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Doctrine of God’s Repentance
I don’t think that there is any Biblical teaching more misunderstood and avoided by preachers and teachers than the doctrine of God’s repentance. But, it represents one of the first revelations of the apostle Paul and other Biblical writers. It reveals how mankind becomes reconciled to God and more important, how God becomes reconciled to mankind. This is one of the most important teachings of the Bible . . . that we humans should understand. It simply represents the basic teaching of God’s atoning power and His authority and power in granting salvation to mankind. We learn from the Bible that not only should humans repent of evil, but the Holy Scriptures also reveal that God Himself repents (regrets)of evil.
One of the main teachings of Christianity in fundamental churches, is that man needs to repent and get right with God. And because the Bible stresses this vital requirement to come into a right relationship with God, it is reasonable for Christians to consider this doctrine and be aware of its main features as they are clearly stated in the Holy Word of God. The truth is that mortal man must repent to our Almighty Creator God for the sins that he or she have done against God. We need to be reconciled (reunited) to God.
Yes, it is true that we must repent to be reconciled to God, but there is another side to this. We desperately need God to be reconciled to us! This reconciliation is a two-way street! The Bible clearly shows that God will also repent (regret) of His ways in the manner in which He has dealt with mankind in order for Him to become thoroughly reconciled to mankind as well. This is the other part of repentance and reconciliation and the Bible deals with this matter in a clear way. Reconciliation means to restore a pleasant relationship between two parties who are at odds with each other. BOTH sides must take part in the reconciliation. Both have to forgive and forget. Reconciliation does not take place if God forgives and forgets about the wrongs which have caused the hostility . . . IF mortal man refuses to repent and turn away from his sin. There must be a sincere, heart felt regret of man to avoid further hostility so there can be true harmony between the two. God not only demands repentance from us for our ways against Him, but He will repent (regret) of His judgments IF we are sincere in our prayers about repentance.
There is one biblical teaching that must be understood before I proceed with the doctrine of the repentance of God. We must realize that God is the Sovereign of the Universe and that He is in total control of everything that exists within the whole of Creation. The sovereignty of God must be acknowledged as FACT. God reigns SUPREME in the Universe. He dominates all things, both the visible and the invisible, both spirits or humans, both animal or inanimate (Col.1:15-17). The FACT is, God created ALL things and He rules among His Creation as the Supreme Power over all, and dear one . . . we will either do things God’s way . . . or pay the consequences! And what most people do not understand is the FACT that for God to be the Ruler over all, He must also control ALL the forces on Earth and in the Universe. Those forces produce both good and bad things, and God is in charge of them all.
1 Chron. 29:11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. (KJV)
In the period just before the Second Coming of Christ, the apostle Paul tells us that "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."
2 Thes. 2:7-12 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (KJV)
The world is getting worse day by day, and will continue until Jesus comes to take His people out at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18)! After that . . . iniquity and lawlessness shall take over big time! Lawlessness will continue to get worse and worse, but the Holy Spirit will not let Satan go all the way in this age. BUT, when the Holy Spirit is removed, it will be like taking the cap off a bottle of soda that has been shaken! The molten lava of lawlessness will pour out all over the world in that day.
Q. When will the Holy Spirit be taken out? A.I believe that He will be taken out with the church at the Rapture.
Q. Won't the Holy Spirit be in the world during the Great Tribulation? A. Yes, He will, but He won't hinder evil as He does today.
Q. Wasn't He in the world before Pentecost? A. Yes! He was present in the days of the Old Testament, but He had a different job. He will also be on a different assignment after the church is removed.
In today’s world, the Spirit of God is sealing us until the day of redemption when He will present us and deliver us to the Lord Jesus (2 Cor.11:2; Eph.5:27; Col.1:22, 28; Jude 1:24). If He did NOT do that, we would not make it. After He does that, I believe His task will be similar to what He did in the Old Testament, BUT. . . it is my opinion that He will NOT hinder evil as He does today . . . He will let Satan have his way for a while. Can you even begin to imagine what the world would be like IF the Holy Spirit was not withholding evil today? It is horrible with all the abortion, adultery, alcohol, drugs, fornication, homosexuality and all weird forms of sexual immorality including same sex marriage, murder, incest, rape, violence and witchcraft . . . everywhere! All these are an abomination, disrespect and irreverence to our gracious God! I do NOT want to be on the Earth when the devil has his way in the Great Tribulation!
