Category Archives: Predestination

God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation

2 Thessalonians 2:13 KJVS
[13] But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

A few related verses come mind in Ephesians and a verse in 2 Timothy.

Ephesians 1:4-5,11 KJVS
[4] According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: [5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, [11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
2 Timothy 1:9 KJVS
[9] Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

“Having predestinated us” in Eph 1:5 can only be viewed in the strictest sense. The Strong’s definition for the Greek word that is translated into the English word “predestinates”.
to predetermine, decide beforehand
in the NT of God decreeing from eternity
to foreordain, appoint beforehand

Given some thought, predestination is not based on God looking ahead and seeing who would choose to serve Him. Since God himself justifies and sanctifies the ungodly, our salvation is not based on any works of righteousness we have done, Titus 3:5-7. Then how can one claim predestination is based on a work of man or result of man’s effort in any way. There are some people who prefer that important doctrinal matters be confirmed out of the mouth of two or three witnesses. I am of course referring to the doctrine of predestination by the foreknowledge of God. Let us see what the Word of God, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, had to say regarding the matter.

John 15:16 KJVS
[16] Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

John 6:39,44 KJVS
[39] And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. [44] No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The second witness of course is the Apostle Paul and the two scriptures from his epistles cited in the beginning of the article. A third witness being Apostle Peter and I personally like the contrast of the two groups of people mentioned, one group appointed to be disobedient and the other group to be a chosen royal priesthood, Ro 9:21.

1 Peter 2:7-9 KJVS
[7] Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, [8] And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. [9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

I believe in what the scripture verses themselves state, rather than the doctrines of man based on a few scriptures surrounded with human reasonings. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing as the old saying goes and this holds to be true with the Word of God. The members of the body of Christ were chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and were ordained to walk in good works, and those good works are due to God’s workmanship in the body of Christ, Eph 2:10. There are those who like to associate various concepts in the bible with prominent men in the past, who started their own churches based on certain doctrines. So if you mention the above verses and say you believe in predestination by foreknowledge , Ro 8:29, in regards to the body of Christ, some people will say that you are a Calvinist. One might respond to this remark by pointing out that Calvin did not believe in Universal Reconciliation, which the scriptures also point to. But a response like that is so off the wall to most Christians, that the conversation usually proceeds no further. These types of conversations are generally fruitless and vain, in the sense that if a dialogue does develop, it usually becomes a conflict between egos. There are some people who so very strongly hold onto the concept of free will, that they can not move past the point of their having “chosen” Jesus Christ as their personal savior. One has to wonder if this is fundamentally a base form of idol worship. Worship of the power of ones own will. You can show a person who believes they chose Jesus as their “personal savior”, all the above scriptures and yet they will come back to this one verse.

Romans 10:9 KJVS
[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

One should always keep in mind that the sum of God’s word is truth, Ps 119:160.

Philippians 1:29 KJVS
[29] For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Ephesians 2:8 KJVS
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

The scriptures state clearly that the very belief in Jesus Christ that a man possesses, was given to that man by God, as a gift. That alone would support the doctrine of predestination by foreknowledge. If a man is not able to generate belief or faith by his own free will, then God is the determining force behind that faith, and it is up to God to choose and call a man. That is what the scriptures state. I have not been educated formally in theology and have largely avoided delving into theology and the various doctrines of man via the Internet. Some time ago I had a crisis of faith due to chronic pain from a spinal cord injury and my inability to understand sound doctrine, largely due to the cunning craftiness of the winds of doctrine of man, Eph 4:14. I was chastised by God for questioning the faith given me and told to study to show myself approved. I decided then to strictly rely on what the New Testament scriptures state, as all doctrine and theology is, or should be, based on scripture. Due to four fused vertebrae in my neck, it is difficult for me to read in bed. I spend more time in bed than the average person due to pain and weakness. In the past I have used several small New Testament vest pocket bibles, that are easy to hold with just the thumb and index finger, while laying in bed. I am more hi-tech now and have a iPad with the Strong’s Concordance. I am a fast reader so for years, when I lay down due to pain and weakness, I would read a epistle or part of a gospel. I have become very familiar with the New Testament but no matter how familiar you become, you still need the Spirit of God teaching you the deep things of God, Jn14:26, 1 Co 2:10&11. The New Testament is the new will and testament of Jesus Christ dividing his inheritance with the members of his body, the body of Christ, He 9:15-17.

Galatians 3:16-17,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [17] And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Let us be clear about one thing, as it states in verse 17, the law of Moses did not disannul the promises God made to Abraham and his singular seed, Jesus Christ. There is far too much focus by the Christian churchs today with the Covenant of the law. The words covenant and testament can have and do have subtle different meaning but are translated from the same Greek word.

