell Joseph into slavery and deceive his father into believing that he had been killed by a wild animal.

Joseph ended up as a slave in Egypt, but YHVH was with him in everything that he did.  Thirteen years after being betrayed by his brothers, while Joseph was being held unjustly in prison, YHVH gave Pharaoh a prophetic dream that he did not understand.  But YHVH also gave Joseph the ability to accurately interpret that dream for the ruler of Egypt of the famine that He was about to send upon the land (Gen. 41:25, 28).  Because of the wisdom and discernment that Joseph displayed in regard to the dream, Pharaoh elevated him to the second highest position in all the land.  He also placed him in charge of the effort to prepare the land for the famine that was coming after seven years.

When the prophesied famine struck, Jacob heard that there was food in Egypt.  He sent his 10 oldest sons down from Canaan to Egypt to purchase grain.  Joseph immediately knew them when they arrived, but they did not recognize him.  After testing his brothers to see if their hearts had changed since their earlier actions against him, Joseph revealed himself to them.  In doing so, he stated that everything that had happened to him was predestined by God:

GENESIS 45:4 And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.”  So they came near.  Then he said:  “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.  5 But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.  6 For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.  7 And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.  8 So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” (NKJV)

Joseph realized that everything he had suffered was part of the plan of YHVH.  Therefore, he didn’t hold his brothers liable for what happened to him, but rather understood that YHVH the Father was responsible.  This realization was what allowed Joseph to forgive his brothers for their plot against him:

GENESIS 50:18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him.  “We are your slaves,” they said.  19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (NIV)

Although his brothers acted against him out of hatred (motivated in large part by divinely-inspired events such as his dreams), Joseph did not hold them accountable for their actions.  He forgave them because he realized that YHVH accomplished His will through them.  In this, we see that Joseph was a type of the Messiah, who also forgave his brothers the Jews for their persecution and crucifixion of him (Luke 23:34).

The Jews of Yeshua’s day did what they did because YHVH blinded them to His plan (John 12:37-40; Rom. 11:7-10), in order for His atoning sacrifice for mankind to be successfully offered:

ACTS 3:13 “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus.  You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.  14 You disowned the holy and righteous one and asked that a murderer be released to you.  15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead.  We are witnesses of this.  16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.  It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.  17 Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.  18 But this is how God fulfilled what He had foretold through all the prophets, saying that His Christ would suffer.” (NIV)

I CORINTHIANS 2:7 But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; (NASU)

By understanding that YHVH ELOHIM is ultimately responsible for all things, it is possible to see why YHVH commanded us to forgive those who oppose, oppress and attack us:

MATTHEW 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (NKJV)

To really forgive our enemies, it helps for us to recognize that YHVH’s blinding has caused them to be against us.  They are “vessels of wrath” which YHVH is using to make known to us “the riches of His glory” (Rom. 9:22-23).  This realization of YHVH’s sovereignty and His control of events was why Joseph could truly forgive his brothers of their transgression against him.

PHARAOH

The story of the Pharaoh of the Exodus is of great benefit in understanding how YHVH brings events to pass in order to fulfill His will.  As quoted earlier from the 9th chapter of Romans, Paul clearly stated that YHVH hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order for Him to prove something to the world (Rom. 9:17-18).  Let’s start the story with YEHOVAH’s words to Abram 430 years prior to the Exodus:

GENESIS 15:13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.  14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” (ESV)

This prophecy from YHVH to Abram specifies an exact time period – 400 years.  According to the cantillation signs in the Hebrew text of Genesis 15:13, the phrase “400 years” refers back to the words, “your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs.”  The years of Abraham’s offspring being strangers in a strange land began with the birth of Isaac, NOT with the Egyptian enslavement.  Therefore the text ought to be understood as follows:  “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs . . . 400 years.”  It was 400 years from the date of Isaac’s birth until the Exodus, and 430 years (Exo. 12:40-41; Gal. 3:17) from the time of YHVH’s covenant with Abram.

