A Primer Of Predestination

by J. W. Williams

Second Edition, Revised 1948
Printing of Feb 9, 1949

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Because of the length of the author's unpublished manuscript on predestination entitled "CHANCE OR DESIGN?" the request has been made for a brief statement of the fundamentals of the doctrine, as a ready answer to those who fear because of natural apprehension or misteaching through tradition, and who therefore make objections or ask questions. Hence this shorter expression of thought.

Tacoma, Wash.
Feb. 9, 1949


The Greek word for "predestinate" is pro-prizo (literally, "to se before"), meaning to set limits or boundaries before-hand. Its occurrences are translated as follows: "predestinate" and "predestinated" in Rom. 8:29,30 and Eph. 1:5,11; "determined before" in Acts 4:28 (which we shorten into "predetermined"); and "ordained before" in 1 Cor. 2:7 (which we condense into "foreordained").
 Besides these occurrences, the idea of predestination is manifest in almost countless places in the scriptures without the exact literal wording; as in such cases as Pharaoh, Judas and the blindness of Israel. Also in the fact that Isaac, John the Baptist and our Savior were predestined to be male children, and named even before their conception. Today, parents who have a name chosen for their unborn child sometimes have to change it to suit the sex of the new-comer. And our Lord was even pre-named "Savior" (Jesus") before conception or birth, yes, even before He had been tried by temptation. And His work was set for Him before, as was that of Cyrus and John the Baptist. But God takes no risks when He predicts, because all things and people are under His control. Even the human will is so, as we shall see.

In one state where the author lived, a boy was explaining to someone the difference between the pastor's view and that of others in the controversy. He said that the minister believed that God knows what will be before it occurs, but that the others thought that He does not know it until afterwards. Of course, strictly speaking, that is the distinction between foreknowledge and afterknowledge, but yet it is nearer the truth of a correct definition than may at first appear: for there could be no foreknowledge without fore-certainty, and fore-certainty requires fore-ordering, which is predestination.

The Savior's sacrifice is probably the most feasible approach to the subject of predestination, because His sacrificial death was so incontrovertibly foreordained that it is universally so recognized and accepted by Christian believers, and because the problems of predestination involved in it are easily understood and explained. Therefore the accompanying outline, "THE DEATH OF GOD'S SON," will be our next study. It shows simply and clearly the truth stated in Acts 2:23 that His death was a matter of divine foreknowledge and determination.

The Death of God's Son

I An act of wickedness (Acts 2:23),
 A The sin of betrayal (Acts 7:52),
   1 Which was foreknown
     a By the Son (Jn. 6:64, 13:11,21-30, 18:4) and
     b By the Father (Acts 2:23),
   2 Predicted
     a By the Son (Jn. 13:18-30) and
     b By the Father (Psa. 109 with Acts 1:16),
   3 Determined before
     a By the Father only (Jn. 6:71, 17:12, Acts 2:23),
 B And murder (Acts 7:52),
   1 Which was foreknown
     a By the Son (Jn. 13: 1 ) and
     b By the Father (Acts 2:23),
   2 Predicted
     a By the Son (Matt. 16:21),
       (1) As to time (Matt. 26:2; Lu. 13:32),
       (2) As to place (Lu. 13:33-34),
       (3) As to manner (Matt. 20:19), and
     b By the Father
       (1) As to time (Ex. 12 with 1 Cor. 5:7),
       (2) As to place (Gen. 22:2 with Lu. 23:33),
       (3) As to manner (Gal. 3:13),
   3 Determined before
     a By the Father only (Acts 2:23, 4:28),
       (1) As to time (Gal. 4:4-5),
       (2) As to place (Lu. 13:33, Rev. 18:24),
       (3) As to manner (Num. 21:9 with Jn. 3:14 and 12:32-33),

II Fulfilled
 A By man's hand (Acts 2:23: 13:27),
   1 In envy (Mk. 15:10),
   2 In hate (Jn. 15:24), and
 B By God's hand (Isa. 53:10, Ac. 3:18, 4:26-28),
   1 In mercy (Eph. 2:4-5),
   2 In grace (2 Cor. 8:9, Rom. 3:24-25, 5:15-21, Eph. 1:7)
   3 IN LOVE (Jn. 3:16-17; 1 Jn. 4:10-14).

In the preceding outline we have a clear case of predestination: for the death of God's Son is plainly declared to have been "determined before" (Acts 4:28), and this phrase is a translation of the Greek word elsewhere translated "predestinated."
 Moreover, the case of predestination here presented is one of predestinated evil in an extreme of wickedness; for the death of God's Son is here (Acts 4:28) declared to have been perpetrated by the assembled rulers of both Israel and the gentiles who accomplished what is cited in other scriptures as being murder. This was the most stupendous wickedness imaginable, all as God "determined before to be done." Thus the sin of murdering God's holy Son was predestinated by Him.
 This predestinated sin presents clearly the two problems of the seeming guilt of God and the innocence of men in that predestined evil deed.
 What is the objector's solution of it? For he objects to predestination on the ground of reason which leads him to say, "Then God would be guilty of murder and the predestined sinners would be innocent!"
 To try to escape from the difficulty by saying that men might have avoided the guilt by "freedom of will" not to perform it is futile; for then prophecy would be subjected to the risk of non-fulfillment and the predestined divine purpose subjected to the hazard of failure by non-performance of the divinely chosen actors. Then we would have had no Savior. Could Love base its hopes for us on such hazardous and dubious prospects? And would that be predestination and prophecy, or mere wishing and conjecturing? Then is that the only assurance you have as faith's heritage in that purpose and promise for you?
 The solution of the two problems of the seeming divine guilt and human innocence in the murder of God's Son is not so difficult as it first seems. In fact, it is quite simple. For though the Father took away His Son's life on Calvary (Isa. 53:10), He did no murder, though that death was murder. For that death was also a sacrifice. Men murdered the Son through hate and God sacrificed Him through love by their hands. Two actors joined hands in the same act through opposite motives that made two opposite acts of the one deed. So that death was at the same time both murder and sacrifice. God was no more guilty of murder than they were praiseworthy for supposedly making a sacrifice that they did not make, but which God did make by their hands in their ignorance and unintention. Thus the blasphemous folly and ignorance in asking if God was guilty when His love sacrificed His Son for our sakes is as evident as is the brazen presumption of suggesting a reward to His murderers for making a sacrifice they did not offer nor intend to make, but which God did make by using their hands to offer it.
 This greatest of all wonders of amazing grace in predestined evil explains all other cases of like evil that have ever occurred or ever will occur. For since the worst possible case of predestined evil resulted, as it did, in the greatest possible blessing to the whole race, what evil can happen to any of us that cannot be of similar result?
 What other explanation is possible for such as the following cases of evil that are unequivocally declared in scripture as being acts of God:
 He sent a lying spirit into the false prophets that deceived Ahab (1 Kings 22:23).
 "And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel" (Ezek. 14:9). Why punish him? We shall see later.
 He used such prophets to test Israel (Deut. 13:1-3).
 He sent an evil spirit of treachery between Abimelech and the men of Shechem (Judg. 9:23).
 He sent an evil spirit on Saul that caused him to try to kill David (1 Sam. 16:14, 17:55-58, 18:10-11, 19:9-10).
 He moved David to number Israel (2 Sam. 24:1, 1 Chron. 21:1), then punished David for doing it, and even included Israel in the punishment (1 Chron. 21:14).
 He gave David's wives into adultery as a punishment on David (2 Sam. 12).
 He sent Joseph into Egypt to fulfill his dreams, by using the sin of his brothers to send him there (Gen. 45:5-7), then turned the Egyptians to hate Israel (Psa. 105:25).
 He creates evil (Isa. 45:7). "Evil" here is the opposite of "peace." That is, war, for the context contains the idea of the war of conquest by Cyrus over Babylon. There is a similar case in 10:6, where the sins of plunder and destruction resulted from the war divinely sent. (Amos 3:1-6 should be studied in this connection).
 Coming to modern times, since "the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will" (Dan. 4:17), and "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Rom. 13:1 ), is He therefore guilty of all the plundering, confiscating, oppression and oceans of blood spilled by modern Hitlers, and of all the wars of history?
 He willed that Samson marry a Philistine woman, contrary to His own law (Judg. 14:4). He commanded Shimei to curse David (2 Sam. 16:10) contrary to his law (Ex. 22:28). And in the following cases he built the sins of men into types, thus ordaining the sins that were necessary to the types that reveal a foreordained purpose:
 The sin of Moses in smiting the rock the second time (Num. 20:11-12). Moses was punished for this sin by being debarred from entering Canaan (Deut. 32:50-51). The transfiguration vision (Matt. 17:9) used Moses evidently to represent those who go into the kingdom (Matt. 16:28) by resurrection, and Moses had to die as a result of sin to fit into the type.
 The same thoughts apply to the sin of Jonah, who was declared by the Son to have been a representative of Himself (Matt. 12:38-40).
 The same is true of the sin of Adam (Rom. 5.)
 In all these cases there was evidently the juncture of the two motives, human and divine, in the one act, as at Calvary. The scriptures attribute to God all that goes on in the universe, so that He can make all work together for good to those whom He foreknows, predestinates, calls, justifies and glorifies (Rom. 8:28-30).
 From these considerations we may deduce the general principle that the sin of man is the righteousness of God.
 Because this last sentence provoked such opposition, we explain.
 In human conduct there is a constant, clear-cut distinction between good and evil that must always be preserved. In our actions evil never becomes good, nor good, evil. We cannot properly say, "Let us do evil that good may come." Our motives may make an otherwise good act an evil one or an otherwise evil act a good one, but we do not transmute evil into good or good into evil.
 There are three forms of evil: sin, suffering and death. (See the author's free booklet, "THE MYSTERY OF EVIL"). We can make sin out of good, but we cannot make good out of our sins, though we can make good out of the wrongs others do to us. We can bring good out of suffering, as in disciplining our children or developing them by hardship. Men supposedly bring good out of capital punishment. At least, God commanded it through Moses, and endorses it by ordaining "the powers that be."
 What God does in all three forms of evil is good. He punished the Philistines through Samson's marriage that was contrary to His own law and made the adultery of David's wives that was contrary to the seventh commandment a salutary punishment of David for his own adultery. He caused the suffering of the Son to make Him perfect. and brought salvation through His death.
 But in all that He does in evil, the evil remains evil until it is displaced by the opposite good. David's wives must be cleansed from adultery as David was, lest, if not, there should be a blot on God's act of giving them into adultery, as He said He would do. The three thousand murderers of the Son were told to repent. Suffering must be displaced by glory. Death must be ended by resurrection, as it was three days later. Else evil, becoming permanent, would be unjustified evil. God, by doing good through it, is justified in His acts in it. But man cannot thus justify himself in evil, because he cannot bring ultimate good out of it to all concerned, as God can. Out of the wrong Joseph's brothers did to him God brought blessing to all concerned. He did the same out of the crucifixion. Even Joseph's brothers and the Son's murderers were blessed through their sin. At least, three thousand were in one day, and millions since.
 God's working in man's evil of sin so that good may come does not make Him guilty, nor does it make man innocent. The evil of sin does not by God's work in it become good done by man. The good is what God does. The crucifixion was murder by man, and always remains so, though it was sacrifice by God. The sacrifice did not make the murder right, nor did the murder make the sacrifice wrong, that there should be blame on God for working in the evil to make the crucifixion a sacrifice. Two actors were doing one act of taking life by opposite motives. The death in that sacrifice, while not wrong as an act of God, was still evil in the sense that death is called an evil in the scriptures and an "enemy," so even that sacrificial death must be annulled by resurrection three days later. If not, we would have no Savior and the whole purpose in the sacrifice would have failed. Evil must not be permanent.
 By man, thc crucifixion was sin; by God, perfect love, so the sin of man in crucifying was the righteousness of God in sacrificing.
 The same observations are true of all the sins just cited, and of all other sins. They are true of the wrongs you suffer. God is doing you or somebody good in them. You can afford to trust Him and be merciful to those who wrong you. God manages the sin of man so as to bring good out of it, as seen in all these cases cited and many more that could be cited.
 Evil is a temporary good means, in God's hands, not man's, (In that sense. "Evil is good"), but if permanent, would be an unmitigated and unjustified evil. Job said, "O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave," but only "till thy wrath be past." He asked for a "set time" for God to "remember" him, that he might "live again" after escaping his boils and troubles. So if the evil of death he craved should be permanent it would not have been desired. Fortunately, he got rid of his boils even before he shall live again. In that glad day all evil will ultimately be supplanted by all good.
 What solution of the seeming guilt of God and innocence of men in predestined evil does the objector to the biblical doctrine of predestination of evil offer, since he will have none of the explanation that the scriptures themselves give?

