The Providence of God
Composed and edited by J E Bradburn
The foreseeing care and guidance of God over the creatures of this fallen earth.
It is necessary to attribute providence to God. For all the good that is in created things has been created by God http://www.godsplan.org.uk/isgodthetruth%20.htm. In created things good is found not only as regards their substance, but also as regards their order towards an end and especially their last end, this good of order existing in things, is itself created by God. Since, however, God is the cause of all things by His intellect, and thus it behoves that the type of every effect should pre-exist in Him, as is clear from what has gone before. It is necessary that the type of the order of things towards their end should pre-exist in the Divine mind: and the type of things ordered towards an end is, properly speaking, providence. For it is the chief part of prudence, to which two other parts are directed—namely rememberance of the past http://www.godsplan.org.uk/dispensationalplan.htm Old and New Testaments, and understanding of the present; inasmuch as from the remembrance of what is past and the understanding of what is present, we gather how to provide for the future http://www.godsplan.org.uk/whatishappening2.htm.
Now it belongs to prudence, to direct other things towards an end whether in regard to oneself—as for instance, a man is said to be prudent (Careful or wise in handling practical matters; exercising good judgment or common sense), who orders well his acts towards the end of life—or in regard to others subject to him, in a family, city, or kingdom: in which sense it is said:
Matthew 24:45 (KJV) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season?
In this way prudence or providence may suitably be attributed to God. For in God Himself there can be nothing ordered towards an end since He is the last end. This type of order in things towards an end is therefore in God called providence.
‘Providence is the Divine type itself, seated in the Supreme Ruler; which disposeth all things;’ which disposition may refer either to the type of the order of things towards an end, or to the type of the order of parts in the whole. Though to take counsel may not be fitting to God, from the fact that counsel is an inquiry into matters that are doubtful, nevertheless, to give a command as to the order of things towards an end, the right reason of which He possesses, does belong to God;
Psalm 148:6 (KJV) He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree which shall not pass [away].
In this manner both prudence and providence belong to God. Although at the same time it may be said that the very reason of things to be done is called counsel in God; not because of any inquiry necessitated, but from the certitude of the knowledge, to which those who take counsel come by inquiry. Whence it is said:
Ephesians 1:11 (KJV) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: http://www.godsplan.org.uk/benefitofchrist.htm
Psalm 27:4 (KJV) One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earthlytabernacle.htm
It is fitting that God should predestinate men. For all things are subject to His providence, as was shown above. Now it belongs to providence to direct things towards their end. The end towards which created things are directed by God is twofold:
1. One, which exceeds all proportion and faculty of created nature; and this end is life eternal http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jehovah%27skingdom.htm, that consists in seeing God which is above the nature of every creature.
2. The other end, however, is proportionate to created nature, to which end created being can attain according to the power of its nature. Now if a thing cannot attain to something by the power of its nature, it must be directed thereto by another; thus, the arrow is directed by the archer to a mark. Hence, properly speaking, a rational creature, capable of eternal life, is led towards it, directed, as it were, by God. The reason of that; direction pre-exists in God; as in Him is the type of the order of all things towards an end, which we proved above to be providence.
Now the type in in the mind of the doer of something to be done, is a kind of pre-existence in him of the thing to be done. Hence the type of the aforesaid direction of a rational creature towards the end of life eternal is called predestination, as regards its objects, is a part of providence. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/natureanddestiny%20.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/humandestinyandhistory.htm. The meaning of life is to choose; material or spiritual: http://godsplan.org.uk/meaningoflife.htm.
Whether the Predestined Are Chosen by God?
