Some Truths About God

There is only one God, who is omnipresent, and therefore all that exists. The entirety of creation is God’s self-expression, and there is nothing that exists that is not a part of God. Every created thing is sustained by God, and under His direct control. All creatures are like puppets in the metaphorical hands of God.

God has existed eternally; He never had a beginning and will never have an end. His essence is beyond definition, but He is not a material object like a human being, He is pure being or spirit. God is living in this single eternal moment – existence and God are not ontologically different from one another.

God is self-sufficient, independent, and autonomous.

God is capable of producing in human beings a mode of mind that is like a veil – it prevents us being aware of Him. He is also able to reveal Himself to the human mind, by speaking directly to it in a mode similar to but distinct from contemplative thought. It is God who makes thoughts arise in our minds, both contemplative thoughts, and those thoughts that are His speech to us. We can experience thoughts that are ours, and others that are God’s. They are similar, but distinct, and all are from God.

As well as speaking to us directly, God also reveals Himself in visions, dreams, and Scriptures. For those to whom God has granted insight, the wonder and harmony of creation is further evidence of His existence and His nature.

God is the creator of every object, the author of every book, the composer of every song. We can observe that He is able to create billions of distinct objects and creatures, and so we say He is infinite in His creative powers.

God has created every belief and every religion. Every idea is an expression from God. All that humans call good, and all that they call evil, are from God. It is impossible for anything to happen that is not the will of God, so we do not have free will.

43 comments

    1. I’m always interested to hear arguments in defence of free will. But I don’t see how you can have an omnipresent God and free will at the same time. The two ideas are logically contradictory. I’m writing an essay about this at the moment which I’ll be posting on this blog. If you’re interested, give it a read and leave your thoughts. You’ll get an email when it’s up. Blessings, bro!

  1. Hi Steven! Good article – I appreciate your thoughtfulness, sincerity. and openness

    I think we may not see eye-to-eye on a couple of points, though. My apologies in advance for the lengthy comment!

    I do not believe that all ideas, thoughts, feelings, and religions come from the God of the Bible. Remember that the enemy propogates his agenda through deception, and God would never say anything that would contradict the truth in His Word. Therefore, even though He created all people and things, not all ideas – or the things that happen – come directly from Him. I believe in the sovereignty of God (there is no one or thing greater than Him), but I do not believe that everything that He created functions according to His design or plans. Since we live in a sin-soaked world, I believe that many things happen that are outside the will of God, and that grieve His heart.

    However, His sovereignty is totally separate from what actually happens as we experience history. If God simply wanted everything to cease, He could do so, without consulting with anyone, or really even having to do anything tangible. He could simply think it, and it would be so.

    To summarize, I’d put it this way:
    – God had a perfect plan, and through deception, the enemy persuaded humanity to believe a lie (Garden of Eden through now).
    – The enemy of our souls – the prince of this world, as the Bible often calls him – has no real spiritual authority in our lives, but he Is a powerful being. Consequently, he resorts to elaborate deceptions and ruses to simply factor God out of our daily lives, or to put something (or someone else) in His rightful place.
    – We live in the midst of a very real spiritual war. As you know, the battle has already been one in eternity, but we are still living it out and experiencing it in history. The enemy’s verdict has already been determined, so before he gets thrown into the of fire, he’s trying to destroy as many souls as he can along the way. He does this through a mixture of cunning, temptation, and half-truths that appeal to our pride and inherently sinful nature.
    – Other ideas about how the Lord – either that diminish Him, or distort His character and heart, remove Him altogether, or are paired with partial truths about Him – are not biblical. Not all roads lead to Jesus – only one does.
    – Since our sin nature is inherently wicked, we cannot totally trust/rely upon our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Yes, God has worked powerfully through some people and have inspired them to do wonderful things; but I cannot say that EVERY thought, feeling, and emotion comes from God. Some of them come from me and my desire to be in control, and not from the Lord Himself.