All objectors to predestination seem to admit that God foreknows, but they say He can foreknow without foreordaining.
 What is predestined may or may not be foreknown by man, according as God reveals it or not. But with God both must exist together, because what He foreknows He foreordains, and He could not foreordain and not foreknow without being ignorant, as to foreknowing, and He cannot be ignorant and be God. "Known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world." (Acts 15:18).
 Furthermore, what He foreknows He must be the One that foreordains, else there would be another divinity superior to Him, that ordains what He foreknows, which is another impossibility, for He declares that He is God and there is none else (Isa. 45:5).
 Could an event be foreknown and yet not be fixed in future certainty--not foreordained by some being? And if the future is fixed, who but God fixed it in that certainty? He says that He who foreknows also foreordains (Rom. 8:29).
 Prophets also foreknew what was revealed to them by the Spirit, but they could not foreordain those revealed events, nor other events that were predicted by other prophets before them. And the foreknowledge of all prophets was limited (Matt. 13:17, 1 Pet. 1:10-11).
 We, also, foreknow what is predicted by the prophets, but whoever thinks of puny people as being able to predetermine the future? We can plan, but how much of our planning can we guarantee will become fact?
 So then anybody should be able to distinguish between predestination and foreknowledge.
 It should be equally evident to all that there can be no foreknowledge without accompanying predestination. That is, foreknowledge is real knowledge, and not mere conjecture or shrewd guessing. The foreknown future is, by the fact of being certainly known, also foreordained. And ordained by God, for none of those to whom He reveals the future can be considered as ordaining it. People cannot predestinate themselves. Many a person's future was revealed before birth, and so before the possibility of his having anything to do about foreordaining it. Paul makes this plain about Esau and Jacob (Rom. 9:11-12); Peter said that the suicide of Judas was predicted in Psa. 109 (Ac. 1:20); and the destiny of the Son of God was also settled long before his birth (Eph. 1:4, 2 Tim. 1:9). So then it is futile to say that people predestine themselves, as has been argued by some objectors. Where do the scriptures make any such affirmation?
 When it is realized that there can be no prophecy without predestination, the amount of scriptural material on the subject is evidently ponderous.
 If people possessed freedom to do as they please, how could their predicted acts be foretold with such certainty that the words predicting their acts are more abiding than heaven and earth (Matt. 24:35)?
 Jesus foreknew Judas as the betrayer "from the beginning" (Jn. 6:64). He foretold it at the last supper (Jn. 13:26). Some have said, "Somebody had to do it, but Judas did not have to; he was a free moral agent, and could do as he pleased." Then could the Savior have been mistaken "from the beginning"? And falsified in his prediction at the last supper? Why say, "Somebody had to do it"? Because it was predicted? But the prediction specified Judas. Or because the plan required it? But that would be predestination of "somebody," and the objector will not admit the predestination of anybody. If that "somebody" "had to do it," was he "free"? Such well-meant efforts to solve the difficulties of "responsibility" will never satisfy. They do not reach bottom. They are so shallow that they falsify God's Son and the voices of the prophets, and so would involve God Himself in difficulties, if He could permit such apologetics to do so. Why not say, "Somebody else might be the one" in the case of our Savior, since His being was foreordained and foretold the same as the treason of Judas? That makes the error of the suggestion self-evident: for how would such an objector like to try being the "somebody else" in an effort to be his own Savior? Was Calvary foreordained for any such attempter? Once we concede any such "somebody else;" we start a possible endless series, that would thus revolve God in failure.
 We shall soon come to the solution of the difficulties involved.
 In Rom. 8:28 to 11:36 Paul carries on a long discussion of predestination. He considers four common questioning objections that arise in any thinking mind on the subject: The seeming guilt of God in ordained evil; the seeming innocence of man in it; the problem of incomplete creation (Why did not God create the race perfect, instead of bringing it to perfection through experience of evil?); and the problem of the destiny of the actors in ordained evil.
 The four problems are stated thus: "Is there unrighteousness with God?" (9:14); "Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?" (ver. 19); "Why have you made me thus?" (ver. 20); and "Has God cast away his people? (11:1).
 He begins the whole discussion by basing it on the optimistic outlook that all is working for good (8:28), then proceeds to declare formally his doctrine of predestination (8:29-30) and show the blessedness of realizing the truth that if God be for us nothing can be against us nor separate us from his love. His declaration of the doctrine in verses 29-30 makes it a link in the five-fold chain of foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification that binds us so inseparably to God's love. All this five-fold work in us is put in the past tense, for what He purposes is as good as done (4:17).
 Some who realize that it is futile to deny the doctrine, say that predestination is not personal--that God merely "predestinated a plan," and that whoever fulfills "the conditions of salvation" thus predestinates himself. We have already considered self-predestination. As to impersonal predestination, all that is needed is to point out that the pronouns in this section are personal ones; those in verses 29-30 refer to the Christians spoken of in verse 28, the "many brethren" of verse 29, signified by the pronoun "us" in verse 31. Then what can keep you out of the glory? "Peace, be still."
 If only a plan is predestined, the divine purpose might fail--nay, must certainly fail--by man's nullifying free will and failure to save himself by even a perfect plan. But the failure of the divine purpose is contrary to the scriptures (Psa. 135:6, Isa. 42:4, 46:11).
 Then also, since the presumed predestined plan is expressed in prophecy, it also might be nullified by the supposed power of human free will; but that nullification is also contrary to the scriptural declarations that prophecy is sure of fulfillment (Matt. 5:17-18, 24:35).
 In his argument in this predestination section in the Roman epistle Paul uses three illustrations of foreordination: Jacob preferred over Esau before birth (thus proving that the divine elective purpose was not "of works," since the unborn twins could not work); Pharaoh, who was divinely selected as an agent in whom to reveal the divine power and name to the whole world, and hardened in will for the purpose; and Israel, divinely blinded to bring mercy to the gentiles.
 If the divine choice had waited for the worthiness of works, Esau would have been the one to choose, but Jacob was chosen in spite of his foreknown inferiority to Esau in behavior because of both heredity and environment, and especially because of the mother's foreknowledge of the divine election of her favorite son.
 There are seven cases of the preferment of the younger son over the older in the scriptures: Abel and Cain; Shem and Japheth; Isaac and Ishmael; Jacob and Esau; Ephraim and Manasseh; Moses and Aaron; and Solomon and Adonijah. The first, third and sixth are expressly shown in scripture to be representatives of Messiah, and the seventh is clearly thus typical also. We are therefore justified in concluding that the reason for the preference of the younger was for the purpose of revealing Christ and keeping him constantly before mankind in blessed grace, that man might ever see the way to life. Then Esau was rejected so that Jacob might become an unwitting means to show that salvation is not of works, but by grace, since he was chosen before birth, and so before works were possible. Unmerited grace to Jacob later, in spite of his cheating, saved him by grace from what he was by both heredity and environment. Since he was thus saved, what hope there is for anybody that God chooses! So in the case of Jacob and the other six cases like his we learn the precious lesson that God also has two sons, and chose the Younger over the elder, even to show mercy to the elder and the race in him.
This and the second problem, that of man's seeming innocence in doing ordained evil, are twins, and must be considered together.
 When it is affirmed on the authority of scripture that evil acts are foreordained, immediately the objection is usually made that then God would be "responsible" for such sins; and secondly, that the people who thus act would not be to blame, and should not be "punished" for so acting. It looks like a clear case in favor of the objector. But on the contrary, there stands the Word saying that the crucifixion of our Savior was "determined before" by the Father to be done (Acts 4:28), and that His death was "murder" (Acts 7:52). Then the case for the defender of predestination is just as clear as that for the objector: God foreordained the murder of his Son. Why then was He not guilty? For no Christian can deny the predestined evil nor consent to the guilt of God.
 Furthermore, on the second of these two complementary and twin difficulties, why then should the Son's murderers have been charged with guilt by Peter (Acts 2:23) and Stephen (7:52)? Why should not they and Judas all be rewarded for making the sacrifice that put away the world's sin, instead of suffering judgment, as the Son forewarned (Matt. 23:35-36)? For this suggestion has been made by objectors. And the same of Pharaoh: Why drowned for doing what God raised him up to do and hardened his heart as a means to that performance? Here the objector finds a way to escape by saying that both Pharaoh and Israel are said to have hardened their own hearts. We shall come to that, too, presently, when we finish what we are here considering on these first two objections of so-called "'responsibility" of God and non-responsibility of man in ordained evil.
 What is the objector's solution of the dilemma he is in? For if he believes the Bible he must consent to the foreordained murder of God's Son; and then he has to solve the problem of exonerating the Author of the Book and the Ordainer of evil, and of showing the guilt of the perpetrators of that ordained evil; while if he denies the Bible how can he call himself Christian?
 To approach the solution, let us state a few facts and ask some questions: Our Savior purposely put Himself into the hands of His murderers without resistance or even using the means of escape He could have used, saying He did so to fulfill scripture that said it had to be so (Matt. 26:50-54). In ordinary circumstances that would be called suicidal. The scriptures call his death a sacrifice. A person who jumps in front of a coming train is called a suicide; but if he does so to push a child out of the danger, and loses his life, as he expected to do, he is praised as making a "supreme sacrifice." People have often knowingly gone into death thus for the sake of benefiting others. What is the difference between suicide and sacrifice? For though there is a difference in the dying in the two cases, there is no difference in the death--it is loss of life exactly the same in both. We shall come to the solution presently. The objector can doubtless see it now.
 Take another illustration: You have a child with all abscess on its arm. An enemy of the child would like to stab him with a lance. You say, "That's good; we'll join together and both do it. You take the lance and I'll hold your hand and guide it to the sorest spot on the child." And you guide the lance right into the abscess. Do you do evil to your child? Does the enemy do good to him? Who thinks of crying "responsible" to you or "irresponsible" about the enemy? If he is brought into court for his act can he convince the court that he was doing good? (Intentionally?). Ah, there's the solution in one word--"motive." For the law does consider motives in crime. That is the only difference between first, second and third degrees of murder. God likewise considered motives in death of victims, in cases at the cities of refuge (Num. 35, Deut. 19, Josh. 20). Everybody considers motives in determining guilt or innocence, condemning more, or excusing more.
 When we consider God's motive in the death of His Son, does it not seem wicked to ask if He was not guilty of murder at Calvary? He was the parent in the illustration of the child and the lance.
 Obversely, does it not seem nearly as wicked to ask regarding the Son's murderers, "Why were they not rewarded for offering a sacrifice for our sins?" For they hated Him to such a degree that instead of crucifying Him they would not use the milder capital punishment of stoning Him, as their law required them to do if they were correct in their verdict that He should die for blasphemy in the unjust trial they gave Him, but they rather gave Him a second trial before Pilate, that they might torture Him to death by the slow way of crucifixion. But even this was divinely planned, to show a greater depth of love by greater suffering for our sakes, to win our greater love.
 And was Judas intentionally offering God's Lamb any more than those crucifiers were, or was he not seeking silver by fraud against the enemies of his Master whom he really loved so much that he preferred to die when he saw that he had unintentionally involved Him in trouble? He thought his Master would deliver Himself as on former occasions, but affairs took a different turn from what he expected (Matt. 27:3). His conscious sin was covetousness. He was willing to defraud his Master's enemies out of the money consideration that was their part of the contract, without delivering his Consideration to the death they planned, though he did fulfill the letter of the agreement by delivering Him into their hands. He did not intend betrayal to death, but betrayal into escape.
 Thus the love of God and His Son made the crucifixion a sacrifice, while man's hate made the same act murder. It was one death from two motives. The same act was thus both evil and good, right and wrong. Thus an absurd proposition is logical, and an ethical self-contradiction true, and marvelous in love and grace. Calvary was thus the scene of both murder (Acts 7:52) and sacrifice (Eph. 5:2), yet not two deaths, but one death by two contrary motives of two parties causing that death. That one Cause likewise controls all man's conduct for good (Psa. 76:10, Prov. 16:1).
 From the above truths we deduce the principle that the motive determines the moral character of an act that is capable of variable quality, and this principle explains the problems of God's seeming guilt and man's seeming innocence in predestined evil acts.
 Calvary thus illustrates the general principle that God works in all evil for good (Rom. 8:28). That is why all things work together for your good as a Christian. You, too, have your Calvary, for all Christians are led as sheep to the slaughter (Rom. 8:36) even as He of whom we are a part, being His body. As your Father turned the worst sin in history into the most marvelous blessing, so He will sanctify your cross for good to all concerned. Then, as one lately said in our study, "So there's nothing to worry about, is there?" No, there is not. Perfect peace comes with this realization. Read Paul's reaction to his own revelation on this (Rom. 8:28-39). Your enemies are, under God, unintentionally and ignorantly serving you as slaves in God's family, for the slave does not know what his master is about (Jn. 15:15). All the evil in the world is thus like Calvary. Take the divine side in your view of evil, and you will have peace. The sun is always shining above the clouds. Look through them with the eye of revealed truth. Evil is necessary to reveal God, and when that revelation is completed he will abolish all evil from his universe. Then sin and death, pain and tears, shall be no more (Rev. 21:1-4).
 The question of God's seeming guilt in predestined evil is stated in Rom. 9: 14, "Is there unrighteousness with God?" And the companion question of man's seeming innocence in it is stated in verse 19, "Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?"
 After rebuking the presumption of the questioner, he answers that God's motive is "mercy." This is the key-word to this whole section of scripture on this subject. (See its occurrence seven times, in 9:15,16,18,23, 11:30,31,32). In the last reference he reaches the climax of "mercy upon all." And in the practical teaching growing out of the doctrine, in next chapter (12:1), he makes this mercy the basis of his appeal not to take vengeance on our enemies. And well he might, for since God is such a wonderful Alchemist as to transform all evil into good for us, why not consecrate ourselves as living sacrifices, and leave it to Him to deal with our enemies, as Joseph did (Gen. 50:15-20) when though he knew that his brothers sold him into Egyptian slavery, yet he said that they did not do it, but that God sent him there (Gen. 45:5-7).
In regard to guilt for sin, Paul makes a seemingly strange statement in Rom. 7:17,20: "It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.'
 At first thought this language would seem to be an alibi for the guilt of sin, but a closer study reveals the wonders of divine ways in grace and salvation. To understand the puzzling declaration we need to recognize what is signified by "I" and "sin."
 "I" is identified as the "the inward man" (ver. 22), "Christ" (ver. 25), "'the mind" (ver. 25) with which the Christian "would do good" (ver. 21), and serves "the law of God" (ver. 25) and has "delight in" it (ver. 22). Grammatically, "I" represents Paul, but a comparison of 7:25 with 8:1 shows that he is here placing himself as a representative of the general Christian experience. For from "I" in 7:25 he switches to "them which are in Christ Jesus" in 8:1, then back to "me," then to "us."
 "Sin" is identified by a three-fold, progressive title. First it is merely a "law" that he discerns, that prevents him doing the good that he wills to do (ver. 21 ). Then he enlarges the title into "the law of sin", and finds it located in his members (ver. 23). This is the "lust" of ver. 7, the three-fold flesh-desire, that of the flesh, the eyes and the pride of life (I John 2:15.17) that causes all sin. Finally, he elaborates the identification of the guilty one that causes all our sin, calling it "the law of sin and death" (8:2). Thus the progressive title of the culprit is "a law," "the law of sin," and "the law of sin and death."
 This lust, or flesh-desire, is hereditary, because inhering in flesh inherited from Adam, and so our sinning is predestined before our birth, because we are a continuation of Adam, whose sinning was predestined by his being created flesh.
 Since Paul, and his fellow-Christians for whom he puts himself representatively in this soliloquy, have been justified by faith, and have thus and therefore repudiated all sin and sinning in mental attitude of repentance, and as far as grace supplies ability have repudiated it in very deed, they now disclaim all guilt for it while waiting for deliverance entirely from it and its slavery. They regard it as another person, a tyrant or slave-master who causes them to do wrong under duress, and they therefore disclaim all guilt or "responsibility" for it. And we should remember that this language of the apostle is inspired, and so expresses the divine thought on what people call "responsibility" for sin committed by the faith-justified Christian.
