October 31, 1999
This past week has been quite eventful, and I have been up in the air about what to speak about today. I had a message together for today, which was the second half of last weeks', but I believe this is needed for me, and for others in here today also, considering my heart attack last week.
Brother Darryl gave me a book from his library when we visited them a couple weeks ago. During this slow time, I have been reading some in it. The name of the book is "The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination." It was written by Jerom Zanchius (1516-1590). It was translated into English, by Augustus Toplady in the early 1700s.
There is so much found in this doctrine of PREDESTINATION, that I will not even begin to touch its meaning, which includes God's permission of evil in the world. So, I'll just give a few points and some passages as we go along.
As I have said many times, I have no idea how the secret things of God work together with what we as individuals know to do and for which we will be responsible before God:
Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
I can give scriptures, but I cannot explain the secret things that belong unto the Lord our God as God works all things to his own glory. I do know, however, that we will answer to God for everything we have done in the flesh.
Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
God always was and is so perfectly wise, that nothing he ever did or does or will do can escape his knowledge. He knew from all eternity not only what he himself would do, but also what he would incline and permit others to do.
Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
God knows nothing now, nor will he know anything in the future that he did not know from everlasting past. His foreknowledge (knowing what will happen in the future in time as we know it) is co-eternal with himself, and extends to everything that is or that ever shall be.
THIRD, God's foreknowledge is sure and infallible, so that whatever he foreknows must come to pass. His foreknowledge cannot be hindered in any way, nor can he be deceived in any way, or he would cease to be God.
FOURTH, it is God's secret foreknowledge that is the first cause of everything that takes place on this earth. Man can only know the secondary cause.
The secondary cause is man acting freely and voluntarily as though he were absolute lord of his own destiny. God does not force man to make certain choices. And man will also be judged as though he were lord of his own destiny. But in all things and even in his most fallen, corrupt state, man is fulfilling what is appointed for him by the foreknowledge of God.
Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
God's plan for history and his foreknowledge work together to bring about whatever happens in history.
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,according to the good pleasure of his will,
We must say that whatever takes place on this earth is for no other reason than because it is according to the good pleasure of his will.
It was according to his good pleasure alone that permitted sin to enter into the world, and death by sin, for without his permission neither men nor devils can do anything.
SEVENTH, I will say nothing at this time about the secret will of God and the revealed will of God. Rather, I will only point out that whether in the salvation of individuals or in the events of life, it is the will of God at work.
Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Ephesians 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: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Notice Ephesians 1:5-11: Three times in these few verses the Lord tells us that all things in heaven and earth take place according to the good pleasure of his will, vv. 5, 9, 11.
I will skip over a tremendous amount because of time, to this point.
EIGHTH, whatever comes to pass, comes to pass because it is God's will for it to come to pass.
God either causes something to come to pass, or he permits certain things to come to pass because those things accomplish the good pleasure of his own will.
Psalms 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Psalms 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. Matthew 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
From beginning to end, the word of God tells us that there is nothing that takes place in heaven nor in earth that does not have God as its first cause. God either permits the event to take or he causes it to take place. Either way, the result will always be according to the good pleasure of his own will.
Every one in here, whether we are on the mountain top or in the valley, must say with Job:
Job 23:13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
Linda's eye problem was the thing that God appointed for her. Jeanette's difficulties are the things appointed by God for her. Nennah's problems are the things appointed for her, and the list goes on and on. Each one of us is in the process of working out God's good pleasure upon this earth.
One day we will understand more about what has taken place here on earth. And those who have been converted by faith in the blood of Christ will be among those recorded in,
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
"But if this is the case, then God is unjust, for who has resisted God's will?"
Which is the charge recorded in Romans 9:19, Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Paul answered this in v. 14, "Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid."
In other words, no man can charge God with being unrighteous. As I said, I do not know how this secret thing of God works, but I do know that God is righteous in all he does, and we dare not question his righteousness in his actions.
Our God is the first cause of everything that takes place. Paul probably had this in mind when he said,
Romans 11:33, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Though God's ways are past finding out, his revealed Word is not. We will be held accountable as to how we think and act according to his word.
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
We are in this place today by Divine appointment. What will you do with the opportunity God has brought to you?
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