Why the Kingdom of God is impossible with the devil.

In previous blogs we discussed some aspects of the vexing evil issue, ‘Why did God allow evil?’  ‘What about evil, part 1?’  ‘What about evil, part 2?’  ‘The talking serpent never stopped talking.’   We touched on the appearance of the evil one, ‘the great dragon… that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan who leads the whole world astray.’ 1  In this blog we want to discuss or repeat something very important: the devil has an essential role to play in God’s Kingdom.  To say it clearly, without the devil, God cannot successfully complete His Kingdom Project.

Did God plan the rebellion of the devil? 

  • The Bible tells us that the devil is a rebellious angel, who is in opposition to God.  Did God cause the devil to rebel?  God never interferes with free will.  All angels have free will.  God could not force the devil to rebel, since he could then complain that God set him up and that his sentence of eternal hell is not fair.
  • God will never violate either the angels’ or people’s free will.  That would throw the whole judicial process into a turmoil.  Then most people could complain that God was unfair, since He influenced some to love Him and left others alone.  God is absolutely fair and just.  So He will never override free will.  Therefore God did not plan the rebellion of the devil.
  • However, if God is good and omnipotent, why did He allow the devil to bring evil to this world?  Life would have been so much easier without the devil.  Doesn’t God want us to have a good life?  The answer is: the Kingdom is impossible without the devil, the evil one and his destructive influence on the world.

The devil and the Kingdom of God

  • Why did God allow the devil to usurp Adam’s authority and fill the world with evil?  He could have stopped the devil, limited his power, or just plain annihilated him.
  • The issue has to with God’s plan for man, namely a Kingdom of Love and Peace.  Therefore the devil’s work in God’s Kingdom is absolutely necessary.  God uses his ‘assistance’ to successfully complete the establishment of the eternal Kingdom of Love and Peace.
  • How does the devil do that?  He rebelled against God, he doesn’t like Him and slanders God all the time.  So in what way can he be of assistance to God?

An enemy is essential.

  • Leaders of worthwhile countries have enemies.  That is a fact of life.  There is always someone around who wants to usurp the current leader’s position.
  • With God it is no different.  He is the King of a wonderful country, and He has an enemy.  A future Kingdom of Peace on earth is impossible without God’s enemy who attempts to thwart His plans.  To understand it better let’s compare it with the role of an opposing political party in a country:
  • Country A has a leader, LA.  He has an enemy, Z.  Z goes around and tells everybody that LA is incompetent.  They should replace him with Z.  In this proses Z divides the people.  He exposes those who will oppose LA.
  • Let’s apply this principle to God’s Kingdom.  He is the King.  His Kingdom is eternal and is one of Peace and Love (to be part of His Kingdom is obviously worth trillions).  But…  God has an enemy.   This enemy irrevocably lost his place in God’s Kingdom.
  • Because this enemy was disgraced, he is full of revenge, hate and spite.  He thought he assassinated God’s Son on the Cross, but it was a huge defeat for him when Jesus rose from the dead.  So his next line of attack is to try and prevent people to become citizens of God’s Kingdom.
  • While he will never be king of the eternal Kingdom, he is ruler of this temporary world.  That means he has ways to slander God and propagate how ‘detestable’ He is.
  • In our world, what does the enemy do?  He divides the country’s citizens into two groups, those who accept the current leader and those who don’t.  It is the same with God.  Look at history as revealed in the Bible to see how the devil divides and exposes God’s enemies.

Division caused by Satan 

  • After the Fall, Adam and Eve had two sons.  Abel was a righteous man. 2  Cain refused to listen to God’s warning. 3  That division among humanity continues to this day:
  • Some people are willing to obey God.  They accept the influence of God’s Spirit and choose to ‘eat from the tree of good.’
  • Some people refuse to give heed to God’s warnings or advice.  They accept the influence of the devil’s spirits and choose to ‘eat from the tree of evil.’
  • This selection process went on right through history and continues today.  It is what identifies God’s people as well as His enemies.
  • Look at the final episode in the plan of God.  Revelation 17:14 says, ‘…The Lamb will overcome them [the kings who gave their authority to the beast] because He is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.’
  • Also in Revelation we read about people with the exact opposite disposition, ‘…and they cursed the name of God who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify Him.’ 4
  • So the last book of the Bible identifies two groups of people, those who follow Jesus and those who don’t.
  • Revelation 20:12 &15 describe their respective final destinies, ‘…The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books….  If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.’

