Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

What Is the Biblical Teaching on Predestination?

Are we predestined to be "saved" or "lost"? What does it mean that "many are called, but few chosen"? Was ancient Pharaoh, whose heart YEHOVAH God hardened, lost because of the will of YEHOVAH God? What part does our own personal choice have to do with our fate? Was it all decided for us long, long ago? What about you? Were YOU predestined to be saved or lost, and your own works or desires have nothing whatever to do with it? Here is the answer to a vital, baffling subject which has stumped and mystified millions!

by HOIM Staff

According to the Calvinists, and some professing Christian groups, we cannot control our own destiny, but our fate was decided by YEHOVAH God Himself long, long ago -- and human will has nothing whatever to do with whether we are eventually saved, and enter YEHOVAH's Kingdom, or whether we are lost -- and doomed forever!

To bolster this belief, those who believe our fates were determined before the world began tend to turn to the ninth chapter of Romans. Notice what Paul wrote in this amazing chapter:

"Not at though the word of God had taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, 'In Isaac shall thy seed be called.' That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, 'At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.' And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to ELECTION might stand, not of works, but of him that CALLETH;) it was said unto her, 'The elder shall serve the younger.' As it is written, 'Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.'

"What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 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.' So then it is not of him WILLETH, nor of him that RUNNETH, but of GOD that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, 'Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.' Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

"Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, EVEN US, whom he hath CALLED, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:6-24).

Were some of us, according to Scripture, predestined to glory and eternal life, but others were predestined to shame, and everlasting contempt? Were some of us predestined for salvation from the very beginning, according to the plan of YEHOVAH God, but others were created only to be destroyed forever in the Lake of Fire?

Let's come to grips with this fascinating subject, and UNDERSTAND!

What IS "Predestination"?

The "predestinate" itself is only used once in the Bible, and the word "predestined" only twice. Notice!

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the CALLED according to his purpose. For whom he did FOREKNOW, he also did PREDESTINATE tobe conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among MANY BRETHREN. Moreover whom he did PREDESTINATE, them he also CALLED: and whom he CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified" (Rom. 8:28-30).

And,

"Blessed by theGod and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: Having PREDESTINATED us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Eph. 1:3-6).

The Greek word translated "predestinate" or "predestinated" is proorizo and literally means "to limit in advance, predetermine," and "determine before, ordain, predestinate." The evidence from the Scriptures clearly shows that there is an element of "predestination" in the lives of human beings. But what does this predestination involve? Is it positive? Or is there a negative side to it? That is, were some individuals PREDESTINATED TO BE LOST? Were some individuals designed by YEHOVAH God and created by Him in the very beginning to be CURSED and DESTROYED FOREVER?

The answer is a resounding NO!

In every case where the word "predestinate" is used in the Scriptures, it is used in a very positive, joyous, wonderful sense -- that is, those of us who know Messiah Yeshua as our personal Saviour, Redeemer and coming king, to whom YEHOVAH God has revealed His Truth, we have been CHOSEN OF YEHOVAH GOD during this lifetime to know the unsearchable riches of the Messiah and his glory-- we have been called to participate with him in his eternal Kingdom, as his fellow heirs, JOINT-HEIRS with him of ALL THINGS! As Paul wrote --

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we ARE the children of [YEHOVAH] GOD: And if children, then HEIRS; HEIRS OF [YEHOVAH] GOD, and JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also GLORIFIED TOGETHER.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the SONS OF GOD" (Romans 8:16-18).

Those of us who are called now, are, in a sense, predestined for GLORY in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God -- IF we overcome our sins, our human nature, temptations, and endure to the end, faithfully! However, the fact that we are predestined for the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God merely means that YEHOVAH CHOSE us, even before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), to be CALLED to His service and worship and kingdom, NOW, in this present life! However, whether we MAKE it into His Kingdom is UP TO US -- we are not foreordained to overcome or to make it, but that will be determined by our own choices, our own works, whether or not we are OVERCOMERS!

