Predestination, Election and Free Will in God’s Plan

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Today, we’re going to look at the issue of “free will” and predestination. Do we as human beings have the ability to make our own decisions in all matters of life? Is it left up to you and me to decide if we will believe and follow Jesus Christ or is it up to God? Is salvation in the Lord available to everyone who chooses, or is it only for those whom God chooses? Does the devil have children in this world that can never be saved? We will answer these questions today.

If you’ve already read the article “Free Will or no Free will; That is the Question” you’ll notice that the first couple of pages are the same. That’s because it’s so important to lay the foundation of truth so you can receive the other Scriptures that follows, bear with me if there is some repetition in the beginning.

Despite what you may or may not have been taught by religion on this subject, we're going to look at the only source of truth that can answer this question, the Holy Bible. Although many on both sides of this issue can use the Bible to back up their beliefs, there can only be one truth. We cannot have two truths fighting against each other; if two scriptures do fight against each other then what you have is not truth. If your belief is that we have free will and it fights against Scriptures that says we do not have free will or vice versa, then we don’t have the truth. The Holy Bible is the Divine word of God and there is only one truth. It's only when you can fit and explain the others person’s seemingly contradictory Scripture into yours will you then have God’s truth.

Let’s start from the beginning of the Bible to discover what the truth is on what we call “free will”. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (10) Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. The first thing we must understand when we look at Scripture is there are two building blocks to the foundation of truth in the Bible. The first one is that it’s already happened before; if you have a point you’re making from Scripture, then you should be able to find at least two or three witnesses in the Bible, “at the mouth of two witnesses or three shall every word be established (2 Cor 13:1). You should find a types, shadows and examples which happened before in the Bible. If it’s truth, it’s already happened in some type or example before. That’s why the Apostle Paul said, “for whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction" (Romans 15:4). Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition”. Yes, the Scriptures were written for our instruction and our warning; that is the first building block to understand the truth. Now the second block to the foundation of truth is understanding that God does not change. “For I the LORD do not change” (Malachi 3:6). He is the same now as He was in the beginning. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:8,9). Because God does not change and because He’s the same in the New Testament as He was in the Old Testament, we can make sure that we don’t get "carried about with various and strange doctrines”. If we stick to these two truths: 1. It has already happened before; 2. God is the same and doesn’t change, then we’ll have the foundation to search the Scriptures so that we can discover the real truth.

With this foundation now laid, let’s get on with the question of do we or do we not have what man calls “free will”, and more specifically do we have our own ability or "free will" to choose and obey the Lord and come to Him? We’ll try to understand from Scripture if it’s really our choice whether we believe in Jesus or if it’s God's choice. The first stop we’ll make is the Old Testament to see what examples the Lord is showing us; we’ll see if they had the “free will” to come to God back then. Remember there is nothing new that happens today which didn't happen in the past; remember that the Old Testament is full of examples for our leaning so let’s begin.

Let’s first start with Abraham to see how he was chosen by God and not the other way around. (Nehemiah 9:7) “You are the LORD God, who chose Abram, and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, and gave him the name Abraham. It was not a matter of Abraham deciding to follow God by his “free will”, it was God showing mercy and calling him out of the world. You’ll notice that God did not do that for any other people. (Deuteronomy 7:6) "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (7) It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples” Did God set His love on all the people of the world or did God choose a people out of the world for His own possession? Were all the people on the face of the earth able to come to the Lord God or was it only little bitty Israel who were chosen by God? (Isaiah 41:8) “But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. (9) You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, ‘ You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away. Was it Israel’s “free will” that caused God to choose them and set his love on them or was it simply by God’s grace that they were chosen out of all the peoples of the earth? (Deut 14:2) For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. Israel was chosen but what about the poor people throughout the rest of the world, did God give them the choice of coming to Him for salvation? (Psalm 147:19,20) He declares his word to Jacob his statutes and rules to Israel. (20) He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. In God’s plan, it seems that from the very beginning it was not their “free will”, but God’s will. It was God's mercy and grace that He chose Israel instead of another people. God's command to Israel was to destroy and kill all the people in the land they were to possess. (Deut 7:1) “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, (2) and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Why didn't God choose the poor Hittites or the Girgashites to save; why didn't the Amorites and the Canaanites use their "free will" to follow and obey God? They didn't because God never chose to reveal Himself to them. Instead God’s plan was to create a chosen people for Himself. (Isaiah 43: 20,21) My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise. Not only did these mighty nations NOT have the “free will” to choose God, but every single person was to be utterly destroyed and shown no mercy. Not one of them had the “free will” to save themselves. (Numbers 21:3) And the LORD listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites,and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. Time after time we see that it was God having mercy on a small number of people while He had no mercy on the majority of peoples. Never in God’s plan was it of one’s own “free will” as to whom the Lord chooses; it was always about God’s people and never about the rest of the world. (Joshua 11:20-22) For it was the LORD’S doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed… Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Can God’s sovereignty be any clearer than in this passage? God caused their hearts to be hardened and to come against God’s chosen people so that the people of Anakim would be destroyed. No “free will” for the people of Anakim only destruction. Look at what the Lord God told Saul. (1 Samuel 15:3) Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey’”. Why was Israel chosen and not the Amalekites? Because of the Lord’s mercy and grace towards a people who didn’t deserve it but whom God decided to choose; not the people of Israel choosing God by their "free will" but by God choosing them. Now if God doesn't change and there cannot be anything new that hasn't happened in the past, how can you support your belief that it’s all changed and we now have the "free will" to choose Jesus Christ as your Savior?

