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              Thy WORD Is Truth.

If I Were God

by Tom Stewart

February 18, 2001

Ever since Lucifer coveted the Almighty's Throne and "by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place" (Acts 1:25), there has been an ever increasing number of candidates for the High and Lofty One's position (Isaiah 57:15). "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north" (14:13). Though each evil usurper has been summarily defeated, new challengers have been appearing with ever greater frequency, claiming the title of the Divine One. "Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the LORD GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God" (Ezekiel 28:2). It seems especially common among earthly rulers to esteem themselves divine. "21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. 22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. 23 And immediately the angel of the LORD smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost" (Acts 12:21-23). So much has this trend of man exalting himself to be God increased, that we are near its apex where the Antichrist will exalt "himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2Thessalonians 2:4)-- as soon as the Almighty sovereignly gives him permission. "For the Mystery of Iniquity doth already work: only He [God] Who now letteth [restrains] will let [will restrain], until He [the Holy Spirit] be taken out of the way [via the Pre-Tribulational Rapture]" (2:7). (See our article, "Must There Be a Pre-Tribulational Rapture?"---New Window, for a development of this thought.)

But, in retrospect, was it a good idea to create men or angels with the godlike capacity to choose between good and evil, i.e.,
"God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27)? Eternity will redound with praise that the God of Love wisely chose to give the gift of Moral Agency to man at his creation. "Thou art worthy, O LORD, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11). The Creator's Wisdom in granting man the gift of Moral Choice is seen whenever men voluntarily commit the "keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a Faithful Creator" (1Peter 4:19). Joy is experienced in Heaven at the very moment that a single Lost Sinner repents. "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth" (Luke 15:10). Men would foolishly fashion a God who would create men without Moral Agency, but the Only Wise God our Saviour (Jude 25) has wisely set the value on the repentance of a Lost Sinner to be in excess of ninety-nine to one. "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance" (Luke 15:7).

With sin entering the picture, how could the Only Wise God
(1Timothy 1:17) ever secure man from sinning, any more than a human parent could raise an obedient child? "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). Again, men would create God after their own foolish notions; but, the "foolishness of God is wiser than men" (1Corinthians 1:25). God must now reveal that part of His Eternal Plan to redeem and sanctify a people for Himself. "4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, 5 to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption of sons" (Galatians 4:4-5). What mortal could have imagined that God would have offered His Own Son to stop the flood of sin? "And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1Timothy 3:16).

Wicked men may argue that saving a Lost Sinner is one thing, but causing him to walk in the holiness required for any man to see the LORD, is quite another, i.e.,
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD" (Hebrews 12:14); however, God has wisely provided a solution to secure man's holiness. In giving His Son, He provided for man's justification. "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Eternal Life" (John 3:15). Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, He "worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). No angel or man in designing their God would have conceived of such a bold plan to manifest God in the flesh, crucify Him, resurrect Him, then daringly inundate penitent men with the Gift of the Spirit of Christ, to teach men of Christ, which would have the effect of securing them in a holy walk. "26 But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me... 13 Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you" (John 15:26; 16:13-14). What more than the manifestation of Christ to the Believer would cause him to walk in the Cycle of Loving Obedience? "He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him" (14:21).

"O the depth of the riches both of the Wisdom and Knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His Judgments, and His Ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33).


Tom Stewart

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