The Wills of God:  Deuteronomy 29:29

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (All Bible verses are printed out at the end of this chart.)

God's decretive will is his eternal decision about everything.  It is secret--we learn about it after it happens.  It is absolute and unchangeable.  Psalm 115:3; Daniel 4:17, 25, 32, 35; Romans 9:18, 19; 11:33, 34; Ephesians 1:5, 9, 11  (eudokian:  Good pleasure, determination)

God has revealed his will.  This revealed will includes his declaration of what is pleasing to him.  Theologians speak of aspects of this as his complacential (showing satisfaction, acquiescence in something; disposed to please or comply) will.  Matthew 6:10; 7:21; 12:50; John 4:33-38; 7:17; Romans 12:2 (euareston: Pleasing, acceptable)  Romans 10:21; Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:1 ff.

This does not rule out second causes, nor does it do violence to the human will.  Acts 2:23; 4:25-28


Because God does not change, his promises and what pleases him do not change.  This will is not conditional, but absolute.



God has revealed that the outcome of history will be radically affected by our actions, because God works through second causes.   We may speak of this will as God's conditional will.  God declared that he would destroy Ninevah; he did not say he would destroy it unless they repented.  But they did repent, and "God changed his mind."  Jonah 3:10; Exodus 32:14

Causatively, Effectively

Permissively, by not restraining evil, etc. Genesis 50:20



Bob Vincent

Here are the verses referred to in the chart above:

“But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” (Psalm 115:3)

“This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)

“They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” (Daniel 4:25)

“And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” (Daniel 4:32)

“All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:35)

“Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.” (Romans 9:18)

‘You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?”’ (Romans 9:19)

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” (Romans 11:33, 34)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” (Ephesians 1:3-5)

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,” (Ephesians 1:7-9)

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,” (Ephesians 1:11)

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)

‘Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”’ (John 4:33-38)

“If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” (John 7:17)

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

‘But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”’ (Romans 10:21)

‘“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”’ (Ezekiel 18:23)

‘“For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”’ (Ezekiel 18:32)

“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11)

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

“Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;” (Acts 2:23)

“Who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.” (Acts 4:25-28)

“Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” (Jonah 3:10)

“So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” (Exodus 32:14)

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)