Wheel of Fortune

fortune

The path connecting Netzach and Chesed is represented by the Wheel of Fortune tarot card, sometimes referred to as the Wheel of Fate or the Wheel of Destiny. This path connects Victory and Mercy, both of which are directly related to the fate or destiny of those who have begun the Great Work.

The Victory spoken of here is the victory over death and sin that is given freely by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and reflects His great Mercy (Chesed) upon us. Netzach is a sphere of the mind (Yetzirah). The victory that is accomplished is that of renewing your mind (changing your belief system, and behavioral patterns) to overcome sin and follow Christ (Romans 12:2).

The Wheel of Fortune card contains a great deal of symbolism, and expresses many mysteries related to the mind. The Wheel in the center of the card reflects a wheel within a wheel (Ezekiel 1:16). The imagery of a wheel within a wheel and the four living creatures pictured on the four corners of the card makes it clear that the wheel being referred to is the one spoken of by the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekielís wheel is a great mystery, and even today the exact meaning is not known. The wheel refers to the mysteries of God, such as His plan, purpose, and His will. We will examine Ezekielís wheel in detail later on in this chapter. The four living creatures at the four corners of the card represent the four living creatures (Revelations 4:7) or the angelic order of the Cherubim, which are also included in Ezekielís vision.

At the top of the wheel on the tarot card, is a sphinx holding a sword. The sphinx pictured here is the sphinx of Greek Mythology. The sphinx is associated with riddles of the mind. There is also an Egyptian Sphinx. The Egyptian Sphinx has the body of a lion and the head of a man. The Egyptian Sphinx is a giant statue that sits in front of the pyramids as if to guard them.

The Sphinx in Greek Mythology has the body of a lion and the head of a woman. In Greek mythology, the sphinx stood at the gates of the city and would ask those wishing to enter a riddle; if the person failed to answer the riddle correctly, the sphinx would devour that person. The sphinx pictured on the Wheel of Fortune tarot card represents the sphinx of Greek Mythology as the sphinx has the breast of a woman; however the sphinx can also be associated with the Egyptian sphinx because of the headdress she is wearing. The Sphinx is holding a sword representing her ability to destroy those that do not possess the correct answer to her riddle.

On the left side of the wheel, there is a bronze serpent, representing salvation from sins. This is the bronze serpent that Moses created in the desert and represents the removal of the punishment of death caused by sins; if you are willing to place your faith in God (Numbers 21:5-9). The bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in the desert was a precursor to the salvation that would later be offered through Jesus Christ when He was lifted up on the cross. The relationship between Christ and the Bronze serpent is covered in greater detail in the study of the sphere of Tiphareth. The serpent on this card reflects the possibility of salvation.

To the right of the wheel on the tarot card there is a strange orange creature. This creature is the Hermanubis, which is a combination of the god Hermes in Greek mythology, and the god Anubis from Egyptian mythology. Hermes was the god of travelers, commerce, messengers, and thieves in Greek mythology, and later became associated with alchemy. Anubis was the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the dead and judgment. The Hermanubis is a combination of both of these two mythological gods and represents attributes of them both. Hermanubis serves as a guide to the dead, to deliver them to their final destination.

On the outside of the wheel, there is a sphinx, a bronze serpent, and a hermanubis, representing choices and consequences. The sphinx represents the ability for you to make your own decision in regards to your destiny. Based on the choices you make, you will receive salvation through the bronze serpent, or you will receive death through the hermanubis.

If you make the correct decision the sphinx will allow you to pass into the city (heaven in this case), if you make the wrong decision you will be devoured. The Wheel of Fortune card expresses deep spiritual mysteries, and represents fate and freewill, choices and destiny. Are there unlimited possibilities, or has your fate already been determined? This is the question that this chapter seeks to answer.

The wheel pictured in the center of the card is made up of a wheel within a wheel, representing Godís control over mankind. God is the source of the wheel represented by the wheel within the wheel (the axle). The outer wheel turns and moves in the direction determined by the axle or inner wheel. From the axle proceeds eight spokes, which hold the wheel together and keeps the wheel spinning as it is supposed to.
Inside the first layer of the wheel are eight letters. The letters are written in English and in Hebrew. The Hebrew letters starting at the right of the sphinx and being read in a clockwise direction are; Yod Heh Vav Heh (YHVH), which is the sacred name of God, the Tetragrammaton. If you read the English letters in a clockwise direction starting and finishing at the T you come up with the word TAROT.

Tarot cards are used in divination to predict the way your future will turn out if you continue making the same choices you have in the past. If you start at the sphinx and read the letters counterclockwise, you have the word TORA referring to the Torah, which are the five books in the Old Testament referred to as the Law of Moses. If you read the letters clockwise starting at the R you have the Latin word ROTA meaning Wheel. Combining these words with the divine name (YHVH), you have Godís Wheel, Godís Law, and Godís ability to know your fate or His plan for you.

The wheel has eight spokes that represent the eight cardinal directions, denoting that every possible direction your life may go is included in the wheel. On the ends of four of the spokes there are four alchemical symbols (mercury, water, salt, and sulfur), which may represent that this card has to do with the Great Work or Spiritual Alchemy.

In alchemy, mercury represents energy, or spirit. Christians are to be born of water and of the spirit (John 3:5), and they are also referred to as the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). Salt is also used in purification (Ezekiel 16:4). Sulfur is the stone the burns also referred to as brimstone. Brimstone is used in the Bible to signify the wrath of God (Ezekiel 38:22, Revelations 14:10). Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury represent Body, Mind, and Spirit to the alchemist. The four living creatures as well as the wheel within a wheel are found in the book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 1:10-12 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.

