||Chosen no: R-1272 a, from: 1890 Year.
|Change lang |
God The Omnipotent.
A certain class of thinkers, neglecting to use reason within the bounds of God's revelation, entangle themselves in their own unsound reasonings.
They ask: (1) Is not God all-wise? Certainly, we answer. (2) Is he not all-powerful? Assuredly, we reply. Well, then, say they, if he be all-wise and all-powerful, can any thing occur in the world contrary to his will or contrary to his power? Must we not settle down to the conviction, held these long centuries back by people called Fatalists, that whatever happens, from a mosquito bite to an epidemic plague of death, or from a snowflake's fall to an earthquake or a tornado, is of God, and that all nature is fulfilling his will? Must we not surmise, too, that all the thoughts and deeds of men, both good and bad, are inspired of God? And if these arguments be admitted, are not all mankind like so much clay in God's hands, which he can and does fashion one way for good or the other way for evil? And if so, are not all our efforts for good or for evil futile? Since God is all powerful, who can resist his will for good or for ill? Is it not, therefore, the only wise course to stop all effort for good or evil, and merely follow the good or bad impulses which arise within us?
We answer that all such reasoning is nonsensical--the vain imaginations of a foolish head and heart. It is simply reasoning around in a circle, without God and his revelation of his will and plan. Such reasoning merely lands where it started--with the proposition, Whatever is, is, because it is and must be so.
While it is true that God has all power, and that none can resist his will or battle with the Almighty, yet it is also true that he is not now exercising this power in every matter, nor compelling his will to be done in all things. To take such a view as the one we are criticizing was bad enough in the darkness of the remote past for those to whom God had offered no revelation concerning his will and plan, and his attitude toward sin and righteousness; but such a leaning to pure conjecture, and totally ignoring God's own statement of his exercise of his power, is inexcusable among Christians of to-day.
God assures us that sin is a rebellion against him and his just provisions for our good; that though he has the power to destroy the sinners, he has a more gracious plan with reference to them through Christ; that though he could have made them otherwise, he preferred to make all animals, from the worm, the ant and the gnat, up to man, the highest of the animal creation, of such organisms that each
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should have a will of his own--the power of mind to hope and to fear, to love and to hate, to obey and to disobey. He tells us his plans as they relate to man made in his own image. He shows us that he purposed a test for man in Eden, that even though from the first he knew what the result would be, yet he wished man to learn the lesson, that the only path to happiness is the one of obedience to God and righteousness and love. In permitting sin and its consequences, pain and death, for a time, God is subordinating his love of righteousness, his good pleasure, for our experience and instruction in the principles of righteousness which underlie his government.
During the present time, that we may see how the course of sin would result, the Lord ignores very much that is unholy, hateful and abominable in his sight and does not swiftly mete out the deserved punishments. But he declares that "He will not always chide [reprove], neither will he keep [back, restrain] his anger forever." (`Psa. 103:9`.) Though it may at present appear as though the Lord is slack in the fulfilment of his promises, both in regard to well-doers and to evil-doers, it would be a mistake to suppose thus. The Lord is not slack, as men count slackness, says the Apostle (`2 Pet. 3:9`), but is plenteous in mercy, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn unto him and live. Nevertheless, every good deed shall in due time be remembered and rewarded, and every malicious deed likewise: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." God is merely biding his time, letting his will and word and character be misunderstood by some and misrepresented by others, letting men have an experience with doing their own wills and trying their own plans and theories, that thus the lesson of sin and its tendencies and results may be clearly seen and appreciated by both angels and men. Then the Lord will arise and through his Anointed Son will display his power and make known his will. He will proceed to lay righteousness to the line and justice to the plummet and will sweep away every refuge of lies. (`Isa. 28:17`.) His will then shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven. (`Matt. 6:10`.) A knowledge of righteousness and an experience with righteousness shall be forced upon men through Christ's Millennial reign; all shall come to a knowledge of the truth; all shall see the effects of righteousness and love and peace, and the will and law of God, clearly contrasted with their own former experiences under sin and selfishness.
God's object in all this--in thus permitting man now to try rebellion and selfishness, and under the Millennial reign of Christ forcing all to have an experience with the different results when his will is done--is to select from among his creatures such as, after full knowledge of evil and of good, love the good, the right, the pure, the holy, and abhor the evil.
He seeketh such to worship him; for they can and will worship him in spirit and in truth. After they are fully proved to be such, it is his good pleasure that they shall live forever, and he promises them everlasting life and communion with himself. All others he will cut off from life in the second death, because he has no pleasure in them that love evil: "Evil doers shall be cut off, but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth; for yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be: But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."-- `Psa. 37:9-11`.
Thus we see the fallacy of the circle-reasoning of those who would judge of the Lord merely by their own weaknesses and not by his Word. How grand the view which the Scriptures present--that God and his will and all his works are wholly on the side of purity and justice and truth, and that he is in no sense practicing or endorsing sin, or causing others to practice it, or in the slightest degree favoring it; but on the contrary, while reproving it and explaining its tendency and results, he merely restrains his indignation and justice and permits man to work out his wilful, sinful plans, and to learn from experience the lesson that sin is ever an evil and is to be shunned.
GOD'S STATEMENT OF HIS WILL AND GOOD PLEASURE.
