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Doctrine of Plan of God, Theology

August 20, 2014

DOCTRINE OF THE THEOLOGY OF THE PERFECT PLAN OF GOD

A. Definition and Description.
1. God is perfect, therefore His plan is perfect. A plan anything less than perfect could only come from someone who is not God. The beneficiaries of the plan are imperfect. This calls for all of divine genius to create, maintain, perpetuate, and continue a perfect plan for imperfect persons.
2. The perfect plan of God cannot be divorced from the perfect essence of God, but it must be related to the total depravity of man. Because of this, certain divine attributes must be understood before the divine plan can be understood or appreciated. The problem is that perfect God created a perfect plan for imperfect creatures. As far as God is concerned, we are total disasters, because we are full of human good thoughts, evil, and because we try to shift the blame to others.
3. The function of the essence of God in planning and executing the plan requires a summary of a number of doctrines. God has to do the thinking (doctrine) and the working. One of the biggest problems in this plan is to get the recipients of the plan to stop working. (This does not refer to legitimate production.) We want to do something to help God, such as, self‑righteousness, emotion, have a pleasing personality, “love everyone.” This insertion of human good ideas has obscured the plan of God. We must understand the will, sovereignty, omniscience of God, divine decrees, integrity of God, election, foreknowledge, predestination, retribution, and condemnation.
4. Inasmuch as the volition of man is an instrument created by God for the execution of God’s plan, human volition, whether positive or negative, serves the divine purpose rather than hinder it. Negative volition will never stop the plan of God. Arrogance thinks the plan of God depends on you. God can get along without you.
5. Man’s failure to execute the plan of God does not hinder or frustrate the plan of God. The plan moves on with or without those involved.

B. The Sovereignty of God.
1. God is a person.
a. That means that God has personality. But God is an eternal, infinite person. God never had a beginning. Infinite means our finite minds can never completely comprehend everything about God. God has explained Himself to us in terms of human activities called anthropopathisms.
b. God has self‑consciousness. He is eternally aware of Himself.
c. God has self‑determination. Eternally He has been making decisions.
d. God recognizes Himself as a personality. As such He thinks and acts rationally in compatibility with His integrity.
2. The sovereignty of God is bound up in the self‑determination and decrees of God.
a. God thought out the history of the human race simultaneously in an instant of time. He put all of history into the computer of divine decrees. God knew what you would do, but never coerced your decisions. You are responsible for your own decisions. For example, God is not responsible for your sins.
b. What comes out of the computer of divine decrees about believers is called election, foreknowledge and predestination. All the facts about unbelievers come out as reprobation (total depravity), condemnation, and retribution (judgment in time and eternity). The computer‑decrees also prints out the dispensations. God only gives us information which is in the computer‑decrees.
c. God is the supreme being of the universe and exists in three persons, each member being co‑equal and co‑eternal. Planning is assigned to the Father; execution of the plan of redemption is assigned to the Son, and the sustaining of the believer is assigned to the Holy Spirit. But none of this implies inferiority among the Trinity.
3. The sovereignty of God is His absolute dominion over all created beings. This means that the plan of God is not hurt by our failure. We decide to fail, but the plan of God is not hurt in any way by our failure. In the plan of God, everyone on the team fails, but the team still wins.
4. While we have a free will, all things depend on God’s will, and nothing is certain apart from God’s will. Anything wonderful in life depends on the will and sovereignty of God. That is why as we learn doctrine our will and volition comes into conformity with the will of God in a non‑meritorious way. In this way everything depends on the will and work of God.
5. Sovereignty is the power and prerogative of God as creator over creature, as Savior over regenerate, as ruler over positive believer, and as disciplinarian over negative believers.
6. God is the absolute authority. Only legitimate authority in life is what God has delegated, e.g., to police, judges, military, husbands, parents, teachers.
7. Both the sovereignty and omniscience of God are the basis for the divine decrees.
8. The sovereignty or authority of God is manifest as creator, having authority over both animate and inanimate creation. He has authority as Redeemer over all categories of believers. He has authority as the source of all blessing. He has the right to impute blessing in both time and eternity. He has the right to execute His plan and to utilize those who are in the momentum of His plan. He has the right to punish those who fail in His plan.
9. God’s authority extends to both possible and actual things.
a. Over possible things God is sovereign in that He leaves them as only possible and not actual, or He has designed them as yet future. For example, God could have run into the garden and stopped man from committing the first sin. It would be a violation of God’s integrity to convert possible to actual. It would be unfair in the angelic conflict.
b. In this God renders no account to others, but acts in agreement with His perfect plan and perfect being.
c. With regard to actual things, God is the final and absolute authority, 1 Sam 2:6‑8; 1 Chr 29:11‑12; Ps 145:14; Mt 20:15; 1 Tim 6:15.

