THE HOUSE OF GOD - part 13
Christ is the Saviour of those who believe His Gospel. The saved believe, the lost do not believe. The Lord Jesus is the Saviour of His own House. His love is exclusively for His people. “…Christ…loved the Church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). “…having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (Jn. 13:1). He will never leave them, or forsake them, for His love for them is eternal. “…He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). Husbands are directed by the Word of God to love their wives in the same exclusive manner as Christ loves His Church, His House. Such a love forsakes all others, for it is monogamous. It is very personal and utterly faithful. According to those who do not obey God’s Gospel, God has no right to choose His Bride, and devote Himself exclusively to Her. All who are part of the House of God believe God’s Gospel, and no other. Believing the Gospel of the true God is not what gets people saved, but is the evidence that they are saved, and that Christ is their Saviour and their High Priest providing atonement for their sins. The impetus for salvation is not a person’s believing, for a person’s believing is, and can only be, due to the same grace which has saved them. The Lord Jesus is “…the Author and Finisher of our faith…” (Heb. 12:2). The faith with which a Christian believes is not his own, but was given him by God. Believing is, therefore, not an independent act on the part of man, but is only possible because of God. Christians are they “Who by Him do believe in God…” (1 Pet. 1:21). Salvation comes only from God as a free gift, never as a reward for deeds done, thus proving that our believing is the result of God’s grace, and not through our own power, or will. Salvation is by the grace of God, and so is not due to anything a man has done, or can do, otherwise salvation would no longer be by grace (see Rom. 11:6). Grace is the very antithesis of works, therefore, none can be saved by what they do, but only by what God has done. Believing can only come as the first fruit of salvation, and is not that which produces salvation. Believing is not the tree which bears the fruit of salvation, but it is the tree of the grace of God whose branches provide salvation that produces the fruit of believing. The impetus for salvation is the will, purpose and grace of God, and believing is the fruit of that salvation. A husband and wife choose to have a child. The child is not that which produced the decision, but is the result, the outcome, the fruit of the decision, the will of the parents. Christ is the Mediator between God and His people: “…He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; Called of God an High Priest…” (Heb. 5:9,10). All those who obey His Gospel are those over whom Christ is High Priest. They obey Him, not so that He will become their High Priest, but because He is their High Priest and Saviour, having made atonement for their sins “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross” (Col. 2:14). Christ has paved the way for the people God has given Him to believe in Him, and obey His Gospel, having “…quickened together…having forgiven (them) all trespasses” (Col. 2:13).
The office of high priest as revealed in the Old Testament was established to make atoning sacrifice for the people of God. “And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins…” (Lev. 16:34). Sacrifice was always made for God’s predetermined people, and was never designed, or purposed for everyone of every nation leaving each individual to determine their eternal destiny by some mythical free will choice, by their acceptance of what was done on their behalf. The Scriptures know absolutely nothing of such a sacrifice, for no high priest of God was ever directed to offer a sacrifice, the success of which was dependent upon the people for whom it was made. Sacrifice was always something between the high priest and God, and made on the behalf of His people. The high priest performed the sacrifice on behalf of God’s people, and if it was offered according to God’s specifications, it was accepted by God. Sacrifice, under the direction of God, was never made for those who would choose, but for those who had already been chosen. Of great significance is the fact that the Scriptures say that Christ "...was made like unto His brethren..." (Heb. 2:17). Christ was the Substitute for the people God had given Him. Again we see the undeniable, special and exclusive affinity between Christ and those whom God has given Him. Christ is the Redeemer of HIS brethren, HIS people, HIS seed: all those whom God has given Him, which is why "...He is not ashamed to call them (those that are sanctified) brethren" (Heb. 2:11). "The brotherhood of Christ with us was voluntarily assumed, and was for the purpose of redeeming His brethren." Christ was made like unto His brethren, He is their High Priest, He is their Redeemer, He is their Saviour “…for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21 cf. Isa. 53:8). Christ’s people, His brethren, are the adopted sons of God (see Eph. 1:5; Heb. 2:17), and not every individual in the entire world. Adoption is intrinsically about choosing the child, or children, you have elected to love, and not about loving and choosing every child there is, and then hoping that some might accept your love. Neither is adoption about the child choosing you, otherwise he would be the adopter and you the adoptee. This immediately brings to mind the ridiculous teaching which insists upon man’s choosing God. Such a doctrine makes man the adopter, and God merely the helpless adoptee. Moreover, God has “…predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:5). The choosing, the adoption, is done according to the will of the one who is choosing, adopting, and never according to the will of the one being chosen, or adopted. It is the chooser who initiates the entire event. It is the chooser, or the adopter, who selects whom he will love according to his own will, and no one else’s. There are no protest marches outside adoption agencies where people go to choose a child, etc., no outraged news presenters, or front page headlines in newspapers which decry the adoption of one, and not another. Yet, man, by nature, is outraged at the thought of God’s choosing those whom He wills to adopt and love forever. Go figure.