    I could go on and on, but I do not want to break your comment box. 🙂

    Thanks again for writing. I think it’s wonderful that your posts create opportunities for meaningful dialogues for all people. I appreciate you!

    1. Hello Daily!

      Many thanks for your comment. There’s much that I could say in response, but I will just respond to a couple of things you said that jumped out at me the most.

      Since we live in a sin-soaked world, I believe that many things happen that are outside the will of God, and that grieve His heart.

      Could you give me some examples of some things that happen by the will of God, and some that happen outside the will of God? You seem to be saying that God is sovereign over some aspects of our lives, but not others, and that’s an idea that doesn’t make sense to me.

      I cannot say that EVERY thought, feeling, and emotion comes from God.

      Okay, can you tell me which ones do and which ones don’t?

      I’m certainly not just being pernickety. A lot of people make similar assertions but haven’t really thought through what they are saying in terms of what it says about God. If God is truly sovereign, omnipresent, and omnipotent, then all His creatures (including Satan) are under His control. If there are things that are not under God’s control, then God is limited.

      Thanks so much for the discussion!

      Steven

      1. You know, I was thinking and praying about how to best to respond to your questions. What came to me as this – what I know and believe to be true have been revealed to me through my own personal Bible study, prayer/discernment time, and life experiences. I am not claiming to be any sort of expert; however, let me be clear on this: I have thought through what I have said, what I believe, and stand behind it 100%. I do not make any claims without thinking them through first, and most importantly, without prayerfully searching the Scriptures (like the Bereans) to confirm that what I believe to be true actually is true.

        However, it’s clear to me that the Lord speaks to each of His children in different ways. I sense with you – and correct me if I’m wrong – a strong orientation around logic and linear thinking. These are both good things. So I believe that the Lord will continue to speak to you in those ways, so that you understand and continue in your relationship with Him.

        However, as you know, God is not constrained by logic or linear thinking. He’s not constrained by anything or anyone. He is gracious to us to take the time to reveal His truth to us in ways that each of us can readily understand. For each of us, the approach that He employs is unique and customized.

        You ask good questions, so please keep asking them. But remember that the answers that you seek may not come as quickly or as clearly as you would like – at least that’s been my experience. The Lord does answer them, though – He is faithful in that way.

        That being said, The Bible passages that time most readily to mind regarding your questions are the first three chapters of Genesis. There’s a lot of really powerful stuff in there, as you likely already know.

        Here’s a suggestion that you can pursue or not, depending on your interest and inclination: spend a week or so reading and reflecting on those three chapters, and take the very specific questions that you have to the Lord during that time. Then be open to see the surprising ways that He may address the queries that you have (He may also remain silent – that has been my experience, too).

        I was simply sharing with you what my beliefs are. You were doing the same. At the end of the day, it is fine for us to not agree on everything. Thankfully, God is big enough to handle our most complicated questions, so I know that He has some good answers to the ones you have as well. 🙂

        1. Hey again Daily 🙂

          I’m so grateful for your thoughtful, considered, and prayerful response. Thanks for taking the time to respond in this way.

          The whole issue of God’s will vs free will takes up a lot of my thought, because it really affects a number of doctrines that are at the heart of Christianity. Sometimes I immerse myself in the Christian life, and these thoughts sink into the background – almost as though I’m choosing faith over reason. And perhaps that’s a good thing. Nevertheless, there are often times when these problems resurface in my mind, and then I’m not able to dedicate myself fully to evangelism because I know, if I’m asked questions about Christian doctrine (and if I want to answer truthfully), I will have a real problem.

          I’ve actually written a discourse about the specific predicament that I’m wrestling with, and I would love for you to give it a read, not so much to get into an argument, but just so you can understand where I coming from. Would you be willing to read it? If so, I’ll let you know once it’s finished – I’m currently getting a couple of people to look over it and proofread it to check it’s clear and coherent.

          It’s fine that you didn’t directly answer the questions in my reply to you, although I would have been interested to see how you understand the distinction between the things God is doing, and the things we are doing freely, and how the will of God and the human will interact. Perhaps you felt you had already made your point(s) in your original comment.