Notice that ELOHIM pronounced a very specific time period for these very specific events.  YHVH didn’t just allow them to happen or foresee them happening.  He directly acted to cause them to happen at a precise point in time.  In his commentary on the Exodus, the Jewish sage Rashi wrote that the covenant of the pieces (Gen. 15:13), the angelic announcement of Isaac’s birth (Gen. 18:10), his actual birth (Gen. 21:2), and the Exodus from Egypt (Exo. 12:41) all took place on exactly “the selfsame day” on the Hebrew calendar:

On the fifteenth of Nisan the ministering angels came to Abraham to announce (it) to him, and on the fifteenth of Nisan Isaac was born, and on the fifteenth of Nisan there was decreed the decree “between the pieces.” (p. 121, vol. II, The Pentateuch and Rashi’s Commentary)

Clearly, the fact that all these events occurred on the same date was not coincidence, but part of the design of YHVH’s plan.  For that plan to be fulfilled precisely as YHVH desired, Pharaoh had to do exactly as YHVH intended.  When Moses first received instructions from the Angel of YHVH from the burning bush, a brief outline of the events that would occur during the Exodus was given to him:

EXODUS 3:16 “Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” ‘  18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’  19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.  20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.  21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing.  You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters.  So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” (ESV)

YHVH ELOHIM later added some additional details about the reaction of Pharaoh to the miracles ELOHIM would grant Moses to perform:

EXODUS 4:21 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power.  But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.  22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, Israel is My firstborn son, 23 and I say to you, “Let My son go that he may serve Me.”  If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’ ” (CJB)

Here we see the first mention of YHVH hardening the heart of Pharaoh.  For the will of God to be carried out according to His plan in this matter, all 10 plagues (culminating with the death of the firstborn) had to occur.  By hardening his heart, YHVH ensured that Pharaoh didn’t abandon his rebellion before YHVH ELOHIM accomplished His objectives.  He specifically tells Moses His plan shortly thereafter:

EXODUS 7:1 And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.  2 You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land.  3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, 4 Pharaoh will not listen to you.  Then I will lay My hand on Egypt and bring My hosts, My people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.  5 The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” (ESV)

The first time we specifically see it stated that YHVH hardened Pharaoh’s heart is after the 6th plague of boils:

EXODUS 9:11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians.  12 And the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the LORD had spoken to Moses. (NASU)

After hardening his heart to ensure that the punishment would continue, YHVH then threatened Pharaoh and Egypt with another horrible plague:

EXODUS 9:13 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says:  Let My people go, so that they may worship Me, 14 or this time I will send the full force of My plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.  15 For by now I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.  16 But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you My power and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.  17 You still set yourself against My people and will not let them go.  18 Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now.’ ” (NIV)

YHVH clearly stated through Moses that He had raised up Pharaoh for the very purpose of revealing His power and glorifying His name through him.  Could Pharaoh have stopped the plagues by giving in to YHVH’s demand to let His people go?  No, we see from the very words of God that this was not an option.  YHVH’s plan required that all 10 plagues be poured out on Egypt, and nothing (not even Pharaoh himself) could have been allowed to stop that from happening.  YHVH the Father clearly and unambiguously states this fact over and over in the Exodus narrative:

EXODUS 10:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of Mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.” (NIV)

Again, after the 8th plague of locusts, Pharaoh seemed ready to give in (Exo. 10:16-17).  However, we see that YHVH once more intervened and hardened the heart of Pharaoh to stop him from accepting Moses’ demands:

EXODUS 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the Israelites go. (CSB)

Likewise, after the 9th plague of darkness, Pharaoh was ready to acquiesce to Moses’ request (Exo. 10:24).  But once again, YHVH did not allow him to do so:

EXODUS 10:27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. (JPS)

In Exodus chapter 11, Moses told Pharaoh of the 10th and final plague that would fall upon Egypt:  the death of the firstborn.  Hot with anger at Pharaoh’s refusal to let the Israelites go, Moses left Pharaoh’s presence:

EXODUS 11:9 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that My wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.”  10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land. (ESV)

Did Pharaoh have free will in this incident?  A literal reading and acceptance of the biblical account at face value shows that the intervention of YHVH was what caused Pharaoh to reject the requested release of the Israelites numerous times.  YHVH’s hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was the reason that the Egyptian firstborn died, and the reason that the Passover sacrifice was ultimately required.

