Questions & Answers
The following three questions were answered by Norman Grubb in a 1989 issue of The Intercessor. We thought they were well worth reprinting.
Q: I’ve met a few people who claim that they not only aren’t conscious of sin, but that they can’t sin anymore. So, even when something goes wrong in their life, they call it God. Does God actually do evil in order to bring about good?
A: It stirs me when people call their sins "mistakes," as if God actually did the thing. They know they aren’t mistakes; they meant them. And this poor world gets out of facing sin by saying it’s a mistake. They’re lying and they know they’re lying. But they don’t want to say they are liars.
So if people say God was responsible, I say, "You know better." They know that God didn’t do that murder, or adultery, or lie. They know it. And it is hypocrisy to pretend that God did it. He meant it, but that’s different. He meant you to be free, and you were free when you did it. If you go that way, you’ll end in damnation, maybe; but God will turn it into His purposes. That’s His answer: there must be freedom.
Q: How does freedom operate?
A: We all quote from the last chapter of Genesis where it says that God meant the evil, meaning that He didn’t do it. He meant it. He meant that the effect of Joseph’s brothers’ actions would be good.
I need to get the emphasis on the word mean. Genesis 50:20 doesn’t say God did that for good. Those other children of Jacob did it. They learned what evil was by it, and that’s why they found their repentance. God worked in them. You could see He proved it through them and worked in them because they saw that they’d done evil in lying about Joseph, selling him, and all that.
So God didn’t do it, but He meant it beautifully. And then there was the glory: God meant that thing, and produced the whole scenario for the children of Israel to go into Egypt and become a great nation.
Later the Bible says, "The cup which my Father has given me," (John 18:11). He gave the cup. The cup wasn’t the Father’s; it was Satan’s. But God gave it. And he meant Satan’s evil to be good by preparing us for salvation. He didn’t do it. There is a difference there. He didn’t do it, but because He is God, He means that evil for good purposes. That’s the wonder of it. He turned Calvary into resurrection. God didn’t do the Calvary; Satan did the Calvary.
God gives us Satan. He’s God’s Satan. He must be. Otherwise, you’ve got something that isn’t God. Satan must be the reverse of God. God gives it, but He’s not the Satan. He gives us some-thing, which in its freedom, became the misused form which God never was-the fire form, the Satan form.
Q: What is my attitude to be toward God’s Satan?
A: All of my life consists in suffering, which is the only way to glory. I’m always being pressed by temptation. When you get the habit, you understand-you get it. You don’t say, "I shouldn’t have it." Of course you get it. That’s how you get to know how to resolve the suffering.
But now we know well how to resolve it all the time. We react: "It’s Christ that’s in this thing, He meant it." You turn it from Satan pulling you off a bit back to who you really are: "Christ did it." So, you’ve a very good laugh now.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 13 No 3
- Our Cutting Edge
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Faith understands that God reigns…
- About Unconditional Love…
- From Chaos to Completion
- Bible Study: Ask…and Receive
- British Easter Conference
- Zerubbabel Focus–Rebuilding the Temple: The Business of Zerubbabel, 1997
- How It Really Works
- The Race
- Questions & Answers
- Tape Talk
- Area Fellowship News
- The Real Problem: Satan’s Lie
- The Mailbox
- Words to Live By…