Intervention not Interference

This blog has been inspired by the especially religious thinking being promulgated by many known religious leaders that in Election 2016 no matter who wins, or who you vote for God is still Sovereign and still in control.  I would bet that many people heard this ear tickling message from the pulpit recently.

Yes, ear tickling message.  It does not line up with the totality of The Word of God.

That’s like saying no matter what happens on Tuesday fire will be hot and water will be wet.

It’s an immutable unchangeable fact.

God is sovereign at all times.  That is a fact.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD The biblical teaching that God is the source of all creation and that all things come from and depend upon God. Sovereignty means that God is in all and over all. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

Psalm 24:1 (NKJV) 1  The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.

God’s rule extends to all people, even those who do not acknowledge His power.

Psalm 33:14 (NKJV) 14  From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth;

God created everything in an orderly and stable manner.

Psalm 89:11 (NKJV) 11  The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.

Psalm 102:25 (NKJV) 25  Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.

Psalm 104:5 (NKJV) 5  You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever,

Genesis 1:1 Names of God Bible (NOG) In the beginning Elohim created heaven and earth.

Created” in verse 1 is from the Hebrew bara’ (<H1254>), to bring into being.

bara’ (HSN-<H1254>) is reserved for the introduction of the three spheres of existence: the world of matter; the natural life of all living creatures; and spiritual life represented by man.

Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) 3  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Deuteronomy 4:39 (NKJV) 39  Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.

He established it all and then gave us FREE WILL.

He intervenes in the lives of His children but He interferes with the works of the enemy.

He will never interfere with our free will.

And, those choices made with our free will are our responsibility.

He’s under no obligation to fix our mess or clean it up.

Genesis 2:7-9 (NKJV) 7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. 8  The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9  And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:15-17 (NKJV) 15  Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Don’t eat of the fruit of this tree….CHOOSE NOT TO DO THIS.  IF YOU DO THERE IS A PRICE; OUTCOME.

CAUSE AND EFFECT.

Genesis 3:9-13 (NKJV) 9  Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10  So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11  And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12  Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13  And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Adam’s answer was to blame God for the woman He gave him.

Eve blames the serpent for being deceived.

Blame infers a choice was made based on other influences.

Job 31:33 (NKJV) 33  If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom,

 Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV) 13  He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Adam wasn’t deceived (1Tim. 2:12-15).  Adam implied blame on God also, because if God hadn’t given him Eve he wouldn’t have sinned. Blaming others is a trait of the natural man.  Eve gave it to Adam and Adam accepted.

It is natural for both women and men to blame others. Eve acknowledged eating, but claimed she was not to blame. She was “beguiled” by the serpent.  The devil made her do it.

Sin entered because of Adam not Eve.  He could have said no.  He was there.  He could have run the serpent off but he didn’t.  His desire to please his wife was greater than his desire to please God.  And…God did not interfere with his choice.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) 12  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–

The price was the curse of sin and death not just on Adam but on all things.  The curse was not only on man, but also on animals, the ground, and all that it produces.  That’s why all of creation groans for His Return.

Romans 8:19-23 (NKJV) 19  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21  because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23  Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Revelation 21:4 (NKJV) 4  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 22:3 (NKJV) 3  And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

Even so, until then, God INTERVENES:

Genesis 3:22-24 (NKJV) 22  Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– 23  therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24  So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

The fact that the tree of life remained, even though guarded by angels and a flaming sword, was our ray of hope. Is it not possible that because He but did not uproot it but simply kept us from it meant that one day its fruit may be eaten again? Indeed, one day we will see it again.

Revelation 22:2 (NKJV) 2  In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Adam and Eve were no longer welcome in God’s presence, but they had the hope that someday Paradise would be regained.

The way to the tree of Life is the narrow road that brings us to Salvation in the Lord.

CHOICE because God INTERVENED.

God’s sovereignty, His authority over creation, is grounded in God’s essential moral nature. God is to be obeyed not simply because He is mighty but because He is righteous.

