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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Prophecy and the will of God

Hi David,
I immediately thought of a question after I spoke with you today.… Anyway, _____ said prophecies fail and I thought and I said no, they don’t.  I think some prophecies don’t fail because God knows everything, including the future.  Paul says where there be prophecies, they shall fail, but those are ones we know in part.  I think there are prophecies that are complete and that come true because God wills them.  What do you think?
C_____

Hi C_____,
  Paul’s actual words are,
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1Cor. 8-13).

  This was preceded by, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1Cor. 12:31).

And it was succeeded by, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” (1Cor. 14:1).

  This says to me that Paul was not slighting the gift of prophecy or of prophecies in general. But, what he was doing when he said prophecies fail was making love the highest priority. So the biblical context of _________’s comment tells a different picture than what he understands of prophecies.

  Specifically, some prophecies do fail—because they were conditional. Jonah’s prophecy against Nineveh failed because the Ninevites repented, including the king and the cattle! Well, the cattle fasted, even if they didn’t repent. :) But the cattle fasting demonstrated the king’s intention to make everything right because of his fear of God. And God counted their faith for righteousness, just like He did for Abram, and does for us. His mercy endureth forever, even in the face of our worst sinfulness. The Ninevites were a very violent, wicked people, in all respects; yet He forgave them because they feared Him and sought His forgiveness.

  The final part of the 70 week prophecy could have failed. The destruction of Israel could have been avoided.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan. 9:26,27). The prophecy ended in 34 A.D. That was 3 ½ years after Christ ascended, giving the Jews that much more probationary time. If they had accepted the preaching of the apostles Israel would have carried the gospel around the world, which was the Lord’s original prophecy. “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:2,3). But, it didn’t happen. So, Daniel’s prophecy was given and proved true. What Jesus said would happen, did happen.

And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Lk. 21:20-24).

The children of the flesh died by the Romans, or were driven away. But, the Jewish children of faith, the followers of Jesus, escaped the destruction of Jerusalem and did bless the whole world. So, ultimately the prophecy to Abram did come true. Sound confusing? :)

There were false prophets that prophesied that the Babylonian captivity would only last 2 years; but Jeremiah told them it would last 70. They strung him up for that, but eventually (after they all had passed from the stage) it lasted 70 years and a few more.
“Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jer. 14:14) “I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.” (Jer. 23:25).

The things the Lord said would happen, even by His own mouth, as in the wilderness at Israel’s first entering into Caanan. Moses pleaded with Jesus,
“Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Thy mercy, and as Thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
Because all those men which have seen My glory, and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice;
Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked Me see it:
But My servant Caleb, because He had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me.
Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you:
Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against Me.
Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise.
I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against Me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.” (Num. 14:19-35).

It looked like the adults that were constantly complaining (and allowing Satan to show his hatred of the Lord through them) would make it into Canaan the second time, 40 years later. But a temptation at the end, a big celebration at Baal-Peor, led the surviving adults to get involved in idolatry and its typical sexual depravity with the Midianites. There was a big punishment, and the last of the rebels died. The prophecy of the Lord turned out to be fulfilled, as only the children that left Egypt, 20 years old and younger, were alive to go into Canaan with Joshua and Caleb.

The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation have the greatest of all weight than every other prophecy in the Bible, because they point out the last movements of Satan to overthrow the redemption which Christ accomplished for us and for His Father. The papacy was Satan’s substitute and counterfeit that would prevent a large harvest for God and that could prove God wrong about having people perfectly reproduce His character before He can end the great controversy with Satan. The 1260 years are very historically proven, from 538 to 1798, from the year Emperor Justinian gave the reigning pope the power to govern civilly and ecclesiastically the western part of the Roman empire while the emperor reigned over the eastern part (Constantinople in Asia minor) to the fall of the papacy by General Berthier under Napoleon.

Eventually, the Church of Rome spread its power north to the British Isles and eastward to Asia minor, India, China, and Japan. Then civil governments sprang up with Protestant America and halted Rome’s conquest of the world through the Jesuits and the Church’s tyrannical allied governments. But, the American bulwark against Rome is falling like the Berlin wall, and Rome is quickly recovering her lost territory and more—the whole world.

The complete fulfillment of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 is finally taking place in our day. Prophecy is definitely coming true. A little while longer and we will experience the finale—Christ’s return in power and glory.

To answer your last thought: God wills prophecies to their fulfillment, but not arbitrarily. He never uses His sovereign will abusively. But, as we saw with Israel at Baal-Peor, He withholds the punishment we are due and mercifully gives more time to repent. But He knows us better than we know ourselves, and true to form, in the end, the ones He originally called rebels die because of themselves. But the probation given the nation gives the faithful time to be cleaned up and perfected more than they were at the start. So, in the end, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:10).

Paul articulates this concept very clearly.

“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.
Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory....” (Rom. 9:15-23).

In other words, to the atheist it might look like chance that things turn out like they do because we don’t see the hand moving events to happen; or, Satan leads some theologians to call it God abusing His sovereign will by forcing people into His providential constructs. But, those He calls wicked prove themselves wicked. And those He calls righteous, prove themselves to be that, despite the persecution they endure from the wicked, who become excessively wicked because God mercifully gave them time to turn around, but they misunderstood that probation to be God not watching them, and altogether non-existent. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But, the day of the Lord will
come as a thief in the night….” (2Pet. 3:9).

God “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (Rom. 4:17). They are not because they are not yet. But, He knows the future of them so well, that He speaks of them as though they have already occurred. So, He doesn’t will anything to happen against your will or mine or anyone’s. It can look that way, but it’s really not the case. To the utmost, He perfectly maintains and protects the freedom of choice in the universe. Satan is the one who doesn’t hold freedom of choice sacred, and he foisted slavery on the world through his Babylonian religion, which he brought into Christianity when it morphed into Catholicism. And that is the origin of Stalinism, Nazism, and every other form of modern dictatorship.

Soon, that same tyrannical totalitarianism will be seen coming from America when it speaks “as a dragon.” (Rev. 13:11). Satan ascended out of the bottomless pit in 1849, and will “go into perdition.” (Rev. 17:8). In the final showdown will “that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition….
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess. 2:3-12).

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” (vs. 13).

Take care, Carroll. Just let me know what you decide on the painting. We’ll get together to study nonetheless.
David

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