KNOWING THE TRUE GOD #4
GOD MAY TEST
From Genesis 22 we have the well known story of Abraham
being tested by the Lord to give up His promised son, Isaac.
We see from this that at times God may give a severe test to
one of His children, especially if they are to be used in some
special way for the Lord's plan and work on earth.
It is James who was inspired to make it very clear to us
that God does not "tempt" or "test" anyone with a purpose to have
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God
cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man. But every
man is tempted (to sin) when is he drawn away of his own lusts,
and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin
...." (James 1:13-15).
It's possible that God does not "test" in some large way,
every person He is going to work with and through. It is the
Lord's choosing once more, if He will give or allow a large test
like that of Abraham's test, to prove the faith of anyone. But we
need to understand that God does have the right, if He chooses,
to indeed test a person's faith.
GOD WRESTLES WITH MAN
The account in Genesis 32:22-32 will no doubt be looked upon
as NOT literal by many theologians and their followers. But
unless we are to spiritualize away all portions of the
Scriptures, so nothing is anything or something else in parables
etc. we should indeed take this account at face value, that it
does mean what it says and says what it means.
Jacob was alone and there came a man to wrestle with him,
until the breaking of day. It was night time as we gather from
verses 22 and 23. It was no doubt a number of hours that the two
men wrestled. Jacob was a pretty good wrestler it would seem.
If we jump ahead to verse 30, the name Jacob gave to the
place was Peniel; it's meaning is very clear as given by Jacob -
"I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
We have seen already that there is nothing too hard for the
Lord (Genesis 18:14). So the question is: Can God decide to
become a human flesh and bone man and come to earth and wrestle
with Jacob? Well of course He can IF He so WILLS Himself and so
decides to do just that.
God DID come to earth as a human being and He did wrestle
with Jacob! We see from the account that it is obvious that God
LIMITED Himself in His physical power. If He had not done so,
Jacob would have been out of the contest in one second. God can
then limit Himself IF He so decides, yes of course He can, He is
God and nothing is too hard for the Lord.
God limits Himself when He has a purpose in so doing. He
limited Himself to whatever need was best for this particular
situation. He limited Himself so Jacob could put up a pretty good
wrestling match with God. It was in the Lord's will to do so. The
Lord in limiting Himself was not winning the wrestling contest
(verse 25) and so He decided to see how tough a guy this Jacob
was; God touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh and put it out of
God says to Jacob, "Let me go, for the day breaks forth."
Jacob replies, "No, I will not let you go, until you bless me."
"What is your name," God asks. "My name is Jacob" came the
answer. "Well your name will no longer be just Jacob, but ISRAEL,
for you have power with God and with men, and have prevailed"
Jacob put up one mighty good wrestling match with the Lord,
even after his thigh was put out of joint. Of course God LIMITED
Himself, that is only common logic, but the limitation chosen was
to see what kind of stick-to-it power Jacob was capable of. And
it was some tenacity Jacob had for sure.
What a wonderful account is related here. That the CREATOR
of the universe, nay more than that, the creator of not only the
physical but the spirit beings and angels also, and anything that
came out of nothing. That such a Creator would come to earth as a
flesh and bone man and get down in the dust and dirt and wrestle
with a man such as Jacob.
I do not worship some "spiritual nothingness" that some make
God to be. Yes, there is some theology in some Universities of
"theological higher learning" that teach God is beyond the human
mind to comprehend and certainly should never be acquainted with
"form" or "shape" as anything that could turn Himself into a
physical person who would condescend to wrestle with a blob of
dirt like the man Jacob. Such "theological schools" would call me
"crazy" and a little "nutty" in what I'm writing in this series
of studies on God.
The truth is friends, it is THEY who are "nutty" and crazed
of mind, to think anything other than what God teaches us in His
word about Himself; He is more REAL and PERSONAL than they could
ever imagine, for all they can imagine is that God is some
Jacob did not think God was intangible, especially after he
had wrestled with God, and was given a new name - ISRAEL - one
that prevails with God!
In the account of God speaking to Moses out of the burning
bush (Exodus 3) we notice two things. (1) God can speak to man so
man clearly can understand God talking to him. (2) The place
where God chooses to put Himself is HOLY ground.
