You asked me to try to explain what was the proper, Biblical, use of the term translated, ‘allow’ or ‘permit’.
The Greek word that is translated ‘allow’, ‘permit’, ‘give leave’ or ‘suffer’ is epitrepo. It comes from two words, epi - on and tropa - turn, and literally mean ‘to turn on’. In ever case that the word appears in the New Testament it refers to a directive requested and or given from one in authority to a subordinate. King Agrippa permitted Paul to speak (Acts 26:1), the centurion gave Paul liberty to meet and greet guests at his house in Rome (Acts 27:3), Pilate gave leave to Joseph of Arimathaea to take the body of Jesus off of the cross and bury it (John 19:38) and the Apostle Paul would not suffer women to speak or teach in the church (I Cor. 14:34; I Tim. 2:12). The evil spirits, who inhabited the man from the land of the Gergesenes, entreated Jesus to not send them to the destruction of the deep but to let them inhabit the heard of swine and He gave them leave (Matt. 8:21-31). So when it is applied to the phrase “if the Lord permit’ (I Cor. 16:7) and “if God permit” (Heb. 6:3) it is a statement of the absolute immutable sovereignty of the Almighty God who is the only one who can ‘turn on’ a matter according to His eternal decree and by the power of His will.
The world uses the terms, ‘allow’ and ‘permit’, in a ‘matter of fact’, passive way in which God, whom they say and believe does not interfere with ‘free will’, simply lets things happen or that He judges a matter to see if He can work it into His plans. This is not the God that I have hope in. The God I believe is presented in the testimony of the scriptures, is not sitting on the sidelines watching the world go and frantically trying to ‘work things together for good’. He does not simply ‘wink’ at things and allow them to continue because He ultimately knows what is going to happen. That is the ‘Santa clause fool’ whom the world worships. He is the fictitious manifestation of the reprobate mind of Adam an abomination and an insult to the children of grace and the Holiness of Jehovah God.
When each and every event comes to pass (happens) in the time appointed, it does so because God ‘turns it on’ and causes it to function exactly as HE purposed. He alone has that power to perform, that right to rule, that understanding of all things and that command over all His creation, for He is God and there is no other.
Your servant in Christ,
July 25, 2012
Ps. – The Greek word ‘tropa’ means to turn and has direct reference to the rotation of the planets. So when Jehovah created the lights in the firmament of heaven, He placed them where He wanted them, set the courses that they should travel in the heavens, put them in motion and they rotate by His power and will. He made “Arcturus, Orion and Pleiades and the chambers of the south” (Job 9:9). He makes “the seven stars of Orion and turns the shadow of death into the morning and makes the day dark with night; that calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the face of the earth. Jehovah is His name” (Amos 5:8).