C. The Will of God.
1. There is one all inclusive will and purpose of God concerning all that ever was or ever will be. It is important to remember this when confronted by the foolishness of man or the disasters of history.
2. This will and purpose originate within God Himself, and it is compatible with His attributes.
a. Perfection produces perfection. A perfect plan can work with imperfect persons by encapsulating those persons perfectly, while still allowing the opportunity to escape through negative volition and be punished, but by grace to stay inside that encapsulated environment and be blessed by it.
b. God must do all the thinking, planning, provision, and work for us. You have nothing to do because the plan is perfect. You can only add imperfection to God’s plan. Grace says “forget your works, energy or power; just bring yourself and let Me do the rest.” We call this faith-rest.
3. The will of God is objectively designed for His glory, His pleasure, and His satisfaction. It could not be otherwise due to His perfect essence.
a. God is glorified in spanking your negative volition. You can’t get away from it. You can’t get out of God’s plan once you’ve believed in Christ. Even if you die you can’t get out of the plan.
b. Grace is our insulation which keeps us in the plan.
4. Since there are three persons in the Trinity, divine will and the actions of God within the Godhead are imminent, intrinsic, and subjective.
5. The will of God related to creation is extrinsic (outside of God in that there is human free will), transient (chronological from our viewpoint, but simultaneous from God’s viewpoint), and objective (in the sense that the function of divine integrity leads to the ultimate glory of God).
6. Since God’s will is all comprehensive, not the slightest uncertainty could exist as to one of the smallest events without confusion to all.
a. Omniscience fed every action, decision, thought, and motive into the decrees.
b. God knew your worst sins before you committed them, yet still he didn’t keep you from living.
c. God is not arbitrary with regard to His plan. You don’t exist as a probability. God knew what you would be, yet still elected you. That is perfect grace and is perfect God functioning under His perfect plan with imperfect persons.
7. Therefore, all the events of history are interwoven and interdependent, Eph 1:11, 2:10‑11.
8. The will of God is eternal. God is not gaining in knowledge. God never learned anything. What God knows at anytime, He has always known. His decisions are based on His eternal omniscience of all the facts.
9. Since nothing can occur unknown to God, this makes His will unchangeable and certain; this makes His plan victorious and perfect even though imperfect people in His plan fail.
10. The will of God, as reflected in the divine decrees, will be completed with regard to all of His creatures angelic and human, and to creation in general both animals and inanimate.
11. Jesus Christ controls history.
12. God is bound by His integrity, truth, and faithfulness to complete what He has begun. God will end up the winner and have greater glory than He had in the beginning.
13. The work of God is called providence, by which He molds all events (including sin, good, and evil) into the fulfillment of His will and purpose. Providence is a technical theological word.
14. While preservation continues the existence of animate and inanimate creatures, providence directs their progress.
15. Human history is programmed by the dispensations.
16. The divine objective in human history is revealed in the seven imputations which outline the glorification of God on the part of man.
17. Therefore, the will of God is directive. God has a plan for our lives (X+Y+Z), and when we progress in that plan, this is the concept of Providence. Providence directs the progress.
18. The will of God is determinative. God has permitted non‑meritorious positive volition to bring us to the place of imputed blessing or to the place of cursing.
19. The will of God is permissive, for negative volition is permitted. The consequences are related to the integrity of God: divine discipline.
20. The will of God is also preventative, providing the laws of divine establishment, Bible doctrine, the royal family honor code, divine discipline, and preventative suffering to keep human volition and self-determination inside the will of God.

