THE CREATION OF ADVERSITY

THE CREATION OF ADVERSITY
(a study on ADVERSITY: the correlation between ‘‘contrast’’ & ‘‘diversity’’ leading to ‘‘perspective’’)
(a study on CHARACTER BUILDING: the correlation between ‘‘endurance/perseverance’’ & suffering)

      by Norman Labelle 
      May 2015 

To put the subject of this exposé into context, it will begin with a time of PRE-ADVERSITY to follow with a time of POST-ADVERSITY. This author wishes to remind the reader that an open mind is a prerequisite to appreciate the fullness of its creation. May God bless us with understanding and permit us to come to a fuller knowledge of His truth.
Colossians 1: 9-10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
 9For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God

Before anything, there was nothing.

God never came into existence; He always was, always is and always will be. This is a rather bold statement, which left alone, doesn’t quite say much at all except describe His eternal nature.

In no other man-inspired writings does God choose to describe Himself except in His own inspired written word, the Bible. Within its pages, God describes Himself in a variety of ways. It is meant to give His creation an insight as to who He is.

What we know from scripture is the following; God is Light, Wisdom, Infinite, Eternal, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent) (all-powerful), Truth, Good, Just, Righteous, Holy and Perfect. Any scholar or novice bible student for that matter, would attest to having seen all of these superlative descriptions of God, worded or defined in one way or another throughout the Bible. References are too numerous to list here. But the most popular and notable of God’s attributes is Love.

  Love stands out of the lot. But it cannot stand alone as His other attributes just listed. It must find more than just a sense of fulfillment but an actual, real fulfillment. 

Scripture proclaims that God is Love (1John 4: 8, 16). Love is the very essence of our Creator. Without anything yet brought into existence, there is no one for God to love, nor to love Him back. As we will see, Love cannot be contained – it is dynamic, it must grow. Without having someone to love, that love cannot be reciprocated. God’s love motivates Him to think of a plan that would ultimately multiply His Divine Love and fulfill its purpose. What follows is a blueprint for that Perfect love to come into being …and expand.
THE PLAN

In the empty void before the beginning of time*, space and matter, there was God. God was by Himself (nothing yet existed). He thought about His plan from inception to conclusion, from beginning to end.

*TO CONSIDER: One might argue that there is no beginning of time and that it’s a component of existence and that it must be one of the attributes of God and that without time, nothing can exist. Scripture speaks of the beginning and end of the eons and that these eons were cut out of the time continuum therefore must have time before and after the eons. To counter that argument, we should consider that before the Word was brought into existence, and before the Word created anything (when God was alone), when God was only at the stage of thinking about, or pondering His Plan, time could not be measured because time is relative and it is relative because of the creation itself (the universe). The statement above, ‘‘In the empty void before the beginning of time…’’, is in relation to before the actual implementation of His Plan. If God had chosen to only think of His plan but not implement it, it would have remained in the mind of God. There would have never been time because it’s the creation (the universe) which gives time its relativity. It (time) would have never existed. Furthermore, if everything had a beginning, we know that God, who created that beginning, was before it. In other words, God is ‘‘timeless’’ but the creation of anything, did and MUST have had a beginning. God is Infinite and Eternal. Eons have a beginning and an end, they are by their very nature, NOT infinite or eternal.

          God is not a God of confusion!

1 Corinthians 14:33 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace…
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
33 since God is not a God of disorder but of peace…
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
33 for God is not a God of disorder but of harmony..
Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
33 For Hashem is no Elohei HaMevucha (the G-d of Confusion, Tohu); He is Elohei HaShalom…
God is orderly and His plan must be orderly. He left absolutely nothing to chance. He determined that every single action would have a reaction, an effect, thus creating a domino effect that would in turn have minor and major consequences. He wanted every action to be in perfect harmony with each other to avoid chaos. It was imperative that each action must ultimately lead to His final harmonious objective. God would not permit His objective to be deviated from, He kept everything in line, on track and on schedule. His plan constituted several stages which would in turn blend and transition perfectly one into the other. It started with His pre-choosing certain un-seen elements, followed by what can be seen; the tangible.

His plan had a solid foundation followed by an equally solid structure that would withstand both the physical & spiritual elements of time. This plan would span for eternity and comprise all of His attributes. He would be everywhere at all times. Nothing could escape Him because everything was in Him.
Being everywhere at all times, God was in total control of everything, at any and every stage of eternity. He determined that nothing would or could go wrong.

He thought His plan through to the very end and saw to it that its intricate details perfectly and harmoniously worked together to bring about His initial & final objective, Love.

He determined that the plan was Good. He gave it His Divine Royal seal of approval.

So that this Perfect plan was not ever altered, interfered with, or deviated from, His next step was to institute a flawless safe-guard that would stand forever.

THE COUNSEL OF HIS WILL

                                   By Wisdom, God establishes the Council of His will.

Ephesians 1:11 (Darby Translation)
11 in whom we have also obtained an inheritance, being marked out beforehand according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his own will,

                           (Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)

11 … in whom also we were allotted an inheritance, having been predestined according to the plan of the One working all things in accordance with the counsel of His will

Psalm 33:11 (Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 But the counsel of Adonai stands forever; his heart’s plans are for all generations.

                           (Lexham English Bible (LEB)

11 The plan of Yahweh stands firm forever, the intents of his heart from one generation to the next.

Isaiah 46:9-11 (Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
9 “Remember things that happened at the beginning, long ago — that I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 At the beginning I announce the end, proclaim in advance things not yet done; and I say that my plan will hold, I will do everything I please to do.
11 … I have spoken and will bring it about; I have made a plan, and I will fulfill it.
(Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
9 Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me.
10 I declare the end from the beginning and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.
11  …Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.

The Counsel of His will is established as the basic framework for all of His intentions. It is His Divine Golden Standard of terms & conditions, rules & guidelines – that which will govern all of His physical and spiritual creation, including Himself. This Divine Standard cannot be altered, changed, added to, or taken away from. It is tamper-proof. It emanates from God Himself and therefore is Righteous, Good, Just, Holy and Perfect.

   THE WORD

When God brought forth The Word from before the foundation of the world, the Word was already equipped with Wisdom and the Counsel of God’s will. It constituted His very essence. Not only was the Word sanctified (set apart) by God, but was also equipped with 7 Spirits to complete His being and accomplish the task that lay ahead.
(More on the 7 Spirits later).

John 17:24 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world.

1 Peter 1:20 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.
Our most defining reference regarding the Word is found in John. In the following passage, it clearly and perfectly illustrates the purpose of the Word.

John 1:1-3 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
1 At the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that word, was with God, and was God, 2 and he existed with God from the beginning. 3All creation took place through him, and none took place without him.
God through Paul, confirms this very same thing by complementing it with;

Colossians 1:16 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created through him and for him.
God brings forth the Word, made of His Holy Essence, a perfect image of Himself. God loves His Word and His Word loves him back. According to God’s perfect plan, this image of Himself would later become the focal point of salvation by divesting Himself of all His power and glory to become mankind’s Saviour. At a precise, appointed time, the Word would then become flesh and live among mankind.

John 1:14 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
14 The Word became a human being and lived with us,
1 Peter 1:20 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.
The Word would also later (through a miraculous intervention) become the Son of God, His only begotten Son.
Matthew 3:17 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
17 And a voice came out of Heaven saying, “This is my dearly-loved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Psalm 2:7 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
7 I will tell the decree; Yahweh said to me: “You are my son; today I have begotten you.

Hebrews 5:5 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him, who said to him, ‘‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten you’’
By the Word becoming a Son, He would take on a whole other role. He would become an entity by which our Creator would become a Father. (here we witness the initial stage of God tangibly multiplying His Love).
Hebrews 1:5 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
5 For to what angel did God ever say, “Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee”?
Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

Getting back to the Word… (before taking on the role of Son);
Scripture describes Wisdom with the very same words used to describe the engendered Word. They co-existed alongside one another from before the foundation of the earth, or universe for that matter. Wisdom is also what sustains the Counsel of God’s will. It can safely be said that Wisdom was used both for the foundation and building blocks of the Counsel of His will while God was imagining His master Plan. Wisdom is its very essence. God brought forth, engendered, the Word, and in turn brought forth Wisdom. All of this happened before the creation of anything. Creation is the manifestation and result of Wisdom. Without it, God would have no Counsel to validate and execute His will, and without it, the universe could not have been created as we know it. It would be chaotic, without order and self destructive.
WISDOM IS SYNONYMOUS WITH THE WORD
Proverbs 8:22-31 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men.