Clearly this episode was NOT primarily about getting His people freed from slavery.  Rather it was about establishing a literal salvation from Egypt for the Israelite firstborn that would symbolize the later salvation the spiritual firstborn would have through the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah, our Passover (I Cor. 5:7).  The original was necessary to foreshadow the future.  Consequently, YHVH made sure that Pharaoh reacted in such a way that allowed that first Passover to occur as He had planned.

Now, back to the question Paul raised in Romans chapter 9:  Was YHVH unjust to punish Pharaoh after causing him to rebel against Him?  Paul initially deflected this question by saying that the created have no right to question what the Creator does (Rom. 9:19-21).

However, the apostle to the Gentiles then went on to explain that YHVH is using most in this age simply as “vessels of wrath” (Rom. 9:22) in the process of showing mercy to His “assembly of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:23).  Through these spiritual firstborn, YHVH will eventually have mercy on all (Rom. 11:30-31).

SENNACHERIB

For another example of predestination in the Tanakh, let’s look at the story of Sennacherib, the king of Assyria.  Sennacherib came against Jerusalem during the reign of Jewish king Hezekiah.  His envoy proclaimed to the Jews that they should not look to King Hezekiah or to YHVH their ELOHIM to save them.  After putting on sackcloth, King Hezekiah sent Eliakim, Shebna, and the senior priests to the prophet Isaiah for God’s input on the matter.  Here is the message from YHVH that Isaiah sent back to the king:

ISAIAH 37:21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah:  “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:  Because you have prayed to Me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the LORD has spoken against him:  “The Virgin Daughter of Zion despises and mocks you.  The Daughter of Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee.  23 Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed?  Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride?  Against the Holy One of Israel!  24 By your messengers you have heaped insults on the Lord.  And you have said, ‘With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon.  I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its pines.  I have reached its remotest heights, the finest of its forests.  25 I have dug wells in foreign lands and drunk the water there.  With the soles of my feet I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.’  26 Have you not heard?  Long ago I ordained it.  In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.  27 Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame.  They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots, like grass sprouting on the roof, scorched before it grows up.  28 But I know where you stay and when you come and go and how you rage against Me.  29 Because you rage against Me and because your insolence has reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.” (NIV)

Through Isaiah, YHVH told Hezekiah that He had long ago planned that which was then happening.  YHVH clearly stated that He had predestined and raised up Sennacherib and He had given him his victories over the nations he had conquered.  To punish his impudence, pride, and lack of recognition of YHVH’s hand in his successes, YHVH told King Hezekiah that He would drag Sennacherib back to Assyria in shame.

That very night, YHVH fulfilled His word regarding King Sennacherib:

II KINGS 19:35 And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians.  And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.  36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh.  37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat.  And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place. (ESV)

Clearly portrayed in this story is the fact that YHVH alone is sovereign and that He organizes the rise and fall of world leaders which includes Trump, and all before him not only in America, but leaders worldwide. (cf. Jer. 27:5 below).

NEBUCHADNEZZAR

In the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, YHVH shows that Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was His servant, used to accomplish His divine will.  In addition, YHVH stated that the Babylonian kingdom would continue under Nebuchadnezzar, his son (Nabonidus), and his grandson (Belshazzar).  It was under the rule of Belshazzar that YHVH would raise up Cyrus the Persian to conquer Babylon:

JEREMIAH 25:9 “I will summon all the peoples of the north and My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations.  I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.” (NIV)

JEREMIAH 27:5 “It is I who by My great power and My outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to Me.  6 Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him.  7 All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes.  Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.  8 But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the LORD, until I have consumed it by his hand.  9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’  10 For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish.  11 But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the LORD.” (ESV)

