Individual Preparation For His Coming Kingdom
by Sang Chul (David) Kim
Chapter Four - Predestination
I. God's Predestination of His Will
1. God Predestines Only Good for Man
2. God's Plan Widened to Include Man's Restoration
3. Man's Restoration is Dependent on Faith
II. God's Predestined Will Includes Responsibility For Man
1. God Predestines Ninety-five Percent (95%), and Man's Responsibility Is Five Percent (5%).
2. What Type of Individual is chosen by God?
a. Five qualifications are necessary
b. There are two requirements a man must meet
III. Orthodox Interpretation of Predestination
1. Romans 8:29-30
2. Judas Iscariot
3. Romans 9:21
4. Romans 9:3.1-13
5. Acts 13:46
God's Predestination of His Will
To predestine means to appoint, or ordain, beforehand by Divine Decree. The Bible shows that what God predestines is His Will, or purpose; His plan concerning all things of creation.
1. God Predestines Only Good for Man
God never predestines evil as some people believe. God's purpose in the creation was only good.
Gen. 1:31 "And God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good."
God did not predestine the misery, suffering and sin that is in this world today. We tend to forget that there is no mention of it in the first chapter of Genesis. It was because of man's fall that evil came into the world. It is man's refusal to accept God's will that brings disaster on man.
Gen. 6:6-7 states: "And it repented the Lord that He made men on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth ... '"
This verse shows that God repented, or was sorry, because man turned away from His love, and rebelled against God. When mankind fell and brought sin, wickedness and misery to his creation, God's heart was saddened.
Neither does God predestine one person to hell and another to heaven. God predestined good for Saul, but Saul became a wicked king, as we see in:
I Sam. 15:11 "It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be King, for he is turned back from following me and hath not performed my commandments.' And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night."
God repented because Saul's heart became evil and he had turned away from God. This is why God eventually made David king. Even though Samuel desperately prayed for King Saul, God could not answer Samuel's request to pardon the wicked King. God predestined all things good for Saul; it was Saul who rebelled.
II Sam. 24:16 "And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil and said to the angel that destroyed the people, 'It is enough; stay now thine hand.'"
God stopped the angel from destroying Jerusalem after He repented. This shows God's merciful heart and long suffering patience with his people.
Jer. 18:10 "If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them."
We see from the above verses that God predestines only good and is grieved by the evil of men on earth. God's divine nature will not rest until man's evil heart is changed. God will be satisfied only when man repents and returns to God.
2. God's Plan Widened to Include Man's Restoration.
We know God's will is perfect and He is grieved because of man's fall from His love. Did man's fall change God's will for man? God wants to fulfill His original plan, the establishment of a perfect sinless world. God's will for man has not changed, but fallen man must be restored to perfection, therefore, God's plan now includes the restoration of man and his circumstances. This plan is called the Consummation of the Restoration Providence.
Isaiah 46:11 "I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass: I have purposed it, I will also do it."
This is God's promise that it shall be done.
God accomplishes His will through man on earth. God must always use man on this earth to accomplish His work on earth.
3. Man's Restoration is Dependent on Faith.
In order to accomplish the restoration of man, God must have a person who will unconditionally place his trust in God. Unfortunately, man has never done this. We have several historical illustrations showing how true this is:
Adam: Had a responsibility to fulfill certain requirements and commands centering in God. How tragically he failed God's trust.
Noah's Family: Was expected to re-establish the beauty and innocence of God's creation. Ham failed God's trust when he felt shame for his father, just as a sense of shame entered Adam after the fall.
Abraham: Was asked to make a special symbolic offering. He failed to act in absolute obedience in one respect and failed God.
Moses: Was predestined to enter Canaan with all of Israel. The people lacked faith and were not allowed to enter. Joshua and Caleb, through faith, did enter taking with them all the young people twenty years of age and under, born in the wilderness.
God sent Elijah the prophet to prepare a way to the Lord.
John the Baptist: Was predestined to complete the mission of Elijah -- as the second advent of Elijah -- lack of faith caused him to fail. (As we find in Chapter III of this book)
We see that a wavering faith shows lack of trust in God. God must have a person whose faith cannot be shaken no matter what God asks him to do.