Christ the Saviour did not lay down His life for anyone other than His sheep, His kinsmen, those whom He foreknew, and with whom He had affinity and kinship, for they had been adopted by the Father, and given to Him by the Father, and were His to grant eternal life to. “…Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2 cf. Jn. 3:35; 6:37; 10:29; 1 Jn. 5:11). “All men, in distinction from angels; and these as fallen, as weak, frail, sinful, and mortal creatures; men of every nation, Jew or Gentile, and of every character, elect or non-elect: not but that He has also a power over angels; nor is His power over men limited to their ‘flesh’ or bodies, but reaches to their spirits or souls also: which power is a governing, disposing, and judicial one; He rules them with a sceptre of Righteousness, He disposes of them in providence as He pleases, and will judge them at the last day: and this is a power that is ‘given’ Him by His Father….eternal life is a gift, and not owing to the merits of men; indeed there is no merit in men's works, no, not in the best; for these are previously due to God, cannot be profitable to him, if done aright, are not done in the creature's strength, but through the grace of God, and bear no proportion to eternal life; which is in Christ's gift: not only the promise of it is in Him, but that itself; it is put into His hands, and He came into this world, that His people might have it; He has procured it, and has removed what lay in the way of their enjoyment of it; He has a right to bestow it, and their right unto it comes by Him, through His blood and Righteousness: the persons on whom He confers this gift, are not all men, but such as the Father in the everlasting covenant has given to Him, as His people and portion, His spouse and children, His jewels and His treasure, to be saved and enjoyed by Him; whom He has chosen and preserved in Him, and made His care and charge; to these, and every one of these, Christ gives this great blessing; nor shalt any of them come short of it...”
The fact that God has given His people to His Son lends a further dimension to the oft-quoted John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” One question which is never asked in relation to this, perhaps most often quoted—yet misunderstood, and misused—Scripture of all time, is, to whom did the Father give His precious Son? Has God given His Son, as most have been led to understand, to the world and everyone in it? How can this be when Christ does not even pray for the world? God gives all the people of the world to His Son, but does not direct Him to pray for them all? Doesn’t it stand to Biblical reason that the Father gave His Son to the people He had given to Jesus? Of course it does. The Father has given His people to His Son, and given His Son to them. Christ died for them, He prays and intercedes for them, and they shall all come to Him as He said they would: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37). According to this verse of Scripture, if God had given every person ever born, past, present and future, to His Son, then all would be saved. Seeing that not all are saved, it becomes patently obvious that the Father has not given all to His Son, but only those whom He has chosen. If the Father has not given all to His Son, it stands to Biblical reason that God has not given His Son for all. When you pass on a gift to someone you are also giving them to the gift. You are bringing the two together. The Father has given some, those whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world, to His Son, and, logically, given His Son to them as their Saviour, their Benefactor, and He is High Priest over these people. What absurdity is this, which the majority of professing Christians have embraced, to believe that God gives some to His Son, but His Son to all? Salvation is not determined by those who ‘choose God’, but by God Who has chosen, before the foundation of the world, those whom He would give unto His Son. No man can appoint himself to salvation, for this is God’s prerogative. The saved of God are all appointed by God to obtain salvation by their Lord and High Priest Jesus Christ Who died for them (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10). Christ said: “I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11). The Good Shepherd also said: “…I lay down My life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:15). Jesus laid down His life for His sheep, for He was, and will forever remain, their Shepherd. The very name ‘JESUS’ means "He will save His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). It does not mean ‘He hopes to save everybody from their sins’ or ‘He will attempt to save everybody from their sins’, or a combination of these three, but the very definite and specific HE WILL save HIS PEOPLE from THEIR sins. If you do not believe this, and everything that conforms with this bottom line statement of what the Saviour would do, you do not believe on His name. “This is His commandment, That we should believe ON THE NAME of His Son Jesus Christ...” (1 Jn. 3:23 cf. Jn. 1:12). To believe on the name of Jesus is to acknowledge Him to be the Saviour Who would save His people from their sins, and not the potential saviour who would attempt to save every individual from their sins.
