God knows the end from the beginning, but He does not give us all the details at once, except as they are necessary for us for His purpose to be worked out.
That God is sovereign means that He IS God, the absolute governor of all things. This has profound implications for us: It means He chooses goodness or severity.
Most converted Christians realize that God is sovereign. But sometimes the Bible reveals something about God that makes us uncomfortable. Can we accept it?
How involved in man's affairs is God? Is He merely reactive, or does He actively participate—even cause events and circumstances, particularly in the church?
We are mandated to live by faith, being given trials of faith in order to chisel our character. We must totally and unreservedly accept God's sovereignty.
In the third part of this series, John Ritenbaugh uses the Beast power of Revelation 13 to compare with God's sovereignty. Who will we yield to in the coming years?
John Ritenbaugh explains that Protestant reformers by and large understood that there were two aspects—physical and spiritual—of creation. Humans have no part in creating themselves in the image of God in either aspect; God does the shaping and. . .
Those who have made a covenant with God can be seduced or corrupted unless they make a concerted effort to know God. Knowing God means to realize that God has the right and the power to do with any one of us as He pleases. John the Baptist, when he saw his. . .
Unlike the deplorable picture presented in the world's religions depicting God as a helpless, effeminate, maudlin, hand-wringing sentimentalist, desperately trying to save the world, repeatedly frustrated and thwarted by Satan, John Ritenbaugh brings into . . .
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
Is God sovereign over angels? What about mankind's choices? God's sovereignty is absolute as He directs events toward the culmination of His plan.
John Ritenbaugh demonstrates the relationship of God's will, predestination, and choice (or free moral agency). Using the analogy of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, he points out that the dawdling, complaining, and other acts of disobedi. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon God's management of mankind. God has consistently moved His creation toward its ultimate purpose, setting the bounds of nations, motivating rulers (Proverbs 12:1) to pursue a certain course of action, sometimes against their wi. . .
Those who emphasize one trait of God, or one doctrine, at the expense of the others run the risk of distorting the truth, creating a grotesque caricature.
One aspect of sovereignty that causes some confusion is predestination. God's sovereignty does not remove a person's free moral agency — we must still choose.
The overriding issue of life is to whom we will give ourselves in obedience. Will it be ourselves, society, business, Satan or God?
God not only rules in heaven, but He is also sovereign on earth! He is not an absentee landlord, but One who is actively involved in administering His creation.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that prayer is perhaps the most important thing we do in terms of maintaining our salvation. The purpose of prayer is not to overcome God's reluctance, but rather to yield and conform us to His will. The oft quoted slogan 'Prayer. . .
We are assured that even though inexplicable things happen in our lives, God is still sovereign. We must develop childlike faith to trust in Him for solutions.
God's sovereignty and free moral agency set up a seeming paradox. Just how much choice and freedom do we have under God's sovereign rule?
God's sovereignty is one of the most important issues a Christian must consider. Have we acknowledged that He has total authority over us in particular?
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes the value of understanding sovereignty as a basic foundational doctrine, providing a link between knowledge and practice as well as providing motivation to yield and conform to God's purpose for us. Understanding sovereignty (1) . . .
Human will is not sovereign in the body, but is just another servant, functioning according to the information it receives. We choose according to desires.
Fully accepting God's sovereignty should drive us to seek Him so that we can come to know Him as completely as possible, which is vital to our salvation.
Some may doubt that God is in control, but God's sovereignty over His creation is complete. The course of world events are moving according to His will.
If God is manipulating everything in His sovereignty, why pray? What does prayer teach us? Here is why God commands us to come before Him in prayer.
Faith in God and in the motivating power in God's Word have to be the driving force in everything we do each day.
A converted person, accepting God's specific care with His children, realizes that both prosperity and deprivation are tools in the Creator's workshop.
We are not individually sovereign, but we are taught to give ourselves over completely to God's sovereignty. If we do, we will reap unfathomable blessings.