In other words, my friends, even IF you are predestined or called of YEHOVAH, NOW, to understand His truth, it still remains for you to PROVE YOUR LOYALTY TO YEHOVAH GOD during your life, by your works, words, and choices, from now on out until you die!

Even those who are "predestinated" can be LOST, or fall away! Notice! Paul himself was among those "predestinated." Yet he also wrote:

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain...I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: LEST THAT BY ANY MEANS, when I have preached to others, I MYSELF SHOULD BE A CASTAWAY" (I Cor. 9:24-27).

Even though we are called and "predestinated" now, we COULD still fall away, and disqualify ourselves from salvation and eternal life! That is why Paul urged the Christians at Philippi,

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not only in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING" (Phil. 2:12).

Paul also warned:

"Therefore we ought to GIVE THE MORE EARNEST HEED to the things which we have heard, LEST AT ANY TIME WE SHOULD LET THEM SLIP. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE, IF WE NEGLECT SO GREAT SALVATION?" (Heb. 2:1-3).

Paul also warned the Hebrew Christians:

"CAST NOT AWAY therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have DONE the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by FAITH: but IF ANY MAN DRAW BACK, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who DRAW BACK UNTO PERDITION; but of them that BELIEVE to the saving of the soul" (Heb. 10:35-39).

Even though we are predestined to receive YEHOVAH's glory, IF we endure to the end, and keep His commandments, the apostle Peter warns those of us who are called NOW --

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the DIVINE NATURE [become very sons of GOD with His exact attributes and the nature of Deity!], having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, GIVING ALL DILIGENCE, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity [love, the love of God -- agape in the Greek]. For IF these things be in you, and ABOUND, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is BLIND, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: for IF ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the EVERLASTING KINGDOM of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:4-11).

Did you get that? Even though we are called now, and are now the "elect" of YEHOVAH God, we must make "SURE" of our calling and election BY OUR STEADFAST GOOD WORKS AND CHRISTIAN LIVING! It is NOT "automatic." We are not now on "automatic pilot" to the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. It was NOT "all settled on the cross." WE HAVE OUR PART THAT WE MUST DO TO INSURE OUR OWN SALVATION!

The sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah merely made our salvation POSSIBLE. But WE must repent of our sins, accept him as our Savour, BELIEVE IN HIM, and BELIEVE HIS MESSAGE, and live our lives henceforth in OBEDIENCE to his divine LAWS, and DO the WILL of YEHOVAH the Father!

Isn't that perfectly clear?

"Predestination," therefore, does not have to do with whether we are going to be IN the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God or not, but rather deals with WHEN we are called to YEHOVAH's truth and the knowledge of salvation!

It is all a matter of TIMING!

The PLAN of YEHOVAH God

YEHOVAH God has "predestined" ALL mankind -- or mankind AS A WHOLEeventually to be "saved," and to be part of His Divine Kingdom! YEHOVAH is no failure, nor is His Divine Plan a "failure" or a "cosmic wreck." It is RIGHT ON SCHEDULE and it is working out PRECISELY ACCORDING TO PLAN!

Some ministers think that YEHOVAH God is right now attempting to "save" the entire world, and that BILLIONS of human beings are "lost," because salvation can only come through the name of Yeshua the Messiah (Acts 4:12). These ministers point to the vast nations steeped in false religion or no religion at all -- Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Communism, Atheism, and the Muslim religion -- and try to get people behind them to witness to all these people to SAVE them before they DIE!

But there is something seriously flawed in this scenario. This picture makes SATAN the devil far more successul in his plot to DECEIVE mankind, and makes YEHOVAH God out to be a terrible LOSER in the fight for man's soul or destiny! According to this commonly held belief, the Devil is WINNING and YEHOVAH is so far behind that He has only a few in His camp!