          God bless you! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

          Best wishes,

          Steven

          1. Hi Steven, good to hear from you. 😀 I would certainly welcome the opportunity to read your discourse. You have my email address, so you can feel free to send it to me there; alternatively, if it’s easier for you to point me to a specific website, then I’ll try to check it out.

            I intentionally did not answer questions, because I rrealized thatI couldn’t put into words all that was in my heart and spirit. How do you summarize the totality of the rrevelation that Godis giving it to you? I wasn’t even sure where to begin!

            And I still have many many questions myself. I commend you for your deep thinking about the heart and mind of the Lord. My perspective is this: if the Lord is raising these issues in your mind, then there is something more that He has to share with you. That’s quite an exciting prospect when you think about it.

            I was not in a dissimilar position from you earlier this year. I was going through some challenging circumstances and had sought godly counsel from a friend of mine. She reminded me that I was on a journey and briefly shared some of her experiences in a very unspecific way; however, she made it clear that my journey was my own, and that the Lord would start speaking to me about the matter in good time. She was right! While there were some parallels in our experiences, there were also some significant differences as well.

            There were some truths about God that I could only learn because of a unique and customized way that the Lord connected with me during the season of pain. For you, and it may be different – as you investigate specific attributes of your faith and continue with your deep thinking regarding the matters of God, perhaps He will orchestrate an encounter that will simply knock your socks off (Job 38-42 is a good example of this).

            I’m not sure if any of this makes sense to you. I am more of an intuitive and experiential person, so we may be looking at the same thing through very different lenses.

            Be well!

            1. Thank you, Daily 🙂 Everything you’re saying makes sense. Glad to hear you’d be up for reading my discourse/essay/paper – I’ll email you a link when it’s live. Happy blogging and have a wonderful day! 🙏🏻

  2. This is a great post Steven… Reading this along with the comments made me rethink about some things…Which I don’t really know how to say exactly but maybe I’ll say it in a post one of these days. 🙂 🙂 I pray that you never tired of writing these kinds of articles. You’re so open and I’m kinda inspired by your openness and honesty. God Bless You. 🙂

    1. Bless you, Lili. I really appreciate your kindness, and I’m glad the article made you think. I’ve spent a great deal of time pondering the nature of God and I enjoy sharing what I’ve realised / discovered. Have a wonderful day and I’m looking forward to your next post! Blessings, Steven 😊🙏🏻

  3. If God is love, then it could not be his will that I torture someone. Although he permits that to happen to some people. I have heard that God has a permissive will and a will of what he wants done.

    Maybe this is a discussion of what “will” means. So, evil thoughts we have, though they come from Satan, God has given permission to Satan to speak to us as he did with the snake in the garden and when Jesus was in the wilderness.

    When in college, I learned about the philosophy of Determinism. It says we have no free will at all. That day, I understood what Jesus meant when he said we are slaves to sin. Slaves have no choice in anything. But I saw that we do have free choice in whether we give our lives to God or not. I believe that is the only free choice we have, and it is a choice to be made every day.

    1. Hi Belle! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I like to ask myself the question, ‘What is God doing right now?’. Is He separate from existence, or is He intimately involved in existence, sustaining and directing everything that happens? Determinism implies a kind of mechanical universe, but I believe in a living God who is omnipresent and who can make decisions about how to unfold the future. The question of free will is intimately linked to the nature of God. If human beings and Satan can act independently of the will of God, that means God is limited and not omnipresent. That doesn’t sound like God to me.

      God bless you and thanks for stopping by!

      Steven

  4. If we didn’t have the choice to obey God or not then we are no more than a robot or a baby doll that says, “Ma Ma.” I don’t believe sin was created by God . I don’t see it as the will of God, however he must have known it would happen before he created the angels. He decided to create the angels anyway. Why? To be honest, I’m not sure except that perhaps he simply could not keep life all to himself. He had to share it with others.

