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Written by J.S. Newman   

PREDESTINATION--CONTINUED.

In this chapter I will succinctly notice some of the Scriptures relied upon to prove that the Lord has predestinated all the wicked acts of men and devils.

Proverbs 16:4 reads: "The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." If the "all things" of the text includes sin and wickedness, then sin and wickedness did not come by man, for God made it, and that, too, for Himself. Such an idea would make God the author of sin and wickedness, unless God could make a thing and not be its author, or maker. The "all things" made for Himself in the text were made by the Lord according to His predestination. If this text proves that God purposed sin and wickedness, then it proves that God made sin and wickedness. Sin and wickedness is no part of the makeup of man. Man, in all his parts, or original make-up or creation, was a complete man before he sinned hence, God did not make a sinful, wicked man, but a good man; and by the disobedience of the good man God made, he became a sinner.

Amos 3:6 reads thus: "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?" If the evil of the text means sin and unrighteousness, and the purpose of God embraces it, then the Lord did it. "Shall there be evil in the city and the Lord hath not done it?" It will not do to say that the Lord purposed the evil mentioned in the text but did not do it, for the text says shall there be evil in the city and the Lord hath NOT DONE IT? God is not the author of sin, for sin is not a creature, but a transgression of law.

Job 2:10 is relied upon to prove the predestination of all things. It reads: "But he (Job) said unto her (his wife) Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips." If the evil of the text means sin and wickedness, then good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness have precisely the same fountain, and of course come from the same source. Such an idea would unavoidably make God the author of sin. The evil of the text evidently means afflictions. ,lob was patient in his sore afflictions and did not sin with his lips. Job was a good man, none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man; one that feared God and eschewed evil. V. 3. The "boils" satan put upon Job was the evil, or afflictions that Job received of God, and not sin and wickedness. God did not afflict Job because he had violated His law; in this Job was a type of Jesus. God did not afflict His Son because He was a sinner. Job said: "He breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause." Job 9: 17. "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." Job 1: 22.

Isaiah 45:7 is also introduced to establish the universal predestination of God. It reads: "I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil: t the Lord dc) all these things." If darkness and evil in the text signifies sin and wickedness, and the text proves that God purposed sin and wickedness, then the inevitable conclusion is, "I the Lord do all these things." The Lord fully explains the real meaning of the text in subduing nations by Cyrus, also in frustrating the tokens of liars, and making diviners mad, and turning wise men backward, and also in making their knowledge foolish. Isa. 44: 25. "That sayeth of Cyrus, he is My shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure." Isa. 44: 28. It was the pleasure of the Lord to say of Cyrus: "Whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut." Isa. 45: 1. The Lord went before Cyrus and made the crooked places straight, and broke in pieces the gates of brass and cut asunder the bars of iron. The Lord also gave Cyrus the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places. Isaiah informs us that God raised up Cyrus: "Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? He gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last (Cyrus); I am He." Isa. 41: 2, 3, 4. Now let us read the text: "I form light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things," through Cyrus. Isaiah 46: 10, 11 are parallel verses with Isaiah 45: 7, and read, "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: Yea, I have spoken it, I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." What Cyrus did was right; he executed the counsel of God in subduing nations and thus freed the Lord's people. God had told of this long before; see Num. 23: 19. "I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it." If sin and wickedness are the things not yet done mentioned in the text, then the Lord did the things mentioned in the text. "I have purposed it, I will also do it," which to my mind would make God the author of sin and wickedness. "Remember this and shew yourselves men; bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors." Isa. 46: 8.

Isaiah 14:24 is also relied upon to prove the predestination of all things. "The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand." The next verse plainly explains the verse just quoted. It says: "That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him underfoot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?"

Psalms 33:11 is also introduced as a text supporting the predestination of all things, and reads: "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations." This text plainly teaches that the counsel of God is immutable and that His thoughts standeth forever to all generations.

Job 23:13 is also made to serve in support of the same doctrine. "But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth." If this text proves that God predestinated sin, then it also proves that God desired it, and what He desireth "even that He doeth." If sin was the thing God desired and what He desireth even that He doeth, then God sinned, for that is what He desired and what He did. The next verse explains this text: "For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with Him. Therefore am I troubled at His presence: when I consider I am afraid of Him. For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me." This is what the Lord's soul desireth, "that is appointed for me," the thing the Lord "performeth," the thing "even that He doeth." Paul preached the same doctrine. He says: "That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto." 1 Thess. 3: 3. "In all their afflictions He was afflicted." Isa. 63: 9.