Yet the Bible clearly shows that YEHOVAH God is ALL POWERFUL. The devil can do NOTHING WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION (Job 1:6-12). YEHOVAH God revealed Himself to Abraham as "the Almighty God" (Gen. 17:1). The devil has NO power compared to YEHOVAH. Yet for this time, YEHOVAH has allowed him to be the "god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4), the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2). YEHOVAH has also ALLOWED him to "deceive the whole world" (Rev. 12:9). Yes, ALL THE WORLD -- or, the WORLD AS A WHOLE -- IS NOW DECEIVED and in DARKNESS!

But WHY has YEHOVAH God done this? WHY has YEHOVAH God allowed all nations, during this age, to be "deceived"? Notice!

The apostle Paul wrote, in explanation --

"I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he FOREKNEW. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 'Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down [destroyed] thine altars; and I AM LEFT ALONE, and they seek my life.' But what saith the answer of God unto him? 'I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.' Even so then at this PRESENT TIME also there is a REMNANT ACCORDING TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE" (Rom. 11:1-5).

Do you understand? Do you get the point?

YEHOVAH God is only calling a FEW now, and revealing His truth to them. The vast majority are concluded in UNbelief. They will be called later, and have their eyes opened later, according to YEHOVAH's perfect timing. They are not cast away. They are just temporarily blinded. But of those YEHOVAH has called now, and opened their eyes to the TRUTH, and allowed to SEE the apostasy occurring all around us, Paul writes:

"Even so at this present time also there is a REMNANT ACCORDING TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the ELECTION hath obtained it, and the REST WERE BLINDED (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of SLUMBER, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) UNTO THIS DAY..." (Romans 11:1-8).

YEHOVAH God, in His divine wisdom, is working out a Plan here below. At the present time, He is only working directly with a FEW individuals, whom He has called. The vast, overwhelming majority are living in IGNORANCE of His Laws, His Plan, and His Purpose. They are going through life like in a "blind End Game." They don't really know what they are doing. They find themselves on this Planet Earth, born to parents, and they go through life, get educated, work for a living, marry, have children, and die -- only its not really that simple. They also suffer, they see the result of human wickedness around them, sometimes the innocent die, children have their lives snuffed out in a terrible accident or in war, famine slays millions of innocents, disease takes a terrible toll, and grief and misery are widespread. Others seem born to a life of ease, riches and wealth, and ignore the plight of the poor as they pursue vain ambitions and pleasures of all kinds, ilicit and sensuous.

But WHY? Why does YEHOVAH God allow it to be this way? Many, looking at the exisence of evil in the world, think this proves there IS no God -- that there can be no God -- for if there were, they reason, He would not allow such carnage, wickedness, and human suffering.

But the truth is, even for those not yet called of YEHOVAH God, THEY ARE LEARNING RICH AND EXPENSIVE LESSONS IN LIFE! And when, in the future, YEHOVAH resurrects them and brings them back to life, He will then TEACH THEM THE MEANING OF LIFE, and of the experiences which they had during this short existence!

Notice! Presently, YEHOVAH is only working with a FEW, but --

"the rest were BLINDED (according as it is written, 'God hath given them the spirit of SLUMBER, eyes that they should NOT see, and ears that they should NOT hear';) UNTO THIS DAY (Rom. 11:7-8).

Does this mean those who are now blinded, during this age, and who cannot understand the truth of YEHOVAH God, are forever LOST? Not at all! Paul goes on to write --

"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should FALL? GOD FORBID! But rather through their fall [at this time] SALVATION is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealous.

"Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, HOW MUCH MORE THEIR FULNESS?...For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?...

"Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, IF thou continue in his goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be CUT OFF. And they also, IF they abide not still in unbelief, SHALL BE GRAFTED IN: for GOD is able to graft them in AGAIN....

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that BLINDNESS IN PART is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: As it is written, 'There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (Rom. 11:12-27).

How clear! YEHOVAH God has planned to call only a FEW now, during this time. But in the future, He will call multitudes -- MILLIONS AND BILLIONS -- to salvation, understanding, and to His grace and truth!