Predestination presupposes election in the order of reason; and election presupposes love. The reason of this is that predestination, as stated, is a part of providence. Now providence, as also prudence, the plan, existing in the intellect directing the ordering of some things towards an end; http://www.godsplan.org.uk/revelation_%20revealed.htm as was proved above. But nothing is directed towards an end unless the will for that end already exists. Whence the predestination of some to eternal salvation, in the order of reason, that God wills their salvation; and to this belong both election and love:-http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Index.htm love, inasmuch as He wills them this particular good of eternal salvation; since to love is to wish well to anyone. Election, inasmuch as He wills this good to some in preference to others; since He reprobates some (a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person(s). Election and love, however, are differently ordered in God, and in ourselves: because in us the will in loving does not cause good, but we are incited to love by the good which already exists; and therefore we choose someone to love, and so election in us precedes love. In God, however, it is the reverse. For His will, by which is loving He wishes good to someone, is the cause of that good possessed by some in preference to others. Thus it is clear that love precedes election in the order of reason, and election precedes predestination. Whence all the predestinate are objects of election and love.
If the communication of the Divine goodness in general be considered, God communicates His goodness without election; inasmuch as there is nothing which does not in some way share in His goodness. But if we consider the communication of this or that particular good, He does not allot it without election; since He gives certain goods to some men, which he does not give to others. Thus in the conferring of grace and glory election is implied.
When the will of the person choosing is incited to make a choice by the good already pre-existing in the object chosen, the choice must needs be of those things which already exist, as happens in our choice. In God it is otherwise.
Those are chosen by God, who do not exist; yet He does not err in His choice.
The Book of Life
The book of life is in God taken in a metaphorical sense (symbolic), according to a comparison with human affairs. For it is usual among men that they who are chosen for any office should be inscribed in a book; as, for instance, soldiers, or counsellors, who formally were called conscript fathers. Now, it is clear from the preceding that all the predestined are chosen by God to possess eternal life. This conscription, therefore, of the pre-destined is called the Book of Life. A thing is said metaphorically to be written upon the mind of anyone when it is firmly held in the memory: Forget not My Law, and let thy heart keep My commandments, and further on, Write them in the tables of thy heart. For things are written down in material books to help the memory. Whence, the knowledge of God, by which He firmly remembers that He has predestinated some to eternal life, is called the Book of Life. For as the writing in a book is the sign of things to be done, so the knowledge of God is a sign in Him of those who are to be brought to eternal life.
2 Timothy 2:19 KJV Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Some have said that none could be blotted out of the book of life as a matter of fact, but only in the opinion of men. For it is customary in the Scriptures to say that something is done when it becomes known. Thus some are said to be written in the book of life, inasmuch as men think they are written therein, on account of the present righteousness they see in them; but when it becomes evident, either in this world or in the next, that they have fallen from that state of righteousness, they are then said to be blotted out. And thus a gloss explains the passage: ‘Let them be blotted out of the book of the living.’ But because not to be blotted out of the book of life is placed among the rewards of the just, according to the text:
Revelation 3:5 KJV He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels.
(and what is promised to holy men, is not something merely in the opinions of men), it can therefore be said that to be blotted out, and not blotted out of the book of life is not only to be referred to the opinion of man, but to the reality of the fact. For the book of life is the inscription of those ordained to eternal life, to which one is directed from two sources namely:
1. From predestination, which direction never fails,
2. From grace; for whoever has grace, by this very act becomes fitted for eternal life.
Grace, sometimes fails; because some are directed, by possessing grace, to obtain eternal life, yet they fail to obtain it through mortal sin. Therefore those who are ordained to possess eternal life through Divine predestination are written down in the book of life simply, because they are written therein to have eternal life in reality; such are never blotted out from the book of life.
Those, however, who are ordained to eternal life, not through the Divine predestination, but through grace, are said to be written in the book of life not simply, but relatively, for they are written therein not to have eternal life in itself, but in its cause only. Yet though these latter can be said to be blotted out of the book of life, this blotting out must not be referred to god, because, if God foreknew a thing and afterwards knew it not; but to the thing known, namely, because God knows one is first ordained to eternal life, and afterwards not ordained when he falls from grace.
Whether God is Omnipotent?
Luke 1:37 (KJV) For with God nothing shall be impossible.