Revelations 4:6-8 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

The four living creatures each have four faces, one looking in each of the four cardinal directions, they also have eyes in front and behind meaning they could see everything and in every direction. These four living creatures identified as being of the angelic order of the Cherubrim (Ezekiel 10:1) guard the throne of God.

Cherubrim were also assigned to guard the way to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24). The four living creatures are made up of four different creatures describing the attributes of the Cherubrim. The lion represents sovereignty and strength. The Lion is the mightiest of all of the wild beasts. The Ox is the mightiest of the domesticated animals, and represents patience, servitude, and endurance in the work that it conducts.

Man represents intelligence. God gave man dominion over all of the animals to rule over them (Genesis 1:26). The Eagle is the mightiest of the fowls of the air, and represents divinity due to its power to soar above all of creation. Because the four living creatures each had four faces, regardless of the direction they went they were always going straight ahead (Ezekiel 1:12). They did as God directed them and did not deviate on their paths.

The attributes of the four living creatures are also associated with Christ and the four Gospels. In Matthew Christ is represented as a king (Matthew 27:11, 37), the lion is the king of the beasts. Christ is also referred to as the Lion of Judah (Revelations 5:5). In the Gospel of Mark, Christ appears as a servant, and as a sacrifice for our sins (Mark 10:45). The Ox is a domesticated animal that serves man (Numbers 7:7), and was also used in sacrifices (Numbers 7:17).

Christ appears in the Gospel of Luke as the Son of Man (Luke 5:24) and was filled with wisdom even in His youth (Luke 2:52). The only other person in the Bible that is referred to with the title of ĎSon of Maní is Ezekeil (Ezekeil 2:1). Ezekiel was a prophet of God, sent to warn the children of Israel to repent lest they die in their sins. Christ likewise preached to the children of Israel, and those that heeded His words were shown the path to salvation.

In the Gospel of John, Christ deity is expressed because he both ascends and descends from heaven (John 3:31, 6:38), which is how He is associated with the Eagle. The four Gospels reflect different character traits of Christ, which are also associated with the four living creatures.

Ezekiel 1:15-17 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.

Ezekiel 10:9-14 And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone. And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel. When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went. And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had. As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel. And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Each of the four living creatures possessed one wheel; together they supported the throne of God and formed a chariot. All four wheels were the same, and appeared as a wheel within the middle of a wheel. These wheels allowed the living creatures to travel in all directions without turning. Some people think that the wheels intersected each other at a right angle, which would allow the wheels to move in every direction without turning. However, two wheels intersecting each other at right angles would not be able to roll (at least they canít with the technology we have today).

If Ezekiel is describing two wheels intersecting at right angles, it is more then likely that he is trying to describe a sphere, which could roll in all directions without turning (a word for sphere did not exist in Ezekielís day). It is more probable that Ezekiel is describing the inner wheel (axis), and the outer wheel, to describe Godís divine intervention and control over the wheel and our lives. The wheel is controlled from the source (axis), and moves in the direction the inner wheel directs. The fact that the wheels could move in all directions without turning represents Godís omnipotence.

Ezekiel 1:18 As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them.

The wheels were full of eyes and were so high that they were awesome (Ezekiel 1:18). Some people speculate that Ezekiel is describing a flying saucer, and think the eyes all around the wheels represent little lights underneath the flying saucer. Others think he is describing the movement of the planets in the solar system, and think the eyes around the wheels represent stars. Ezekiel is more then likely continuing to describe the might, omnipotence, and awesome power of the Lord, and the eyes represent that God knows and sees all.

The wheel possesses very powerful symbolism. The wheel alone is a symbol of progress. The wheel helps us to progress from place to place, and represents Godís guidance in our lives.
Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

God is the source of the wheel, and He directs our paths (Proverbs 3:6). The wheel represents our destiny, the plan God as predestined for our lives. The wheel displays Godís providence. The wheel is always turning in accordance with Godís will, and He controls the directions our lives go in. God controls the events of the world in order to discipline us and to perfect our souls.

Sometimes one spoke is on top and sometimes another. One moment we are on top of the world and the next we are cast down. While we are on top we donít know how long we will remain there, and when we are at the bottom we need to trust in God and be patient until He lifts us back up (James 4:15). Each spoke rises at its appointed time and descends at its appointed time, but the motion of the wheel continues unchanged according to the action of the wheelís source.

1 Samuel 2:6-8 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.

The wheel also represents cycles of life, and cycles of events.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 That which has been is what will be that which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 3:15-17 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
There is nothing new under the sun, and history repeats itself. The same battles that have been taking place since the beginning of mankind continue to this day. The Bible is full of the struggles of many different people. We have a record of their mistakes and of their triumphs. The Bible has been given to us so that we do not need to learn the same painful lessons as those in the past.

We would be fools if we make the same mistakes as our ancestors or if we repeat their same actions and expect different results. Do we need to have our eyes gouged out and become the slaves of our enemyís before we learn to control our lusts (Judges 16:21)? Will we allow sin to run rampant throughout our cities to the point of their destructions (Genesis 19:24)?

We are given many examples of how to live, and how not to live. The wheel of fortune card represents endless possibilities, yet there is no such thing as chance or luck. Our lives can turn out in many different ways, but they are based off of repeating patterns. The sphinx on top of the Wheel of Fortune card does not possess a riddle that we do not have the answers to. The answers are spelt out in the Bible, and we can see the results of the actions of those in the past to prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes. We can control our actions and be assured of our salvation (2 Peter 1:10-11, 1 John 5:13).