You cannot separate Who Jesus is from what He has done, for His very name declares that He is the Saviour Who would die for His people in order to save them from their sins. The Work which Christ has performed identifies His Person, and the Person of Christ reveals that only He could have performed the work of atonement and redemption. Christ died as the sinless Substitute for His people, becoming a curse for them, and imputing His Righteousness unto them. Christ prayed only for these people because they were the people He was to die for, God’s chosen people whom God had predestinated and ordained to believe His Gospel (see Acts 13:48). God wanted these people to be saved which is why He gave them to His Son. The doctrine which claims that Christ died for all makes a mockery of God having given a predestinated people to His Son. All that the Father gave unto the Son WILL come to the Son because His blood was shed for them, and His Righteousness is imputed unto them. This destroys the entire concept of universal atonement in the blink of an eye. Jesus said “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; FOR THEY ARE THINE. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them” (Jn. 17:9,10). Everything, from Christ’s praying to Christ’s atoning death and resurrection to the glorification of Christ, was for, and is linked exclusively to, the chosen people of God that were given to the Son. The ones Christ died for were God’s chosen people: “…for the transgression of MY people was He stricken” (Isa. 53:8 cf. Rom. 4:24,25). This is the reality of what the New Testament teaches, and is perfectly aligned with the teachings of the Old Testament, its types, shadows and prophecies of what the coming Messiah would do, for He is the body and substance of those types, and with what the New Testament says He did do. The types of the Old Testament, including the high priest who was a type of the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, Who was to come, “…furnish an infallible rule by which can be tested any man’s interpretation of the New Testament Scriptures concerning the Atonement. He who denies the penal and vicarious nature of Christ’s Death, repudiates the clear testimony of the types; he who sets aside the efficacy of Christ’s Sacrifice by reducing it to a merely ‘making possible’ the salvation does likewise, FOR THE TYPES KNOW NOTHING OF AN INEFFECTUAL SACRIFICE.” If God had never directed an ineffectual sacrifice to take place in the Old Testament, do you honestly think He would start by ordering Christ to offer an ineffectual sacrifice?
Those for whom Christ would die were all called "...His seed..." (Isa. 53:10), prior to His dying for them. The Book of Isaiah was written approximately 700 years before the Messiah was born. Christ did not die for those who would one day choose to become His Seed, but for those who were His Seed to begin with. Christ did not come from the seed of a Jewish man, but from the seed of God, His Word (see Matt. 1:20; Lk. 1:35). Likewise, God’s people are not made so from the seed of men, but also from the seed, or Word, of God (see Jn. 1:13; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23). These are the children of Promise, the seed of Abraham, the brethren of Christ. Becoming a Christian is not about a person’s choosing God, but being blessed with the realisation that God has chosen them (see Jn. 15:19; Jn. 17:16). Christ, the Shepherd, did not die for anyone other than His sheep, for it is with THEM that He has affinity, it is with THEM He is related, it is THEY whom He loves, the Father has given THEM to His Son, and He was made like unto THEM. He was to be THEIR Substitute, and THEIR Redeemer, and all THEIR sins were washed away by His blood. Those for whom Christ died are called His brethren. The entire atonement was a family affair: Christ dying for His people, His brethren, His Seed who were the adopted children given Him by His Father to make atonement for, and grant His Righteousness, and eternal life, to. “…that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2). This verse alone plays utter havoc with the false interpretation of John 3:16 which asserts that the word whosoever somehow gives people license to believe that Christ died for everyone, that God gave His Son to everyone, and that salvation comes only when one utilizes their free will choice of Him. The word whosoever in John 3:16 is not a word upon which we are to build an entire gospel around, or use in support of the Arminian lie, but simply means ‘as many as’, or ‘however many’, or literally ‘all the believing ones’, Jew or Gentile. Likewise, the word whosoever as used in Romans 10 does not mean that anyone can believe the Gospel based on their decision to do so, it means that whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, if they believe the Gospel of God they will be saved: “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:12,13). “The word ‘whosoever’ just designates individual people and its definition is defined by its usage.” It does not mean that if a person does ‘this’ then ‘that’ will happen, but simply that those who do this, or will do this, are the saved, or, as the case may be, the unsaved. It is a declaration that those who believe will be saved, and should in no way be construed as an offer that any by their own free-will can accept. How is the Arminian interpretation of John 3:16 to be reconciled with the following Scripture where Jesus, speaking to the Father concerning those that were given to Him, says: “I in THEM, and Thou in Me, that THEY may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast LOVED THEM, as Thou hast loved Me” (Jn. 17:23)? Here Jesus is saying that the unity between the Father and the Son, and all those who were of the Father and the Son, would be evidence to the world that the Father has loved only those whom He has given to the Son—those who believed, and those who would believe, in Jesus. Again, we see here