D. The Omniscience of God.
1. God knows perfectly and eternally all that is knowable. This means He knows both actual and possible things. God’s perception and sagacity is totally compatible with His essence. Perfect essence means perfect knowledge. Learning with us is progressive, but not with God. God knew everything instantly and simultaneously.
2. God is eternal, therefore His knowledge is eternal.
3. God is sovereign, therefore His knowledge is superior. His knowledge is not related to time or space.
4. God is omnipotent, therefore His knowledge is superior to any creature. Its application is greater.
5. Every minute detail of both angelic and human creation is completely and perfectly in His mind at all times.
6. Therefore, the future is as clearly comprehended as the past. Time has nothing to do with God’s knowledge.
7. The omniscience of God knows not only the facts of history, including every thought, decision, and action, but He knows the alternatives of every thought, decision and action.
8. God knows all that would nave been involved had He adopted any one of an infinite number of plans.
9. God knows all that would have been involved in every case where man’s decision might have been different from what it was.
10. There are three categories of divine knowledge.
a. Self‑knowledge. This includes the fact that the omniscience of God understands the attributes of God perfectly. Not only does each person in the Trinity understand His own attributes, but their co‑equality, co‑infinity, co‑eternity in the other members of the Trinity. Self-knowledge includes understanding divine essence, the Trinity and all things.
b. Omniscience is God’s understanding all things in creation both actual and possible.
c. Foreknowledge is God’s knowledge of all the facts concerning believers; it only deals with what is decreed. Foreknowledge comes after the decrees logically. Omniscience feeds the facts into the computer of divine decrees, while foreknowledge is the printout from the decrees.
11. Under omniscience, God knows every decision every creature ever made, plus the alternatives to that decision. He knows every thought and action, plus their alternatives. God knows the results of every decision in history and what would have been the result had the alternative been chosen. The computer‑decrees prints out the facts about believers under such categories as election, foreknowledge, predestination, and justification; and the facts about unbelievers under such categories as reprobation, condemnation, and retribution.
12. Therefore, the omniscience of God knows every thought, act, and decision of history, as well as every alternative.
13. Omniscience fed all this information into the giant computer called the divine decrees. The decrees contain only what has happened, and what will happen, and guarantees their certain fruition.
14. Foreknowledge merely acknowledges what is in the decrees. It is divine cognizance of what is in the computer. Foreknowledge deals only with what is decreed.
15. Predestination, sometimes called foreordination and occasionally predetermination, describes what is in the decrees. Foreknowledge is the divine cognizance of these things. Logically, predestination or foreordination occur first, and foreknowledge and election follow.
16. Foreordination establishes the certainty of the content of the decrees. Foreordination is a way of saying the decrees are guaranteed certainly future. Foreknowledge is cognizance of that content.
17. Therefore, foreknowledge is more limited in scope than omniscience.
18. Being omniscient, God knows all that would have been involved had He adopted any infinite number of plans. But foreknowledge refers only to those things which He did adopt.
19. The divine decrees, also called foreordination, predestination or predetermination, alone establish certainty. The content of the computer (foreordination) alone establishes certainty. Therefore nothing was foreknown until it was first decreed. The decrees precede foreknowledge.
20. Foreknowledge is God’s cognizance of what will happen, but it does not cause or produce the events. Foreknowledge is God’s cognizance of what is in the decrees, but no guarantee of what is in the decrees.
21. Omniscience feeds the facts into the decrees, but omniscience also knows what is not fed into the decrees. Foreknowledge merely acknowledges what is in the decrees, but does not have anything to do with what was not fed into the decrees.

E. The Divine Decrees.
1. The facts in the computer are called by several names, depending on the emphasis in the passage of Scripture. They are called the decree, foreordination, predestination, or predetermination. Recognition of the facts is called election and foreknowledge.
2. Election and foreknowledge refer to what is in the decrees regarding the believer in Y and Z radicals or reversionism.
3. All the facts in the computer of divine decrees are called “decrees,” and cover every thought, action, and decision of every person in the human race. While foreordination or predestination only covers the thoughts, decisions, and actions of believers. The unbeliever is never predestined to anything. He is never under election.
4. The decrees of God are the sum total of God’s plan for the human race, anticipated through omniscience in eternity past and placed into the decrees.
5. God’s purpose, relating to all events of every kind, constitutes one single all comprehensive intention, perceiving all events in omniscience, the free as free, the necessary as necessary, together with all their causes, conditions and relations, as one indivisible system of things, every link of which is essential to the integrity of the whole.
6. The decree of God is His eternal, holy, wise, and sovereign purpose, comprehending at once all things that ever were or will be, in their courses, conditions, successions, and relations, and determining their certain futurition. Everything will happen just as God knew it would in eternity past.
7. The decrees of God are His eternal and immutable will regarding the future existence of events which happen in time, and the precise manner and order of their occurrence.
8. By the decrees of God is meant that eternal plan by which God has rendered all things certain, including past events, present events, and future events of both human and angelic history.
9. The omniscience of God has placed in the decrees every person of the human race. Though placed in the decrees simultaneously, they all come out chronologically since God invents time and space in which the decrees are located.
10. Therefore the decrees are the perception of eternal omniscience, the eternal purpose of God, the councils of His will and inevitably the promotion of His glory. No matter how many people fail, or how great the evil, it all ends with God winning and being glorified. The plan of God depends on God, not on you. That makes doctrine the great issue.
11. Once this information is in the computer‑decrees, it is called by many names: foreordination, predestination, predetermination. This determines the certain futurition of both the thoughts, decisions, and actions of human beings.
12. Since the decrees deal only with what will happen, and not with what will not occur, speculation is therefore not necessary.
13. Man with his old sin nature is incapable of pleasing God. Therefore the ministry of the Holy Spirit is designed to sustain mankind in His relationship to God. This is illustrated in efficacious and common grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of the Spirit.
14. No event fed into the decrees is directly effected or caused by the decree. Just because it is in the decree doesn’t mean that the decree coerces free will for either good or evil.
15. The omniscience of God distinguishes between the actual and the possible. Only what is actual is fed into the decrees, thus determining the certain futurition of that actuality.
16. Events in the decrees are effected by causes acting in a manner consistent with reality, Rom 9:11‑13. Cause and effect in thoughts, decisions, and actions do not in any way disturb the function of free agency. You still have a free will, but God knows how that free will will operate.
17. The antecedents of any act in the decrees are a part of the actuality. The antecedents can be a thought, like what you actually decided. Cause and event are the thoughts, decisions, and actions of free agents.
18. God may desire the highest and best for every creature, but the creature can reject the highest and best. Consequently, only what happens is fed into the decrees.
19. The decrees of God are efficacious in that they determine all that ever was, is, or will be.
20. Efficacious is related to what is directly wrought by God, in contrast to the permissive will of God, in which the free action and will of His creatures produce secondary causes from the justice of God, i.e., divine discipline, judgment, condemnation, and any of the cycles of discipline.
21. The execution of any thought, decision or action on the part of a creature is not the decree. The omniscience of God anticipates the thought, action, or decision, and that is the decree. The decrees existed in eternity past; the execution exists in time. The decree is used to portray what God thought simultaneously. There never was a time when God did not think these things. You can never fool or surprise God by anything you do.