Ezekielís wheel represents Godís will and purpose to include His wrath.

Ezekiel 10:2 And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.

In-between the wheels there is fire and brimstone representing the wrath of God (Ezekiel Ch9). Elsewhere in the Bible a threshing wheel is used against the wicked.

Proverbs 20:26 A wise king sifts out the wicked, And brings the threshing wheel over them.

A familiar saying that can be associated with the wheel is, ĎWhat goes around comes around.í This is also what Christians know as the Golden Rule.

Matthew 7:12 ďTherefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.Ē

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, crushed down, full and running over, they will give to you. For in the same measure as you give, it will be given to you again.

This is similar to the Eye for an Eye philosophy of the Old Testament.

Exodus 21:22 If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

If men while fighting cause a woman to have a miscarriage, whether or not the baby lives determines if the men would be put to death. An eye for an eye was the Hebrews method of ensuring justice on the earth, and this idea of action and consequences was restated in the New Testament by Christ as the Golden Rule, and as punishment for your actions.

Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, ďPut up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.Ē

Revelations 22:12 And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Christ corrected the Ďeye for an eyeí philosophy that the people were using it out of context (outside of the criminal justice system). It was not supposed to be about revenge.
Matthew 5:38-39 You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

We are to leave room for the Lordís wrath. The Wheel of the Lord continues turning, and He will render to everyone according to their works (Revelations 20:12). God allows sin to exist in the world in order for us to have freewill, and He gives us the ability to make our own decisions. Because Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, it is now inevitable that some people will be lost.

We wouldnít have freewill if people were not allowed to choose evil. God has a plan for us and controls our destiny, but at the same time he allows us to make our own choices; and gives us room to make our own mistakes. He does this so that we will be disciplined and will grow spiritually. God always gives us choices and His mercies are great.

Ezekiel 2:3-5 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

God appeared to Ezekiel and sent him to warn the children of Israel to turn from their sins. God knows all things and knew that most of the children of Israel were beyond the point of listening to Ezekielís message, but God sent him to warn them nonetheless. Israel will know that they had a prophet among them, and on the Day of Judgment they will not have any excuses.

When the Lord spoke to Ezekiel He referred to Ezekiel as Son of Man. Ezekielís message of salvation was a precursor to the message that Christ would later preach. Christ is the only other character in the Bible referred to with the title of Son of Man (Luke 5:24). Christ preached to the children of Israel knowing that most of them would not listen to Him, but they did have the message of salvation preached to them and will have no excuse on Judgment Day.

They made their own decisions. It is a demonstration of Godís great mercy that He would send messengers to warn those that are making themselves to be His enemies. Godís mercy is display by the fact that the people deserve judgment, but He is patient with them and gives them every opportunity to receive mercy.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

It is Godís will that all people come to repentance. He does not desire for anyone to perish, but in order for us to have freewill some people will be lost Ė because they will choose not to listen to the warnings they are given. God has a plan and purpose. One of the big questions people often pose to the idea that everything happens in accordance to Godís will, is that, ďif God is in control of everything then why is there so much suffering in the world, and why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?Ē

The answer is that God does not cause bad things to happen to anyone. Bad things happen as the result of sin being in the world, and without the existence of sin we would not have freewill or the ability to choose. How could we make a choice if there is only one option? God tells us what we need to do to be happy and what we need to do to receive salvation, but then He gives us the option to decide for ourselves whether or not we will follow Him.

A great deal of the time when bad things happen to people it is the result of their own actions. Of course, there are times when completely innocent people fall victim to evil. How can this be? It is because evil exists in the world that we live in, and the world we live in is not fair. God is a God of justice, but He never promises us that we will receive justice on the earth Ė or that we will be treated fairly in this world. The Bible actually states the contrary and tells us we can expect to suffer and be persecuted in this world (2 Timothy 3:12).

1 Corinthians 4:11-12 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure.

The objective of our lives is not to be successful in this evil and materialistic world. The objective is for us to exist in a world containing both good and evil, but for us to choose to be good and for us to choose to follow God. In this world children starve to death, people rob and kill each other, and do all manner of unspeakable evil to one another. Some people look at all of the misery in the world and wonder how God could allow it to happen.

Bad things happen in this world, and the world is unjust. The thing you need to understand is that the events that take place on earth are not what are important in the grand scheme of things. What is important is the decisions that you make, and whether or not you decide to follow Jesus. Once you are in Heaven it will not matter if you fell into the hands of evil men and were tortured and murdered, or if you starved to death on the street. It does not matter that sin exist in the world, all that matters is that you donít succumb to sin and that you make it into Heaven.

On the Day of Judgment, those that practiced evil will be judged (and then you will receive justice), but while on earth the world will not be fair. Think of the world as a testing ground where you are being tested to see whether you should be sent to Heaven or to Hell.
Everyday you are given choices. God observes your choices and you will be judged according to the choices you make.

Evil and temptation are around you everyday; your goal is to endure and overcome it. Bad things happen, but you can do things about it. You donít have to allow children to starve to death; you can be there for your neighbors when they are in need, which is what you are called to do.
Luke 10:30-37 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. "Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. "On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you. "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Everyday we are being tested. We are given opportunities to overcome our own sins, resist temptation, and to help out our fellow man. The existence of evil in this world is what allows us to be placed in situations were we exercise our freewill and make choices. We are able to learn from our experiences, and they enable us to grow spiritually. It is not an accident that evil exists on the earth.

Isaiah 45:6-7 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.