"And many such things are with Him." Job 23: 14.

1 Kings 22:20-23 is also referred to for the purpose of demonstrating that God has purposed all the wickedness of according to this view of the matter, God's wills are at variance, they antagonize each other

We are told that God's eternal will is always obeyed, which if true, then His second, or revealed will can only be obeyed as often as it was decreed in His secret will. So Ahab could not have obeyed God's revealed, or written will, because God had secretly decreed for him to violate it. God Himself could not have kept Ahab from doing any or all of the wickedness he did without violating, or causing some one else to vitiate, His eternal purpose in Christ. If it is argued that Ahab's conduct was embraced in the eternal will, or purpose of God, and God's eternal will cannot be violated, then God efficiently and causatively purposed for Ahab to do as he did. If the eternal purpose of God is in Christ, as Paul affirms, and that eternal purpose embraces righteousness and unrighteousness, then the two opposites have the same Predestinator, and are unchangeably fixed in the same eternal purpose; hence it must be true that a good fountain can send forth good and evil at the same time.

Judges 9:23 is likewise brought in to try to prove that God has purposed sin. It reads: "Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech." It will be remembered that the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. Judges 8: 28. "And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baal, and made Baalberith their god." Judges 8: 33. Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother's brethren and there he entered into a conspiracy with all the men of Shechem, "And their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said he is our brother." Judges 9: 3. "And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him." V. 4. Peter in speaking of this very thing says: "But these as natural brute beasts, made to be taken (the Lord hath made all things, yea even the wicked for the day of evil) and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.

Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness." 2 Pet. 2: 12-15. Abimelech "beguiled unstable souls" who were "vain and light persons" and loved the wages of unrighteousness, and went into his father's house and slew or killed his brethren threescore and ten upon one stone. After this occurred the men of Shechem and all the house of Milo, gathered together and made Abimelech king, verse 6, which was told Jotham, who said: "If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day," (who riot in the day, said Peter) "then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Milo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Milo, and devour Abimelech." Judges 9: 19, 20. Jotham the brother of Abimelech ran away because he was afraid of his brother. "Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shoehorn; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech." The reason for this is plainly given in the 24th verse, "That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren." Thus we see that when Satan is divided against himself he cannot stand. The fire came out from Abimelech and devoured the men of Shechem and the house of Milo, and a fire came out from the men of Shechem and devoured Abimelech. After this Abimelech went to Thebez and took the city. But there was a strong tower in the city and thither fled all the women, "and got them up to the top of the tower. And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. And a certain woman east a piece of millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to break his skull. Then Abimelech said to his armor-bearer draw thy sword and slay me, that men say not of me, a woman slew me. The young man thrust Abimelech through and he died. Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father in slaying his seventy brethren: and all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads; and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal." Judges 9: 36, 57. Instead of the text proving the absolute predestination of all things, it shows God's absolute sovereignty over all things and His absolute way in disposing of wicked men. Hosea in speaking of wicked men said: "And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face." Hosea 7: 2.

The wickedness of Abimelech and the men of Shechem was before the face of the Lord, and the Lord had purposed to condemn those wicked persons for their wickedness. "Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." Psalms 11: 6. God put a snare, or an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem that aided Abimelech in killing his seventy brethren. This was the Lord's chosen and purposed way of destroying the house of Ahab and the house of Milo. This is the people, and kind of people "who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men." Jude 1: 4. Ahab and his house were ungodly; Abimelech, the men of Shechem, and the house of Milo were also ungodly; it was not their ungodliness that was appointed, but ungodly men were ordained to this condemnation.

Shimei's cursing David is frequently referred to as proof that God purposed all things. It will be remembered that David had Uriah put to death, "but the thing David had done displeased the Lord." 2 Samuel 11: 27. If the thing David "had done" was purposed, then the Lord purposed that He Himself should be displeased, which evidently means that God was displeased with what He had purposed to be. When David had Uriah killed he despised the commandment of the Lord, which, if purposed, David had to despise the commandment of the Lord and thus displease the Lord. If David had kept the command of God he would have pleased the Lord, but David, if all things were purposed, could not please the Lord as God had purposed that David should displease Him.