God judges His creation on the basis of His profound moral character compared to theirs. And, since we cannot compare we must accept the substitute righteous of the Lord on our behalf.

Let’s get something clear.  No matter what the ear ticklers, watered down teachings and social media memes say, Divine sovereignty does not mean that everything which occurs in the world is God’s will. God has created a world in which freedom is a real possibility BY CHOICE. If we choose His perfect will for our lives, we find freedom.  Seek out His permissive will and we find trouble.

His permissive will provides for human freedom and the universal laws of nature. This freedom means that sovereignty must always be distinguished from “fate” or “destiny,” the belief that everything which occurs in the world has been predetermined, scheduled in advance, by God.

Adam and Eve tried to lay the blame on God for their choices but neither fate, destiny or the pagan concept of karma played a part in what they did.

That view, carried to extremes, makes human beings pawns or puppets of a mechanical universe in which all choices are made in advance and where freedom is not possible.  Freedom is always possible.

The Gospel suggests that human beings find genuine freedom, not in doing everything they wish, but in submitting themselves to the sovereign will of God, the rule and reign of God in their individual and collective lives.

The sovereignty of God is applied by the Fruit of the Spirt and our self-control along with God’s limitations in order that we might also choose freedom in Him.

We see this concept of intervention and not interference in the life of Abraham as well with the brith of Ishmael (Genesis 16).  Abraham and Sarah did not want to wait anymore for the promise to be fulfilled so they went ahead on their own to get it down with Hagar the Egyptian handmaiden when Abraham was 85.

Abraham was 75 years old when the promise was made. Fifteen years later, when Abraham was 90, God renewed his promise. Ten years later, at age 100, Abraham and Sarah finally had their son. That’s a total of twenty-five years before “the fullness of time.  And, because they couldn’t wait the problem of Ishmael and his descendants haunts Israel (and the world) to this day.  Hagar’s son would become the father of a great but wild and hostile nation living in the Arabian Desert as perennial enemies of Israel.

Living by faith requires perseverance.

This concept of intervention and not interference plays out in the times in captivity for Israel in Babylon, Assyria and Egypt.

Israel’s problem was not that the Lord wasn’t doing right by them but that they were persistently doing what was wrong to God. And, they were consistently punished for bad leadership that defied God.  They deserved God’s judgment.

Kings Of Israel

Kings Of Judah

1. Jeroboam 1 (22 yrs) 1. Rehoboam (17 yrs)
2. Nadab (2 yrs) 2. Abijam (3 yrs)
3. Baasha (24 yrs) 3. Asa (41 yrs)*
4. Elah (2 yrs) 4. Jehoshaphat (25 yrs)*
5. Zimri (7 days) 5. Jehoram (8 yrs)
6. Omri (12 yrs) 6. Ahaziah (1 yr)
7. Ahab (22 yrs) 7. Athaliah (Queen) (6 yrs)
8. Ahaziah (2 yrs) 8. Joash (40 yrs)*
9. Jehoram (Joram)(12 yrs) 9. Amaziah (29 yrs)*
10. Jehu (28 yrs) 10. Azariah (Uzziah)(52 yrs)*
11. Jehoahaz (17 yrs) 11. Jotham (16 yrs)*
12. Jehoash (16 yrs) 12. Ahaz (16 yrs)
13. Jeroboam 2 (41 yrs) 13. Hezekiah (29 yrs)*
14. Zachariah (6 mos) 14. Manasseh (55 yrs)
15. Shallum (1 mo) 15. Amon (2 yrs)
16. Menahem (10 yrs) 16. Josiah (31 yrs)*
17. Pekhiah (2 yrs) 17. Jehoahaz (3 mos)
18. Pekah (20 yrs) 18. Jehoiakim (11 yrs)
19. Hoshea (9 yrs) 19. Jehoiachin (3 mos)
20. Zedekiah (11 yrs)

The Bible says ALL of the kings of Israel were evil ( 229 yrs).  Among the kings of Judah, 12 were evil and 8 were good (Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah). (414 yrs total. 263 good yrs.  One period of 137 yrs of good kings).