a distinction made between those that are of the world, and those whom the Father has loved. If world did mean every individual, in John 3:16, this verse in John 17 would have been a prime opportunity for Jesus to confirm that popular supposition. Yet Christ says NOTHING in John 17:23 of the Father’s love for the world, but only FOR THOSE WHOM HE HAS GIVEN TO HIS SON. If God had loved every individual in the world, then why would He not have given every one of them to His Son to die for? Why would He not have entrusted everyone in the world to His Son if He loved them all? Key to a proper Biblical understanding of John 3:16 is the following Scripture: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 Jn. 3:16 cf. 1 Jn. 4:9-11). In other words, Christ has laid down His life for the brethren, and so should we. The apostle is here writing to fellow Christians, and shows how God’s love for His people is connected to Christ laying down His life for His brethren. “Eternal life is a gift, and not owing to the merits of men; indeed there is no merit in men's works, no, not in the best; for these are previously due to God, cannot be profitable to him, if done aright, are not done in the creature's strength, but through the grace of God, and bear no proportion to eternal life; which is in Christ's gift: not only the promise of it is in Him, but that itself; it is put into His hands, and He came into this world, that His people might have it; He has procured it, and has removed what lay in the way of their enjoyment of it; He has a right to bestow it, and their right unto it comes by Him, through His blood and Righteousness: the persons on whom He confers this gift, are not all men, but such as the Father in the everlasting covenant has given to Him, as His people and portion, His spouse and children, His jewels and His treasure (see Psa. 83:3), to be saved and enjoyed by Him; whom He has chosen and preserved in Him (see Col. 3:3), and made His care and charge; to these, and every one of these, Christ gives this great blessing; nor shalt any of them come short of it; and it is for the sake of this, that all creatures and things, all power in Heaven and in earth, are given to Him.” Christ said: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:27; cf. Jn. 10:14; 18:37). Christ is the Shepherd of His sheep, those who were given, entrusted, to Him. The Father gave to the Son all those whom He had chosen before the foundation of the world, in order for the Son to provide salvation for them; to obtain eternal redemption for the ones the Father chose to be the brethren of His Son.
“…I know that my Redeemer liveth…” (Job 19:25). “...the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our Redeemer (‘Goel’), the word here used, our near kinsman, and so our kinsman Redeemer, (‘the word means to redeem, receive or buy back’), to whom the right of redemption belonged; and Who was spoken of by all the holy prophets, from the beginning of the world, as the Redeemer of His people, Who should redeem them from all their sins (see Isa. 53); from the law, its curses and condemnation; from Satan, and his principalities and powers; from death and hell, and everlasting destruction” (see Lev. 25:48ff; Lev. 25:25; Ruth 4:4,6). “Wherefore, in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17; cf. Heb. 2:16). The sins of which people was He to make reconciliation for? The whole world? Was this to be a universal reconciliation? No! for Jesus does not even pray for the people of the world, those who are not His brethren, so how could He have ever sacrificed His very life for them? To what end would Christ’s death have been for people who were not chosen and given unto Him? How could Christ have died on the behalf of people for whom He did not even pray, and whom God had not given Him? Christ’s brethren are those whom God has adopted into His family, the ones who are born of His Gospel. The apostle Paul stated “…in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel” (1 Cor. 4:15 cf. 1 Pet. 1:23,25). Christ’s brethren are of the House over which Christ is the High Priest (see Heb. 10:21; Heb. 3:6). They are not made up of those who do not obey God’s Gospel, for they are not the children of God’s Wrath, but the children of His love and grace who do obey the Gospel of God. Christ was made like unto “The adopted sons of God, who were brethren before Christ's incarnation, being from all eternity predestinated to the adoption of children: Christ's incarnation was in time, and after that many of the brethren existed; and it was only for their sakes that He assumed human nature; and therefore it was proper He should be like them in that nature…” It would make no Scriptural sense at all to say that Christ was made like unto His brethren so that He could then be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of all mankind. Christ was made like unto His brethren so that He would be a merciful and faithful High Priest toward them, thus making reconciliation for the sins of all those whom God chose to be the brethren of His Son. The Lord Jesus says “…I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee. And again, I will put My trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me” (Heb. 2:12,13 cf. Psa. 22:22). Christ aligns Himself, He identifies Himself only with His brethren whom the Father has given Him, those who are of His House of which He is the High Priest (see Heb. 4:14; 10:21). Jesus died for His people, His sheep, called “…the Church of the Living God…” (1 Tim. 3:15) filled only with His brethren who are the pillar and ground of His Gospel, and whom He was made like unto. Christ has affinity only with them, His heirs, His kindred, His Household. He calls them all His sheep, His brethren. The word reconciliation means propitiation, or satisfaction. Christ’s atoning work was successfully completed and completely accepted by the Father in making full atonement for the sins of His chosen ones, His people.