Strong’s Number
G1242
Original Word
διαθήκη
Transliterated Word
diathēkē
Phonetic Spelling
dee-ath-ay’-kay
Parts of Speech
Noun Feminine
Definition
a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will
a compact, a covenant, a testament
God’s covenant with Noah, etc

It is often confusing to try and separate the two words and their meanings in the different verses but the word testament at times refers to a last will and testament bequeathing Abrahams inheritance to his seed, Jesus Christ. That inheritance, is to rule and reign over the world during the thousand year kingdom of God, Ro 4:13, Re 20:6. Start to finish, God predestinates those He foreknew, calls them, justifies and sanctifies them and when the time comes will glorify the members of the body of Christ.

Romans 8:29-30 KJVS
[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. [30] Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

I think the problem lies in the fact that the modern theology of today’s major denominations in the Christian world, misunderstands grace and the function of grace. Grace teaches and chastises us, Titus 2:11&12, He 12:6, and washes us with the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, Titus 3:4-7. So it is God working from within and without, changing a man and making him righteous. All of this instruction and purifying of the heart of man, by God, is to prepare priests and kings, who will rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Re 20:6, during the age to come. This is the inheritance mentioned in the Ephesians 1:11, Ga 3:16&18. There will be no place for the flesh, no place for ego in those called by God for that monumental role in history. To imagine in some fashion that man could intrinsically accomplish this by himself, with his own effort and make the necessary changes within himself for this role, directly counters what scriptures state. Not only that, it runs counter to what we observe in recorded history, most especially today, with wars of exploitation by the strong and wealthy over the weak. It is hard to have faith at times, of having a part of this grand and noble inheritance in the future, especially when you are being scourged and undergoing trials and temptations. But we are exhorted and told in many verses in the New Testament, to have a active partnership in the process of being made worthy of our inheritance.

2 Peter 1:3-7,9-11 KJVS
[3] According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: [4] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. [5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. [9] But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. [10] Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: [11] For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

What if God, willing to shew his wrath…

Romans 9:20-24 KJVS
[20] Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it , Why hast thou made me thus? [21] Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [22] What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: [23] And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, [24] Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

The book of Revelation and the catastrophic events which are prophetically foretold in this book, can be viewed in context with the above verses from Romans. A careful reading of these verses point to a cause and effect relationship between verse 22 and 23 based on the Greek word translated into the English word “that”near the beginning of verse 23. The definition of that Greek word follows.

Strong’s Number
G2443
Thayer’s Definition
that, in order that, so that

It was necessary for there to be vessels of wrath fitted for destruction who are playing a role that God assigned to them. In order that there would be vessels of mercy. Why? It may not seem obvious at first, but affliction and suffering are necessary for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Romans 8:16-19 KJVS
[16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him , that we may be also glorified together. [18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

The body of Christ can only achieve spiritual maturity through having their senses exercised in discerning good and evil.

Hebrews 5:12-14 KJVS
[12] For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. [13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. [14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

God plays a primary role in this maturation process.

Hebrews 12:6,11 KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

So it is necessary to immerse a child of God in a world wherein varying degrees of good and evil exist, in order to mature the vessels of mercy. Keep in mind that evil is the result of individual choices that lead to actions. All of creation play a role in preforming acts of evil because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, Ro 3:23. Sin comes from within a man, out of the heart, Mk 7:21-23. The longsuffering of the Lord also extends to the vessels of mercy, 1Ti 1:16. Moving on, the cause and effect relationship between the need for the longsuffering of God with the vessels of wrath fitted for loss and ruin, in order to make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto glory is directly linked to what is written in the book of Revelation. How so? A couple of ways. There are more than a few verses in the New Testament that use the phrase “riches of his glory”, which appears in Ro 9:23, or “riches of the glory”. Ephesians 1:18 links these words to our inheritance in Christ.

Ephesians 1:17-18 KJVS
[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Romans and Galatians makes clear the inheritance we have is the world and is based on being in Christ.

Romans 4:13 KJVS
[13] For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Galatians 3:16,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Our inheritance is realized when we receive glorified bodies and rule and reign with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, Rev 20:6. In order to pinpoint when this happens, it requires looking at another verse that has the phrase “riches of the glory” in it, Col 1:27.

Colossians 1:26-27 KJVS
[26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The mystery that both verses mention, is the mystery of God, mystery of Christ. I am getting a little sidetracked with this, so please bear with me. The reader would do well to do a word study on the word “mystery”as used in the Bible as it appears in the KJVS. Specifically the epistles and the book of Revelation. Now, that mystery is realized, finished/fulfilled when the seventh angel begins to sounds its horn.