The world is not lost forever. It is only temporarily deluded and deceived. But, as the prophet Isaiah foretold:

"And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto ALL PEOPLE a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

"And he will DESTROY in this mountain THE FACE OF THE COVERING CAST OVER ALL PEOPLE [that has blinded them!],and the VAIL that is spread over ALL NATIONS. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD shall wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of the people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

"And it shall be said in that day, 'Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his SALVATION" (Isaiah 25:6-9).

When Yeshua the Messiah returns to this earth, he is going to fill the world with the knowledge of YEHOVAH God, like the waters cover the oceans. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA" (Isaiah 11:9).

All nations will then be enlightened, and know the truth. They will all come up to Jerusalem, to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts -- YEHOVAH GOD -- and the Messiah, and to learn of YEHOVAH's ways, and to diligently learn His LAWS (Isaiah 2:1-4; Micah 4:1-4).

What a wonderful world of peace, prosperity, and plenty, that will be! What a wonderful, glorious UTOPIA -- a marvelous Shangri-La -- an incredible time of health, wealth, and above all, SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH, leading the nations to SALVATION!

Paul goes on, describing that time:

"For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For GOD HATH CONCLUDED THEM ALL IN UNBELIEF, THAT HE MIGHT HAVE MERCY UPON ALL. 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! For who hath know the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him and through him and to him, are ALL things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom. 11:29-36).

The Time Order of YEHOVAH God's Plan

Those of us called of YEHOVAH God now, at this time, have a special calling and privilege. We have been called to be the FIRSTFRUITS of YEHOVAH's harvest! We are like the grain in the wheat fields of the farmer that ripens first, and is harvested FIRST!

As the apostle James wrote, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of FIRSTFRUITS of his creatures" (James 1:18).

The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthians, makes this very plain. Notice!

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But EVERY MAN IN HIS OWN ORDER: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's AT HIS COMING. Then cometh the END, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all thsings under him, that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:22-28).

The Messiah himself was resurrected about 2,000 years ago, as the "first of the firstfruits." When he returns, the holy prophets, saints and true Christians who have served YEHOVAH faithfully down through the ages, will be resurrected into YEHOVAH's Kingdom (I Cor. 15:50-52; I Thess. 4:14-17). They will live and reign WITH YEHOVAH God and the Messiah for the 1,000 year Millennial reign, during which they will instruct, teach, and show the WAY OF SALVATION to the nations of the earth! (Rev. 20:1-4; Daniel 7:27). Isaiah prophesied:

"And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not THY TEACHERS be removed into a corner any more, but thines eyes shall SEE thy TEACHERS: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, 'THIS IS THE WAY, WALK YE IN IT, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left'" (Isa. 30: 20-21).

Those of us called of YEHOVAH God NOW will be the INSTRUCTORS of others who will follow -- the NATIONS of the earth, during the Millennial reign of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah! We will be DIVINE PRIESTS AND KINGS OF YEHOVAH GOD, ruling under Him and under the Messiah, TEACHING THE NATIONS the way of salvation, justice, judgment, and truth! The saints will sing to YEHOVAH God, and the Lamb of YEHOVAH God, saying,

"Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God KINGS AND PRIESTS [priest-kings, Moffatt]: and WE SHALL REIGN ON THE EARTH" (Rev. 5:10).

Yeshua the Messiah himself promised:

"And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give POWER OVER THE NATIONS: And he shall RULE them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father" (Rev. 2:26-27).

But what about the millions who have lived and died, not knowing the truth of YEHOVAH God? What about the billions who died in ignorance and unbelief? What about them?

The Great White Throne Judgment

After the Millennial reign of the Messiah and the saints, Paul wrote, "then cometh the END." That is, the END of YEHOVAH God's Plan, when ALL who have ever lived will be resurrected, and then JUDGED, and given their final chance and opportunity for salvation! John writes in the book of Revelation:

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw THE DEAD, small and great, STAND BEFORE GOD; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the DEAD WERE JUDGED out of those things which were written in the books, according to their WORKS" (Rev. 20:11-12).