Conclusion

The devil serves God because he identifies and exposes the rebels.  Then everyone at the Judgement Throne can see that they are unfit for God’s eternal Kingdom, because they will disrupt the Peace and Love.  The division will make it possible that, ‘…the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God.’ 5

References

  1. Revelation 12:9
  2. Matthew 23:35
  3. 1 John 3:12
  4. Revelation 16:9
  5. Revelation 21:3

How does Islam differ from Christianity?

Greetings our dear Reader,

I trust you are well.

We thought you might like to know a bit more about Islam.

After all, we read and hear a lot about them in the news media.  Whether Boko Haram in Africa, or Isis and others, they create havoc.  Often we hear that some of these ‘soldiers of Allah’ shout ‘allahu akbar!’ (god is great!) when they commit their atrocities.  Yet some people still regard the God of the Bible and Allah as the same monotheistic deity.  That is not true.  They are diametrically opposed in character, teaching and in their religious books for their followers.

The real issue of Islam has to do with the history of Isaac and Ishmael.

We read it in Genesis 16; 17:9-25; 21:8-21.  God promised Abraham a son, but he was married to a barren woman.  Sarai, Abraham’s wife, convinced him to ‘help God fulfill His promise’ and have a son by her Egyptian slave woman.  In those times it was customary that the father would then adopt the son of the servant woman as his own.  So Abraham accepted Ishmael as his son and also circumcised him as God commanded in Genesis 17:9-26.

Abraham’s promised son will come through Sarah.

Twelve years after the Ishmael episode, God reminded Abraham that the son He promised would come through his barren wife, Sarai.  God changed her name to Sarah and declared that she will be the mother of nations.  Kings of peoples will come from her, Genesis 17:15-18  Despite Sarah’s laughter at this ridiculous promise from God, she had her son, Isaac, within the next year.  When they had a feast day to celebrate the weaning of Isaac, Sarah saw Ishmael mocking her little boy.  She was livid.  One can imagine that Ishmael was jealous, since it was obvious that Isaac was the one promised and sent by God.  She told Abraham to get rid of Ishmael, because he would not inherit with her own son.

The Arab-Jew conflict

  • Abraham was distressed when Sarah ordered him to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael, but God told him to do as Sarah requested.  It was through Isaac that God’s promised Messiah would eventually be born.
  • God never rejected Ishmael, but promised to make him a great nation.  He was also the offspring of Abraham.  Hagar later got a wife for him from Egypt, spurning any young woman who had anything to do with Abraham.
  • Hagar was probably livid because of the treatment she got from Sarah.  One can imagine how she fostered the spirit of hatred in Ishmael.  The Arab (Ismael) – Jew (Isaac) conflict is what we still see today.  It does not matter what the Jews do, most  Arabs hate them and want them annihilated.

The conflict over the country Israel

There is another reason why the Arabs want to destroy the Jews completely.  God promised the country Israel to the descendants of Abraham, eternally (Genesis 17:8).  The Jews are the rightful descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.  The followers of Allah (Ismael) think if they can destroy the Jews, it will prove that the Koran is the true version of God’s words and that Allah is the true ‘God.’

God’s promise to Abraham’s descendants is remarkable.

In 70 AD the Romans under Titus completely destroyed Jerusalem, killed thousands of Jews and sold the rest as slaves.  Nineteen hundred years later, in 1948, on May 14, the country promised to Abraham around 2,000 BC, was once more declared the independent State of Israel.  America very quickly recognized the Jewish State in Palestine.  Russia followed suit three days later.

  • Yet one day after independence, on May 15, five nations invaded Israel: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.  What did the Jews do to incur this?  Nothing!  Regardless, the enemies of Israel lost the war.
  • The Sinai war was fought in 1956.  The enemies lost.
  • Then the Six Day War in 1967.  The enemies lost.
  • The Yom Kippur War was fought in 1973.  Again, the enemies lost.