EZEKIEL 29:18 “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre.  Every head was made bald, and every shoulder was rubbed bare, yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against her.  19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off its wealth and despoil it and plunder it; and it shall be the wages for his army.  20 I have given him the land of Egypt as his payment for which he labored, because they worked for Me, declares the Lord GOD. (ESV)

JEREMIAH 43:10 “Then say to them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says:  I will send for My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them.  11 He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, captivity to those destined for captivity, and the sword to those destined for the sword.  12 He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive.  As a shepherd wraps his garment around him, so will he wrap Egypt around himself and depart from there unscathed.  13 There in the temple of the sun in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillars and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.’ ” (NIV)

YHVH gave Nebuchadnezzar victory and used him to afflict those nations He purposed to punish.  This Babylonian king was predestined by YHVH ELOHIM to accomplish His purpose during a critical period of Judah’s history.

CYRUS

Pharaoh, Sennacherib, and Nebuchadnezzar were not the only ancient rulers used by YHVH to further His divine plan.  The Persian king Cyrus was specifically named by YHVH through the prophet Isaiah as one who would be given victory by YHVH and then be used to fulfill His will:

ISAIAH 44:28 “It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd!  And he will perform all My desire.’  And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’ ” (NASU)

ISAIAH 45:1 “Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held — to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut:  2 ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.  3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.  4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.  5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.  I will gird you, though you have not known Me, 6 that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me.  I am the LORD, and there is no other;’ ” (NKJV)

EZRA 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:  All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me.  And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. (NKJV)

Yehovah Elohim raised up Cyrus for the express purpose of bringing about the downfall of Babylon and allowing His people, the Jews, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple there.  Cyrus was predestined to accomplish a specific task for Almighty Yehovah, and the Eternal Father ensured that he successfully completed His purpose.

JEREMIAH

The prophet Jeremiah is one of several people mentioned in the Scriptures who was known by YHVH before they were born:

JEREMIAH 1:4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  6 “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”  7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’  You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” (NIV)

According to the very words of YHVH, Jeremiah did not have the free will to do anything other than what He told him to do.

Who I am and my calling not of my own decision:

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/what-compelled-me-to-write-message-for-this-entire-human-race/

Now let’s move on to the New Testament to see others, both good and bad, who were predestined to fulfill God’s purpose:

JOHN THE BAPTIST

The story of John the Baptist is generally well known to most Christians.  The words of the angel Gabriel to his priestly father, Zechariah, plainly show that John was predestined from before his birth to be the prophesied messenger announcing the first appearance of the Messiah:

LUKE 1:13 But the angel said to him:  “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.  14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.  He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.  16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.  17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous — to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (NIV)

John was a relative of Yeshua due to his mother Elizabeth being kin to Mary (Luke 1:36).  He had no say in how his life would turn out.  John was selected by YHVH before his birth and tasked with a particular mission (the preaching of repentance in preparation for the kingdom of God) that ended with his death at the hands of Herod Antipas.  From before his conception until his death, John’s path was charted by Yehovah Elohim.

THE BLIND MAN AT THE TEMPLE

JOHN 9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.  2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (ESV)

According to the words of the Messiah himself, this man had been born blind in order for Yeshua to bring praise to YHVH’s name by giving him sight.  This man’s entire life, including the years of suffering he experienced due to his blindness, was a prelude to Yeshua’s miraculous healing.  He was predestined for just that moment and just that miracle, so Yeshua could glorify YHVH through him.

JUDAS ISCARIOT

The eternal fate of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of the Messiah, has long been debated in the Christian world.  However, what does not appear to be debatable is whether or not Judas acted of his own free will when he betrayed Yeshua.  The Scriptures clearly indicate that Judas was preordained to be a traitor to Yeshua’s cause, leading to his crucifixion:

JOHN 6:64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.”  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray him. (NKJV)

JOHN 17:12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” (ESV)

ACTS 1:16 “Friends, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17 for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (NRSV)

GENTILES IN ANTIOCH IN PISIDIA

Are there some who are destined by the Eternal Father to be in the millennial kingdom of YHVH?