At this time, all who ever lived will be resurrected to receive judgment. Those who did not have a true chance for salvation, including little children who died in infancy, and ignorant masses who never rejected the truth or committed the unpardonable sin of rebellion against the knowledge and truth of YEHOVAH God, once understood and received -- at this time they will receive an opportunity to be SAVED! The gates of salvation will be OPENED! Whole cities will be judged according to their works.

As Yeshua the Messiah said --

"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the DAY OF JUDGMENT, than for you.

"And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained unto this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the DAY OF JUDGMENT, than for thee" (Matthew 12:21-24).

How plain! The day of salvation will NOT BE OVER! Even after the Messiah returns, BILLIONS will learn the truth of YEHOVAH God and be saved, at that time! Then, even AFTER the Millennial reign of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah, when all the dead who have ever lived are resurrected, THEY TOO WILL BE GIVEN A TIME OF "JUDGMENT"! -- A TIME TO QUALIFY FOR SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE!

They will then be resurrected in mortal bodies, and will live out their lives, this time with the full knowledge of YEHOVAH God's Truth and His Divine Plan. All who did not receive an opportunity during this life to be saved will be given an opportunity THEN!

The Valley of "Dry Bones"

The prophet Ezekiel tells us about this awesome plan of YEHOVAH God. Notice! Ezekiel had a strange and mysterious vision in which he saw:

"The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of BONES, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto the, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause BREATH to enter into you, AND YE SHALL LIVE: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and YE SHALL LIVE; and ye shall KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD" (Eekiel 37:1-6).

Did you get that? When these people are resurrected, they will have MORTAL, FLESHLY BODIES -- not glorified, spirit bodies. They will be resurrected to PHYSICAL LIFE! And, at that time, regardless of the state they were in when they died, they will LEARN THAT YEHOVAH GOD IS THE ETERNAL, TRUE GOD! They will "KNOW that I am the LORD," YEHOVAH says. That means, they will be EDUCATED in the TRUTH of YEHOVAH God!

They will be offered an opportunity for SALVATION!

YEHOVAH says of these people who died, and who thought "it was all over," and that their hope was "cut off" --

"Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is LOST: we are CUT OFF for our parts. Therefore, prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will OPEN YOUR GRAVES, and CAUSE YOU TO COME UP [be RESURRECTED!] OUT OF YOUR GRAVES, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall KNOW that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall PUT MY SPIRIT IN YOU, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye KNOW that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD" (Ezekiel 37:11-14).

Yes, when nations see themselves suddenly coming up out of their GRAVES, and behold their new bodies, and see YEHOVAH God, then they will KNOW WHO IS THE TRUE GOD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, who has POWER over LIFE AND DEATH! There will be no more "Baal" worship at that time, no more idolatry, and no more Satan the devil around to deceive the nations any longer (Rev. 20:10). Then these people will learn the TRUTH of YEHOVAH God and His glorious Plan of Salvation!

O what a glorious, wonderful Plan!

Just think of it! Your own loved ones, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, and other relatives who have died and gone, will all be resurrected to LEARN THE TRUTH OF YEHOVAH GOD, and to receive their calling and opportunity for salvation! Now, today, is NOT the "only day of salvation" -- rather, it is "A day of salvation" ! The correct Greek in II Corinthians 6:2 should be rendered --

"For he saith, 'I have heard thee in A TIME ACCEPTED, and in A DAY OF SALVATION have I succoured thee: behold, now is [AN] accepted time; behold, NOW is [A] DAY OF SALVATION" (II Cor. 6:2).

However, for those of us called now, whose eyes are opened to understand YEHOVAH's Plan and truth, NOW, for us this is OUR day of salvation -- and we will receive no other! YEHOVAH is only going to give each individual ONE opportunity -- if we reject it, knowingly, willfully, deliberately, then we have HAD OUR LAST CHANCE! As Paul writes:

"For if we SIN WILLFULLY after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much SORER PUNISHMENT, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, 'Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.' And again, 'The Lord shall JUDGE his people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:26-31).

