I was counseling a young pastor who had been under a terrible attack by the evil one. This pastor made an interesting
statement to me that dramatically portrays how this doctrinal error is a weapon designed by our adversary – Satan. Here is what
he told me: “…The devil is trying to destroy my church. I thank God for the trial that I am facing and I am not afraid because I
know God is in control.”
Do you see anything wrong in this statement? There is something wrong with this last statement, and the severity of it is that
it directly attacks the very nature of our heavenly Father. The implication being made by this young pastor is that God is behind
this evil attack or that He at least is allowing it to happen. If indeed God is in control, as he declares Him to be, then it is logical
to conclude that God is doing (or allowing) this evil thing against his church. The problem here is that God does not work this
way. Such a thought is totally contrary to His covenantal nature and opposed to Holy Scripture.
At the highest level of acceptance is the truth that God is the King of kings and He is the Almighty God. So, in this sense
whatever happens on earth is allowed by God, for indeed He has the power to do anything. But our question here is not what
God has the power to do, like control everything on the earth, but the question is whether He is actually exercising this power.
The answer is that He is not controlling all that happens on the earth. I do believe that His Master Plan for the universe is being
choreographed by Him at the highest level, and indeed that Master Plan will be accomplished. But within the framework of His
will He allows each of us the right to make choices, and those who are His, even out of our bad choices He will make good
happen. May His name be praised forever!
My admonition is that each of us hears this truth and receives it as truth. As we do this, a new strength from God will arise
and a new resolve will well up within our hearts because we know He has imparted to us His anointing to succeed in life. We
will cast off complacency and spiritual passivity that only leads to destruction in our lives, and because we stand strong in the
power of His might, we will always be led in triumph in Christ. We accept our own responsibility in God’s scheme of things. He
provides the power and direction, we provide the willingness to obey and follow Him. Out of that comes absolute success.
“God is in control!” is a statement we in the Church often hear these days. These words tend to give us confidence that
everything will be OK, despite what we see happening around us at the time. To think that our God, who is all-powerful, is at the
control panel of the universe seems good to us, especially since we admittedly fail so often ourselves. In fact, we are glad to
hear that He is at the helm because that gives us the right to relax and expect Him to do it all! He is Captain and we are simply
passengers on board for the ride.
This notion of divine control is not a new concept. It has been around for hundreds of years, in fact since the early centuries
of the Church. This is one of the reasons it is so easily accepted. People tend to think something is correct if it has stood the
test of time. It does not take an in depth research to discover that such thinking does not hold water. What was erroneous
yesterday or 500 years ago remains erroneous today. Truth remains truth no matter how much time is involved, so does error.
So let us refrain from depending on traditions to develop our beliefs. We must look only the Word of God and then rightly
1. All things do work together for good if you have two things in place: 1) People who love God, and 2) People who are His
called ones. A brief study on the subject of loving God can be done from John 14:23-24. From this passage we can correctly
define loving God as being obedient to Him – “If anyone loves me, he will keep My word…” So, from this simple definition it is
right to conclude that the concept of all things working out for good does not apply to the person who willfully rejects God’s
word and defies His principles. This might be a Christian just as much as it might apply to a sinner.
2. Only people who are God’s “called ones” have the right to lay claim to this wonderful promise. Everyone who has no
covenant with God is on his own. These folks are of this world and not of God; therefore, they are subject to the will of the god
of this world. Is the will of God being done in the life of one who rejects His precious Son and casts away His glorious gift of
salvation? Certainly not. In this case we see that even though it is surely the will of God for them to be saved, He is not in
control of their lives because they have not given Him the right to rule over them. Understand that God is King but only over
His Kingdom. There will come a time when all of this world comes under His rule, but that certainly is not yet.
3. We hear the word: “predestined” and it evokes thoughts in us of the Supreme Being picking and choosing who will be saved
and who will be rejected and damned to the eternal flames. If we embrace this idea, then we can truly embrace the notion that
God is in control, for indeed that is the ultimate display of control. But if we simply re-read this verse we see that it says that
God "foreknew." This carefully chosen word by God reveals His divine ability to know the end from the beginning.