F. The Foreknowledge of God.
1. No decree arises from the foreknowledge of God. Foreknowledge makes nothing certain, but merely acknowledges what is decreed. Logically foreknowledge follows the decrees, but in reality it was simultaneous with the decrees in eternity past.
a. All the actuals of history were decreed simultaneously.
b. The probabilities are just as known to God as the actualities, but He didn’t stick them into the decrees. If you put non‑facts into the computer decrees, then you get a print out of no facts. God deals only in what actually happens: truth.
c. God is perfectly happy without creatures, including you. Speculation is a distraction to Bible doctrine. The decrees bring you back into reality. God says, “Forget about what you didn’t do, let’s take a look at what you did do.” Whatever you have done, get back with doctrine and keep moving.
2. Being omniscient, God knows all that would have been involved had He adopted any one of an infinite number of plans of action.
3. Foreknowledge is knowledge of what occurs in history. But omniscience includes knowledge of what did not occur: the alternative thoughts, actions, and decisions.
4. The omniscience of God fed reality into the computer, while the foreknowledge of God knew all of the print outs, all of the events as certainly future. He knew them because He had already decreed them.
5. Foreknowledge is not knowledge of future events, but cognizance of what is in the decrees.
6. God’s foreknowledge does not produce or cause events, but recognizes events which are fed into the decrees.
7. Foreknowledge is not foresight. God does not learn or obtain knowledge.
8. God foreknows all events as certainly future, because in eternity past He decree them and made them certainly future. And the origin was sovereignty plus omniscience.
9. God’s decrees relate equally to all future events of every kind. To the free actions of moral agents as well as to the actions of necessary agents; to sinful and evil, as well as morally correct, gracious, and honorable actions.
10. Since the divine decrees alone establish certainty, nothing can be foreknown until it is first decreed.
11. Omniscience only decreed what would happen. Therefore, omniscience only fed reality into the computer. Your life is designed by provision to deal with reality. You are designed to cope with every reality of life. Doctrine is designed to deal with reality.
12. Foreknowledge is related only to what God decreed. Foreknowledge only deals with reality, never the alternatives. Foreknowledge only deals with cognizance of reality. It takes two Biblical terms to differentiate between God’s knowledge of actuality and probability, and God’s acknowledgment of reality.
13. While omniscience precedes the decrees, foreknowledge logically follows the decrees. Foreknowledge cannot be placed before the decrees. This would blasphemously imply that God was not aware of what would take place and is not the original cause of anything. Foreknowledge makes nothing certain, the decrees are certainty. Foreknowledge acknowledges the reality in the divine decrees.

G. The Will of God.
1. The will of God must be consistent with His perfect attributes. There can’t be inconsistency in perfect God. All inconsistency comes from the fact we have an old sin nature and a free will.
2. God cannot compromise His essence or any part of His essence. He is immutable.
3. God is one in essence but three in person and personality.
4. Both essence and personality connote self‑consciousness and self‑determination.
5. Therefore, God did not decree Himself to be, but God from His omniscience decreed all that would ever happen in human history.
6. Therefore, the will of God is manifest in the decrees.
7. The decree of God is His eternal, holy wise and sovereign purpose, comprehending at once all things that ever were or will be in their causes, conditions, successes and relations, and determining their certain futurition. We are imperfect, but the plan we are in is perfect.
8. The several contents of this one eternal decree and purpose are, because of the limitations of our mentality, necessarily perceived by us in partial aspects in both logical and revealed revelation from God. (Partial aspects means categories.)
9. The decrees of God are His eternal and immutable will regarding the future existence of events which would happen in time, plus the precise manner and order of their occurrence.
10. Therefore, the decrees express the eternal plan and will of God by which God has rendered certain all events of history past, present and future. Jesus Christ controls history. Every detail that happens to you is a part of the decrees. God provides for you doctrine as the means of coping with reality in life or enjoying reality in life.
11. The will of God is the sovereign choice of divine will and mentality (called omniscience) inherent in the essence of God, by which all things are brought into being and controlled, made subject to His pleasure and glorification.
12. There is one all-inclusive will and purpose of God concerning all that ever was or ever will be.
13. This will and purpose originates within God Himself. Therefore, the will and plan of God are objective. Being objective, they are objectively designed for His glory, His pleasure, and His satisfaction. Our blessing comes from His pleasure, glory, and satisfaction. This is illustrated in marriage, where the man receives great pleasure and satisfaction from pleasing His wife.
14. All creatures have been placed into space and time. All events related to space and time were simultaneously decreed.
15. These simultaneous decrees of God result in divine action both within the Godhead and related to creation. Divine action within the Godhead we call subjectivity; it is intrinsic action. But when related to creation we call it objectivity and extrinsic.
16. Distinction should be made between the decree of God in eternity past and the action of God in time. The action of God in time is the execution of the decree of God in eternity past. The execution is not the decree, but logically follows the decree. We know it simply as history.