Christ does not have an intimate, familial affinity with those who are of the world, for they were not chosen by God to be His brethren, His people, of whom Christ states: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn. 17:16 cf. Jn. 15:19). Those who are of the world do not believe, and will, consequently, die in their sins (see Jn. 8:23,24). The apostle John says to his fellow believers “Ye are of God, little children…” (1 Jn. 4:4). There is no relationship at all between Christ and the goats, as those of the world are called (see Matt. 25), other than His being their Judge (see Jn. 5:22), and the ones whom Christ will exact vengeance upon, who did not obey His Gospel (see 2 Thess. 1:7-9). “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God” (Heb. 10:31). Christ’s loving, spiritual relationship is with His Bride, the Church of God, and is demonstrated by Christ’s having died exclusively for it: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also LOVED THE CHURCH, and GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT” (Eph. 5:25 cf. Jn. 10:11). How did Christ love the Church? By giving Himself for it. By sacrificing Himself to God exclusively for, and on the behalf of, His Bride. By becoming a curse for all those He died for. By taking away their sins and imputing His Righteousness to them. The theme of Ephesians 5:25 is particular and exclusive love: the kind of love a man is commanded to have toward his wife. This is the exact same love which Christ has for His Bride, His Church. Christ does not love anyone outside of His Church, and a man is to love no one outside of his marriage to his wife. People love to quote “For God so loved the world…” (Jn. 3:16), falsely believing that this is a direct reference to God loving humanity as a whole. However, if the word ‘world’ here is referring to all of mankind, then how does one explain Christ’s exclusive love for the Church, who are the ones God has called out of the world? And why, for that matter, did God bother to call any out of the world if His love is for everyone that is in the world? Are we to conclude that God the Son loved the Church, but God the Father loved everyone? Obviously this is not what the Scriptures are teaching. In the English translation of the two Scriptures only one has an immediate and clear meaning which can have no other logical interpretation. Christ’s love was exclusively for the people whom God had chosen out of the world, and given to Him. John 3:16 can never be properly interpreted outside the context of, and without, the content of Ephesians 5:25.
