Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
The material in this month’s article titled “Free Will and Predestination” comes from an audiotape Dr. Martin produced in 1995. The Internet version is a close word for word transcription of what Dr. Martin presented on the tape. The differences are slight and the message, of course, is the same in both. Usually for audiotapes I must edit out material for brevity and clarity while retaining the central idea, the essence of what Dr. Martin puts forth. I also edit to fit our mailing specifications. This tape was shorter than usual, and it fits well, allowing for the addition of explanatory notes.
In fact, to get the maximum benefit from Dr. Martin’s exposition, I encourage you to listen to the audio while reading the article. The written text is almost word for word with the audio. (The audio is only available on the ASK website and not on cassette.) We therefore labeled this article as a “Read and Listen” presentation. This means you can listen to the audio presentation that Dr. Martin gave in 1995 while reading the words on the page.
By using two of your senses, sight by reading, and hearing by listening to Dr. Martin’s inflection and the emphasis of his voice, you gain the maximum benefit from the message from the Word of God that Dr. Martin presents. The audio portion of this presentation, along with other audio presentations, can be found at http://www.askelm.com/audio/index.asp. Located at that site is also an important interview of Dr. Martin on the Jeff Rense Show from 2001, and even some radio shows where I have recently been the guest.
This article for August approaches the subject of free will from the perspective of God’s predestination and of God’s free will. You will come to understand to what extent your free will plays in salvation, and in everyday life. The predestination that God arranged for mankind (believers and unbelievers) is put forth plainly. Most people who believe in God feel that He loves them and cares for them. However, very few have any sense of how much God loves them, and you. Christ Himself stated how much:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting [eonian, age-lasting] life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
The apostle John follows up this sentiment when he writes to the ekklesia:
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
1 John 4:9–11
God loves you, individually, as He loves the world. Christ saved you just as He saved everyone in the world. It is quite proper to say therefore, you are the object of creation. In other words, the heavens and earth were created for you as a preparation for your salvation and for your entrance into the Godhead, seated at the right hand of God the Father “in Christ.” How can I say such a thing? I can say it because you, and I, and all believers, are members of the body of Christ. Everything that Christ is, you shall be:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2
We have God’s promise, the down payment of His Holy Spirit that guarantees our place with Christ at the right hand of God the Father. However, although you are the central object of creation, in like manner every other human being is also the central object of creation, and that the heavens and earth were also created and prepared for each of them, and they are loved no less than you. This is why John says “we ought also to love one another” (John 4:11, above). This is all a matter of God’s predestination for you and all humankind because “God was in Christ [Messiah], reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
We have received email, phone calls, and letters that many of you are experiencing health problems, pain, and suffering as we all inevitably age through the years. We are grateful that you ask us to pray for you. In your distress, keep constantly in mind that every day brings us all closer to the time of our resurrection when our next conscious moment will be a sensation of being suddenly awake, alive, and rising in the air, having the realization of the resurrection from the dead, as the dead shall have priority:
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [and we do indeed believe], even so them also which sleep [are dead] in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [come before] them which are asleep.”
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:14–18
The apostle Paul did not realize when he wrote those words that he would be included among the dead, as would every person, believers and nonbelievers, for 2000 years or so into the future. Though Paul came to realize that the return of Jesus Christ would occur much later, he did not change the words after the revelation of the Mystery of God. Those words about being alive when the Lord descends may not even apply to us, and perhaps not even to our children. But no matter. The resurrection will occur because God’s glory is associated with the promise of His gift of His Holy Spirit, which is NOW our possession.
Some might feel uncomfortable reading these words of an apparent delay. No one likes to think about death. Most of us, at one time or another, have had a real expectation of being alive at Christ’s return. However, those who are mature in their faith will understand, and this includes most all of you. Even though death will likely overtake all of us alive today, we know that our Redeemer lives, as Job wrote so long ago:
We thank you all for your support, even though each of you may have great problems to surmount and overcome each day just to live and endure. We know from your communications to us that you are praying for us at ASK and everyone who helps us. Pray also for each other that God may lessen the suffering of those He has called, and as His will be done, even heal your illnesses and maladies. God is on His throne and prayer changes things. God bless you all.
“For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.”
David W. Sielaff
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