H. The Characteristics of the Will of God.
1. God’s will or the divine decrees are all comprehensive. God understood simultaneously in eternity past every thought, decision and action of every human being.
2. Not the slightest uncertainty could exist as to one of the smallest events without confusion to all.
3. Therefore all of the events of history are interwoven and interdependent.
4. The will of God is eternal; God is not gaining in knowledge.
5. Since nothing can occur unknown to God, His will is unchangeable and certain.
6. Since God is perfect, His will is perfect.
7. The free will of God or divine sovereignty is reflected in the decrees of God. The decrees will succeed no matter how many failures exist in us.
8. God is bound by His integrity, truth, and immutability to complete what He has begun. Nothing will hinder this. God’s plan depends on God. We can go along for the ride or be crushed by the plan.
9. This is accomplished through the divine policy of grace. Grace is the justice of God blessing mankind totally apart from any ability of man.
10. The divine outline of human history is called dispensations, the programming of the ages. So the plan of God for each one of us must be related to an understanding of what constitutes the Church Age; e.g., the baptism of the Spirit, sealing of Holy Spirit, filling of Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, and royal family of God.
11. The divine objective is both preservation and deliverance of believers, as well as the glorification of God through the imputation of blessing to believers.
12. The work of God in this respect is called providence, by which He molds all events into the fulfillment of His purpose and eternal pleasure.
13. Therefore, preservation continues the existence of things, but providence directs their progress by way of characteristics of the will of God. The will of God is:
a. Directive. God has a plan for our lives. Man has the free will to be in or out of the plan of God. God has meaning and purpose for our lives.
b. Determinative. God has permitted non‑meritorious volition to bring us to the place of blessing or cursing. God never tries to tamper with free will.
c. Permissive. Negative volition to Bible doctrine is permitted by divine justice, which provides discipline as an alternative in time only.
d. Preventative. It provides doctrine, establishment laws, the royal family honor code, and divine discipline to influence human volition to remain inside the will of God. Coercion is not legitimate, influence is. Satan influences in one direction, God in the other.
14. The will of God is classified under three categories.
a. What He directly does, e.g., Jesus Christ controls history.
b. What He permits, e.g., sin.
c. The overruling will of God. Because of the pivot of mature believers, God will save a nation or prosper an organization.

I. The Extent of the Divine Decrees.
1. God has decreed ends as well as means, causes as well as effects, conditions and instrumentalities as well as events that depend upon them. We classify these as history, God knew them in eternity past. So we cannot blame God for anything. He has given us chance after chance.
2. Some things God has decreed to do Himself immediately, e.g., creation. Other things God accomplished through the action of secondary causes acting under the law of necessity. The laws of divine establishment themselves actually set up many of the ways in which things occur; e.g., the rise in crime when there is no capital punishment.
3. Other things God has decreed to permit free agents to do in the exercise of their free will; e.g., salvation, sin, and spiritual growth.