WHY Were YOU Called NOW?

Why did YEHOVAH God open YOUR mind to understand His truth NOW? And if you understand that this work, including The Berean Voice magazine, and the articles really are YEHOVAH God's End-Time Work, right now, WHY has YEHOVAH chosen YOU, and revealed this knowledge to YOU?

Obviously, at this present time, He has only revealed it to a FEW!

Why you?

I am sure we have all wondered about that question, at one time or another! Often I have wondered why YEHOVAH God chose me, when I was a teenager living in New Zealand and led me to study His Word "non-stop" for many years then, later on in the United States, brought me to repentance and conversion, and showed me that He had called me through Yeshua the Messiah, saying, "Follow me" (Matt. 4:18-22). I decided that I, too, would "follow" the Messiah -- just like Peter, James and John did!

But why me?

And why YOU? Brethren, there is a great supreme PURPOSE to our calling, and we need to UNDERSTAND!

The TRUTH about Our Calling

Why has YEHOVAH God called you, specifically, and opened your mind? Only He can really answer that. However, He did it -- by His own choice.

This is marvelous mystery. Great IS the mystery of Godliness! Nevertheless, as Yeshua the Messiah said: "Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, and ordained you, that ye should GO and BRING FORTH FRUIT, and that your fruit SHOULD REMAIN [not perish, or spoil, or be destroyed!]" (John 15:16).

Yeshua also said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). And, "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day" (verses 39-40).

Yeshua concluded this thought, saying, "Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father" (John 6:65).

Thus it is YEHOVAH God the Father who chooses those whom He desires to use, in His Work, at this time. The choice is not ours -- we have only the choice whether to accept or to refuse our calling-- and if we refuse, and reject His truth, then that is "all she wrote." If we are called now, and given YEHOVAH's truth, and understand it, then NOW is judgment upon us (I Pet. 4:17). We won't receive another chance or opportunity! This is it!

YEHOVAH God chose us -- why? To use us as INSTRUMENTS in His End-Time WORK! We are called to SERVE HIM, and to have a part in His Work! And we are therefore given the opportunity to be FIRSTFRUITS in His Kingdom -- part of the very BRIDE OF YESHUA that will marry him at his coming, and have a special, close, unique relationship with him throughout all eternity, from that time forward! (Eph. 5:21-32; Rev. 19:7-9).

WHY Does YEHOVAH God Call the WEAK?

Most of us, called during this age, really wonder why we were called and chosen, since we know our own weaknesses. We know many people who, humanly, are much superior to us -- better looking, better personality, more dynamic, more intelligent, capable, and wise. So why did YEHOVAH call US?

This is another mystery.

As Paul wrote,

"For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath CHOSEN the foolish things of the world, and things [or people] which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things [people] which are not, to bring to nought things [people] that are: THAT NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE. But OF HIM [of His will] are YE in Christ Jesus [called and chosen], who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption [through His spirit dwelling in us]: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him GLORY IN THE LORD" (I Cor. 1:26-31).

Even though you are weak, that is the BEST KIND of vehicle for YEHOVAH God's spirit. Those who are "strong," tend to be proud, boastful, arrogant, and hard to teach or convict of sin. We must be teachable and humble. For this reason, YEHOVAH intends to humble the proud and capable by confounding them by using the weak and lowly.

In a sense, YEHOVAH "marked you out," and "staked you out," and "called" you, and "chose" you, along with the REST of us whom He is using NOW, and calling now, BECAUSE you are weak, compared to others. This therefore allows YEHOVAH to show forth HIS power, and HIS love, and HIS mercy, and to bring glory to His name, by doing His Work through the weak and despised and rejected of the world! This very act will put the world to shame, when the truth is revealed to them!

But WHEN did YEHOVAH God really call you? Do you know the answer? The apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians a wonderful, and little understood, remarkable truth, which has been HIDDEN FROM T HE WORLD -- until NOW!

WHEN Were We Chosen?