ACTS 13:44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.  45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying.  46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly:  “We had to speak the word of God to you first.  Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.  47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:  ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”  48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. (NIV)

Clearly, the Scriptures teach that those Gentiles in Antioch in Pisidia who believed the preaching of Paul and Barnabas were preordained by YHVH to enjoy age-lasting life during the millennial reign of Messiah Yeshua.

PAUL THE APOSTLE

After his conversion, Paul understood YHVH had predestined him from the time that he was born for the work of taking the gospel to the Gentiles:

GALATIANS 1:15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, (NIV)

Paul knew that this preordained responsibility was not due to anything he had personally done.  Rather, it was that Elohim showed him unmerited favor (“grace”) in calling him.  Paul’s letters indicate that he fully realized just how personally unworthy he was for the task that God assigned him:

I CORINTHIANS 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (NASU)

EPHESIANS 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, (ESV)

Paul was the most prolific writer in the New Testament regarding the doctrine of predestination.  Having been personally instructed by the glorified Messiah, he understood YHVH’s plan.  Paul knew Elohim had charted out the path of his life, and that he was destined to run the race on the course God had laid out for him:

ACTS 20:22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.  23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.  24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (NIV)

HEBREWS 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (NIV)

At the end of his life, Paul recognized that he had successfully completed the race YHVH had set before him to run:

II TIMOTHY 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.  7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that Day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NIV)

At the end of his life, after he had successfully completed that which YHVH had assigned him to do, Paul realized that he would be one of the few chosen from among the many that YHVH calls (Matt. 20:16; 22:14).  He understood that because he had faithfully carried out YHVH’s will, he would be rewarded with a place in the coming kingdom of God.

The “many are called but few are chosen” principle is YHVH’s counterbalance to an understanding of predestination.  Even Paul, who was aware that God had predestined him to take the gospel to the Gentiles, did not know for sure if he would finish his race successfully (I Cor. 9:24-27).  YHVH only chooses a few from among the many that He calls in order to conceal from those who are now called their immediate fate.  If He didn’t do this, being called by YHVH during this age could be absolutely equated with qualifying for a position as a priest/king in the coming Messianic kingdom.  Since YHVH doesn’t want His saints to be complacent, the “many called/few chosen” formula is a way to introduce uncertainty into the equation.

More about those predestined:

https://ttimesoftrouble.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/amazingly-precise/

Is YHVH Responsible for Man’s Suffering?

“OK,” some will say, “there appears to be biblical evidence that some people are predestined by Elohim for certain things.  But surely that can’t mean that He involves Himself in the lives of every single human being on the planet, can it?”

Well, let’s see what the Messiah has to say about the extent of God’s control over the physical world in the fulfillment of His divine will:

MATTHEW 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (NIV)

If not one single sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of Yehovah the Father, how much control do you think He exercises over mankind?  We don’t have to wonder, because the Messiah clearly tells us that WE are much more important to YHVH than many sparrows.  If He has numbered the very hairs of our heads, does YHVH care enough about us to be intricately involved in our everyday lives?  The scriptural and logical answer is “Yes.”

Most cannot fathom the idea that ELOHIM has preordained the destinies of billions of people.  Despite numerous Scriptures to the contrary, the concept of free will is so deeply ingrained in the religious beliefs of most that they cannot accept that Yehovah Elohim has predestined the lives (and ultimately, the salvation) of all mankind.

Many will object that YHVH cannot be in charge of every detail of each person’s life, because if He was, then He would be directly  responsible for all human suffering and pain on the earth.  Most cannot accept that YHVH would cause the horrific misery that is evident in this world.  Therefore, they rationalize that God doesn’t specifically cause what happens, but rather He simply allows it to occur because He has given His sentient creatures free will, and many of them have chosen to do evil.

