Arhive pe categorii: God

GOD HAS YOU RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS YOU by Curtis Pugh Poteau, Oklahoma


Curtis Pugh

Poteau, Oklahoma


                God has you right where He wants you and He is going to do with you as He pleases.  God is not trying to do something with you.  He is not trying to save you or anyone else.  God is not a failure.  He does not try!  If He wants to save you or anyone else, He has the power and the means at His disposal to do so.  No man is stronger than God.  You say, “But I have a free will.”  Do you really think so?  Then will to do something contrary to your nature.  Exercise your will and change from being a sinner and be perfect.  Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  You with your so-called free will: let me see you be perfect.  You cannot fly like a bird.  You cannot be perfect.  You cannot cease from sinning: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil” (Jeremiah 13:23).  So you see, your free will is not so free as you may have been told.  It is bound to your sin nature.  You are free to sin because that is your nature.  Unless you have been born again your nature is enmity against God: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).  You cannot even will to come to Christ and be saved.  Some preachers may tell you that you can, but Jesus said: “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” (John 6:44).  Some free will!  You lack even the ability to will to come to Christ and be saved!

It does not matter that you lack a truly free will.  It does not matter that your will acts in accordance with your sinful nature.  Your will is not going to save you!  In order to be saved a person must first be born again.  Regeneration or the new birth is an inward change in a person brought about by God.  You did not birth yourself the first time you were born and you cannot birth yourself into God’s family.  In the birth process the baby is passive, not causative.  So it is with the new birth.  Jesus told Nicodemus, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:7, 8).  Just as the wind cannot be seen or controlled, so the Holy Spirit births whom He will when He wills.  Perhaps you have been told that being born again is a matter of you exercising your will.  That is absolutely contrary to the plain words of Scripture.  The Bible tells us that Jesus came to His own nation, but they received (welcomed) Him not.  But there were some – a few – who did welcome Him.  The Bible explains that the reason these few people received Christ was because they had been born of God – not of human lineage, nor the will of man nor the will of the flesh.  Read it yourself: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).  Did you get that?  God’s Word says, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”  How much plainer could God make it?  From every conceivable aspect, no will other than God’s will is involved in the new birth.  God says so!  If you have been born again it is not because you exercised your so-called free will.  It is because God exercised His will.  You are not master of your destiny: God is.  God has “mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Romans 9:18).  God is in control of all things including whom He saves!

If God wants to save everybody, He will do so.  If it is God’s will to save you, He will do so.  He will not save you contrary to your will although He could.  Rather, He is able to work in you and change your will so that you want Christ.  The Bible says: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).  God does as He pleases!  The Bible says so in 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.”  God says that He does all His pleasure.  He does what He wants to do.  Daniel 4:35 says, “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?”  But somebody says, “You must let God save you.”  Where did you read that in the Bible?  Someone may have told you that, but you did not read it in God’s Word!  What kind of God do you worship: one that puny men can “stay his hand?”  Is yours the Almighty Sovereign God?  The God of the Bible does according to His will in Heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.  The last quoted verse says that plainly.

The Bible says this about God’s children: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:4, 5).  God determined what He would do and whom He would save before the foundation of the world.  That is a Bible fact!  How do you know that you were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world?  How can you know that you have been predestinated unto God’s adoption?  How can you know that you have been born again?  Obviously not because you exercised your will, for, as demonstrated above, the Bible says your will has nothing to do with the new birth which is the beginning of salvation.  How can you know that you are saved?  First of all, have you ever seen yourself as the worst of sinners?  Have you experienced godly sorrow over your sins?  The Bible speaks of the twin requirements and at the same time the twin gifts of “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).  Furthermore, the Bible teaches that “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).  Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).  Have you experienced real and lasting sorrow for your sins?  Have you mourned for your sin?  Have you turned from sin?  Is your faith in Christ alone?  Has your life changed so that you now try to please God?  All these things happen at some point in time to those whom God has chosen to save.  Or, is your trust in some foolish religious thing that you did because somebody persuaded you and you willed to do it?  Trusting in something that you did, even trusting in the exercise of your will, is not trusting Christ as Savior.  That is faith in yourself and in what you did.  It is not faith in Christ.    God says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).  “Before ordained” – your salvation is not in your hands.  “Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9).