Notice! Paul wrote --

"Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ: 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: Having PREDESTINATED US unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of HIS grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Eph. 1:4-6).

Did you get that? Think of the AWESOME implications of that statement! YEHOVAH God chose YOU and ME before the foundation or creation of the world! BEFORE the creation of the Universe! BEFORE even the Creation of the entire physical cosmos!

Think on that!

In other words, YEHOVAH God knew and selected and designed and fashioned EACH ONE OF US before the Creation of Adam and Eve -- BEFORE THE WORLD ITSELF was created!

In other words, YEHOVAH KNEW YOU BY NAME, and knew your very own attributes, and decided to select and call YOU -- millions of years ago -- if not billions of years ago! He had you IN HIS VERY OWN MIND, and knew who you were and what you would be like!

What a magnificent, wonderful truth!

Have you ever heard that sublime truth revealed before?

The Words of David

The prophet David understood that YEHOVAH God knew him, even before he was born. He wrote:

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, WHEN I WAS MADE IN SECRET, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did SEE my substance, yet being unperfect [unfinished, incomplete]; and IN THY BOOK ALL MY MEMBERS WERE WRITTEN, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was NONE of them.

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee" (Psalm 139:14-18).

Yes, YEHOVAH God KNEW us -- even before we were born! YEHOVAH created us, and chose us, and designed us, to SERVE HIM! We are to be His "FIRSTFRUITS"!

WHAT A WONDERFUL, AWESOME, MIND-BOGGLING TRUTH!

Predestined for GLORY!

Remember those Scriptures I quoted at the beginning of this article on predestination? Let's read them again, now! Notice to what YEHOVAH GOD has "predestined" us, even before we were BORN!

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the CALLED according to his purpose. For whom he did FOREKNOW, he also did PREDESTINATE tobe conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among MANY BRETHREN. Moreover whom he did PREDESTINATE, them he also CALLED: and whom he CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified" (Rom. 8:28-30).

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we ARE the children of GOD: And if children, then HEIRS; HEIRS OF GOD, and JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also GLORIFIED TOGETHER.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the SONS OF GOD" (Romans 8:16-18).

Our hearts should leap for joy, when we consider the awesome implications of our Divine Calling, and how MUCH YEHOVAH God the Father and Yeshua the Messiah both LOVE US!

We are predestined to share in the AWESOME GLORY OF YEHOVAH GOD!

But YEHOVAH is only calling a FEW now, and revealing His truth to them. The vast majority are concluded in UNbelief. They will be called later, and have their eyes opened later, according to YEHOVAH's perfect timing. They are not cast away. They are just temporarily blinded. But of those YEHOVAH has called now, and opened their eyes to the TRUTH, and allowed to SEE the apostasy occurring all around us, Paul writes: "Even so at this present time also there is a REMNANT ACCORDING TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the ELECTION hath obtained it, and the REST WERE BLINDED (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of SLUMBER, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) UNTO THIS DAY..." (Romans 11:1-8).

YEHOVAH God has not "predestined" any to be ultimately "lost." That is their own choice to make. However, YEHOVAH knew He was going to call Jacob to serve Him in this life, and that Esau, his brother, would "serve" him (Rom. 9:12-13). YEHOVAH knew Jacob was going to be a converted man, and that He was going to CALL him, during this life -- therefore He said, even in advance, that "Jacob have I loved," as a prophetic statement. He knew, too, that Esau, not called now, would be a wild and self-willed man, with selfish, lustful attributes which YEHOVAH "hates." But if and when the day comes when Esau REPENTS, and is given his chance for salvation, THEN YEHOVAH God will hopefully be able to say, "Esau have I loved, also." But first Esau must turn to YEHOVAH God, worship Him, and repent of his enormous carnality and wickedness!