Exile = to be captive.

Babylonian exile = 70 years.

Egypt = 215 years of bondage.

Assyrian captivity = 200 years.

Did God interfere with their rebellion that allowed them to be taken captive?

No, He did not.  And, He won’t now.

He DID NOT INTERFERE but He DID INTERVENE.

Galatians 6:7 (NKJV) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Remember this when you vote tomorrow and in the days ahead for America.  We, like Israel, will reap what we have sown.

His Sovereignty will not change whether you vote or not or whomever you vote for.

Our lives, however, will.

Choices have consequences.

And, the outcome (cursed or blessed) will be our fault.

Richard J Grund

 

A Physicians view of The Crucifixion

I spent my formative Born Again years under my mentor and spiritual father Pastor Robert A. Shelley.  I listened when he spoke and took notes when he taught or preached.  He always gave us a banquet to feed from and I always ate as much as I could.  One of the things he did was to give a vivid, detailed decryption of the Crucifixion that always brought me to tears and still does.  The thought of what was suffered for me on The Cross by Him breaks my heart.

Here is a physicians description of what the Lord suffered that day from a medical perspective.

Read it.

Consider it.

Respond to it….either in tears, as I did, or by claiming the work done on The Cross for your own salvation.  He did it so that you would reconciled to your Heavenly Father.

Jesus_On_Cross

Crucifixion

A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died By Dr. C. Truman Davis*

A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion. From New Wine Magazine, April 1982. Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965, Arizona Medical Association.

Several years ago I became interested in the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ when I read an account of the crucifixion in Jim Bishop’s book, The Day Christ Died. I suddenly realized that I had taken the crucifixion more or less for granted all these years – that I had grown callous to its horror by a too-easy familiarity with the grim details. It finally occurred to me that, as a physician, I did not even know the actual immediate cause of Christ’s death. The gospel writers do not help much on this point. Since crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetimes, they undoubtedly considered a detailed description superfluous. For that reason we have only the concise words of the evangelists: “Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified … and they crucified Him.”

Despite the gospel accounts silence on the details of Christ’s crucifixion, many have looked into this subject in the past. In my personal study of the event from a medical viewpoint, I am indebted especially to Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who did exhaustive historical and experimental research and wrote extensively on the topic.

An attempt to examine the infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate God in atonement for the sins of fallen man is beyond the scope of this article. However, the physiological and anatomical aspects of our Lord’s passion we can examine in some detail. What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture?

Gethsemane

The physical passion of Christ began in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of His initial suffering, the one which is of particular physiological interest is the bloody sweat. Interestingly enough, the physician, St. Luke, is the only evangelist to mention this occurrence. He says, “And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44 KJV).

Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away the phenomenon of bloody sweat, apparently under the mistaken impression that it simply does not occur. A great deal of effort could be saved by consulting the medical literature. Though very rare, the phenomenon of hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

Although Jesus’ betrayal and arrest are important portions of the passion story, the next event in the account which is significant from a medical perspective is His trial before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. Here the first physical trauma was inflicted. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him, mockingly taunted Him to identify them as each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.

Before Pilate

In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and worn out from a sleepless night, Jesus was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. We are familiar with Pilate’s action in attempting to shift responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate. It was then, in response to the outcry of the mob, that Pilate ordered Barabbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

Preparations for Jesus’ scourging were carried out at Caesar’s orders. The prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire stepped forward with the flagrum, or flagellum, in his hand. This was a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip was brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first the weighted thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continued, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produced large deep bruises that were broken open by subsequent blows. Finally, the skin of the back was hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it was determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner was near death, the beating was finally stopped.

Mockery

The half-fainting Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with his own blood. The Roman soldiers saw a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They threw a robe across His shoulders and placed a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still needed a crown to make their travesty complete. Small flexible branches covered with long thorns, commonly used for kindling fires in the charcoal braziers in the courtyard, were plaited into the shape of a crude crown. The crown was pressed into his scalp and again there was copious bleeding as the thorns pierced the very vascular tissue. After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers took the stick from His hand and struck Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tired of their sadistic sport and tore the robe from His back. The robe had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, caused excruciating pain. The wounds again began to bleed.