David killed Uriah with the sword of the children of Ammon. "Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hitite to be thy wife. Thus sayeth the Lord, behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of the sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun." 2 Sam. 12: 9-12. Read chapter 16, verse 22, and you will see the fulfillment of the above text, which was a part of the evil brought upon David for his sin in having Uriah put to death. When Shimei cursed David he did not do so by using profane language, for here is what he said: "And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial." 2 Sam. 16: 7. David felt that it was just that he should be thus cursed, or condemned by Shimei. He said, "And let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him." 2 Samuel 16: 11. Notwithstanding David was a child of God he did wrong and gave great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, and while the Lord "had put away his sin," yet David must be rebuked in the sight of all Israel. David afterwards said: "Who can understand His errors? cleanse me from secret faults." Ps. 19: 22.

If the Lord purposed for David to kill Uriah, then the Lord wanted Uriah murdered, and when the Lord got what He wanted and predestinated to be, the Lord was displeased and great occasion was given for the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme the Lord.

Psalms 105:25 is relied upon to prove the predestination of all things: "He turned their heart to hate His people, to deal subtly with His servants." God's people were in Egypt at the time the Lord turned the heart of Pharaoh and his people to hate His people. This text plainly shows that the Lord let, did not hinder the new king from setting taskmasters over them to afflict them with burdens; thus the new king dealt subtly with the Lord's people. Finally the Lord overthrew the king and drowned his people in the Red Sea; thus God raised up Pharaoh that He might shew forth His power in him. The text beautifully portrays God's sovereignty, and His righteous hatred for sin.

The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ is said to be positive evidence that God has purposed all the wicked acts of men: "For of a truth against thy Holy Child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before TO BE DONE." Acts 4: 27, 28.

The Scripture just quoted has reference to just one thing, which was the crucifixion of the Holy Child Jesus; and when Jesus was crucified that was the end of the counsel and determination of God relative to the matter. If the text means that God predestinated all the wicked acts of men and devils, then the parties whose names are mentioned in the mob met ,to do all the wicked acts of men and devils. If the mob did what it met to do, that is conclusive evidence that the wickedness of men since that time is no part of what the hand and counsel of God determined before to be done. No man with the Bible in his hand can prove that the hand and counsel of God, as mentioned in the text, includes more or less than was done on that occasion. When Jesus was crucified the thing was done that the hand and counsel of God determined before to be done. The time had fully come for Jesus to be cut off. "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself," Dan. 9: 26. This is what the Lord determined before hand to be done and when Jesus was cut off out of the land of the living that was the end, or fulfillment of the "whatsoever" God determined before to be done. It was certainly the purpose of God for His Son to die as He did. He died for sinners, according to the predestination of God. His death could not have been avoided and the Scriptures be true. Man had sinned and Jesus must die, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. There was no other way for a poor sinner to be redeemed to God. The death of Jesus was God's ordained way of reconciling sinners to Himself. The crucifixion of Jesus is the most remarkable token of pure heavenly love for sinners I ever read, or heard of. The mother of Jesus and His aunt stood near the dying Jesus, and Jesus in all the tenderness of His heart said: "Woman behold thy Son."

Brethren, let us follow after the things that make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify another. The doctrine of the absolute predestination of all things good and evil has been, and is now a source of strife and confusion. Let us not preach a doctrine that confuses and alienates the Lord's dear children. Better it would be for all who believe the doctrine to not preach it, or contend for it publicly; hast thou faith, have it to thyself. It is not right for me to eat meat if it causes my brother to offend. It is wrong to offend one of these little ones who believe in Jesus. If we love Jesus as we should, and each other, we will willingly abandon that which is an offence to the children of God. To preach that God knows all things offends no one; to preach that Jesus has all power is not offensive. To preach that our God is a Sovereign and doeth all things well is a most wholesome truth and is not offensive t° the poor and afflicted people of God. To preach that our blessed God predestinated to save poor sinners from all their sins is good and profitable to men. Such preaching is meat indeed and drink indeed. It is not the safest and the best for the children of God to positively affirm that a certain thing is true when the Bible does not plainly say so, Let us take the stones out of the way, and not put something in the way of some dear child of God.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.