Christ loved the Church means Christ loved, and laid down His precious life for, the ones whom God has called out of the world, and entrusted to His Son. This Scripture alone completely unravels the spurious teaching that God loves everyone. If God loves everyone why did His Son only die, and pray, for those God called out of the world, and not everyone in the world? (see Jn. 17:9 cf. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). If God loved everyone why then does God the Holy Spirit make intercession only “…for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:27 cf. Rom. 8:26,34). Only when a person is freed from the biased traditions of men, and their mistaken understanding of the word world in the Holy Scriptures, can they then begin to come to terms with the fact that there are at least fourteen variations of the word ‘kosmos’ contained in the Gospel of John, and how it is used. The term world in the Word of God is often used as a reference to the world of the ungodly, the godly, Gentiles or Jews. Context is the key to understanding which world is referred to in any given verse. Christ loved the Church because they were God’s chosen people from before the foundation of the world, and entrusted to the Son by the Father. God’s love has always been for His chosen ones, and never for those that are of the world, never for those whom He has not chosen, but who claim to have chosen Him (see Matt. 7:23). Christ says: “I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine” (Jn. 10:14). All those whom Christ knows, of whom He is their Shepherd, know Him. Those whom He does not know, cannot know Him, and do not believe in His Gospel, for they abide not in His doctrine. “…The Lord knoweth them that are His…” (2 Tim. 2:19 cf. 1 Pet. 1:2). Again, if you are known by God you are His, but if the Lord does not know you, you cannot be His. Time and again we have proven throughout this book that to know God, or rather, to be known of Him, is evidenced by one’s believing God’s Gospel, and no other. Those who claim to know Him, who profess to be Christian, do not know the true God if they do not obey His Gospel. The ones who have not been chosen unto salvation shall remain the children of Wrath. That there is no injustice in this is due to the fact that all of humanity deserves to remain children of God’s Wrath, for they are all sinners deserving eternal punishment for having sinned against God. It is the will of God that He be merciful to some. It is His right, for He is the Creator of all, and the One Who has been offended. “Hath not the potter power over the clay…” (Rom. 9:21 cf. Isa. 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Jer. 18:6), how much more God Who made the clay. “Hath not the potter power over the clay....By the power the potter has over the clay, to shape it in what form he pleases, and out of it to make what vessels he pleases, and for what purposes he thinks fit, which will be most to his own advantage, the apostle expresses the sovereign and unlimited power which God has over His creatures; the passages referred to, are Isaiah 64:8, in which God is represented as the potter, and men as clay in His hands; now if the potter has such power over the clay which he did not make, only has made a purchase of, or has it in his possession, much more has God power over the clay Who has created the clay, to appoint out of it persons to different uses and purposes, for His own glory, as He sees fit; even '…of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour' (Rom. 9:21)." There is no injustice in God having predestined some to eternal fire, for they are fully deserving of it “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23). God’s saving only some, far from warranting the false charge of injustice made by those who do not know God, is a display of God’s goodness. God said to Moses: “I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex. 33:19). Thus, Christ’s love is for His sheep, the chosen sheep of God whom He has rightly chosen to show His mercy toward, and who all hear His voice, and follow Him. The Lord nourishes and cherishes His Church, for they are His people: “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church: For we are members of His Body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Eph. 5:29,30).
“For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him THE SEED OF ABRAHAM. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be MADE LIKE UNTO HIS BRETHREN, that He might be a merciful and faithful HIGH PRIEST in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:16,17; cf. Heb. 3:1,2). Again, which people was Christ to be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God? HIS PEOPLE! HIS BRETHREN! THE SEED OF ABRAHAM! Christ was not made like unto anyone who was not of His brethren, who was not of the seed of Abraham. It is toward His brethren, His own people, with whom Christ has affinity, and intimacy and family relations. HE WAS MADE LIKE UNTO THEM, HE PRAYED FOR THEM AND HE DIED FOR THEM. He was not made like the ungodly, the children of the world, but like unto His brethren, the children of the Promise. He did not pray for the world which demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that Christ did not make sacrifice for the sins of the world, but only for the sins of His brethren, for He was made like unto them, and He was their High Priest. There is no Scripture in God’s Word which contradicts these truths. The only contradiction to these truths exists exclusively in the minds of the lost. This whole theme of Christ’s exclusive relationship to, and with, His brethren, is seen throughout the pages of the Old and New Testaments where God’s high priest was directed by God to make atonement exclusively for His people, and never for the people of the world. The Lord did not choose all nations, but only one nation, one people: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you…” (Deut. 7:6-8). God has always chosen the ones who would be His people. “Israel was a type or shadow of what God had in mind. Paul and the New Testament writers teach emphatically that Israel’s purpose in God’s plan was temporary, and was intended to give way to ‘better things’. Israel was the shadow, the Church is the body (see Col. 2:16).”