 In this connection, close notice should be given to the word "more" in the declaration, "It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me". For until a sinner is justified by faith he cannot repudiate his guilt as no longer attaching to him. But when regarded as being a just, or righteous person, by Him who has assumed the work of making him so, he may take the same attitude as his Justifier, and declare his sin a thing of the past, from which he is separated, and therefore, for which he cannot be condemned.
 Who should be punished for compelling reckonedly justified Christians to sin contrary to their enlightened wills? and what is the proper punishment for the giant offender? Three scriptures may be cited in answer:
 In 1 Cor. 5:5 "the flesh" ("the carnal mind") is the one guilty for that Christian's fornication, and it is to be destroyed, but the Christian himself is to be saved. The destruction takes place during the present life (before "the day of the Lord Jesus") and the process is painful, called "crucifixion", and compared to "fiery trial".
 In Lev. 4 the law provided that in a sacrifice for sin only the flesh (representing sin) was burned (representing suffering), while the blood (representing the self, for "the soul of all flesh is in the blood," Lev. 17:14) was saved out of the fire by being poured out on the ground.
 In Col. 3:1-8, the "members" to be thus destroyed ("mortified") are not concrete body-tissue, but abstract sins named in verse 5, that come out of flesh-desires in the literal members, while the Christians themselves will eventually appear with Christ in glory (ver. 4).
 Thus by both literal and symbolic revelation the really guilty one that causes our sins ("the carnal mind") is properly punished with annihilation without the possibility of restoration, while we ourselves are delivered from his slavery by substitution of the spiritual mind for the carnal or natural.
In suggesting the idea of a parent guiding the lance in the hand of an enemy we are following a scriptural precedent, for in Psa. 17:13-14, evil people are called God's "hand." The same is true in Job 1-2, for when Job's adversary suggested that God put forth His hand and touch Job's property, then his flesh, God replied, "He is in your hand"; then later, Job said that God's hand had touched him (19:21), and the inspired biographer of the patriarch said that the hand of the Lord brought all this evil on Job (42:11). Again, in Acts 2:23, we find that men's wicked hands slew God's Son, but in 4:28 it is said to have been from God's hand. The Hand ruled the hands. The Hand's motive was love; the hands' motive was hate. The death was murder by the hands, sacrifice by the Hand.
The third question on predestination that Paul raises is, Why was not the race created perfect, instead of being subject to inevitable predestined sin, and perfected through suffering? He states it in Rom. 9:20 thus: "Why hast thou made me thus?" (that is, subject to predestined sin, as in the case of Pharaoh, just cited by Paul). Again, as in answer to the first two difficulties, the answer is "mercy" (9:23).
 It has been argued that Paul's response to the question of man's guilt in ordained evil (Rom. 9:19), when he reasons that the divine Potter has a right over the clay to make a vessel of dishonor as it suits him, proves that man has no reason to make such criticism as to question God's ways. But it should be noticed that this is only Paul's rebuke to the character of the question, and not his real answer to the question. He rebukes the brazen effrontery that criticizes God, but the real answer to the question comes later, in the arguments on "mercy," occupying the remainder of chapter 9 and all of chapter 10, which constitute the answer to this third question.
 There are some things that God cannot do and be God. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2), nor deny himself (2 Tim. 2:13). He cannot even be tempted (Ja. 1:13). From such statements we may deduce the general principle that He cannot do anything that would not be divine, anything that would be contrary to what He is. It would be contrary to Him as Love to make man perfect at the first, because love gives (John 3:16) and serves (Gal. S:13). So then God, as Love, must give to man, which at once necessitates that man must need, which is but another way of saying that he must be created imperfect. If created perfect there could be no love shown him from God. Therefore, all things must be as they are, or God must cease to be God. It would be contrary to God as "Mercy" to create man immune to sin, for then he would need no mercy, and we have just seen that Paul's answer to the question we are considering is "mercy."
 Again, it would be impossible to create man perfect because man is flesh, and flesh itself is imperfect. The question, "Why did not God create man perfect?" therefore expresses a self-contradiction. To create man otherwise than he is would not be creating man, but some other being. Would the querulous querist prefer not to have existed at all? We may so suffer as to prefer non-existence to our present experience of life, as Job and Jeremiah did, but when we reach the glory no such thoughts will arise (Rom. 8:18).
 Perfection is of two kinds, physical and moral. The physical is that of the "spiritual body" of immortality (1 Cor. l5:44); the moral is love. It is impossible to have the physical until the moral is received, for we are cautioned that the unrighteous shall not inherit God's kingdom. The moral is reached only by perceiving that God first loved us. Love is gifts and service. That necessitates that man, to be loved, must first need, which is imperfection. Thus is again evident the impossibility of creating man perfect. It would be an infinite calamity (if it were possible) to make man perfect in the spiritual body before being perfect in conduct, for then he would be an immortal sinner without the possibility of ever being changed to righteousness. God has wisely safeguarded man's welfare by making it impossible to be immortal until righteous. By creating man needy, so as to show love to him, God has arranged matters so that man can come to moral, then physical perfection. The greater man's need, the more God can love him, through mercy for sin, comfort in trouble and immortality instead of mortality. God's previous love thus becomes the way to man's responsive love in moral perfection, then to his physical perfection in immortality. Subjection to evil in mortal experience thus acts the same as contagion: it leaves behind an immunity against itself, so that in immortality man can never relapse into imperfection. But spiritual love could not have been a creation in the natural man. It must come through experience, in divine supply of need.
 The question, "Why did not God create man perfect?", is equivalent to asking "Why did He not do the finishing at the beginning?" since He is in the process of making us perfect through suffering; so the question becomes "Why, in a process, is the beginning not the end?"; why not put the roof on a house first, instead of starting at the foundation?
 If the fault-finder could choose his own created nature what would the choice be? He could not choose the perfection of immortality, as we have seen. If he could choose to be else than what we are we would not be people. How then could God make us to be people other than we are and still create us people?
 We have shown that motives are the factors distinguishing the ethical quality of acts, and that our flesh-motives cause us to do evil; but we are not to the bottom of the inquiry when we merely say that motive distinguishes moral quality of acts. We do not reach bottom till we see why God created us with these motives, and that it was necessarily so, in his process of bringing about a finished creation.
 At least, anybody should be able to realize that what has been is best, for if God could have done better in creating man otherwise than He did He would have been imperfect in His work, and imperfection would destroy His divinity. Then, too, the objector who asks why He did not do otherwise assumes to become superior to God in the suggested improvement. "Who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?" (I Cor. 2:16).
 Once we realize the existence of God, all that has followed was a necessity. And we might add that the same observations would be fit if God made any experiments or mistakes in creating man as He did, or if He will fail to do what He purposes in saving the race, for experiments, mistakes and failures nullify divinity. And such conceptions really do nullify the trust and worship of Christendom; for, to most people, God is very weak. Trust will never return to us until we realize the kind of God we have revealed to us in the scriptures, throw away the mess of tradition inherited from the apostasy and quit imitating the pagans in making our own god according to the light of human understanding and notions. But Christendom clings as tenaciously to its conceptions of divinity as do the pagans to their idols.
Paul's final question, in this section of the Roman epistle discussing predestination, is that of destiny: What shall be the destiny of the workers in ordained evil? He states it thus: "I say then, has God cast away his people?" (Israel, who were divinely ordained to be so blinded as to murder His Son).
 The negative answer (that God has not cast Israel off) is explained on the basis of mercy again (verses 30,31,32). Mercy to gentiles through the foreordained evil of Israel's blindness, then returning mercy to Israel through the destiny of the gentiles, and so "mercy upon all." Israel will get her mercy when the fullness of the gentiles is finished (11 :25).
 In this discussion Paul uses three cases from Israel's history to illustrate his teaching: Esau subjected to Jacob, for "mercy" to Jacob (9:15); Pharaoh hardened in will in order to show "mercy" to the world by revealing his "power" and "name" through Pharaoh (verses 16-18); and the blindness of Israel (running to the end of chapter 11). Jacob received his mercy at Jabbok ford, as well as before and after; Esau will yet receive mercy in the future kingdom (Obad. 21). Pharaoh and Judas and Israel have not yet received their returning mercy, but the fact that Esau and Israel are promised such a recompense for suffering ordained evil sets a precedent of principle that will operate to the limit of all cases, so when the sea gives up its dead (Rev. 20:13) and Pharaoh comes out of it, and when death and hades pour out their inhabitants before the great white throne and Judas comes out of them, infinite mercy will still be there to operate, because God ever lives, and "his mercy endures forever".
 If God could do such a thing as ordain man to evil temporarily, then punish him for it endlessly and hopelessly, we should have to confess that Abraham should never have asked, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
 It should be considered that when God subjects man to law, as in all these cases of ordained evil, justice is implied, and that God Himself respects our sense of justice in His dealings with us, as is shown by the fact that He answered Abraham's question, even to the extent of promised mercy to the whole city of Sodom if only ten righteous people could be found in it. Abraham's question sought only an assurance of justice: God went much farther and assured of great mercy. So when man is subjected by divine foreordination to the commission of sin under law, his sense of justice has as much reason to scan God's ways as did Abraham, as is shown by the fact that Paul answers the question raised about divine justice, after rebuking the style in which the querist asks.
 If a parent could find a whip that would last forever and start using it to punish a child constantly, in less than one day the Humane Society would see that he was arrested for cruelty; but does that Society remonstrate against endless torment or annihilation?
 The matter is vital, for who will worship God if he thinks the Judge is unjust? Or who will seek pardon from a Father by confession of sin if there be no prospect of mercy? Just here is the great evil of apostate Christendom.
 One, as Pharaoh, or Judas, or Israel, must be hardened or ignorant or blinded in doing evil to another through such divinely chosen instruments as themselves, that mercy may remove the evil, and so, reveal God. If Israel could have believed, no mercy could have come to us gentiles as it has. But they "could not believe" (John 12:39), because of preventing divine purpose expressed in prophecy quoted here by John; and Pharaoh could not let Israel go during the first nine requests and plagues, for the same reason, for his refusal was foretold to Moses (Ex. 3:19-20). Neither could Judas fail to act his part in the grace of salvation, lest we have no Savior.
 What is our response to our Father's appointment when He honors us to election of revealing His grace through us in bearing some trial without complaint or in enduring some wrong from an enemy, a slave to bring us a blessing, unintentionally by him and unaware to us, or to dispense the grace of mercy to our wrong-doers? Can we measure up to the call? Yes, He qualifies all whom He calls. The truths here set forth are a part of that qualifying means. They make people sweet in a savor of love. The reason there is so little of Christ in Christendom is that there is so little of truth in the traditions of the apostasy.
 So we see that we must revise our ideas upward on the conception of "responsibility" and say "accountability" instead; enlarge our conception of punishment to mean correction.; and see farther into the matter of destiny than to think of it as hopeless, endless torment or death, and say with Isaiah, "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (26:9).
John Calvin and his successor in doctrine, Jonathan Edwards, knew the truth of predestination, but they missed the "mercy upon all" expressed in Rom. l1:32, because their view of the immortality of the soul and its going to heaven or hell at death as an endless destiny left no room for mercy to those who were foreordained to evil through the present life, for that view precludes the possibility of a resurrection to future mercy.
 The greatest objections to predestination usually arise because of the error of thinking that predestined evil is permanent. That predestination in evil is temporary may be seen by the word "until" in Rom. 11 :25, where the blindness of Israel is limited to the time during which the gentiles are being called. This blindness of the nation is the most frequently quoted and used case of predestined evil in all the Bible. Both Jesus and Paul referred to it more than once.
 The quotation is from Isa. 6:9-10. It is the great text on Israel's hardness of heart, blindness and deafness. Here again, (verse 11) the duration of this predestined evil is declared to be temporary, being limited by the same word "until" used in Rom. 11:25. After the time set by that word "until," there will be no more predestined evil of Israel's blindness. So that case of ordained evil is temporary, beyond cavil. And the prospective passing away of all evil (Rev. 21:1-4) shows that all foreordained evil is temporary. Its temporary presence is for man's development (Eccl. 3:10). But predestined good is permanent, for it is "to eternal life" (Acts 13:46). And both the evil and the good appointed by the Father are inevitable (Job 34:29).
 Pharaoh's predestined evil lasted only "until" God published His name in power to that ancient world and Pharaoh was drowned; that of Judas ended at the potter's field; and that of Israel will end at the fullness of the gentiles. When the sea gives up its dead, Pharaoh will be predestined to the endless good then to be dispensed, when all creation will praise God for all that is (Rev. 4:11, 5:13). The predestined course of Judas and the crucifiers ended at Calvary. When they rise from the dead it will be to predestined and endless good. The predestined guilt of three thousand of them ended at Pentecost, when they received infinite blessing from their heinous sin. Why should grace visit them and not in time visit all their companions in evil, including Judas and others like him who may have died in the intervening 53 days before Pentecost? Should the accident (?) of death at any certain time preclude the reception of grace such as was given to others who lived a longer time than they?
 Instead of destiny being determined at death and consisting of endless evil for those ordained to evil in this life, predestination in evil is temporary, while predestination to blessing will run through the endlessness of immortality, when we shall know that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory" (Rom. 8:18).
 And when God's glory fills the whole earth, there will be no room for any predestined evil to remain.
Hardening the heart is really stiffening the will, or making stubborn. Pharaoh's will was at first stubborn when Moses first appeared before him with the request for the exodus of his people. Then God brought the first plague on him and Egypt, and immediately Pharaoh submitted. His heart was softened. His will was subjected to the divine will. Then at his request God removed the trouble. Immediately his will became stubborn again. How was his heart thus "hardened"? By removal of the trouble. Who removed it? God. Who then hardened? God primarily; Pharaoh secondarily, by the mental process of decision. But that decision was determined by environment, and therefore predetermined by God, who controlled the environment of plagues. It was as is sometimes said by one person to another, "I will make up your mind for you."
 Here are the scriptures on Pharaoh's hardening his heart: Ex. 8:15,32,34. And here are the ones on God's doing it: Ex. 4:21, 7:3,13, 9:12, 10:1,20,27, 11:10, 14:4,8, Rom. 9:17-18.
 It is not proper to deny one idea of hardening by quoting scriptures on the other. Both must be recognized, even though they seem to contradict each other. It is like the two hands previously considered: either Pharaoh controlled God in the hardening both together, to make it true that both did the hardening, or else God controlled Pharaoh, so that both operated together. In some co-operating one actor is predominant, as when a child "helps" its parent drive a car by laying a hand on the steering-wheel, under the parent's hand. Child Pharaoh thought he was running Egypt without God. He did not know that God sets up kings and rules in the kingdoms of men (Dan. 4:17) and had raised him up to fulfill His purpose (Ex. 9:16) and that the king's heart in His hand is as the rivers, being guided as He wills (Prov. 21:1 ).
 But the human hand cannot control the divine, the king of Egypt could not control God in the hardening; but God can, and does control all humanity. The mathematical symbol of all humanity lumped together is -0 (Isa. 40:17). No wonder the prophet told his people what he did in 2:22, for minus zero is not to be "accounted" in any counting house. It is so small that even in calculus there is no such symbol as -0. Yet this is the mighty power that is supposed to thwart God, whose symbol is infinity. A little meditation will show the co-operation in the 'hardening of Pharaoh, for we read in Prov. 16:1 that God prepares the heart and so controls the words (both the "I won't" at first, and then the "I will").
 God predicted to Moses that He would harden Pharaoh's heart. He knew that He could make Pharaoh submit. Just before the tenth plague He predicted that the king would let Israel go (Ex. 11:1). He knew just how stubborn Pharaoh was, and that He could control him to do His will. Jesus knew what was in man (John 2:25). He predicted Peter's three denials and many other things that people would do and say. Does the Father know less than the Son? (Psa. 139:1-4). Does not the Potter know the chemical composition of His human clay, and that water will soften it when it becomes stubborn in dryness, and just how much water it will take, and what He is making, and have full confidence in His ability, and when to fix its form in the fire of adversity7 If not, how can there be prophecy involving the clay? Or salvation? Can He drop the vessel and so spoil it hopelessly and endlessly?

