"THOU SHALT SURELY DIE!" (PART 14)

 

 

A man can love God, but only if God loves the man first. It is God's love for a man that ensures, at the appointed time, the man's love for God. Even if man did have a free will to come to God and choose Him, how could he do this when Scripture says that no man by nature even knows the True God. I have repeated this over and over, for people need to be constantly reminded of man's sinful, and accursed state and the reality of its consequences. People constantly need to be brought back to the ground level facts of a matter if they are to ever have a proper understanding, and conception, of the big picture. Someone once said, 'You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality'. But how can one be avoiding reality if one cannot avoid the consequences of reality? To not be able to avoid the consequences of what is real is to not be able to avoid reality. The consequences are always there even if, to their knowledge, a person is not experiencing them. The immediate, and ever present consequences of not believing in the reality that man has no free will and is dead in sin are, that he believes a false gospel and is lost, a child of Wrath rather than a child of God, and the long term reality that they will spend eternity in Hell. That man is without God and without hope means that man is not with God, he is not unified with Him, and, therefore, has no hope of ever being with God, and so remains hopeless unless the Father comes to him. There is no bridge between natural man and God, nothing to connect him with God, for He is also without Christ Who is the only Mediator between God and man. To choose God is to deny God's Sovereign right to choose man. It is a denial of the Potter's right to choose what He will do with the clay that He has made, but rather leaves the decision to the lifeless clay. To choose God is to assume to know the True God, but how can any man by nature know the True God when the Lord Jesus says that man does not know God, and, therefore, does not believe in the Gospel of God? (see  2 Thess. 1:8). Man does not have a natural disposition toward God, but is at enmity with God. Man by nature is, literally, at war with God. Those who believe not the Gospel of God cannot rightfully say that they know Him, for their erroneous beliefs expose the fact that they are trapped in a world of lies, for they believe not God's Testimony of His Son—Who He is, what He has done and for whom He has done it—but only in man's imaginations and religious traditions. Christ said: "...ye have not known Him; but I know Him..." (Jn. 8:55).

 

To know and believe the True God is something which God reveals to a person. He is not revealed to everyone, hence, the blind followers who follow blind guides into the arms of false gods. It is not man armed with an imaginary free will who chooses to see God, for Christ said: "...neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him" (Matt. 11:27). Christ does this "...by his Spirit; Who is a Spirit of wisdom and revelation and truth in the knowledge of Him; and which entirely depends on His own Sovereign will and pleasure". If God does not reveal Himself to a man, the man remains in his spiritually dead state, and a blind follower of false gospels, false truth which does not reveal the true God, but only a false god that cannot save. So, really the issue is not man's mythical free will at all, but man’s underlying problem that he does not know the True God so how could he choose Him anyway. Paul, speaking to believers concerning the time prior to saving faith when they did not know God, said "…when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods" (Gal. 4:8; cf. 1 Cor. 12:2). Prior to salvation man is but a slave to false gods, for he knows not the True God because He has obviously not been revealed to him by the Son. To know God is to be made alive to Him, by Him. To know God and love Him and believe His Gospel is to be born again, made anew in Christ. So even if a man could choose God, the Lord would have to reveal Himself to the man first. And if God must reveal Himself to man first then it is God Who does the choosing from His free will. God reveals Himself to those He loves, and in so doing they all love Him. The only reason behind a man’s loving God is that God loved the man first. One cannot separate God’s love from God’s free will and God’s predestinating all those He loves to love Him also. Scripture says “…we ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (Jas. 4:15). Even if a man could choose God, it could only be because of the Lord’s will, and, therefore, as with all things, by a decree of God. “…the last ‘and’ is left out in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions; and the passage rendered thus, ‘if the Lord will, and we shall live, we will do this’: so that here are two conditions of doing anything; the one is, if it should be agreeable to the determining will and purpose of God, by which everything in the world comes to pass, and into which the wills of men should be resolved, and resigned; and the other is, if we should live, since life is so very uncertain and precarious: and the sense is, not that this exact form of words should be always used, but what is equivalent to them, or, at least, that there should be always a sense of these things upon the mind; and there should be a view to them in all resolutions, designs, and engagements: and since the words are so short and comprehensive, it might be proper for Christians to use themselves to such a way of speaking; upon all occasions; we find it used by the Apostle Paul frequently, as in (Acts 18:2) (1 Cor. 4:19) (Rom. 1:10) (Heb. 6:3), and even by Jews, Heathens, and Turks. It is a saying of Ben Syra, the Jew ‘let a man never say he will do anything, before he says ‘if God will’." So we learn from this that even if a man could be willing, it would only be because God was first willing that he should come to Him. As a saved man loves God only because God loved the man first, a man is ‘willing’ only because God willed the man to be willing. A man’s will can never precede God’s will in anything he does, or would like to do. The grace of God does away with any need of free will. Again, it all boils down to the spiritual state of man. Those who have been made alive to Him know full well that prior to their quickening they were as dead to the True God as was the apostle Paul on that road to Damascus. Those who do not know God, who do not believe the Gospel of God are as spiritually dead as they can be, for God has not revealed Himself to them. They have not received the love of the Truth, they have not acknowledged Him. All this is evidenced by their believing no gospel, or in false gospels. Like a fork in the road with no third way, so too, there is the true Gospel of God, and the false gospels of man, and nothing inbetween. There is no middle ground and there is no third way. At any given moment in time one is either on the road to Heaven, or travelling the highway to Hell.

