PURPOSE IS “A WAY OF GOD”!
This article explains the way God brought me to understand that Jesus Christ is truly the “SAVIOR of the WORLD”! It is perhaps the simplest of scriptures, but the hardest to comprehend. Many Christians have not yet awakened to the reality that Jesus Christ is indeed, the Savior of the world.
Acts 3:21: (Speaking of Jesus Christ) Whom heaven must receive until the times of restitution (restoration) of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets since the world began should be fulfilled.
In this study, we want to address a common reaction to the “Restitution of all things”. Quote: “Believing in the Restoration of all things would be to deny, theologically speaking, the authenticity of our person-hood, and our real freedom to participate.”
I will explain why the above statement is incorrect, and how God is not yet big enough in the minds of those who hold this position.
In all our getting, the Bible says to get understanding. Knowledge is practically useless without it. Understanding will help us to see the error in thinking that our personhood, and freedom, are violated in the restoration of ALL things.
I want to begin by telling you what I expect when I teach this. I am wondering if anyone will get it. If some do, I will be incredibly happy. But I will not be upset if no one gets it. The reason my expectations are not extremely high is based on my own reaction when the Holy Spirit gave it to me. I did not believe Him. I literally said to God, “I do not believe You.” But, He was not mad at me. He just would not let go of me, no matter how badly I acted.
Today, I know why… this revelation has made some scriptures that I have been unable to understand, easy. It makes my inner action with Father so full of liberty. But, I debated with Him for a year over this. Oh yes, we debate. He loves it and so do I. I asked so many questions, and I would get right next to His ear with: “what about this” so many times, it was getting to the place where I thought I might be in danger of frustrating the grace of God. So, like Him, I also welcome questions. Use the reply at the end of the teaching if you have any.
In the 1970’s, when I converted to Christianity from Mormonism and started studying Christian literature, I became very confused about the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. I was so distraught by it, I wanted to just forget the whole Christian thing.
No one could explain Genesis in all sincerity, without ultimately placing blame on God. I got a picture of a very schizophrenic God telling me not to do something, and all the while planning for me to do it. It was at this point of frustration, and literal exasperation, that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and straightened it all out. No matter how good or bad, dictionaries, lexicons, or concordances may be, sometimes, the only thing that straightens things out, is to hear directly from our Master.
The Spirit of God spoke to me concerning one of His ways. When it comes to the “WHAT”… it is that Jesus Christ is the “SAVIOR of the WORLD.” God gave me the “HOW” He accomplishes what He came to do; save the world. How is God able to bring restoration to the world when it looks like everything is out of control, and so many who do not accept Jesus Christ? How is He able to work with everyone, until they finally choose rightly, until they finally say Yes, Jesus is Lord. It all has to do with one of His ways. We can become acquainted with God’s ways. Moses was acquainted with God’s ways. The “how” He does things has always been my hot button.
This is what God spoke to me when He came crashing through my ignorance, and simply said, “I purpose, I do not plan.” During the year following this personal word to me, I saw PURPOSE as the most powerful of all of God’s ways. Purpose is so much more powerful than we realize. We got it so confused with the word plan, we actually took the power right out of it.
I will just take a moment here to show you the difference between the 2 words.
Purpose is a word that has everything to do with relationships. Purpose speaks of flexibility, temperance, hope, forgiveness, do overs, encouragement, and it allows for the inner action of responses between two parties. It speaks of liberty, and it allows God the spontaneous creativity He needs with us in a situation, to discipline, teach and/or chastise us through His Love, instead of being like a dictator. We are not robots!
Plan, on the other hand, is a religious word, and has nothing to do with relationships. It is stoic or stiff! It speaks of exactness of action, or formula. What step in a formula can you miss, and still get the product you are looking for? We cannot miss any part of a plan and be victorious.
So, when one plans, they set themselves up for failure. Let me give you an example: I am going to New York, and I plan to be there in 2 days. It is all mapped out. OOPS, I get a flat tire in Chicago, and there are no stores open. It means I will be running late, as now… I cannot travel on until morning! I failed when I planned, because when I did, I found myself with no life for the flexibility I needed to get to New York.
