Is There Anything God Can’t Do?

Recently, when doing a study on mythological creatures mentioned in Scripture, I came across a blog post entitled Why the Sacrifice of Isaac Had Nothing To Do With Christ and I found what I consider to be a serious error in the author’s theology. I have yet to read through more of Anna Diehl’s work on the blog, but after looking through a few posts, I probably won’t, considering much of the teaching there tears down preachers and the church instead of edifying, building them up, and encouraging them. They point out what’s wrong but don’t give a solution. The author even goes so far as stating that Paul’s teachings are all heresies and false teachings, and that the man who Christ choose to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles is a heretic and a false prophet.

But this post isn’t here to tear down everything Anna Diehl speaks about, but rather to point out the flaw in her post Why the Sacrifice of Issac Had Nothing To Do With Christ.

In the midst of her teaching about the sacrifice of Isaac, Anna has this to say about God:

“The truth is that God is bound by NOTHING. He can change His mind, break His promises, and toss out His covenants anytime He darn well wants to. The Church has become so arrogant today that she thinks it’s just fine to go around telling God what He can’t do. God can’t break His word. God can’t contradict the Bible. God can’t change His mind. God can’t lie. God can’t do evil. Baloney. God can do it all—that’s what it means to be GOD.”

However, Anna seems to have no Biblical support for her claims. I want to look at all of these claims, and give Biblical reasons why all of the claims the church makes about God (He can’t lie, He can’t break His word, He can’t contradict the Bible, He can’t change His mind, He can’t do evil) are all true statements and come with biblical support.

1. God can’t lie

We’ve spoken of this before in my post What To Do When You Feel Like God Lied To You. It is impossible for God to lie. For God to be capable of lying would throw into question every single thing that God has ever said, thereby annulling the Scriptures and even the sacrifice of Jesus.

When speaking to Balak, the prophet Balaam tells him, “‘God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19)

When speaking to Saul, the prophet Samuel stated, “‘And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.'” (1 Samuel 15:19)

In the 89th Psalm, God says, “Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.” (Psalm 89:35)

And finally, in the book of Hebrews, the author states that “…it is impossible for God to lie…” (6:18)

The statement that God is incapable of lying is not an invention of the Church, but Scripturally proven fact.

2. God can’t break His Word.

Honestly, there’s not really much I can say here, because the verses above make the same point. There has never been a point in Scripture where God has ever broken His word.

Once again, in Psalm 89, God says, “I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.”

3. God can’t contradict the Bible.

Okay, let’s be honest here, all three of these points go together, and the same verses apply. For God to contradict His Word, the Bible, would, once again, throw into question every single truth ever contained in the Bible about God. The whole idea of atonement, salvation, and everything we have ever learned would be thrown into question and the Church would fall apart.

4. God can’t change His mind.

Just read points one and two. I’m not going into this a fourth time. But here’s a verse for you:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:16; emphasis mine.)

5. God can’t do evil.

Finally, a new idea. Okay, I’m going to look at one verse and I hope you get the point of what I’m saying here:

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” (James 1:13)

If God cannot be tempted with evil, then it stands to reason that God cannot do evil. We look at Jesus, Who, during His entire earthly ministry, never sinned. Not once. Sin is evil, and since Jesus, Who is God made Man, never did evil, it stands to reason that God cannot do evil.

Please, Anna Diehl, before you start tearing down accepted doctrines in the Church, please, I am begging you, as a brother in Christ, to have Scriptural backing for your claims. If you don’t, then you are worse than those who twist the Bible for their own use without understanding the context.

This is what the Sovereign LORD says.

2 thoughts on “Is There Anything God Can’t Do?

  1. Richard

    I would like to comment and ask some questions on your 5th point. That scripture and how you explained it really caught my attention. Let me repost your scripture so I can refer quickly.