J. The Divine Decrees and the Glory of God.
Remember that each member of the Trinity has the same amount, to the same degree, of the same characteristics, but they exist in three separate persons. They have the same glory. The Father as the author of the divine plan is the One who feeds the facts into the computer‑decrees. In eternity past all members of the Trinity had co‑equal glory. By the creation of the angels and man, God’s purpose was to do something to glorify God and to demonstrate that whatever He does while He was still alone will glorify Him in the end.
1. The decrees unite in one all inclusive and final objective—the glory of God. This is the purpose for the creation of all creatures in time and space. Prov 16:4; Rom 11:36; Heb 2:10; Rev 4:11.
2. Being alone before all creation, the decrees of God concern no one but the members of the Trinity. Therefore, the glory of God and pleasure of God.
3. Being eternal and infinite, the three members of the Trinity are worthy of glory. God’s glory is what He is in His essence, His person, and His attributes.
4. As the subject of the divine decrees, it is logical and inevitable that God will be glorified in what He is and what He has decreed.
5. Inasmuch as the manifestation of His glory secures the highest glory for His creatures and their greatest good, it is inevitable that attainment of spiritual maturity and resultant imputation of blessing brings glory to God, and not what we do in production. It is what we think that counts, not our actions.
6. God is pleased and glorified in both advance and continued momentum in the plan of God. The divine decrees are executed through the imputations from the justice of God. There are seven imputations which glorify God both in time and in eternity, and they become the tactical victory of the angelic conflict.
7. Each advance in the plan of God provides divine blessing which glorifies God. Blessing from God and glorification of God are always a potential based on positive volition to Christ at salvation and positive volition to doctrine after salvation.
8. Only what really happens goes into the decrees. Omniscience knew the actual which was put into the decrees, but the potential was not fed into the decrees.
9. God had the good sense to know in eternity past what thoughts, motives, decisions, and actions would carry one believer to maturity and another believer to reversionism. Omniscience handles all the people who didn’t live long enough to reach either. Omniscience knows both the factual and potential. On the other hand foreknowledge knows only the factual.
10. The plan of God is consistent with human freedom and volition. God does not coerce or limit human freedom or self‑determination. God invented both freedom and volition. However, distinction should be made between what God causes directly (such as the cross), and what He permits indirectly (such as sin, human good, and evil).
11. God created man with a free will. Therefore, He permits human volition to function in self‑determination. This is the origin of sin and this is why Adam sinned. God is not the author of sin. Man’s free will and self‑determination is the cause of sin.
12. Both sin and the cross are fed into the computer‑decrees by the omniscience of God. Both are facts, but have two different sources. All facts are fed into the computer regardless of what the cause may be. And if the cause is a fact, it too is fed into the decrees. God warned Adam about sin and its consequences, but He did not coerce man’s free will to avoid sin, nor does God condone or sponsor man’s sinfulness. God permits the function of free will as part of the resolving of the angelic conflict.

K. The Principle of Election.
1. Election simply deals with the plan of God. Election is the printout of the decrees with regard to believers, in contrast to condemnation which is the print out with regard to unbelievers in history.
2. Election is the entire print out on believers. No unbeliever is ever said to be elect.
3. The election of Christ, the Church, and Israel are the three major elections in history, Mt 24:1‑25:46; Rom 11:7; Eph 1:3‑6; 1 Thes 1:4; 2 Thes 2:13; Tit 1:1.
4. The categories of election include individuals; groups of believers, such as Israel; Christ; the millennial saints; and the Gentiles.
5. Election is that part of the decrees dealing with the thoughts, decisions, and actions of believers who are related to the plan of God.
6. All election is related to Jesus Christ, Isa 42:1, “My elected One,” cf 1 Pet 2:4‑6.

L. The Principle of Predestination.
1. You cannot superimpose human thinking on predestination. Hegel’s system of synthesis just doesn’t work with regard to doctrine. Idiots say that God predestined the unbeliever to hell, i.e., fatalism. If the thesis is stated in Scripture, but the antithesis is not, then the antithesis does not exist, and vice versa. Therefore synthesis is a false system of interpretation in the Hegelian system.
2. Predestination has three different names: predetermination, predestination, and foreordination. They are really synonymous terms with slight shading of meaning.
a. Foreordination is God’s preconceived and predesigned plan for believers. Only believers are predestined. Unbelievers are condemned, judged to the lake of fire to remain in their status of reprobation, which is total depravity. The unbeliever is not predestined to hell, but goes of his own choice by negative volition at God-consciousness and Gospel hearing.
b. Predestination is that part of the decrees which relates the believers in Christ permanently to the plan of God. Predestination deals with how far you’ll go in the plan of God. God knew all the mature believers in eternity past and prepared special things for them.
c. Foreordination is synonymous with the decrees, except that it includes and emphasizes logistical grace.
3. No unbeliever is ever predestined, elected, or foreordained. Christ is predetermined, foreordained, and elected. We share the destiny of Christ because we are in union with Christ. Therefore, we are also predestined, elected, and foreordained. The Father predetermined the grace concept of propitiation, as per Rom 3:25, so that election, predestination, and foreordination would always be a printout in this connection.