Golgotha

In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans apparently returned His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross was tied across His shoulders. The procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion began its slow journey along the route which we know today as the Via Dolorosa.

In spite of Jesus’ efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious loss of blood, was too much. He stumbled and fell. The rough wood of the beam gouged into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tried to rise, but human muscles had been pushed beyond their endurance. The centurion, anxious to proceed with the crucifixion, selected a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus followed, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock. The 650-yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha was finally completed. The prisoner was again stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which was allowed the Jews.

The crucifixion began. Jesus was offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic, pain-reliving mixture. He refused the drink. Simon was ordered to place the patibulum on the ground, and Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire felt for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drove a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moved to the other side and repeated the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum was then lifted into place at the top of the stipes, and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” was nailed into place.

The left foot was pressed backward against the right foot. With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The victim was now crucified.

On the Cross

As Jesus slowly sagged down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. The nails in the wrists were putting pressure on the median nerve, large nerve trunks which traverse the mid-wrist and hand. As He pushed himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there was searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of this feet.

At this point, another phenomenon occurred. As the arms fatigued, great waves of cramps swept over the muscles, knotting them in deep relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps came the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by the arm, the pectoral muscles, the large muscles of the chest, were paralyzed and the intercostal muscles, the small muscles between the ribs, were unable to act. Air could be drawn into the lungs, but could not be exhaled. Jesus fought to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, the carbon dioxide level increased in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided.

The Last Words

Spasmodically, He was able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences that are recorded.

The first – looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice6 for His seamless garment: “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”

The second – to the penitent thief: “Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”

The third – looking down at Mary His mother, He said: “Woman, behold your son.” Then turning to the terrified, grief-stricken adolescent John , the beloved apostle, He said: “Behold your mother.”

The fourth cry is from the beginning of Psalm 22: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

He suffered hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, and searing pain as tissue was torn from His lacerated back from His movement up and down against the rough timbers of the cross. Then another agony began: a deep crushing pain in the chest as the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, slowly filled with serum and began to compress the heart.

The prophecy in Psalm 22:14 was being fulfilled: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

The end was rapidly approaching. The loss of tissue fluids had reached a critical level; the compressed heart was struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood to the tissues, and the tortured lungs were making a frantic effort to inhale small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues sent their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasped His fifth cry: “I thirst.” Again we read in the prophetic psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death” (Psalm 22:15 KJV).

A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine that was the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, was lifted to Jesus’ lips. His body was now in extremis, and He could feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brought forth His sixth word, possibly little more than a tortured whisper: “It is finished.” His mission of atonement had been completed. Finally, He could allow His body to die. With one last surge of strength, He once again pressed His torn feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deeper breath, and uttered His seventh and last cry: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

Death

The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the leg. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers approached Jesus, they saw that this was unnecessary.

Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. John 19:34 states, “And immediately there came out blood and water.” Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and the blood of the interior of the heart. This is rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

Resurrection

In these events, we have seen a glimpse of the epitome of evil that man can exhibit toward his fellow man and toward God. This is an ugly sight and is likely to leave us despondent and depressed.

But the crucifixion was not the end of the story. How grateful we can be that we have a sequel: a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man–the gift of atonement, the miracle of the resurrection, and the expectation of Easter morning.

*Dr. C. Truman Davis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He is a practicing ophthalmologist, a pastor, and author of a book about medicine and the Bible.

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Romans 10:9-13 (NKJV)

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 

13 For“whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Richard J Grund Author, The Supernatural Battle http://supernaturalresponse.net/the-supernatural-battle.html Director & Team Leader http://supernaturalresponse.net Host of The Porch & Reflections in the Dark http://blogtalkradio.com/firefall-talk-radio