 Here are the scriptures on Israel's hardening their hearts: Psa. 95:8, Heb. 3:8, 3:15, 4:2, 2 Kin. 17:14, Neh. 9:16,17,29, Jer. 7:26, 19:15, Matt. 13:15.
 And here are the ones on God's doing it: Isa. 63:17, John 12:40, Rom. 11:8. See also Josh. 11:20 and Deut. 2:30 for similar thoughts.
 The explanation is the same as on Pharaoh: God did it through their ignorant co-operation of will. Their stubbornness was part of their composition as made by Him who said to their progenitor, "I will make of thee a great nation." Their blindness was self-righteousness, and was a result of their law-environment, and He gave them that. He will remove the blindness at the appointed time stated in Rom. 11:25, by bringing upon them the war of nations described in Zech. 12-14, when Israel will be humbled and believe. All mankind is self-righteous by natural pride of life, so that the way in which God blinded them was by creating them in that pride of life and later giving them law-environment. The way He will open their eyes is by crushing pride with trouble.

There cannot at the same time exist in the universe two opposing free wills in executive freedom. The idea is self-contradictory. Such wills would have to divide the universe between them if one could not conquer the other, in which case the conquered one would not have been as free as the other. That is probably why religion has divided off the upper world and given it to God with a little handful of saved people and given the "incorrigibles" to the devil in the underworld or says that they will eventually be "burned up." Judging from the overwhelming population said to be "lost" thus, man's and the devil's "free will" must be more free than God's. Is it surprising that people do not trust God more?
 God works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11). Then what can man do to thwart that will? God works in the Christian both to will and to do (Phil. 2:13). Objectors ask, "Will He save people against their wills?" No. He cannot do that, because grace stubbornly received by force, is not grace or gift. But He can change the will. Remember Pharaoh. And the hornets (Ex. 23:28; Deut. 7:20; Josh. 24:12). He did not "have to" get in front of those Canaanites and drag them out by the hair. If he had, they probably would have gone right back as soon as he let loose. But the hornets behind them, ah, then they decided to go of their own wills. But not "free" wills, because the hornets ruled their wills. The hornets were more' "free" than the Canaanites. Both wanted to stay in the land, and the hornets won. The human will is not so big. Smaller than a hornet. Or even a flea or a "chigger." Or a microscopic germ. Not worth idolizing so much, is it? Remember -0?
 The scriptures never affirm the philosophy of "the freedom of the will." Some people think it is so affirmed in the phrase "free-will offerings." But those who offered such sacrifices were free only from the constraint of the law, which did not require such offerings. The offerer merely took it upon himself to offer them. He was free from the law, but not from the motive prompting the offering, such as gratitude for some blessing, and God controlled those motives by the blessing given or withheld at his FREE WILL. The other sacrifices were strictly commanded in the law, as to character, time, place and manner. The instruction for making a freewill offering said "at your own will" (Lev. 22:19) as distinguished from God's will expressed in the law. The truth that gratitude was a constraining motive in freewill offerings is shown in 2 Chron. 29:31. And the truth that "freewill" meant free from constraint of law is shown again in Ezra 7:13. Those who returned from exile were of "freewill" only in being free from compulsion by the Persian monarch's edict. He did not compel anybody to return. But the motives for returning were in God's control.
 If man's will is morally free, God's will cannot be executively free. All he could then do would be to wish men would be saved. Most people worship a mere Wisher, instead of a Disposer. They should write God's name without a capital letter, in smallest type possible and even in vanishing ink. Again we say, Is it strange that there is little faith and trust?
 When a child says, "I won't do it," a decision has to be made right then as to whose will is free from control by the other. If God's child says that, is the heavenly Father less than a human one would be under such circumstances? Of course that is executive freedom instead of moral. But if Adam and Eve had moral freedom to obey law or disobey it, why did God have the way of the cross arranged before their creation? (2 Tim. 1:9, 1 Pet. 1:19-20). And if Israel had moral freedom to obey their law, how could God foretell to them that they would not? (Deut. 32).
 If man has moral freedom to disobey to the wrecking of his ultimate welfare God does not have executive free will in the circumstances.
 Salvation and justification are not by good works of law. They cannot be (Rom. 3:19-20, Gal. 3:21, Rom. 8:3).
 A person can will to "do good," but how to perform it he cannot find until "Jesus Christ" supplies the motive that will work true righteousness in him (Rom. 7:14-23). Until then the person's will is ruled by the desires of the flesh, which are stronger than his resolutions to do good. But when Christ's power of love comes in it rules the will for righteousness. Changing motives thus will make all human conduct righteous, and God can, and will displace all human selfishness and hate with his love.
 So then man is not "the architect of his own destiny." "Architect" means "highest builder." But there is a "Master Builder" (Heb. 3:4). Man is no builder at all except by conferred grace (1 Cor. 3:10, 15:10).
 Those who think they have done well at life's work like to think they are the doers, independent from God. But the failures and broken vessels can see by the light of "the furnace of affliction" that there is a greater Worker than man, who holds the destiny of all in his hands. That is why the humiliated can "'understand the loving kindness of the Lord" (Psa. 107:43).
 We have a good example of the operation of the will in the case of Rebecca. She was foreordained to be Isaac's wife before she knew it, as shown by the sign that Eliezer, the slave, proposed at the well. When he arrived at her father Bethuel's home and related the matter, the mother and Rebecca's brother Laban, tried to have her stay at home at least ten days, but Eliezer said she must return with him immediately. So they called her and left the decision to her will, but not her "free will," for of course, she decided as God had already decided it. When they asked her, "Will you go with this man?" she said, "I will go." If Eliezer had dragged her out by the hair into enforced wedlock it probably would not have succeeded. It was bad enough that her engagement and decision were influenced by golden earrings and bracelets, considering how she prompted her pet son to lie to her husband on his death-bed, though it, too, was "of the Lord," to give the blessing to Jacob in harmony with the divine purpose and prediction.
 A Syrian of a Midwest city in relating to me his experience in following their marriage custom, still followed as in the days of Rebecca, of the couple never seeing each other till their wedding day, said, "I got gypped." She was so ill-tempered he could hardly live with her.
 In this incident of Rebecca we have an illustration of why salvation by grace must be accomplished by choice (that is, assent to the unrealized divine will) of the saved ones, even though they are foreknown and predestined (Rom. 8:29-30), for if they were forced into it in the ordinary sense it would not be grace. Therefore God Himself cannot do what people suggest when they ask, "Will God save people against their wills?' He does not need to do that, even if it were possible. A few days of herding swine that eat the feed before the prodigal can get down from shaking the carob-tree to share the feed with the pigs will soon make him homesick for the Father's bountiful and free table. God does not "make" us do things against our wills. A few plagues or a fish to swallow a rebellious prophet or a few hornets behind the Canaanites soon change a stubborn will. Even human parents know something of changing a child's will. The fish and the hornets won in the contest of wills because God was on their side. Or rather, they were on God's side without knowing it. He ruled them by their natural taste for food, just as He could send the hornets into Canaan by a food-shortage where they had been living, as He sent Israel into Egypt in fulfillment of His purpose and His prediction to Abraham, by a famine in Canaan and plenty of grain in Egypt.
 Freedom to choose Christ is a necessity when we are "called" (Rom. 8:29-30) "by the gospel" (2 Thess. 2:13-14), else God could not save us if we were so strongly held by the old slavemaster of sin that we could not even wish for freedom. Then God Himself would be enslaved to His creation and our slavery. We have just enough freedom that we are not hopelessly held by "the old man," as Paul calls the flesh-life, whose flesh-desires are our slave-master. Our wills are free from his power to hold us longer under sin and death, but they are not free from God's call in the gospel. "The pleasures of sin" hold us strongly until a stronger appeal comes to us from our Redeemer. Then the hard toil and beatings we get from the old master make his goods have a bitter taste in comparison with the promised "honey from the rock." Nor are our wills in our slavery free in the ordinary conception of moral freedom, for we cannot do good until our Redeemer calls us out of slavery, for Paul said, "To will is present with me, (to "do good") but how to perform that which is good I find not." In the subsequent context (8:7) he declared that the carnal mind cannot obey God. If it could, there would be no slavery in sin. So the will is not free from evil to do good until the Redeemer sets us free from the old slave-master to do the will of the new one. Until then the voice of the new one has no authority over us. The old one has full claim on us.
 Neither is the redeemed will free to go back into sin. It "cannot sin" (1 Jn. 3:9), for it is the will of the Redeemer in us (Phil. 2:13). We are securely held by Him (Rom. 8:36-39). The old master's voice is dead. Pharoah's jurisdiction ended at the western shore of the Red Sea, and he died in it. After Israel passed through baptismal death to slavery in that sea they were free from slavery on the eastern shore. They never returned to Egypt. Not in fact, though they, as we do, found "the way of the wilderness" so painful that in thought they sometimes turned back to Egypt. But even then they did not really go back. They could not. Neither can we. When we are redeemed we can do the good that we formerly could not, for we are told that God works in us to will and to do His pleasure. It is not the divine purpose that we "continue in sin" (Rom. 6:1-2), though the time past of our lives was a necessary allotment for that experience. But that past time is sufficient (1 Pet. 4:3). A longer period would be too much. From thenceforth we are free enough to choose the better way.
 Until then the will is not free to obey God in righteousness. It is in slavery to the desires of the flesh. Adam could not obey. Neither could Israel. But even in that old slavery the will is not free from God to do evil when He restrains it, as He restrained Abimelech from adultery with Sarah (Gen. 20:6). There are many other like cases in scripture, as the forty Jews already cited, and as the plots of the Jews to slay Messiah before the time. On different occasions when they tried to destroy Him we read that the reason they did not was because His hour had not yet come (Jn. 7:30, 8:20). In order to destroy Him then they would have had to overcome God, through it would have been easy to do that if they had "freewill," according to the contention of those who say it would be wrong for God to violate the sacredness of man's will which they contend was a necessity at his creation for his development, though they themselves continually violate the will of their children to force them to obey, or try to contravene the will of their neighbors when interests conflict.
 But in order to kill the Savior before the time the Jews would have had to invade the sacredness of the divine will and contravene that. Who could conquer omnipotence, that had predetermined the time, place and manner of that death? Two restraints deterred them from their plots, one restraint in Him and the other in them. In Him, perfect love, prompting Him to go to the cross, caused Him to escape from their clutches. In them, fear of the people restrained them from such open attacks as they often contemplated (Matt. 21:46, 26:5). But when the proper time came, all circumstances operated like clockwork. That was what so surprised Judas, for he did not expect that his betrayal would terminate as it did (Matt. 27:3). He did not expect his Master to be "condemned' but that He would escape as always before. He did not realize the divine purpose working in him as in all else pertaining to the tragedy. He wanted to defraud the rulers of the money without really doing his Master harm. When it turned out unexpectedly he committed the suicide that was ordained probably without his knowledge. He would not have been ready to try to get money from the rulers by fraud until he had seen his Master escape from them on these previous occasions, and thought that He would do the same again. That made the betrayal come at the end of the Lord's ministry, where it was ordained. In all this we see the divine hand operating all according to His will. What a lesson to our praying faith to hold on till God is ready to give the desired thing! It is better to have faith in God than confidence in free will.
 When the time for the sacrifice for the sins of the world came, the Son governed the certainty of it by no longer trying to escape, but went out boldly to the officers in the garden to be arrested and led away.
 When God made their sin of murder His holy and loving act of a sacrifice for that sin of theirs and for all other sins of all the world, their sin in his hands was made to be the greatest and most marvelous blessing that ever could be. We cannot say that sin is a blessing, but we can say that the good into which God transforms all evil is a blessing. Not man's act of sin, but God's act of good is a blessing. Not man's acts by themselves, but His acts as acts of God working in him. Man's acts by themselves are evil, but his acts as acts of God are always good. The Saviour said, "Salt is good," but the sodium and chlorine from which salt is made are deadly poisons.
 God makes all work together for good (Rom. 8:28). He makes the wrath of men glorify Him (Psa. 76:10). He made the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. a chastisement of the Jews. In that siege He predicted that they would eat their own children (Lev. 26:28-29). Since that was to be His act of punishing them (verse 28), how will those who fight predestined evil by saying then God would be guilty, exonerate God from guilt in Israel's cannibalism as well as from the murder of His Son? Or from adultery in giving David's wives into adultery to punish him (2 8am. 12)? But why think of defending Him against His own acts of Fatherly chastening or from His infinite love in giving us His Son in death of murder for us? The difference between the murder and the sacrifice, though both were one and the same death, was in the motives of the two actors, man and God, and the purpose of the divine Actor, and the result He accomplished in it. It is the same as the difference between a death by murder, another by suicide and another by self-sacrifice. Suicide and self-sacrifice can be combined, for a person could end his life for sake of others. So can murder and suicide, for suicide is self-murder. So can murder and sacrifice, for they were at Calvary. The only difference is that there two actors joined in the one deed of death, man and God, and man was unaware of the other Actor, and ignorant that God was using man's hands through murder to offer a sacrifice. But their sin of murder remained sin on their side, because of their motive of hate, while God's act remains holy, because of His motive of love. The three thousand who were saved on the day of Pentecost got a blessing out of that crucifixion that was both their sin of murder, and sacrifice, for it saved them. Their sin brought them a blessing. But it was not the murder that blessed them, but the sacrifice. His death by murder apart from God making it a sacrifice by operating in it all by raising Him from death, would never have blessed them. That proves that it was not murder that blessed them. It would then have remained, as it was temporarily, the worst sin in history at the same time that it was the greatest divine manifestation of love.
 So we do not "glorify sin" by speaking as we do of the cross. Sin is still "wrath" even when He makes it "praise" Him. Instead of glorifying sin we glorify God for His marvelous ways in what He does with sin. Let our critics answer this question: Was the death of our Lord murder or sacrifice, or both?