M. The Integrity of God.
1. Introduction.
a. Integrity is the combination of God’s perfect righteousness and His perfect justice. In the Bible it is called His “holiness.”
b. Mankind’s point of reference is the justice of God. Therefore, since this is our point of reference with God, and since we have received one half of divine integrity, we must understand how perfect righteousness and justice are related to each other in the Godhead and how they function once man has perfect righteousness.
c. The study of the integrity of God tells us how God can bless imperfect persons as a part of His perfect plan.
2. The Love of God.
a. God’s love is complete and total, eternally existing as a part of the being of God. God is love regardless of having any object to love. In eternity past God’s love was complete and total; He didn’t need us. In eternity future His love will be complete and total with or without us.
b. This means that God does not fall in love. God doesn’t maintain love, nor is His love sustained by emotion. We have to fall in love, and have capacity for love. To have capacity for love we must develop norms and standards in the soul. Most Christians assume that God fell in love with them at salvation, which is a lie and blasphemy. God loves you, but He never fell in love with you; He loved you eternity before you existed. God’s love has always existed in the same intensity, and cannot be changed.
c. Two absolute objects of God’s love include:
(1) His love for His own perfect righteousness. This is internal, perfect, subjective love. God’s loves His own perfect righteousness wherever it is found, even in you.
(2) His love for the other members of the Trinity. This is external, perfect, and objective love.
d. In righteousness, divine love for integrity is revealed. In justice, divine hatred for sin, good and evil is revealed.
e. Therefore all unbelievers are excluded from the divine attribute of love because of their old sin nature, imputed sin, and personal sin. Perfect God cannot love imperfect man.
f. God can only love His own perfect righteousness. God’s love stops at His perfect righteousness. Without God’s perfect righteousness we don’t have a thing God loves. Perfect righteousness cuts off divine love for imperfection.
g. While God is truly love, 1 Jn 4:8, the attribute of divine love is not understood by most Christians. The divine attribute is perfect, and totally devoid of emotion, Jer 3:13; Rom 8:39.
h. The love of God does not need an object in contrast to human love, which cannot exist without an object.
i. God possesses His love whether there is an object or not. Human love is generated by an object.
3. The Anthropopathism of Love.
a. An anthropopathism is a human characteristic ascribed to God which He doesn’t actually possess, but is used to explain divine policy in terms of human motivation and human frame of reference. God is inscrutable, therefore the need for anthropopathisms.
b. The classical illustration of an anthropopathism is Rom 9:13, “I love that Jacob, but I hate that Esau.”
c. God neither loves nor hates in human terms, but in order to explain salvation versus rejection of Christ, two antithetical human characteristics are used.
d. While love as an anthropopathism explains divine motivation in terms of human frame of reference, love is not the direct source of blessing from God. Integrity is the source.
e. In righteousness, the divine love for holiness is revealed, and in justice, divine hatred for sin is revealed. What perfect righteousness demands, justice executes.
f. Perfect righteousness rejects man’s sinfulness, and justice condemns man’s sinfulness.
g. At the cross, the sins of mankind were imputed to the Son, whom the Father and the Spirit loved with an infinite and eternal love. But the integrity of God superceded the love of God in judging our sins on the cross. Justice superceded divine love for the Son. Integrity supercedes every divine characteristic when God is dealing with mankind. The justice of God is our point of reference, just as it was for the humanity of Christ on the cross.
4. The Point of Reference for Mankind: Justice.
a. At the Fall, justice became man’s point of reference with God.
(1) God judged Adam by spiritual death. Adam and the woman had created their very own old sin nature’s.
(2) God doesn’t love the world personally. The world is ruled by Satan, and made up of mostly unbelievers with old sin natures and personal sins. If God loved the world personally, God would not be God.
(3) God cannot do something in conflict with His perfect integrity, so He can only love those with His imputed perfect righteousness. Mankind’s point of reference, therefore, is not the love of God, but the justice of God.
b. The integrity of God is composed of God’s perfect righteousness and Justice.
c. God’s fixed policy is that perfect righteousness demands perfect righteousness and justice demands justice.
d. Therefore the policy is that what perfect righteousness demands, justice executes.
e. In relationship to mankind the divine attribute of love is subordinated to the integrity of God.
f. Therefore, since God loves His perfect righteousness and every believer receives the imputation of that perfect righteousness at salvation, it follows that our first contact with the love of God is at salvation.
g. However, even then our point of reference is not divine love. At salvation there is no change in the point of reference. There is only change in the function of the justice of God. For the first time, there is the potentiality of blessing.
h. The precedent is established by the fact divine perfect righteousness rejects sinful mankind and divine justice pronounces the penalty of judgment and condemns.
i. Mankind begins by dealing with the justice of God and continues in that precedent even with the imputation of the greatest blessings of time and eternity.
j. Because the integrity of God supercedes the love of God in the judgment of the cross, the justice of God can only bless mankind where divine perfect righteousness exists.
k. In fact, divine justice can only impute blessing to perfect righteousness. In this way there is no compromise of divine attributes.
l. The imputation of perfect righteousness at salvation becomes the only basis of blessing in time or eternity.
m. Consequently, self‑righteousness is excluded from any phase of blessing or favor from God. Perfect righteousness and self-righteousness are mutually exclusive. Perfect righteousness is no good to you if you are self‑righteous in any way.