The following scripture gives weight and validity to Wisdom actually originating from God Himself. Therefore, when God brought forth the Word, we can safely say that Wisdom was already inside the Word.

1 Corinthians 1:24 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
24 to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, this same Messiah is God’s power and God’s wisdom!
Lexham English Bible (LEB)
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The very first step prior to the creation of the universe was to bring forth, create Wisdom, which scripture claims was the beginning of His work, the first of His acts of old. It would seem that just as God brought forth the Word, the Word brought forth Wisdom.

Proverbs 8: 22-25 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth;

The universe was built by the Word, who used Wisdom as a ‘‘master workman’’ to execute the work. In tandem, they created (bara: בָּרָא (to create from nothing) the universe according to God’s approved blueprint.

Proverbs 8:30 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman;

Without Wisdom (the master workman) having prior knowledge of actions & reactions, causes & effects, there would not and could not be a balance & harmony for the blueprint of God’s Perfect Plan.

   THE BODY OF CHRIST

From God’s omniscience, (complete knowledge of all), He looked forward to the creation of humanity and pre-chose, predesignated, predestinated a select, elect group which would comprise the body of His beloved Son. This pre-selection took place before the foundation of a world, a universe, not even yet created.

Ephesians 1:4 International Standard Version (ISV)
4 …he chose us in the Messiah before the creation of the universe to be holy and blameless in his presence.
Romans 8:29 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
29 For those which he knew before, he also predestinated to be made like to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Ephesians 1:5 Darby Translation (DARBY)
5 having marked us out beforehand for adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
5 Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
5 Who hath predestinated us, to be adopted through Jesus Christ in himself, according to the good pleasure of His will
This unseen body of the future Christ would, as planned, become ‘‘partially’’ manifest only after the earthly Christ would be resurrected and return to God to receive His former Glory as He had when acting as the Word.
Starting from Paul down through to the time wherein Christ will return, the partially revealed Sons of God (the body), will then be ‘‘totally – fully’’ revealed and meet with their Lord to be joined to its Head to form one single entity. (This is not to be confused with the Bride of the Lamb) which is an all together different entity).

1 Peter 1:20 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.

DISCLAIMER: Although not scriptural, it can logically be inversely paraphrased to apply to His Body as well, if understood in the following way;
20We were destined before the foundation of the world but were made manifest at the end times for His sake.

According to scripture, the whole of creation awaits the body’s transformation to be revealed;
Romans 8:18-25 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Ephesians 3:7-20 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that 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 (Gk: secret) hidden for ages in God who 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. 13 I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 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,

Colossians 1:24-29 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery (Gk: secret), which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me.
Up to this point, everything from the preconceived perfect plan that God thought through from beginning to end is established as the blueprint of His Perfect Will. This includes; Wisdom, the Council of His Will, The Word, and the Body of His yet to be Christ.
All that God had thought up to this point is now ready to come to fruition and bloom.

It’s time to execute the Plan…
CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE

As time went by, and as planned, authorized and sanctified, the Word is now mandated to create the universe – the seen and unseen (the initiation and realization of God’s imagined Plan).

Genesis 1: 1-2 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

      1 In the beginning when God began to create the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was without form 
  and void. 

In the first verse, the word ‘‘create’’ is from the Hebrew word, bara: בָּרָא (to create from nothing). In the second verse, the word ‘‘was’’ is actually the word, hayah: הָיָה (become). The Hebrew for ‘‘formless and void’’ is tohu bohu: תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ, which in context, has a connotation of ‘‘confusion’’ and ‘‘chaos’’.

By using the correct intended word, ‘‘became’’, one can deduce and pre-suppose that the original earth was no longer the same, for it had ‘‘become’’ something else. Therefore there is a distinction to make between two different worlds.

The verses should correctly be read as something like;

‘‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth from nothing, and that earth became chaotic’’.

Something obviously happened so that the Word had to re-create the world (this will be examined and explained a little later).
John 1:1-3 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God; 3 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
A more precise rendering for the words ‘‘were made through him’’, can be found in Lexham’s English Bible where it reads as follows;
John 1:3 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

3 All things came into being (Gk: χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν) through him, and apart from him not one thing came into being that has come into being.
And as a side note, the same Hebrew word, ‘‘bara’’: בָּרָא (made from nothing) is also used of angels in the following reference;
Ezekiel 28:15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created (bara: בָּרָא (from nothing), till iniquity was found in you.
So far, we’ve seen general biblical references regarding the creation of the universe but below will explain in more specific detail what had to have been used as the universe’s seen and unseen building materials. The explanation will also attempt to give us insight into the Power that the Word had when bringing about our complex universe.
Revelation 1:4 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
Revelation 4:5 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
5 From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God;
Revelation 5:6 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth;
The 7 Spirits were attributed to the Word when the Word was brought forth. Then the Word emptied itself of all the Glory it had (which included the 7 Spirits), to become flesh. Then, when the fleshly Christ resurrected from death to everlasting life, He returned to His Father and to the former Glory He had – (which included the 7 Spirits) as the Word.
SIDE NOTE: In human terms, it can be said that one can have ‘‘Team Spirit’’ or ‘‘Family Sprit’’. These aren’t entities unto themselves but rather mere human-defining terms that describe inward character traits. The 7 Spirits aren’t seven separate entities unto themselves. The 7 Spirits of God are Divine in nature and also describe inward character traits. In both cases, they serve to describe a person’s inner nature and mindset. In both cases they are engines that fuel and motivate one’s inward being or personality. They are descriptive components of character.
One of those seven Spirits was Power. It’s what the Word used to create the universe.
Revelation 4:11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
11 Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.
Revelation 5:12 (Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
12 “Worthy is the slaughtered Lamb to receive 1)power, 2)riches, 3)wisdom, 4)strength, 5)honor, 6)glory and 7)praise!”

Revelation 7:12 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
12 saying, “Amen! 1)Blessing and 2)glory and 3)wisdom and 4)thanksgiving and 5)honor and 6)power and 7)might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
The Word was equipped with Power. That Power was used with Wisdom. And Wisdom was guided by the Counsel of God’s will, to establish what will be referred to as, the ‘‘Law’’ (not to be confused with the Law on Mount Sinai). The Law was used to bring forth and accomplish what God had initially pre-thought and planned.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ‘‘LAW’’ TO CREATE THE UNIVERSE (The powerful creative process by which the Word used to build a universe, started by ‘‘The Law’’)
To create the universe, the Word, through Wisdom and Power, creates the Law (not to be confused with ‘‘the law’’ of Moses). The Law here referred to is the Law of physics (both classical & quantum physics, as well as quantum mechanics and astrophysics), or what we might commonly term the (‘‘Law of Nature’’), which includes but is not limited to the following elements or factors;

mass, matter, acceleration, force, energy, radiation, gravity, magnetism, velocity, inertia,             
motion, propulsion, chemistry, biology, ect... etc... 

The action & reaction and cause & effect of each of these creation elements work in perfect harmony with each other. Their dynamics are perfectly balanced and coordinated by the Word. The Word is what holds it all together like glue.

Colossae 1:17 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
17 And Moshiach is before all things, and all things in Moshiach have been held together;

                          Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

17 He existed before all things, and he holds everything together.

Without all of the required elements (i.e: mass, matter, acceleration, force, energy, radiation, gravity, magnetism, velocity, inertia, motion, propulsion, chemistry, biology, ect… etc…) the universe as we know it would have no structure, no cohesion and could not exist. All is coherent because the Word saw to it that it be so. What resulted from creation was CONTRAST. Contrast can only be possible because of an equally opposite element of itself. Opposites create contrast which in turn creates DIVERSITY, which in turn creates PERSPECTIVE.

