PUBLISHED OCCASIONALLY FOR ZION'S MOURNERS WHEREFORE LIFT UP THE HANDS THAT HANG DOWN, AND THE FEEBLE KNEES AND MAKE STRAIGHT PATHS FOR YOUR FEET, LEST THAT WHICH IS LAME BE TURNED OUT OF THE WAY, BUT RATHER LET IT BE HEALED. HEBREWS 12:12.13 VOLUME ISSUE

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II 25

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME


AND ISAIAH THE PROPHET CRIED UNTO THE LORD: AND HE BROUGHT THE SHADOW TEN DEGREES BACKWARD, BY WHICH IT HAD GONE DOWN IN THE DIAL OF AHAZ.

2 KINGS 20:11


Time is the creation of Almighty GOD. (see Gen.1:14) HE is not subject to it in any way. "HE is eternal, immortal, and invisible." (I Tim.1:17) HE has neither beginning nor end. In fact when HE revealed HIMSELF to MOSES, HE identified HIMSELF as "I AM THAT I AM" (Ex 3:14). HE is not in any way hindered, aided, or otherwise affected by the passing of time. The scripture says, "We spend our years as a tale that is told." (Psalm 90:9). Since GOD is the one who orders our steps (see Ps.37:23; Prov.16:9;20:24, Isa.46:10; Jer.10:23) this indicates that HE surveys HIS creation in the same fashion as an artist might admire an intricate oil painting that he has just finished. There are no surprises or situations which may arise which require HIM to make alternate plans or change HIS mind. HHH HE is not running around like a circus performer trying to keep a bunch of plates spinning on poles. There is no shadow of turning with HIM, HE changes not. (see Mal.3:6; Heb.1:12;13:8; James 1:12)


Elijah was just such a man upon whom the LORD bestowed great gifts and power. He is without rival in the Old Testament as a man who boldly confronted the enemies of GOD and demonstrated the power of GOD in numerous miracles. He wrote no books yet he left a legacy as a man caught up in the glory of GOD. He is one of only two men in the scriptures who were honored by escaping death and being translated into the heavens in bodily form. He appeared with Moses and the LORD JESUS on the mount of transfiguration. (see Mat.17:2,3) He is the very one in whose spirit and power, John the Baptist came. (see Luke 1:17) Yet with all of these gifts committed into his hands he was yet a man with many weaknesses and insecurities. (see James 5:17) So much so that he fell into a sea of self pity which was so severe that he considered death a better alternative than life.


We believe that the true and living GOD is an absolute sovereign. As such HE must be the predestinator of all things or else some things would have to be left to chance, which would necessitate the plate spinning exercise we mentioned in the first paragraph. Because of this belief we are sometimes accused of being "fatalists". Now if by that description our accusers mean that we believe all things must and shall happen exactly according to the will and purpose of the LIVING GOD then we are most happy to accept that designation. If, however, they mean by that that we think some force outside of the ALMIGHTY’s will and purpose (blind fate) is determining the outcome of events, or that we always know what HIS will is ahead of time, or that we think that by believing this truth, we are excusing ourselves of the responsibility of our actions, then we reject such a name and call it "anathema". We are creatures of time and not eternity. We cannot dare to imagine that we can know what the intention of GOD is before HE reveals it. But we are sure of what HIS will is when it has been manifested in the unfolding of HIS purpose in the earth. Who "can stay HIS hand, or say unto HIM, What doest THOU?" (Dan 4:35)


Those who reject the notion of the absolute sovereignty of GOD often do so because they cannot (in their human reason and ability) conceive of the awesome display of intricate design that is necessary for such a thing to be true. We are the first to confess that we cannot conceive of it either, but we bow at the feet of HIM who is beyond our understanding. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) Human reason has not brought us here, but rather revelation which causes us to tremble at the mention of HIS name. As Job of old we are brought down upon our faces and made to confess, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5-6)


How often have we said, "oh if I could only turn back the hands of time", usually lamenting some past opportunity to avoid some wrongdoing or bemoaning our neglect of performing some good deed or service. To excuse our neglect or bad conduct as being the result of predestination is to attempt to delve into those secret things which are not given unto us. We are creatures of time and space and every thing we do, we do according to our will. We are not robots or inanimate creatures without desires or designs. When we sin or disobey the commands of GOD, we do so out of choice and purpose. Some who claim to be "predestinarians" sadly fall into the error we have just described in attributing their disobedience to GOD’s purpose in order to excuse its wickedness or to absolve themselves of responsibility. Now there are actually very few who do this to any great extent but it is not unheard of. GOD’s purpose will be done, but we are surely accountable for our actions. (see Ezek.18:20) Judas is a good example of a man predestinated to an end, yet accountable for his actions. Pharaoh is another example that comes to mind. (see Mat.26:24: Rom.9:17,18) Because we have difficulty reconciling these concepts in our minds does not overturn the truthfulness of the doctrine. You do what you do because you want to.


Now is the time to:


We cannot know what tomorrow holds but we can indeed know WHO holds tomorrow. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one GOD; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:17-20)


mam