THE GODHEAD OF GOD by Arthur W. Pink

by Arthur W. Pink

The Godhood of God! What is meant by this expression? Ah, sad it is that
such a question needs to be asked and answered. And yet it does: for a
generation has arisen that is well nigh universally ignorant of the important
truth which this term connotes. That which is popular today in the colleges,
in the pulpits, and in the press, is the dignity, the power, and the
attainments of man. But this is only the corrupt fruit that has issued from
the Evolutionary teachings of fifty years ago. When Christian theologians
(?) accepted the Darwinian hypothesis, which excluded God from the realm
of Creation, it was only to be expected that more and more God would be
banished from the realm of human affairs. Thus it has proven. To the
twentieth-century mind God is little more than an abstraction, an impersonal
“First Cause,” or if a Being at all, One far removed from this world and
having little or nothing to do with mundane affairs. Man, forsooth, is a
“god” unto himself. He is a “free agent” and therefore the regulator of his
own life and the determiner of his own destiny. Such was the Devil’s lie at
the beginning — “Ye shall be as God” (

Genesis 3:5). But from human
speculation and Satanic insinuation we turn to Divine revelation.
The Godhood of God! What is meant by the expression? This: the
omnipotency of God, the absolute sovereignty of God. When we speak of
the Godhood of God we affirm that God is God. We affirm that God is
something more than an empty title: that God is something more than a mere
figure-head: that God is something more than a far-distant Spectator,
looking helplessly on at the suffering which sin has wrought. When we
speak of the Godhood of God we affirm that He is “King of kings and Lord
of lords.” We affirm that God is something more than a disappointed, dis-satisfied,
defeated Being, who is filled with benevolent desires but lacking
in power to carry them out. When we speak of the Godhood of God we
affirm that He is “the Most High.” We affirm that God is something more
than One who has endowed man with the power of choice, and because He
has done this is therefore unable to compel man to do His bidding. We
affirm that God is something more than One who has waged a protracted
war with the Devil and has been worsted. When we speak of the Godhood
of God we affirm that He is the Almighty.
To speak of the Godhood of God then, is to say that God is on the Throne,
on the Throne as a fact and not as a say so; on a Throne that is high above
all. To speak of the Godhood of God is to say that the Helm is in His hand,
and that He is steering according to His own good pleasure. To speak of the
Godhood of God is to say that He is the Potter, that we are the clay, and
that out of the clay He shapes one as a vessel to honor and another as a
vessel to dishonor according to His own sovereign rights. To speak of the
Divine Despot doing.3
“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?” (

Daniel 4:35).
Therefore, to speak of the Godhood of God is to give the mighty Creator
His rightful place; it is to recognize His exalted majesty; it is to own His
universal scepter.
The Godhood of God stands at the base of Divine revelation: “in the
beginning God” — in solemn majesty, eternal, un-caused, self-sufficient.
This is the foundation doctrine, and upon it all other doctrines must be built,
and any other doctrine which is not built upon it will inevitably fail and fall
in the day of testing. At the beginning of all true theology lies the postulate
that God is God — absolute and irresistible. It must be so. Without this we
face a closed door: with it we have a key which unlocks every mystery.
This is true of Creation; exclude an Almighty God and nothing is left but
blind and illogical materialism. This is true of Revelation: the Bible is the
solitary miracle in the realm of literature; exclude God from it and you have
a miracle and no miracle-Worker to produce it. This is true of Salvation.
Salvation is “of the Lord,” entirely so; exclude God from any aspect or part
of salvation, and salvation vanishes. This is true of History, for history is
His story: it is the outworking in time of His eternal purpose; exclude God
from history and all is meaningless and purposeless. The absolute Godhood
of God is the only guaranty that in the end it shall be fully and finally
demonstrated that God is “All in all” (

1 Corinthians 15:28).
“In the beginning God.” This is not only the first word of Holy Scripture
but it must be the firm axiom of all true philosophy — the philosophy of
human history, for example. Instead of beginning with man and his world
and attempting to reason back to God, we must begin with God and reason
forward to man and his world. It is failure to do this which leaves unsolved
the “riddle of the universe.” Begin with the world as it is today and try to
reason back to God, and what is the result? If you are honest of heart and
logical of mind, this — that God has little or nothing at all to do with the
world. But begin with God and reason forward to the world as it is today
and much light is cast on the problem. Because God is holy, His anger
burns against sin. Because God is righteous, His judgments fall on those
who rebel against Him. Because God is faithful, the solemn threatenings of
His Word are being fulfilled. Because God is omnipotent, no problem can
master Him, no enemy defeat Him, and no purpose of His can be
withstood. It is just because God is who He is and what He is that we now
behold what we do — the gathering clouds of the storm of Divine wrath
which will shortly burst upon the earth.
“For of Him, and through Him and to Him, are all things”