Atonement was not made for every nation, but God directed His high priest “...to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins...” (Lev. 16:34 cf. Ex. 28:38). God had directed that a sacrifice be made only for Israel, and no other nation, that only the sins of His people, the ones whom He loved, the ones whom He had chosen, be atoned for. It is important to note that God is under no obligation to do anything other than what He wills to do. Moreover, God is under no obligation to do anything for anyone other than those He has elected to be merciful toward. All have sinned and abandoned God, and there are none, by nature, who seek Him. God cannot, and has not, promised anything to anyone He has not done anything for! (see Rom. 4:16). There is nothing in the Scriptures which substantiates the teaching that God EVER ordered even a single sacrifice for all the people in the entire world! Nor is there any mention, whatsoever, that any provision has been made by way of atonement, the granting of eternal life, etc., for those who are appointed to God’s Wrath. This is extremely compelling, for what the high priest of the Old Testament would do, and for whom he would do it, was a figure, or representation of what God’s great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ Who was to come, would do (see Heb. 8:1-5 cf. Col. 2:17; Heb. 10:1; Lev. 16:14,15; Ex. 30:10; Heb. 9:1-28). Christ did what His shadow, the Old Testament high priest, had done—He made sacrifice for God’s people alone. God did not entrust all the people of the world to His Son, but only those whom He had chosen before the foundation of the world. God’s adopted children have not only been chosen out of the physical nation of Israel, they have also been chosen out of every nation. Commensurately, Christ’s Sacrifice was not made for all the people of every nation, but exclusively for God’s people chosen from, or out of, every nation, including the nation of Israel “…for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Rom. 9:6). It was “…prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation (Israel); And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (Jn. 11:51,52). “…Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood OUT OF every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9; cf. Gen. 12:3; Matt. 26:28; Gal. 3:8,14). Revelation 13:8 speaks of “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Notice the connection in these verses between the words die, gather together, and redeemed. How would the children of God be gathered together? BY JESUS CHRIST DYING FOR THEM! Who are the children of God that will be gathered together? THE ONES CHRIST HAS REDEEMED! Christ’s death was NOT for every individual ever born, but for THE CHILDREN OF GOD!! Christ has redeemed, He has gathered together, THE CHILDREN OF GOD for whom He died, and not every individual ever born. Christ’s blood was not shed for all, but for many, for the remission of their sins. Jesus said, “…this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). If Christ had died for everyone, then, according to Biblical logic, He would have obtained eternal redemption for everyone. Seeing that “…without shedding of blood there is no remission…” (Heb. 9:22), it stands to Biblical reason that where there is the shedding of blood in Holy sacrifice there IS remission of sins. Therefore, it unquestionably follows that all the sins of all the people Christ died for have been remitted, proving absolutely that Christ’s death was not for all, for not all are saved. The successful remission of sins was always determined by the shedding of blood, not by the people for whom it was shed. In other words, whomsoever the blood of Christ was shed on the behalf of, they are the ones whose sins have been remitted. The fact that billions die in unbelief is proof positive that Christ’s blood could not have been shed for all. Based on the shedding of blood for the remission of their sins, the sins and iniquities of all those for whom Christ died will no more be remembered by Almighty God (see Heb. 10:17,18).
Successful remission of sins was never dependent on those for whom blood was shed, for it was the shedding of blood, the sacrifice itself, which successfully remitted all the sins of all those it was made for. Remission of sins, as with the grace of God, is totally dependent upon the will of God. It is transparently obvious that for whomever blood was shed in sacrifice it was for the express purpose of ensuring the remission of their sins. Just as the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, of your last will and testament must be predetermined by you, a sacrificial, redeeming death must have predetermined beneficiaries (see Heb. 9:15-17). God has, before the foundation of the world, nominated, or called, as beneficiaries of Christ’s sacrifice, all His elect children whom He would gather together out of all nations. These are the only ones God has predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (see Rom. 8:29,30). The Father’s giving, or entrusting, all these pre-elected ones to His Son is confirmation that it is they for whom His Son would die, redeem and gather together out of all nations. It is for whom the death of the sacrifice was made, that determines whose sins shall be remitted. The shedding of blood was always made on the behalf of those whom God had chosen. The patent fingerprints of Satan are all over the false gospels of men which say that Christ has died for all, and that individuals are now required to make a free will choice as to whether they will accept what has been done on their behalf, or whether they will decline the offer. Such gospels have everything in reverse. The Biblical reality is that God has chosen, elected a people from before the foundation of the world to be His people (see Eph. 1:1-7). He