Category Archives: Nathan Dooley

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A WORLD DROWNING IN SIN

DISCLAIMER: I’m exploring the gospel from a unique perspective and am aware that I might be way off from the truth as I explore, and if I am, please feel free to contact me at nldooley@timeforprovidence.com.

THOUGHT BUBBLE: If you read my previous post you’ll find something that even made me feel strange when writing it because no one other than God knows what the heck I was/am thinking and why, but explore this with me, and if what I write is unreasonable… scratch it. My goal is to learn as I go with the reader.


When I think about a world drowning in sin, I think about the story of Noah and the Ark because it was a world drown, in sin. But I see Noah and the Ark much more than yesterday’s story by how it connects to what’s coming to our world next, which is a world melted by intense heat (2 Peter 3). And if the Lord permits, we’ll explore that prophetic reality in writing eventually.

I’m going to approach our subject matter, a world drowning in sin, with a question derived from the gospel according to Luke chapter 22. The question I present is: Was there another way, a different way, than for Christ our Lord to go to the cross? 

I think at first glance, the immediate answer is… no (Luke 22:42); “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”, Jesus said. But then again, if there wasn’t another way, then why would Jesus say that? I think there would be no reason for Jesus to have said that if Jesus’ will was the same as His Father’s will. And if my observation is reasonable, how was Jesus’ will different from that of His Father’s will?

Here is where I, as your author, feel strange writing what I’m thinking, but bear with me. What I’m thinking is, “If my education serves me right, the primal instincts of mankind are what compel us as humans to survive…” And then I map that thought to when Jesus was at the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was a man no different than any other human man (other than of course being the Son of God and that’s not the point yet); Jesus experienced the will, primal instincts of man. And so I argue that the will of man is to survive by that of sacrifice or murder, meaning that while Jesus was under the curse of Mankind’s sin as the Lamb of God was also experiencing the instinct of Mankind’s sin to survive by requesting another way than the cross if there was another way.

An example might be like when Cain offered produce from the fruit of the ground and Abel offered a lamb from the firstborn of his flock (Genesis 4). Was there another way? The will of Mankind without faith in God is to survive, perhaps commit murder for sustainability apart from God; whereas Mankind’s faith in God with responsibility to survive, perhaps sacrifice self to believe God will save me to a new life with Him!

Now I’m not saying that Jesus was making request to be separated from God His Father, on the contrary; I think Jesus was expressing Himself as Adam—resembling the time when man was created in the image and likeness of God and placed in the garden with dominion—being expelled from the garden of Eden to survive, Adam listened to the voice of his wife and ate from the fruit that God commanded him not to eat from (“yet not My will…”). It sounds to me like Jesus is saying, “yet not the will of Adam, but Yours be done.”

I think Jesus experienced two natures, (1) the nature of Mankind and (2) the nature of God—God is love. The love of God overruled the sin of Mankind by the sacrifice of the Lamb. Jesus was compelled by the Spirit of God to the cross while simultaneously resisting the temptation of man to survive by offering these words, “…but Yours be done.” But Your will, Father, be done, not mine or any other will, but the Father’s will be done!

Jesus put the instinct or law of sin in Adam to death for the joy set before Him, enduring the cross for the salvation of the world. Looking at it another way, I think it’s safe to say that Jesus overcame the eternal consequence of man’s allegiance to do the devil’s will—even sweating blood—having suffered to provide our way of escape, the discipline of Holiness in Himself bought the world by His blood. I think the only other way would have been for God to destroy Mankind and start over with His Son, which sounds familiar, doesn’t it? (Moses).

I am concerned for the people of the world in denial about the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because to suppress the truth of the gospel is to generate unrighteousness of the devil for an inevitable judgment. It doesn’t have to be that way!

There would be no way for me to discern the truth about Christ without believing that the Son of God in the flesh of Jesus followed the will of His Heavenly Father by the help of the Holy Spirit, dying on the cross. For God so loved the world… (finish it). It’s Mankind’s freedom to regress in the darkness of Satan or to progress in the Light of God. Had not Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, my faith is in vain.

Do you remember when the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus after he was baptized, and then God spoke, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”? Jesus knew exactly why God called Him Son, and why God was pleased with Him. Mankind had no idea! But the mystery to Jesus Christ and the gospel is now revealed through faith in Him by the power of the Holy Spirit!

GOOD NEWS

It is no mystery that the world was drowned in sin. The time when Christ was walking on earth and on water resembled that of Noah’s day, a world perished by a flood. However, when Jesus went to the altar (cross) set on earth prepared by His Father in Heaven as a living sacrifice, everything changed! The world resuscitated to life!

John 1:29
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Before there was the revelation of Jesus Christ, the birth of Immanuel, the Light of God into our dark world, was a people enslaved to primal instincts: sacrifice & murder (Genesis 4). These two natures have been at war for the soul’s right to live since the dawn of sin, but to discern the nature of sacrifice as justifiable and murder not, the world must be baptized into a soothing aroma (Genesis 8); The baptism of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 3:11-15
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan, coming to John to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have the need to be baptized by You, and yet You are coming to me?” But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *allowed Him.

Jesus, although innocent of the sin of man and only Person worthy to baptize with power that saves—resuscitating a world drowning in death—humbled Himself as a human being no more or less guilty than the next sinner in need to be baptized in water for repentance.

Matthew 3:16-17
After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and settling on Him, and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world, has breathed the knowledge of the truth into a world of lies. His breath fills the lungs of the world for a new life in Him, and so here we are, bought by His blood and born again. Jesus indeed fulfilled all righteousness, and so every person with primal instincts can now discern the nature of what is justifiably good and consequently evil.

THORNFUL ROSE: INTRIGUE

My wife (Laura) and I had a great conversation about the “thorn” in the Apostle Paul’s side, “a messenger of Satan” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Laura found through Dr. Constable’s Notes p. 167 different interpretations about the thorn:

“Three basic suggested interpretations of the thorn are as follows: (1) If flesh is a reference to the body, then it is a physical ailment like an earache, headache, eye trouble, epilepsy, or recurrent fever. (2) If flesh is a reference to the fallen nature, then the thorn could be a temptation. (3) If the expression is figurative, it could refer to persecution or opposition. Most commentators interpret it as a physical ailment.”1

“Many early church Fathers and Reformers understood the thorn to be a spiritual temptation—perhaps a tendency toward pride, or the opposition of Paul’s enemies. Some modern Roman Catholic interpreters take it as a fleshly temptation that assailed Paul’s moral purity. Many modern Protestant interpreters see it as a bodily suffering, namely, some physical illness or infirmity such as bad eyesight, a speech impediment, malaria,2 or epilepsy (cf. Gal. 4:13-15).3 Since the scriptural data does not provide a definite answer, it seems best to suspend judgment on any conclusion. Various commentators have made good cases for every one of the explanations
described above. Probably Paul avoided being explicit so his readers would not focus on his particular form of affliction exclusively.”

In light of Dr. Constable’s Notes given above, there seems to be 3 different approaches to the Apostle Paul’s thorn:

  1. Spiritual Temptation
  2. Fleshly Temptation
  3. Physical Illness or Infirmity

However, what was profound to my wife was how “God used evil for good”, which struck me odd at first because my brain does not make sense of good using evil for good; that to me sounds like evil is nothing more than a tool rather than a force necessitating justice, and thereby making good and evil indistinguishable.

I’m intrigued. So, let’s explore!…