Romans 11:36)..4
In the beginning — God. In the center — God. At the end — God. But as
soon as this is insisted upon men will stand up and tell you what they think
about God. They will prate about God working consistently with His own
character, as though a worm of the earth was capable of determining what
was consistent and what was inconsistent with the Divine perfections.
People will say with an air of profound wisdom that God must deal justly
with His creatures, which is true, of course, but who is able to define
Divine justice, or any other of God’s attributes? The truth is that man is
utterly incompetent for forming a proper estimate of God’s character and
ways, and it is because of this that God has given us a revelation of His
mind, and in that revelation He plainly declares,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my
ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher then your ways, and My thoughts than your
thoughts” (

Isaiah 55:8,9).
In view of such a scripture as this it is only to be expected that much of the
contents of the Bible conflicts with the sentiments of the carnal mind which
is “enmity against God.” And further: in view of such a Scripture as the
above we need not be surprised that much of human history is so
perplexing to our understandings.
The natural world, to begin with the simplest, presents sufficient problems
to humble man, were it not that he was blinded by pride. Why should there
be diseases and remedies for them? Why poisons and their antidotes? Why
rats and mice, and cats to kill them? Why not have left un-made the evils,
and then no necessity for the instruments to remove them! Ah, why are we
so slow to learn that God’s ways are different from ours? And when we
enter the human realm the mystery deepens. What is man placed here for at
all? To learn some lesson or lessons or to undergo some test or experience
which he could not learn or undergo elsewhere? If so, then why is such a
large proportion of the race removed in infancy, before such lessons can be
learned and such experiences be gained? Why indeed! Such questions as
these might be multiplied indefinitely, but sufficient has been said to point
out the manifest limitations of human wisdom. And if we are confronted
with insolvable problems in the domain of nature and of human existence,
what of the Divine realm! Who can fathom the ways of the Almighty? Canst
thou by searching find out God? No indeed.
“Clouds and darkness are round about Him” (

Psalm 97:2).
If God were not a mystery He would not be God to us.
But why write in this strain? Surely the need of our day is for that which
will strengthen faith, not that which paralyzes it. True; but what is faith? we
mean faith in the abstract. Faith is, essentially, an attitude rather than an act:
it is that which lies behind the act. Faith is an attitude of dependency, of.5
recognized weakness. Faith is a coming to the end of ourselves and looking
outside of ourselves — away from ourselves. Faith is that which gives God
His proper place. And if we give God His proper place, we must take our
proper place, and that is in the dust. And what is there that will bring the
haughty, self-sufficient creature into the dust so quickly as a sight of the
Godhead of God! Nothing is so humbling to the human heart as a true
recognition of the absolute sovereignty of God. So then, instead of seeking
to weaken faith, we write to promote and strengthen it. The chief trouble is
that so much that passes for faith today is really only maudlin
sentimentality. The faith of Christendom in this twentieth century is mere
credulity, and the “god” of many of our churches is not the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, but a mere figment of the imagination. Modern theology
has invented a “god” which the infinite mind can understand, whose ways
are pleasing to the natural man, a “god” who is altogether “such a one as”

Psalm 50:21) those who profess to worship him, a “god” concerning
whom there is little or no mystery. But how different the God which the
Holy Scriptures reveal! Of Him it is said, His ways are “past finding out”