The prophet Jeremiah admitted that God was responsible for allowing the people to be deceived. Jer. 4:10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul. (KJV)
Jeremiah disapproved of the LORD God's intentions on Judah and Jerusalem, and accused God of deception. He, like most today, looked at the Promises, never looking at the conditions which had to be met FIRST . . . IF the Promises were to be received. God promised peace IF the people would return to Him (Jer.4:1, 4).
Surely thou hast greatly deceived this people . . . God allowed the people to be misled by the false prophets (Isa.63:17; Eze.14:9; 1 Ki.22:21-22; 2 Thes.2:11). How can it possibly be that God would allow the people to be deceived by their false prophets? Dear one, God gives us all a free will to make decisions! We must be careful WHAT we decide! We cannot blame God if we choose wrongly. We cannot pass the buck!
Revelation 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. (KJV)
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will . . . meaning what He had decided would be done . . . NOT what He commanded the kings to do, but their giving their kingdom unto the beast, was His will. God does NOT put malice against Himself and His Son into the hearts of anyone. That is done by Satan, which is the cause of any one assisting the beast (Antichrist)
The Great Tribulation is the dreadful time allowed by God, but it is exactly what the nations have deserved, because when they had the Truth they did NOT live according to its holy demands, but loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil (Jn.3:19). Therefore hath the Lord sent them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they might all be damned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thes.2:11)
Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (KJV)
If a person decides NOT to obey God, God can and will put fear in their hearts to achieve His purpose and will. He is in control of ALL things, everywhere, and He will use whatsoever He needs to accomplish His purpose.
Please consider the Great Tribulation period.
Matthew 24:21-22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (KJV)
There have been some horrible times in the past, but the Great Tribulation will be horrible! You do NOT want to go through that terrible time!
God allows people to do evil
2 Chron. 30:7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see. (KJV)
Psalm 81:11-12 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. 12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. (KJV)
Psalm 106:41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. (KJV)
Pro. 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (KJV)
Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. (KJV)
Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (KJV)
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (KJV)
Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (KJV)
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (KJV)
Acts 7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? (KJV)
God allows people to turn from Him and be deceived and then judges them for being deceived.
Ezekiel 14:9-11 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; 11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
Those false prophets whom the people loved, deluded them, and the LORD allowed them to do it, as a righteous judgment on their rebellious, willful blindness. The Almighty Lord GOD can and does send lying spirits to false prophets IF and when He so desires! He did it to Ahab's prophets and others (1 Ki.22:22-23; 2 Chron. 18:21-22), and the LORD can also give them up to strong delusions to believe a lie, and publish it (2 Thes.2:11-12), if and when He chooses to do so! False prophets are always ready, willing and able to prophesy smooth things (Isa.30:10).
Woe to any prophet who foretells peace to anyone with whom God is at war. False prophets of the past, and false teachers in today’s world, who try to ease the conscience and quiet the fears in the hearts of the wicked, oppose the Almighty Lord GOD . . . and that is a terrible sin. True prophets of GOD and true teachers of God’s Word should be warning people to repent and cast off any sin. But instead, false teachers bring only smooth, comforting words that give people hope, when there is absolutely NO hope whatsoever in their message! BEWARE of false teachers! They will lead you only to the lake of fire (Rev.20:15).
Both the false prophet, and all those that lustfully tried to find out what they had to say, were deceived by him. Neither will have an excuse, because they have sinned together, they all went astray willfully. They all shall without fail perish. Both are guilty . . . the prophet and those who loved what he said. Each separate one, pursuing the desires of their own wicked hearts (Jer.17:9); each one seeking for smooth things to be spoken to him (Isa.30:10); each wanting only what would gratify him, and for the sake of gain. The one being a false prophet . . . the other seeking and being deceived, inquiring of him, while all the time he was abusing and rejecting the TRUE prophets of the LORD . . . both being deceived, and both totally blind . . . thus, both would fall into the same ditch (Lk.6:39), being under the same judicial blindness and hardness of heart. The Targum is, according to the sin of him that comes to learn and learns not; according to the sin of the false prophet shall it be.