The following page is a short list of but a few of the consequences of the Word’s creation. These opposing (ADVERSE) factors can only exist and co-exist because of the perfect, harmonious, interactions of the Laws of physics. These opposing factors were wanted, intended, planned and approved by God. All that God does is good because God Himself is GOOD. He is a God that looked ahead and saw that these opposing (ADVERSE) factors would have a positive impact on his yet future spiritual and physical beings and included it in His perfect blueprint.

Keep in mind that these opposing (ADVERSE) factors, are dynamic, forever existing in various and multiple shades of grey, or levels of intensity, creating even more diversity and contrast possibilities.

Since these elements of the physical laws of nature were put in place, and interacted with each other, it automatically produced the desired effect that God had planned from the beginning, that is, physical DIVERSITY AND CONTRAST resulting in PERSPECTIVE.

See chart 1 on the following page

The preceding chart only deals with the ‘‘physical’’ universe – therefore only deals with physical, tangible contrast / diversity (‘‘physical’’ PERSPECTIVE)

  CREATION OF THE SPIRITUAL ANGELIC REALM

After the creation of the universe, the Word created angelic beings. From scripture we see that God had prepared the physical universe BEFORE the son of dawn (a.k.a Lucifer) was even created. No one can know for sure the exact time whether it be thousands or millions of years after the universe was created, nor how much time (thousands or millions of years) before Adam’s creation. All we can be certain of is that angels were created from nothing, at some point in time between the creation of the physical universe and the re-creation of the earth, (and subsequently the creation of man).

Scripture reveals that ‘‘the son of dawn’’, (erroneously referred to as ‘‘Lucifer’’ in the KJV), was created perfect and was actually called the Morning Star, or Son of Dawn.

Ezekiel 28:15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.
Isaiah 14:12 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of dawn!

(This might be an indication that the ‘‘son of dawn’’ / Morning Star (a.k.a. Lucifer) may have been the first angelic being ever created, but it remains mere speculation).

 
In times prior to the son of dawn, (pre-Luciferian times), the Word introduced the law of physics to govern the seen physical, tangible, universe. But when Satan will be introduced, the Word will use Adversity to govern the unseen. To be more precise, the Word will use Adversity to govern angelic spirituality, and later, human consciousness.

Up to this point, Lucifer, the Son of Dawn, was still the good angel God created him to be. ALL of God’s angels were good in nature. As of yet, no iniquity or unrighteousness had been found in him. ALL of God’s angels lived in a physical universe governed by the Law of physics but without ‘‘spiritual’’ adversity. The laws of physics were in place BEFORE their creation. When angelic beings were created, they could enjoy a certain limited perspective resulting from the contrast and diversity that preceded them.

It is at this point that God will inject Adversity in the universe. A tool that first impacted the angelic realm and then later to impact man.

Isaiah 45:7 Darby Translation (DARBY)
7 forming the light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil: I, Jehovah, do all these things.
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
7 I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things.

                          1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Isaiah 30:20 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction…
International Standard Version (ISV)
20 And although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction…
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)
20 And the Lord hath given to you bread of adversity, and water of oppression…

Proverbs 17:17 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
17 A friend shows his friendship at all times – it is for adversity that such a brother is born.

By re-molding the perfect righteous vessel that Lucifer, the Son of Dawn was, into a (different, yet still perfect) vessel of rivalry, the Word chose to change the future. If the vessel had the power to change itself, the pot would have been greater than the Potter.

Ezekiel 28:13-15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, carnelian, topaz, and jasper, chrysolite, beryl, and onyx, sapphire, carbuncle, and emerald; and wrought in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created (bara: בָּרָא) they were prepared. 14 With an anointed guardian cherub I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created (bara: בָּרָא) till iniquity was found in you.

Isaiah 45:9 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
9 “Woe to the one who argues with his Maker – one clay pot among many. Does clay say to the one forming it, ‘What are you making…?’’

The Word is perfect in all His ways, and Wisdom (the Master Workman) ‘‘chose’’ to develop, advance, evolve the master plan by creating a special tool to bring His plan to fruition. The tool he chose was Adversity. God’s plan was far from being complete. Its implementation is pre-designed to occur in pre-established stages, with each phase accomplishing a designated purpose, and each achieving an intended target. The universe is but the foundation of His total work. Only phase 1 of His plan had been built (the universe). Phase 2 (angelic creation) wasn’t finished; it was still a work-in-progress.

The Workman needed an adequate tool to construct the next phase of God’s plan. This adequate, appropriate, perfect tool was Adversity. When iniquity was found in Lucifer, the Son of Dawn, it was a game-changer. His name was changed from Lucifer, the Son of Dawn, to ‘‘HaSatan’’ (HEB: שָּׂטָן) = (the Adversary) and all of the angelic creation of God changed from that day forward.

Life in God’s perfect universe would change forever. This event was planned for at God’s choosing, at the exact point in time and at the exact place …for a purpose

It is an opportune time to recall from scripture itself, that later, God also changed the names of Abraham, Jacob and Paul. When He did so, it had a planned impact on history. This first name change in history would be no different, it would also have an impact that would further God’s initial plan.

Since the name-change, we can observe an immediate reaction which would lead him, Satan, to direct and lead one third of God’s angels into to a war waged against God Himself. Although this happened at a given point of time in history, it must be remembered that it was an intended part of God’s intelligent, ingenious plan from the very beginning.

Isaiah 14:12 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground,
    you who laid the nations low!

Luke 10:18 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Revelation 9:1 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1…I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key of the shaft of the bottomless pit

Rev. 12: 3-4, 7-9 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
3 …behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

This is the first time in history where God desired opposition. God could have chosen not to have a rival but does choose so because He will use this adversity from His adversary to accomplish His will and final objective, Love. (will elaborate in detail later).

The war that followed would bring forth actions that followed by reactions. The result of this angelic war would have some very devastating effects.

From the preceding verses, we see that a war broke out in heaven which caused such havoc as to interrupt the harmony created by the Word. If it didn’t impact the entire universe, it certainly affected our earth (and possibly the moon and stars of our galaxy). This disruption was great enough to turn the original earth into a chaotic, formless void as described in the reference below.

Genesis 1: 1-2 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was (Heb: Hayah הָיָה) became without
form and void,

The earth became this way but initially wasn’t supposed to. God had intended the earth to be habitable. It was meant to lodge His human creation.

Isaiah 45:18 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
18 For thus says Adonai, who created the heavens, God, who shaped and made the earth, who established and created it not to be chaos, but formed it to be lived in: “I am Adonai; there is no other.

                     Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 For this is what the Lord says – God is the Creator of the heavens. He formed the earth and made it. He established it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – “I am Yahweh, and there is no other
International Standard Version (ISV)
18 For this is what the Lord says, who created the heavens – he is God, and the one who formed the earth and made it, and he is the one who established it; he didn’t create it for chaos, but formed it to be inhabited “I am the Lord and there is no other’’.

                     Lexham English Bible (LEB)

18 For thus says Yahweh, who created the heavens, he is God, who formed the earth and who made it. He himself established it; he did not create it as emptiness – he formed it for inhabiting. “I am Yahweh and there is none besides me.

When the Son of Dawn became Satan we see the first opposition to have ever occurred.

Ezekiel 28:15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.
Satan was righteous and became unrighteous. This is the first noticeable, observable ‘‘SPIRITUAL’’ CONTRAST that God planned and intended. It will be a foundation for multiple opposites. This was only the start of what would become a diversified list of opposites/contraries to give PERSPECTIVE to His sentient beings (both spiritual & physical). This diversified spiritual contrast that followed was another GIFT of God, a KNOWLEDGE that none of His sentient beings had before God created adversity.
Much like the actions & reactions and causes & effects of the physical laws of physics are held together by the Word, so is spiritual diversity and the by-products that result. (will be expanded upon as we go along). All is coherent and held together because God saw to it that it be so.