Romans 11:33). To particularize:
1 . The “god” of the moderns is altogether lacking in power. The popular
idea of today is that deity is filled with amiable intentions but that Satan is
preventing the making good of them. It is not God’s will, so we are told,
that there should be any wars, for wars are something which men are
unable to reconcile with their ideas of Divine mercy. Hence, the conclusion
is, that all wars are of the Devil. Plagues and earthquakes, famines and
tornadoes, are not sent from God, but are attributed solely to natural causes.
To affirm that the Lord God sent the recent Influenza epidemic as a
judgment scourge, would be to shock the sensibilities of the modern mind.
All such things as this are a cause of grief to “god” for “he” desires nought
but the happiness of everybody.
2 . The “god” of the moderns is altogether lacking in wisdom. The popular
belief is that God loves everybody, and that it is His will that every child of
Adam should be saved. But if this be true, He is strongly lacking in
wisdom, for He knows quite well that under existing conditions the
majority will be lost. If He is really desirous that every creature should have
an equal chance to be saved, then why suffer so many to be born into
families (of criminal parents, for example) and be brought up under
conditions where they will never hear the Gospel — and there are many
thousands such in this country. If it should be said in reply God has not
created these criminal conditions, the point is readily ceded, but
nevertheless God is responsible for sending children into them, for the fruit
of the womb is solely in His hands. Why not produce sterility among
criminals, if it is contrary to His will for children to be born into such
conditions, conditions which frequently preclude all reading of the
Scriptures and all hearing the Gospel..6
3 . The “god” of the moderns is lacking in holiness. That crime deserves
punishment is still allowed in part, though more and more the belief is
gaining ground that the criminal is really an object of pity rather than
censure, and that he stands in need of education and reformation rather than
of punishment. But that SIN — sins of thought as well as deed, sins of the
heart as well as life, sins of omission as well as commission, the sinful root
itself as well as the fruit — should be hated by God, that His body nature
burns against it, is a concept that has gone almost entirely out of fashion;
and that the sinner himself is hated by God is indignantly denied even
among those who boast most loudly of their orthodoxy.
4 . The “god” of the moderns is altogether lacking in a sovereign
prerogative. Whatever rights the deity of present-day Christendom may be
supposed to possess in theory, in fact they must be subordinated to the
“rights” of the creature. It is denied, almost universally, that the rights of
the Creator over His creatures is that of the Potter over the clay. When it is
affirmed that God has the right to make one as a vessel unto honor, and
another as a vessel unto dishonor, the cry of injustice is instantly raised.
When it is affirmed that salvation is a gift and that this gift is bestowed on
whom God pleases, it is said He is partial and unfair. If God has any gifts
to impart, He must distribute them evenly, or else bestow them on those
that merit them, whoever they may be. And thus God is allowed less
freedom than I, who may disburse my charity as I best please, giving to one
beggar a quarter, to another a dime, and to a third nothing at all if I think
How different is the God of the Bible from the “god” of the moderns!! The
God of Scripture is all-mighty. He is one who speaks and it is done, who
commands and it stands fast. He is the One with whom “all things are
possible” and “who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will”

Ephesians 1:11). He is the One
“who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and
meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the
earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the
hills in a balance” (

Isaiah 40:12).
He is the One with whom
“the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small
dust of the balance,” with Whom “all nations before Him are as
nothing and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity”

Isaiah 40:15,17).
He is One that
“sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as
grasshoppers; that spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in; that.7
bringeth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of the earth as
vanity” (

Isaiah 40:22,23).
He is the One who declares,
“Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from
the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretched forth
the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself. That
frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that
turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish.
That confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the
counsel of His messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be
inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will
raise up the decayed places thereof. That saith to the deep, Be dry,
and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus (a heathen idolater)
he is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure”

Isaiah 44:24-28).
Such is the God of the Bible, the God who throws out the challenge,
“To whom then will ye liken God, or what likeness will ye compare
unto Him?” (

Isaiah 40:18).
And as though that were not enough, in the same chapter He asks again,
“To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy
One. Lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these
things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by
names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power,
not one faileth…Hast thou not known? has thou not heard, that the
everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth,
fainteth not, neither is weary?” (

Isaiah 40:25,26,28).
The God of Scripture is infinite in wisdom. No secret can be hidden from
Him, no problem can baffle Him, nothing is too hard for Him. God is
omniscient —
“Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is
infinite” (

Psalm 147:5).
Therefore is it said, “There is no searching of His understanding” (

40:28). Hence it is, that in a revelation from Him we expect to find truths
which transcend the reach of the creature’s mind, and therefore the
presumptuous folly and wickedness of those who are but “dust and ashes”
undertaking to pronounce upon the reasonableness or unreasonableness of
doctrines which are above their reason, and of speculating upon things that
are a matter of pure revelation. Instead of coming to the Scriptures to be
taught thereof, men first fill their minds with objections, and then instead of
interpreting the Divine Oracles according to their obvious meaning, they.8
submit and twist them according to the dictates of their own finite reason.
Surely if we are unable to comprehend the mode of God’s existence,
because it is infinitely above us, then for the same reason we are unable to
comprehend the counsels of infinite wisdom. Such is the explicit assertion
of Holy Writ itself —
“The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned” (

