[Calvary Chapel] 1997-10-25 - God's Sovereignty and Man's Choice

The Comprehensive Study Series, Part 14

Continuing on with our comprehensive Bible study … I found some of the insights in my studies for this devotional rather interesting. It is so true that we can read the Bible over and over -and still learn new things. I pray that the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob may also open your eyes to wondrous things as you journey through His Holy Word. Amen

God reigns over the universe in righteousness, holiness and truth.

Psalm 103: 19-22 (1901 ASV) - Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens; And his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless Jehovah, ye his angels, That are mighty in strength, that fulfil his word, Hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all ye his hosts, Ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless Jehovah, all ye his works, In all places of his dominion: Bless Jehovah, O my soul.

In the day and time we live -or the "church age" we see that the headquarters of all authority, power and rule are in Heaven where God's throne is located. Heaven has directions as we do on earth -- North, South, East and West. East and West have no point of origin. You or I can travel East or West and never arrive at a place called East or a place called West, but you can arrive at a place called North or South by traveling in those directions. On earth if a person travels far enough he can arrive at the North or South pole. God's throne in heaven is undoubtedly in the North. Look at this verse from the Psalmist:

Psalm 75: 5-7(1901 ASV) -Lift not up your horn on high; Speak not with a stiff neck. For neither from the east, nor from the west, Nor yet from the south, cometh lifting up. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and lifteth up another.

From the above Psalm we see that deliverance does not come from the East nor does it come from the West, or from the South - so it must come from the North. Also when Satan decided to revolt against God, he challenged God's throne, which is located in the North.

Isaiah 14:12-14 (1901 ASV ) -How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations! And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

We have seen governments overturned and principalities overturned, yet God's throne stands forever God is Supreme.

Psalm 135: 5-14 (1901 ASV) - For I know that Jehovah is great, And that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever Jehovah pleased, that hath he done, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps; Who causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who maketh lightnings for the rain; Who bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries; Who smote the first-born of Egypt, Both of man and beast; Who sent signs and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, Upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants; Who smote many nations, And slew mighty kings, Sihon king of the Amorites, And Og king of Bashan, And all the kingdoms of Canaan, And gave their land for a heritage, A heritage unto Israel his people. Thy name, O Jehovah, endureth for ever; Thy memorial name, O Jehovah, throughout all generations. For Jehovah will judge his people, And repent himself concerning his servants.

God is above all in gods in every conceivable sphere of the universe. He does as He pleases, but always that which is honorable, just and merciful. He is in charge of the wind, the rain and all the physical elements.

Psalm 146:5-10 ( 1901 ASV) -Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in Jehovah his God: Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that in them is; Who keepeth truth for ever; Who executeth justice for the oppressed; Who giveth food to the hungry. Jehovah looseth the prisoners; Jehovah openeth the eyes of the blind; Jehovah raiseth up them that are bowed down; Jehovah loveth the righteous; Jehovah preserveth the sojourners; He upholdeth the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. Jehovah will reign for ever, Thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye Jehovah.

During these days when dictators and other rulers are trying to force their will and plans upon the nations and peoples of the world, we would do well to share the message in the following verses:

Psalm 33: 8-19 (1901 ASV ) - There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety; Neither doth he deliver any by his great power. Behold, the eye of Jehovah is upon them that fear him, Upon them that hope in his lovingkindness; To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. God calls all the world to stand in awe of Him because he created all things. Also, He brings the counsel of the nations to naught and their thoughts are as nothing. All the world should know that the nation of Israel mentioned in verse 12 is a blessed and chosen nation and should be treated as such.

God proved that He was the all wise chemist and great architect when He created the universe. All nations that boast of power, dignity and majesty are but a drop in the bucket (so to speak) and accounted as small dust of the balance, according to the following passage:

Isaiah 40: 12 - 17 (1901 ASV) - Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of Jehovah, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance: Behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing, and vanity.

A view of the throne of God before which are assembled angelic beings is found in:

I Kings 22: 19-23 (1901 ASV) - And Micaiah said, Therefore hear thou the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And Jehovah said, Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner; and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before Jehovah, and said, I will entice him. And Jehovah said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt entice him, and shalt prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, Jehovah hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets; and Jehovah hath spoken evil concerning thee.

We see form these verses there was a meeting in heaven of God and all the Angels. They are gathered together to decide by what means Ahab King of Israel (Northern Kingdom) should be led to his destruction at Ramoth-gilead. Ahab was a very wicked King and extremely self-centered one that turned his back on God and worshipped idols and was only interested in his own pleasures and possessions. His wife Jezebel was one of the most wicked women in the Bible. God saw fit to call a halt to Ahab's reign over His people. Ahab was to meet his doom at Ramoth-gilead.

This must have been a very important meeting, and it shows how God rules and uses His created beings to carry out His desires. We get a glimpse at what happened in the case of Ahab. Two groups of angels are seen here, those on the right and those on the left. -- the good and faithful angels on the right and the evil rebellious angels, who chose to follow Satan, on God's left. When Ahab's case came before them, several methods were suggested. God decided to permit the plan of one of the evil angels to be used. This plan was to allow a lying spirit to speak through the mouths of all of Ahab's prophets. These prophets I guess were similar to "cabinet advisors" -- hehehe <G> in our country today. This evil spirit "volunteered" for the pure love of deceit - NOT because he wished to do the will of God. God permitted this to happen. He used an evil angel to do an evil job to an evil man. We see that this lying spirit had to get God's permission to do this. God often uses the work of evil ones to accomplish His aims. The affairs of this world are directed from Heaven - and all prophecy is to be fulfilled literally as set forth in the Bible. The means by which they are to be fulfilled may not be known, but we can rest assured that God uses all His created beings to fulfill His decrees.

God created man a free moral agent. This fact is clearly brought out in the account of mans stay in the garden of Eden. He had free and full access to the fruit of the trees , not only to the tree of life but to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If God did not want man to exercise a freedom of his will He could have placed the cherubim and the flaming sword to turn Adam back from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil . He did this at the tree of life after Adam had fallen to keep him from living in his sinful condition forever. To counteract this God has given all a choice. Each must make his choice as he faces this truth.

John 3:16-17 (1901 ASV) -For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.

By believing, the choice is made for everlasting life. God's only purpose in sending His son into the world is so everyone might have life.

John 5:24 (1901 ASV) - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.

It is interesting to me to see in God's government, provisions for his created beings and also a freedom of choice. By choosing to reject God's provisions, man remains in a fallen state that ultimately separates him from God and everything that is good and desirable for eternity.

John 7:16-17 (1901 ASV) - Jesus therefore answered them and said, My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me.

Again as we see from this passage, God leaves it up to the individuals' choices -- whether or not they can understand the true teaching of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Actually no person has an excuse to follow any of the false teachings that are so numerous today. Those that believe these teachings are looking to man -- and not to God -- and are deceiving themselves. Next week I hope to bring you my research on "MAN CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD" may the Lord bless you guide you keep you & watch over you. Amen

In His Service,