God is in control of all things and has a plan and purpose for everything He does. It was not an accident that God placed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the same garden as Adam and Eve, and then left them unattended with it. Man has dominion over the animals because of his ability to use his mind. By God allowing evil to come into the world, he gave humans a way to grow both mentally and spiritually.

With their minds Adam and Eve decided to defy God, resulting in choices and consequences. It is only through consequences that we seek to make the correct choices. Humans can now be observed and judged by their actions. Sin, evil, and misery came into the world with Godís permission, but God does not cause anyone to sin. Evil exists in the world so that we have choices; sin exists in the world when we make the wrong ones.

Predestination versus freewill is a subject that many people have difficulty with. If God has your destiny planned out before you are born (Romans 9:11) then how can your life be determined by the choices you make? God allows you to make your own decisions, but He already knows what decisions you will make, and how your life will turn out because of those decisions.

It is difficult for us to grasps this subject, because God views our lives from a different perspective. For example, we may be climbing up one side of a mountain and making plans and decisions about what we are going to do when we get to the other side. We are making our own decisions and have an idea about what we are expecting to do when we get to the other side of the mountain, but God has a different perspective then we do.

From where God sits, he may see that there is an enemy army, a wild animal, or robbers waiting on the other side of the mountain to devour us. We still have freewill and are making our own decisions, but God knows our destinies, because He can see where our lives are leading us. As humans we possess this same ability, only to a lesser degree.

We can predict how our children will respond in certain situations based upon their upbringing. Our children are free to make their own decisions, but those decisions will be based on the morals and values that they have learned. We do not know exactly what our children will do in every situation (and we certainly do not control their actions), but we can generally predict their behavior.

Of course sometimes our children stray from their upbringing, and sometimes they will make poor decisions. These are the times that they will be disciplined, and based on whether or not they learn from their mistakes; we can predict how they will respond in similar situations in the future. This is similar to how God could allow us to make our own decisions, yet still know how our lives will turn out, but to a much greater degree.

It is understandable that God could predict how an individual will turn out based on the circumstances of that personís life. The area of the world the person is born in, their parents, their culture, and several other factors will come in to play in shaping the destiny of each person. God has control of all of these influences giving Him the power to know what fate has in store for us, and He can influence our lives according to His will and purpose.

God does not control every aspect of our lives, but he gives us room to exercise our freewill. God controls the major events of our lives, but allows us to make our own decisions in other matters. To clarify this point we will look at the life of King David.

Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.

God chose David because He knew David would be a good king, and because He knew David would fulfill His will. This was the major event that King David was destined for. Besides David fulfilling Godís purpose of becoming King, God allowed David to use his freewill to make his own decisions, which would affect Davidís life but not alter his destiny.

Our lives will be according to Godís purpose, but we can make our lives a great deal more difficult by using our freewill to make bad decisions. We are accountable for the consequences of our sins, which may make our lives harder, as was the case with King David.

2 Samuel 11:2-5 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, "I am with child."

King David was a good king and lived according to Godís will. However, David also had freewill, and his life would be affected by the consequences of the decisions that he made. One night David happened to see a beautiful woman and he lusted after her. He inquired about who she was, and even though he learned that she was married he committed adultery with her and got her pregnant.

2 Samuel 11:6-9 Then David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." So Uriah departed from the king's house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.

David tried to cover up his sin by calling the womanís husband home from war in hopes that he would lay with his wife, and believe the child she was carrying was his own. However, Uriah did not go to his house and Davidís plan to cover up his sin failed.

2 Samuel 11:14-15 In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die."

Since David was unable to deceive Uriah into believing the child Bathsheba was carrying was his own, he decided to have Uriah killed. Uriah was one of Davidís most faithful and loyal soldiers, and was listed as one of Davidís mighty men (1 Chronicles 11:41). David betrayed Uriah and had Uriah trustingly carry the very letter that ordered his own death.

David utilized his freewill to commit several sins in this matter. He coveted his neighborís wife (Exodus 20:17), he committed adultery (Exodus 20:14), and he committed murder (Exodus 20:13), two of which are sins punishable by death under Mosaic Law (Exodus 21:14, Leviticus 20:10). God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David with his sins.

2 Samuel 12:9-11 'Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 'Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. "Thus says the Lord: 'Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.í

2 Samuel 12:13-14 So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die."

David sinned against God, and because of this he had to deal with the consequences of his sins. David repented and God forgave him (2 Samuel 12:13), but the consequences of his sins remained with him. The first punishment for Davidís sins was that the child Bathsheba was carrying would die, which happened seven days after the childís birth (2 Samuel 12:19).

Other consequences were that the sword and adversity would rise from, and never depart from his house (2 Samuel 12:10-11). The adversity that followed resulted in one of Davidís sonís raping his sister (2 Samuel 13:14), and another one of Davidís sons avenging the rape of his sister by murdering his brother (2 Samuel 13:28-29). Later that brother would rebel against his father and also be killed (2 Samuel 18:14-15).

So was God unjust by allowing Davidís daughter to be raped, and two of his sons to be killed as the result of Davidís sin? No! Everyone still utilized their own freewill and was responsible for their own actions. Amnon chose to rape his sister (2 Samuel 13:14, 16) and his death was the result of his own sins (Deuteronomy 22:25, 28-29, 27:22). Absalom chose to have his brother murdered (2 Samuel 13:28), and Absalomís death was also the result of his own sins (Deuteronomy 19:11-12).

