In this blog we want to discuss how and why God made and gave everything that exists in heaven and on earth, the two sides of the cross and the special grace He alone gives to whom He wishes for His purpose and glory alone. By no means will this be comprehensive, but a general overview of the subjects.
There is only one faith and true doctrine, but many elements and details concerning the one faith that is only found in Christ.
To understand what we are saying, we must start at the beginning of Creation…
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. -Genesis 1:1
Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. -Genesis 1:26-27
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. -Genesis 2:7
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. -Job 33:4
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. -John 1:1-3
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. -Colossians 1:15-17
The one and only God, the Father, in and with His Son, Christ Jesus [the Word], by and through His Holy Spirit made everything that exists from the beginning ’til the end for all eternity – one Holy God revealed in three persons, according to His perfect will.
We see in Colossians 1:16 that Christ made all that is in heaven and all that is on earth visible and invisible, that is, all holy angels and redeemed men [the special grace given and maintained by the Holy Spirit] and all fallen angels and unregenerate men [God withholding special grace at a point of God’s choosing for His purpose].
We see in Genesis 1:2 that it says,
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
You might question why God would make the earth without form and void with darkness covering the face of the deep. Well, the answer to that question may surprise you, because what God was showing us was His grace extended by making the earth, but at the same time, He was withholding the form and purpose of the earth for His purpose and His timing to complete the work. The point was to reveal to us that He had every right to give and every right to withhold what was needed.
In Isaiah 45:7 it says,
I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.
Without God giving or adding the grace needed to the heavens, the earth, the angels, man, animals, plants, trees or any living thing to function, they are useless.
We now want to talk about the darkness in Genesis chapter 1 verse 2, which is the same word darkness in the Septuagint LXX that is in Isaiah 45:7 and interestingly, this word is also used in John 3:19,
And this is the condemnation [the judgement], that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
So, we see that Jesus is referring to the very beginning of Creation.
In Genesis 1:3-4 it says,
Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
Just as the word for darkness in Genesis 1:2, Isaiah 45:7 and John 3:19 is the same in the Greek, the word for light in Genesis 1:3, Isaiah 45:7 and John 3:19 is the same in the Greek, as well. The reason that’s important is because what the Lord was saying to us was from the very beginning of Creation, He had revealed those that are His and those that are not His according to His selection for His purpose and His glory.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:5, Paul points this out, as well:
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
God formed darkness, so that He could reveal light and in the same way, He allowed angels and man to fall, so that He might reveal His light and grace, which comes to us through Christ.
In John 1:4-5 it says,
In Him [Christ] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend [overcome] it.
Now that we’ve established God as Creator and Controller of all things, we want to establish that He is also the Giver of all that is good.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. -James 1:17
We see in James 1:17 that every good and perfect gift comes from above.
We want to take a minute and stress at this point God’s immense and eternal love for all of His Creation: every single bit of it, all the cosmos and everything that exists for His glory and we can establish this in John 3:16,
For God so loved the world [cosmos, universe] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We can’t stress enough that GOD the FATHER GAVE and the reasons that God gave His Son are found all over scripture:
Romans 3:26 says,
to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
2 Peter 1:3 says,
as His divine power has GIVEN to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.
And if we go back to John 3:17-18, we get a clearer picture why God sent His Son into the world,
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned [in the light]; but he who does not believe is condemned already [in the darkness], because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
We feel that we’ve established the graciousness of God and His gift found in His Son, but now we want to embark on a topic that is entirely misunderstood in the false assembly: the reason Christ lived and died and rose.
Jesus Christ died for God.
We see in 1 John 2:2,
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
The word propitiation means appeasement or satisfaction; the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross satisfied the demand of God’s holiness for the punishment of sin, so Jesus satisfied God on our behalf, but understand that the purpose of Christ was to glorify God, even if we reap the benefits.
We want to talk a little about this topic, because there seems to be a great misunderstanding. On one hand, we hear people saying that Christ only died for the elect and on the other hand, we hear people saying that Christ died for all and one’s free will saves them when one chooses God.
