IN-WORKING THE ALL
"-the One Who is operating the universe in accord with the counsel of His will."-
The original word for "operating" is one meaning in-working. "Universe" is translated from Greek words meaning the-all. The counsel of His will is not necessarily the same as His will. God's will includes only the good; His counsel includes everything and every act. Counsel is advice. God is His own advisor.
This truth is developed gradually. In Matt. 11:25, God hides the gospel from some and reveals it to others. The darkness of mind that keeps some from understanding the gospel is God's in-working as much as is the light in other minds. Was it necessary that this should have been so? If all had believed the teachings of Christ He would not have been crucified, and God's plan of salvation would have failed. Can we not see here that in this case evil was as necessary as good? -darkness as necessary as light?
In John 6:37,44, we see that only those whom the Father is giving the Son can come to Him. It was necessary that Christ have some true followers, and just as necessary that He have opposers. God in-worked so as to produce both.
In John 12:39,40, we are informed that, because Isaiah had said, "He has blinded their eyes and calloused their heart, lest they may be perceiving with their eyes and should be apprehending with their heart, and turn about and I should be healing them"-they could not believe. God's purpose demanded their unbelief. Therefore, instead of faith, He in-worked unbelief. How far from the truth we are, when we think a lack of faith is playing havoc with God's plans!
In Acts 2:23 Peter tells his congregation that Christ was given up by the specific counsel and foreknowledge of God, and some time later, while in prayer, the out-called of Israel said that when Pontius Pilate, Herod, the nations and the people of Israel were arrayed against the Christ they were doing what God's hand and counsel predestined to occur. See Acts 4:27,28. It was no act of wickedness which God could not prevent, which caused the death of His Son. It was wickedness, but it was predestinated and in-worked, by God, Himself. This is clearly a case of the predestination of wickedness.
"Predestinate" means to designate before hand. Paul's first use of the word is found in 1 Cor. 2:27: "We are speaking God's wisdom in a secret, which has been concealed, which God predestinates before the eons for our glory." This is an example of the predestination of good. The secret mentioned in this passage is made known in Ephesians and Colossians, and is for the glory of the out-called which is the body of Christ. Our glory is not something that comes by accident; it is predestinated by God, before the eons.
The next time Paul uses "predestination" is in Rom. 8:29, where the out-called are said to be predestinated to be conformed to the image of God's Son. This, like the passage in 1 Cor., is predestination of good.
God's handling of all humanity is shown in Rom. 11:32: "For God locks all up together in stubbornness, that He may be merciful to all." "Stubbornness" means unpersuadableness. They not only do not believe; they cannot be persuaded to believe. God has no use, as yet, for a believing human family; He needs a stubborn family. Therefore He in-worked the stubbornness. "Religious" leaders think a believing world would fit nicely into God's plans at present. Therefore they are desperately trying to bring it about. But this would upset His plans, and make many prophecies untrue. His program would be destroyed. Stubbornness fits His plans, and stubborn they will remain, for the time. When belief will work in harmony with His program, He in-works faith. This stubbornness is not that all might be endlessly condemned; it is that God may be merciful to all.
In Eph. 1:5, we see that God's chosen ones are predestinated to the place of a son, and in verse 11 we find them predestinated to a place in the celestial administration of the complement of the eras. This has reference to God's purpose concerning the out-called which is the body of Christ. Again this is predestination of good.
The first 14 verses of this chapter are rich, indeed. Paul wrote them plainly. Why did he not insist that we realize them? Here is introduced a new element. Not only must God in-work other things, He must in-work realization of truth, even in the saints. Therefore, after telling the truth of the faith which relates to us, he prays that God may give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in its realization, the eyes of our hearts being enlightened for us to perceive it. Many saints have no idea, much less realization, of Ephesians truth, for the simple reason that God has given them darkness instead of light on the matter. He is acting on the counsel of His will when He in-works this darkness. If all saints had this realization the churches would be left to those who are mere professors. This would upset the plans of God, Who has decreed that the churches shall not become synagogues of Satan, until after the out-called ones are taken to heaven.
In Phil. 2:13, after giving an impressive exhortation, Paul tells us that when even the saints obey it is because God is in-working them to will and to work for the sake of His delight. Do you see one obeying the gospel? God is in-working the willing and the working. When He purposes to take delight in the conduct of one of His saints He in-works in him for that purpose.
Why does He not always in-work in them to this end? In this is shown His greatness. We are subjected to many things that are unpleasant to us. God is too great to subject us to unpleasant things, and not subject Himself to the same. Perhaps ninety percent of what occurs displeases God. But He in-works it, just the same. It would not be far from the truth to say that the greater part of the conduct of His saints is displeasing to Him. But He in-works it. When He will take delight in the conduct of one, He in-works conduct that delights Him.
In Col.1:10 we find that for exhortation to take effect, God must cause it to do so . Therefore Paul entreats, not the saints only, but God, that their walk may be pleasing to Him. Only God can cause them to so walk. He has ordered exhortations, and when it pleases Him to do so, He uses these to cause saints to walk in a pleasing way. If anyone is not walking in this manner, it is because God has not caused him to do so.
Future events are clearly mapped out in God's mind. Nothing can keep them from occurring. In the next administration there is to be great afflictions, there is to be a worldwide confederation of nations, there is to be a world dictator and many shall worship the slanderer and the wild beast. If the churches could do what they are trying to do-take the world for Christ-this program would be completely upset. But it is not to be upset. May we be able to rest in God, when we see the deepening darkness that point to the great affliction just ahead. His purpose is that His saints shall be taken into the heavens before that awfully dark time arrives.
A phrase was coined a few years ago, which says "God's attitude toward good is causative, and His attitude toward evil is permissive." But the word ENERGEO, in-work, is used of the operation of the universe, (Eph. 1:11), just as it is used concerning the obedient saints, (Phil. 2:13). PROORIZO, predestinate, is used concerning those who demanded the crucifixion of the Christ, (the greatest wickedness ever committed), just as it is used for His saints. KLEIO, lock, is used in connection with the stubbornness of all, just as it is used in Un. 20:3, concerning the locking of the slanderer in the abyss. The scriptures say just as unmistakably that God locks all in stubbornness as that the messenger shall lock the slanderer in the abyss.
I've been having The Messenger printed so cheaply that the printers could not afford to work at it if they had anything else to do. This was not satisfactory. I am paying more for it now, and must have prompt renewals. If you see an X on your paper or wrapper, it means your subscription is out. Please send your quarter at once, If you can give another quarter, to help along, please send it, also. The income is hardly sufficient, unless I could collect it all promptly. Donations are needful.
I have decided to not use the word "church," when referring to the out-called. "Church" is a modern word that means exactly what "synagogue" means. I use the word "out-called."
Remember the X means I want your renewal at once.
Are you interested in Universal Reconciliation? Remember we do not have to support the elaborate church organizations that others have. We have only a few preachers, and fewer publications. Will you not pay your subscription and donate something, besides? I wish you would write me the following: "During 1935, I will send you $1.00-25 cents every 3 months, beginning in January. This is a gift."