As for the sister Tamar, she did nothing wrong (2 Samuel 13:7-14), and she certainly did not deserve the pain that was inflicted upon her. Like Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:11), Tamar was the victim of other peopleís sinful desires. The world is not fair and bad things do happen to good people. This is the result of sin being in the world, but if these events were not possible we would not have freewill. Although Uriah and Tamar may have endured suffering while on the earth, their reward will be great in Heaven (2 Thessalonians 1:4-7, 2 Corinthians 1:5-7).

So, if the tragic events were of each individualís own making, then how is it that they were the consequences of King Davidís sins? King David did not cause his sons to make the choices that they did, but it is very likely that his actions could have influenced their decisions to some degree. Through Davidís sins he demonstrated to his children that he was willing to go against Godís commandments in certain situations. This could have planted the seed in their minds for them to do likewise when they felt it necessary.

1 Kings 15:4-5 Nevertheless for David's sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, by setting up his son after him and by establishing Jerusalem; because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

Davidís destiny and purpose was to be king and do the will of God. Davidís life turned out as God had predestined it to. David made his life harder then it had to be because he used his freewill to sin against God, but the main purpose of his life remained according to Godís plan. Davidís sins were great, but he repented of them. He was disciplined by the consequences of his sins and he learned from his mistakes.

David fulfilled Godís purpose and did not lose his salvation. He dealt with the consequences of his sins, and lived out the rest of his life according to Godís will. The major events of Davidís life were predestined by God, yet God allowed David to use his freewill to make his own choices. These choices affected Davidís life, but not his overall destiny.

God has control of our lives in that He influences them and directs them according to His will and purpose, but He does not live our lives for us. He may control some of the events of our lives, but we are given room to make our own choices; and we will be held accountable for our own actions.

Matthew 12:36-37 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

God controls our lives in that we will be put in different situations and will interact with other people according to Godís plan. How we interact and what we do in the different situations will determine how we will be judged on the day of the Lord. God does not control our actions, but influences the major events of our lives.

When dealing with the topic of predestination, there are three people that usually come up: Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, and Pharaoh. Were these people allowed to use freewill, and if not how could God hold them accountable for their actions? Before we get into the topic of ĎSome pots were made to be brokení, we will first examine whether or not these three men had a choice in the things they did. We will begin by examining the actions of Judas Iscariot. Did Judas have a choice in betraying Christ?
John 5:15-18 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Luke 22:1-6 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

The chief priests and the Pharisees already wanted Christ dead before Judas approached them. Satan entered into Judas and Judas approached the chief priest and offered to betray Christ. What caused Judas to do this? The event that took place immediately prior to Judas approaching the chief priests to betray Christ was a dispute over costly ointment (Matthew 26:7-16).

John 12:3-6 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

The reason Judas got angry over the costly ointment (and decided to betray Christ) was because he was a thief, and he wanted the money for himself. This was the character and nature of Judas Iscariot. He was a greedy and selfish person. It is understandable that someone with those characteristics could be foreseen as a traitor. God knows the hearts of men (Roman 8:27), and could have easily determined that it was in Judas Iscariotís nature to betray Christ. God did not force Judas to betray Christ, but selected Judas knowing that it was what he would do.

John 6:64-71 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas was going to betray him, and selected him as one of the twelve disciples so that the scriptures might be fulfilled. Judas was a selfish thief that lied and pretended to be a disciple of Christ in order to steal their money.

God did not make Judas betray Christ, but God did know that Judas would be the one to do so. Judas made the decision to betray Christ with his own freewill. After Judas approached the chief priests and offered to betray Christ, Judas was given a chance to change his mind and was given a final warning. This display of mercy is similar to when Ezekiel was sent to the children of Israel (Ezekiel 2:3-5). It was doubtful that Judas would listen to the warning (because of his nature), but he was given the warning nonetheless, so that he would not have any excuses for his actions.

John 13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

Matthew 26:21-25 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

Jesus gave Judas this final warning after Judas had already made a deal with the chief priests to betray Him. God knows all things so of course He knew that Judas had approached the chief priests to betray Christ. Judas was given a chance to change his mind. Was this possible or was Judas forced to betray Christ? Judas betrayed Christ out of his own freewill.

The scriptures could have been fulfilled if someone other than Judas had betrayed Christ, but Judas was selected as a disciple because God knew based on Judasí character that he would be the one to do so. Was Judas given a chance to make a different decision? Of course he was. Jesus warned him right before Judas went out the door to betray him.

Judas had all the information necessary to make the correct decisions in his life. Judas lived with Christ for three years and witnessed many miracles. He was with Christ when Christ presented His teachings to the multitudes. It was predestined that Christ would be betrayed, but was out of his own freewill that Judas betrayed Him.

Psalm 41:7-9 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.: An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
John 13:18-19 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

Jesus quoted Psalm 41:9 to inform the disciples that he was going to be betrayed by someone close to Him. Jesus uses the exact words minus the words, ďfriend, in whom I trusted.Ē Christ had to be betrayed by someone near to Him so that the scriptures might be fulfilled. God knew before hand that Judas Iscariot would use his freewill to make the decisions that he did, which were according to Godís plan and purpose. God foresees events far into the future. He does not cause these events, but is able to see where mankind is going based on the choices they make.

To clarify this further we will look at what God told Abraham. God called Abraham to journey into the land of Canaan to a land that would be given to the descendants of Abraham as an inheritance (Genesis 12:1-2). Abraham did as God had instructed him, and arrived in the land that would later be given to his descendants (Genesis 12:7).