Too many people today cannot hear God speaking to them. They
are not "in tune" to the wave-length of God's mind. The apostle
Paul wrote, "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus"
To be on the same wave length as the Lord, you need to read
His word the Bible. You need to let it correct you, teach you,
guide you, inspire you, comfort you. God says through His prophet
Isaiah, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways
your ways. for as the heaven is higher than the earth, so are My
ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts"
Getting to the place where you have God's mind means you
also must SEEK the Lord, turn from your wicked ways and thoughts,
and TURN to God's way, and He will have mercy on you (Isa.55:6-
Too many today do not see where God IS, where He is working,
where the burning bush is. Too many today walk right passed the
fire of the Lord and can only see the smoke of false fires, they
live in a way that if the fire of the Lord was made visible to
them, they would walk right on by, never seeing its brilliance or
feeling its heat of truth and holiness.
God can talk to man. The Lord can come in a way that is
noticeable IF you are willing to notice and are looking for Him
to come in an unexpected way at times. Too many today who call
themselves Christian, do not have the true fear of the Lord to
see where and how He is showing them Himself in the different
manner He can show Himself to them. For many it is a too fast
world they live in; run here and run there; they do not have the
time to stop and smell the roses along the pathway they race. And
so they do not see the burning bush of Holiness and God speaking
to them out of it.
You need to make sure you are a man like Moses and at least
give the Lord chance to speak to you. God can speak to you in
many different ways. He does not always tell us the way He has
chosen to speak to us before He reaches out for us to listen. So
always, as the old Boy Scout motto was when I was in the Scouts
as a kid, "BE PREPARED!"
GOD TO BLAME?
Moses did not believe he was able to go before Pharaoh:
"And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent,
neither since yesterday nor the third day (margin), nor since you
have spoken unto your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a
slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who has made man's
mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the
blind? Have not I the Lord. Now therefore go, and I will be with
your mouth, and teach you what you shall say" (Exodus 4:10-12).
Does this sound like God is putting all the blame on Himself
for who may be dumb, or deaf, or blind? Well yes, in one very
real sense He is!
A little shocking to some, maybe, but the verse in Isaiah is
still in the Bible:
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create
evil: I the Lord do all these things" (Isa.45:7).
Does the Lord sit down at His engineering table and
deliberately plan how He can make people bind, deaf, dumb? No, of
course not, the whole Bible would be against such an idea or
thought. But, the whole Bible clearly shows God is always in
ultimate control of the universe and all in it. Because He is in
control, because He does have authority over EVERYTHING in the
universe, so at His word ALL things must obey, and because He
does NOT STEP IN to change or heal, blindness, deafness,
accidents that cripple, and all the other misfortunes of life, He
is saying in that sense that He creates evil.
The Lord has the power over deafness, dumbness, blindness,
and all things in the universe, and so He has the power to help
someone like Moses, who said he really was not much of a "word
man" to be able to talk before someone like the Pharaoh of Egypt.
The Lord could step in and tell Satan the devil to "get to
the other side of the universe and leave planet earth alone." God
could tell all the demons (all those fallen angels) to "get out
of the earth." He could with the word of His voice obliterate the
Devil and all demons, so they do not exists. He has the power to
do it, yet because He has not done it, in that sense He takes the
responsibility that He creates evil. And it is true that some
people get very angry with God, because such is the case, and
because God does not have all things in the universe sinless. Now
if the Lord was to have this earth sinless, Satan destroyed, no
freedom in human nature to sin, then truly all would be mere
ROBOTS for Him. It would all be like a child with a toy that does
what it is supposed to do when the batteries are put in and the
"on" button is pressed. For God to do a work that He is doing
with mankind, this earth, and also allowing Satan the Devil to
work, He needed to allow freedom of choice. With freedom of
choice can come the freedom to go against God, to rebel against
His perfect and holy ways.
So in that perspective, under those conditions, God can say
of Himself that He creates light and darkness, peace or war,
righteousness or evil. In that perspective God then has power
over the eyes, the ears, the mouth. He told Moses He could step
in and guide his vocal chords before Pharaoh.
