Defending God: The Sovereignty of God
Based on the second part which established that a true prophet does NOT speak in God’s name what God NEVER said, I move on to address what it means when a prophet prefaces his words with (koh-’amar YHWH), i.e. “Thus says the Lord”, or similar phrases.
As noted in the second part also, such phrases imply that God was the one speaking through the Prophets and the exact words which the Prophet spoke are God’s words.
We should not bother to help God out by accusing the Prophets. In fact, Jesus Himself did not, at anytime, claim that the Prophets lied against God or accrued words to God which God never spoke. I wonder, therefore, how certain preachers arrived at their allegations of falsehood against the Prophets!
To start with, I will refer us back to Jeremiah’s words which were quoted yesterday. Jeremiah said: wayyo’meer Yahweh which means “And/But the LORD said to me” (Jer. 1:9). The implication of this is that it was God who spoke here and not man!
Jeremiah was not speaking his own words or idea. He was not speaking Satan’s words. Rather, he was speaking God’s own words. Any contrary claim that the words that follow are not from God is a fatal and deadly conclusion that Jeremiah is a false Prophet whose prophetic ministry was founded on lies, deception and falsehood.
God say through Jeremiah in verse 10 says: “See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:10).
It is either all that Jeremiah spoke here in God’s name were God’s words! Otherwise, Jeremiah was a false prophet. He misrepresented God and he deserved death. This means that the Bible contains false teachings which claimed divine inspiration!
Let’s NOT forget that this is the very firts thing Jeremiah said God gave him as task: “…To pluck up and to break down, to destryo and to overthrow, to build and to plant kingdoms!”
What does this mean? Jeremiah had both constructive and destructive assignments to carry out. Yes, destructive! And, they have to do with kingdoms.
God Rules The Affairs of Man
Why am I stating this?
I have seen some friends argue in a way like this:
“God does NOT RULE in all men’s affairs. He does NOT GIVE or TAKE HUMAN AUTHORITY as He WILLS. God is NOT tyrannical and the claims by some of the Old Testament writers about God interfering in human affairs are ALL WRONG!”
I have a friend who even went on to prove this to me by inferring, and rightly so, from the Temptation Narrative in Luke 4 that the kingdoms of the world belong to the devil and NOT God. He added that the kingdom is the “power of darkness” in Luke 22:53 and it refers to political authority. He further established his argument quoting some New Testament passages as Matthew 12:25-26 that Satan has a kingdom, John 18:36 that Satan’s kingdom is this world, John 14:30 and 1 Corinthians 2:8 where Satan is referred to as a prince of this world, and Ephesians 6:12 where there are rulers and powers of the darkness of this world who are CERTAINLY NOT of God.
Do I dispute this? NO! What then am I trying to argue? It is the claim that God has NO say in the affairs of men UNLESS we have prayed for and preached to the rulers to be saved, as seen in 1 Timothy 2:1-4. It is further claimed that it is ONLY when kings and rulers are appealed to and they receive God’s kingdom, THEN God will reign in the affairs of men.
Is this argument right in light of Jeremiah 1:10 where God sent Jeremiah TO PLUCK UP AND TO BREAK DOWN, TO DESTROY AND TO OVERTHROW, TO BUILD AND TO PLANT kingdoms? NO! Then, what do we do? Another friend opined that we should put Jeremiah in the right and proper perspective of what Christ has said about His kingdom not being of this world. This means that Jeremiah either LIED against God or that we have NOT rightly understood what it means when it is said that the kingdom of this world belongs to Satan and that God is NOT tyrannical, therefore He will NOT interfere! My friend said we should NOT impute unto God the control of all men’s affairs but rather we should appeal to all kings and rulers that they receive God’s kingdom.
May I ask my friend: “If God does NOT interfere in men’s affairs, why do we pray to God to save these rulers at all?” What concerns God with the salvation of the king since He is NOT concerned with human affairs? To me, my good friend’s argument is self-refuting. Well, I will still like to learn how this makes sense if God does NOT rule in men’s affairs and yet we trust this God to save kings and rulers. I hope someone will help to clarify this conception to me
That aside, my friend had implied that Jeremiah WAS WRONG to have made such statement that Yahweh sent him TO PLUCK UP AND TO BREAK DOWN, TO DESTROY AND TO OVERTHROW, TO BUILD AND TO PLANT kingdoms. Why? Because God is NOT tyrannical!
