Jehovah`s Witness/God's Will


What is the difference between God's sovereign will and God's perfect will?

Hi Apple,

Thank you for inquiring with All Experts. Your question what is the difference between perfect will and perfect sovereignty. Let me explain the former first, perfect sovereignty. Jehovah’s sovereignty was challenged a very long time ago.. Wickedness has been in existence for nearly all the years that Bible chronology indicates man has been on the earth. Jehovah gave a simple command to the first man and woman but its connotation of this command brings larger implications.

(Genesis 2:17) But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.” Our Father Jehovah said that he had the right to determine what was good and what was bad, correct? But when we read the following text, we see how Satan lied to Eve and told her that if she ate, she will know good and bad instead of relying on our Father Jehovah to determine that.

How do we know this? If read the following scripture below, the outright lie that Satan told to Eve it questions Jehovah’s Sovereignty.

(Genesis 3:1-5) . . .Now the serpent proved to be the most cautious of all the wild beasts of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it began to say to the woman: “Is it really so that God said YOU must not eat from every tree of the garden?” 2 At this the woman said to the serpent: “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. 3 But as for [eating] of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘YOU must not eat from it, no, YOU must not touch it that YOU do not die.’” 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “YOU positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad.”
(Genesis 3:6) Consequently the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, yes, the tree was desirable to look upon. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward she gave some also to her husband when with her and he began eating it.

Apple, since that moment all mankind have been dying, and sins and transgressions against God have multiplied. Since the Bible indicates that God gave man a perfect start, the questions have arisen: How did sin, imperfection, and wickedness get their start? And why has the Almighty God allowed these things to remain for centuries? The answers lie in a challenge against God’s sovereignty that brought forth a paramount issue involving mankind.
(Isaiah 43:27) Your own father, the first one, has sinned, and your own spokesmen have transgressed against me.

(Romans 5:12) 12 That is why, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned—. . .

(Romans 5:15, 16) 15 But it is not with the gift as it was with the trespass. For if by one man’s (Adam) trespass many died, the undeserved kindness of God and his free gift with the undeserved kindness by the one man Jesus Christ abounded much more to many. 16 Also, it is not with the free gift as it was with the way things worked through the one [man] that sinned. For the judgment resulted from one trespass in condemnation, but the gift resulted from many trespasses in a declaration of righteousness.

(Genesis 3:19) In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”
(1 Corinthians 15:21) For since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a man.

Jehovah God, by his words and acts, has, over the centuries, proved that he is a God of love and undeserved kindness, exercising perfect justice and judgment, and extending mercy to those seeking to serve him. (Exodus 34:6, 7; Psalm 89:14;  Even to the ungrateful and wicked he has expressed kindness. (Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35; Romans 5:8) He delights in the fact that his sovereignty is administered in love.—Jeremiah 9:24.

Accordingly, the kind of persons he desires in his universe are persons who serve him because of love for him and for his fine qualities. They must love God first and their neighbor second. (Matthew 22:37-39) They must love Jehovah’s sovereignty; they must desire it and prefer it over any other. (Psalm 84:10) They must be persons that, even if it were possible for them to become independent, would choose His sovereignty because they know that his rulership is far wiser, more righteous, and better than any other. (Isaiah 55:8-11; Jeremiah 10:23; Romans 7:18).

Such ones come to know God, and really knowing him means to love him and stick to his sovereignty. The apostle John writes: “Everyone remaining in union with him does not practice sin; no one that practices sin has either seen him or come to know him.” And, “He that does not love has not come to know God, because God is love.” (1John 3:6; 4:8) Jesus knew his Father better than anyone else. He said: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.”—Matthew 11:27.

That is Perfect Sovereignty now for Perfect Will. Free will involves the freedom to make a choice. The choice to honor and worship for Jehovah’s sake to rule over all his creations. This is conversely to what Adam and Eve wanted which is to be independent from Jehovah, to rule for themselves what is right and what is wrong. History has shown us the error of their ways.

What was God’s will for our first parents and their offspring? According to Genesis 1:28, it too was very good: “God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.’” To fulfill that wonderful commission, our original parents would need to keep on living—forever—and so would their offspring. Nothing suggested tragedy, injustice, heartache, or death.
This was a time when God’s will was being done both in heaven and on earth. Those who carried out his will would find great pleasure in doing so. What went wrong?
An unexpected challenge to God’s will arose. No, it was not unanswerable. Still, it introduced a long period of heartache and grief that would cause much confusion about God’s will for mankind. Of this we have all been victims. What was that challenge?

One of the spirit “sons of God” saw the possibility of interfering with God’s will for man, his plan being to gain benefits for himself. The more this spirit creature considered it, the more feasible it seemed and the more attractive it became. (James 1:14, 15) He may have reasoned that if he could get the first human pair to listen to him rather than to God, then God would be forced to tolerate a rival sovereignty. He may have figured that God would not execute them, for that would spell failure for God’s purpose. Rather, Jehovah God would have to modify his purpose, accepting the position of this spirit son whom His human creation would now be obeying. Aptly, that rebel was later called Satan, that is, “Resister.”—Job 1:6
So can we say that Jehovah’s will perfect and His sovereignty perfect? Yes on both counts. Jehovah has proven that His right to rule is unquestionable. Again, history has shown the error of Satan’s way? Has Satan’s question has been proven false?

Did these developments forever change God’s purpose, or will, for mankind and the earth? No. (Isaiah 55:9-11) But they did raise issues that needed to be settled: Can mankind “be like God, knowing good and bad,” as Satan had claimed? That is, given enough time, can we work out on our own what is right and wrong, beneficial and harmful, in all areas of life? Does God deserve complete obedience, his way of ruling being the best? Is his will deserving of full compliance? How would you answer?

There was only one way to settle these issues before the eyes of all intelligent creation: Allow those who sought independence to try to make it a success. Simply putting them to death would not settle the issues raised. Letting the human race go on for a sufficient period would settle matters because the results would become obvious. God indicated that he would handle matters this way when he told the woman that she would have children. A human family would thus begin. Thanks to this, we are alive today!—Genesis 3:16, 20.

This did not mean, however, that God would allow humans and the rebellious spirit son to do entirely as they wished. God did not abdicate his sovereignty, nor did he abandon his purpose. (Psalm 83:18) This he made clear by foretelling the eventual crushing of the instigator of the rebellion and the canceling of all the bad effects. (Genesis 3:15) From the start, therefore, the human family had promise of relief.

There is more to both analogies. This is where the Bible comes and it explains it more in detail. Jehovah’s Witnesses offer a free Bible Study program that shows what the Bible promises.

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