From this point on, Satan will be used by God to accomplish His will and reach His objective. Satan will be used as God’s opponent to exemplify and magnify all that God isn’t in character and to exemplify and magnify all that is contrary to God’s will – whether it be for His angelic creation or later for his fleshly creation.

See chart 2 on the following page
THE RE-CREATION OF EARTH
(Up to this point, Adversity had not yet been introduced to man but is about to)

In Genesis, chapter 1, also known as the ‘‘Creation week’’, we see that God is very pleased with His re-creation.
Genesis 1: 4, 10, 12, 18, 20, 25 and 31 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
4, 10, 12, 18, 20, 25 …and God saw that it was good…
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

No matter when God creates anything, whether in the first original creation or the re-creation of the world as found in Genesis 1, all was done using the same elements found in the law of physics. The same Law (of physics) as we’ve seen, that produced diversity by contrast.

The Law, diversity and contrast were all produced by Wisdom (Prov. 8: 22-31) and approved by the counsel of God’s will, therefore GOOD. In fact, EVERYTHING that God creates is good, because it emanates from Him Who is Good.

Psalm 34:8 International Standard Version (ISV)
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good!

SIDE NOTE: After the creation of the universe, and the re-creation of the earth, we come across the first divine words spoken by the Word, and on behalf of, our Supreme God.

Genesis 1:26 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;
The ‘‘image’’ here spoken of is ‘‘spiritual’’ in nature, not physical. God is spiritual at all times; He can’t be anything but spiritual. As for the Word, it too was constituted of Spirit, after all, it is the pure expression of God Himself.
John 1: 1 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Only after the Word had emptied itself of all Glory did it come down to us in a physical state, as a man. But before such time, the Word was as uniquely Spiritual as God Himself was.

John 4: 24 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
John 5:26 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself,
The ‘‘image’’ and ‘‘likeness’’ here spoken of in Gen. 1:26 can be none other than a ‘‘spiritual’’ image or likeness. In Paul’s inspired letter to the Ephesians, God explains what that spiritual image & likeness really is; righteousness & holiness.
Ephesians 4: 22-24 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
22 Put off your old nature…, 23and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

God’s first original Garden of Eden (Ezk: 28:13) would be a foreshadow of the following re-creation of the Garden of Eden (Gen: 2:8) where iniquity would later be found in Adam. Just as Lucifer, the Son of Dawn was perfect in his ways since his creation, so was Adam perfect in his ways since his creation.

When it is said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’’, they meant what they said and did indeed create man in their ‘‘perfect’’ image. Adam was created in true righteousness and holiness. The same can be said of Eve who was made from a righteous and holy Adam. They were created as perfectly as the Lucifer, the Son of Dawn was, until unrighteousness was found in them.

As we have seen in the preceding pages, God’s plan was Perfect and the Word executed God’s plan perfectly. The Word not only remolded Lucifer, the Son of Dawn, to be an essential operative in His perfect plan, it was that very same Word that would later re-mold Adam through ‘‘consciousness’’ (the knowledge of Good & Evil) to experience adversity, by becoming unrighteous (for a purpose). As much as the Son of Dawn (a.k.a. Lucifer) was putty/clay in God’s hand, so was Adam.
Isn’t it fitting that God chose to inspire Paul to use the ‘‘Potter’’ analogy in Romans 9. The Potter uses clay, the same substance used to create Adam. Also see the following often forgotten reference to a Potter.
Jeremiah 18:1-11 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? says the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it. 9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will repent of the good which I had intended to do to it. 11 Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: ‘Thus says the Lord, Behold, I am shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Return, everyone from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.’
The Son of Dawn (a.k.a Lucifer) as well as Adam had no say in the matter. When the Word made them to become unrighteous, it was motivated for a loving purpose. Let us not forget that Love is what motivated God in the first place and He will ensure that His Love will meet its final objective. (More on this later).

Let us keep all this in mind as we follow through to the next stage of God’s plan.

As was stated previously, what resulted from the physical creation was CONTRAST. Contrast can only be possible because of an equally opposite element of itself. Spiritual opposites create Spiritual contrast which in turn creates Spiritual DIVERSITY, which in turn creates Spiritual PERSPECTIVE, as is seen in the following chart.

See chart 3 on the following page
CREATION OF MAN
The LAW OF PHYSICS brought about ‘‘physical’’ CONTRAST
whereas, ADVERSITY brought about ‘‘spiritual’’ CONTRAST
… and both brought about DIVERSITY and both brought about PERSPECTIVE
By bringing man into the creative process, a new spiritual diversity (contrast) appeared proper to man. This new diversity was also ‘‘Good’’. This new diversity was to affect man directly. At first, it would seem in a very negative way, but as we will see, nothing could be further from the truth.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Proverbs 16:1-9 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.
5 Every one who is arrogant is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
6 By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.
9 A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
As emphasized in verse 4, everything has a purpose. Up to this day, man believes he has free-will, but as the following verse shows, it is God who ultimately has control, the final word. And as the previous verse boldly indicates, ‘‘A man’s mind plans his ways’’ (with a vain delusion that he is doing so by his own free-will), ‘‘but the Lord directs his steps’’.
1 Peter 2:8 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
8 “A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall”; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
8 he is a stone that will make people stumble, a rock over which they will trip. They are stumbling at the Word, disobeying it — as had been planned.
By paraphrasing the above reference …‘‘He is a stone that will make people stumble, a rock over which they will trip. They are stumbling at the Word, disobeying it — as had been planned, or destined to’’.
Consider substituting the stone (Jesus) to (the Word) and the people referred to, as Adam, and see how it still fits so perfectly.
‘‘(the Word) is a stone that will make Adam stumble, a rock (the Word) over which Adam will trip. Adam stumbled at the Word, disobeying it – as had been planned or destined to.’’
Adam and Eve and their progeny (as Satan and his followers), were made to stumble by God Himself, as was planned from the very beginning of time.

          (a section on ‘‘free-will’’ to follow)

Make no mistake about it, God leaves nothing to chance, EVERYTHING IS PLANNED, both physical & spiritual diversity by contrast. The plan to integrate contrast into His creation was foreseen and pre-conceived from the beginning. It was introduced to directly bring about perspective and so affect spirituality.

The by-product of the LAW was physical CONTRAST, which led to physical DIVERSITY, which led to physical PERSPECTIVE.
The by-product of ADVERSITY was spiritual CONTRAST which led to spiritual DIVERSITY, which led to spiritual PERSPECTIVE.

To understand PERSPECTIVE, we must understand its relationship with Adversity.
WHY ADVERSITY
We know WHO created Adversity. We know WHO was used as a tool of Adversity. We know WHO Adversity was meant to affect. We’ve seen WHEN adversity occurred. We’ve seen in part WHAT adversity is (a fuller, more complete answer before the end of this paper). But for now we’ll see WHY it was created and especially WHY it was introduced to mankind, and more specifically, HOW it ties in with suffering, testing, trials, endurance, patience, character-building and freewill the will of God.
To understand WHY, we must go back to the blueprint of God’s will. The architect’s plans (before the foundation of the universe) were well thought out and Perfect. God had intended for its inclusion to be at a pre-determined time, for a pre-determined purpose. The timing of its introduction was AFTER phase 1 (creation of the universe), DURING phase 2 (the angelic reign), and BEFORE phase 3 (creation of man). The Word strategically inserted it into the Plan at a specific appointed time and for very specific reasons.
Adversity has always been looked upon as a negative intrusion into the Perfect plan of God. Not so! God was not intruded upon. Adversity is looked upon as a devastation, much like the plague, when in fact it should be embraced as a true GIFT of God. Adversity didn’t just appear as a big surprise to God. He created it!
God had planned it well ahead of time, with the motivating factor of Love. His Love is dynamic and must grow. As we will see, adversity will serve God’s intended purpose of producing character (through experience), in both His angelic and human creation. God and His Word are pre-eminent in everything, therefore it (adversity) revealed intentional, additional ‘‘character’’ traits in God and His Word. Considering both God and His Word to be Good, we are logically obliged to admit that the creation of adversity must be Good as well. Part of this Godly character involves ‘‘patience’’ which exhibits restraint & self-control, which God had when dealing with Adversity and its effects.
Galatians 5: 22-23 CLNT (Concordant Literal New Testament)

22 Now the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 meekness, self-control: against such things there is no law.