You may argue that all this is Old Testament Scripture and it’s all changed now that we have Jesus and now that we’re under the New Testament. To this God would say “For I the LORD do not change” and God would also say that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines”. No, God doesn’t change and Jesus is still the same as He was in the beginning. Now if God and Jesus are still the same as they used to be from the very beginning, then we should clearly see in the New Testament what we saw in the Old Testament. We would find a God in the New Testament choosing those who would follow Him and those who wouldn’t. So let’s see what the New Testament really says about our “free will” in choosing Jesus Christ and God’s plan of predestined sons and daughters of God.

Was Jesus sent to the whole world or was Jesus only sent for God’s people? (Matthew 1:20) The Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (21) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins”. Jesus was a Jew and was not sent to save the whole world from their sins; the Lord in this dream said that Jesus was sent to save “His people” from their sins. Who again were God’s people; who were Jesus’ people; who was He sent to offer salvation to; was it the whole world or just the twelve tribes of Israel? Yes, it was only the children of Israel who were God’s people, no other peoples in the whole world. (Matthew 2:6) ‘ But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel’”. Jesus came to shepherd God’s people and only God’s people. We see this when Jesus started His ministry; He came not to the world but to God’s chosen people. (Matthew 10:5) These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. (6) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Did the Gentiles or the Samaritans have their own “free will” or their own choice as to whether they would come to Jesus or not? Wasn’t it God and Jesus choosing who they would reveal themselves too, in order to save His own people from their sins? Truly we are seeing the same God as we did in the Old Testament, the same God who chose who would and would not receive salvation. You may recall when the Canaanite woman came to Jesus for salvation for her daughter and this was His answer to her, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Then after seeing her faith He saved her daughter. (Matthew 15:28) Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

The entire earthly ministry of Jesus was only given to God’s chosen people, the physical descendants of Abraham. Once Jesus gave His life on the cross, salvation was now made available to everybody. Listen as Jesus tells us about these other sheep that will come to Him. (John 10:16) And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. Since Christ’s death and resurrection, it’s no longer ONLY the Jews who have the opportunity for salvation. “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly… but he is a Jew who is one inwardly… in the spirit not in the letter” (Romans 2:28,29). We are now “spiritual Israel” and there is no distinction in God’s eye’s between Jew and Gentile because we have “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:10,11). Now that salvation has been made available to all who believe in Jesus as their Savior, does it now change God’s plan or His personality? Has our God now changed; the one we read about in the Old Testament who chose some while others He didn’t? Has our God now changed who He is? Has God now left it up to us to choose salvation by our “free will”?

The fact is no; God still hasn’t changed and we can see it all the way through the New Testament that God still chooses the few and does not choose the majority. “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:14). It still isn’t man’s “free will” which causes us to come to Jesus, it’s God’s will. (John 6:44) No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day. God’s plan doesn’t get any clearer than this. You can try all you want, but if the Father doesn’t draw you to Jesus, you will have no interest in following Him and you will never be saved. “No man can come to me except the Father that sent me draw him”. Later in this chapter Jesus gives us a second witness that it’s God who chooses and not us. (John 6:65) And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father". No one comes to Jesus unless the Father grants it; is this any different then what we read about in the Old Testament when the Lord said, “The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth”? Just like in the beginning with the descendants of Abraham; God didn’t reveal Himself to everybody or even most of the people on the earth; God only saved a very small number of people, His chosen people. It was no different in Jesus’ day on who could and could not come to Jesus and it’s no different today on who is chosen to come to Jesus. Instead of a physical seed of the Jews, it’s now the spiritual seed which God chooses and draws to Jesus. “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). Once again we see that God does not change and He’s the one who chooses you, to come to Him, and not you choosing Him. Jesus says that “the Son gives life to whom he will” (John 5:21). If Jesus gives life to whom He wills then it’s clear there are some that are not in His will to choose or to save, otherwise everybody in the world would be saved. If it was the will of Jesus to give eternal life to everyone, then everyone would go to heaven and there would be no need for hell.

