Friday, December 30, 2011

Bible Truth #328 - Isaiah 46:10

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:

If you carefully consider the object of “time” which God created, you may better understand how everything is history to God. To create something, God has to be outside that which He created. So when He created time, He created the beginning, the end, and EVERYTHING in between. As far as God is concerned, the events that will transpire immediately before His Son’s return to earth have already occurred as much as the attack on the World Trade Center on 9-11 has occurred to us. This is why His prophecies are always 100% accurate. God has declared it and it will not change. If anything changes from what God has already declared (determined, ordained) then the original declaration was false, making God a liar, which of course, is ludicrous.

The prophet then goes on to say about Yahweh, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Consider - God will do all that He pleasures. There is no exception to that, there is no qualifier. There is no room for man’s “free will.” The only thing free about man’s will is that God has ordained some Christians to continue thinking they have free will, along with all of the lost. (Yes, those who are lost also think they have free will.) Since God will do all that pleases Him, and since His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11), then obviously it is not His WILL that every man be saved. If God willed all men to be saved, all men would be saved.

God has declared it! God has determined who would be saved when He chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God has already written their names in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 17:8).

Arminians grasp at straws when they claim a couple of passages state God wants all men saved. Passages like 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Timothy 4:10, and 2 Peter 3:9. I have explained each and in light of God’s sovereignty clearly stated in passages like Isaiah 46:10 above, the only reason Arminians don’t understand is that God has not given them a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear (Deuteronomy 29:4). If it was God’s will that all men be saved, all men would be saved.

As I wrote in Bible Truth #327, it is no different with individual lives. God has set before each man a course he will take, God directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bible Truth #327 - Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

This passage follows the Chapter known as the “Hall of Faith,” Hebrews 11, where the writer tells us of the great faith of some of the revered saints of the Old Testament and ends it by telling us some of the things that many other honored saints experienced and how some died gruesome deaths.

He then starts off Chapter 12 by telling us that our lives are being observed by a lot more people than we might want to consider. We may think that only God is watching us but that is not true.

However, what I’d like to point out is that the writer tells us to run with patience the race that is SET BEFORE us.

“Run” is translated from the Greek word trecho which has the meaning: to exert one's self, strive hard; to spend one's strength in performing or attaining something; and sometimes, especially in light of the preceding chapter, to incur extreme peril, which requires the exertion of all one's effort to overcome. And sometimes the only thing that is overcome is the fear of the type of death one will suffer.

“Race” is translated from the Greek word agon which in this context has the meaning: the contest for a prize at the Greek games; generally, any struggle or contest; a battle. Again, in light of the previous chapter and the discussion of the Christian life, I would understand “battle” better than any other definition.

Now we get into the purpose of why the Spirit led me to write this up. Set before is translated from the Greek word prokeimai which, in the context of the Christian life, has the meaning: to lie or be placed before a person or in front of; to be appointed, destined.

We can not run another Christian’s race, we can’t live their life. Each man has to live the life the Lord has placed before them. But the point is, that life, his entire life, has been placed before him. It has been set, and has been determined, a specific “race course” that God has laid out. A man can no more change the course God has set for him than he can change history. This is why Proverbs tells us that God has ordered our steps (Proverbs 16:9) and that we are to thank Him for it (Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 5:20). The events that will transpire next week, next year, or even 100 years from now have already been determined and are history to God (Isaiah 46:10). To Him Who is outside of time, the future is history and it cannot be changed.

This is why all things work together for good (Romans 8:28), God has already worked in them. This is why the author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote that the race has been set before us, it is ours and we cannot change it. (Proverbs 20:24)

Bible Truth #326 - John 9:1-3

1  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

And so begins the story of the man who was blind from birth. There were even people who, after his healing, didn’t even recognize him as the blind beggar. This is only one of many illustrations of life where it is clear that God is Sovereign and in control.

It was a common belief among Jews that sickness or even physical maladies were the result of sin, even the sin of the parents because of their children born handicapped - and they had good reason to believe it. God told Israel through Moses that He would “visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation...” (Exodus 20:5). It was literally contained within the 10 Commandments!

But read again the question the disciples asked Jesus - did this man sin before he was born that caused him to be born blind? Did they have some kind of belief unfounded in Scriptures that said an unborn child could sin? That is how some would interpret this question. I see it another way. Romans 14:23 tells us that everything not done in faith is sin, but is there an age limit on this? If a lost farmer is sinning when he plows his field, and if a lost teenager is sinning when she does her chores around the house, and if a lost child is sinning as he plays games with his friends, does this not also mean that an infant, if he is not one of the Elect, is sinning when he is nursing at his mother’s breast? Is Romans 14:23 speaking of only conscious or planned activity? I don’t believe so. The very existence of a lost man, woman, boy, girl, infant, or unborn - IF they are not chosen in Christ - is a stench before God.

Obviously His disciples understood that man is conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5), is born a sinner, and is in dire need of the redemptive work of Christ - from conception! They understood that it is not the actions of a man that make him a sinner, it is the fact that he was descended from Adam that make him a sinner (Romans 5:12). His sinful actions are merely the result of his fallen nature.

As a side note, please see Bible Truth #319 for thoughts regarding the myth known as the Age of Accountability.

But Christ goes on to tell them that neither the man, nor his parents, sinning caused his blindness. He was born blind so that God could show His works in him. God planned it, He intended it, the man’s blindness was no accident, nor was it a mistake that can now be corrected. Giving sight to the blind was a Messianic activity that was prophesied (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; 42:7), so how could Jesus give sight to the blind if there were no blind? It was clearly God’s intention that the man would be born blind.

Bottom Line - God doesn’t simply work in each situation to bring Him glory (Ephesians 1:11), He has planned each and every event in our lives (Proverbs 16:9; 19:21; 20:24; 21:1). No one lives their life NOT fulfilling God’s plan for them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bible Truth #325 - 1 Corinthians 12:12-18

12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14  For the body is not one member, but many.
15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

God is sovereign and He has chosen a bride for His son and placed them in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). But now has God set those He has chosen, every one of them, in the body (the church, the body of believers) as it has pleased Him (v18).

A man can’t decide He wants to be a hand if the Lord has made him a foot. Nor can another man decide that he wants to be a nose when God hasn’t even chosen him. As a matter of fact, a man not chosen will not come to even have a desire to be in the body (John 3:20).

The point is that God decided not only who was chosen, but He has also decided what function each man would serve within the body of believers - as it hath pleased Him.