He Hath Chosen Us In Him Before The Foundation of The World


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He Hath Chosen Us In Him Before The Foundation of The World

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Introduction

I remember while working for the World Wide Church of God in the early 1970’s being told that the church had purchased a state of the art computer to handle all of our mailing list of tens of thousands of Plain Truth subscribers, as well as all of the Good News subscribers, and all the literature requests that were coming in on a daily basis. All the church leaders and all the church members took great pride in the fact that the Lord had blessed His church with such an incredible tool. But that computer was so large that it took up a rather large room, and it had to be kept air conditioned and cool or it would overheat and fail.

But I also remember that way back then the computer companies were already telling the public that in time computers would be so small and affordable that every family would be able to have a computer in their own home. No one had a computer in their home in 1970 or for several years thereafter. Here is a quote from Wikipedia concerning the history of the personal computer:

Nevertheless someone was farsighted enough to foresee the time when there would be personal computers in every home. Listen to this quote out of the same Wikipedia article quoted above, History of Personal Computers:

It seems impossible that in 1968, forty-seven years ago, anyone could have foreseen “e-mail, hypertext, word processing and video conferencing” as we do here on these studies. But such foresight is nothing at all when compared with the minute details God knew about and foretold and is bringing about in the lives of every human on earth even as we speak. He has every day of the life of every man “written in [His] book before there were any of them”.

Psa 139:16 (ASV) Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.

“The days that were ordained for me” is not referring to the number of days we will each live. Rather it refers to every detail of what happens in each of those days. It has all been predetermined by God, and we are “made” to obey God when we obey Him, and we are “made” to disobey Him and “err from His ways” when we disobey Him:

Isa 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

How can it be otherwise if this verse is true?

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

So God’s ability to compute and plan the future extends to our very thoughts. The thoughts within our hearts are made by God to “err from [His] ways” by Him hardening our hearts from His fear, just as He hardened Pharaoh’s heart from His fear. When we are obedient, that is only because we were first “made to err” and then “show[n] mercy” and “made to drink into one Spirit”.

Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

In other words, our fate “is not of him that wills, but of God who [either] shows mercy [or] hardens” our hearts. That is exactly what the scriptures teach:

Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might [harden your heart and ] shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

The fact is that Pharaoh was too soft for the position he was placed into by God. It was while Moses was still in Midian, right after the events at the burning bush, that God informed Moses that He would have to harden Pharaoh’s heart to keep him from letting Israel leave Egypt before He could “multiply [His] signs and wonders in the land of Egypt” .

Exo 4:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

It is not adding to scripture to state that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to keep Pharaoh from letting Israel go so He could display His sovereign judgments upon the greatest nation on the earth at that time.

Exo 7:3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

We are even told that Pharaoh was put in power by God for that very reason:

Exo 9:16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

But the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart began at the time of the very first sign given by Moses to Pharaoh:

Exo 7:8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Exo 7:9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
Exo 7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Exo 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Exo 7:12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.
Exo 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
Exo 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.

Why did Pharaoh “refuse to let the people go”? There is only one reason given: “He hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. Everything Moses and Aaron did was at God’s decree, and everything Pharaoh did was “after the counsel of [God’s] own will”:

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11 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:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

How and why are you and I “made to know the mystery of His will”? The ‘why’, and the ‘how’ are both “according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in himself”.

What is “His good pleasure”? It so happens that “the good pleasure” of God is: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times [Greek: ‘due season’ – Mat 24:45 and Gal 6:9] He might gather together in one, all things in [the] Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him”.

What does “even in Him” mean? It means Christ certainly, but it means much more than Christ, because this is who Christ tells us He is:

Act 9:5 And he [Saul of Tarsus] said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Those are Christ’s own words, and we fail to appreciate the spiritual significance of being told that we are the ‘Jesus [who is] persecuted’ by the religions of this world. Saul of Tarsus, like Abram and like Jacob and Simon Bar Jonas and others, had his name changed to ‘Paul’, and later related this experience he had here on the road to Damascus to the Jews in Jerusalem who were attempting to murder him because they had been told that Paul had brought a Gentile into the temple.

Look again at who Christ says we are as a part of His body:

Act 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

It is Christ Himself who tells us that we are His body, we are “Jesus of Nazareth” in whom God will “in the dispensation of the fulness of times”, meaning, at the appointed “due time”, gather together in one, in ourselves, “all things in Christ”, in us as “Jesus of Nazareth”. You may ask, “How can you use the words ‘in one’ and tell us in the same breath, it is speaking of all of us as ‘Jesus of Nazareth’?” Here is how the scripture, which makes the “even in Him” of Eph 1:10 mean “the Christ”, those who are sent by Christ to do what His Father sent Him to do:

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is [the] Christ.

What does Paul mean by Abraham’s “one… seed… which is Christ”? He makes Himself very clear in this same chapter:

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s [“one”] seed, and heirs according to the promise.

He tells the Corinthians the very same thing:

1Co 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one [“one… seed] receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

All these verses which clarify what is meant by “one… seed” should begin to make clear what Paul had in mind when he said:

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him [“Jesus, whom thou persecutest” – Acts 9:5 and 22:8]:

What Paul is telling us is that Christ identifies with US as His body to such an extent that it is through us that He is doing what His Father sent Him to do. That is why we, at this very moment, are granted to be seated with Him on His Father’s throne in the heavens and partake of His inheritance:

Eph 1:11 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:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Why “should… we… be to the praise of His glory”? Is it simply because we “first trusted in Christ”? We certainly are those “who first trusted in Christ”, but what does that entail? This is what it means to be the first to trust in Christ:

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

What did Christ’s Father send Him to accomplish? We are told plainly what Christ’s Father sent Him to accomplish in no uncertain terms:

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Seeing and knowing all of this should make us all aware that before the world began we were granted to die daily with, and to be crucified with, Christ and to fill up in our flesh that which is behind of the afflictions of the Christ for His body’s sake, which is the church:

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

We have shown in earlier studies that the living scapegoat is just as integral a part of the sanctification of Israel as is “the Lord’s goat”, which dies for the people. We have seen that the second bird, which is let go alive in the fields (Lev 14:53) is just as integral to the cleansing of the house of the leper as is the first bird which is put to death.

The Scapegoat
“The Lord and His Christ” Revealed In The Law of The Offerings

These are the only two “living sacrifices” in the law of the offerings, and they reveal what the function is of the “living sacrifice” of the new covenant which must be “crucified with Christ, [yet] live… as a living sacrifice… fill[ing] up in [our] flesh what is behind of the afflictions of [the] Christ for His body’s sake which is the church”.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

That is the Truth of our calling, and the point of this study is to make clear that this was all “written in His book, even the days that were ordained for [us] when as yet there were none of them”:

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

To summarize:

How far-sighted was our heavenly Father? Just how early did God see our unformed substance?

Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Just how many of the details of “the days that were ordained for me” were known of God “before the world began”?

This is “that which is written” (1Co 4:6) on that subject:

Luk 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
Luk 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Details as small as the lives of sparrows and the number of hairs in our heads are meant to give us some perspective of the omniscient foreknowledge of our God. Such minute details draw us to our final conclusion concerning the ability of our God to compute and to plan out and carry out His plan to this degree “before the world began”:

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:11 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:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

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