1 Corinthians 2:14).
The God of Scripture is infinite in Holiness. The “only true God” is He
who hates sin with a perfect abhorrence and whose nature eternally burns
against it. He is the One who beheld the wickedness of the antediluvians
and who opened the windows of Heaven and poured down the flood of His
righteous indignation. He is the One who rained fire and brimstone upon
Sodom and Gomorrah and utterly destroyed these cities of the plain. He is
the One who sent the plagues upon Egypt, and destroyed her haughty
monarch together with his hosts at the Red Sea. He is the One who caused
the earth to open its mouth and swallow alive Korah and his rebellious
company. Yes, He is the One who “spared not His own Son” when He was
“made sin for us…that we might be made the righteousness of God in
Him.” So holy is God and such is the antagonism of His nature against
evil, that for one sin He banished our first parents from Eden; for one sin
He cursed the posterity of Ham; for one sin He turned Lot’s wife into a
pillar of salt; for one sin He sent out fire and devoured the sons of Aaron;
for one sin Moses died in the wilderness; for one sin Achan and his family
were all stoned to death; for one sin the servant of Elisha was smitten with
leprosy. Behold therefore, not only the goodness, but also “the severity of
God” (

Romans 11:22). And this is the God that every Christ-rejector has
yet to meet in judgment!
The God of Scripture has a will that is irresistible. Man talks and boasts of
his will, but God also has a will! Men had a will on the plains of Shinar and
undertook to build a tower whose top should reach unto heaven; but what
came of it? God had a will, too, and their willful effort came to naught.
Pharaoh had a will when he hardened his heart and refused to allow
Jehovah’s people to go into the wilderness and there worship Him, but
what came of it? God had a will, too, and being Almighty His will was
performed. Balak had a will when he hired Balaam to come and curse the
Hebrews; but of what avail was it? The Canaanites had a will when they
determined to prevent Israel occupying the promised land; but how far did
they succeed? Saul had a will when he hurled his javelin at David, but
instead of slaying the Lord’s anointed, it entered the wall instead. Jonah had
a will when he refused to go and preach to the Ninevites; but what came of
it? Nebuchadnezzar had a will when he thought to destroy the three
Hebrews; but God had a will too, and so the fire did not harm them. Herod
had a will when he purposed to slay the Child Jesus, and had there been no.9
living and reigning God, his evil desires had been effected; but in daring to
pit his puny will against the irresistible will of the Almighty, his efforts
came to naught. Yes, my reader, and you had a will when you formed your
plans without first seeking counsel of the Lord, and therefore did He
overthrow them. As well might a worm seek to resist the tread of an
elephant; as well might a babe step between the railroad tracks and attempt
to push back the express train; as well might a child seek to prevent the
ocean from rolling, as for a creature to try and resist the outworking of the
purpose of the Lord God —
“O Lord God of our fathers, art not Thou God in heaven? and rulest
not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in Thine hand is
there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?”

2 Chronicles 20:6).
The God of Scripture is absolute Sovereign. Such is His own claim:
“This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this
is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of
hosts hast purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is
stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (

Isaiah 14:26,27).
The Sovereignty of God is absolute and irresistible:
“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?” (

Daniel 4:35).
The Sovereignty of God is true not only hypothetically, but in fact. That is
to say, God exercises His sovereignty, exercises it both in the natural
realm, and in the spiritual. One is born black, another white. One is born in
wealth, another in poverty. One is born with a healthy body, another sickly
and crippled. One is cut off in childhood, another lives to old age. One is
endowed with five talents, another with but one. And in all these cases it is
God the Creator who maketh one to differ from another, and “none can stay
His hand.” So also is it in the spiritual realm. One is born in a pious home
and is brought up in the fear and abomination of the Lord; another is born
of criminal parents and is reared in vice. One is the object of many prayers,
the other is not prayed for at all. One hears the Gospel from early
childhood, another never hears it. One sits under a Scriptural ministry,
another hears nothing but error and heresy. Of those who do hear the
Gospel, one has his heart opened by the Lord to receive the truth, while
another is left to himself. One is “ordained to eternal life” (

Acts 13:48),
while another is “ordained to condemnation (

Jude 4). To whom He will
God shows mercy, and whom he wills He “hardens” (

Romans 9:18). To
With whom took He counsel in creation? Whom did He consult when He
determined the various and manifold arrangements, adjustments,
adaptations, relationships, equipments of His myriad creatures? Did He not
do everything after the counsel of His own will? Did He not decide that
birds should fly in the air, beasts roam the earth, and fishes live in the sea?
Did He not decide there should be one vast gradation among the creatures of
His hand, instead of making everything equal and uniform? Did He not
determine to make a revolving world on the one hand, and a floating atom
on the other? Did He not determine to create the exalted seraphim to stand
before His throne throughout endless ages, and also to make another
creature which dies the same hour it is born?” Was He not undisputed
Sovereign in all His creative acts? Yea, verily, for the Three Persons of the
Godhead were all alone in their solitary majesty. Why should God take
counsel? Could man add to His knowledge, or correct His errors? God
sovereignly assigned His myriad creatures their various habitations,
members, movements, as it pleased Him. God never consulted man about a
single member of His body, or about its size, color, or capacity; instead,
“God set the members everyone of them in the body, as it hath
pleased Him” (

