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BULLETIN ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT
WHERE BREVITY COUNTS
Predestination involves a preceding foreknowledge.
Foreknowledge is what God, prior to creation and thus before human sin, pre-ascertained, pre-envisaged, saw to be the direction of preference of each soul, whether for Him or against Him, for Christ or against, for salvation by grace or not.
Predestination is the assignment, and consignment, and hence though final and sure, depends on the foreknowledge coming in the order of Romans 8:29ff.. The nature of this is crucial to understanding.
Thus there is double predestination, as in Ephesians 1:4 and I Peter 2:8. Though this is divinely related to the direction of human volition, yet it is inviolately found, and in a scenario where the divine desire for all to be saved was active as Colossians 1:19ff., though the Lord was willing in truly divine dimensions, for this to be aborted. Love that is founded on force, deception or manipulation is merely an empty name, and rather than align to such schema, God was prepared to suffer the grief of the lack of scope for its application, as shown so profoundly in Matthew 23:37, and Luke 19:42. It is as in Isaiah 48, with a sorrow of profundity and ultimacy, "O that you had heeded My commandments, then your peace would have been like a river... "
Further, the Gospel in terms of which the provision is made, is sovereignly selected by God, as is the mode of application, as is the mode of ascertainment of the result, wrought by none other than God Himself, and not dependent on the blood, or will of the flesh of man.
Indeed, the achievement of a creation where freedom is incorporated in its construction and function, is part of the wonder of the beauty of the entire domain. Hence any thought of a determined or pre-determined outcome in some mysterious or imposed fashion, is incredibly horrible and contrary to all revelation in the Bible concerning the character and nature of God, and is as outré as having the moon made of a rather putrid gorgonzolla.
If that pre-weighting of the soul were so, freedom only an appearance, then the situation would be a deception for Adam and the judgment following his ill-advised action a fraud, the whole situation a bumble and the assumption would at best be of divine technical failure is creating liberty of choice for reward or punishment, in terms of obedience and faith. In fact, the divine deliverance in revelation of the nature of foreknowledge and predestination may be conceived as a MODEL, and the model in which materialistic machinations take over is merely an invention of man, in a HUMANLY CONTRIVED MODEL where freedom has no existence is the mere use of confusion of models, to impose a hybrid of obviously ridiculous irrelevance, as in any other confusion of models.
Fascinatingly, the attitude and principles shown in Christ as man, He being unchangeable in nature and divine so that "he who has seen Me has seen the Father," and He, far from being a mock-up, or a denudation in character and being, was Himself "the truth" , are always true. His attitude to loss of an open salvation through misused opportunity is just the same as the divine one so often manifest in the Old Testament. Indeed, to imagine it otherwise not only have you made a new and anti-scriptural christology, making purposes the ground for deception, as if Christ were not what He said He was, but it is as if to make another heart for God. When God says what He would have done (Matthew 23:37 for example), He means it, and sets it in our midst as in a diamond casket, in terms of divine revelation.
We are not at liberty to construct an alternative version. What He divulged on earth, as God, the nature of God and His mode of sovereignty and love, that is true in heaven or anywhere else, at this time or at any other. Relish it, for it is reality; and what reality!
God does not change (Psalm 102:27, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 1:12). What Christ showed in purpose and heart in this matter of eternal significance, is true of the divine purpose and nature, whether in foreknowledge or elsewhere; and what is there foreknown is what it carried out in predestination, the executive phase, which acts as a guarantee against confusion, error and trickery or treachery or distortion by any part or party, being a fulfilment of the intensive love of God which was so great that He actually gave His only begotten son, and in so doing so loved the world, not just a part of it.
In other words, it is God who sovereignly selects the remedy for man, its criterion, its mode of application, and makes its assessment. It is not a matter of the blood or will of diseased and defaulted man, sovereignly operative at all, but the divine discernment of the preference of each soul. God did not abandon the nature, in His own image, of His human creation, nor did He use its fallen powers to act, but performed the task Himself before sin entered, our time was and errant consequences shouted their mind.
Hence He Himself tells us what He WOULD have done IF the offending party had LISTENED. God is not saying He opposed Himself, but that He vehemently wanted those concerned to repent, and listen, heed, respond, but SINCE they chose not to, therefore He most reluctantly let them go. As He says in Psalm 81, "But My people would not heed My voice and Israel would have none of Me, so I gave them over to their own stubborn heart." He did not give them over and SO they would not listen; the divine diction is the opposite. They would not listen and SO He gave them over. "O that My people would listen to Me!" the deity exclaims, even the One who made man in His own image, and He lists all the things which, in accord with His earnest desire for the people, zealously seeking in heart, He WOULD HAVE DONE.
You have the same sequence and cause and effect relationship in terms of divine desire (over-ridden by divine purity which does not use force or contrivance to manipulate) in Isaiah 48:15ff., to a degree acutely poignant, in Jeremiah 48, in Matthew 23:37ff. to the point of weeping, in Luke19:42ff., and in principle in I Timothy 2, Colossians 1:19ff. in direct underlying principle. WHY do even today do many called His people not listen to His voice, and invent what does not accord with His word, even to the point of the lapse into false Christology, in the case of Calvin! It is necessary to listen always in all things. There is no luxury holiday from the holy scriptures available, though divisive jaunts seem often taken!