Plan is exactly that cut and dried in God’s eyes. Do we want to do things God’s way? Or do we want to be culturally correct? In man’s eyes, we have confused the 2 words, and made God out to be a dictator/manipulator, void of our freedom to participate, or we just throw up our hands because we do not understand.
So, after the Lord spoke this to me, the journey began. I needed to understand where He was coming from on this. I received a piece of His thinking, but I did not understand it all. Shucks, I did not even believe it.
So, the first thing I did was ask Him a question. “OK Lord, I know you do not work in dark corners, so who else knows the difference about plan and purpose”?
Several months after that, I was asked to do a memorial service for one of the men who had been part of our staff in the 1980’s. I stayed with his wife, and while I was there, her niece came to visit. She asked to share a devotional with us. Her devotional was about the revelation on plan and purpose that the Lord had given me. So, there was another witness.
There was also an ex-alcoholic visiting, and she said, “well, they tell us in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) never to plan because we will fail if we do. Just do the things AA says, and then if it does not work out, you are still AA OK, and you can try again”! So there was another witness.
A 3rd witness happened while I watched a video of Randy Kay telling of his near-death experience. In the video, Randy mentioned that God told him that He purposes and yet all his life he had been a planner. From what I could tell it blew his mind; the carnal mind for sure! You can access the video here: https://beforeitsnews.com/prophecy/2021/07/what-he-saw-in-heaven-will-amaze-you-2522543.html
So, that took care of the first question I asked Him. I still had plenty of questions I was sure He could not answer. What a skeptic!
“Now, what about the Bible Sir? Aren’t there verses in Your word that use the word plan?” He said, “NO”. I said, “NO? What about … I know the plans that I have for you?” “No,” He said. Don’t you wish sometimes, He would just be a little more talkative?
So, of course, I had to go look it up. Hmmm, no word “plan” in Strong’s concordance except in explanation of another word, and I will show you why even in the explanation, they got it wrong. Just hang with me, OK? The scripture everyone uses actually says, “I know the THOUGHTS I have for you. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
So, then I looked to see if the word purpose was used in the Bible. Between purpose, purposed, and purposes, it is used 61 times in God’s word. 1st King 5:5 reads: The King purposed to build a house…. Why didn’t he say he planned to build a house? I will tell you why: they never knew the word plan. It was not in their vocabulary.
Therefore, we know Strong’s defined the word “thought” wrong when they described it as “plan.” They got it wrong, just like so many words in the Bible that force us to go to the original words if we really want to study the truth. When it comes to dictionaries, and the like, we also know they are fallible. But God is not! So, when God takes you on a journey over some word, He is the boss, and ultimate corrector.
So, when did the word plan get such a foothold? Well, it all began in the 17th century. You will not find any Bible prior to that time with the word plan in it. It is of French origin, taken from the word Plant. You can google it.
Here is how powerful purpose is. Way, way more powerful than plan! It allows our Father to work with us, and us to work with Him. Plan does NOT bring a vital, living relationship to our experience with God; our relationship with Him is NOT cut and dried.
Isaiah 46:11 “I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it”. This is His way… He speaks, and He purposes, leaving flexibility to have a relationship with us. Why didn’t He say, “I have planned”?
When God declares the end, long before it happens, what he says is, “My counsel shall stand”. When God declares things not yet done, long before they are done, what He says is, “I will accomplish all my purpose”.
God has the rightful authority, the freedom, the wisdom, and the power to bring about everything that he intends or purposes to happen.
So, along my journey, some said: I did not know there was a difference in those 2 words. Well, I didn’t either, until the day Father revealed it to me through His Spirit. Even then, it took a long time to understand it well enough for it to make an effectual difference when I study the word of God. It makes His word much easier to rightly divide.
Still, others said, “I have always known there was a difference in these 2 words, but I did not realize the definitions were so meaningfully different insofar as the interpretation of scripture goes. Well, let us say this now… IT IS RADICALLY DIFFERENT. Purpose is as far away from plan as law is from grace. Just think if we had never understood grace! It is this important: “I had heard of Him with the hearing of my ears, but now mine eye doth see!”
