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In studying the Scriptures, I have often found it useful to ask the question, “What if…?” While such questions are, of course, highly theoretical, they do assist us in understanding the will of God as opposed to the plan of God.
The plan of God is whatever has actually happened throughout history. Nothing happens outside of His plan, because nothing can take Him by surprise and no amount of sin can prevent Him from achieving His goal to restore all things back to Himself. The Apostle Paul refers to God’s plan by the Greek word boulema, as seen in Romans 9:18, 19,
18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires [thelei, “wills”], and He hardens whom He desires [thelei, “wills”]. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will? (boulema)
The will of God is from the Greek noun thelema. Paul uses its verb form above, thelei. God’s will (or “desire”) is His thelema, which men resist all the time. However, His boulema is another matter, for it is based on God’s sovereignty that gives Him the right to have mercy according to His will or harden the hearts of others. Paul’s main example is Pharaoh (Exodus 4:21). God hardened his heart to achieve His purpose (Exodus 9:16).
When Pharaoh resisted God’s will (“Let My people go”), it was sin to him; but we must also recognize that the divine plan was for Pharaoh to do this for a season and that Pharaoh was unable to resist. In the end, God’s will and plan merge together, because the plan of God is to cause everyone to conform to His will. But this takes time.
Time is the difference between God’s will and God’s plan. If we were to reduce it to an algebraic equation, we can say that Will plus Time equals Plan. In other words, given enough time, everyone will do God’s will (or desire), for it is His plan to restore all things.
So if we play the game of “What if,” we may ask, “What if Pharaoh had agreed immediately to let Israel go?” Egypt would not have suffered through ten plagues. Israel would have left Egypt without any wealth. No one would have seen the power and glory of God. No precedents would have been laid down for our instruction in regard to Mystery Babylon (Jeremiah 50:33, 34).
Another example is seen in Laban’s treatment of Jacob in Genesis 29-31. Recall that Jacob worked seven years as a dowry to marry Rachel whom he loved. But when the wedding took place, Laban gave him Leah (Genesis 29:25). According to the book of Jasher, Rachel and Leah were twins, so they looked alike except that Leah’s eyes were “weak” (Genesis 29:17).
Hence, the switch was not discovered until the next morning when it was too late. Because it happened, we know it was God’s plan (boulema) for this to happen. But at the same time, Laban’s deception and sin was not His will (thelema).
What if Laban had not done this? In other words, what was God’s will in the matter? If Laban had been obedient to the will of God, how would history have changed?
First of all, Jacob would have had just one wife and two children: Joseph and Benjamin. Laban still would have given Rachel a handmaid (Bilhah, Genesis 29:29), but without Leah to compete for Jacob’s love and attention, Rachel would have had no reason to give Bilhah to Jacob as a wife (Genesis 30:1, 2, 3, 4).
With just two children, Jacob would not have had Leah’s children to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt. Joseph would never have married Asenath, the Egyptian daughter of the priest of On (Genesis 41:45). Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, would not have grown up in Egypt (as royalty), and they would have not considered themselves to be Egyptians.
But as it is, we are told (in Jewish tradition) that many men of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh refused to leave Egypt when Moses led the Israelites out of the house of Bondage. Our own recent revelation confirms this tradition. The Lord has given us the back story on a number of things that the Bible omits.
In a face-to-face meeting with Bradley recently, He said that He had given “wealth codes” to Joseph, by which they could become exceedingly wealthy (without stealing from others). However, Joseph’s sons and grandsons misused this knowledge and put the people of Egypt into bondage. Later, the Egyptians revolted and put the Israelites into bondage. That adds a whole new light on the story!
Now God has promised to give us those “wealth codes,” as this was His purpose in revealing these unknown details. This time, we will not use them to enslave the world (“Egypt”) but to set the nations free. We will do what Joseph’s sons failed to do in ancient times, for we are now entering the time in the divine plan when the great Restoration is about to begin.