Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Divine Drama Part 3, Predestination

In the mid 1980s I remember Ed Smith, who was then assistant pastor to Barry Bourne, Birmingham, England congregation, coming back from sabbatical in Pasadena, and announcing with some delight that the Council of Elders, whoever were those awful men, had concluded that they didn't know when God decided to call his elect.  Well, in retrospect, it is not surprising to me that they didn't know, as none of them were true ministers of Christ.  I also remember Carl McNair and Colin Adair preaching the same heresy.  Carl in what was laughingly called a sermon, stated that: "God saw something in the character of Jacob, that he didn't see in Esau, and that is why he choose Jacob over Esau." 

Well, after that heretical statement, I wrote to Carl pointing out that he was preaching salvation by works, rather than by grace.  For when the Chosen Vessel was inspired to explain the allegory of Rebecca's pregnancy, and its significance to the doctrine of grace, the narrative in parenthesis is as follows: (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth:) It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger"(Rom.9:11-12).

Of course, the calling or choosing of Jacob was not decided when his mother was pregnant.  During the pregnancy it was revealed to her that Jacob would be given the birthright, even though he wasn't the first born; but the decision was made in eternity, in accordance with God's foreknowledge.  And God made it clear to the Chosen Vessel, that the choice had nothing to do with how good Jacob would become or how wicked Esau might turned out to be.  Hence the words in parenthesis.

Yet, the so-called Council of Elders, probably led by Dr Hoeh and Dr Meredith, taught heresy to a host of hireling ministers, who couldn't tell their left hand from their right.  And those heresies were passed on to docile congregations, who didn't search the Scriptures daily, to see whether those things were so.  Of course, the hireling ministry were all blinded by power and money.  Yet, God says: "I will give you pastors according to my heart, that will feed you with knowledge and understanding"(Jer.3:15).  I wonder if any of the hirelings understand the profound meaning of the phrase, "according to my heart?" And Jesus also told his Apostles: "When he, the spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth"(John 16:13).  How come that these men were led by a spirit, that guided them into heresy?

Anyway, the eternal decision is revealed thus: "For whom he foreknow, he also did predestinate...Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called:"(Rom. 8:29-30).  Of course, it should be obvious that God also foreknew Esau, unless someone is of the perverse opinion that God was ignorant of Esau's birth and destiny.  Esau was made from the same lump of clay as Jacob, as they were twins in the same womb.  But Esau was created as a "vessel of wrath, fitted for destruction, and Jacob a vessel of mercy, whom he had afore prepared unto glory(Rom.9: 21-23)

Now it should be obvious to anyone whose carnality has not completely divest them of all spiritual understanding, that the vast majority of people who were and are members of The Worldwide Church of God were not called by God, and that was primarily true of those that were ordained ministers, without having the faintest idea of the integration, role and function of the ministry within the body of Christ.  The ministerial hirelings, in particular, are described thus:, "For they are certain men crept in unawares, who were of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men..."(Jude 4); 2 Pet.2:1), (Gal.2:4).  Like Judas, they were ordained by God to betray his people, so that they could be condemned.

However, despite my letter to Carl pointing out that Jacob was not chosen because of his good works, Carl replied saying,  "I am standing by what I said." Well, his death was certain and imminent. The same fate befell Colin Adair, three months after he wrote to me saying he also stood by what he said.

To be continued

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