Genesis 15:12-16 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

Abraham did as God directed him and moved to the land that God promised to give to his descendants. So why didnít God just give the land to Abraham at that time? It is because the time had not yet come for the land to be taken from the Amorites. At that time the Amoritesí sins did not yet warrant their destruction. However, God foresaw that their sins were continually increasing and within the next four hundred years their sins would merit them being overthrown, and their land would be given to the descendants of Abraham (Genesis 15:16).
In the above verses God also informed Abraham that his descendants would be taken to a different land and would be made into slaves for four hundred years. God foretold the judgment He would inflict on Egypt to free the children of Israel from their bondage.

The life of Pharaoh is more difficult to explain then Judas, because God did harden Pharaohís heart so that Pharaoh would continue to hold the children of Israel captive, in order for Godís power to be displayed. The thing that you need to understand is that Pharaoh still had freewill, and it is because of his actions that the plagues fell upon Egypt.

The plagues that fell upon Egypt were brought about by the consequences of their actions. The same way that the sword and adversity would rise from and never depart King Davidís house because of his sin, the people of Egypt would have to face the consequences of their sins as well.

Exodus 3:7-8 And the Lord said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. "So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.

The plagues were not brought down on Egypt because Pharaoh failed to let the Hebrew people go when Moses first asked him to. God brought judgment to Egypt because He observed the oppression that was taking place there and because He heard the cries and knew the sorrows of the Hebrew people. God foresaw these events and foretold of them to Abraham (Genesis 15:14).

Exodus 4:21-23 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

Exodus 7:3-5 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.

Exodus 9:13-17 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?

Pharaohís life served the purpose of God, and his freewill actions were in accordance with Godís plan (Exodus 9:16). God hardening Pharaohís heart served several purposes. Egypt was being judged because of their sins; in the same way the Amorites were about to be. By prolonging the time before Pharaoh would allow the children of Israel to be let go, God multiplied His signs and wonders, and dispensed the consequences the people of Egypt had coming to them for their sins. In doing so the people of Egypt would know that YHVH was the only true God. The plagues were a form of discipline for the Egyptian people. The Egyptian people were worshipping several other gods at that time.

God displayed His power so that the people of Egypt would know the YHVH was the only true God. Several of the plagues were targeted specifically against the gods of Egypt. For example, the plague of darkness (Exodus 10:21-29) demonstrated Ra the Egyptian sun god was powerless against Jehovah. The water of the Nile turning to blood showed that Khnum (the guardian of the Nile) could not stand against God, the death of the firstborn sons (Exodus 11:5) displayed Godís sovereignty over Isis (the goddess of life), and the destruction of the crops by hail and locusts was against Osiris (god of agriculture and death).

The judgments that God placed on Egypt both punished them for worshipping other gods, and corrected them by showing them whom they ought to worship. These judgments also fulfilled the prophecy that God had spoken to Abraham (Genesis 15:14), and set the stage for the Gospel of Christ by initiating the Passover and the sacrifice of an unblemished lamb so that the wrath of God would Passover the house of those that followed Godís commandments (Exodus 12:11).

All things worked together for the glory of God and according to His plan. God punished, saved, fulfilled prophecy, disciplined, and laid the foundation for the future death of Christ on the cross, all at the same time; based on the freewill actions of several different people coming together.

So did Pharaoh have freewill? Yes, it was through Pharaohís freewill that he kept the Hebrew people in bondage. It was through Pharaohís freewill that he brought sorrows onto the children of Israel to the point that they cried out to God for deliverance. During the seven plagues God hardened Pharaohís heart so that Godís will would be accomplished. When Moses spoke to Pharaoh, Pharaoh was not able to prevent the afflictions that God had predestined to bring upon Egypt.

The afflictions were the consequences of the sins of the people and were foretold by God many years in advance in the same way that God foresaw that the sins of the Amorites were going to increase to a point that they would likewise be judged. God did not force these people to sin so that he could afflict judgment upon them, but He foresaw that through the peopleís choices they would continue to increase in their sins and judgment would eventually be warranted.
As for Pontius Pilate he too was able to use his freewill to make his own decisions. It was according to Godís will that Christ would be crucified, since it was the very purpose of His birth. Pilate did not want to have Christ crucified. He made a few attempts at releasing Christ, but the Jewish people would not have it. God also gave Pilate a warning, and gave him every opportunity to make the correct decision.

Matthew 27:19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

John 19:12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

God sent a warning to Pilate through a vision that his wife received, not to have anything to do with the death of Jesus, but Pilate was too weak to standup to the people (Matthew 27:24, Mark 15:15).

Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

In the above verse Paul confronts the Jewish people, because they delivered Christ up and denied His release when Pilate wanted to let Him go. Pilate was warned by his wife and desired to release Christ, but he backed down to the will of the people.

Acts 4:26-28 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Could Pilate have let Christ go and the scriptures still have been fulfilled? Of course he could of. The chief priests were determined to have Christ crucified, if Pilate did not give the order they would have taken Christ to someone else that would have. Christ had already been before Herod once; they could have easily taken Christ back to him and pressured Herod to give the order.

Regardless of who gave the order, all things happen in accordance with Godís will. It would not be hard for God to recognize that it was in Pilateís nature to succumb to the will of the people when placed in that situation. God influences the circumstances of our lives to ensure that His will is accomplished. He can predict how we will behave in different situations based on our behavioral patterns and character traits, but the decisions we make are still our own.

Proverbs 16:4 The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

God created every one of us for a specific purpose. All of us play a particular role in Godís plan, and we interact with each other according to Godís purpose, in order for Godís will to be accomplished. Not every person that God created will receive salvation. Some pots were made to be broken.