 

Man in his natural state does not want God, and, therefore, if left to himself will remain without God, for the duration of his life, and into all eternity. This is not because of his choice, for this would mean man would also have the capacity to choose to have the True God in his life. Man's not wanting God, in fact, not even knowing the True God, is the direct result of man's being under the curse of God for having sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. Man's deadness is the result, or the wages, of sin. There are none righteous, the Bible says (Rom. 3:10; Eccl. 7:20), and so there has never been any man able to stand before God acceptable, and in right standing with Him, for there are none who even seek Him. Even if, for the sake of argument, man is not spiritually dead, what good would any spiritual life do for him if while in that state he is not Righteous, therefore, not acceptable, to God? The Arminian says, 'Man is not spiritually dead'. The Word of God says there are none righteous, no one seeks after God, and that man must be made alive to God in order to be saved. Let us also, for the sake of argument, say that man does have a free will to choose God, what good has this so-called free will ever done for mankind when no man even seeks after God! How can any man choose, or have ever chosen God, if there is no man who desires the True God?

 

It is impossible for man to come to God (see Matt. 19:26). Choosing or believing in the true God does not come from man's sinful nature, for it is perennially at enmity with God. Salvation is all initiated, done and completed by God. Christ the Lord says "...This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent" (Jn. 6:29). Believing, being saved, is a gift of God, and not a work of man's initiated by his alleged free will (see 1 Cor. 2:14). Jesus says, "...no man can come to Me, except the Father..." (Jn. 6:44). Notice that the Lord does not state that no man will come, but that no man can come. No man will come because no man can come. This matches perfectly with Christ's statement concerning salvation that "...with men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible" (Matt.19:26). The impossibility of a man coming to God on his own volition is obviously due to man's spiritually dead state. To be spiritually dead is to be without God, and to be without God is to be utterly without hope. There is nothing which can have any desire for, or which can lead to, the True God, within a man who has no hope. The only way a man can come to the Lord Jesus is by the Father. God must come to the man and draw him by His lovingkindness (see Jer. 31:3). This is done by the will of God according to His love, grace will and purpose. For anyone to be saved, God must act first, and every ensuing act of man's is because of God's grace. THIS is why the Scriptures talk so much about the great love of God Whose Son died for those who were yet sinners (see Rom. 5:8). If God does not act, then, left to himself, MAN CAN DO NOTHING!! Not even with his precious 'free will' can ANY man come to the Lord Jesus EXCEPT THE FATHER.... (see Jn. 6:44,65). God is the initiator, not man, for man has no free will to choose God, for there are none who even seek after God! Man cannot initiate, he cannot do anything to restore communication with God, for he is without God and has no hope. Can you see how all this is also dealing with the Sovereignty of God, one of the Lord's chief attributes, and, therefore, the very Character of God: Who He is and how He operates. The God of Truth, the True God of the only Gospel which saves, is NOT the false god of free willism. How can you choose that which you do not, cannot, seek? God's will is the catalyst, not man's choosing.