n. Self‑righteousness brings cursing from the justice of God, while imputed perfect righteousness is the potential for blessing from the justice of God.
o. The Jews often distorted the Mosaic Law into a system of self-righteousness, which excludes any blessing from the justice of God.
5. Human failure and the Faithfulness of God.
a. The failure of certain ones in the human race does not abrogate the integrity of God.
b. God’s integrity is not cancelled because some humans reject Jesus Christ as Savior.
c. God’s integrity is not cancelled because believers fail to utilize logistical grace and advance to maturity.
d. Mankind’s lack of integrity does not neutralize divine integrity.
e. Since the justice of God is the source of both cursing and blessing, adjustment to the justice of God means blessing, while maladjustment means cursing from that same justice of God. Justice is flexible, but its flexibility is handled through God’s perfect righteousness. Justice sends blessing to perfect righteousness and cursing to self‑righteousness.
f. Therefore, the justice of God is the source of both blessing and cursing, but never neutral, doing nothing.
g. Whether providing justification or condemnation, blessing or cursing, the integrity of God is maintained by the very function of the justice of God.
h. Since God is infinite, eternal, invisible, incomprehensible, it is necessary for God to reveal Himself to mankind through the content of the Scripture. Doctrine reveals God in terms of human functions, or anthropopathisms. Even though anthropopathisms are used, they don’t attack the integrity of God but vindicate the integrity of God. Through perception of doctrine we begin to understand how both the integrity of God and the policy of God work. Therefore we adjust to the justice of God by understanding these things.
6. The Integrity of God.
a. The integrity of God is infinite, absolute, eternal, and perfect. An integral part of His perfect essence.
b. The integrity of God is not the mere absence of evil or sin. It is the sum total of His perfection and incorruptibility.
c. The integrity of God is not maintained by His will or His sovereignty. It is maintained by His immutable self.
d. The integrity of God therefore is not maintained by human ability, talent or self‑righteousness.
e. It is blasphemous to assume that man’s self‑righteousness can promote divine integrity or the divine plan.
f. Divine perfect righteousness totally rejects human self-righteousness. But God in grace provides all that His integrity demands of the human race. So you’ll always have an option between grace and legalism.
g. Consequently, there is nothing man can do to destroy or compromise the integrity of God.
h. The essence of God stands eternally without any help from angels or mankind. God doesn’t need our help we need His help. God doesn’t need our self‑righteousness, we need His perfect righteousness.
7. Divine integrity advances the glory of God.
a. When the justice of God imputes blessing to the perfect righteousness of God, God is glorified by this tactical victory. God is never glorified by what we do. God through doctrine tells us what He has done and what He will do. We cannot be blessed on the basis of anything we do. You are blessed because of who and what God is in eternity past.
b. Imputed perfect righteousness at salvation is the basis for imputed blessing at maturity. God found the way to bless without compromise.
c. God did not do this from human sentimentality or from emotional response to man’s pleasing personality.
d. While man often concludes that his self-righteousness pleases God, this assumption is entirely erroneous, since “our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in His sight.”
e. Neither man’s sinfulness or self-righteousness advances the glory of God. Only divine integrity can advance the glory of God.
f. Only God can glorify God. Only God can please God. Only what God provides to us in grace brings us into the picture. It is a true principle that man can glorify God, but you can never glorify God until you understand that only God glorifies God.
g. Therefore, if you are going to glorify God, you have to use what God has provided for you to do so. He has provided it in a non-meritorious way which we call grace.
h. Any maladjustment to the justice of God means no blessing from the justice of God. Therefore no glorification of God. God is glorified when He can bless you.
i. What is true of the individual is also true of a nation or group of individuals.
j. No nation can possess freedom, blessing and prosperity apart from the integrity of God. That means social, economic, and political reform apart from the integrity of God is useless. (This means that great politicians are those who do nothing.)
(1) Reform apart from the integrity of God only multiplies the problem, intensifies the evil, including revolution, national degeneracy, and historical catastrophe.
(2) Political and theological liberalism seeks social, economic and political reform apart from the integrity of God. This results in the production of evil rather than the solution to a problem in the devil’s world.
8. God’s plan begins with salvation.
a. Salvation adjustment to the justice of God results in the imputation of perfect righteousness, called justification.
b. Justification means God is justified to bless us. Man is justified because man has something that belongs to God.
c. Justification means God is justified in saving man and in blessing him after salvation. So justification is the potential for great blessing from God both in time and eternity.
d. When God begins a plan or dispensation he begins with believers. For Israel to be “children of the promise,” they had to be born again.

N. The Computer‑Decrees and Condemnation.
1. Election, foreknowledge, and predestination is information fed into the computer‑decrees which deals with the believer only.
2. The omniscience of God also fed into the computer information regarding the unbeliever. This information can be categorized by the word condemnation.
3. The justice of God condemns the unbeliever both in time and in eternity. Judgment can be personal or in mass.
4. Therefore the unbeliever is excluded from the plan of God for believers known as election, foreknowledge, and predestination.
5. This means that racial Jews who reject Christ as Savior are not under election, foreknowledge and predestination, but under the principle of condemnation.
6. While information regarding condemnation exists in the computer, it is not classified with election, foreknowledge, and predestination. It is filed under the category of condemnation,