1 Corinthians 12:18).
Man is as truly the product of Sovereign creation as any other of God’s
creatures — sovereign, we say, not arbitrary.
God not only created everything, but everything which He created is subject
to His immediate control. God rules over the works of His hands. God
governs the creatures He has made. God reigns with universal dominion.
When He pleased, the sun and moon stood still (

Joshua 10:12,13); and at
a word from Him the sun went backward ten degrees on the dial of Ahaz

Isaiah 38:8). At His command the Red Sea ceased to flow, and at His
command it resumed its normal course (

Exodus 14). In response to the
prayer of Elisha, He made iron to float on the top of the water (

2 Kings
6:5). Yes, when He pleases, He reverses the order of nature, as when the.11
fires of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace burnt not, as when the hungry lions
touched not Daniel, as when the ravens, which are birds of prey, were
made to minister of Elijah. At a word from Him who made it, a fish carried
a coin to Peter, a tree withers suddenly (

Matthew 21:4), the raging
tempest becomes a calm.
So it is also with men; they, too, are ruled by God; ruled by and unseen
Hand; often, unknown to themselves. Little did they know it, yet
nevertheless, the sons of Jacob were but performing the pleasure of
Jehovah when they sold Joseph into the hands of the Ishmaelites who
carried him down into Egypt. Little was she aware of it, but when
Pharaoh’s daughter went to the Nile to bathe, she was being directed by
God, directed there to rescue from the waters the babe Moses. Little did he
know it, but in issuing the decree that all the world should be taxed (

2:1) Caesar Augustus was but setting in motion a movement which caused
the word and decree of God to be fulfilled. Yes, even
“The King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water:
He turneth it whithersoever He will” (

Proverbs 21:1).
And so it is with Satan himself. He, too, is the (unwitting and unwilling)
servant of God. He could not touch Job without first gaining Divine
permission. He could not sift the apostles till he gained consent from
Christ. At a word from the Lord Jesus Satan “left” Him (

4:10,11). Of him, also, God has said, Thus far shalt thou go and no
Even death, the “king of terrors,” that which no arts of man can defy, is
absolutely subject to the bidding of the Lord. In his sermon on

68:20,21 — “unto God the Lord belong the issues from death” — the late
C. H. Spurgeon well said, “The prerogative of life or death belongs to God
in a wide range of senses. First of all as to natural life, we are all dependent
upon His good pleasure. We shall not die until the time which He appoints:
for our death-time, like all our time, is in His hands. Our skirts may brush
away the portals of the sepulchre, and yet we shall pass the iron gate
unharmed if the Lord be our guard. The wolves of disease will hurt us in
vain until God shall permit them to overtake us. The most desperate
enemies may waylay us, but no bullet shall find its billet in any heart unless
the Lord allows it. Our life does not even depend upon the care of angels,
nor can our death be compassed by the malice of devils. We are immortal
till our work is done, immortal till the immortal King shall call us home to
the land where we shall be immortal in a still higher sense. When we are
most sick, we need not despair of recovery, since the issues from death are
in Almighty hands. “The Lord killeth and maketh alive: He bringeth down
to the grave and bringeth up!” When we have passed beyond the skill of the
physician we have not passed beyond the succor of our God, to whom
belong the issues from death.”.12
What part or lot did man have in the composition of the Bible? None
whatever. Its very words are the words of God. “All Scripture is given by
inspiration of God.” No part of it was of human origination,
“for the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man”

2 Peter 1:21).
Did not holy men of God speak “moved by the Holy Spirit”? And how did
they then record what the Holy Spirit communicated to them — in words of
man’s selecting? Nay verily,
“not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth,
but which the Holy Spirit teacheth” (

1 Corinthians 2:13).
Balaam longed to speak otherwise than he did; but he could not. Caiaphas
prophesied “not of himself” (

John 11:51). Pilate was asked to make a
change in the one sentence which God moved him to write, but he declared
“What I have written I have written” (