 Joseph's brothers got a blessing out of their sin, for it saved them from starvation. But that did not make them careless to "continue in sin," for they asked Joseph to forgive them. Their sin would not have been a blessing to them nor to Joseph nor to anybody else apart from God's working in it. In other words, it was not their sin that blessed them, but God's making it work for good.
 God sets up the rulers, then they legalize rum and prostitution and kill millions in wars. But Hitler, in God's purpose, was made to be something that will become more manifest in the future, when that purpose becomes more visible.
 So there are two phases of all our conduct, the human and the divine. The scriptures speak of it as the work of two hands, man's and God's. Speaking of man's sin of murder of God's Son, it says, "Ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain" (Ac. 2:23), but speaking of the same death as a sacrifice, it says they did what God's hand and counsel predestined (4:28). The divine Hand moved the human hand. That is, God does things with human hands. The hand commits sin; the Hand does righteousness. One aspect of the deed is that it is the act of the instrument; the other, the deed of the Doer, because there are two intelligences acting, since the instrument has intelligence as well as the Doer, though not enough intelligence to know that the Doer is acting. Consequently, the instrument fondly and proudly thinks it is "free" in its will.
 As we view the awful tragedy of the cross from the human side we are overwhelmed with regret; as we see it from God's view we are overcome with His infinite love. When we contemplate all the horror and anguish in the world we turn away, lest we become mentally unbalanced, as we doubtless would if we knew it all; but that is because we do not know what God is doing with it all. We cannot understand why some people suffer as they do. Even that little unbalances some minds, and turns others to atheism, especially when we are the suffering victims. What have believers in the freedom of the will as the cause of all this contrary to the divine will to offer in palliation? Nothing but regrets that it did not turn out as they think that God wished that it might after delivering tons of dynamite to man without knowing what he would do with it.
 We ask, "Can it be possible that it pleased God to see the torture of His Son?" How can we go farther and believe that "it pleased the Lord to bruise him"? Yet so it is written (Isa. 53:10). When we understand that the greater the suffering the greater the love manifested, we can begin to assent to the declaration that the Father brought about the sin and suffering at Calvary and turned it all into His righteousness. And viewing the suffering world in the light of that tragedy we can abide the evil and endure the pain, as we are assured that the sufferings of the present are not comparable to the coming glory. So we go on with our daily cross-bearing. For all the evil in the world can be understood as can that at Calvary, since God makes all man's wrath praise Him. Every tear contains a rainbow, not only of the church, to whom He makes all work for good (Rom. 8:28), but the travail of the whole creation (verses 18-23), though it is all so hard for us to understand.
 There was evil in the world before Adam sinned, for God knew good and evil before Adam and Eve came to know it, for God said, "The man is become as one of us, to know good and evil." So there was already evil before the pair became aware of it. What was it, and where was it, and who put it .there?
 It was nakedness, for that was the evil that Adam and Eve came to know by obtaining the knowledge of it by transgressing in taking it from the tree of knowledge. God made that evil of nakedness when He created the first flesh creature that was born without clothing. Was it wrong for God to know that evil, or worse yet, was it wrong for Him to create it? This all shows that He did no wrong by creating evil and bringing about their failure to obey the command He gave Adam. Remember the province of law, that it is not for righteousness by obedience, but for awareness of inability to obtain righteousness by works. So when God creates evil (Isa. 45:7) or does evil (Amos. 3:6) does He sin? How can He sin, since sin is non-obedience to law, and He is not under any law? Even though He does no sin in creating evil, does He do wrong? How can He do wrong, since He cannot be tempted with evil? (Jas. 1:13), and since He makes all evil result in good?
 Though He gave David's wives into adultery to punish David with exact vengeance for his adultery with Bath-sheba, and caused Absalom to make war on his father as a punishment for David's causing Uriah to be slain in battle, and though He deceived the false prophets who deceived Israel (Ezek. 14:9) He did no wrong, because all His acts in those cases were the operation of doing good.
 Taking human life is evil. Is it sin? God takes away people's lives. He is the one who takes away the breath of every creature that dies (Psa. 104:29-30). He sometimes destroyed thousands of Israel's enemies in war. He causes pestilences, storms and catastrophes, as He did then. But remember that there will be a resurrection and adjudication of all things at the great white throne.
 Murder is evil. It is also sin and crime. But capital punishment is neither murder, sin nor crime. Was the crucifixion of God's Son an evil, a sin or a crime? Yes, by man it was all three. But by God it was none of the three, but was love's sacrifice for sin, to take away the sin of the world and all its evil.
 The question is, did God ordain evil, including sin as part of that evil? And in doing so did He err or do anyone an ultimate wrong? He could not sin, because He was not under His own law. Did He do any wrong? How can infinite Love do wrong? "Love works no ill to his neighbor" (Rom. 13:8-t0), and He is Love and makes all evil work for good. So where is the wrong? Thus does evil vanish when we take it into His holy presence, and all evil becomes good in His operation. That is the solution of the "problem of evil."
 So the solution of it in its seeming guilt of God is not to blame a secondary cause of which He is the first Cause, but to see that His work in evil is good. Then the evil vanishes, by ceasing to be evil when He does it, as He does do with all the evil that man, His agent, does.
God needs no exoneration. A moment's thought will make us realize that. What is needed is for us to believe Him when He says that He "is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works" (Psa. 145:17). Because people cannot believe what He declares is His relation to evil in creating it, doing it and giving it to men for discipline, they think they must relieve Him of guilt for its existence, claiming that it developed spontaneously in a being that "fell," either an angel or man.
 Does God want people guilty? He does (Rom. 3:19-20). Why? For grace (5:20). That is equivalent to saying He wants them to sin, as is declared in this last citation. Did He not want His Son sacrificed by murder? The Son said in regard to that, "Thy will be done." Did He not want Israel to be deceived by false prophets (Ezek. 14:9)? And David to be punished by the adultery of his wives, and Samson to disobey the law in marrying a Philistine? and so on, and so on.
 Does He want us to continue in sin (Rom. 6:1-2)? The answer shows that an experience in evil is necessary as a temporary development.
 Does His desire for their guilt antedate their transgression or follow it, so they may merely become guilty after they have sinned contrary to His retention and expectation? The above cases give the answer.
 The freedom of the will is not the only way of escape from divine guilt for evil that has been advocated by earnest thinkers who have sought a solution of the matter. The Gnostics taught that there is an intermediary order between God and the universe that created the material world, which is essentially evil, and that thus the supreme One had no participation in the evil. Thus they offered the detachment of Creator from creation as a way of escape from divine guilt.
 Other religions, as Zoroastrianism of Persia, offer as a solution that there are two gods, Ormazd the good one and Ahriman the evil one, in conflict. This teaching leaves the origin of evil as an evil god unsolved, for it does not explain the origin of the evil god and makes evil eternal from the beginning. It differs from the idea current in most of Christendom, that the evil god ("the devil") was created good by the good God and became evil by corrupting himself, and that this "fallen" one is responsible for the evil in human experience. A very small portion of believers in the devil consider that he was created an evil being for the temporary purpose of God in evil, and that eventually he will be reconciled.
 Among those who believe in predestined evil to a certain degree and deny the teaching that the free will of man introduced evil into the world contrary to the divine will, there are those who nevertheless advocate a certain degree of human freedom that is responsible for some of the, evil in the world. These teach that God predestines some evil, but not all, and that He "controls" all the evil that He does not predestine. They thus maintain that this degree of freedom they advocate does not interfere with predestination, for they believe in predestination, and say that nothing can interfere with the accomplishment of the divinely foreordained purposes.
 The idea of control is evidently correct, if it be another way of saying that God works all (Eph. 1:11, A.V.) or operates the universe (C.V.). If He had not predestined the future He could not predict it. So He controls all with a view to the purposed future. The event that is controlled purposely that it may cause another event to result must have been predestined to produce it. Thus the predestined ultimate involves the predestined, controlled event that accomplishes it. That shows that each controlled event is itself a predestined result of a previous causative, controlled, predestined event, which in turn is a result of a previous, causative, controlled, predestined event, and so on, to the origin of all, which is God.
 It is asked if all sin and other evil issue directly out of God. No, He works in the sin and other evil that people do, and in what we call "natural law" of weather, earthquake, lightning, disease and such. But that no more relieves Him of supposed guilt than if He had done these things directly instead of indirectly, for He made man and "natural law".
 The whole point in question can be cleared up to the satisfaction of all concerned if a case can be cited in the scriptures which was not foreordained, but controlled. If the idea is correct, such a case should be found, and if it cannot, the whole idea would seem to look suspicious, to say the best possible for it. But where is there such a case?
 Moreover, what is gained by proving such a case? Has God been exonerated if we can prove that He "controls" evil instead of predestinating it? The control might be a lesser degree of "responsibility" than predestinating it would be, but does not the problem still persist as to His guilt even in consenting to have such a relation to evil as to control it? Would not that be similar to His permitting evil, which we have already discussed?
 It has been argued by these proponents that if God predestinated all evil and all actions of people, that would be fatalism, and people would be only "puppets" ("machines," as we will shortly discuss that idea). Would they like to call our Savior by such an epithet? He was predestinated.
 If full predestination would become fatalism, why would not partial predestination be fatalism to that degree? In other words, why are not predestination and fatalism identical? The opponents of predestination try to cry it down by calling it fatalism. The scriptures never use the term "fatalism." A good encyclopedia distinguishes the terms, as we have just distinguished them, showing that determinism ("necessity"), fatalism and predestination all agree in saying that the future is fixed. They all overlap in that respect. But they never coincide, even though they do overlap. So predestination could never become fatalism, even if it is true that all evil and all acts are predestinated. So there should be no more said by way of arguing that if predestination of all is true it would be fatalism.
 Even though the idea of "control" is true, it is the same as predestination, for then God controls all with a view to His purpose, and thus control is but a part of the "means" used in accomplishing a predetermined purpose, and so is a part of predestination, since in it, means are used to reach the goal. So there is no objection to control, unless it be severed from predestination. In other words, scripturally expressed, He operates the universe according to His will, and purpose (Rom. 8:29-30, Eph. 1:11).
 As an illustration of the matter, consider the birth of our Lord. The predetermined place of it was Bethlehem. For that to be, it was necessary that Joseph marry Mary. That required all the ancestors of both to be what they were, in time, place, identity and all else, running clear back to Adam, and thus every event is locked in with every other, in the whole series, and in all that has occurred. The predetermination of one event involves all others related to it. And what event is unrelated? "No man lives to himself" (Rom. 14). For Bethlehem to be the birthplace, it was necessary for Caesar to decree the law of registration. Even so, God sets up the rulers and "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord as the rivers of water. He turneth it whithersoever he will."
 All other ordained events can be shown to be thus related to all other events, link by link, and chain by chain.
 These questions on evil are discussed more thoroughly in the author's booklet, "The Mystery Of Evil."
 Probably the nearest to scriptural evidence there is that God permits evil is the proposal of the lying spirit in Ahab's prophets (1 Kin. 22:22) and the suggestion in Job 1 and 2 that Job should be deprived of possessions and health.
 The first citation is a fictitious representation of what really occurred, for God "put" the deception in Ahab's prophets, so that if He "permitted" the evil, He permitted Himself to do it. He declared the same truth later through Ezekiel (14:9).
 A close scrutiny of the suppositional evidence in Job shows that there was no permission at all in that case. The adversary of Job proposed that God should bring the evil upon Job directly, instead of permitting anyone else to do it, and God accepted the proposal, with the exception that He did it indirectly, by putting Job in his adversary's hand to be afflicted by that adversary. But here again there is not permission, but command, a commission to that adversary as God's agent. But God was the one who brought the evil upon Job (42:11). God assumes as His acts whatever any of His subordinates (including people) do. This answers the question, "Do all sin and evil issue directly out of God?" to which we may properly pose another: Is any evil so remotely and indirectly related to Him that it is entirely disconnected from Him? That shows the futility of most efforts to exonerate Him for evil.
 Those who ask the first question answer the second by saying He controls all evil that He does not foreordain. But "control" is too weak a word, because it presupposes that He has an antagonist and that evil is outside His will. The scriptures never say that "the devil" is an adversary to God, nor that He controls evil or permits it. God has no adversaries. He has full dominion over His universe. He uses the stronger terms of Himself, that He creates evil, does it, gives it to man and brings it upon us. But always benevolently.
 Those who oppose the scripture teaching that God foreordains human conduct, by saying that in that case "Let us just sit down and do nothing, for we will do it anyway if we are ordained to," have two unanswerable questions to answer, with which we close this discussion and leave the questions with them. (1) Since our Saviour's course was predestined, even in places where He was to preach (Matt. 4:12-16) and what He was to say (Isa. 61:1-3), as well as His death and resurrection, why did He not say, "I'll just go back to my father's carpenter shop, because my Father will make me preach anyway, and put me through crucifixion and resurrection whether or not"? Why are you so superior to Him that you would act more wisely than He did? That is fatalism, as before explained. (2) The second question to our opposers is, Why do we not act as you say you would if you believed what we do? Job and Peter also boasted what they would do in hypothetical circumstances, and both did just the opposite, just as you will do when you learn to believe it as we do. But in the meanwhile why are you so superior to those men that your boast is valid though theirs were presumptive?