How do we fit all these scriptures into a “free will” doctrine; how does this line up with man’s teaching that it’s up to us and our choice as to whether we come to Jesus when the Bible clearly says that it’s God who chooses? It has never been about man’s “free will” in the past, so how can it be man’s “free will” today? Sure you may not understand this completely; you may not comprehend why God would choose you and not the next person.
(Romans 9:15) For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (16) So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. So it’s not the one who works for their salvation or their will to choose salvation in Jesus; it’s simply God’s mercy. Sometimes it’s hard to get our mind around the reason why God would choose you to go to heaven and the next person He would choose to send to hell. It’s called grace; unmerited, undeserved favor from God. (Eph. 2:8-9) "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast". What saves you is faith; by His grace, God has given you the faith to believe in, and be drawn to His son Jesus Christ. This is not of your works or your “free will”; it’s not what you did by choosing to follow Jesus. It’s only by the free gift which God the Father has given you, that faith which God has put into your heart that has caused you to be drawn to Jesus. We must realize that grace is the complete opposite of “free will”. If I myself would have the “free will” to come to Jesus on my own then I could boast because of what I did in order to come to Jesus. Instead the Bible says, “Not of works, lest any man should boast". Do you see the catch with what people call “free will”? It’s really just another name for works. (Romans 11:5) Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (6) And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. If I have the free will to choose Jesus, then it’s no longer by grace that I’ve been saved; it’s now by what I did or “my works” that made me come to Christ. Instead in verse 5 Paul says there is a small number who are chosen by grace! Are you starting to see the problem with man’s teaching that we can all choose Jesus anytime we want and why the concept of “free will” goes completely against what the Scriptures say? (2 Timothy 1:9) [God] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace. Man having is own “free will” to choose or not to choose Jesus would clearly be our works and not God’s. Because we “worked so hard” to come to know Jesus, God would now owe us; God would be a debtor to you and I because of what we did. (Romans 4:4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. If you did something of yourself, by your own “free will”, then God would owe you and this would clearly go against the Scriptures above. Truly God has saved us according to His purpose and His grace instead of ours.

(John 1:12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: (13) who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Those who received Jesus and believed in His name became “born again”, they did not receive Jesus because of their own will or their own choice; it was God’s choice to put that free gift of faith into their heart in order to believe in Jesus. That’s how God gave them and us the right to become children of God. Just like the Israelites did nothing to deserve to be chosen by God, neither do we.

(Ephesians 1:4) He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him. Every person that God chooses to give the free gift of faith too, has already been chosen from the foundation of the world. “God from the beginning chose you for salvation” (2 Thes 2:13). By God choosing one person over the next, man is tempted to think that He is unfair to some. Yet God is simply fulfilling what was already accomplished from the very beginning. So if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, then it’s quite possible that you were already chosen from the beginning, even before Adam and Eve were ever created!

In the Tribulation period just before Jesus returns, Scripture says that all will worship the Beast,
“everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 13:8). If your name has been written in the Lambs Book of Life, it’s been there since the very foundation of the world! That’s why it’s not unjust for God to draw some to Jesus Christ while others God has no intention of drawing them to Jesus. God is just following His plan that He has set forth from the beginning. If your name hasn’t been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, you too will wonder after the Beast in the end times. “The dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast” (Revelation 17:8). For those who still believe we can choose Jesus on our own, how did you choose to write your name in the Book of Life from the very foundation of creation? How does having your own “free will” to choose Jesus fit in with these Scriptures? If you were not written in the Book of Life from the very beginning, how can you now decide to go against what God has already written and follow Jesus?

Just look at the Jews in Jesus’ day, they were supposed to be the “chosen” people of God but they proved that they were not chosen after all because God did not put faith in their hearts to believe in Jesus. (Acts 13:48)... as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. Again, it was only the few that God had appointed to believe in Jesus that did. The Bible says that we are predestined or foreknown by God. (Romans 8:29) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. The Greek word for foreknew means to know beforehand or to know before. God knew each and every one of His chosen children even before they were born or the world began! (Jeremiah 1:4) Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: (5) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations”. God predestined or pre-ordained us from the very beginning to be in the image Jesus. God didn’t do this for just anybody who chooses or for those who by their own will decide to be like Jesus; it was for those who were foreknown and predestined by God. (30) Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. God does not dwell in time like you and I do, He knows the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:9) I am God, and there is none like me; (10) declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. When God formed you in His mind, you were already completed from beginning to end.  Since we as humans dwell in time and God doesn't, we are just now starting to experience what God has already finished.

In God’s plan which He finished from the beginning, it’s only those who are predestined to be His children who will manifest holiness and choose Jesus. Those are the people who will be drawn to Jesus and be glorified with a resurrected body in heaven.

Often times you see in the Scriptures that God calls His chosen people “elect” which comes from the Greek word Eklektos which means: favorite or chosen. You’ll notice that God is never concerned with anybody other than His elect in the world. Peter addresses the elect at the start of His letters. (1Peter 1:1) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (2) elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father… When Jesus prayed, He prayed not for the whole world but only the elect who were in the world. (John 17:9) “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours”. Jesus understood that salvation was not for everybody; Jesus knew it wasn’t those who used their “free will” to choose Him, it was those who Jesus chose. (John 15:16) You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit… (19)… I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Jesus confesses that it was God who gave Him the authority to give eternal life. (John 17:1) “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, (2) as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. Jesus gives eternal life only to His elect and it’s only those who God cares about. (Mark 13:20) And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. When Jesus comes in the clouds, He’s only coming for His elect. (Matt 24:31) And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Finally we see Jesus commanding His people, not everybody in the world, but only His people to come out of spiritual Babylon. (Revelation 18:4) And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. God is only concerned about His people, the ones that He has chosen and not with any of the other people in this world.