 

Such evidence presents and establishes a case that is altogether incontrovertible, and unchallengeable, revealing man to be a most miserable creature who was once the apple of God’s eye, but is now, in his natural state, infested with sin, a spiritual leper and a living abomination who may be summed up by the fact his good deeds are as filthy rags before a Holy God whilst man himself is nothing but vanity (see Isa. 64:6; Psa. 39:11). Rather than seeking, and crying out to the True God for help, man is hopelessly, yet wilfully, trapped in a religious maze seeking help from within him, notably his free will. There are no exits in this hopeless life of man, and no passages of escape, and man has no one to blame but himself. Lost man's insistence that he has a free will and is not dead in sin, dead to God, without God, and, therefore, without hope in his life, is not a sign of some sincere God-seeking person who means well, and has good intentions etc., but is one of the very evidences of an accursed person. ‘Free will’, and ‘not dead in sin’ are just two ways of denying God's Truth for one says man does have hope, and the other says man needs not to be made alive. Believing and teaching false doctrine is the sure sign that one is not of God for: "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD", conversely: "He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he HATH both the Father and the Son" (2 Jn. 9). The believing of Truth, God’s Gospel, is the primary sign of a saved man. The rebellious insistence of those who hold to false doctrine will continue till the end of time, but will, in no way, change the irreversible truth of which the Scriptures speak. Man, by nature, cannot seek, and, therefore, have the True God, and so he seeks for other gods, and their false doctrines to abide in, to have in His absence. "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions" (Eccl. 7:29)."The descendants of Adam have sought out an immense number of inventions, in order to find happiness in the world, without God, which have only proved so many variations of impiety and iniquity…Adam and Eve lost the Presence of God, and communion with Him: and so their posterity are not only inventors of evil things, of sins, but of new ways of happiness; some placing it in riches; others in honours; others in pleasures; and some in natural wisdom and knowledge; and some in their own works of righteousness; the vanity of all which Solomon has before exposed.” “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2).

 

The doctrine of free will is irrevocably linked with the doctrine that man did not die, spiritually. The result of such a devilish concoction is the inevitable, and hellish teaching that Christ died for all of humanity. These two doctrines support, and promote the lie that Christ died for all mankind. The two doctrines deny the essentials of the very fabric of grace, but their ultimate end is to focus on, and deny the Atoning and Substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ for the sins of His people. Man's free will is believed to be intact, for it is taught that man is not dead in sin, and so salvation must then of necessity be an offer to all, and not a promise to some, for why would God have given man a free will to choose Him and be saved, if His Son the Savior did not lay down His life for everyone. Naturally, such thinking produces an enmity against the doctrine of election, predestination, of Christ's death for a predetermined number of people, the chosen people of God, and the very Sovereignty of God, the essential nature of God, considering such doctrines as something wholly unjust and unfair, for man is seen as having no choice in the matter. Such people ask, 'Why would God 'shut out' any who have the potential to choose Him, by Himself choosing who would be saved, and who would not?' This, in turn, affects the teaching of predestination, which is seen as a monstrous thing by the Arminian, but a grace-based God-glorifying reality in the pages of Scripture: "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" (Eph. 1:4-6). Is there any mention here of man's free will choice of God? Can you see anything in this passage of Scripture that would even remotely suggest that man chooses God? Not even a hint of the doctrine of free will is seen. In fact, the very opposite is true.

 