Just as the false prophets dealt so deceitfully with God by seeking answers of peace without repentance, so the Lord GOD would allow them be dealt with deceitfully by the prophets whom they consulted. God would chastise their sin with a matching judgment; because they rejected the safety and Truth of the true prophets, He would send the wicked delusions of a false one . . . prophets would be given to them who would repeat the deceitfulness that was already formed in their own heart, and would end in their total ruin. The people had only themselves to blame, for they had long ago been forewarned how to discern and to deal with a false prophet (Deut.13:3). The very existence of such deceivers among them was a sign of God’s judicial displeasure, as in Saul’s case (1 Sam.16:14; 28:6-7). The deceivers and the deceived are suckers of a common delusion, and would be involved in a common ruin.
That the house of Israel may go no more astray . . . not go astray from His worship, as the Targum; from the law of God, and obedience to it. Any time we go astray from the Lord GOD . . . it is SIN, it is a disobedience of His commandments; it leads us out of the right way onto wrong paths, which always result in ruin. Sometimes the ways which God uses to restore His people, and bring them back to Himself, are the same punishments that He inflicts on the wicked; and which is His purpose in so doing, as it was here; that the false prophets, and those that followed them, would when made examples of, would be a warning to others, and caution them not to fall into the same sins, that so they would not have to bear the same punishment. God’s elect: (Isa.42:1; 45:4; 65:9, 22; Mat.24:24, 31; Mk.13:22, 27; Lk.18:7; Rom.8:33; Col.3:12; Tit.1:1; 1 Pet.1:2).
Every transgression is a disobedience of the Law of God, so sin in reality, defiles nature; defiles the heart, mind and conscience . . . defiles the whole man, from which there is absolutely NO cleansing except by the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19).
Only the only begotten Son of God can redeem us from our sin (Eph.1:7). http://www.godcannotlie.org/eph_ch1.htm
Dear one, any and all sin is hateful in itself, but worse, it completely opposes the pure and holy nature of God, and is utterly abominable to His gracious Mind, and therefore must be avoided, IF we want to stay on God’s good side! Love was the spring (fountain or source) of God's very judgments on His people, who were incurable by any other process.
*****It is sad indeed that God’s Truth should be corrupted and dirtied by lies, and that the people, with those who imposed it upon them, should utterly perish. But we now know that the children of Israel were not to be tamed, unless they were completely broken down. We shall not be in danger of wandering IF we follow God . . . BUT, if our hearts and minds turn to one side or the other, and we do not maintain our obedience to the Lord GOD alone, the prophet teaches that we wander in error, and that this will in the end bring misery.
Both the false prophets and those who consulted them would be destroyed and would be blotted from the midst of God’s people. We know that there was always some seed left (remnant), that the covenant which had been made with Abraham might be firm and sacred. This sentence then properly refers to the elect, who are called by Paul the remnant of grace (Rom.11:5.) But God says that the example would be useful to the survivors, since the punishment of others would instruct them: and when they would see the false prophets perish, and would acknowledge God’s remarkable judgment in their destruction, then they would profit by it.
We should understand what the prophet means by the destruction of the false prophets and of those hypocrites who despised the true prophets, and prostituted themselves to be deceived by these impostors. When God makes them an example of His wrath, the prophet says that the house of Israel would receive advantage from their perishing, and profit by their utter ruin.
Dear one, only when God’s judgments are in the Earth, will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isa.26:9). The elect that were wicked (Eph.2:1-2) will become good, and they that were good will be made better. When a few are punished, all fear.
God's Use of Evil in Prophecy
Does God Repent?
Does God Really Repent?
Does God Change His Mind?
Doctrine of God's Repentance
Wickedness Makes God Repent