As in the October TOWER we noted the Lord's own testimony concerning the class whom he specially loves, so let us now permit his Word to tell us what things he takes pleasure in and brings to pass.
God has pleasure in uprightness.-- `1 Chron. 29:17`.
He has pleasure in the prosperity of his servants.--`Psa. 35:27`.
He taketh pleasure in his people who reverence him.--`Psa. 147:11`; `149:4`.
It is his good pleasure to give the kingdom to his little flock.--`Luke 12:32`.
He called them to this kingdom honor according to the good pleasure of his will.-- `Eph. 1:5`.
It is his good pleasure to work in those who are fully consecrated to him, to guide them both in willing and in doing his will.--`Phil. 2:13`.
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In such as he counts worthy he will fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness. --`2 Thes. 1:11`.
The words, deeds and character of our Lord Jesus illustrated to us what pleases God. In him he was well pleased.-- `Matt. 3:17`.
He was an example for all who would please God.--`1 Thes. 4:1`.
The testimony to those who have loved and served him in righteousness and truth is, that they pleased God.--`Heb. 11:5`.
God is pleased with all the painful though joyous sacrifices which his "little flock" makes in his service, following in the footsteps of their Redeemer and Lord. With such sacrifices God is well pleased.-- `Heb. 13:12-16`.
Of his own will begat he us by the Word of truth.--`James 1:18`.
Our Master declares that whosoever shall do the will of the Father is his brother.-- `Mark 3:35`.
And this is the will of God, even our sanctification.--`1 Thes. 5:14-23`.
Through the fall, we have lost our keen appreciation of God's will, and hence are exhorted to study to prove what is that good, acceptable, perfect will of God.-- `Rom. 12:2`.
This is needful if we would stand complete in the will of God.--`Col. 4:12`.
That we might be willing, if the will of God be so, to suffer for righteousness sake.--`1 Pet. 3:17`.
It is also the will of God that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.--`1 Pet. 2:15`.
This to the intent that we should not live henceforth according to the desires of men, but to the will of God.--`1 Pet. 4:2`.
Because he (and only he) that doeth the will of God abideth forever.-- `1 John 2:17`.
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God [for righteousness sake] commit the keeping of their souls in well-doing unto him, as unto a faithful Creator.--`1 Pet. 4:19`.
And ye have need of patience [during this period in which God permits sin and opposition to his will to flourish], that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.--`Heb. 10:36`.
That we may have confidence in him, and respect and trust him, he hath made known to us the mystery of his will [plan] concerning his good pleasure which he purposed in himself--that in his due, full time he will subdue all things by and under Christ; that evil and sin are permitted to oppose his will only for a little season; that shortly the lessons because of which evil is now permitted to triumph will be finished; and that throughout all the ages to come, righteousness, his will, shall be done.--`Eph. 1:9,10`; `2:7`.
This mystery of God's will, though still hidden from the world, was to be fully appreciated by his saints during this evil day and was to be the ground for their faith and patience and endurance. They were to wait for the Lord from heaven and to expect deliverance from evil both for themselves and the world through him who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from the evil of this present period, according to the will of God our Father.-- `Gal. 1:4`.
Not only were the saints to have this knowledge of the coming triumph of God and righteousness, but they were to confess to the Lord in prayer their appreciation of the fact that present evil is not of his will, nor of his government, and their faith to the contrary that all holy desires will be fulfilled when his kingdom has come and when his will is done on earth as it is now done in heaven.--`Matt. 6:10`.
GOD'S PLEASURE TOWARD THE WORLD.
God, our Savior, desires all men to be saved and to come to an accurate knowledge of the [this] truth.--`1 Tim. 2:4`.-- Diaglott.
His good desires and plan, however, are all centred in Christ; hence he has appointed no other name by which we must be saved, and no other condition than faith in his blood (in his ransom-sacrifice) and obedience to his precepts of righteousness --love. No man can come unto the Father except by him. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that not the Son of God hath not life.--`John 14:6`; `1 John 5:12`; `John 3:36`; `5:24`.
To this end, the sympathetic love of God toward all his fallen, disobedient creatures was manifested in the gift of his Son to be our redemption price--even while we were yet sinners.
For the same reason, as a part of the same will of God concerning men, he hath appointed to establish his kingdom on earth, and that his King and representative shall reign to bless men, to bring them to a knowledge of his goodness, his perfection, his hatred of sin and his desire toward all that they might be saved from death and come fully back into harmony with him, and of his provision through Christ for them all to do so.--`1 Tim. 2:3-6`.
Yet God is not pleased to accept men without testing and proving them as to whether, after full knowledge, ability and choice, they will sincerely love the right and hate the wrong. Therefore he has been pleased to appoint a day [the Millennial Day] in the which he will judge the world in [try and prove men with reference to] righteousness. The Judge of all is to be Christ--Jesus and his Church; and the work shall be so thoroughly done that no lover of righteousness shall be sentenced to the second death, and no lover of evil shall escape that sentence.--`Acts 3:23`.
This trial-test of all, after full knowledge of good and evil, is because our God hates sin and every evil way. He is not a God that has pleasure in wickedness.-- `Psa. 5:4`.
"Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should turn from his ways and live?" "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn and live ye." "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live."--`Ezek. 18:23,32`; `33:11`.
W.T. R-1272 a : page 5 – 1890 r.