These Scriptures show who the True God is, and what He is like, by revealing the love of God, the grace of God and the Sovereignty of God. "HE HATH CHOSEN US" (His people do not choose Him); "THAT WE SHOULD BE HOLY" (not because His people were holy, or that God could see that one day they would choose Him); HAVING PREDESTINATED US ACCORDING TO THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL" (no mention here of man's will playing any part in his salvation). The presence of God’s will nullifies any need for a man’s will. God predestinated all those whom He wanted saved. What need then for free will? God has predetermined, He has decided beforehand, He has decreed from eternity, He has foreordained who will be saved. Anything other than this is not the grace of God in action, but the works of men. Without these things being done, all one would be left with is a reliance upon one’s own vain efforts at reaching God. Salvation simply cannot be by grace if God’s will is not at the forefront, and there is no ensuing predestination. As many as have been ordained to eternal life will, at the appointed time, believe (see Acts 13:48). The Scriptures do not say that a man chooses to believe, and, as a reward, is then ordained to eternal life, but the emphasis of the Scriptures is placed entirely on God and His grace in preordaining His chosen ones so that they would, in time, believe. The word ordained here meaning 'to arrange, to assign a place, determine' and 'to appoint on one's own responsibility or authority'. God’s having ordained a person is based on the Authority of His will, and is not a response, or subsequent reaction, to a man’s will. God alone is responsible for a man's believing, for He has predetermined all those whom He has chosen, to believe. God has predestinated them by His Authority, He has chosen and assigned them, to obtain salvation through the death of His Son Who would die for them exclusively. If Christ died for all, then why would Christ have died for those not appointed by God to obtain salvation? Man has not chosen God, but the Lord has in fact appointed those whom He has chosen "...to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:9), Who would die for them, and not for those whom the Lord has appointed to His Wrath (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10); God has done this "TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE" (Eph. 2:6). God's Sovereign will and grace is the reason for a man's salvation. This is what Grace looks like and this is what grace has done "HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED" (Eph. 2:6). It is ALL of God. Salvation is all about God making His chosen ones acceptable to Him. We are His workmanship, the Scriptures say, and are made new creatures in Christ. God has even ordained the very works that His people shall do, as they walk with Him (see Eph. 2:10).

 

When Moses told God "...shew me Thy glory" (Ex. 33:18), God replied by saying "...I will make all My Goodness pass before thee..." (Ex. 33:19). God then immediately explained what He meant by His Goodness "...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). God's glory is in His goodness. God made all His Goodness pass before Moses by telling him of His glorious Sovereign grace. What the enemies of God hate so much, God’s Sovereign Power and Authority to choose those whom He will save, and to not choose those whom He wills not to save, IS THE VERY GOODNESS OF GOD, AND THAT WHICH BRINGS GLORY TO HIM! Interesting to note how it is God’s Absolute Sovereign will that dictates to whom He will be gracious, and to whom He will not be gracious. This is viewed as an evil concept in the mind of the free willer, but is the very thing which the Scriptures reveal is directly related to God’s Goodness. “All God’s reasons of mercy are taken from within Himself….Therefore, God’s mercy endures forever, because the reason of it is fetched from within Himself.” God’s mercy and goodness are based on His will—that which comes from within Him— these things could not be based on our will, for there is no man, by nature, who seeks God. Nor could they be based on a man’s ‘good deeds’ for Scripture teaches that “…by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2:16). God’s declaration in Exodus 33:19, that He will show mercy to whom He will show mercy, is “…regarded not as proof of stern and inexorable justice, but as THE VERY PROOF OF HIS BENEVOLENCE, and the highest which He thought proper to exhibit. When men, therefore, under the influence of an unrenewed and hostile heart, charge this as an unjust and arbitrary proceeding they are resisting and perverting that which God regards as the very demonstration of His benevolence. The sense of the passage clearly is, that He would choose the objects of His favour, and bestow His mercies as He chose.” There was no other basis upon which they could be distributed. “None of the human race deserved His favour; and He had a right to pardon whom He pleased, and to save men on His own terms, and according to His Sovereign will and pleasure.”

 

God's will, will be done! This is one of the most hated aspects of the True God: the fact that He has chosen by His Sovereign will those who would be saved. Man's sinful nature loathes this God, for in his madness man insists that he is the one who chooses God! That man is the one who predetermines who God will save! Scripture, however, paints a vastly differently picture: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). Salvation is according, or due to, God's mercy, and not our free will choice. Salvation is by regeneration, by being made alive unto God by His Spirit according to His mercy. "...the mercy of God is natural and essential to Him, but the actings and exercise of it, towards this or the other objects, are Sovereign and free, and according to His will..." The mercy of God is an act of God which is never independent of, but always in accord with, His Sovereignty and will. God says of Himself: "...AND (I) WILL BE GRACIOUS TO WHOM I WILL BE GRACIOUS, and WILL SHEW MERCY ON WHOM I WILL SHEW MERCY" (Ex. 33:19). "Now according to this (mercy), God has saved His people; salvation is not only a thing determined, and resolved on in the mind of God, but is actually and completely accomplished by Jesus Christ, and an application of it is made to the saints in effectual calling; and because of the certain enjoyment of the whole of it, even eternal glory, the saints are said to be saved already; as they are also in faith and hope, as well as in Christ, their Head and Representative; It follows, as the means of salvation..." Being made alive is a work done by the Holy Spirit, and the means is the Word of God. The motive for salvation is the will of God and the method is the Gospel of God. Anyone who cannot see from these few Scriptures that all of salvation is dependent upon God, and His Sovereign will, according to His glorious grace, evidences a lost state.