Eternal life is to live a quality life as God lives, having developed a close relationship with God, living by faith and accepting His sovereignty over all.
Here are four qualities of character that our full acceptance of God's sovereignty will build and that will prepare us for whatever work God may choose for us.
God's sovereignty seems to imply that prayer is pointless. Yet the function of prayer is not to change God's mind, but ours!
Like Job, we must surrender to God's will and purpose for our lives, realizing that both pleasant and horrendous times work for our spiritual development.
Prayer is not a dictating to a reluctant God, but a demonstration of our attitude of dependence and need. It is a means to get into harmony with God's will.
John Ritenbaugh focuses on God's active administration of His Creation. Like manufacturers and builders, the Master Builder of the universe also has precise schedules and deadlines. Some have mistakenly assumed that after God fashioned His creation, He tur. . .
John Ritenbaugh expresses alarm that within one generation tolerance for homosexuality and same-sex marriage has gained national approval. Behavior such as exhibited in our current culture is identical to the shameless, greedy culture described by the prop. . .
John Ritenbaugh, maintaining that our responsibility is to yield to God's sovereignty, nevertheless suggests that God has, by giving us free will, enabled us to freely sin, but holds us responsible for governing ourselves. The word govern, derived from the. . .
Government may be the most important subject in the Bible because it touches on how Christians are to govern themselves under the sovereignty of God.
In this message on the subject of planning and God's sovereignty, John Ritenbaugh stresses that we are obliged to respond to God because He has interfered in our lives, causing us to repent, giving us His Holy Spirit, and limiting our options. We should pl. . .
Where does real power reside? All power has its source in God—and not just the kind of power we typically think of.
Like Joseph, we need to realize that God—not ourselves—is the Creator, engineering events that form us into what He wants us to become.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that to the called, nothing happens in a vacuum and "time and chance" no longer applies. Like a proactive, responsible parent, God restricts free moral agency to keep His children from getting hurt. Through His foresigh. . .
The creation offers compelling testimony to the intricacies which preclude even the possibility of evolution. Evolution is a futile attempt to get rid of God.
Most professing Christians agree that God is sovereign, but there is a wide range of beliefs with regard to just how involved God is in their lives.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes how intimately God is involved with the intimate details of our life, including our conception and birth, supplying spiritual gifts or abilities to carry out His work. David reflects that God knows us searchingly, even our secret. . .
John Ritenbaugh, referring to Jerusalem as Sodom and Egypt because of their perverse conduct, suggests that those of us living in modern Israel are living in spiritual Sodom and will be sorely tested in these last devastating times. We have to realize that. . .
John Ritenbaugh explores several nuances of the term grace, describing a generous, thoughtful action of God, accompanied by love, which accomplishes His will, equipping us with everything we will need to be transformed into the Bride. Even though we, like . . .
David Grabbe, unraveling several apparently contradictory scriptures, exposes a fundamental flaw in western thinking—namely the binary (that is, either-or) thinking that leads us to construct false dilemmas. Perhaps the best example of this is the on. . .
John Ritenbaugh assures us that God is involved in the minute details of every converted person's life just as much as He is in the major historical world events. As a new creation of God (II Corinthians 5:17) we receive continuous, meticulous, detailed at. . .
John Ritenbaugh claims that millions of people who believe they are in contact with God are hopelessly deceived about Him in five essential ways: They do not understand (1) what causes estrangement between God and mankind, (2) that God under no circumstanc. . .
Paul knew that only through strengthening his relationship with God was he able to both abound and be abased. When we are in trouble, we need to contact God first.
Is it not galling, indeed angering, that renowned people from the world of Christianity cannot give a forthright and true answer straight from God's Book?
John Ritenbaugh clarifies that, in terms of salvation, grace and works are mutually exclusive (Ephesians 2:8-10), but good works are the result (or the fruits) of God's creative efforts. Grace frees one; works prove that one has been freed. Grace (or the g. . .
