Does God Have Multiple Wills?
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Christians have argued that God has multiple facets to His will. Some have claimed that God has an "accommodating will" (that which He's made known to man) (Ephesians 1:9) and a sovereign or "hidden will" (His "ultimate" will that operates at a higher level [Isaiah 55:8-9, Romans 11:33-36] and governs what He does [Ephesians 1:11]). To this extent, and by this definition I would agree. However some Calvinists have taken it a step further and made a claim to know what God's sovereign or "hidden will" is. (Ironic that one would label the will of God as "hidden" and therefore not part of His accommodating will but yet make claim to know it).


Making claim to know the hidden will of God makes me nervous. Some things were even beyond Paul's ability to comprehend, nay even to great for any man to fathom (Romans 11:33). Therefore I would think we should be careful not to be too hasty in declaring the hidden will of God. Consider this proverb:


25 It is a trap for a man to say rashly, “It is holy!”
And after the vows to make inquiry. - Proverbs 20:25


It's important we strive as the "more noble-minded" men in Acts 17:11 who upon learning of Christ were "examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so." That said, let's now consider what we do know about God's will according to what He's made known in scripture. (On a side note, I write this in appreciation for 2 Corinthians 10:5 where Paul writes "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God..." [emphasis mine]).


Let me start with this verse.


33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. - 1 Corinthians 14:33


God is not a God of "confusion". What is confusion? Merrian-Webster's first two definitions are:


1.) a state of mental uncertainty.

2.) a state in which everything is out of order.


The original Greek word for confusion here is akatastasia, HELPS Word-studies defines it this way: akatastasía ("commotion") generates confusion (things being "out of control"), i.e. when "up for grabs." This uncertainty and tumult inevitably generates more instability.


God then is not a God of uncertainty, tumult, instability, chaos, nor disorder. On the contrary, as Paul writes, He is a God "of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." (1 Corinthians 14:33, see also Hebrews 13:20).


What I am getting at is this. God is not in a state of mental uncertainty nor the author of disorder. Unlike us at times (James 1:8) God is always of sound mind. God's will is never contradicting of itself as if God was uncertain or divided against Himself. To say that God was uncertain would mean either He's not all knowing or that He has a divided interest and is therefore at odds with Himself.


24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. - Mark 3:24-25


If in our own understanding of scripture it would appear that God is somehow beside Himself, that on one hand He is this way, but on the other hand He is a another way that seemingly contradicts the first, that we consider our understanding is lacking and not to fill in the blanks, especially if what we fill in those blanks is contradictory to scripture. Consider the rest of Mark 3 above.


24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! 27 But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.

28 “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” 30 because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” - Mark 3:24-30


For example, It's important that if God says He wishes all men come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 18:23, 32, 1 Timothy 2:3-4, Luke 2:10, John 1:7, Titus 2:11, 1 Timothy 4:10, Matthew 11:28-30, Acts 17:30) that we don't in error fill in the blanks to make claim otherwise or else you risk making God out to be double minded and discrediting these verses.


Some Calvinists have made claim that God has a "hidden agenda". That somehow His known or "accommodating" will is not actually what He wants according to his "hidden" will. Like I said, I believe in the hidden will of God, that is that He has thoughts that are unbeknown to us. I don't agree however that His thoughts that are unbeknown are contrary to that which He has made known to us (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). This is the very definition of a hidden agenda and being "double tongued" (1 Timothy 3:8). A hidden agenda is not merely a will that is hidden but rather it's deceitful, concealing an ulterior motive. Double-tongued is "marked by deliberate deceptiveness especially by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another" - If God were to have a hidden will that differs from His revealed will than we make God out to be a deceiver. This is not the nature of God (Hebrews 6:18, Titus 1:2) it is the nature of Satan (John 8:44).


If I'm working on a jigsaw puzzle and in the middle of the puzzle is a huge red balloon of which I've inserted every piece of the puzzle that's part of that balloon except one right in the middle, I then can determine by logic and by revelation found on the cover of the box that the piece missing is a red piece. If however, I've lost said piece and all I have left is green pieces, my job isn't then to make a green piece fit, but rather to declare I have not everything needed to complete the puzzle.


12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12


We do not currently have all the puzzle pieces. (Someday we will!) So let us not make claims as if we did nor let us use a green piece and shove it in where it doesn't fit (1 Timothy 1:3-7). Rather let's make claim to that which has been revealed to us by God.


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