    “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” (James 1:13)

    I guess you will agree with me that being tempted does not mean sinning. We can say it is when we are given the opportunity to choose whether to obey or disobey God – basically. Now James says according to the scripture you’ve quoted that God cannot be tempted with evil and so therefore He Himself tempts no one. Furthermore, you state that Jesus never sinned or did evil, I would assume here, even though you didn’t explicitly state it, that you are communicating that Jesus wasn’t tempted with evil. You might say I am assuming wrong but you believe Jesus is God, right? And if He is God, since you probably believe God is one (I am using “probably” because you’ve not stated your belief on that in this post but you did state that Jesus is God made Man-that could mean to you that He wasn’t fully God anymore, I am not sure about that) then Jesus cannot be tempted. Now here are my questions:

    1. Matthew 4:1 says “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” and verses 2-10 confirm in detail that yes Jesus was actually tempted. Now if Jesus was tempted, and again I assume you believe Jesus is God since you made a connection between Him and the scripture and God. You also said Jesus is God made Man. So if Jesus was tempted then does that not make James a liar about that particular issue? Clearly Jesus was tempted, and the devil tempts with evil.

    2. Your first point was that God cannot lie. And you defended this with a couple of scriptures. But then you said God cannot do evil in point 5. You also said God never contradicts the Bible in point 3. Now looking at all this, Lamentation 3:38 says “Doesn’t evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?”.
    Isaiah 45:7 also says “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”. This is God talking.

    From this we actually realize the Bible is pointing out that God does evil. Lamentation makes this clear. He actually declares evil to happen before it does because the preceeding scripture Lamentations 3:37 says ” Who is he who says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord doesn’t command it?”.

    So then based on all these scriptures which can also be found in the Bible, then doesn’t the same Bible prove God lies, contradicts the Bible, and gets tempted with evil also?

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    1. Hello Richard. I want to thank you for your questions and I greatly appreciate the information that you brought to my attention. It challenged me to look deeper into the scriptures that were posted and look deeper into the scriptures you yourself posted.

      Concerning the passage in James, we need to dig into the Greek in order to come close to what James was attempting to communicate. The word James uses is kakos which is translated as “depraved, injurious”. It can be defined as evil or harm, or even wickedness. Obviously, across all translations, we will find the word “evil” in its place. Its Hebrew equivalent, ra, is found in Isaiah 45:7. This word, written as evil in most translations, is also defined as grief, mischief, sorrow, displeasure, and pain, among others.
      If we are to look at James’ passage in its full context, we can see that James is telling his readers that the acts of evil do not tempt God. He has no inclination toward evil, whether in His character or in His actions.

      You argue that Jesus was tempted to do evil while in the wilderness. This is correct. However, we must understand that Jesus was not solely God when here on earth. He was God and man. The part of God that was in Jesus was not Satan’s goal, but rather to get the humanity of Jesus to fall. Satan knew that if he could get Jesus to sin as a man, it would ruin the whole plan of salvation. Jesus would no longer be the spotless sacrificial Lamb. Yet, the Divine in Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, was able to keep the humanity of Jesus spotless.

      Regarding Lamentations 3:38, there is a conflict between most translations and the Hebrew. Most translations do read as you state, that both good and evil come from the mouth of God. However, coming straight from the Hebrew, Lamentations 3:37-38 reads, “Who is this speaking, and it occurs when the Lord does not command it? The evil and the good do not come out of the mouth of the Most High”. You can see that most translations sadly get this wrong. Jeremiah was lamenting that people have put evil in the mouth of God, when evil can never proceed from God. In the preceding verses, Jeremiah even states that crushing prisoners and grieving humanity is something that God does not do. As a matter of fact, God takes note when man does those things!

      Finally, regarding your quote taken from Isaiah. The LORD is speaking specifically to King Cyrus within this passage. The word used in the text is bara, which, aside from create, also means select, choose, dispatch, and make fat. He is telling Cyrus that it is He, the LORD, that directs the paths of the evil. He forms its path and dispatches it to where it is needed. It is not formed by His hand, but rather directed, where it can do the most good for His glory.

      While this is only a humble attempt at looking deeper into what the scriptures say, I trust there is a deeper understanding of the passages. I will admit that these are questions I am grateful for, for they force me to investigate more of the character of God and more of the language used when the Bible was being written.
      I will continue to pray for God’s wisdom regarding these passages and others where it appears contradictory. I hope and pray that you will also seek wisdom and understanding as you search the Scriptures for your own good and understanding.
      I hope we can continue this discussion as God reveals more to us.

      Like

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