Martin Collins, reiterating that Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ, moves to the climactic point of the narrative in Genesis 45, in which Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Joseph knew and recognized his brothers before they knew him. God knows our gui. . .
John Ritenbaugh asserts that after justification, for grace to be made dominant, its influence must extend beyond justification, into the sanctification stage where the believer must yield himself to righteousness, keeping God's commandments making himself. . .
God puts people where He wants them and gives them the responsibilities that He desires them to fulfill. They can be either faithful or unfaithful leaders.
Among God's many titles is one that proclaims His supremacy over all others: 'Most High God' or 'God Most High.' It provides confidence in God's governance.
Human beings, even those who have been called, have an innate fear that God will not always provide. This fear originates in doubt about God's power.
We may be going through a period of hopelessness, but must believe that all things work together for those who believe and are called for His purpose.
John Ritenbaugh contends that those who believe in the "once saved always saved" doctrine foolishly fail to see that God has a more extensive and creative plan for mankind than merely saving them. One can fail to bring forth fruits of repentance . . .
We have been given something far more valuable than the lottery, namely our calling. We are obligated not to squander this valuable opportunity.
Richard Ritenbaugh cautions us not to have a one-dimensional perspective of God, pointing to the multi-faceted aspects of His personality and His vast works. Our puny minds can only grasp a tiny sliver of what God really is. Far less than a toddler to an a. . .
John Ritenbaugh, referring to Edward Erler's article in Imprimis titled, "Does Diversity Really Unite Us?" suggests that the globalist enemies of language, borders, and culture have made themselves enemies of the will of God, who set up boundarie. . .
God displaced the Amorites because they had defiled the land; not one righteous person existed. Israel was warned not to defile themselves with demonism.
Once we accept God's sovereignty, it begins to produce certain virtues in us. John Ritenbaugh explains four of these byproducts of total submission to God.
Richard Ritenbaugh warns that being reared in a democratic nation sometimes complicates our relationship with God. The type of liberty we have in this form of government is different from our liberty granted by God, a condition of our slavery to righteousn. . .
John Ritenbaugh, defining providence as the protective care of God, suggests that the providence of God also touches on the pains and sufferings of persecution. To the elect whom God foreknew, all things- pleasant or unpleasant- happen for ultimate good (R. . .
John Ritenbaugh asserts that when God created Adam, He prepared only a foundation for mankind's eventual spiritual creation undertaken by the Second Adam. Spiritual creation requires much intense pressure and continual testing to determine character. Jesus. . .
Pentecostalism, with its sensationalism, is dangerous to a true believer. God is more interested in quietness and meekness than in bombastic displays of power.
The Law of Entropy teaches that matter is moving toward disorder. But when we remember God's sovereignty, we can conclude that there is a purpose in this futility.
The purpose of activism is to take matters into one's own hands, often resulting in violence. Moses' slaying of the Egyptian may have been social activism.
The best human leaders are those who recognize that they are not the ones running things. Exceptional leaders submit to the reality of God's sovereignty.
Jesus as not a typical revolutionary, seeking to overthrow a human regime, yet the truth He spoke was so radical that He was put to death cruelly for it.
Mark Schindler, commenting upon some changes in the household, one of which involved the acquiring of a new dog, a dog that turned out to be a jumper, describes the extensive attempts at retrieving the fugitive animal. Later, preparations were made again a. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh insists that a raw display of emotion and exuberance does not necessarily glorify God. What we do to glorify God will reflect just how highly we esteem Him. Because God has redeemed us (purchasing us with an awesome price), we must becom. . .
The 9/11 bombings were tragic and terrible. Some have since asked, 'Was God involved? Is He to blame?' These tough questions have challenging answers.
The fall holy days picture various judgments by God, bringing about liberty, reconciliation, regathering, and restoration.