 As a conclusion to this study we shall try to make a statement of truth that will be acceptable to both sides of the controversy, by embodying in it whatever is true in the views of both sides.
 First, there is human will, for it is repeatedly stated in scripture.
 Second, it has some freedom, for the words "free" and "freewill" are used of it, and people are admonished to "choose," and said to do so.
 Then there is a doctrine of predestination in the scriptures, for the words in different forms are there, and there are many cases of it clearly visible.
 This shows the necessity of seeing that the ideas on man's freedom and those on predestination do not conflict. We have tried in this treatise to do that.
 So in this study we have stated the following thoughts about man's will and freedom:
 Adam had enough freedom to do evil, but not enough to do the good of obeying the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for that would have thwarted the divine intention of redeeming him and us from sin, as was planned before he sinned. We have the same freedom he had, and the same limitations of it.
 He had enough freedom to be accountable for his sin to the just judgment of God, because of the motive that prompted his disobedience. He was accountable, for he was sentenced to penalties, but the situation requires us to recognize that penalties and divine judgment are corrective, in order to change the motives prompting sin from evil ones to benevolent ones, and thus reclaim the ones who err.
 Since God designed the remedy for sin before it came, any effort to lay upon man's freedom the blame for the entrance of evil into the world in order to exonerate God from guilt, as is by some thought imperative, will not avail, and some other way must be found to see that God is not guilty for the presence of evil. We have set that way before the reader in our study, so will not rehearse it here.
 Man has enough freedom while in sin to desire to be freed from it, else he could not be saved from sin. So we do not have enough freedom while in sin to resist the call of redeeming grace when it comes to us.
 Even man's freedom to sin is limited, for we have cases that show that men have repeatedly been restrained from sin when they tried to commit it (Gen. 20:6, Jn. 7:30). God prevented men in such cases from doing the wrong they planned.
 We have freedom to do good only as enabled by grace, for the natural man is declared in scripture to be utterly incapable of righteousness apart from God's enabling grace.
 Therefore man cannot do either good or evil except as God wills.
 We are subject to the only free will in the universe, that is, the divine one.
 Since that will is perfect and holy and irresistible, the outcome must be blessed for all concerned, after humanity's experience with evil has accomplished the divine purpose of being "exercised" in it (Eccl. 1:13, 3:10).
 Could there have been need of God changing His course if--
   1. Israel had accepted Christ as King?
   2. Christ had not successfully met temptation?
   3. Adam had successfully met temptation?
   4. Man fails to do as God counts on him to do in His plans and predictions?
   5. Was the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice in danger of being nullified by possible non-belief of all
   whom it was intended to benefit, because of their supposed freedom of will?
     Was there any certainty that even one person would believe after He made salvation possible
   by His sacrifice? If not, how could He endure the cross? And if we answer "Yes", what is the
   difference between that certainty and predestination?
   6. Whose will is free, anyhow, man's, or God's?