Jesus came, Immanuel He was, God with us it is written.
Jesus did heal the blind, unstop the ears of the deaf, bring
sight to the blind. Jesus made the cripple walk again, even
raised some from the dead. BUT, did Jesus restore sight to ALL
the blind on earth? No He did not! Jesus raised some from the
dead, but did He raise say even, all that had died in the 33
years of His life on earth? No He did not. On we could go with
other such examples. I have given enough to illustrate the point.
God is in control, and has power and authority over all the
universe. By NOT NOW, stepping in and making this universe
perfectly whole, healthy, sinless, God can say exactly what He
has said in Isaiah 45:7.
The Eternal said He would help the speech of Moses, but
Moses would still not accept God's offer (verse 13).
GOD GETS ANGRY!
"And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses ...." (verse
14). Aaron, the brother of Moses would be the one to do the
speaking to the face of Pharaoh! (following verses).
Ah, now we see God has the emotion of ANGER! The New
Testament says, "Be you angry and sin not." God had a good reason
to be righteously angry with Moses. The Lord does a miracle with
the bush that burned and was not consumed and the Lord even
speaks to Moses, offers to help him with his words of his mouth
before Pharaoh, and Moses still does not want to accept.
God was upset, even more than upset, He was ANGRY with
Moses. As you read through the Bible the anger of the Lord is
seen many many times, but each time it is a righteous, well
We need to try and comply with the Lord's will in a way that
will produce patience and love from Him, and not anger. Jeremiah
"O Lord, CORRECT me, BUT with JUDGMENT, not in ANGER, lest you
bring me to nothing!" (Jer.10:24).
If we have the attitude of mind that is always willing to be
corrected, willing to be shown our errors, wanting to grow in
grace and knowledge, always hungering and thirsting after
righteousness, desiring to live by every Word of God, then indeed
the Lord will guide and correct us with judgment based on love
and patience, and never with anger.
GOD HARDENS HEARTS?
The verse I'm going to quote is one of those verses that
shocks some people:
"And the Lord said unto Moses .... see that you do all those
wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in your hand: BUT I WILL
HARDEN HIS HEART, that he shall not let the people go" (Exodus
We see this done by God also in chapters 7:3,13 and 9:12,35.
Does God really harden some people's heart? Well according
to these verses He clearly says He did with Pharaoh.
In meditating on this we must bring in the fact that AT
TIMES, God does PRE-determine SOME individuals. This pre-
determining is not the issue of "predestination" of all people,
as taught by some, who claim the Eternal has predestined everyone
to either heaven or hell, and there is no way anyone can do
anything to alter that fact. I have covered the subject of
"predestination" in another study on this Website. Here we are
discussing "pre-ordaining" or "pre-determining" a person to have
a certain role function in life. We do know from the Scriptures
that NOW and THEN, in a few passages God clearly has pre-
determined individuals for a certain calling.
We know from reading the Gospels that John the baptist was
chosen even before conception, to play the role of the person to
prepare the way of the Lord. And of course God coming in the form
of a physical flesh and blood individual we know as Jesus Christ,
was before ordained even before the foundation of the world (see
1 Peter 1:20).
Then the only other person mentioned in Scripture,
to be foreordained before his birth was Jeremiah (see Jer.1:5).
Now those three individuals were foreordained for GOOD, to
be working for God, to a GOOD and RIGHTEOUS end and purpose. But
is it possible that God could, if He chose to do so, use a person
in the way of unrighteousness in the larger picture of performing
righteousness? As nothing is impossible for God, the answer must
be a YES!
This is NOT saying God deliberately puts EVIL in that
persons's mind, for then we would be saying God manipulates sin
or wickedness to force that person to sin or perform
As we learn from the Scriptures that all people are
spiritually BLINDED to truth and to holy perfect righteousness,
UNTIL the Lord grants them His calling to be able to see truth
when presented to them, we realize that the human heart and mind
with the work of Satan and demonic influences, can be very
deceptive. Jeremiah put it this way:
"The heart can be ("is" is not in the Hebrew) deceitful above all
things, and desperately wicked: who can know it" (Jer.17:9). The
following verse says God can know it, He can search the heart.