I also want to quote Tertullion, an early church Father … Pre-Nicene: “God foreknew that man would make a bad use of His created constitution. Yet, what can be so worthy of God, as His earnestness of PURPOSE”. Repeat that last sentence please! Basically, Tertullion was saying, “Nothing is more WORTHY than His earnestness of purpose!
So, what was God’s purpose in the beginning? We all know! He purposed to make man in His image. Not A man, but man/humanity. I have come to understand this about God. When He purposed to make humanity in His image, He knew He was capable of accomplishing that purpose, REGARDLESS of what man/humanity did. Our Almighty, all-Powerful, all-Knowing God, believed in His own ability. He understood something that I have fully come to appreciate about Him; He knew that no matter what choice Adam made, or the choices we make, He is capable of working those choices after the counsel of His own will. What is His will? To make humanity in His image!
But nonetheless, if God planned to make man in His image; we have a problem, because just like planning a trip to New York, you cannot miss any part of the formula without failing.
So, God created Adam with a purpose in mind, not a plan. Whoops! Adam did not believe God, so he ate when God commanded him not to eat. Did God have to change His plan? No! You have heard people say that God planned for Adam to fall and that proves He did not have to go to plan B. No, God did not plan for Adam to fall, (sick) and no, He did not have to go to plan B, because there was no plan A. There was only PURPOSE!
God is big enough to bring a purpose to pass, leaving flexibility; not controlling man’s choice. How ridiculous would it be for God, who has told us that death is an enemy, but planned for Adam to fall, knowing the result of falling would be death. Is God therefore our enemy? Can we see the problem with this? It is schizophrenic thinking, double mindedness!
But, for me, seeing this clearly now, I know that when Adam fell, it did not change the purpose of God for him, nor humanity. God was more than capable of working Adam’s choice after the counsel of his own will, and not lose His integrity in the situation. He is beautiful for situations. All God gave us is the freedom to make a choice out of our own will. He stopped it right there. He did not give us the results we experience from the choices we make. He left that up to Himself and His own abilities. This is beautifully illustrated in “The Shack” on page 42.
Again, God has the rightful authority, the freedom, the wisdom, and the power to bring about everything that He intends or purposes to happen, WITHOUT VIOLATING OUR CHOICES.
God said, “I lay before you life and death, choose life. When you choose life, He responds one way, and thus, it is also with choosing death. God responds to us, He does not re-act. He is about relationships in every situation of our lives. Many believers contend about free will. If we define free will as a choice with no influences, it would definitely mean there is no free will because our choices are not without influence. In fact, it is the opposite! In God, there is a choice of the will in the midst of 2 opposing influences. If we define free will as a freedom to choose between 2 opposing influences, then we conclude that man does have a free will. Any debate I have ever heard on “free will” has never discussed the definition. But it is true that do we have a freedom to choose between two opposing forces. Choice is the whole point anyway. Thus, Adam and Eve were presented with an opportunity to choose the influence from God, whose motive was for their good, or they could choose the influence from the serpent, whose motive was to cause them to fall. Does it matter what we choose? Do you want to be blessed or cursed? However, our awesome God works our choices after the counsel of His own will until His influence outweighs the serpents will, and God becomes our choice. Therefore, we can say this: He consecrates our actions to the welfare of our own soul.
Romans 8:20-21 For man was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who gave him free will in the hope he would choose rightly, for man himself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Lamsa translation from the Peshitta of the Aramaic) Other bibles do not include the words free will. I like Lamsa because he lived in the culture of the Aramaic people.
It was NOT our choice to be subjected to vanity. God did that. But He also gave us a right to choose, and then backed it up by His Hope. His Hope is a powerful force that aids in God’s dynamic ability to bring ALL to Himself. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw ALL men unto me.
When we consider God knew He was powerful enough to bring about His purpose, predestination also makes perfect sense. God believed in Himself, so He knew His purpose would come to pass, and come to pass without treating us like robots, by maintaining relationships with us.