All confess that God is omnipotent; but it seems difficult to explain in what His omnipotence precisely consists: for there may be doubt as to the precise meaning of the word “all” when we say God can do all things. If, however, we consider the matter aright, since power is said in reference to possible things, this phrase, ‘God ca do all things,’ is rightly understood to mean that God can do all things that are possible; and for this reason He is said to be omnipotent. A thing is said to be possible in two ways:
1. First in relation to some power, thus whatever is subject to human power is said to be possible to man.
2. Secondly absolutely, on account of the of the relation in which the very terms stand to each other.
Now God cannot be said to be omnipotent through being able to do that are possible to created nature; for the Divine power extends further than that. If, however, we were to say that God is omnipotent because He can do all things that are possible to His power, there would be a vicious circle in explain the nature of His power. For this would be saying nothing else but that God is omnipotent, because He can do all that He is able to do.
It remains therefore, that God is called omnipotent because He can do all things that are possibly absolutely; which is the second way of saying a thing is possible. For a thing is said to be possible or impossible absolutely, according to the relation in which the very terms stand to one another, possible if the predicate (proclaimer) is not incompatible with the subject, as that Socrates sits; and absolutely impossible when the predicate is altogether incompatible with the subject, as, for instance, that a man is a donkey.
It must, however, be remembered that since every agent produces an effect like itself, to each active power there corresponds a thing possible as its proper object according to the nature of that act on which its active power is founded; for instance, the power of giving warmth is related as to its proper object to the being capable of being warmed, The Divine existence, however, upon which the nature of power in God is founded, is infinite, and is not limited to any genus of being; but possesses within itself the perfection of all being. Whence, whatsoever has or can have the nature of being is numbered among the absolutely possible things, in respect in which God is called omnipotent.
Now nothing is opposed to the idea of being except non-being. Therefore, that which implies being and non-being at the same time is repugnant to the idea of an absolutely possible thing, within the scope of the Divine omnipotence. For such cannot come under the Divine omnipotence, not because of any defect in the power of God, but because it has not the nature of a feasible or possible thing. Therefore, everything that does not imply a contradiction in terms is numbered amongst those possible things, in respect of which God is called omnipotent: whereas whatever implies contradiction does not come within the scope of Divine omnipotence, because it does not have the aspect of possibility.
Hence it is better to say that such things cannot be done, than that God cannot do them. Nor is this contrary to the word of the angel, saying: No word shall be impossible with God. For whatever implies a contradiction cannot be a word, because no intellect can possibly conceive such a thing.
Precession (the act or fact of preceding).
John 8:42 (KJV) Jesus said unto them, “If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God [Jehovah]; neither came I of myself, but He sent Me.”
Divine Scripture uses, in relation to God, names which signify procession. This procession has been differently understood. Some have understood it in the sense of an effect proceeding from its cause; So Arius took it, saying that the Son proceeds from the Father as His primary creature, and that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son as the creature of both. In this sense neither the Son nor the Holy Ghost would be true God: and this is contrary to what is said of the Son:
1 John 5:20 KJV And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Of the Holy Ghost it is also said:
1 Corinthians 6:19 (KJV) ‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God [Elohim], and ye are not your own?
Now, to have a temple is God’s prerogative. Others take this procession to mean the cause proceeding to the effect, as moving it, or impressing its own likeness upon it; in which sense it was understood by Sabellius, who said that God [Yahweh] the Father is called son in assuming flesh from the Virgin Mariam, and that the Father is also called the Holy Ghost in sanctifying the rational creature, and moving it to life. The words of the Lord contradict such a meaning, when He speaks of Himself,
John 5:19 (KJV) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.’
while many other passages show the same, whereby we know that the Father [Yahweh] is not the Son. Careful examination indicate that both of these opinions take procession as meaning an outward act; hence neither of them affirms procession as existing in God Himself; whereas, since procession always supposes action, and as there is an outward procession corresponding to the act tending to external matter, so there must be an inward procession corresponding to the act remaining within the agent.
It is significant that the first appearance of the name Jehovah in Scripture follows the creation of man. It was God (Elohim) who said, "Let us make man in our image" (Gen 1:26); but when man, as in the second chapter of Genesis, is to fill the scene and become dominant over creation, it is the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) who acts. This clearly indicates a special relation of Deity, in His Jehovah character, to man, and all Scripture emphasizes this.