 

To begin our study of what Christ accomplished, indeed how He accomplished His goal of eternal redemption through His sacrificial death, we look to the Scriptures for the Truth. The key to understanding what Christ has done on the cross is to know for whom He laid down His life. Arminians and Universalists say that they believe many of the same things about Jesus that true Christians believe, such as the fact that He died, and was resurrected. However, any similarities of belief are immediately brought to a crashing halt upon examining the details of their doctrines. Christ's death was not like any other for Christ did something through His death. He accomplished redemption for all those for whom He died "...by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy place, HAVING OBTAINED eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:12; cf. Heb. 9:15). "...having made peace through the blood of His cross....now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, TO present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight" (Col. 1:20-22). The apostle Peter, in his first Letter, speaks of the elect being “…redeemed….with the precious blood of Christ…” (1 Pet. 1:18,19). "...to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28; cf. Heb. 13:12). No fantasy event such as Christ dying for all, so as to make salvation potentially possible for all—their redemption now awaiting their acceptance of what He is alleged to have done—in these Scriptures, for clearly, Christ has actually accomplished redemption for all those for whom He died. "Redemption was completed when the price was completely paid (see Lev. 25:27; Ruth 4:7-11)."  No free will choice or universal death in the next verse either, where Paul is writing to the saints at Rome: "...being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from Wrath through Him" (Rom. 5:9). Christ is now in Heaven where He intercedes for His people, those for whom He died: “…now to appear in the Presence of God for us….He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 9:24; Heb. 7:25). Christ's death has done the work, justifying all those for whom He died by obtaining eternal redemption for them on the cross. Just prior to this verse the apostle wrote of God commending His love toward us, referring to himself and the saints at Rome. God has no love for those who are not His chosen "...Thou hatest all workers of iniquity" (Psa. 5:5). Many say, 'God hates the sin but loves the sinner'. This statement is nowhere to be found in the Scriptures. In fact, quite the opposite: "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day" (Psa. 7:11; cf. 1 Pet. 3:12; Jn. 9:31; Prov. 15:29). All of mankind is, by nature, born children of Wrath (see Eph. 2:3). God's placing a distinction between the wicked and the chosen is further evidenced in Christ's not praying for the world, but exclusively for those which the Father loves and has entrusted to Him. "...that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him....I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine" (Jn. 17:9; cf. Isa. 53:8; Rom. 8:27; Heb. 7:25). Christ prays for God’s people. Christ died for God’s people. If ever there was a golden opportunity for the Lord to confirm the doctrine that man chooses God, this is it. However, Christ does not say that He should give eternal life to as many as have chosen Me, but rather to as many as the Father has given Him. This underscores the fact that it is God Who hath chosen His people, and not they which have chosen Him. Peter reminds us "...ye are a chosen generation..." (1 Pet. 2:9), and not a generation that chooses. God's children, chosen by Him, are all justified by what Christ has done in dying for them, for it is the essence of Christ's death that settles all argument over what He has done, and for whom He has done it. Christ's death justifies all those for whom He died (see Heb. 9:12,15; Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 5:9,10). They will all be saved from God's Wrath through Christ. Christ's death was a substitutionary sacrifice on the behalf of, not everyone, but the people whom God had given Him: "...for the transgressions of MY people was He stricken" (Isa. 53:8; cf. Isa. 53:11; see also Gen. 22:13; Isa. 53:4-6; Matt. 1:21; Jn. 17:9; Rom. 4:25; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24).