    C.S.Lewis says we may think God should not have created beings knowing they would suffer in the future. But he is all wise, and he did create beings therefore it must have been the best decision. If I look at my suffering in life, I can honestly say I am glad I was created even though I have suffered so much. My future with God in heaven looks so delicious to me – so wonderful – that I forget my suffering and can actually thank God for it because it brought me to Him.

    1. Hi Belle!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      I wouldn’t say we’re like robots, as this suggests we are like pre-programmed automatons. We’re more like puppets, with God as the puppet master. God is a *living* God – He is in control of creation. If God is not everywhere, He is not sovereign, so it makes sense to me to say God is the author of all things and not just some things.

      I totally respect your different perspective, though. Peace and blessings 🙏🏻

      Steven

  5. One of the things I’ve been working for my blog, Inside Cup, is to write Bible book summaries. Currently, I’m working on the book of Numbers. When you spoke of the veil, it reminded me of Miriam and Aaron. They struggled to understand why Moses could so freely “be a prophet,” and yet, they weren’t chosen. God rebukes them. Telling them, Moses is in fact, NOT a prophet. He has personal relationship with God. God speaks to him directly. A prophet would know he is selected by visions and dreams. After Moses, no one had such a relationship with God, that is until Jesus Christ became our intercession and tore the veil, if you will, of what kept us away from God.

    He can definitely allow eyes to be blind if we do not seek Him. I’m so thankful when we choose Him that He is ever so willing to show us He is there for us.

    Really enjoyed this piece 🙂

  6. But I do disagree. Though I certainly believe God allows things to happen, I believe He gives us free will. The angels that fell had the choice to disobey. Adam and Eve were directly given a choice to disobey. Jesus was given freewill to choose whether or not He would do what He wanted or follow what God wanted Him to do, and He chose God.

    Personally, to take out the notion of free will decreases the awesomeness of God, and His true power and love over us. It makes more sense to look at free will. Abraham who was tested, passed the test when he was willing to kill his son as a sacrifice. God has demonstrated that He wants us to choose Him. Do I believe He knows the future, absolutely.

    But He wants to be chosen, and Jesus Christ gave us the choice of salvation. To confess with our mouth and to believe in our heart, is choice.

  7. There are so many scriptures that say otherwise.

    (NLT) James 1:13-14, “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.”

    When God made the world, what was it? “Very good,” as we see in scripture. It was the snake that tempted, and it was mankind that fell. Evil was not created by God.

    (NV) Romans 5:12, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

    (NAS) Psalm 5:04, “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You.”

    (NIV) 1 John 1:05, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

    God does not will evil, if He did, then He would become unrighteous. We also know He doesn’t accept it because of what He did to the world during the time of Noah. We know again in Revelations He will purge the world again, and then create all things new because mankind full of sin and darkness has darkened what He made to be good.

    Even those in Christ can be led astray, and it will be by their choice.

    (NIV) 2 Corinthians 11:03, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

    1. Hi T. R.!

      There’s so much I could say in response, but if you’re interested to know my perspective on free will just check out the Free Will category on this blog. I think we will disagree, but that’s cool. I note all the scriptures that you quoted, but there are also a great many scriptures speaking of God’s sovereignty over ALL things and ALL events. I’ve written about this extensively both on this blog and in my books. Here’s just one article on the subject:

      https://perfectchaos.org/2016/07/24/gods-sovereignty-in-scripture/

      Peace and blessings to you and I’m grateful for your comments!

      Steven

      1. It will probably be something we definitely disagree on for sure. 🙂 Thank you for being understanding to my comments. I know it isn’t always easy when the conversation differs on agreement. I’m thankful for being able to speak with other Christians, who may disagree, but we can still openly discuss. Peace and blessings be upon you as well!