God's Predestined Will Includes Responsibility for Man
1. God Predestines Ninety-five Percent (95%), and Man's Responsibility Is Five Percent (5%)
God's predestination in relation to man's responsible part in accomplishing God's will can be explained in this way. Man has his part to accomplish which we can call his 5% responsibility, and God performs his part, 95% which is called predestination toward man. God cannot accomplish the Restoration Providence by His Almighty Power because man holds 5% of the responsibility. The Bible gives many references regarding man's responsibility such as:
Matt: 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
Man must ask; man, himself, must seek; and it is man's responsibility to knock. God has already given His 95% predestination. Now, it is up to man to fulfill his portion. In God's plan for the Restoration of mankind, this 5% which is man's responsibility, is always involved.
Rev. 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock ..." only man can open the door.
2. What Type of Individual is Chosen By God?
a. There are five qualifications which are involved in God's decision when God Predestines an-individual for an important mission.
1.) Divine position of a nation. God chose the Jewish nation and no other nation at that time was centered in God.
2.) Deeds of ancestors. (Spiritual heritage) Moses' family was devoted and dedicated to God. When God chose Moses, his sister and brother also fulfilled mighty works for God. Moses was a descendant of Abraham, Jacob and Noah, and this was a key to his being chosen.
3.) Natural endowment. Gifts of teaching, preaching, leadership ability, musical talent, amount of training, and so on. (Moses and Paul were both exceptionally well trained for their mission.)
4.) Accomplishment after birth Education, experience, social or financial accomplishment, and over-all personal contribution of the individual for God's work.
5.) Aptitude of time is a very important factor. (Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Paul and Mary were in the right place at the right time. If they had been born 40 years sooner or later they would have missed their calling.) (All had to be of a certain line or seed -- ancestors -- and of the nation chosen by God.)
b. There are two requirements a man must meet in order to fulfill his 5% responsibility (when God predestines and chooses a man for a mission.)
1.) First requirement is complete obedience to God's will through faith, as the following scriptures show:
Col. 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord."
John 9:6-7 "When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with clay, and said unto him, 'Go, wash in the pool of Siloam' ... He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."
2.) The second requirement is his ability to use wisdom. The Bible clearly shows that wisdom is necessary to accomplish God's will.
Ecc. 10:10 "Wisdom is profitable to direct."
Ecc. 9:16-18 "But I say that wisdom is better than might. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good."
Psalm 51:6 "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart."
Our Lord told many parables emphasizing the use of wisdom the talents, the wise and foolish virgins, faithful and wise servant, etc.
Psalm 14:2 "The Lord looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand (act wisely R.S.V.) and seek God."
Daniel 12:9-10 "He said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.'" (R.S.V.)
Romans 12:3 "For by the grace given to me, I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly then he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him." (R.S.V.)
Obviously, it is God's intention that man use his wisdom concerning the things of God, for he has emphasized and re-emphasized through the Bible the necessity for man to use wisdom.
III. Orthodox Interpretation of Predestination
How do we explain the scriptural verses which are used to support the orthodox belief of predestination? These verses seem to approve orthodox theory, but with a deeper study they give us additional insight into God's predestined will. The verses which appear to damn one soul to Hell and predestine another soul to Heaven, do instead, indicate a special mission for God's Providence of restoring the world.
1. Romans 8:29-30 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of his Son . . ."
According to the orthodox belief, this means that God predestines everything for every man. We say this verse should be interpreted in a different way. God predestines good for every man 'to be conformed to the image of his Son' who was a perfect man, and a perfect son of God.
God chooses, or predestines, according to five conditions for a specific mission for man.
1) Divine position of a nation
2) Deeds of ancestors
3) Natural endowment
4) Accomplishment after birth, and
5) Aptitude of time
Although God's choice is made according to these five conditions, it is made under the premise and anticipation that the person chosen will fulfill his 5% responsibility. God has predestined many men for important missions down through the centuries, but because of man's failure to fulfill the mission, God has often found it necessary to transfer His 95% predestination to another man. Many times men have failed God, and as a consequence did not receive the blessing which God planned for them. By failing they lost God's 95% plus their own 5%.
2. Judas Iscariot
According to the orthodox doctrine, the role of Judas Iscariot was predestined. God did not predestine evil for Judas Iscariot. The true interpretation of predestination, again, is according to man's fulfillment of his 5% responsibility. Judas actually received favor and blessing from Jesus. However, the scripture says, 'Satan entered the mind of Judas Iscariot and he did betray the Christ.' God did not predestine Judas' betrayal.