John 19:22). God acted
sovereignly in the writing of the Scriptures as in everything else. The very
words were chosen by Him; and did He not sovereignly choose? Did He
take counsel with either angels or men as to the words He should select for
the communicating of His thoughts? No indeed.
God’s absolute and irresistible proprietorship has been and is being
displayed in the spiritual realm as manifestly as in the natural. Isaac is
blessed, but Ishmael is cursed. Jacob is loved, but Esau is hated. Israel
becomes God’s favored people, while all other nations are suffered to
remain in idolatry. Jesse’s seven sons were all passed by, and David the
shepherd-boy was found to be the one after God’s own heart. The Saviour
took on Him the “seed of Abraham” (

Hebrews 2:16), not the seed of
Adam. His ministry was not worldward, but confined to the people chosen
of God. The proud Pharisees were rejected, while publicans and harlots
were sweetly compelled by sovereign grace to sit down at the Gospel feast.
The rich young ruler, who from his youth up, had kept the commandments,.13
was allowed to go away from Christ “sorrowing,” even though he had
sought Him with real earnestness and humility, while the fallen Samaritan
woman (

John 4) who sought Him not is made to rejoice in the
forgiveness of her sins. Two thieves hung by Christ on the cross; they were
equally guilty, equally needy, equally near to Him. One of them is moved to
cry: “Lord, remember me” and is taken to Paradise, while the other is
suffered to die in his sins and sink down into a hopeless eternity. Many are
called, but few are chosen.
Yes, Salvation is God’s sovereign work.
“God does not save a man because he is a sinner, for if so He must
save all men, for all are sinners. Nor because he comes to Christ,
for ‘no man can come except the Father draw him;’ nor because he
repents, for ‘God gives repentance unto life;’ nor because he
believes,’ for no one can believe ‘except it were given him from
above;’ nor yet because he holds out faithful to the end, for ‘we are
kept by the power of God.’ It is not because of baptism, for many
are saved without it, and many are lost with it. It is not because of
regeneration, for that would make the new birth a practical duty. It
is not because of morality, for the moralist is the hardeth to reach,
and many of the most immoral are saved — the ground of
distinguishing grace is the Sovereignty of God: ‘Even so Father, for
so it seemed good in Thy sight’” (J. B. Moody).
But is God partial? We answer, Has He not a right to be? Again we quote
from Mr. Spurgeon’s sermon “The Royal Prerogative” — Spiritually, too,
this prerogative is with God. We are by nature under the condemnation of
the law on account of our sins, and we are like criminals tried, convicted,
sentenced, and left for death. It is for God, as the great Judge, to see the
sentence executed, or to issue a free pardon, according as He pleases; and
He will have us know that it is upon His supreme pleasure that this matter
depends. Over the head of a universe of sinners, I hear this sentence
thundering. “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have
compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Shut up for death, as men
are by reason of their sins, it rests with God to pardon whom He may
reserve: none have any claim to His favor, and it must be exercised upon
mere prerogative, because He is the Lord God, merciful and gracious, and
delighteth to pass by transgression and sin.” How far away have the
present-day admirers of Spurgeon departed from the teaching of this prince
of preachers: Mark carefully the next sentences: “Our text, however, puts
the prerogative upon the one sole ground of Lordship, and we prefer to
come back to that. ‘Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.’ It is a
doctrine which is very unpalatable in these days (it always has been. —
A.W.P.), but one nevertheless which is to be held and taught, that God is
an absolute Sovereign, and doeth as He wills. The words of Paul may not
be suffered to sleep, — “Nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against.14
God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, why hast Thou
made me thus?” The Lord cannot do amiss, His perfect nature is a law unto
itself. In his case Rex is Lex, the King is the Law.”
Is God partial? Certainly He is. And has He not the right to be? Shall He
not dispense His favors as He wills, and bestow His gifts on whom He
pleases? But it is reasonable to suppose that God who is Love has created
millions of creatures to be lost? seeing that His elect constitute but a
“remnant.” a “few,” in comparison with the great multitudes who die
unsaved? We reply, it is not a question of reason but of revelation. There
are many things revealed in Scripture which are contrary to reason. Is it
reasonable to think that God would give His only begotten Son to die for
sinners? Ah, reason is ruled out entirely here. And so in many other things.
If it lay within the power of the reader, would you suffer your worst enemy
to be eternally tormented? And if you are honest, you will promptly answer,
No! But God will deal thus with His enemies, and the sentence will be a
righteous one, whether we can now discern its justice or not, for the Judge
of all the earth will do right. How far asunder then is carnal reasoning from
the teaching of Holy Writ concerning Eternal Punishment! Once more:
would the reader “laugh at” and “mock” his worst enemy if that enemy was
being severely punished before him and was entirely helpless to deliver
himself from that punishment? Yet Scripture explicitly declares that God
will “laugh” at the calamity of His enemies and “mock” when their fear
cometh (see