        1. Yeah, well said! 🙂 I’m thankful too. I’m actually planning to publish a paper on this blog in the next couple of weeks which I’d love to get your thoughts on. It basically talks about my love for Jesus and desire to serve God, but also describes some of the struggles I’ve had with Christian thought. I’ll publish a blog post linking to it when it’s ready. Hope to keep in touch! Steven 🙏🏻

          1. There’s a lot of struggles with believers. We may unintentionally become stumbling blocks towards others or ourselves. A stubbornness I think is a deeply planted seed most overlook. “My way is the right way, the only way.” If we don’t hear each other out, there’s no way we can grow. We don’t have to agree, but we certainly should be willing to listen, I think. Regardless, Christ encourages us to keep following Him, and following through, even if others don’t understand us. He’s showing me, it doesn’t matter if I’m misunderstood, but what matters is how I react and how I treat that person. Admittedly, it isn’t always easy, but Christ has used humility to guide me in ways I wouldn’t have know before. 🙂

            1. Well said! As I used to be an atheist, and have been interested in different religions at different times, that gives me an openness to what others believe, and I try to respect everyone, wherever they are at on their spiritual journey. One of the good things about believing God is in control is I know everyone’s lives are unfolding in accordance with His will (you would disagree I think 🙂 ). I try to read widely as well to understand different views.

            2. I do believe things unfold in time to His will, if He wills it will be done. I disagree in other aspects 🙂 Though this has encouraged to make sure I write a post on free will for my Believer 101 series.

              I’ve believed from a very young age, and when I was 13 that was when I wanted a more connected relationship with Christ, so I studied scriptures, questioned adults, and openly discussed. Not a lot of people knew how to relate to that, both peer and adult. God taught me humility and how to listen. If we want to be heard, then we need to give the same kind of courtesy. 🙂

            3. Great, will look forward to your post on free will! Out of interest, whereabouts in the world are you? WordPress might not let me reply to your next comment, as comments on this blog can only be nested 6 deep… So if I don’t reply, I’m not ignoring you 🙂

      1. Hi again, Sarah.

        I will just come back at you with a quote from Epicurus for you to ponder:

        Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
        Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
        Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
        Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

        What are your thoughts?

        Best wishes,

        Steven

        1. Hi Steven. I’m not up to this argument so I’m going to paste something my husband wrote for me on this topic when I was trying to explain it to my mum: “Suppose God does something, e.g. creating a world of this kind, which has evil
          consequences. It does not automatically follow that those evil consequences have any bearing on whether God is good or not. Why might that be? Well the question can be asked whether ALL the consequences of one’s actions are
          relevant to one’s moral character. If they are NOT then perhaps the evil consequences of God’s having created the world are among those not relevant to whether he is good or not. Traditional moral theory, after all, held that
          consequences that are foreseen but not intended often have no bearing on one’s guilt. Maybe God foresaw but did not intend evil. Suppose on the other hand that all the consequences ARE relevant. It still does not follow that evil
          consequences would make God evil. After all, the moral theory which has displaced traditional theory in most people’s minds is one in which, although every consequence is relevant, it is relevant only in how it contributes to
          the overall balance of good and evil. The right action is not the one with no evil consequences but the one with the greatest overall balance of good over evil. So, on this view, you can’t point at an evil consequence as
          discrediting God, instead you have to look at the whole picture. It is because Governments and individuals, by and large, adhere to this theory today that they are prepared to countenance actions like torture and abortion
          that in the past would have been regarded as ruled out all together. But that is of incidental interest. The important point is that whether or not all the consequences of one’s actions are relevant to one’s moral character, either
          way it does not automatically follow that evil consequences are relevant. Since it follows either way, it follows period. Hence one cannot simply point to the evil in the world and conclude that God is not good. In fact it is
          surprising that this argument is more popular today than in the past because the moral theory that prevails today is actually more likely to get God off the hook than that which prevailed in the past!”