Unfortunately, this rationalization doesn’t let YHVH off the hook.  If He truly is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, He has the presence, knowledge, and power to stop the suffering that happens.  To have that power and not make use of it to end human misery means YHVH is complicit in the suffering.  Either way it is viewed, YHVH bears responsibility for the suffering that humanity endures.

If YHVH is powerful enough to stop all suffering (and the Scriptures assert that He is), then why does YHVH ELOHIM not end it?  Could it be because this suffering ultimately serves YHVH’s purpose of bringing many sons into His family?

ROMANS 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  24 For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (NIV)

Paul states that YHVH subjected His creation to frustration and decay, but that He will liberate it from these impediments when His children are revealed.  While Paul doesn’t go into the details, he clearly conveys a certainty that the present sufferings of humanity will pale in comparison to the glory that will be manifested in mankind when this portion of Yehovah’s plan is completed.

The prophet Isaiah quotes a promise from YHVH that all the pain and suffering of this present world will one day be forgotten when He creates a new heavens and a new earth:

ISAIAH 65:17 “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” (NIV)

Even the Messiah was required to suffer while he was on this earth.  This wasn’t suffering simply for the sake of suffering, but rather suffering with a purpose and goal.  This suffering contributed to Yeshua becoming complete, as the author of Hebrews tells us twice:

HEBREWS 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.  10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. (NIV)

HEBREWS 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.  8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.  9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (ESV)

If the Messiah had to suffer in order to learn obedience and be made “perfect” or “complete,” why should we expect anything different?  Is a slave greater than his master?  No, the best we should expect is to be like our Master (Matt. 10:24-25).  Since the Father decreed that our Master Yeshua had to suffer in order to be perfected, we too should expect YHVH the Father to put us through trials and tribulations in order for us to reach spiritual maturity and attain godly character (Jam. 1:2-4).

The primary difference between Yeshua and us is that he had a preexistent relationship with YHVH the heavenly Father and fully understood Elohim’s will and what was expected of him.  We, unfortunately, do not always know Elohim’s will for us.  We can only determine it by studying the Scriptures, developing a relationship with YHVH through regular prayer, and asking Him to reveal His will to us through His Holy Spirit.

Conclusion

The Scriptures portray YHVH the Father as being omnipotent.  Because of His incomparable power, there is nothing that YHVH cannot achieve.  Since He created and sustains all things through His Holy Spirit, no being within Yehovah’s creation is able to thwart His plan or purpose.  Several times, Elohim states in the Scriptures that His will is to eventually save all mankind.  His chosen vessel for accomplishing this salvation is His son Yeshua the Messiah.

Per His plan, YHVH has called many people now to worship Him.  However, from those many called, only a few will be chosen to be saved (Matt. 20:16; 22:14) in this age.  YHVH’s purpose in saving those few now is so that they can in turn help save others later.  Most are destined to be used by ELOHIM at this time to extend His mercy to those few.  YHVH’s plan calls for using most people in this age to show His wrath and to make His power and glory known to those on whom He is having mercy (Rom. 9:22-23).  Seeing and recognizing YHVH’s wrath and power causes those He has called and chosen to fear Him.  According to the Scriptures, the fear of YHVH leads to obedience, which brings us wisdom (Job 28:28; Psa. 111:10; Pro. 9:10; 15:33), knowledge (Pro. 1:17; 2:5), and life (Pro. 10:27; 14:27; 19:23; 22:4).

YEHOVAH ELOHIM planned in exquisite detail how to bring many sons into His family before He created the universe.  Unfortunately, as the apostle Paul stated, YHVH’s decrees are unfathomable and His ways incomprehensible to most of mankind (Rom. 11:33).  He has blinded the majority so that they cannot understand His plan or how it is being accomplished.  Even among believers, what YHVH is doing is not well understood.  However, when all is said and done, it will be recognized by everyone that YHVH alone is responsible for the salvation of humanity.  No one will be able to boast that they played any part in their own salvation.  It is by Yehovah’s grace alone, not our works, that our Father will bring us into His divine family.  In this way, Elohim the Father will receive all the praise and glory from His children for His merciful act of salvation.

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