For parts 1 and 2 see link No. 1 below.
This is my third article on this contentious issue, and I recently received some objections to my teaching on it via e-mail. This complainant was very agitated and vociferous, with all his e-mails written in block capitals. Why do people shout when they are in error? Do they think people are going to take more notice of what they are saying if they shout? I suppose they must, but is this the case? I don’t think so, in fact I know so, because all it does is makes them sound and look foolish, combined with The Truth that text written in all-caps is harder to read than upper/lower text, and the writer thereby self-defeated.
So what were his objections? His objections were based on Old Testament Holy Scriptures where it states, and I will quote:
Leviticus 22:18 (KJV) Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the LORD for a burnt offering.
OK, the pesky word is written there, but does it change anything that I have not already covered in my previous two articles? Let’s return to some of my teaching just to clarify. Man is a fallen being, a lost being, an unsaved being and that is his overall condition, into which he is born, and he cannot be rescued from that condition until he is called by The Father God to His Son Yashua Messiah (Jesus Christ), and regenerated through water Baptism (full immersion), and the gifting of The Holy Spirit.
Genesis 3:5 (KJV) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Genesis 3:22 (KJV) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.
Here is the fallen condition, and notice what God says: “He is become as one of us,” that is, to know ‘good’ and to know evil, to have the knowledge of these two ways of behaving or living. This means from that moment in time (when Adam and Eve fell) man knew about being ‘good’ and about being evil. It also meant he would now be capable of both actions, good, kind or generous actions, even loving actions, or evil, cruel and spiteful actions.
Now if we transfer this reality of The Truth of man’s overall fallen condition to so called ‘freewill offerings’, does this mean that man has had freewill all along and the fall of man in the Garden of Eden didn’t take place. For, make no mistake, this is what it means. It also means man had free will after he fell. For if we say we have free will, it means the fall of man never took place, and we are all free from the bondage of sin and are therefore free, so, by default, we must have free will and we are free to choose. The other issue, and far more important, being that there would been no need for Yashua Messiah to come and die for us.
This, though, flies in the face of The Truth, for in the fallen condition we are slaves to sin, we are lost, so how can we be free. OK, so we are slaves to sin, so what does that mean in terms of will, because we now know it’s not free will that we possess, for we are slaves and slaves have no freedom whatsoever. We have will, certainly, but it’s not free. As mankind we can only have one of two wills, either it’s the Devil’s will, or it’s the Father God’s will, we certainly don’t have any will of our own, and this is what it means to be fallen or lost.
How can that be I hear you ask? Quite simply because God is in charge, but so, in a lesser way, is the other god – the god of this world – Satan. The difference being, the god of this world or this age is soon to lose all his power, but at this moment in time he is still the god of this world and people of this world do his will – period – full stop – end of.
So what is his will? His will is that people believe his lies and that they do it continually, just as they did from day one in The Garden. People love to be lied to, and that’s why they vote for politicians; why they think politicians are on their side; it’s why they go to ‘church’; it’s why they follow religions of all descriptions. It’s all lies and deceptions of the Devil and people love them!! These are nothing but outward displays of the lost, fallen condition and man can behave in no other way – he’s fallen. Paul confirms this for us:
Romans 8:7 (KJV) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to The Law of God, neither indeed can be.
Apart from that, it is also the Devil’s will that man behaves in accordance with the knowledge he acquired when he fell in the Garden of Eden. This issue is of paramount importance when we deal with issue of ‘freewill’ offerings, and it also confirms that Satan maintains his deception through people doing ‘good’ as well as doing evil. If he got people to do evil and only evil his cover would soon be blown, and all people would see him for what he is. No, he is the arch-deceiver and he deceives the whole world, apart from one group of people – The Church of God, otherwise known as The Ekklesia, those called out of this world by The Father.
Freewill offerings – H5071 – nᵉdâbâh, ned-aw-baw’; from H5068; properly (abstractly) spontaneity, or (adjectively) spontaneous; also (concretely) a spontaneous or (by inference, in plural) abundant gift:—free(-will) offering, freely, plentiful, voluntary(-ily, offering), willing(-ly), offering).