Back in the 1990’s, a woman prophesied these words to me … “Questions, questions, questions, you have so many questions, and God says that one day He is going to answer every question you have.” That is exactly what happened when I finally understood what He meant when He said, “I purpose. I do not plan”. From that little nudging of the Spirit of God, debating with Him for a year over the words plan and purpose, I found it answered every question I had up to that time. Every single one of them.
So, what does this all mean?
1. It means you are not a robot.
2. It means you have the freedom of choice.
3. It means God never loses the control of man or the earth.
4. It means we are in a working relationship with a Big God who loves and saves ALL.
5. It means man is responsible for his own actions. You can make it hard on yourself, or easy on yourself, but you WILL be conformed to the image of God. Remember, He is making humanity in His image… not an individual man. His purpose will be done. You can fall on the Rock, or the Rock can fall on you.
6. It means He consecrates our choices to the welfare of our own soul.
7. It means God took it upon Himself to get us out of the jam we put ourselves in. We became debtors. We were in debt to our flesh and our penalty for that was paid with the flesh of a sinless man. God gave Jesus as a ransom for our flesh.
8. It means that God’s will is not always done on the earth because man makes wrong choices and thus, we pray for heaven to be IN earth. But let us note that the end of the Lord’s dealing with us, is always mercy, and His will, will ultimately come to pass. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
9. It means that man has a will of his own. Actually, a free will when it comes to the matter of Salvation for ALL. The entire matter of human free will stands in the way of many earnest people believing in ultimate reconciliation of ALL mankind. Every man will freely choose God. Without which, there is no LOVE. No, I am not a universalist. I am an “Inclusionist.”
10. It means God never decided for us to yield to sin. His purpose was to make us in His image. Make means complete. When He formed us, we were very good… not perfect!
11. It means God is spontaneously creative, and purpose driven.
12. It means God works all things after the counsel of His own will, while still allowing man the freedom to choose. (Remember, Jesus laid down the last trace of his OWN will when he went to the cross.
13. It means predestination is simple to understand.
14. It means choices are especially important.
15. It means we can have the same ability to purpose in relationships, just like God, loving others the way He loves us, as we become more and more like Christ.
So, the WHAT of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, is about a Restoration of ALL, by a Loving God. Now, we see the HOW of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, is also about a Restoration of ALL, by a Loving God.
God purposed to eventually bring every person to Himself without violating their choice. He is just that big! God lets humans make the choice and works their choices after the counsel of His own will, until, in the wisdom and power of the purpose of God, humans finally yield. This is LOVE, this is relationship without manipulation. It is God’s way! Humans cannot ultimately resist the workings of the God of love in their lives. Every tongue will confess that Jesus IS Lord of their own free will. From Genesis through The Revelation, purpose works, plan does not.
Now you can understand the scripture that says that some are saved as if by fire. This is because even in the Lake of fire, man will continue to be corrected by God’s love until he is fully persuaded to say yes to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Nowhere does it say that the Lake of fire is eternal. It is called the 2nd death because it swallows up the first death unto the salvation of those who did not choose rightly in this life.
Now, do you remember the “quote” at the beginning of this teaching? The statement was: Believing in the Restoration of ALL would be to deny, theologically speaking, the authenticity of our personhood, and our real freedom to participate.
Can you see now that we are NOT denied the authenticity of our personhood, and that we DO have freedom to participate in the restoration of all things through God’s own ability in His purpose?
Having misunderstood this, has denied many the blessing of believing in Jesus as the Savior of the world. But this is answered when we understand the power of God’s way in purpose, even in, and through the Lake of Fire. It is for correction, not eternal punishment, or annihilation.
The entire matter of human free will in the midst of any circumstance of life, stands in the way of many earnest people believing in the clear biblical teaching about “apokatastasis”: the restoration of all things. Remember, the definition of free will?
Now, I am asking you to please meditate on this concept. If you will allow God to work this into your understanding, I believe it will bring even more liberty to you in your relationship with Him, like it did for me. I cannot teach anyone; it is only the Holy Spirit that can convey the truth on any given subject. I pray He will make this real to you. I pray He will bless your understanding in the days ahead. May life be good to you always!
I HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE: BONNIE