 

"And 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. Heb. 2:13) (not to as many as choose Him!). It would be unscriptural, therefore wrong, to say that Christ has given eternal life to any, apart from, or in addition to those whom God has given to Him. So too, it would be equally wrong to conclude that Christ has died for any apart from, or in addition to those whom God has given Him. It would also be going against the Scriptures to say that Christ has died for, and given eternal life to, any whom God does not love, seeing that all those whom the Father has given to the Son are those who are the Father’s “…not merely by creation, and as the care of his providence, but by eternal election, and special grace in calling; which is a reason why Christ prayed for them…” (see Jn. 17:9). It would also be wrong to say that all those whom God has given to His Son is every person ever born, for this would mean all are saved. All whom the Father has given to the Son have/will be given eternal life, and not one will miss out, for they have been chosen by the Father and given to the Son, and the Son has, in turn, died, and established a Righteousness for all those to whom He now gives eternal life: "All that the Father giveth me SHALL COME TO ME..." (Jn.6:37). These people are God’s people. Christ said “…I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; FOR THEY ARE THINE" (Jn. 17:9). Christ laid down His life for God’s people, and not for those who would ‘choose to become’ God’s people. Believing that Christ's death was for all, is to say that God has not chosen a people nor given any to His Son. Moreover, it strongly implies that God does not love any who do not love Him first. Paul the apostle spoke of enduring all things for the sake of the elect, those whom God has chosen to be saved, so that "...THEY may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Tim. 2:10). No one else will come to Him but those whom the Father has chosen and given to the Son. "And you, (believers) being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened (made alive) together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 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. 2:13,14). Christ did something on that cross. His death accomplished something on that cross. Christ said, "...It is finished..." (Jn. 19:30; cf. Heb. 1:3; Heb. 4:10). THERE IS NOTHING WHICH CAN BE, OR IS REQUIRED TO BE, ADDED TO SOMETHING WHICH IS FINISHED!! Christ's atoning work does not await anything for it to be successful, for by His death He has already obtained redemption for all those He laid down His life! In the work being finished, and eternal redemption being obtained, either all are saved, or all for whom Christ died are specifically and exclusively those whom the Father gave Him with the express purpose of saving them. The elect are the chosen bride of Christ—chosen by the Father Himself. A man comes to God, not by his own ‘free-will’ decision, but only in the day of God’s power, because God has given that one to Christ the Son to save. GOD HAS CHOSEN A MAN, GOD HAS GIVEN THAT MAN TO CHRIST, AND CHRIST BECAME A CURSE FOR, AND HAS DIED IN PLACE OF, THAT MAN, AND IN SO DOING HAS OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR THAT MAN. Christ's work is finished, and so there is no work for man to do, for salvation is by grace. Christ has established a perfect Righteousness which is imputed to all those for whom He died, and has taken away THEIR sins nailing them to His cross (see Col. 2:13,14).

 

The Old Testament is where we learn of the high priest. The office of the high priest is extremely significant to Jesus Christ the Savior and His atoning sacrifice, for it teaches what He would do, and for whom He would do it. The Old Testament high priest was a mere shadow, a type, a picture of what the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, would do in the New Testament (Heb. 4:14-16). The high priest of God made sacrifice under God's directive (see Lev. 16 & 17:11). An animal would be killed as an offering to God, and exclusively for the sins of God's people. No other people of any other nation in the entire world were included, nor did they receive any benefits of the sacrifice, for it was only made for God's people. The Lord saying: "...to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins..." (Lev. 16:34). God had directed that a sacrifice be made only for Israel and no other nation, that all their sins be atoned for. Nowhere in the Scriptures will anyone find the teaching that God EVER ordered even a single sacrifice for all the people in the entire world! This is extremely compelling, for what the high priest would do, and for whom he would do it, was a figure, or representation of what God's great High Priest, the Lord Jesus, would do (see Heb. 8:1-5; cf. Col. 2:17; Heb. 10:1). Christ is the Substance of the shadow. Any and every sacrifice ordained of God in the Old Testament, which was to be performed by His high priest, was directed to be made purely, and exclusively for the people of Israel because they were at that time, and in a temporal sense, the chosen people of God. GOD HAS ALWAYS AND ONLY ORDERED SACRIFICE TO BE MADE FOR HIS PEOPLE, AND NO OTHER. So too, Christ died for God’s people, not only people from the physical nation of Israel, nor for all the people of every nation, but exclusively for His chosen people from, or out of, every nation. “…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). Sacrifice, according to the will of God, has always been made for the chosen people of God. No such thing as a generic atonement, or atonement for the unspecified masses can be found anywhere in the Scriptures.