What may help some of you to grasp this whole chosen and elect plan a little better is that it seems there are actually two seeds in the world; God’s seed and the devil’s seed. The first mention of these two seeds is in Genesis after the fall when God said to the devil, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 1:15). This prophecy shows that not only does God have a seed that has been passed down but so does the devil. If you recall, Adam had two sons; Cain the seed of the devil who had slain Abel the seed of God. Notice when that happened God no longer had a seed until Seth was born. (Genesis 4:25) And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” (26) And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD. Men didn’t begin to call on the Lord until God’s seed was replaced by Seth and His descendants. Only then did men call on the name of the Lord. Jesus Himself even told us that there are two seeds or two fathers in this world. (John 8:42) Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. (43) Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. (44) You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. These Jews had no understanding and no faith that Jesus was the messiah because their father was the devil; they were from beneath and Jesus was from above. (John 8:23) “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Even though they thought they were God’s children they were really Satan’s. (John 8:46) Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? (47) He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” This really sums up why understanding and faith is given to some people while it’s not given to others. Those who are “of God” “hear God’s words”. If you are chosen then you are the seed of God and you will hear, understand and believe God’s word. If your father is the devil, you won’t even hear God’s words and you won’t understand the true things of God.

Do you remember this parable when Jesus said, “the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy that sowed them is the devil: and the harvest is the end of the world (Matthew 13:38,39). Yes, there are only two seeds in this world, Christ and antichrist and that’s why the world will hate the seed of Christ. “I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”. These two seeds will be apparent and manifest themselves by their works. (1 John 3:10) In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother…(12) not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. (13) Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. The world loves its own and hates the seed of Christ. Look around you and you’ll see many people but only two seeds. Are we beginning to see is that maybe there is a reason why God seems to have mercy on some while others He doesn’t seem to have mercy. (John 10:3) To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (4) And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice… (14) I am the good shepherd; and I know mine own, and mine own know me. God knows each and every one of us by name; (26) But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you (27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (28) And I give them eternal life… Jesus knows exactly which people are His and God begins to put faith and understanding into our hearts so that we hear His voice and follow Jesus. Those who are not the Lord’s will naturally bear the fruit of their father the devil. (Luke 6:43) “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. (44) For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. (45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. Although you can never physically tell the difference between those who may be God’s chosen and those who may be the devil’s children, (no pointy horns or tail) you will be able to see the fruit they produce in their lives. That above all things will give you an indication of whom they belong to.

Let’s review what we’ve learned so far. The first thing is that God is the same and that He does not change; He chose a people in the Old Testament and it’s very apparent that He chooses who can and cannot come to Jesus in our New Covenant. Secondly I believe that we’ve established a very solid foundation that it’s not our works or our will that saves us and that it’s God’s free gift of faith which He does not give to everybody. Thirdly we’ve established that all those who will be saved have been written in the Lambs Book of Life from the foundation of the world and that God foreknew each and every person that He has predestined for eternal life. Fourthly we found that the there are two seeds in this world, the seed of God whom are the chosen and elect children of God whom He gives faith to, and there is a second seed and that’s the seed of the devil. His offspring are not chosen, God did not foreknow these people and they are not given that free gift of faith to believe in Jesus Christ.

The next thing we’ll explain about God’s plan is exactly how the Lord manifests His seed; the created sons and daughters who were already chosen from the very foundation of this world into real life believers. The method for which God uses to bring us from just being written into the Lamb’s Book of Life from the very beginning into physical children of God is not “free will” it’s faith. Those who have already been chosen from the beginning of time are given that free gift of faith. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast". Even when you were lost in your sin you were written in the Book of Life by faith. Since the Lord foreknew you from the very beginning, God knew that just at the appointed time He would manifest your salvation by dropping faith into your heart. Before that time you were lost but God knew He had already chosen you and that He would, in His timing give you the free gift of faith in order for you to come to Jesus and then be saved manifestly.

God gives us this faith by opening and closing our hearts and giving understanding to whomever He chooses. (Matthew 11:25) At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. God hides spiritual truth and wisdom from those who seem important in this world (the devils seed) and He reveals spiritual truth and wisdom to those who are humble and seemingly insignificant in this world (God’s seed). (27) All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. There are those who the Son doesn’t reveal Himself too, that’s why when He was alone with the disciples He explained everything and when He spoke to the people it was in a spiritual parable. (Mark 4:9) And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (10) But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. (11) And He said to them, To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, (12) so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.’” Jesus says that to some people understanding was given, while to all others He spoke in parables so that those who were not written in “the Lambs Book from the foundation of the world” (the sons of the devil) would not understand and be saved! Many people were prevented from understanding the words of Jesus otherwise they would repent and their sins would be forgiven! As you can see it’s not a matter of one’s “free will”, it’s whom God has chosen to reveal Himself too. “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him (Luke 24:31).

