(Photo of a Fig tree) John 1:48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Pro 16:9 A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the LORD directeth his steps.
Pro 19:21 There are many devices (H4284 plans, purposes) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (H6965 be fixed, be fulfilled).
Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
Psa 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; [ESV]
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (H3559 “direct” – fix, establish, determine, prepare, arrange, order)
Isa 46:10 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;
Isa 46:11 calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country; yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.
Isa 43:13 Yea, since the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who can hinder it?
Deu 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, And there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; And there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Exo 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Isa 14:27 For Jehovah of hosts hath purposed, and who shall annul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
Job 9:12 Behold, he seizeth the prey, who can hinder him? Who will say unto him, What doest thou?
Rom 9:18 So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will be hardeneth.
Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will?
Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy.
Eph 1:11 in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will;
Act 2:23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay:
1Pe 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ:
1Pe 1:20 who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of times for your sake,
Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20 And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
“meant” – H2803 châshab
A primitive root; properly to plait or interpenetrate, that is, (literally) to weave or (generally) to fabricate; figuratively to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense); hence (from the mental effort) to think, regard, value, compute: – (make) account (of), conceive, consider, count, cunning (man, work, workman), devise, esteem, find out, forecast, hold, imagine, impute, invent, be like, mean, purpose, reckon (-ing be made), regard, think.
There are teachers in the world today teaching a doctrine called, OPEN THEISM which calls into question the absolute Sovereignty of God.
It is a false and dangerous doctrine which in effect tries to weaken or reduce God’s power and foreknowledge to that which mere mortals have. It makes God out to be just like one of us! For a thorough examination and illumination on Open Theism vs. Classic Theism, I recommend these resources: 1) Their God is Too Small: Open Theism and the Undermining of Confidence in God Aug 12, 2003, by Bruce A. Ware; 2) Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity by John Piper and other theologians. (See at Amazon.com)
Excerpts from the second book —
This work argues that open theism undermines the heart of biblical Christianity: the inerrancy of Scripture, the trustworthiness of God, and the Gospel of Christ.
The heart of open theism is that humans and angels can be morally responsible only if they have ultimate self-determination – and have it to the degree that their self-determination rules out God’s ability to render or see any of their future acts as certain. Therefore, open theism’s most obvious departure from historic Christianity is its denial of the exhaustive, definite foreknowledge of God.”
“The very identity and reality of the God of the Bible is at stake.” The essays in this book contend that open theism presents us with a different God – a God compatible perhaps with contemporary sentiments, but one who is not the God of the Bible.
Controversy is required when essential truths are called into question. “The proper activity of professing Christians who disagree with one another is neither to ignore, nor to conceal, nor even to minimize their differences, but to debate them.” The apostolic command is clear. We are to “maintain the truth in love,” being neither truthless in our love, nor loveless in our truth, but holding the two in balance. ~ John Stott
The truth about Yahweh, our God, is that He has all Foreknowledge of the future, and He is completely Sovereign. The biblical account of Joseph is one very good example of how Yahweh wove the events and choices of men together, for not only Joseph’s good, but for “many persons” – to keep them alive during an extensive famine. To understand the scope and meaning of Joseph’s life, read Genesis Chapters 37-50.
Dan 4:35 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?
No one can ‘stay’ or withstand God’s will and plans for individuals and for the course of life on planet earth, or in the heavens. What Yahweh wills, He can do, for He is all-knowing, all-seeing, and almighty. Yahweh is God immortal and immutable. God does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, and how He wants to do it; and no one can stay His hand, “stay” – H4223 (Aramaic) mechâ’ basically means to “hinder.” In other words, no one can stop God from doing what He means to do.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
“called” – G2822 klētos; Thayer Definition: 1) called, invited (to a banquet) 1a) invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ 1b) called to (the discharge of) some office 1b1) divinely selected and appointed
“purpose” – from G4388 protithemai; Middle voice from G4253 and G5087; to place before, that is, (for oneself) to exhibit; (to oneself) to propose (determine): – purpose, set forth.
“foreknow” – G4267 proginōskō; From G4253 and G1097; to know beforehand, that is, foresee: – foreknow (ordain), know (before).
“predestinate” – G4309 proorizō; Thayer Definition: 1) to predetermine, decide beforehand 2) in the NT of God decreeing from eternity 3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand
These Roman verses make it crystal clear that God foreknows people – what they’ll do, and what choices they’ll make ahead of time. In this case, He knew which persons in the world would believe on Him, even before they were born! Because God knows and sees every day of our lives before we’re born (Ps 139), He’s always way ahead of us. God ‘calls’ and ‘predestinates’ those He foreknew to be ‘conformed to the image of His Son.’ The calling and predestination of God is for the purpose of conforming His chosen ones to the image of His Son Jesus. In Romans 8:28, we read that “all things work together for good ‘to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (not men’s purposes). And what is His purpose according to these texts? It is to “be conformed to the Image of His Son.”
God is in full control of the Universe – He is Sovereign; nothing surprises Him, he’s never caught off guard, and He certainly isn’t guessing about what the Future holds for anyone! God knows the ‘end from the beginning,’ doesn’t need or heed the counsel of mere mortals, directs the lives of men but no one can direct Him! God performs His will absolutely and without contest. He’s the Almighty, All-knowing, All-Seeing, ever Present God and Creator of all that exists. If He were anything less, He would be no higher than the average mortal; a sacrilegious thought if ever there was one.
To God be the glory, power, might, and dominion, now and forever ~ Amen! (based upon Jude 1:25)