· Adam and Eve expelled from the garden to this fallen earth. http://godsplan.org.uk/serpentofgenesis3.htm Genesis 3:15 (KJV) And I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman [Adam & Eve’s lineage], and between thy [Satan’s} seed and her seed; it [Christ] shall bruise thy head [Satan], and thou shalt bruise His heel [Christ & crucifixion]. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thesufferingsandglory.htm http://godsplan.org.uk/fulltentribes.htm
· New Adam, who before the fall was made perfect, Jehovah using One Who is perfect Christ, Elohim, to show the way back to Jehovah. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/nativityofjesus.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/teachingofjesus.htm
· They were informed by prophets of the coming One’s first advent but they expected more. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/whatmessiah.htm
· The chose Barabbas, who was a murderer and jailed by the Romans, over Our Lord Jesus Christ. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/lifeofjesus.htm
· Jesus’s First Advent was meek and mild, He came to teach. However; the Second Advent will be much different. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm
· Revelation; the end of all beginnings, reveals the TRUTH to come. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/revelation_%20revealed.htm
This applies most conspicuously to the intellect, the action of which remains in the intelligent agent. For whenever we understand, by the very act of understanding there proceeds something within us, which is a conception of the object understood, a conception issuing from our intellectual power and proceeding from our knowledge of that object. This conception is signified by the spoken word; and it is called the word of the heart signified by the word of the voice.
As God is above all things, we should understand what is said of God, not according to the mode of the lowest creatures, namely bodies, but from the similitude of the highest creatures, the intellectual substances; while even the similitudes derived from these fall short in the representation of Divine objects. Procession, therefore, is not to be understood from what it is in bodies, either according to local movement, or by way of a cause proceeding forth to its exterior effect, as, for instance, like heat from the agent to the thing made hot. Rather it is to be understood by way of an intelligible emanation (Emanation, from the Latin emanare meaning "to flow from"), for example, of the intelligible word which proceeds from the speaker, yet remains in him. In that sense we understand procession as existing in God. Where; precession is a different word meaning https://www.britannica.com/topic/precession-of-the-equinoxes see the model photograph.
Whether it is an Article of Faith That the World began
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/faith.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/2%20Peter%203.htm http://godsplan.org.uk/fleshage.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jehovah%27skingdom.htm
On the Order of Creation Towards Distinction
Whether Time was Created Simultaneously with Formless Matter?
This earth we are now on was created a very long time ag, the exact time is not stated in the Bible. Which is stated Creation in eternity past, to which all fossils and “Remains” belong. The Hebrew, accent Athnach places the emphasis and gives pause on “God” as being Himself the great worker, separating the Worker from His work. The Companion Bible KJV goes on to state; The earth was = became without form = waste. Hebrew tohū vā bōhū
Isaiah 45:18 King James Version (KJV) For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.
The earth which was Created by God was not created tohū, but became tohū, (Gen 1:2 & 2 Peter 3:5—6). “An enemy (Satan) hath done (caused) this” In like manner, man became a ruin http://godsplan.org.uk/serpentofgenesis3.htm
Psalm 14:1-3 (KJV)
1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Psalm 51:3 (KJV) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 (KJV) For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
Romans 7:18 (KJV) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
However the Companion Bible KJV states “The World That Then Was.” (New Testament)
2 Peter 3:5—6 (KJV)
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
To repair this earth which the enemy had spoilt: The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:2 (KJV) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep…
Genesis 1: 2 (KJV)…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Certainly; time on this fallen earth began at the same time of Creation. When Adam & Eve were expelled from the garden, God began the time allotted for man to choose which earth he wanted Satan’s material world or God’s Kingdom. We had 4004 years to decide, but now we are into the last days and our time is almost up. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/charts&tables.htm http://godsplan.org.uk/futurekingdom.htm http://godsplan.org.uk/meaningoflife.htm