Why did Peter understand that Jesus was the messiah while most of the Jews didn’t? (Matthew 16:17) Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. It’s God who reveals the spiritual things and it’s God who conceals things so that we don’t understand. (Luke 9:44) Let these words sink into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered up into the hands of men. (45) But they understood not this saying, and it was concealed from them, that they should not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask him about this saying. I think if we understood that all understanding comes from God and that “there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding” (Job 32:8), then we would come to the Father and ask Him for even more understanding like David did. (Psalm 119:34,73,125,130,144) Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart… (73) Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments… (125) I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!...(130) The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…(144) Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live. God uses our prayers to fulfill God’s plan for us; that’s why David continually prayed for understanding; are you?

(Jeremiah 24:7) Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD… God gives us a heart to know Him. (Acts 16:14) Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. The Lord opens hearts to understand His Word. (Luke 24:45) And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. As easily as God opens hearts to understand the word He also hardens hearts so other don’t understand. (John 12:40) He hath blinded their eyes, and he hardened their heart; Lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, And should turn, And I should heal them. God is the one who opens eyes. (Luke 24:31) And their eyes were opened, and they knew him… and again closes eyes (Luke 24:16) But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. God opens and closes minds. (2 Cor 3:13) [U]nlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. (14) But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. (15) But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. (16) Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

As we’ve found so far in the Scriptures, there is no one who has a “free will” to choose Jesus on their own, without God first opening their heart and eyes, causing them to be drawn to His Son, but what about other things in life; do we have the free will to do or choose anything we want to be or do? Can I be a doctor, lawyer or anything I choose to be, or is God in control of this too?

The Bible says that we are not that of our own works or our own “free will”, we are the work of God’s hand which He finished on the seventh day. (Genesis 2:2) And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God is done working; He has accomplished His works from the foundation of the world. His plan is set out and He is working His will into each person to accomplish His will. Jesus even came to accomplish His Father’s work that was prepared for Him from the beginning. (John 5:36) For the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works that I do... Jesus did nothing of His own “free will” He only did the Father’s will and the Father’s works which were finished long ago. (John 5:30) I can of myself do nothing… because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Yes, the works of Jesus were finished from the beginning and Jesus was just carrying those works out. (John 17:4) I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. Even His crucifixion was planned and finished in God’s work before time began. (Acts 4:27) "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, (28) to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. Jesus was predestined to die on the cross and those who crucified Him were also predestined to put Him on the cross.

Did you know that everything you do and accomplish in this life has already been accomplished and finished for you from the beginning of the world? Yes, all your works and what God has planned for you has already been prepared beforehand. (Ephesians 2:10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. There is nothing that you can do in this life that hasn’t already been personally planned just for you by our loving Father. (Ephesians 1:11) In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will Just think, you were predestined and you were part of God’s plan from the very beginning! God knows your name and He’s working everything in your life according to His will. (John 10:3) To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. God knows each of His chosen personally by name; God is not nervously waiting to see if you’ll accomplish what He has set out for you; God is working His will in you to perfect you in Christ. (Phil 1:6) “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… If you are chosen, then you are a vital part in God’s plan! (Psalm 138:8) The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. God is going to fulfill His purpose for you!

Many people don’t see it this way; they have no problem agreeing that God is the one that’s solely responsible for creating them but then they would argue that now that God has made them in His likeness that it’s now left up to them as to which direction they will take in life. Is this what the Bible really says or is this just the arrogance of man thinking that he’s in control instead of God? (Psalm 33:13) The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; (14) from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, (15) he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. What does it mean if God fashions the hearts of all the inhabitants of the earth? The Hebrew word for fashion is the word “yatsar” which means to mold as in a potter over clay. It’s the same word used when God formed Adam. (Genesis 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life… Can an all powerful God who forms each and every heart really not know what He formed when He made our hearts? Is God really sitting back just waiting on our “free will” or what we choose to do with our lives? No, God is the potter and we the clay. (Isaiah 64:8) But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.

We are not that of our own works or “free will”, we are the work of God’s hand which He finished on the seventh day. (Genesis 2:2) And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. God is done working; He has accomplished His works from the foundation of the world and you are part of His work that’s already finished. Jesus came to accomplish His work that was prepared for Him by the Father. (John 5:36) for the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. Jesus did nothing of His own “free will” He only did the Father’s will which was finished long ago. (John 5:30) I can of myself do nothing… because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Yes, the works of Jesus were finished from the beginning and even His crucifixion was finished in God’s works on that seventh day. (Acts 4:27) "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, (28) to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. Jesus was predestined to die on the cross and those who crucified Him were also predestined to put Him on the cross. Each accomplished God’s purpose which He predestined them to do.