 

The high priest was a type, a shadow, an accurate foretelling of what the great High Priest Jesus the Messiah Who was to come, would do. The Old Testament high priest not only foreshadowed what Jesus would do, but also provides insight into who Christ would offer Himself for (see Heb. 4:14-16; Heb. 8 & 9). Just as a shadow can do no different to that which casts it, so too, the substance can do nothing which the shadow does not do. You cannot cast a shadow of yourself sitting when you are actually standing. Scripture speaks of those priests, and high priests "Who serve unto the example and shadow of Heavenly things..." (Heb. 8:5). "Things respecting the Person, Office, and Grace of Christ; the priests themselves were types of Him; the places they ministered in were an exemplar of the heavenly places, as the word may be rendered, where Christ is; and the things they ministered were shadows of the good things which are by Christ; and the shadows were mere representations” (see Heb. 9:11-15).

 

The Old Testament is where we learn about what the Messiah would do, the purpose of His death, and what He would accomplish by that death. These things were foreshadowed by what are called the Old Testament types. “A type is something emblematic or symbolic, used to express, embody, represent or forecast, some person, truth or event. It is an image or similitude of something else, sustaining to doctrinal teaching some such relation as a picture does to a precept or promise, representing to the eye or imagination a concept addressed to the ear or understanding. It is one of the most frequent forms of figurative teaching in Scripture....The Old Testament types were a mode of instruction of the way in which God was to be approached…” You cannot approach God believing in a savior who died for all. You cannot approach Him, and not be consumed, unless you are washed in the blood that cleansed all for whom it was shed (see Heb. 10:16-22). The blood of a counterfeit jesus has never cleansed anyone from their sin. A type is also a prophetic symbol. “God has graciously adapted a series of types, historical and ceremonial, to the illustration of His wondrous plan (of redemption as revealed in the Gospel), and especially to portray the various aspects of the office and work of Christ…By the typical system, God was not only educating His people for the ‘good things to come,’ but was also preparing human language to be a fit medium for the revelation of His grace in Christ. It is to the types we must turn if we would define aright the sacrificial terms of the New Testament….the doctrinal statements of the Epistles are frequently couched in the language of the types, and can only be rightly interpreted in the light which they furnish.”

 

“The Substitution of Christ in the sinner’s place was mostly distinctly shown in the types, particularly in the sin offering. Before the animal was slaughtered, the sacrificing priest laid his hand upon its head (Lev. 4:3,4). That act represented THE TRANSFERRING OF SIN FROM THE TRANSGRESSOR TO THE VICTIM (Lev. 16:21): it identified the one with the other. It showed the substitution of the victim for the offender, and declared by a visible sign that it bare his sins and endured his death penalty.” Addressing the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote: “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Again, we see, just as with the Old Testament high priest, a specific number of transgressors whose sins were transferred to a specific victim. The ‘us’ spoken of in the above Scripture can only be referring to those for whom Jesus had endured the death penalty, and in time are made the Righteousness of God in Him. “In this way was the solemn yet blessed truth of imputation foreshadowed. It was because God transferred to Christ the guilt of His elect, constituting Him ‘sin for us'(sin-bearer) that the sword of Divine justice smote Him as He bore our sins in His own body on (or ‘to’) the tree.” “…for the transgressions of My people was He stricken” (Isa. 53:8). By this we see clearly that Christ’s atoning death cannot be separated from the act of Substitution, nor can it be separated from the act of transferring to Him the sins of those for whom He was a Substitute, for whom He suffered God’s Wrath, and the transference of His perfect Righteousness to them. All this hinged, not on man’s acceptance, but on God accepting what Christ had done. What Christ has done is no mere trifle which awaits man’s consent in order for it to be ratified, given value and significance. It is His blood upon which the success of His salvation plan hinged, and not man’s fictional free will decision for Him: “And for this cause He is the Mediator of the New Testament, that BY MEANS OF DEATH, FOR the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first Testament, THEY WHICH ARE CALLED MIGHT RECEIVE the promise of eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15; cf. Rom. 8:30).

 

 

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