It is the purpose of God as declared by the apostle Paul. The predestination of God is according to his foreknowledge of all things which come to pass. It is judicial in effect and declarative in prophecy, telling when, how and to what purpose and end the declared events shall come to pass in time and in eternity. Predestination, therefore, is not only the purpose of God, but a declaration of that purpose to its determined end. In this sense the doctrine of the predestination of all things is a determined principle in the teachings of the Spirit in divine revelation by the prophets who foretold the things that should come to pass; and that, because the Lord had spoken it. The word of God therefore was the foundation of their faith and the confirmation of their hope, both concerning good to come, and the assurance of the certainty of the evils threatened against the wicked. The old prophets expressed the assurance of their faith in the word of God which they declared, saying, We believe, and therefore we speak. Thus we see that the immutable counsel and purpose of God in and through all things was the ground of their assurance of the fulfillment of all the promises and threatenings of God in the Old Testament Scriptures; and this is equally true in the inspired declarations of the apostles in the New Testament Scriptures. In confirmation of this truth Paul testifies, saying, “We also believe, and therefore speak.” This one testimony is sufficient reference to establish the same fundamental principle in the New Testament of divine predestination as a doctrine of God revealed in the Bible. To deny this is to deny the God of the Bible, and to relegate the truth of revelation to the shades of darkness, and remove the hope of the gospel to the regions of uncertainty and shame.
But again, let us review predestination as a decree, declaring the will and purpose of God in all things, times and events, whatsoever. Let us understand, if possible, what the word implies, and the ground it covers in the economy of God, the sovereign Ruler of all. First, I would say the doctrine is judicial in effect, and determinate to the end. To prove this let us refer the subject to the beginning of time in the garden of Eden, and apply it to the fall of man, with the curse of death upon him, according to the law of God. Passing by the woman for brevity, I will say that the Lord God said unto Adam, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Then to the serpent he said, “Thou art cursed above all cattle.” And also, The seed of the woman shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. I simply name these points to bring out a connection without the use of much time or space. Now what do we find here, and in connection with it? First we find that man has fallen into sin and death; we find Satan, the father of lies, as the agent of all evil; we find him cursed of God, and doomed to destruction, as the embodied essence of all evil; we find that God has intercepted him in his work of destruction, bounded his rise, determined his course, declared his destiny, and determined his end to be destruction by the seed of the woman. What is this but the predestination of God concerning good and evil?
But let us halt and examine the means which God ordained to accomplish the end decreed by him, who is the Judge of heaven and earth, and who is the Author and Finisher of all his works, determined and known to him before the foundation of the world. We ask, How was it foreordained that his predestination should be accomplished upon the devil, the essence of all evil? We will carry the inquiry from the beginning in the garden through the prophets of the Old Testament to the New Testament. First, it is declared of Jesus that he came into the world to destroy the works of the devil. Here we have it fully stated that he came in his Father’s name to execute his will in destroying the works of the devil, who is the efficient cause of all sin and transgression.
We called the predestination of God “declarative judgment,” we will call the work of Jesus “executive judgment.” Now we reach the conclusion that what God declared should be done, which is predestination, Jesus declared that he had come to execute, and so also Peter declared at the day of Pentecost in opening the gospel to the Jews, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Here is a full declaration of Peter, by the Spirit, of the fulfillment of the word of the Lord, spoken to the serpent in Eden, saying, The seed of the woman shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. So we see that what God declared of old should be done was accomplished in the end by his Son Jesus Christ; he finished the work that the Father gave him to do. The Jews, with wicked hands, did to him what God determined before should be done, and these sayings included both good and evil. By these few quotations from the New Testament Scriptures the doctrine of predestination is fully sustained, as taught all through the Bible, in many other passages not here referred to, and they answer fully the inquiry at the head of this article. We may understand also in what manner it is true, and by whom declared, and by whom the decree was executed. We find that what God had purposed beforehand, Jesus performed in time, to the salvation of his people and the destruction of death, and of him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
I have not discussed the element of conditionalities or of unconditionalities in this analysis, but will say, if conditions in the predestination of God be admitted, the discussion ends in the negative and the word predestination means nothing, and then faith and hope in God’s word of promise ends in the uncertainties of chance, without establishment, as was true of the old covenant of works, which was taken out of the way to establish the new covenant on better promises. See the epistle to the Hebrews. This brings us to the hope of the gospel by a new and living way which he has opened for us by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, having by his blood obtained eternal redemption for us.
Your brother in Christ,
I. N. NEWKIRK.
Waitsburo, Wash., March 28, 1906.
Signs Of The Times
Volume 74, No. 9
May 1, 1906