Revelation 10:7 KJVS
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Returning to Romans 9:20&24 and it’s not so obvious connection to the book of Revelation. God certainly makes his power known to the world by inflicting His wrath on a unrepentant world as described within the pages of the book of Revelation.

Revelation 6:12-17 KJVS
[12] And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; [13] And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. [14] And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. [15] And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; [16] And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: [17] For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Verse 16 &17 points to the great fear of the wrath of God that these men dread, who selfishly profit from the exploitation of the peoples and resources of this world, who destroys the earth, Rev 11:18. Later in the book of Revelation the vials of wrath are poured out on the earth.

Revelation 16:1 KJVS
[1] And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

The vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, Ro 9:22, could as well be written as fitted for ruin or loss, as the Strong’s Concordance definition defines the Greek word translated into the English word destruction. That definition had me scratching my head for awhile. Loss of what? Who comprises the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction also puzzled me. For the longest time I was uncertain who comprised that group. Now I think it is comprised of all of humanity who are not vessels of mercy. A couple verses that I noticed years ago sheds some light on what the loss and ruin is that the vessels of destruction experience.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 KJVS
[7] And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, [8] In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: [9] Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

The Greek word destruction in verse 19 is translated from a different Greek word than the word destruction in Ro 9:22. They have two slightly different definitions. The word destruction in Ro 9:22 has this definition.

Strong’s Definition
From a presumed derivative of G622; ruin or loss (physical spiritual or eternal): – damnable (-nation) destruction die perdition X perish pernicious ways waste.

The definition of the word destruction in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 This definition.

Strong’s Definition
From ὄλλυμι ollumi a primary word (to destroy; a prolonged form);
ruin that is death punishment: – destruction.

Which makes sense since the vessels of wrath do not take part in the kingdom of God and are dead. The Koine Greek language that the New Testament manuscripts are written in is a precise language that translators at times take liberty with when translating, in order to accommodate denominational doctrines. That is why one has to pay attention to the Strong’s Concordance definitions of words. The word everlasting in verse 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is translated from G166 aiōnios. Which is the adjective form of the noun G165 aion. Here is where it gets interesting. The definition for G 165 is as follows.

Strong’s Definition
From the same as G104; properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; specifically (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future): – age course eternal (for) ever (-more) [n-]ever (beginning of the while the) world (began without end). Compare G5550 .

Let me ask a question. How can a word that means “properly a age” also mean perpetuity, world, eternal or began without end? Language is meant to be a precise tool that accurately expresses ideas and assigns specific meaning to specific words. If not, then one might suspect that obfuscation is the goal. I strongly believe what Apostle Paul wrote is in play in this instance.

Ephesians 4:14 KJVS
[14] That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The mistranslation of G165&166 in certain verses makes it appear that a eternal fiery torment in hell is in the cards for many that disobey the gospel. But Eph 1:9&10, 1 Ti 4:10&11, indicates otherwise. This is a truth of the scriptures that takes quite some time to see and believe because of the past indoctrination by the major Christian denominations many of us grew up in. This concept of eternal torment is a frequent theme in books, movies and ancient mythologies. Back to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. Below are verses of 2 Th 1:7-9 from a two Literal Translations versions of the Bible.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 YLT
[7] and to you who are troubled — rest with us in the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with messengers of his power, [8] in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ; [9] who shall suffer justice — destruction age-during — from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength,

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 Concordant Literal New Testament
8 in flaming fire, dealing out vengeance to those who are not acquainted with God and those who are not obeying the evangel of our Lord Jesus Christ —
9 who shall incur the justice of eonian extermination from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His strength —

Remember the loss and ruin that the vessels of wrath endure?
The loss is to not take part in the glorious kingdom of God which last for a thousand years. That is the age being referred to in the majority of other Bible versions in which have “everlasting” or “for ever and ever” in them. Which is the double use of G165, and is a superlative used to describe the reign of Jesus Christ for a thousand years. You can see this to be true by context.

Revelation 11:15 KJVS
[15] And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Does our Lord and his Christ reign eternally? Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians makes clear our Lord’s reign comes to a end.

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 KJVS
[24] Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. [25] For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. [26] The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. [27] For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him. [28] And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

A verse in the book of Revelation indicates that the millennium, a term often used when describing the kingdom of God/heaven, last a thousand years, Rev 20:6. Which is not eternal. But the kingdom of God and ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ for a thousand years, is part of the riches of the glory that is mentioned in Ro 9:23 along with being given a glorified body.