When we think of messiah, we think of Jesus Christ. Yet the Bible has a much broader definition. The pagan emperor Cyrus the Great was also a messiah!
What does Scripture say about free-moral agency? Are we human puppets on a string, manipulated from above? How does free will relate to God's sovereignty?
Mark Schindler, establishing some foundational principles that God does not create chaos and confusion, but has re-established order after Satan's rebellion, points out the danger and folly of presumptuously choosing standards of right and wrong rather tha. . .
Solomon reveals that God is solidly in control of time. Knowing that God is sovereign over time should fill us with faith in God's workmanship.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that a life lived apart from God, under the sun, amounts to vanity and a fist full of wind. As we become aware of God's involvement in our lives, we begin to stand in awe of God, developing an appreciation for the proper investme. . .
God has given His people tremendous gifts that, if used, will build their faith and draw them closer to Him. He wants us to succeed because we matter.
John Ritenbaugh, citing a statement made by FDR to his son-in-law that nothing happens in Washington that isn't planned, assures us that NOTHING escapes God's observation and that God's ultimate sovereignty guarantees that nothing occurs in history that ha. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, focuses again on Book Two, aligned with Exodus, Ruth, and Pentecost, emphasizing the wave loaves made of beaten down flour with leavening and baked with intense heat—loaves which symbolize us and our preparation for the Kingdom of. . .
In this keynote address of the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Abraham's pattern of life, answers the question, 'Why is the Church of the Great God doing what it is doing at this time?' Abraham and Sarah's life of faith is the patte. . .
The book of Hebrews resonates for the church of God at this time due to the strong parallels between our circumstances and those of the first century church.
God emphasizes Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the result of doing whatever our human heart leads us to do. The physical cannot satisfy.
Because Jesus is God's Son, we can avoid the rod of His anger by paying respect with worshipful awe. We must know both His instruction and Him personally.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes, focuses on three interrelated terms: paradox (something contrary to expectation), conundrum (a riddle), and wisdom (skill in arts, such as Bezalel and Oholiab who were gifted in a specific skill&m. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh continues his exposé of artistic and spiritual resistance, an analogy derived from Stephen Pressfield's The War of Art, a manual designed to overcome artistic resistance and many forms of self-sabotage. The core of self-sabotage is our c. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that wisdom is not the answer to all of life's problems, indicates that it is still a valuable virtue, transforming us for good and a sense of well-being. In the matter of deference to civil authority, we must remember that, as. . .
Job was righteous because of the work of God, forming his righteousness out of nothing, guiding events and providing an environment in which character was formed.
John Ritenbaugh reflects that God, through His sovereignty, has personally placed each of us in the organization in which we can grow the most. We have a solemn responsibility to exercise our free moral agency, having authority and dominion over animals, a. . .
Liberty without guidelines will turn into chaos. We will be free only if we submit to the truth. All authority, even incompetent authority, derives from God.
Richard Ritenbaugh, observing that the civil Festival of Purim in the Jewish community, commemorating the deliverance of the Jews from virulent anti-Semitism in ancient Persia, explains that this festival is celebrated with a notable spirit of merriment be. . .
John Ritenbaugh somewhat modifies his amazement at individuals who made gigantic sacrifices in the fledgling days of the Radio Church of God, concluding that it is in fact God who expends the lion's share of the energy, putting us all through flip flops in. . .
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his comparison of the timid, insignificant sparrow with the virtually unnoticed, timid Church, reiterates that God has complete oversight over the awesome plan of creating offspring in His image. Consequently, we should not fear. . .
God personally handpicks individuals with whom He desires to form a reciprocal relationship. This relationship must be dressed, kept, tended, and maintained.
In this message on God's promises of protection and healing, Richard Ritenbaugh identifies several conditions for receiving them, including God's sovereignty, God's purpose, and one's level of growth. A way to see things "God's way" involves repl. . .
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