Likewise, when YEHOVAH "hardened" Pharaoh's heart, when Moses and the children of Israel sought to leave Egypt, remember that Pharaoh was an unconverted king -- and YEHOVAH God had NOT called him to conversion and repentance, as He had Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh, therefore, dealt with the situation just as any carnal-minded king, bent on his own selfish glory and wealth, would have done-- he refused to let go of the slaves who were making him and all Egypt enormously wealthy! The plagues that YEHOVAH sent, therefore, only "hardened" his heart, and caused him to become more steel-like and unbending in his hostility and refusal to let Israel go free! YEHOVAH had not gven Pharoah His Holy Spirit to "soften" his heart. So Pharaoh resisted, and this turned out for the glory of YEHOVAH God and a great example of YEHOVAH's power unleashed to deliver His people from bondage!

But in the future, when Pharaoh is resurrected, perhaps he will then come to his senses, and REPENT -- in the future time when YEHOVAH God will finally JUDGE Egypt and its ancient king! At that time Pharaoh may learn a valuable lesson, and repent, and become a valuable member of the kingdom of YEHOVAH GOD! But if not, then he will be cast into the Lake of Fire along with all the other incorrigible wicked (Revelation 20:15; 21:7-8).

When Pharaoh met Moses, Pharaoh was "blinded." He did not understand the truth and purpose of YEHOVAH God. He did not KNOW the "true God." Therefore, YEHOVAH used Him as an "object lesson" for all future generations of what happens to those who resist the word of YEHOVAH God.

The Principle of Temporary "Blindness"

This principle of "temporary blindness" which YEHOVAH caused to come upon many ancient nations, even including Israel (Rom. 11:7-10), works on many different levels. It applies to "Israel," nationally, which are blinded as a whole, today -- and to the whole world. It also applies to those in the Church of God, that is, "spiritual Israel," who do not have the LOVE of the truth in their hearts, who have allowed themselves to become complacent, lukewarm, and self-righteous (II Thess. 2:7-10; Rev. 3:14-19).

Are YOU still "blinded" to these remarkable and wonderful truths of YEHOVAH God?

Are you still "bewitched" by the false teachings of modern false prophets -- including those "Christians" who tell you that I am a "false prophet"?

Are YOU still BLIND?

Isaiah the prophet writes,

"Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are DRUNKEN, but not with wine; they STAGGER, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the SPIRIT OF DEEP SLEEP, and hath CLOSED YOUR EYES: the prophets, and your rulers, the seers hath he COVERED....

"Wherefore the LORD said, Forasmuch as this people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their HEART far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the PRECEPT OF MEN: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a MARVELLOUS WORK among this people, even a marvellous work and a WONDER: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. WOE unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? SURELY YOUR TURNING OF THINGS UPSIDE DOWN shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?" (Isaiah 29:9-16).

Are your eyes and ears opened to YEHOVAH's marvelous truth? Are you knowledgeable and aware of WHERE YEHOVAH God is really working Today? do you KNOW and understand where His "marvelous work and wonder" is being DONE, today?

Do you recognize who is "turning things upside down," today, and twisting and perverting the truths of YEHOVAH God, and deceiving the people and contributing to the "blindless" of the End-Time Churches of God?

Do you recognize these things?

Yeshua the Messiah said:

"I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast HID these things from the wise and prudent, and hast REVEALED THEM UNTO BABES. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight" (Matthew 11:25-26).

If YEHOVAH has opened your eyes, and been gracious to you, then thank Him for it, and realize that YEHOVAH has done this for His own purpose and according to His own will. Remember, YEHOVAH God has called the "weak" of this world, the "despised," the "lowly," to set at nought those that are proud, arrogant, conceited, capable, ambitious, vain, and egotistical -- the powers that rule in this world, princes, ministers, magistrates, kings, priests, and potentates!

Be thankful, and rejoice, that YEHOVAH God has had mercy on you, and made you a vessel of mercy, and called you -- even before the world was created -- to inherit His Glory!

What a mind-boggling, awesome destiny! Truly, brothers and sisters in the Messiah, we ARE "PREDESTINED" by YEHOVAH God, in our divine calling. But whether we make it or not, us completely and totally up to us!

 

Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.
www.hope-of-israel.org

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