This term is supposed to be an appropriate title for people if we do not have the vaunted freedom of will. And it is universally recognized that if predestination is true we have no such freedom. Thus the issue is clearly joined in the controversy.
 Well, we read that our Saviour was predestined. Before His conception the Father revealed His power to govern the sex of Mary's first-born child, and thus He took no risk in prenaming Him with a male name. Furthermore, the Father showed His power to make Him the Savior, for He named him that--"Jesus," "Savior"--before birth, or even conception, and called Him that to the shepherds before He had been tempted and proved resistant to sin, as the Savior had to be. Did He have "freedom" enough in the trial in the wilderness to nullify what His Father had previously declared concerning Him?
 Again, his cross was foreordained. It was set up in type at the creation, in Adam's wounded side, and in Egypt at the Exodus in the passover lamb, and on the pole in the wilderness, and every morning and evening its a daily sacrifice in Israel and in countless other ways all along the passageways of time. Then this is the problem for our objectors: Since he was foreordained and since foreordination and free will cannot coexist, will they blaspheme our loving Lord by calling Him a "Machine"? Never thought of it in that way, did you? Well, never mind, you likely will not use the term in ridicule any more.

 It is infinitely preferable that God should keep control of man than that He should have made a contrivance and then never try to run it, but just wind it up and turn it loose and say to it, "Go jump in the lake of fire if you want to." It is better to be God's "machine" and be saved than to be our own managers and turn out to be such terrible mis-managers. And can anyone manage himself into salvation, since it is "by grace"? Better say, "Not my will, but thine".
 The only motive power that runs the thing called a "machine," which is "the natural man," is the desire of the flesh and of the eyes and the pride of life (so evident in claims of ""free will"), and all that desire is hereditary, so he is not free unless he can determine his heredity before birth.
 And the only motive power that runs the spiritual man is the spirit or mind of Christ in him, and that is bestowed; so that he is not free thus unless he can put Christ into himself. And after the New Man thus rules him he will not have power to nullify that grace unless he can conquer love, which is the strongest thing in the universe.
 It is no wonder that people worry when they think they have more power for evil and failure than God has for their good. When they so think, do they have God for their Father, or just a god?
 Is the will then so restricted that it cannot act? No, Paul said, "To will is present with me." The will has a bestowed freedom to be delivered from sin, else we could not be saved. When Paul asks, "Who shall deliver me?" he answers, "I thank God through Jesus Christ." The will must be free enough in the bondage of sin to say, "For to will is present with me," even though it must confess, "but how to perform that which is good I find not." But a slave can properly desire redemption which he cannot purchase for himself.
 The meaning of "to will is present with me" is that a desire is present to do good. We call it conscience. The Book calls it, also "the knowledge of good and evil." If it were not for that we never could receive salvation, because we then would never know the need for it to desire it, any more than the animal creatures do, that know no sin. We are saved by grace, and grace cannot be forced upon the unwilling, for then it would not be grace, for a gift ceases to be a gift, and becomes an offense, when obtruded against desire. We were created with the possibility of conscience, and were thus predestined for salvation. That answers the question, "Why blame or reprove anyone for predestined evil?" for the reproof is a means to the predestined salvation which nobody will seek until be knows his need, and cannot receive by grace without the will receiving through seeking and submission.
 The crucifiers were reproved (Ac. 2:23) for doing what they were foreordained to do (4:28).
 Else how repent (2:38) and be forgiven (3:19)?
 Peter was sympathetic to them because of the facts (3:17). So was the Savior, saying "Forgive them because they know not." Are we thus to our evil-doers? They, too, are impelled by uncontrollable forces until grace reigns in them.