has given these elect ones to His Son (Jn. 17:2). Christ the Son has laid down His life, shed His blood, in sacrifice for those the Father gave Him (see Jn. 10:15; Eph. 5:25,26), thereby having obtained eternal redemption for them all (see Heb. 9:12). Each one of these people will, at the appointed time, repent and believe the Gospel of God (see Acts 13:48). They shall be saved, and kept saved, eternally by the power of God (see 1 Pet. 1:3-5). Atonement is for the ones God has elected unto salvation. Election, atonement, salvation. Not, atonement for all, then salvation for those who choose Him. According to John 11, and Revelation 5 not every kindred, not every tongue and not all people of every nation were redeemed. All the people in the entire world do not make up the people whom Christ has redeemed, but only those who were taken OUT OF every kindred, tongue, people and nation. Clearly these are the ones whom the Father had chosen before the foundation of the world and given to His Son. These people who are rejoicing and praising God for their salvation, in Revelation 5, are not all the people from every nation, nor are they all the people from one nation, but all those who have been chosen out of every nation to be God’s people, and His Son’s brethren. These people refer to themselves in the very next verse of Revelation 5, as “…kings and priests…” (Rev. 5:10 cf. 1 Pet. 2:9). Christ did not die for all the sins of all people, for then all would be saved. Christ Jesus the Lord has died for all the sins of some people, the ones chosen by the Father and given to the Son. Redemption is only through the death of Christ. Addressing the saints at Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:3-7). Clearly, those whose sins have been forgiven, who have redemption through the blood of Christ are those whom God has chosen before the foundation of the world, predestinating them to be His children by Christ. Of great significance, also, is the apostle Peter’s description of these people “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual House, an holy priesthood…” (1 Pet. 2:5). And also “…ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people….Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God…” (1 Pet. 2:9,10).
Sacrifice, according to the Will and Word of God, has always been made for the chosen people of God. “…the idea of a universal Fatherhood of God, in virtue of which He loves all men with a redemptive love, is entirely foreign to Scripture. And if God is a Father, He is also a Judge; if He is a God of love, He is also a God of justice and holiness. There is no one attribute in God which dominates and determines the expression of all the other divine perfections”, except for His Sovereign Will. The Bible knows nothing of a generic atonement, nor can an atonement for the unspecified masses be found anywhere in the Scriptures. No sacrifice for those who would ‘choose Him’, but only a sacrifice for those whom God had already chosen, by grace, before the foundation of the world. This is the God which man, by nature, is not merely significantly at variance with, but Whom he hates with a passion. A God Who does what He wants when He wants, and with whomsoever He wants. According to man’s sinful nature, the concept of man being free to do what he wills is perfectly fine, but man by nature frowns upon a God Who is not only free to will and do as He pleases, but actually does so. The baseless rebellion of the clay. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” (Dan. 4:35 cf. Job 9:12). Once all of these Scriptural truths sink deep into your heart you will have no trouble acknowledging all the grace doctrines as revealed in God’s Gospel.
The Lord Jesus is the High Priest of His own people. “Wherefore, holy BRETHREN, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of OUR profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb. 3:1; cf. Heb. 3:14; Heb. 4:14,15; 1 Tim. 6:2). “The apostle calls the Hebrews ‘brethren’, not because they were of the same natural stock and lineage, but because they were in the same spiritual relation; they all had the same Father, belonged to the same family, were the adopted sons of God, the brethren of Christ, of one another, and of the apostle; and they were ‘holy’, not by birth, nor by their external separation from other nations, but through sanctification of the Spirit” and belief of the truth (see 2 Thess. 2:13). “Christ is to be ‘considered’ in the greatness and dignity of His Person, as the Son of God; and in His wondrous grace and love in assuming human nature, and dying for His people; and in the relations He stands in to them as a Father, Husband, Brother, Friend; and in His several offices, as Mediator, and particularly as sent of God, to be the Saviour of His people; and as their High Priest, Who has offered Himself a sacrifice to God, and ever lives to make intercession for those for whom He died; and all this to encourage the saints to hold fast their profession of Him.” To Scripturally consider Christ is to understand Who He is in light of the Holy Word of God, particularly the Gospel of Christ, and His offices of Apostle and High Priest. You cannot be rightly considering the Lord Jesus as God has borne record of Him, if you do so through a belief in a false gospel which cannot be describing, and, therefore, defining, the true Christ, and what He has done. If you consider Christ through the false doctrine of universal atonement then you are not rightly considering Him. Your perspective comes from a perception that is based on lies, on a perversion, a counterfeit Christ, and not the true Christ. You are not rightly acknowledging Him, and, therefore, cannot be submitted to Him, nor can you be in subjection to His Gospel, that which reveals the true Christ and His Righteousness. You cannot be of the House of God.