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.
Consider two end-time, dominant forces: the Beast power of Revelation 13 and God. To whom will we yield to in the coming years?
God-designed personalities, having His character, will make up God's family, not self-made personalities created by human will. We must yield as He creates.
Those who have made a covenant with God can be corrupted unless they make a concerted effort to know God, realizing He has the right to do as He pleases.
Nothing and no one can thwart God's purposes. We need to develop the faith to yield and conform to His will as clay in the potter's hands.
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.
God has consistently moved His creation toward its ultimate purpose, setting the bounds of nations, motivating rulers to pursue a certain course of action.
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.
In the example of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, the child's dawdling and complaining are not predestined nor are they part of God's will.
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.
The purpose of prayer is not to overcome God's reluctance, but to help in yielding to His will. 'Prayer changes things' is only true if it conforms to God's will.
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?
Understanding God's sovereignty as a basic doctrine provides a link between knowledge and practice, as well as providing motivation to yield to God's purpose.
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.
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.
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.
God not only upholds, but also guides and propels His creation, periodically overruling man's mismanagement with floods, fires, winds, and earthquakes.
Since God is sovereign over His creation, we need to be careful about reviling someone in authority, even someone who may have been appointed to bring evil.
Our responsibility is to yield to God's sovereignty. Nevertheless, God has enabled us to freely sin, but holds us responsible for governing ourselves.
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 plan our lives to be in sync with God's planning and purposes for our lives. …
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.
We have to exercise faith, realizing the timing will be right for us, enabling us to accept His provisions and decisions for us without fear or anxiety.
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 thoughts and desires before we are even aware of them (Psalm 139:2). …
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 in these terrible times, God has the last word. We need to realize the …
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 Jeremiah, may feel timid and underpowered, God is always out in front, …
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 one delineated by Protestant theologians who conceptualize law and grace at …
Even though the way God exercises His sovereignty is inscrutable to us , calling the foolish to confound the wise, all He does fits perfectly into His plan.
God, as Creator, takes the initiative (as the potter over the clay) for the elect's salvation, enabling us to build the repertoire of habits called character.
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.
In terms of salvation, works cannot save, but good works are the fruit of God's involvement. Grace frees one; works prove that one has been freed.
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 guiltiest secret sins which we think we have effectively hid. All things are …
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?
Grace's influence extends beyond justification, into the sanctification stage where the believer yields himself to righteousness, keeping God's commandments.
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.
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.
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.
Those who believe in the "once saved always saved" doctrine fail to see that God has a more extensive and creative plan for mankind than merely saving him.
We have been given something far more valuable than the lottery, namely our calling. We are obligated not to squander this valuable opportunity.
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 boundaries not only for Israel, but for all the children of Adam. Globalist …
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. Here are four of these byproducts of total submission to God.
Being reared in a democratic nation sometimes complicates our relationship with God; God's government is actually a sovereign, benevolent dictatorship.
Calamities, trials, anxiety, evil, and calamities, as well as blessings, happen to Christians in order to become fashioned and molded into God's image.
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 adult is our understanding compared to God's. As a meticulous micro-manager …
As obnoxious as tyrannical power may seem, we have the obligation to behave lawfully. Even the vilest of leaders has been allowed by God to rule.
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 went through this process first to provide us an example. We are to be …
Pentecostalism, with its sensationalism, is dangerous to a true believer. God is more interested in quietness and meekness than in bombastic displays of power.
In Psalm 139, David points out God's attribute of omnipresence, that is, His ability to be present everywhere at all times by His Holy Spirit.
Christians must seek God Himself and truly listen to what He says in His Word. Only then will they have the heart of wisdom to deal with today's challenges.
Among God's many attributes are those that He cannot pass on to others because they define Him. God's attribute of omnipotence defines His power over all.
Government run by carnal men will never work, but those under the New Covenant, having God's law written on their hearts, can make any form of government work.
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 as a new granddaughter, Sophia Grace, arrived on the scene. The name …
Belief in God involves more than believing He exists, but in faithfully obeying what He asks us to do. Genuine faith gives us access to genuine power.
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.
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?
Studying examples of God's hand both favoring and putting down, we must reach out to Him daily for His Divine Providence to be at work in their lives.
As God's instruction manual, the Bible contains the answers and guidance we need in times of trouble. Scripture reflects His mind more than any other resource.
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 than trusting God's judgment. The essential dualities of the Tree of Life and …
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.
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.
Solomon warns against bad choices in our investment of time. Our knowledge that we will ultimately die should motivate us to use our time circumspectly.
The story of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac encourages God's people that they need never doubt God commitment and ability to give them everything they need.
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 hasn't been under God's control. What is now, and what has always happened …
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 God. Eight of the psalms of Book Two were not written by David, but by …
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 pattern that God's called-out ones are obligated to follow. Interestingly, …
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.
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—or spiritual insight). We are called into the body of Christ gifted …
We must be very careful about ascribing human behavior—and especially human sin—to God, concluding that it must be God's will, or it would be different.
Moses, Jonah, David, and Gideon demonstrated resistance to God's prompts, indicating that they initially feared men more than they feared God.
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 ambassadors and sojourners in a foreign land, we must give governing …
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.
God, following a pattern, routinely calls the lowly and weak to guard against pride. God will transform the weak of this world through His Holy Spirit.
God allows each of us to experience trials and tests to humble us, leading us to repent, obey and trust, followed by an often-dramatic deliverance and joy.
We do not need to excessively fear Satan, his demons, or the world, but we should fear and respect the One who has complete involvement in our lives.
As the lives of the major biblical figures were predestined, so are our lives. God chooses, moves, and manages the lives of His servants.
God personally handpicks individuals with whom He desires to form a reciprocal relationship. This relationship must be dressed, kept, tended, and maintained.
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.
Our exodus from the bondage of sin begins and ends with God. He commanded Israel to mark their escape with unleavened bread because of what He did.
The rampant disorder in America may encourage God's people to choose political sides, but doing so may place them in a position of opposing God's will.
Without a meaningful relationship with Christ, God's people cannot possibly bear fruit. Our responsibility is to yield to God's creative work in our lives.
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that our country is divided politically and culturally more than at any other time since the Civil War, points out that even though the abortion issue is one of the most divisive issues, the population as a whole has become more callused. The scattering of our previous fellowship was allowed by God …
God gives several conditions for receiving protection and healing, including God's sovereignty, God's purpose, and one's level of growth.