          1. Sorry, to be clear, I was addressing this point: “Is he able, but not willing?”
            “Then he is malevolent.” is a false conclusion, and my husband’s argument explains why.
            I think I am going to write a related post on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂
            Sorry for the disjointed replies – I’m a bit of a scatterbrain. 😀

            1. Hi again Sarah,

              Interestingly, I agree that the “Is He able but not willing? Then He is malevolent” argument is a false conclusion, but for a different reason to your husband. I do believe God causes everything that we call ‘evil’, but I believe all suffering is purposeful on God’s part. I’m pretty sure you would disagree, but we would have to return to God’s attributes if our discussion is going to go there.

              Please, if you’re going to post a large block of text can you divide it into paragraphs with spaces? Otherwise it’s rather difficult to read. Just donning my ‘moderator’ hat for a moment! 😉

              Thanks for the discussion, and I’m glad you feel inspired to blog on the subject, I’ll look forward to reading that!

              Best wishes,

              Steven

            2. No, I wouldn’t disagree that suffering is purposeful. We are told by Jesus that if anyone wishes to follow Him they must pick up their cross. God the Father allows us to undergo trials for the benefit of our souls and/or for the benefit of others. We are like vines being pruned so that they become more fruitful. My post (if I ever get down to it) was going to run along those lines.

              Sorry about the formatting on the reply. I was pasting it from a pdf and it didn’t turn out the way it looked on my screen.

              Best wishes to you too. I will keep you in my prayers.

            3. Ah, yes it’s clear where the differences in our opinions lie. I believe God is the cause of everything that happens (including suffering) whereas you believe God ‘allows’ suffering, so I believe you’re saying it is not caused by God. Again, it comes back to issues of God’s sovereignty and his attributes.

              I’ll say no more on the subject to avoid repeating myself, but I do hope you’ll have a read of some of my other blog posts. I also hope you’ll blog on the subject of free will, as and when you feel the urge.

              And thanks for the prayers, I’ll keep you in mine too. Have a blessed day 😊

            4. Yes, I believe God allows some suffering but does not cause it. I see how this impacts His sovereignty.

              Evil comes about because of Original Sin, free will, fallen angels and all that kind of thing which I guess you probably don’t believe in. I started going through your archives but the whole notion of no free will still seems bizarre to me.

              I published my post but it’s not about free will, it’s about the idea of God allowing suffering.

    1. Hi Sarah!

      Having studied theology, philosophy, and religion for many years I have of course encountered and engaged with many different perspectives on the free will debate. You may have noticed that there is actually a ‘free will’ category on my blog as it has been in my thoughts so often! I have thought deeply about this issue.

      I believe that if you consider the nature of God, and His attributes (e.g. omnipotence and omnipresence) you will find there is a contradiction between saying God is all-powerful and everywhere, and arguing at the same time that we have free will. Some theologians maintain this is possible (‘compatibilists’, for instance) but I don’t buy their arguments.

      To answer your question, I have looked into the history of the Bible and the Catholic Church. I have studied several church history courses. Though I don’t claim to be an expert 🙂

      Here’s a link to some of the posts relevant to free will on this blog; please don’t feel like I’m giving you homework (!) but if you’re interested to know my perspective, reading some of these posts will help:

      https://perfectchaos.org/category/free-will/

      May God bless your spiritual journey! Keep in touch!

      Best wishes,

      Steven

      1. Hi Steven. It seems quite straight forward to me. We have free will because God gave us free will. The world does not make any sense to me otherwise. I guess it’s a case of ‘never the twain shall meet’ on this matter. I may not have studied these things but my husband is an Oxbridge philosopher and believes in free will so I don’t think it is an untenable position. I’m not trying to be snotty about it so I’m sorry if I come across like that. May God bless your spiritual journey also. 🙂 I will read some of your other posts because I am curious to find out how a world without free will could make sense.

        1. Hey Sarah!

          That’s great, thank you in advance, I’d love for you to understand my perspective. It’s one of my theological missions to help people see how a belief in free will is logically contradictory to divine omnipresence. It’s all about the nature of God and His relationship with creation. What kind of a God do you believe in? What are His attributes? You can consider those questions rhetorical if you like, but that’s the heart of the matter 🙂

          Have a wonderful week!

          Blessings,

          Steven

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