The scripture clearly teaches that the work of Christ appeased God, therefore abolishing sin and in 1 John 2:2, John makes it clear that it was not only for the elect, but for the whole world. The confusion comes in because people think Christ died for man alone and it really has nothing to do with man at all, yet has everything to do with glorifying God the Father and His will.
We have to go back and see that God sent His Son and John 4:34 says,
Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’
and John 5:37 says,
And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.
The way He testified of the Son is found in Matthew 3:17,
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
John 10:17-18 says,
‘Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.’
Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up [crucify] the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.’
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
We want you to notice that ‘He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him’, so the way this works is: God gave His only Son who became the once and for all sin offering [But this Man (Christ), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God -Hebrews 10:12] and through Christ’s sacrifice we have access to the Father, because of the Son [Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:14-16].
We’ve established the reason that Christ came, died and rose was for God’s will alone and that we are the beneficiaries of that by faith through grace according to the Holy Spirit, but understand there are two sides to the cross: God made the light, but He also formed the darkness.
In Mark 15:27 it says,
With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left.
And in Luke 23:39-43 it says,
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‘If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’ But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’
On one hand, there was the one blaspheming Him and on the other hand, there was the one recognizing that He was God. The one that recognized this was not a better man, in fact, there was no difference between the two men that hung on either side of Jesus on the cross for they were both robbers and criminals. What made the difference was the special grace given to the one robber through the Holy Spirit for the glory of God.
We see this from the very beginning in Cain and Abel, as it says in Genesis 4:4-5,
Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
We see that Abel’s sacrifice pleased God and we have further insight on that in Hebrews 11:4,
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
Both offered a sacrifice, but Abel offered it according to the plan and will of God and Cain offered it from the ground which was cursed because of sin, which in turn revealed the will of man and also reveals that anything man can bring on his own accord is cursed without Christ, the sacrifice.
What we are saying is that true repentance, faith and grace are only given by God and are in the sacrifice of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
In 2 Timothy 4:1 it says,
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.
This scripture clearly illustrates the two sides of the cross. The living symbolize those that are in Christ and the dead are all those that will be judged by Christ. The living are justified according to the work of Christ, because special grace was given them and the dead are damned according to the work of Christ on the cross, because special grace was withheld from them.
We had mentioned Cain earlier and as we see in 1 John 3:12,
not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
Notice the distinction made that Abel was righteous and Cain was evil, yet we know according to Romans 3:10,
As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one’
So, we have to go back to Romans 9 to see why God called Abel righteous and how he was able to offer the right sacrifice,
For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. -Romans 9:15-16
We want to further drive the point by talking about Christ’s blood sacrifice in 1 John 1:7,
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
And Colossians 1:13-14,
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
And we see in Acts 5:28 the High Priest speaking to Peter and the apostles,
saying, ‘Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!’ But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
And in the case of Judas – Matthew 27:4 says,
saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’
What we’re seeing is that the blood of Christ washes and cleanses all those that are in Christ from sin via special grace given and on the other hand, the blood of Christ is retained on and is damning the ones whom God withheld special grace given causing them to reject Him.
All this was done for the glory and honor of God!
We also want to quote something from Polycarp, an early church father and direct disciple of John, in his letter to the Philippians:
For you know that you have been saved by a gracious gift – not from works but by the will of God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, bind up your loose robes and serve as God’s slaves in reverential fear and truth, abandoning futile reasoning and the error that deceives many, and believing in the one who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and gave him glory and a throne at his right hand. Everything in heaven and on earth is subject to him; everything that breathes will serve him; he is coming as a judge of the living and the dead; and God will hold those who disobey him accountable for his blood.
It’s also interesting to note what it says in the book of Revelation chapter 6 verse 10,
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’
Later on we see that the blood of all who were slain on the earth is found on the harlot in Revelation 18:24,
And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.
When God withholds His special grace and rejects, these are rendered useless and made for destruction, but when God gives and extends His special grace, these are honored and glorified in Him.
The number one point that we are making is this:
All that is, all that was and all that will ever be is made for God and His glory alone. His purpose will stand and He will perform all His pleasure.
We hope we’ve given you many things to think on and study and we also ask for all those of the true remnant to pray for us, as we are also praying for you and we know that God’s will will be done.