Printer Friendly Page

What Does "Possess Ye Your Souls" Mean?

Posted November 24, 2009

Hi J____,

Thank you for your questions.

You ask:
Here is that full verse:
Luk 21:19  In your patience possess ye your souls.

This verse is simply an admonition from our Lord to be patient in all things, knowing that, as He tells us throughout His Word, "No one can come to [Christ] except the spirit draw [drag] him."

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The masses cannot understand Christ's parables simply because God Himself has blinded them.

Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

And as Paul tells us "all things are being worked after the counsel of God's own will."

Eph 1:11  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:

If God really is "working all things after the counsel of His own will", then anything we become impatient with is really being impatient with God.

All who are new to the truth that God creates evil and is working all things, always wonder why there are any admonitions such as the one you ask about? The answer to that question is as frustrating to the natural man as is the doctrine of God's sovereignty, and the answer is that it is God who has ordained that we would all be saved "through the foolishness of preaching."

1Co 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

The world's estrangement from God is "by the wisdom of God." It is "in the wisdom of God" that we are all made to be sinners who are estranged from our own Creator, and it is only by Him dragging us to him against the will of our old man that we are converted. Then to add insult to the injury of our old man who believes in his own free will, we are told that our salvation is ordained to come only "by the foolishness of preaching".

So whenever we see words in scripture which seem to say that we "possess our souls" or we "choose life" or we "save a soul from death", we must never forget that the truth is never the truth unless it accords with "the sum of God's Word."

Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Jas 5:20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

It so happens that "the sum of God's Word" teaches that when we are told that we have done some dreadful sin, that it was not really us doing it at all:

Gen 45:4  And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6  For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet [there are] five years, in the which [there shall] neither [be] earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7  And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8  So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Rom 7:15  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Rom 7:17  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Joseph twice told his brothers "You sold me into Egypt". But then he immediately adds the truth which is completely foreign to the mind of the natural man, and which no natural man can receive. He tells them that it was not really them who sold Joseph into Egypt at all, but it was God who had sent him to Egypt.

Understanding this, it behooves us to be patient in all things, knowing that all things, including our patience, are of God even as God Himself uses the words "in your patience possess ye your souls."

I hope this helps you to see that while God speaks to us as if we were free to choose, the truth always is that our choices are caused by God, either by good spirits or by evil spirits.

This is all dealt with in much greater detail in our paper entitled After The Counsel of His Own Will, found in the Essential Reading section of iswasandwillbe.com. It is in the upper left corner of the home page.

Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Your brother in Christ,

Mike