Patience and self-control are inherently part of Him. It may be said that He equipped His Word with it at His creation – just as He gave Christ to have life inherent in Himself.

John 5:26 CLNT (Concordant Literal New Testament)

26 For even as the Father has life in Himself, thus to the Son also He gives to have life in Himself.
Seeing that God and His Word are governed by the Counsel of God’s will, which is governed by God’s Wisdom, they perfectly master restraint & self-control, therefore Patience. Throughout history and more particularly in the end, this patience will ultimately be revealed as a trait that demonstrates His true love for His creatures.
Before Adversity’s insertion into God’s creation, God’s character was only defined by His own Being and the Word who co-existed in perfect unison with Him. If God had not created adversity, He could not have shown us, or revealed to us the fullness of His being. God’s willingness to be affected by the contrast and perspective resulting from the adversity He created would define and describe His whole, complete being.
The ONLY way for man to understand the same character that God wanted to share with His creation was to IMPOSE the same condition (perspective) that He Himself was composed of, that is, Adversity. Scripture tells us that we should strive for God’s character and the only way to attain it is to experience adversity first hand. Only then can we share its benefits.
God is Love and He created adversity to express and refine that Love. As was stated on the first page of this article;
‘Scripture says that God is Love (1John 4: 8,16). Love is the very essence of our
Creator. Without anything yet brought into existence, there is no one for God to
love, nor to love Him back. Therefore, His love was stagnant and lacking a purpose.
As we will see, Love cannot be contained – it is dynamic, it must grow. Without
having someone to love, that love cannot be reciprocated. God’s love motivates
Him to think of a plan that would ultimately multiply His Divine Love and fulfill its
purpose. What follows is a blueprint for that Perfect love to come into being …and
expand.’’
God’s spiritual, divine, agape Love is the driving force of adversity. It’s through perspective that we can compare our limited love to God’s limitless Love.
We’ve touched on adversity used as a ‘‘character-building’’ tool, now let’s tackle it head on. It was created for a very useful, essential purpose. But before we do, special attention should be given to the following references below for it specifically applies to ‘‘the man of God’’ (God’s chosen people). Scripture makes distinctions between various groups of people (i.e: pre-flood & post-flood people, Israelites, the (pagan) nations, the ‘‘called’’, the ‘‘chosen’’, the Bride, the Body, etc…) Depending on the context, the ‘chosen’’ can be broken down into two specific groups; the chosen (physical Israelites of the 12 tribes) and the chosen ‘‘spiritual’’ gentile Body of Christ, and the Bride of the Lamb’’.
As we have seen, God has patience (restraint, self-control). These same character traits are needed for the training that we are undergoing and exercising. Throughout our rigorous Royal & Divine training, we are to use restraint & self-control, thus patience. Patience is the glue that holds our training together so that we don’t give up when the going gets tough.
2 Timothy 3:16 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

                              Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; 17 thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.
The study of Scripture should teach us, train us and equip us for spiritual growth. Our spiritual growth mustn’t ever be stunted. Our growth as true children of God cannot remain stagnant. God through His Word, admonishes us to reap the Wisdom contained therein.
Philippians. 2: 12-13 CLNT (Concordant Literal New Testament)

12 So that, my beloved, according as you always obey, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, with fear and trembling, be carrying your own salvation into effect, 13 for it is God Who is operating in you to will as well
as to work for the sake of His delight.

A basic question we can tackle is, ‘‘what good can come from adversity?’’ To answer that question, we will commence with a quote from James. This concerns the Bride of the Lamb, it surely concerns us even more, for our calling is of a much higher and superlative nature.
We will start with the Bride… (those of the circumcision – Israelites)
James 1:2-4 Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)
2 Regard it all joy, my brothers, whenever you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith is producing endurance. 4 And let endurance be having its complete work in order that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
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.

The trials (suffering) that the Bride must undergo is to test her ‘‘faith and faithfulness’’.
1 Peter 1:6-7 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)
6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 4:12 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.
In these references, it is the faith of these Israelite believers (under the evangel of the circumcision) that is being tested. It should be remembered that failure in either faith OR works means having one’s name being withdrawn from the scroll of life and means not having a place in the kingdom and the new earth.

For the chosen Israelite believers (of the Circumcision), salvation is utterly reliant and dependant on faith AND works. According to the conditions of that system, just claiming to believe but without having the neccesary works does not qualify for a place in the kingdom.

James 2:14 What is the benefit, my brethren, if anyone should be saying he has faith, yet may have no
works? That faith can not save him.

         2:18 But someone will be declaring, "You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart
                 from the works and I shall be showing you my faith by my works”.

         2:22 You are observing that faith worked together with his works, and by works was faith perfected.

         2:24 You see that by works a man is being justified, and not by faith only.

It is of prime importance that we the Body (gentiles of the evangel of the uncircumcision), be patient and understand self-discipline and sacrifice and patience. It must be accepted as par for the course, it’s our inevitable way of life.
• We must never get discouraged (or even complain) in our struggle. We are told to consider it a joy – Attitude is everything.
• We must encounter and experience multiple and divers trials, it’s our destiny. Trials can’t be avoided, they come from God.
• We must always keep in mind that trials are to learn obedience. Loyalty & devotion to God has a price, but a reward as well.
• We must endure our testing and trials; it’s what makes us spiritually stronger and distinguishes us from the rest of humanity.
• We must focus on and attain our objective, maturity. This maturity will equip us with the tools needed to do our future job.
The trials that we the Body must undergo are to test our ‘‘obedience’’.
Those in the Body of Christ (sealed with the Holy Spirit, which guarantees their salvation), have their works (in this case, daily ‘‘character-building’’ actions – not works of the law) and not their faith, which is God’s gift tested. Their works are requited.
1Cor.3:11-15 For other foundation can no one lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone is building on this foundation gold and silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, 13 each one’s work will become apparent, for the day will make it evident, for it is being revealed by fire. And the fire, it will be testing each one’s work – what kind it is. 14 If anyone’s work will be remaining which he builds on it, he will get wages. 15 If anyone’s work shall be burned up, he will forfeit it, yet he shall be saved, yet thus, as through fire.

Eph.1:13,14 In Whom you also – on hearing the word of truth, the evangel of your salvation – in Whom on believing also, you are sealed with the holy spirit of promise 14 (which is an earnest of the enjoyment of our allotment, to the deliverance of that which has been procured) for the laud of His glory!

Php.3:9 and may be found in Him, not having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God for faith:

Gal.2:16 having perceived that a man is not being justified by works of law, except alone through the faith of Christ Jesus, we also believe in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by the faith of Christ and not by works of law, seeing that by works of law shall no flesh at all be justified.

2Cor.5:10 For all of us must be manifested in front of the dais of Christ, that each should be requited for that which he puts into practice through the body, whether good or bad.

Rom.8:1,2 Nothing, consequently, is now condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. Not according to flesh are they walking, but according to spirit, 2 for the spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus frees you from the law of sin and death.

God does not need to know how we will do, for He will see to it that we do as He wants us to. Our tests are for us to know our own strengths and weaknesses, how complete we are in our walk at that time, and how much more we need to progress.