We write to you about Islam because it explains the following:

  • Islam’s hatred against Israel has never abated.  It stands as a powerful evidence that the Biblical history of Abraham’s two sons is true.  However, this conflict of the Arabs against the Jews has an interesting result in the Western World.
  • As you probably know there is a war against the Bible, God and the Church in the Western world.  People like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and many, many atheist organizations attempt to ‘evict’ God from society with the law.  That leaves a spiritual gap or vacuum and guess who is ready to fill it?  Islam of course.
  • We see this process very well in Europe.  Many countries allow unlimited numbers of Muslims to immigrate.  The Muslims have an ulterior motive, namely to eventually dominate the countries and declare Shariah law.  The peaceful message of the Bible is stopped, and is automatically replaced by a violent one, one that will force people to accept Allah: convert or die.  No free will.
  • The Arab nations (that are mostly Islamic) are immensely rich and they can financially support the efforts of Muslims in the various countries.  England has quite an interesting growth in the number of mosques in the last years.

Conclusion

However, as we see from history, God’s promises always come true.  As His promise to Abraham became true, so will His promise in Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Revelation 21:1 come true.  There will be an eternal new heaven and earth where God will live in love and harmony with all the people who made peace with Him through His Son, Jesus.  That is the Gospel in the Bible, the Word of God.  It is not from the Koran.

An ode of praise to God

This day, exactly 47 years ago, on the 4th of July 1970 a man and woman stood before a minister, in a church in a small town in South Africa.  They were about to be tied together as husband and wife.

Two fathers

  • My father sat with tears in his eyes.  He could not believe that the in-laws refused to heed his warning that I was bad marriage material.
  • My future wife’s father was glad that his youngest daughter at last got a husband (at the ‘ancient’ age of 24).  He just hoped for the best.
  • My wife’s sister and mother told her that it is a disgrace not to get married, a disgrace to retain your maiden name.  She mustn’t be so finicky.  She should just get married.  If it doesn’t work out she can always get divorced!

Opposites attract.

It was strange that a man who had very little knowledge about God, married a young woman who became a follower of Jesus when she was ten years old.  I wondered:

  • Why do I get married in a church?  My answer was, tradition!  Little did I know that the Lord would in due time instruct me that marriage was His idea, that is why I got married in a church.
  • Why did she consent to marry me?  Heaven knows (which was true).  She said God told her to leave the matter in His hands and He will sort it out.
  • So, there we were, listening intently to the minister on how we should approach marriage.  For a follower of Jesus to marry someone who knows nothing about the Lord is hard at times.  However, things changed decidedly when I (Gerard), allowed the Lord into my hardened heart.  That saved our marriage so that today, we can celebrate God’s goodness to us together.

The war

  • I can’t remember what I promised the minister I would do.  When one rejected person unites with another rejected person, it is sure to produce friction.  So there were times of unrest, but also love, and four gifts from God, four children.
  • In God’s plan for us, a time of deep healing began in our thirties.  We began to pray together and still do.  It made a huge difference in our lives and marriage.

The miracle

  • Celebrating 47 years together, we can only give the honor to the Lord.  We are both followers of Jesus.  We are blessed by the Lord.  We are in love, happy and contented to be in each other’s company.  Jesus promised, when He frees a person he or she will be free indeed.  That is what we experienced.
  • I (Gerard) am a testimony to the power of the Gospel.  I was a man who had very little knowledge (none, to be more precise) of God or the Bible, but I married a godly woman.  I became a follower of Jesus.  I have a future as one of God’s ‘favorite’ children.  I rejoice in my great, glorious magnificent God and His blessings –  four plus four children and eleven grandchildren.

 

Why this ode of praise to God.

  • He changed our lives.  Both my wife and I came from families where we are the only ones who have the privilege to be married for 47 years, with children and grandchildren that we can cherish.
  • It is an absolute privilege to enjoy fellowship with the most glorious Father, the powerful Savior, and be filled with His wonderful Counsellor, the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion

Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for what He did for us!