What about you; what are the works for which God has prepared for you? (Col 1:29) To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. Notice the Apostle Paul is not just sitting back waiting on God, instead Paul was striving and doing the best he knew how to do, all the while knowing it was not his choice or his “free will” but God working His works in him. God was working His works in Paul to accomplish what God had set forth especially for Him. (Phil 2:13) For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. I want you to be encouraged because God is working mightily in each of His chosen to do exactly what they were predestined to do. So don’t condemn yourself with feeling that you are not doing what you’re supposed to be doing for God; that’s the devil’s way to steal your faith. Up until this very day you have walked in the exact steps that God has predestined you to walk. The mistakes and the failures, the accomplishments and success have all been planned and instituted in your life for your learning and growing in Christ. So instead of condemning yourself for not doing what you think you should be doing in the Lord, start today by accepting your past and start striving to do the best with what you know to do, all according to what you understand the Bible to say. Do this and you will be walking in the light and proving that you are a son of God. (Ephesians 5:8) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

Let’s now peel back the cover of these predestination scriptures and try to understand how it really works. Let me give you an analogy. Let’s say that you have the smartest scientist in the world that’s never made a single mistake in his life, not even one! He has just invented the world’s most powerful computer. Not only has every detail of its outer structure been made by this scientist but he’s also created all the internal components of how it processes information (its heart and soul). Every circuit, every wire has been painstakingly put into its proper place. (Psalm 139:13) For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. (14) I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works. Now with all the time and effort that meticulously went into building this super computer, assuming no mistake was made; does this computer have the capacity to do as it wishes or do something it was not supposed too? (Proverbs 21:1) The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. In other words, will this created piece of equipment all of a sudden start doing things which it was not designed to do? Will it do the exact opposite it was programmed to do? No, that scientist has thought of every detail and it can only do as it was programmed and designed to do. (Lamentations 3:37) Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it? The created does not have its own “free will” to start doing things that it was not designed to do. That’s the exact same thing with you and I. We were created by God for His purpose and His will and “the LORD will fulfill his purpose for me”. We were created to do exactly what God has purposed in our hearts to do; what is coming to your heart and mind is what God has set out for you. (Psalm 37:23) The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Your steps and the path you take are not your own; they are not your “free will”; they are established by the Lord!

In order to fully understand this, we have to remember there are only two seeds in this world and God is only interested in His seed and not the devil’s. What I hope to show you next is that God has always had vessels of honor (His children) who God works through in order to make them more like Jesus. I will show you how God also has vessels of dishonor (the devil’s children) who He uses for no other reason than to purify the His children. (Romans 11:9-23) though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works [not because of free will] but because of his call—(12) she was told, "The older will serve the younger." (13) As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." [Wow, before Esau was born God hated him!] (14) What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! (15) For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." (16) So then it depends not on human will [i.e.-free will] or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." [God made Pharaoh for His purpose and hardened His heart to use for God’s good] (18) So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (19) You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" (20) But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" (21) Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? (22) What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (23) in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory. Notice how election works with the two seeds, Esau was hated because he was the seed of the devil while Jacob was loved because He was God’s seed, a chosen vessel of the Lord’s who’s name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world. Now if you trace back the descendants of Esau you’ll see that they later became the Edomites and were used by God as vessels of dishonor to come against Israel. We see God using Pharaoh as a vessel of dishonor to come against His people. These vessels of dishonor had no choice but to do what they were destined to do. "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth”. God said that He hardened Pharaohs heart for the very purpose of showing His mighty signs and wonders to the world that they would proclaim His name. No choice, no “free will”, Pharaoh just did what he was created to do. Notice in verse 22 it says the “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory”. Satan’s seed are the vessels of wrath which have been prepared for destruction to perfect God’s seed that were prepared from the very beginning for glory! (Proverbs 16:4) The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

If you look closely in your lives, you may begin to see vessels of dishonor in your life whose sole purpose in life may be to come against you in order to crucify your flesh and get you to act more like Jesus. (2Thess 1:4) Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. (5)This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering. By you obeying the Word of God when these vessels of dishonor come against you proves that you are a child of God. (1 Peter 3:17) For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. Even within the church vessels of dishonor are designed to show who God’s children really are. (1 Cor 11:18) For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. (19) For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. As the cream settles to the top, so do God’s children; God’s vessels of dishonor, even if they are in the church, will cause the elect to turn the other cheek and not return evil with evil and you will recognize them by their fruit.

The more I study the Bible and all the Scriptures that speak about how sovereign and in control God really is, the more I understand that since the fall of Adam; man in and of himself is evil. Paul talked about how both Jews and Gentiles were all sinful creatures. (Romans 3:9) [B]oth Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. (10) As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; (11) there is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. (12) They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” (13) “Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; (14) “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” (15) “Their feet are swift to shed blood; (16) Destruction and misery are in their ways; (17) and the way of peace they have not known.” (18) “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Without God reaching into us and putting His spirit in us we will have no understanding, no righteousness and not even one who would seek after Him. Left to our own devices and without God’s intervention, man would continually do evil. (John 3:19) The light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. It’s only when God shines His light into our hearts and puts His love, His understanding, and faith into our hearts do we start to manifest God’s goodness. (Ezekiel 36:26,27) I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you…I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. God gives us that new born again Spirit of Christ and then gives us His Holy Spirit that causes us to obey Him. What man mistakes as his own “free will” to choose good or bad is really God putting His will in us. (Proverbs 16:9) The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. You may think that you’re planning your way but it’s God who is really the one directing your steps causing you to obey Him (Ezek 36:27). God is the one putting His will into you. (Philippians 2:13) For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. If you’re God’s chosen it’s not your “free will” but God working His will in you in order to accomplish His will. Those who are chosen by God are His offspring and God is working His will into His children which makes them do the good they do. Yet, God’s children aren’t always doing good and honorable things; often times they do things not in God’s nature. When they do bad things is it God working His will in them to do evil? (James 1:13) Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (14) But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. No, God is neither working His will in them nor is He tempting them. They are walking according to their flesh and being what the Bible calls “self willed. (2 Peter 2:10) Those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil… Your self-will is doing according to your flesh; your fallen human nature or what the Bible calls doing the devil’s will. (2 Timothy 2:25) In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, (26) and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. Left to our own fallen nature, we are taken captive by the devil to do the devil’s will every time.