If God leaves the human heart in any given circumstance of
life, ALONE, doing nothing to bring that heart from deception to
true light of His holiness, then that heart will do what it
thinks is right in it's own eyes. Solomon put it this way:
"There is a way that seems right unto men, but the end thereof is
the way of death" (Prov.14:12).
So if God allows the human heart to "do its own thing" then
the Lord can put that heart-mind-set into a context of a larger
picture of physical life, and use it to fulfil the main purpose
of GOOD and RIGHTEOUSNESS that is the MAIN reason for that whole
scenario of life that God is working with, to move His plan
forward in the purpose of human life on this planet.
So, by LEAVING ALONE, some human heart, and perhaps never
calling that heart to truth and repentance in THIS PHYSICAL LIFE
TIME, that person for this life time, is heading for a life of
destruction as opposed to a life of spiritual blessing in the
walk of salvation with God.
Before I finish all this thought, let me say that all those
whom God does NOT call to spiritual truth and holy righteous
insight, in this life time, are NOT without HOPE, of it never
happening. The Last Great Feast that follows the 7 day Feast of
Tabernacles, is all about the MILLIONS - BILLIONS - who were
NEVER offered repentance and salvation in their first physical
life time. They will be RESURRECTED to physical life and have the
books of Life opened to them. They will YET HAVE their day of
salvation offered to them.
All this wonderful truth I have shown you in other studies
on this Website, such as the study "The Great White throne
Judgment" and the study on the "Last Great Feast."
It is possible for God to have NO INTENTIONS for some people
but to be used (by not calling them, by allowing deceitful human
nature, and with the working of Satan) for destruction (meaning
no leading to light or truth or holiness). Hence God can, as the
ruler and as having authority over all things, be said to have
"hardened Pharaoh's heart."
The apostle Paul was not afraid to lay it all on the line,
and just say it as it is, in some very plain words, that can
cause some people (who do not understand the Scriptures and plan
of God) to blink twice to see if they have not read it all
wrong. Here are the inspired words of Paul:
"What shall we say then? Is there un-righteousness with God? God
forbid! For He said 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 wills, nor of him that
runs, but of God that shows mercy. For the Scripture says about
Pharaoh, 'For this same purpose have I raised you up, that I
might show my people in you, and my name might be declared
throughout all the earth.'
Will you say yet to me (Paul) 'Why does He yet find fault? For who
then has resisted His will?'
Nay but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the
thing formed say to him that formed it, 'Why have you made me
Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make
one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
What if God, willing to show 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" (Romans 9:14-23).
Read all of Romans 9 through to 11. Note chapter 11:7-10,
and especially verse 8!
The truth of the matter is friends, God had NO INTENTION but
to use Pharaoh as a vessel of dishonor. Pharaoh was not going to
be given truth or the light of holy righteousness, not in this
God is the potter, we humans are but the clay. The potter is
master over the clay. The clay does not tell the potter what to
do, it is the potter who uses the clay as he sees fit, for the
purpose he has in mind. God has special purposes at certain times
in history, and He will use the physical clay humans in that
purpose, HOW, WHEN, and WHOM He will, as He decides. In so doing,
we may not see it (as Paul elsewhere stated we look through a
glass darkly, but one day we will know as we are known) clearly,
but God sees the full end of His longsuffering and mercy, in His
plan of showing mercy when He decides to show mercy, and on whom
He decides to show mercy.
Pharaoh was not called to mercy in his life time, but YOU,
because you are willing to read from this Website, MAY WELL HAVE
GOD KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART, WANTING YOU TO OPEN AND
LET HIM COME IN!
IF YOU HAVE ALREADY LET HIM IN, GET TO KNOW HIM EVEN MORE.
IF YOU HAVE YET TO OPEN THE DOOR - OPEN IT! YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY
YOU DID, YOU WILL FIND TRUTHS AND BLESSINGS ABOVE ALL YOUR
WILDEST DREAMS. HE WANTS TO KNOW YOU, AND HE WANTS YOU TO KNOW
To be continued
Written in October during the Feast of Tabernacles 2008