Matt. 26:24 ". Woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born."
Judas did not have to betray, he chose to betray. Judas rebelled against God and failed both important requirements of his 5% responsibility, by disobedience and lack of wisdom. Judas was controlled by the power of Satan, who also tempted Jesus. It was not the power or the will or an act of God. Another scripture which is misinterpreted is:
3. Romans 9:21 "Hath not the potter power over the clay, to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor."
This does not mean that God actually makes some vessels for dishonor as theologians maintain. It only emphasizes that God has the right to choose those whom he wishes for a certain position or purpose. It is then up to the person or nation who is called, to fulfill the mission, to fulfill their 5% by obedience and wisdom through their faith in God; and it must be according to God's predestined will. Otherwise the plan fails and condemnation falls upon those who have caused it to fail by going against God's will. Paul preached this scripture because in the early church there was jealousy over the positions in the church and some people complained against what they thought was God's unfairness. When we understand God, we see clearly how completely 'fair' He is.
4. Romans 9:11-13 is another scripture given to support predestination according to the orthodox belief.
"For the children being not yet born have done neither good or evil. But that the purpose of God according to election might be fulfilled, not of works., but of him that calleth; It was said unto her, 'The elder shall serve younger' As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
There is deeper meaning here. God's Restoration Providence includes fulfillment of certain things so that God's work may be completed. In this case, God wanted to restore, symbolically, the lost position of Cain and Abel. We know Cain hated Abel and that he slew Abel. God wanted Esau (symbolic of Cain) to love Jacob (symbolic of Abel). Esau fulfilled his mission and did love Jacob and both men received God's blessing. God did not predestine evil for Esau, but chose each man, Esau and Jacob, for a particular mission. It is necessary for each individual to fulfill God's Divine Will. Notice that God's 'love' and 'hate' are different from man's conception of love and hate. God loved Esau dearly but God hated the symbol of Satan represented by Esau's position. Esau restored his position to God through faith and love and wisdom. (Scripture says, 'Even the angels rejoice over one sinner that repenteth'.) The privilege of choice belongs to God who chooses the man or nation best suited to fulfill that specific mission.
5. Acts 13:46 11. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."
Some Christians say that God predestined evil for the Jewish people according to the above verse. Surely this verse does not mean that God predestined Israel to miss God's salvation through Christ. It clearly points out that God wanted to use Israel as his chosen nation. God predestined blessing for the Jewish people; they were the nation chosen to receive the Messiah. God had prepared Israel for many centuries in order that they might receive Jesus when He came. However at the crucial moment, the Jewish Nation failed their 5% responsibility. The people refused to accept and believe in Jesus as the Christ. When the Jewish Nation rejected the Savior and failed to fulfill God's Will, the blessing of the Gospel of Salvation was given to the Gentile Nations -- the Second Israel -- which is Spiritual Israel, or Christianity.
God predestines only good from the beginning. When man fulfills his responsibility on earth then there will be only love, joy, goodness and peace.
1. God predestines His Will or plan concerning all things. God predestines only good but the failure of man to fulfill his 5% responsibility nullifies the promise. When man fell, God set up the Restoration Providence to restore man and the universe. God is restoring man to the original sinless state. (See Isaiah 46:11)
2. Man's complete restoration depends on faith. When God chooses an individual for a mission, that person must have these five qualifications:
1.) Divine position of a nation.
2.) Deeds of ancestors.
3.) Natural endowment (talents and abilities).
4.) Accomplishment after birth (education, etc.).
5.) Aptitude of time.
This last is a very important factor. Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Mary were in the right place at the right time ... a few years sooner or later and they would have missed their calling. With these qualifications man must then meet two requirements to fulfill his 5% responsibility. They are:
1.) Complete obedience to God's Will through faith.
2.) Ability to use his wisdom.
3. The Orthodox interpretation of predestination is that God predestines everything for every man -- both good and evil. The new insight on predestination in relation to man's 5% responsibility, was explained in detail. God predestines only good, from the beginning. When man completes his 5% responsibility there will be the fulfillment of His Will. (Man's 5% of responsibility + 95% God's Predestination = 100%.)
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