Jeremiah 18:3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the Lord. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

We are the creation, and God can do with us as he sees fit. The potter plans out the destiny of his creation when it is still on the wheel. The potterís will could be compared to the Wheel of Fortune card in that our destinies are determined before we are created on the potterís wheel.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

Job 10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me. Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?

Job 33:6 Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

God is the creator and we are the creation. We are at Godís mercy. Our lives and our fate are completely reliant upon the mercy of God, which is another reason this path is located on the Pillar of Mercy on the Qabalah. On this earth, our circumstances are based on Godís mercy; certainly Godís blessings make a big difference on the level of satisfaction we find on the earth.

As for our spiritual circumstances we would not be anywhere without Godís mercies. We receive salvation through the sacrifice that Christ made, and from there we begin the Great Work; but even then we are given the Holy Spirit to guide us. Without Godís mercy we would not be able to get anywhere physically or spiritually.

Psalm 145:8-9 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.

God is merciful to us. He is patient with us and he is good to all. He causes the sun to rise and sends rain to both the righteous and to the wicked (Matthew 5:45). Who are we to question Godís plan in our lives?

Isaiah 29:16 Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, ďHe did not make me?Ē Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, ďHe has no understanding?Ē

Isaiah 45:9-10 "Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'? Woe to him who says to his father, 'What are you begetting?' Or to the woman, 'What have you brought forth?'

We are the creation and each of us has been created according to Godís purpose. What right do we have to question the plan God has for our lives? We were created to fulfill Godís will and not the other way around. The events that take place in our lives take place according to Godís plan, and we may not understand the reasons at the time or maybe even ever.

We need to be patient and believe that God is working for our good and in our best interest. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and we are not able to comprehend the significance of all of the events that take place in our lives. We interact with other people and influence them (and vice versa) in ways that we are not always aware of.

Romans 8:28-30 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Some pots were made to be broken and some people have been created for destruction (Proverbs 16:4). At the same time some people were predestined to receive salvation. To those who love God, all things will work together for their good (Romans 8:28). To those that do not choose to love God, God is still good to all and will be gracious and merciful to them while they are on the earth, but in the end they will be lost (Matthew 5:45).

While the clay was still on the potterís wheel God determined its destiny. Some of the clay has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ and will receive salvation, and other lumps of clay were created to serve their purpose on earth and then will be lost. It is not our place to question the decisions of our Creator. He assigned us each our own purpose, which are the major events of our lives. He then gave us room to use our freewill to make our own choices. God foreknows (Romans 8:29) what choices we will make, because He is the one that created us and gave us our personalities. In this way we have been predestined, but at the same time use our freewill to manifest Godís plan for us.

Those that are predestined to be justified God has also called (Romans 8:30). If God did not call us, we would probably be too caught up in the material world we live in to seek Him out. God calls us in many different ways. In the Great Commission Jesus told the disciples to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). You may also be called because God placed a desire in your heart to seek Him out. God calls those He chooses to Himself and may call you several times before you hear Him. God may have placed this very book that you are reading into your hands to draw you to Him.

God uses people to serve His purpose. We enter act with other people and our actions influence the lives of others and vice versa. It is true that sometimes God will appear to people in visions or dreams like He did with Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, and so on, but most of the time God uses the lives of individuals to influence the lives of those around them (Matthew 5:16).

In the Old Testament of the Bible, God spoke to the people by sending prophets to speak to them (Ezekiel 2:3). Our lives constantly influence the lives of those around us, and we must be mindful that we do not lead others astray (Romans 14:21). God knows how we will use our freewill and what our characters will be like before we are even born.

Romans 9:10-13 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
God knew that He would love Jacob and hate Esau before they were even born. So if God knew He would hate Esau, then why did He create him in the first place? God created Esau and gave him freewill to serve his purpose. Esau used his freewill to become a fornicator and profane person that held nothing sacred, and even sold his own birthright for a morsel of food (Hebrews 12:16).

In contrast Jacob was a hard worker and endured fourteen years of labor for the love of Rachel (Genesis 29:18, 27-28). The interactions of these two brothers were documented so that we can learn from their triumphs and their failures. God created Esau knowing that He would hate his actions, but Esauís life served the purpose that others might be saved. We have the life of Esau as an example so that we will not repeat his mistakes.

Romans 9:14-16 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.

Our fates are at the mercy of God. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are all deserving of judgment, but God chooses whom He chooses to have mercy on, and who are we to question God? We do not receive Godís grace through our works (Ephesians 2:9), but through His mercy. By works we do not earn our way into heaven, but God shows mercy to those He chooses. That does not mean that how we live our lives will not play a role in whether or not God selects us to be shown mercy. God judges everyone according to their deeds (Revelations 2:23), and He knew whether He would love or hate Jacob and Esau before they where born based on how they would live their lives.

Romans 9:17-23 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

God endured with longsuffering the evil deeds of men, that He might display His power and bring about salvation to the righteous. God did not like the actions of those that used their freewill to choose evil, but He endured it so that He might show mercy to the righteous according to His plan. If some people did not receive condemnation then to what benefit would it be to follow God and receive His mercy? Without punishment, there would be no heavenly rewards, because everyone would receive the same fate regardless of if they were good or evil. Without punishment for sin there would be no justice, and Godís mercies would not be viewed as such a great gift. Everyone was created for a purpose, and without the vessels of destruction we would not have freewill or be able to grow spiritually.