So to press on, there are seventeen verses in the OT where we will find the word ‘freewill’ and the above verse from Leviticus is one of them. The first problem we have with the usage of this word is the usual one of translation error, for if we look in the Hebrew version of the OT we find the word ‘voluntary’ is used. In other words it’s voluntary offerings, not freewill offerings, and there is a subtle difference between these two words. Mr Strong in his concordance gives it as ‘spontaneous’ but has any of this shown that man has free will? No, not at all. Therefore the use of the word ‘freewill’ is definitely misleading, and it is definitely a translator’s choice, so therefore gratuitous, when the word ‘spontaneous’ would work far better and not mislead. These voluntary offerings were a display of ‘good’ works, the ‘good’ part of the ‘good’ and evil make up of fallen man, and sometimes they were offerings that were given for a reason – there was a motive or an agenda.
In Ezra we find voluntary offerings being given towards helping with the construction of the Temple:
Ezra 1:4 (KJV) And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
As I have already stated, all these acts of generosity were acts of ‘goodness’ and therefore fall under the umbrella of the fallen condition, for man has the knowledge of ‘good’ and evil. This means these acts of giving offerings were not ‘freewill offerings’ they were fallen condition offerings, ‘spontaneous’ acts of ‘goodness’ within that fallen condition.
To decide between doing ‘good’ or evil is all part of the Devil’s deception, so that people like my complainant think free will is involved when deciding whether to do ‘good’ or not. Which ever thing we decide to do, the things we are doing are still the Devil’s will, not our own will, for it is all part and parcel of the fallen condition. There is no escape from it until we are born of God (born again).
John 8:32 (MCV) And ye shall know The Truth (Yashua Messiah), and The Truth (Yashua Messiah) shall make you free
John 8:36 (KJV) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
We need to get these verses into our heads, and written on our hearts, for they tell us plainly and simply that only Faith and belief in Yashua Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ) can set us free, and thereby give us free will. And who gives us the ability to believe – Yashua Messiah Himself through The Father’s call, His will, not our will.
John 6:44 (MCV) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me
draw drag him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
In addition to all I have said thus far, another excellent example of this ‘good’ issue is the British liberal reformers of the nineteenth century. They did all manner of what they thought were ‘good works’ and kind deeds and some of them were, indeed, good and kind works. They were kindly, well meaning people, and they ‘chose’ to do these ‘good deeds’, but unless they were born of God (born again) these people’s actions and choices were still only do-gooding acts within the lost and fallen condition, just like the ‘spontaneous’ offerings in Leviticus.
If these reformers were not born of God (born again), their motive for doing ‘good’ was not for God’s Glory but, rather, for their own glory, and for the benefit of mankind. God was not in the picture, and that means His will was not in the picture either. So if God’s will was not involved in these do-gooding acts of kindness, whose will was it? Why, it was Satan’s will via man’s choices within the fallen condition, so it could not be a free will decision, any more than the so called free will offerings in Leviticus were. These were acts of ‘good’ emanating from men who had the knowledge of ‘good’ and evil – the fallen condition. Whatever man does, whether it be ‘good’ or evil, he is still a slave, a slave to sin, until he is born of God (born again) and he has no free will until that happens.
Ever heard the expression: “Only the good die young!?” Is it true? Well it’s my belief that if fallen people are too good in Satan’s eyes, he takes them out, because he hates them doing all their good deeds – or he hates them if they have a kind disposition and they love their neighbours on a daily basis. To Satan this is not the right kind of behaviour for someone in the fallen condition, for only the right kind of do-gooding is allowed = self-centred do-gooding, not selfless do-gooding.
I trust this will help you all (including my complainant) to come to a clearer understanding of the issue of fallen man’s ‘will’ for it is most definitely not free.
In Yashua Messiah’s Holy name
1. FREE WILL – Does Fallen Mankind Have It?: