Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Are We Predestined?

“And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall heed My ordinances and do them.” Ezekiel 36:27
If you read the verses before and after verse 27 in Ezekiel you will see that our Father prophesies that He will take His people from the heathens. You will read that He will gather them out of every country, clean them from all their filthinesses, take away their stony hearts, and He will cause them to loathe iniquity. Sound likes what Jesus came and accomplished for us doesn't it? Jesus teaches us in John 15:3, 1 John 3:14, Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20, and Colossians 2:20, (there are several other verses, but these will give you a good foundation) that we are now clean and that we have now passed from death to life through Christ.
This Truth is again spoken of by the Holy Spirit through Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:12, “It is a reason for pride and exultation to which our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world [generally] and especially toward you, with devout and pure motives and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God (the unmerited favor and merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, and keeps, strengthens, and increases them in Christian virtues).”
The Word Grace is translated from the Greek Word, Charis, Strong’s 5485. Charis means: of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace. Undeserved favor.
Our Father knows the beginning and the end of everything and He is exerting His influence on our souls. He does this by placing His Spirit within us. There are dozens of scriptures that prove predestination. The Truth is that our Father knew that we would be chosen to become one with Him, or in other words, who would be the Bride of Christ. Our Father knows what His plan is and He causes us, through His Holy Spirit that is within us, to be part of it.
That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me. I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one: I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.” John 17:21-23
To really believe and have peace with predestination, you must know and understand what salvation truly means. Salvation is not us believing in Jesus, so then we get to go to Heaven. Salvation is us being called and chosen by God to become one with Jesus, to be His Bride. Jesus prayed in John 17, that we would all be one with Him, so that the world would believe. Being one with Jesus is what it means to be saved. And because we are now one with Christ, we will be used as His body to allow the world to believe. Salvation is us becoming the instruments of our Father's grace to win the world. 
God would that all men be saved and we are one with His Body, which is Jesus, Who does it. Jesus is in us, we are in Him, and Jesus is in God. We are all perfectly united so that the world may know that our Father loves them every bit as much as He loves Jesus.
Now ask yourself these questions: has God predestined what He is going to do? Doesn’t the Word tell us that we are we now one with Him? Was Jesus predestined? Are we now one with Him? The Word teaches us that we are one with Him. So wouldn’t we have the same predestination that our Lord and Savior has, because we are now flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone, Ephesians 5:30? There is now no separation between us and Jesus. We have been grafted into the Vine of Christ. He is now our Head and we are now His body. We have been crucified with Christ and nevertheless we live, yet it is not us who is alive, it is Christ within us, Galatians 2:20.
“For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” Ephesians 2:10
The Word of our Father proclaims “The paths that our Father prepared for us beforehand.” King David wrote that before he ever was, our Father had already written down all that he was ever going to do, Psalm 139:16. This fits right in with the Truth that Jesus is our Shepherd, He is our Vine, and He is our Head. All three examples used by Jesus to describe Himself, show absolute control of our lives. Doesn't the Shepherd predestines where the sheep will go? Doesn’t the Vine predestinate what fruit will grow on it and when it will grow and doesn't the head predestines what the body will do? It shouldn’t freak people out that our Father knows everything and He has a plan for it. It shouldn’t be a stumbling block to believe that those of us who were chosen, (many are called, yet few are chosen, Matthew 22:14), are part of our Father's plan, if we believe that our Father is in total control of His body.
“We are member of His body, flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bones,” Ephesians 5:30.
Notice that our Father writes here in Ephesians that we are not just a body, as in a body of believers, but that we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. We are the actual physical body of Christ!
“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31.
If a person knows that they have to pay a bill on a certain day, do they prepare for it? If they do, then they are predestining their actions. So if we are our Father's Temple and we are Jesus’ actual flesh, doesn’t it only make sense that our Father would have planned His actions through us? Especially when our Head knows the beginning and the end. 
God’s will is that all men be saved. “Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth.” 1 Timothy 2:4
Our Father has birthed into every man the faith to believe. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath delt every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
Our Father wants us all saved. He has given us all the faith to be saved, yet salvation is not us choosing God, it is God choosing us. The Truth is that many are called to be Jesus' Bride, yet only a few of us are actually chosen to be. The parents choose to have a child, the child doesn’t choose the parents. So since our Father knows the beginning and the end, He knew who He was going to choose and who He wasn’t. 
Before the world even was, our Father knew how He would act through each of us. He will use all of us, whether for righteousness or for unrighteousness. Our Father will cause righteousness to flow through those that He has chosen to be His bride. He predestined His good works to be performed through us. Our Father will also cause unrighteousness to flow through those who He didn't choose to be the Bride. Read about Judas, Pharaoh, Pilate, and Herod and you will see that our Father uses the justified and the unjustified to carry out His will.
“For in this city there actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel, To carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur.” Acts 4:27-28
Our Father had anointed Herod and Pilate to carry out the very purpose of Crucifying Jesus. Our Father clearly knows the future just as He knows the present. He knew the hearts of Pilate and Herod before the world was created and since He did know them, He predestined them to carry out His will. The measure of faith to believe was born into them just as it was born into Peter, John, and the gentile woman who asked for her daughter to be healed. Yet our Father knew who and what they would be, so He used them to carry out His will.
The Bible teaches us that we have been grafted into the Vine. “But if some of the branches were broken off, while you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share the richness [of the root and sap] of the olive tree,” Romans 11:17. 
Who does the grafting, the branch or the gardener? The branch doesn’t look over at the other vine and say, I choose to go over there. The gardener chooses the branch and then grafts it in to the vine. The gardener would want every branch, think of the fruit that could be produced, yet the gardener knows what branches can and can’t be selected. It is the same with our Father.
Consider Jesus’ life, the ultimate predestined life. He was going to be born in a certain place, live a certain life, and die at a certain time and in a certain way. It was spoken of for hundreds of years before it ever happened. So if we don’t freak out that Jesus was predestined, why then do we freak out that we are? Especially when we are now one with Him?
“For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him. And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together)” Colossians 1:16-17
Look at what the Holy Spirit had written here in Colossians: by His intervention and in and for Him do all things exist. Sounds like predestination doesn't it?
“But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased. To reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel), immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone].” Galatians 1:15-16
Paul was called and chosen before he was born. He was chosen to be used by our Father to reveal Jesus to the Gentiles. Once again a very clear scripture that shows us that we are predestined. Just like Jesus was chosen before He was ever born to be our Lord and Savior, our Father set out a specific course and timetable for His life. It’s kinda hard not to predestinate, when our Father knows the beginning and the end, and when all things exist in and for Him. People love to talk about free will, but how can we reconcile that we have a free will, when our Father tells us that all things are happening in Jesus and for Jesus?
“Now He Who has fashioned us [preparing and making us fit] for this very thing is God, Who also has given us the [Holy] Spirit as a guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].” 2 Corinthians 5:5
Our Father is making us fit and preparing us; He is the one Who has fashioned us. Did our Father predestine this? Did He know what He was going to do before the world even was?
Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16
A lot of people say to me, when I speak these verses, that we are just robots then. But let me ask you this, was Jesus a robot? Absolutely not, He was one with God. And that is what salvation is, us being one with our Father through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! So as Jesus is, so are we in this world, 1 John 4:17.
“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23
“John answered, A man can receive nothing [he can claim nothing, he can take unto himself nothing] except as it has been granted to him from heaven. [A man must be content to receive the gift which is given him from heaven; there is no other source.]” John 3:27
Man's steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way?” Proverbs 20:24
“I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Jesus knows the beginning and the end, and only through Him can we do anything and Jesus has a predestined plan. Nothing takes our Lord by surprise.
“Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5
“For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]” Ephesians 1:5
Our Father has destined us, because He knew who He would choose. Our lives were written down before they ever were and our Father destined us, He planned in love for us to be revealed as His children, it’s our Father’s will.
“In Him we also were made [God's] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will,” Ephesians 1:11
“For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].” Romans 8:29-30
Once again we see that our Father knew us before we were and that our Father destined us to be chosen and grafted into Jesus. Our Father, before the world was, called us, justified us, made us righteous, and glorified us through Christ. Read the scriptures in Romans 9 that speak of God being our Potter, they tie right in with these verses.
To believe in predestination one must have faith in the love and wisdom of our Father. Because predestination takes all things totally out of our hands and to believe the Truth takes faith, because man wants to be in control! But the Bible clearly teaches us that our Father knows what is going to happen and that He is in total control. This brings me great peace, because I know that all of the promises of the Bible are in our Fathers control. He is responsible to bring them all to pass in our life's.
But we, brethren beloved by the Lord, ought and are obligated [as those who are in debt] to give thanks always to God for you, because God chose you from the beginning as His firstfruits (first converts) for salvation through the sanctifying work of the [Holy] Spirit and [your] belief in (adherence to, trust in, and reliance on) the Truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
We are clearly shown that our Father chose us. Our Father knows the beginning and the end and the only way that we can say yes to Jesus and believe the Truth is through the power of the Holy Spirit empowering us to. Our Father has a plan and it will be carried out. We are predestined and that should bring you so much peace, because through Christ all things work out for our good! 
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