Psalm 2:4;

Proverbs 1:26). Can your reason harmonize
this with your knowledge of God? And again we say, If you are honest you
must reply, No! Then why prate so loudly and blatantly about the
unreasonableness of Reprobation and of God’s absolute Sovereignty in
salvation? Once more: here is Satan, the age-long enemy of God and many,
the one who has wrought incalculable evil, securely imprisoned at last in the
bottomless pit. There he remains chained for a thousand years. Now would
you, my reader, suggest for a moment that the Devil be released from that
prison after the earth had been freed for a thousand years from his vile
presence? Certainly you would not, and yet this is precisely what Divine
revelation declares shall come to pass. The Scriptures of Truth make known
how that God will cause the Serpent to be “loosed” for a little season, that
God will suffer this even though He knows beforehand that the
consequences will be the most dreadful revolt on the part of men, under
Satan, revolt against God, which this earth has ever witnessed. Truly
God’s ways are different, very different from ours. Learn then the utter
folly of man attempting to pronounce upon the reasonableness or
unreasonableness of the doings and dealings of the Most High God. And
now a few words by way of exhortation and we must conclude.
One of the most flagrant sins of this age is irreverence. By irreverence I am
not now thinking of open blasphemy, or the taking of God’s name in vain.
Irreverence is, also, failure to ascribe the glory which is due the great and
dreadful majesty of the Almighty. It is the limiting of His power and actions.15
by our degrading conceptions: it is the bringing of the Lord God down to
our level. There are multitudes of those who do not profess to be Christians
who deny that God is the omnipotent Creator, and there are multitudes of
professing Christians who deny that God is absolute Sovereign. Men boast
of their free will, prate of their power, and are proud of their achievements.
They know not that their lives are at the sovereign disposal of the Divine
Despot. They know not that they have no more power to thwart His secret
counsel than a worm has to resist the tread of an elephant. They know not
that God is the Potter, and they the clay.
Ah, my reader, this is the first great lesson we have to learn: that God is the
Creator, we the creature; that He is the Potter, we the clay. This is the
harvest of all life’s lessons, and when we think we have learnt them, we
soon discover that we have need to re-learn them. God is God and has the
right to dispose of me as He sees fit. It is for Him to say where I shall live
— whether in America or Africa. It is for Him to say under what
circumstances I shall live — whether amid riches or poverty, whether in
health or in sickness. It is for Him to say how long I shall live — whether I
shall be cut down in youth, like the flower of the field, or whether I shall
live unto old age. Yes, and it is for Him to say where I shall spend eternity.
The first sin of man was the refusal to be clay in the Potter’s hand; Adam
wanted to be something more — “Ye shall be as God’s was the bait which
the Tempter used to hurl him to his destruction.
One of the profoundest mysteries of the Incarnation is that “the mighty
God” descended from highest heaven and took upon Him the nature of the
creature and came down here to show us how to wear it. That which
differentiated the Life of Christ from all other lives, was His absolute and
joyous submission to the Father’s will — “My meat is to do the will of Him
that sent Me” struck the keynote of the thirty-three years that He tabernacled
among men. Have you profited by the example left us by the Beloved of the
Father? Has Divine grace shown you how to wear your creature nature?
Only if you live not in self-assertion, but in self-renunciation. Only if in the
school of Christ you have been taught to say, “Not my will, but Thine be
done.” O may Divine grace so subdue our rebellious hearts that more and
more we can say:
“I bow me to Thy will, O God,
And all Thy ways adore!
And every day I live I’d seek
To please Thee more and more.
Thy will, the good, the blessed rule
Of Jesus’ toil and tears:
Thy will the passion of His heart
Those three and thirty years..16
I love to kiss each print where Christ
Did set His pilgrim feet:
Nor can I fear that blessed path,
Whose traces are so sweet.
When obstacles and trials seem
Like prison walls to be,
I do the little I can do,
And leave the rest to Thee.
I know not what it is to doubt,
My heart is ever gay;
I run no risk, for, come what will,
Thou always hast Thy way.”.17
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