Some have thus accused Daniel of misrepresenting God when he said that God changes times and seasons as well as installs kings and deposes them (Dan. 2:21). Some said Daniel was wrong when he said that God has given the kingdom to Nebuchadnezzar and caused him to rule over the people (Dan. 2:37-38). Some claimed that Daniel did NOT get it right when he declared further that God rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men (Dan. 4:17, 25). Some asserted that Daniel was NOT correct. Some added emphatically that Daniel DISCERNED SATAN AND NOT GOD!!!
Many also believe this and do not care how much this means for the Bible! Well, let me kindly show you. Isaiah started a prophecy with the glaring phrase: koh-’amar YHWH, i.e. “Thus says the Lord”. The prophecy was for Cyrus, God’s anointed, and it described Cyrus as he whose right hand God has grasped, TO SUBDUE NATIONS BEFORE HIM AND TO LOOSE THE BELTS OF KINGS, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed (Isa 45:1). With the claim that Daniel referred to Satan in his claims, some have added that Isaiah too discerned Satan as carrying out those actions and NOT God but Isaiah LIED against and/or MISREPRESENTED God! This is further proven by the claim that the kingdoms belong to Satan and God does NOT interfere UNLESS the human rulers are saved. If, however, anyone says Cyrus was saved and God was the one who worked through him, then the former argument falls because the other nations God subdued before Cyrus were not saved and for God to have taken over such kingdoms mean that God IS tyrannical! Whichever way it is argued, you have either deflated your own claim that God does NOT interfere in men’s affairs or you believe Isaiah spoke Satan’s words in God’s name. If this is also the case, both Isaiah and Jeremiah WERE FALSE PROPHETS deserving of death and every New Testament quotation from their writings as well as every doctrine preached from their books are to be REJECTED!!!
Impliedly, we are NOT to trust the words from these men whom Peter had said were “carried along” by the Holy Spirit when they gave their prophecies. In fact, Peter and Paul failed to discern Satan in the writings of these men from whom they quoted copiously and assertively in a positive sense. It means that Peter and Paul too are NOT to be trusted neither should we believe in their writings.
Sovereignty In Leadership
Let us go further a bit!
What do we say about Romans 13:1? There, Paul the Apostle stated clearly that:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For THERE IS NO AUTHORITY EXCEPT FROM God, and THOSE THAT EXIST HAVE BEEN INSTITUTED BY GOD (Rom 13:1).
Kindly NOTE the emphasised words. Is Paul referring here to kingdoms in this world or somewhere else? If Paul referred to the kingdom of this world, then he too must have discerned Satan and not God in this claim of his. He must have been wrong like Jeremiah, Isaiah and Daniel! (Now, I am beginning to laugh within me at this ridiculous thought!) Can we just imagine that we have been lied to by the prophets and even the apostles that God reigns and rules over the affairs of men?
If you agree that the prophets and apostles WERE WRONG in saying that God rules over the affairs of men, then you have subtly, and most likely innocently, ATTACKED the INERRANCY of the Scriptures!
If the prophets and apostles did NOT lie and WERE NOT WRONG, then you have MISREPRESENTED AND DISTORTED the message of these inspired men. Not only that, you have THOUGHT and TAUGHT a WRONG “GOD”, who DEFINITELY is NOT Yahweh!
Thus, I appeal to you that you repent of this act henceforth! Let us ALL stick to what the Scriptures say about God and stop using our imagination to define God. I know that many do NOT intentionally define God in this way. They seek to exonerate God of being TYRANNICAL but by doing this they have ACCUSED God’s Spirit of INABILITY to rightly INSPIRE the prophets and apostles so that they used the RIGHT WORDS and pictured God the RIGHT WAY! Further, you have claimed that the Bible is MISLEADING and thus untrustworthy!
May I NEVER, in my ENTIRE life, entertain let alone assert such a claim.
- Written by Anthony Opeyemi Fawole, who is a theologian and missionary
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