Throughout our suffering, we must obediently exercise self-control and patience all the while rejoicing that we follow our Master’s footsteps.
Hebrews 5:8 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered,
Our obedience is paramount to our maturity process. It is to fully equip us for battle, and losing is not an option.
Acts 5:41 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
Col. 1:24 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
Phil. 1:29 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
29 For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—
Heb. 12:5-7 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons?—“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him. 6For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Romans 5:3-4 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
1 Cor. 10:13 Concordant Literal Translation (CLT)
13 No trial has taken you except what is human. Now, faithful is God, Who will not be leaving you to be tried above what you are able, but, together with the trial, will be making the sequel also, to enable you to undergo it.
As we can see from the preceding references, trials are an inevitable part of our spiritual journey. The huge difference between the Body of Christ, the Bride, and the rest of humanity is who we are struggling against throughout the journey.
Ephesians 6:12 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
12 For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.
Darby Translation (DARBY)
12 because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against principalities, against authorities, against the universal lords of this darkness, against spiritual power of wickedness in the heavenlies.
Disciples’ Literal New Testament (DLNT)
12 because the struggle for us is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evilness in the heavenly places.
God (Father) has authority over Christ, and Christ (the Head) has authority over the Body. When the Bride (one entity) is given in marriage to the Lambkin (description of Christ), (which is a combination of Head & Body to form one entity), these Royals will have authority over their children Israel and their subjects, rest of mankind.
Christ is our indestructible foundation and through our trials, we build upon that foundation. What we use as building materials is of utmost importance in determining whether the house will stand or not.
The chosen Bride (of Christ) is prepared and groomed by going through their own unique set of struggles, tests, trials and tribulations, some even unto death. Those of the chosen Bride will be justly rewarded accordingly. Those who used the correct building materials kept their house intact. Those who didn’t, their house was swept away. The house standing up to the elements is conditional to the building materials used. Salvation, leading to the Bride’s chosen, elect position is also conditional to the requirements of God.
Matthew 7:24-27 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
24 “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; 25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; 27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”
In contrast, we the Body have our own set of trials and also build upon Christ as our foundation, but never is our salvation put into question. Because we are chosen from before the foundation of the earth, our number and place is already pre-determined and irrevocably guaranteed by the Counsel of God’s will.

1 Cor. 3:10-15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

We the Body are equipped with the necessary armor to combat spiritual enemies. The same can’t be said of humanity – at least not for now. Humanity must go through their life journey without any protective or offensive weaponry & armor of any value. Humanity must undergo struggles as we do. Although a relatively small minority of people have some direct dealings with evil spirit entities (i.e: South-East Asian countries, Haiti (voodoo) and a few other remote regions), for the vast majority their struggles are but physical or mental at most, and against an equal adversary, their fellow man. They are at war amongst themselves. Their armor consists of carnal, human-based, self-defense mechanisms, such as; denial, escape, fleeing, lies & deception, etc… Their offensive weapons are; bitterness, grudges, condescension, accusations, hate, false witness, exaggeration, making others to feel guilt, etc… These weapons & armor are their tools of choice to attack or to defend themselves with. They are no match for the Adversary. In fact, Satan needs not even confront them directly. They are aimlessly fighting amongst themselves. Satan need only play the role of the fog they are fighting in – to obstruct their better judgement. For lack of a captain, they lack leadership, leading to their downfall.

On the other hand, Satan’s full attention is on us, which is why Paul so eloquently admonishes us (Rom.9:19-23) to wear the Divine gear and carry the Divine weaponry and armor to confront our adversary and the minions that follow him. The Holy Spirit plays the role of clearing out the fog we are fighting in – to clear the way by guidance from above. Because we have a Captain, we have the leadership to lead us to victory.

Paul so aptly wrote it best when he was inspired to concisely, appropriately and pertinently compare our war to a marathon race.

1 Cor. 9:24-26 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

24 Don’t you know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize? So then, run to win! 25 Now every athlete in training submits himself to strict discipline, and he does it just to win a laurel wreath that will soon wither away. But we do it to win a crown that will last forever. 26 Accordingly, I don’t run aimlessly but straight for the finish line…

                                     Lexham English Bible (LEB)

24 Do you not know that those who run in the stadium all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 And everyone who competes exercises self-control in all things. Thus those do so in order that they may receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. 26 Therefore I run in this way, not as running aimlessly…
2 Timothy 4:7-8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.
Revised Standard Version (RSV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.

Paul admonishes us not to run aimlessly, to exercise self-control, and submit ourselves to discipline. He ran towards the finish line with an objective clearly in mind, a goal to reach. And as he states, only 1 wins the prize. That 1 is collectively the 1 Body of Christ.

Can you imagine for a moment if there was no finishing line? Can you imagine running for perpetuity, with no end in sight? There would be no point. There could never be a winner. There could never be a prize? It would be senseless. The whole race is dependent on a goal to reach.
All of the character traits that follow (see below) are absolutely and imperatively necessary for a marathon runner to succeed to the finishing line. Notice how they are all interrelated.

1

Effort [efərt]
• a vigorous or determined attempt
• strenuous physical or mental exertion

Endurance [en-doo r-uh ns, -dyoo r-]

  1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
  2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina

Perseverance [pur-suh-veer-uh ns]
• steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement

Resistance [ri-zis-tuh ns]
• the act or power of resisting, opposing, or withstanding

Patience [pey-shuh ns]
• quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence

Sufferance [suhf-er-uh ns, suhf-ruh ns]
• capacity to endure pain, hardship, etc.; endurance
Why is Adversity so effective? …Because it opposes our wanting the status quo. We inherently don’t want to be challenged against our will, at least not in a spiritual sense. Carnally speaking, we want the easy life. Man much prefers going with the flow instead of going against the grain.

The by-products of Adversity (see below) are also interacting with each other. To illustrate an example, let’s examine the work of a cabinetmaker. He may have a job that requires sanding. The process will require effort. Depending on the rough and imperfect surface, it might also call for going against the grain. Going in the opposite or contrary direction of the grain creates greater friction, a resistance. In the process, his repetitious exertion, calls for persistence, endurance and perseverance. Throughout the process, the work-in-progress required patience. The result = satisfaction.

2

Opposition [op-uh-zish-uh n]

  1. the action of opposing, resisting, or combating
  2. the act of opposing, or the state of being opposed by way of comparison or contrast

Contrast [v. kuh n-trast, kon-trast; n. kon-trast]

  1. to compare in order to show unlikeness or differences; note the opposite natures, purposes, etc., of:
  2. to exhibit unlikeness on comparison with something else; form a contrast
  3. the act of contrasting; the state of being contrasted
  4. a striking exhibition of unlikeness

Contrary [kon-trer-ee; for 5 also kuh n-trair-ee]

  1. opposite in nature or character; diametrically or mutually opposed
  2. opposite in direction or position
  3. unfavorable or adverse
  4. something that is contrary or opposite
  5. in opposition; oppositely; counter

Adverse [ad-vurs, ad-vurs]

  1. unfavorable or antagonistic in purpose or effect
  2. opposing one’s interests or desire
  3. being or acting in a contrary direction; opposed or opposing
  4. opposite; confronting

All of the previously underlined words and those of frame 1 & 2 are a mix and combination of all the by-products of Adversity that it took to finish the job. The cabinetmaker took something rough and transformed it into something to his liking. The cabinetmaker applied his technique with his self-imposed force as he was working. Like the Potter example, the wood didn’t have anything to say. Can the wood say to the cabinetmaker, what have you done to me?

The cabinetmaker loved his work so much that he put on a varnish to protect the wood and at the same time give it a luster finish. Christ is doing the same with us, by transforming us and protecting us with His Holy Spirit and will apply His Glory as a luster finish.
RECAP: HOW ADVERSITY PLAYS A ROLL IN OUR STRUGGLE
• It produces knowledge (by contrast & perspective)
• Is a learning tool (to become mature)
• An occasion to learn restraint and self-control
• Is used for exercising endurance, perseverance and patience
• A character-building tool (by God, for us)
• Gives us trials & testing (for faith & obedience)
• Helps us understand God’s motives.
• Defines us individually (and shapes our distinct personalities)
• Leads us to appreciate our blessings.
• Will ultimately lead us to glorifying God.
We must not avoid Adversity, God certainly didn’t. He created it. We should work with it, learn from it, and embrace it.