Doers of ordained evil must be kept in ignorance of God's purpose in it, or they would not act in it (1 Cor. 2:8). Here it is declared that if the rulers had known what he was then divulging, they would not have crucified the Lord. So all that would have been necessary to avoid the murder of God's Son would be for God to give them the knowledge that Paul gave us. Why did God not do it, unless the cross was foreordained? Their ignorance was the reason the Son asked the Father to forgive them.
 All that God needs to do to save any or all is to enlighten (2 Cor. 5:19, 1 Jn. 4:8).
 Because Adam and Eve were totally ignorant morally, and had the three flesh-desires that cause sin, God foreknew that they would sin, and prepared the Lamb of the sin-offering "before the foundation of the world." And because He likewise foreknew the same about Israel. He foretold to them their failure to keep the law (Deut. 32). Because He foreknew that salvation is not by works before He inspired Paul to write it to us.
 Pharaoh did not know what God was up to, except that he was told that God was going to make His power known in him. So he disobeyed, and his ignorance was a factor in the grand drama.
 The Assyrian king did not know that God was using him to chasten Israel (Isa. 10:6-10). His motive was spoils and destruction (verses 6-7).
 Judas did not know that his act would involve his Master in trouble, so when it did, he tried to "trade back" with the rulers. If God had given him full understanding he would not have betrayed the Lord, and then we would have no Savior. God's secrets are for his friends (Psa. 25:14, Matt. 13:11). And remember that we are friends only because of grace. When God is ready, He can win all His enemies over to friendship, just as He won 3,000 of them at Pentecost, and the worst sinner in the world on the Damascus road.
When an objector can no longer deny the truth of predestination he often says, "Then there is nothing we can do to change things, so we may as well just sit down and do nothing."
 Don't forget the hornets. If he should sit on one of them he would rise at once--but not of his own "free will," but because his will would be ruled by the tiny stinger of a little insect. And if God foreknew his intention of sitting down, and had the hornet all ready, as He had the fish ready for Jonah, then the whole matter would be "of God." He has a way of causing people to act, or not act as by paralysis, or go or stay, or move east or west, or do anything else with his "clay." If he had put the hornets on the east of the Canaanites they would never have stopped running until they jumped into the Mediterranean Sea.
 When the death angel brought a funeral to every Egyptian home, Pharaoh said, "Hurry and get out" (Ex. 12:33). Life was preferable to slaves.
 Jonah first said, in effect, "I won't do it," then, very gladly, '"Let me do it." A whale makes a big difference.
 So objectors do not know that when they thus argue that they would "do nothing" they are not remonstrating against predestination, but against fatalism. In fact, they do not know the difference, because they call the teaching on predestination "fatalism."
The scriptures never even mention fatalism, but they do affirm predestination, so we have to go to other sources of information to understand fatalism. See any good encyclopedia.
 The difference between predestination and fatalism is this: Fatalism denies both causes and means, as far as human personality and will are concerned, but predestination recognizes both causes and means.
 There are no hornets in fatalistic philosophy. According to fatalism, God might just as well have sent the Canaanites out of the country without using hornets or anything else.
 We are not fatalists; we believe in hornets and whales and the death of the first born and many other things that God uses as both causes and means. We believe that there is a will of the flesh that God operates upon and within.
 To illustrate from sacred history: Our Savior's resurrection was ordained. So certainly that He predicted even the date of it. But we read in Heb. 5 that He prayed for it. His praying was a means the Father ordained, for His prayer for resurrection-life was pre-written (Psa. 21:4). He fulfilled this at Jn. 17:5. God knows what will cause people to pray, for he said, "They poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them" (Isa. 26:16), and, "In the time of their trouble they will say, Arise and save us" (Jer. 2:27). We read last week of the morning and evening prayer-meetings held in the rubber boats of Eddie Rickenbacker and his mates.
 Take another illustration: When Paul and his companions were shipwrecked, the Lord stood by him in the night and encouraged him with the promise that he should see Rome (Acts 27:24), as involved in the prediction at Damascus that he was to bear the Name before kings (9:15), and a later assurance that he should preach at Rome (23:11). The promise of rescue from shipwreck included also the lives of all who sailed with Paul (27:24). But when those evil men were about to leave the ship alone in the life-boat. Paul told them that if they did not stay on board they would not be saved. If he had been a fatalist, he would have said that they would have been saved whether or no.
 For as to cause, the fatalist says that since the future is fixed, its events will occur even without any cause; and as to means, that they will happen regardless of him or what he does or does not. He therefore does "sit down." The Mohammedan orientals, who are fatalists, used wooden plows, at least until recent years. So the objectors who say that they would "sit down" are hypothetical fatalists, instead of believers in predestination.
 The fatalist would say that if there is to be ice in the desert it will be there regardless of water as a means or temperature as a cause. So he does just "sit down," saying it is needless to carry the water, and he would really "do nothing" about putting water in the refrigerator. (Unless he sit on a hornet or a flea bite him or he sit in too hot sunlight or . . . ).
 Objectors sulk, just like that.
 For a final illustration of causes and means in predestination in the sacred records, take the case of our Lord's death: When His enemies tried to kill Him before the time and in a different place and way from that ordained, even though He knew that His death was foreordained as to the time, place and way (as shown in outline, "THE DEATH OF GOD'S SON"), yet He did not "sit down" and say, "Since that is the case, there is no need for me to do anything." He moved bodily to avoid what He knew was against the Father's ordaining will (Lu. 4:30, Jn. 10:39, 11:53-54). He was not a Fatalist. His will and actions were means that the Father foreknew and used, for the Son said, "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (Jn. 6:38).
 The immediate cause of His crucifixion was man's hate, but that was only a means used by the Father, who was the original Cause of it. For in any chain of events, all immediate or intermediary causes are also means in relation to any preceding cause, until the original cause is reached, which ultimately is God, the original Causer of all that is. Once we recognize the existence of God as the great "First Cause," the whole universal order, not only material and personal, but also of events and deeds, must result inevitably. Heredity and environment are recognized by scientific thought as being the factors of determinism, and the First Cause fixed both of these prior to the performance of any deed. His intelligence, or Spirit, is the only operating force in the universe, and it cannot err. Erring and sinning came on the human side of His universe, when the combination of ignorance and flesh-desire is subjected to law. But even that human side is under His control and is part of His operation. "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord" (Prov. 16:1). "A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps" (ver. 9). "There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand" (19:21). "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" (2 I:1). To sin is, literally, to miss the mark (Judg. 20:16). The original word here is the same elsewhere translated "sin." That missing is caused by subjecting human flesh-desire and ignorance to law as a mark too high to be hit. God does that subjecting, to teach the way of fulfilling the righteousness of law in us through His Son (Rom. 8:3-4). So all this human missing is a temporary imperfection on the way to perfection.
Though some scriptures present the problem of God's seeming disappointment over man's course, they are to be understood in the light of His higher revelations in the same Book. For instance, His repentance and grief (Gen. 6:6) are like His anger, fury, vengeance, etc. They are explained by such as Rom. 6:19 (speaking in human style, because of our weakness to understand) where Christian life is called slavery when really it is not. God could not really be disappointed over the outcome of His human creation, because He foreknew their coming sin, for He designed the Sacrifice for it before the creation of man. If He really had been disappointed, why should He save eight mortals for seed for a new crop of the same kind, instead of destroying all and starting the next experiment, if any, with a different kind of creatures? If He is an Experimenter, you may be lost.
 Repentance is "after-mind," not "after-care" or regret, as it is usually thought of as being. (See the lexical meaning of the Greek). So God's repenting in such cases is merely changing from mercy to judgment, as in this case, or from judgment to mercy, as with the Ninevites with Jonah.
 The salvation of Christians is predestined (Acts 13:48, Rom. 8:28-30, 2 Thess. 2:13-14), but belief of the gospel is the only means of saving them (Rom. 1:16, Acts 4:12), so preaching is indispensable as a means of even God saving them. Therefore Christians will not fatalistically "sit down" and keep still, (for those of us who believe God when He says we are predestined do neither), but love will compellingly constrain them to preach (2 Cor 5:14), and God is the original Causer of that prompting love (l Jno. 4;:19). Because of that, and because He is untrammeled by man in the freedom of His love, He can, without the least risk, foreordain, foreknow and foretell the results of His love, both in the preaching and the results of the preaching, for both the preaching (Matt. 4:12-16, Acts 13:46) and the results of the preaching (Acts 18:10, where they were His people before they believed) are determined by Him before, because He gives repentance (Acts 5:31, 2 Tim. 2:25) and enables believing by grace (Acts 18:27), opening hearts to receive the word (Lu. 24:45, Acts 16:14).
This is the scientific view of the same thing the scriptures reveal as predestination. The three views, Predestination, Fatalism and Determinism, all agree on the fixed state of the future. Determinism recognizes causes, which fatalism does not; but determinism disregards God as the Cause, recognized in predestination. So predestination is the full truth, of which the advocates of the other two views see only parts.
 In determinism, science recognizes a chain of inter-changeable causes and means reaching back from any fact, act or event into a remote past in which it vainly gropes for a beginning cause, and finally has to hang its origins on nothing, so to speak, though logically and philosophically compelled to find an origin of the universe, for the "unknown God" it does not find is the beginning of the chain, and to atheistic science, its most important "missing link."
 If the atheistic wing of scientific determinism could only recognize the intelligence manifested in "nature" as the Spirit of the great and beneficent "First Cause," how it would profit and advance! If fatalism could but recognize God as a Cause of the fixed future, and man as a means in His hands, what bestirring we should see in the orient! And if Christendom could only believe God in His scriptural declarations of predestination, what trust and peace would bless it!
 Probably all Christians do concede predestination in certain cases. Likely all admit that our Savior was predestined. At least, the scriptures definitely and unequivocally so declare, so that it is a simple matter of believing God or honestly ceasing to call themselves Christians. Well, one case of a person being predestined in evil dumps all the problems of predestination into your lap and demands a solution. Was God guilty of murder when He put His Son on the cross? Were His murderers not "responsible"? Why was He not born perfect, instead of being made perfect through suffering? And what is the destiny of His betrayers and murderers? These are the four problems that Paul both raises and solves. What is your solution? Do you believe Paul's inspired revelations? Will you quit insinuating that you Savior must be a "Machine" if He was predestined; or can you believe both predestination and free will at the same time?
 The eleven apostles were chosen for the ordained purpose of occupying thrones in the kingdom. But when they quarreled about preeminence in the kingdom the King reproved them, lest they fail to be in the kingdom at at all (Matt. 18: 1-3). The reproof was a necessary means to the ordained end. Judas, whose fault was a necessary means to the ordained Sacrifice, was not reproved, lest there be no kingdom nor salvation. The three thousand on the day of Pentecost were reproved for their foreordained sin of murder in order that they might "Repent" (Acts 2:38). Their predestined guilt must not remain permanently.
 Here is a question that none of the author's opponents have ever answered: Who fixed the future that God foreknows, since He predicts it? Will you answer it? The Book does.
 Since all the vexing problems concerning Calvary are solved so blessedly, every other case of evil in the universe can be as blessedly solved in the light of the cross.
 May these words be a means under God's hand to bring you His love, and may this be the day and this the way that He visits you with his grace!