Did you realize that God is the one that has to grant you repentance otherwise you would continually do according to the devil? “If God perhaps will grant them repentance”. If God doesn’t reach down to put His will in us and grant us repentance, we will continually do the devil’s will. (Acts 11:18) When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life". If God doesn’t grant you repentance, you will continue doing what’s in your nature which is evil. The Bible calls it being taken captive by the devil and when that happens you are doing according to your flesh and you’re doing the devils will instead of God’s. Of course the devil is just a tool that God uses to do His ultimate will, but that’s another study (Please click “Satan in God’s plan” for more information on this subject).

I like to look at it this way; God cares nothing for the devil’s children; He is only interested in His seed; His chosen and elect people in this world. God is bringing this chosen crop of believers into maturity by leading them down a path in life of continual successes and failures. “The steps of a man are established by the LORD”. We as humans when left to our own ability will naturally stray off the path of righteousness into the ditch (sinfulness). (Isaiah 53:6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way. God is repeatedly putting His hand of grace upon us and then removing that grace from us. God is continually steering His elect back on the path of righteousness by granting us repentance; putting love, faith and understanding of His Word into our hearts. Without God giving us that understanding and faith we would stay in the ditch. When it’s time for us to grow and be taught from the Lord, He lifts His hand of grace and the devil moves in to tempt us and back to the ditch we go. When we’re left on our own, the devil has his way with us. When we’re done learning from our mistakes then God again mercifully grants us repentance by putting faith and understanding into our heart, steering us back to the narrow path. That is how we learn holiness and it’s a continual process that God works in our lives. Once we start to learn holiness in each and every area of our lives then the more that Christ is formed in us and the more we are able to resist the devils temptations. The more of Jesus that’s in us means the less we’re sidetracked by our old sinful nature. Soon we are walking that narrow path of righteousness without that old sinful nature steering us to the side. It’s the process God uses to form Christ in you. (Col 1:27) Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Look at it like this, each of us has a soul and that soul is what makes up our personality. It’s not your physical body that makes you who you are, it’s your mind, it’s your thoughts, your actions and everything about you that comes from your mind. Your brain is what makes you be you; this is what you’re taking to heaven with you; this is your soul. What God is doing throughout your life is “downloading” information which we are to learn from. God is orchestrating events and experiences into your life which you must overcome. Each of us have a choice in every situation in which God brings to us, although that choice we make is ultimately already predestined by God, you still have a choice to do right according to what you know is right. You are responsible for your actions! You cannot take the fatalistic view of “what will be, will be” and just leave it up to God. Each of us is responsible to do the best with what we know to do. (2 Timothy 2:19) "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." (20) Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. (21) Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. God knows who are His and He has vessels of honor as well as vessels of dishonor. Are you departing from iniquity; are you a vessel of honor? Those who are God’s elect will choose to do good and not evil because it’s God working in you for His purposes, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules”. There is not one move that we can make that God doesn’t already know what we are going to do, He knows because it’s Him working in us. Although man does not have a “free will” to make his own choices, God has given us the gift to reason within ourselves and to think that we are the ones making our own choices. It’s God who has fashioned our hearts and it’s God who is doing according to His will in us. God instilled in us the ability to reason and choose so that we would have a feeling of independence. He loved His children so much that He thought ahead and wanted us to be as free as we could be, while still insuring that the end result would be for us to be conformed into the image of His Son. That’s Gods plan for us; just as we know what’s best for our kids and want them to have independence and responsibility, so does God. His plan is that over a lifetime of experiences “downloaded” into our souls and our minds, that you overcome those challenges and begin to manifest “Christ in you” (Col 1:27).

When trying to understand God’s sovereignty and how every person is either predestined for good or for bad; predestined to be either a child of the devil or a child of God, how do we explain all the times we see the Bible telling us to choose, believe or repent? From what we’ve learned we don’t have the ability on our own to choose or repent so why are we told to do so when we can’t? “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Do you remember what we covered earlier? Each and every one of us has a choice in every situation. We have a choice to do good or bad. Even though the choice we make has already been predestined by God, you still have a choice to do right according to what you know. You do not have the luxury of knowing what God knows and you really don’t know for sure if you are chosen by God or if you are a child of the devil. Of course you believe by faith that you are God’s chosen, but it’s only by your choices and your actions does it manifest who’s child you really are. That’s why you are making choices every day and that’s why you must do the best with what you know to do every day.