Adversity occurs from childhood to death. It’s in our daily lives and it constantly surrounds us in one way, shape or form. It affects us physically, mentally and spiritually. It has no bias; it doesn’t discriminate as to color, nationality, culture, age, or gender. It doesn’t distinguish between carnal humans or spiritual beings.

CONTRAST, by absolute necessity, ALWAYS (without exception), has an opposite of itself. Since God created this DIVERSITY, through the Law of physics, everything brought into existence had an opposing element to itself (as seen in ANNEX 1 of this paper). As for the DIVERSITY, (through Adversity), every sentient being (human and angel) also had two-sided contrast (as seen in ANNEX 2 & 3 of this article). The result of both physical & spiritual diversity is PERSPECTIVE. God chose to be affected by it and in turn chose to affect His beings by it.

By creating contrast (opposites), it gave God, OPTIONS. These options allow God to use, work with, operate, manipulate, mold His beings, from the choice of one or the other. The choice HE makes for each of His beings, will determine each and everyone’s unique personality and DESTINY.

The Bible, on several occasions, reveals a PRE-DESTINATION (determined by God Himself).

Eph.1:4-5, 12; 1Thes.3:3, 5:9; 1Pet.1:2,20; 2:8; Is.46:10; Rom.8:29-30; etc…

Considering that He pre-destined His choices before the foundation of the universe, it is IMPOSSIBLE for His created beings to have been present during that choosing process. We no more have free-will than a newborn babe that never asked to come into this world. We can therefore conclude that ‘‘free-will’’ is nothing but a man-made myth.
FREE-WILL
Although FREE-WILL is not the subject of this article, it has a correlation, and direct link or connection to Adversity therefore should be touched upon to prove or not if man has it. It’s been a life-long debate for many – doest it exist or not?
Adversity is a tool by God and for God. He uses it to ‘‘lead’’ His beings into a direction that only God knows is best for each individual. He alone knows our destiny and the best, appropriate route to take to get there. …and so let the journey begin!
In the Garden of Eden, before iniquity was found in Adam, he was innocent, spiritually righteous, and holy in his being. He didn’t have a conscience yet. He lived solely by the spirit he was given by God. The only diversity that affected him was physical in nature. He lived in a physical garden that was governed by the physical laws of nature (Laws of physics) that surrounded him, a perfectly balanced physical environment.
In that physical garden, God planted many varieties of trees which brought forth a many variety of leaves, all different one from the other. And from these various leafy trees, some brought forth fruits (even more variety, more diversity). God loves variety & diversity and shared this diversity with Adam. From all these trees, there were 2 which were very particular. One was the Tree of Life and the other, the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil (or another way of describing it is – the tree of Knowledge of contrast and perspective or the tree of awareness, or better still, the tree of complete Consciousness).
These 2 trees were planted for a reason and were available to Adam for a reason – it was planned.
SIDE NOTE: No man, or angel for that matter, has ever, or ever will, TAKE anything from God. It is God who GIVES to His physically or spiritually created beings. This includes CHOICE. We, just as Adam were GIVEN a choice to make. Nor we, nor Adam TOOK the choice. Adam was GIVEN two trees in the garden and God intentionally and purposefully directed his steps towards the tree God wanted him to.

Proverbs 20:24 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
24 A man’s steps are ordered by Adonai, so how can a person understand his own ways?
Proverbs 16: 1, 9 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
9 A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
Why would God direct the steps of Adam towards the tree of Knowledge? Would a loving parent harm his child by giving it a glass of poison? Would the parent not give his child a healthy, nourishing glass of milk? God’s perspective is light years beyond that of man – His purpose will be accomplished!
From DAY 1 of Adam’s creation, he was taken care of by God. God supplied him with everything he needed. At the end of a day, Adam would fall asleep, the next day he would wake up and have the assurance that his present day would be as blessed as the day before. This went on and on. Adam became complacent because he had no reason to doubt God’s gracious Divine loving nature and willingness to provide for him. Each day was basically an identical blueprint of the preceding day.

Adam was blessed by God in that He provided him daily with a sense of well-being, satisfaction, abundance, happiness, health, freedom and love.

If Adam truly had free-will, this was the perfect timing wherein he would have surely chosen the Tree of Life, enabling him to continue his very comfortable life as he lived it every day. It was at his disposal as much as the tree of knowledge. As we will see, God will direct his steps…

Things being as they are, Adam & Eve (and humanity at large), are inherently complacent and quickly take things for granted. We are of the same gene pool as it were. Time hasn’t changed that one iota. Complacency is inert and stagnant. It has equally opposite variants; motion and action. As we will see, God is not stagnant; He is dynamic and will use adversity to bring about a beneficial change.
Because Adam hadn’t tasted of the fruit of Adversity yet, he wasn’t aware of its contrast yet. The contrast or opposite of ‘‘taking for granted’’ (complacency) is ‘‘APPRECIATION’’. Without knowledge of ‘‘appreciation’’, Adam remained in his inert, complacent state of mind. It was status quo every day. When the only context he could relate to is ‘‘RECEIVING’’ and spiritual contrast doesn’t yet exist, there is no possibility to even imagine the opposite which is that of ‘‘GIVING’’. Giving thanks to God as a show of APPRECIATION didn’t even occur in the mind of Adam because it couldn’t. He didn’t yet have the ability to discern or distinguish between ‘‘spiritual’’ opposites or contrasts.
God is about to change that and share His spiritual perspective with Adam.
Psalm 50:14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
14 make thanksgiving your sacrifice to God and pay your vows to the Most High.
Psalm 50:22-23 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
22 Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to save you. 23 “Whoever offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; and to him who goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”

Psalm 54:6 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to thee; I will give thanks to thy name, O Lord, for it is good.

                                  Lexham English Bible (LEB)

6 I will freely sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Yahweh, because it is good.

God wants ‘‘appreciation’’ in the form of ‘‘thanksgiving’’ and will get it. He will use Adversity to reach His ends. He’ll use the same tool to introduce a much needed spiritual contrast to Adam.

Adam wasn’t equipped to appreciate his Creator before, but now he will.

God used Satan to add a new dimension to Adam’s being. Satan is but a pawn in God’s chess game. Satan believed that the result of his temptation would be Adam’s fatal blow and a slap in the face of God. Nothing could be further than the truth.

Let us examine the definitions of ‘‘free will’’ as described by men.

DICTIONARY DEFINITON OF FREE WILL

•   1)  The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.
•   2)  The ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God
•   3)  Voluntary choice or decision
•   4)  Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

SYNONYMS: Self-determination, autonomy, liberty, independence

Each individual has a pre-determined fate, or destiny. It was part of God’s overall Plan when He saw everything from inception to conclusion. Everyone’s fate was conceived prior to the creation of the universe and sealed by the Counsel of His will. To be able to act under one’s own discretion, could and inevitably would jeopardize and undo, change or alter what God had already sealed.

Man has granted himself permissions that God doesn’t agree with. Just like certain historians (regardless of the times they lived in), who rewrote historical events to favor the egos that they wanted to conserve, by conveying an historical picture contrary to the truth. So also, man redefined God’s original intents to fit their own egos. Man much prefers to write his own history independently of God because being dependant on a superior God would make him seem inferior. Being autonomous, independent and free, gives man a feeling of self-sufficiency apart from God. Man doesn’t want to be governed. He much prefers going through life as a free-lance creature deluding himself with grandiose ideologies that creates his own destiny. But where does it ultimately all end – the grave. In the resurrection, man will be the first to kneel before the God he so vehemently tried to be independent of, and clamor for forgiveness. Man’s feelings of self-sufficiency will disappear like vapor. The self-made, pumped up image that he made of himself will all be ignored by the God who had pre-determined the fate he thought he had under control.

One can argue until they are blue in the face that they control their own will, but with the mountain of factual evidence to the contrary, given to us by God who regularly proves He’s under full command, free will is nothing but an illusion to feel a certain dominance. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because we’ve been forewarned in scripture that God will send them a strong delusion to believe what is false.