Revelations 6:10-11 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

In the above verses those who have sacrificed their lives for Christ cry out to God awaiting God to avenge their deaths on those that dwell on the earth. God tells them to be patient and to wait for the appointed time. God endures evil with longsuffering (Romans 9:22) not wanting anyone to perish, but is patient to give sinners more time to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

God has a plan and sticks to it. In the above verses God is withholding His judgments on the earth in order to allow more saints to be martyred and to fulfill their destinies. God has a plan and everything takes place at its appointed time according to His purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

God gave the travail that we experience on earth to us so that we might be exercised in it. The challenges we face on the earth will help us to grow. While we are facing challenges they may seem difficult and may cause us great sorrow, but the work will bring forth beauty in its time. Because we are born into a world containing sin, we often become too absorbed in the matters of this world to pursue the mysteries of God. That is why those that God has predestined He also calls (Romans 8:28). We are built up (exercised) by our experiences, and God directs our paths according to His purpose.

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way?

The Lord directs our paths according to His plan. We make our own decisions in this world, but God foresees and influences the directions are lives are going, in order to manifest His will.

Isaiah 14:24 The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand.

Isaiah 14:26-27 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?

The will of God will be done, His plan will be made manifest, and no one is able to resist His will. This philosophy may seem both discouraging and comforting. You may be discouraged because it seems as though you are powerless to affect your own destiny, but the opposite is actually true.

If Godís predetermined plan could be affected by outside influences then how could we have faith in His promises? We can be comforted by the fact that the will of God will stand. We can be comforted because God made His will know to us, and He has shown us the path to salvation. Because Godís will is unchanging, we can have faith in His promises, and be assured of our salvation.

Isaiah 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God has declared the fate of man and the world from the beginning of time. We have a record of the things that have passed and of the things that will take place in the future. The Bible allows us to learn from the lives of those that lived before us, and foretells of the events, which God has purposed for the future. The will of God is expressed in the Bible. We can have faith that what God has preordained He will also see to completion.

Ephesians 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Ephesians 1:11-12 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

God has made His will know to us through the Bible. God preordained all of the events of the past and the events to come in the future so that we might receive salvation through His son Jesus Christ. God set the stage for the coming of Christ through out the entire Old Testament of the Bible. The Passover in Egypt, The Bronze Serpent being lifted up in the desert, the message of the Son of Man, and the call for Abraham to follow God by faith are just some of the events that set the stage for the coming of Christ; which we have discussed in this chapter. We have been predestined according to Godís plan, and all things happen according to His will (Ephesians 1:11).

2 Timothy 1:9-10 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

1 John 3:8-9 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

We have been called according to Godís purpose, to receive salvation through Jesus Christ. God has preordained all of these events before the world was created. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was placed in the Garden of Eden so that humans may have freewill in order to grow through choices and consequences; being exercised through our experiences on the earth.

Evil exists in the world in order for us to have choices. Christ came to the earth in order for us to receive salvation. Both sin and the way to overcome sin through the sacrifice of Christ were preordained before the world began. Christ came to the earth to do the will of His father, and to set an example for us to follow.

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Christ prayed that Godís will be done, and we are instructed to do likewise.

John 14:13-15 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

If we ask anything in prayer through Christís name it will be given to us, but there are conditions that go along with this instruction. We must keep the commandments, and the things we ask must be according to Godís will. God does not want anyone to parish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). If we ask God to bring one of our loved ones to repentance, so that they might be saved, then we would be praying in accordance with Godís will.

In contrast if we pray in Christís name for a new car or to win the lottery it is doubtful that we would receive these things; unless they just happened to coincide with Godís plan for our lives. God is omnipotent and knows all. He knows the secrets of men (Romans 2:16), and He knows our needs before we even ask.

Matthew 6:7-8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

Everything we receive and everything that we have has been given to us by the grace of God. We need to have faith that all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28), trust in Godís plan, and pray that His will be done (Luke 22:42). We do not know what the future holds in store for us. The best that we can do is follow the commandments and have faith in Godís plan for us.

James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

The will of God is going to be accomplished with or with out us. We should make it a point to include God in our lives.

Ephesians 1:4-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

Those that have been called by God should strive to be holy and blameless before Him out of love and respect. This is the Great Work and the endeavor of our lives.

2 Timothy 2:19-22 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and met for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

God knows those that are His. The followers of Christ are called to depart from their iniquities. There are vessels of honor and of dishonor. We are to purge ourselves of our sins in order that we may be considered vessels of honor that are met for the masterís use.

We have covered all of the imagery on the Wheel of Fortune tarot card except for the books that each of the Cherubrim possess, and the clouds. The clouds represent that the Wheel of Fortune is in the heavens. God determines our destinies from His throne in the heavens.

Each of the four living creatures can be associated with one of the four gospels of Christ. The books in front of the four living creatures can be viewed to represent the four gospels. However, the four living creatures also represent the angelic order of the Cherubrim, which face every direction, have eyes in front and behind and see everything. The books in front of the four living creatures may be the books used to record the freewill actions of humans, which will be read on the Day of Judgment when everyone will have to give an account for their deeds.

Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name.

Revelations 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

On the Day of Judgment we will be judged based upon what is written in the books. God is our creator. Our fates have been determined before hand while on the potterís wheel. We have freewill, yet God foreknows the choices we will make, and knows whether we are vessels fit for honor or for destruction.

We can be comforted by our calling, because we have been shown the path to salvation and the will of God has been made known to us. Everything works according to Godís purpose. God looks down on us from Heaven and fashions each of our hearts individually. Bad things may happen to us while we are in this world, but this life is but a vapor that is here only for a while (James 4:14). We should trust in Godís plan for our lives. We endure the evil in this world while we are in it, but the Kingdom of Heaven will be our home for eternity.

Psalm 33:13-22 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.