(Joshua 24:15) And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served… But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”. Again, God has given us the gift to think and reason. We understand in our mind that it is us making the decision for ourselves but really it’s all God. What we think is us is really God working His will in us to accomplish His purpose “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). If you are choosing good, God is putting His will into you to make that correct decision. If you are choosing sin God is lifting His hand of grace and giving you over to the devil.

In order to teach and to prove who God’s true chosen people were, the Lord let his children wander off the narrow road until He brought prophets to warn them. (Ezekiel 18:30) “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. (31) Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? (32) For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!” God continually brought prophets to exhort His people to repent and turn back to Him. Most of the time they didn’t because even though they were physically from one of God’s chosen 12 tribes of Israel, they really weren’t God’s chosen after all. Yet, God was testing and downloading obedience into His elect by granting them repentance. You see, God already knew who were of the devil’s seed and would not repent, simply because He didn’t grant them repentance or as Jesus often said, “give them ears to hear”. So because they were not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world, they had no spiritual ears from God and they were not saved. (Isaiah 6:9) And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ (10) “Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed”. Those who are not God’s, He makes their hearts dull, their minds to not understand, their ears heavy and their eyes shut. God is the only one that can grant you repentance, and it’s only the elect in this world who will repent and follow Jesus. Rejoice if you have chosen repentance because God has given you a retentive heart so that you have the ability through Christ to make that choice.

Throughout the entire Bible we are continually told to choose and repent, we are even commanded to believe in Jesus for our salvation. It’s true that we must do exactly as the Bible says; each of us are responsible but until we fully understand that it’s God working in us to make those decisions, we will never fully understand God’s plan for us. The Apostle Paul understood God’s plan and said that we are all running a race not for a prize that perishes, “but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Cor 9:25-27). Paul did not take for granted He was elect and glory bound for Heaven; he said he disciplined himself and did the very best he knew how to do so that when he ended his race in life he wouldn’t be rejected by God. Even though Paul knew and understood that it was God working His will in Him, Paul also knew that he had complete responsibility for himself and the decisions he made. Maybe that’s why Paul said to, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:12,13). We work out our salvation with fear and trembling by doing and obeying the Word of God the best we know how to do. Paul says “with fear and trembling” because our fate, our salvation is completely in God’s hands. That is enough to make every child of God fear the Lord and want to obey His every Word.

As we conclude our study of predestination, election and “free will” in God’s plan, I just want to summarize what we’ve learned today. We’ve learned that God is the very same in the Old Testament as He was in the New. Just as God had a chosen people back then, He has a chosen people today. We’ve learned that from the very beginning we had two seeds in this world and God is working His will into His children to make them in the very image of Jesus Christ. The devil’s children will never be saved and they are here as vessels of dishonor that are designed to come against and purify God’s seed. We’ve learned that it’s not just everybody who can come to Jesus; it’s only the ones which the Father draws who will come and that’s only because they were chosen from the beginning of time. We also learned that our coming to Jesus was nothing that we did ourselves but a free gift of faith. We found out that God is the one who opens His children’s eyes and ears to understand and believe while He closes the eyes and ears of the devil’s children so that they do not understand that they may to be saved. We saw how God plans our ways and has finished our works from the very beginning. God is now working in each of His children exactly what He set out for them to do. We also discovered that God is “downloading” experiences into our lives that cause us to overcome and be more and more like Jesus. Then finally we saw that in your walk with the Lord it is you that’s responsible to do the best with what you understand to do. If we sit back and just have the attitude that “if it will be, it will be” then we are proving that we are not a child of God. Everyday you’re bearing fruit, either the fruit of Christ or the fruit of this world which is the devil.

In conclusion I just want to encourage each and every one of you to continue to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. This simply means that you should love and respect God enough to obey and do His Word the best you know how to do. Out of reverent fear you submit to God and understand that your life is not in your hands, it’s in God’s. Do this and you have nothing to fear. Every person that is chosen of God will be drawn to His Son, and they will seek holiness and the things of God. Never will it be the case that someone wants to receive Jesus but God doesn’t let them. You don’t have to worry about truly seeking God and then being rejected because you weren’t “chosen”. (John 6:37) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. If you were in God’s book from the beginning you will be in there in the end. If you are not chosen you will either have no interest in following Jesus or you will only follow with half a heart like the Revelation 3:15 Christian. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth”. If you’re not chosen, then you won’t be believing as the Scripture says. (John 7:38) “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. Yes there will be people who believe according to what they want to believe but it’s only those who believe as the Bible says who are the elect.

I want to leave you with this thought: With everything you do in life you have a choice to do good or bad, although that choice was already predestined for you by God, you still have the choice to do the right thing. God has instilled the ability to reason and choose in your life. He does this so that you have the feeling of independence and accomplishment. God loves His children so much that God “predestined [us] to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). Jesus was the firstborn among many sons! God is raising up many sons and daughters who will be perfected into the image of Jesus. Praise God, that is the Good News of the Gospel.

Be blessed,

A servant in the Lord, Mark -


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