2 Thess. 2:11 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
10…for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, 12 so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
As was stated previously, ‘‘We must not avoid Adversity, God certainly didn’t. He created it. We should work with it, learn from it, and embrace it’’.

Let’s work with it. Let’s learn from it. Let’s put the question of ‘‘free will’’ to rest. 

It’s through Adversity (contraries) that we should come to realize (learn) what ‘‘free will’’ truly is. The answer lies in the ‘‘will of God’’. If there is a God and He chose to impose His will upon His creatures, the opposite must absolutely exist also. Free will supposes that God gave us the will to choose for ourselves – so the opposite MUST be true, God did not give us the will to choose for ourselves.

God is Holy; man is unholy.
God is Perfect; man is imperfect.
God is Wisdom; man is foolish.
God is Eternal; man is mortal.
God is Omnipotent (all-powerful); man is weak in comparison.
God is Omniscient (all-knowing); man is dumb in comparison.
God is Good; man is bad (evil).
God is Righteous; man is unrighteous.
God is the Subjector (Giver) of His imposed will; man is the subject (receiver) of His will.
God knows the beginning from the end; man knows not what will happen tomorrow.

James 4: 13-15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain”; 14 whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.”

Proverbs 27:1 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Matthew 6:34 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

Galatians 5:17 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.

Satan doesn’t have free will no more than clay does. And as we will clearly see from the examples below, neither do the biblical characters found throughout the Word of God. (which by the way, all descend from Adam, made from clay),

ADAM & EVE

God guided their steps towards the tree of knowledge that would end that lifestyle and bring about suffering. (See previous pages 32-34)

ISAAC
Isaac’s plans were to bless Ishmael, God intervened and opposed Isaac’s will.

Genesis 27: 4, 33 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
4 and prepare for me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat; that I may bless you before I die.” 33 Then Isaac trembled violently (*from being emotionally frustrated and contradicted in his will)

JACOB
He wanted to leave with Rachel after serving Laban for 7 years but God intervened and Jacob’s will was opposed.
Genesis 29: 18, 21, 25 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
18 Jacob loved Rachel; and he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.”
25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”

JOSEPH

He didn’t bless Ephraim & Manasseh in the order as he had planned. God opposed and intervened to force His will, and so affect history.

Genesis 48:17 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; and he took his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 19 But his father refused…

PHARAOH
It’s very evident that God directly swayed Pharaoh, his officials, his servants as well as his army in hardening their hearts. As much as they stubbornly wanted their way, it wasn’t God’s will. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by an outside source – God.
Exodus 7: 13, 22 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
13 Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them; as the Lord had said.
22 …Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them; as the Lord had said.

Exodus 8: 15, 19 ,32
 15 he hardened his heart, and would not listen to them; as the Lord had said.
19 …“This is the finger of God.” Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen; as the Lord said.
32  but Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.
Exodus 9: 7, 12, 34-35
7  but the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
12 the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them; as the Lord had spoken to Moses.
34 but when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 So the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken through Moses.
Exodus 10:1-2
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, 2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your son’s son how I have made sport of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them; that you may know that I am the Lord.” 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.
Exodus 11: 9-10
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.
Exodus 14: 4, 17-18
4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

JOB
Had it been up to Satan and his demon followers, he would have killed Job, but wasn’t allowed because of the limits set by God. If Satan had a free-will to do as he pleased, God would have set limits in vain.
Job 1:6 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
Job 2: 1, 6 1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power; only spare his life.”

JONAH

Had free-will truly existed, Jonah would have never gone to Nineveh.

Jonah 1:1-3 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
Jonah 3:1-3
1Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth.

PETER

John 21:18-19 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, “Follow me.”

JUDAS
As in the case of Job, God permitted Satan to do His work. It was God’s will.
Luke 22:3 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve;
John 13:27 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
27 Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

PAUL
When Saul was zealously persecuting church members under his strong convictions that he was doing God a favor, Christ imposed His will on him. All the self-will, free-will he thought he had simply vanished.
Acts 22:3-15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
3 “I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day. 4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.6 “As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ 9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ 11 And when I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And in that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Just One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.

Acts 26:9-18 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
9 “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And I did so in Jerusalem; I not only shut up many of the saints in prison, by authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme; and in raging fury against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.12 “Thus I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles—to whom I send you 18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

From the list of 10 examples from the previous 3 pages (above), please observe carefully and take special note that the Potter works with a large range of clay vessels. Throughout the ages, the Potter makes no distinction between people’s color, gender, age, culture or nationality. The list contains Gentiles & Israelites, old & young, man & woman, individual & nation, before & after Christ, believers & non-believers, Bride & Body. From the first generation to the last, there is no preferential treatment by God.
The following proves one thing about God’s unique will vs. our presumed free-will;
Hebrews 13:8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever.

It also proves;

Romans 2:11 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
11 there is no respect of persons with God.
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
11 there is no preferential treatment with God.

Did God change His modus operandi along the way? Did He ever choose to lose control over His creation by permitting man to have free will to decide what he pleases?

From the irrefutable evidence before us, the answer must be a categorical NO.

Ephesians 1:11 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
11 In whom we also are called by lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will.

Psalm 33:11 (Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
11 But the counsel of Adonai stands forever; his heart’s plans are for all generations.

                           (Lexham English Bible (LEB)

11 The plan of Yahweh stands firm forever, the intents of his heart from one generation to the next.

Isaiah 46:9-11 (Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
9 “Remember things that happened at the beginning, long ago — that I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 At the beginning I announce the end, proclaim in advance things not yet done; and I say that my plan will hold, I will do everything I please to do.
11 … I have spoken and will bring it about; I have made a plan, and I will fulfill it.
(Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
9 Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me.
10 I declare the end from the beginning and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.
11  …Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it.

SUMMARY

This paper has examined; the Word, the Body, pre-destination, the laws of physics, the creation of the universe, the creation of angelic beings, the creation of adversity, the creation of man, contrast, diversity, perspective, suffering, trials, character-building, endurance, perseverance, patience, appreciation, thanksgiving, and free-will.

All of the above is in full accordance with the counsel of God’s will. It is sealed with God’s Royal and Divine stamp of approval. His Plan cannot be altered, changed, added to, or taken away from. It is coherently balanced and harmonious and held together like glue by the Word of Christ.

Our Father’s initial and final objective was to expand His Love, for it is dynamic and it must imperatively grow, and it surely is, according to His meticulously planned schedule. In the smooth transition from one phase of His Plan to another, our Father has generously shared His overall vision with us, the Body of His beloved Son, Christ, of which the celestial beings are a witness to. Our Father has already made preparations for our marriage to our chosen and groomed Bride, over which He will preside. After the Royal wedding, our Father will expand that Love to His children Israel and further expand that Love to all His subjects, the rest of mankind. When all will be finally accomplished, our Creator, God, Father will have imparted His essence of Love in every creature He created since the beginning of time. Through the universal GRACE of God, never will the Love of God resonate as much as when everyone realizes and accepts that God is ALL in ALL.

CONCLUSION

Let us give thanks to our Father for graciously giving us an undeserved FAITH to believe in Christ and His sacrifice, leading to our complete forgiveness and justification. Let us glorify our Father for the privilege of knowing His revealed truth. Let us honor our Father for the courage He gives us to endure to the very end and for equipping us with a HOPE that leads to our salvation. Let us praise our Father with the most genuine, deepest and sincerest appreciation for the love we have for Him, and the unconditional Love He has for us. Surely, the greatest is LOVE.

1 Corinthians 13:13 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
13 In this life we have three great lasting qualities — faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love.

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Responses

  1. Thanks Ace! My article appears to be rather long. Frankly, maybe too long. It takes up a lot of real estate on your website. Maybe you should consider taking it down. I’m not convinced people would take the time to even read it. I won’t be offended if you do.

    I do wan’t to thank you for your willingness to promote though. Thanks for the long hours you put in for the sake of our small Family.

    So proud to call you friend,

    Norm.

    1. Some folks do read long winded stuff. I do. You do. Think of how long A. E. Knoch’s book THE PROBLEM OF EVIL is… and how goo it is.

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