Foreknowledge does not in and of itself speak of divine selection. In fact, the divine selection or calling happens only after He
knows who will accept Jesus as Lord. We see here that God is not controlling the will of any man. Each man has the right of
choice, and that choice either qualifies him for the divine calling or places him outside the covenant of God and not privy to
God’s promises. God has decreed that the will of man and of angels is outside His realm of control.
1. This verse can be used to develop a false doctrine. If we take it to the limits of imagination, we can conclude that Jesus is the
Source of everything good and evil for indeed both good and evil can fall under the heading of “all things.” The natural
extension of this thought is that since Jesus controls everything then all that happens – both good and evil – are done by Him.
Even though the one who might embrace this notion would surely be quick to go on to say that God’s doing of things that
appear evil must be done only to lead us to some good. The error of this thinking is contrary to the very nature of our heavenly
Father who is good, not evil, and His ways are good, not evil. What He now does is only within the framework of His covenant
with us. And in that covenant is the promise that He is a good Father and does good for us His children. (Matthew 7:11)
1. The NKJV uses the phrase: “…according to the good pleasure of His will.” I can see where one might see in this verse how
God simply chooses on any given day to do what He wants to do, and then He does it just because He is the sovereign King.
Who would dare challenge the will of the King? But, rather than focus on what God has a right to do, (for there is no mistake
that since He is King of kings, He has the power and authority to do exactly as He pleases) let’s look at what He has established
for Himself according to His Word.
2. We first see God delegate to Adam authority “over all the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) This first mention of how God relates to man
reveals that man was not like any other created being; this creature was created in the image and in the likeness of God
Himself! He was designed to rule the planet and anointed to do so. Then, throughout Scripture God shows how He interacts
with and relies upon man to do His divine will here on earth:
a) Moses raises the rod to part the Red Sea;
b) The rain is withheld for several years because the prophet declares it;
c) Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the bones in order for the will of God to be done;
d) Jesus teaches us to speak to the mountain rather than call for God to move it;
e) Jesus instructs us to use our authority in Christ Jesus to bind the devil;
f) The list goes and on.
The question we must ask is this” Could any of these men of God refused to do as He directed? The answer is “Yes.” In that
case the will of God would not have been done. God is not in control in the sense that most Christians believe. What it reveals
is that God is the One who establishes the Plan of the Ages and seeks out His chosen ones to work His plan through.
1. “In Him all things consist.” Another way of saying this is: “In Him all things hold together.” Here again if we are guilty of
assuming too much, we assume that “all things” include both good and evil. But let us remind ourselves that after each
creation increment God looked at His creation and said that it was good. What He made was all good. But we know the story
about Lucifer. He along with every other created angel or man has been given a free will. It is out of that free will that evil can
arise. It was not God’s idea for Lucifer to rebel; had He been in control such a thing certainly would never have happened. So,
as we try to comprehend this concept of all things holding together by Jesus, let us content ourselves with the certainty that
whatever is included in this “all” is good.
1. In this verse we see the eternal plan of God [His own purpose] mentioned. Eons before God created the earth He knew
Adam and Eve would sell out the race through their disobedience. In that foreknowledge He set in place the grace that is found
in Christ for us who accept His free gift of salvation and are ushered into His glorious covenant. God had His own purpose
(plan) and set it in place in the beginning, but that plan did not supersede the will of man. Even though He was and is the
sovereign King, He did not order every last detail of history to be programmed by Him. Does God direct the overall “plan of the
ages?” Yes, indeed. However, in His divine foreknowledge He factored in man’s failures and filled each gap with Himself
depending upon the covenant that was in place at the time. If under the Old Covenant it was His judgment; whereas, if under
the New Covenant it is His grace and His love. The eternal plan of God was for his ruling class of being – man – to co-labor with
Him and together they would bring it to pass.
1. In this passage God reveals another truth about Himself. In verse 3 He tells us that Jesus is the express image of Himself
and that He has delegated to Jesus the task of “…upholding all things by the word of His power.” It is interesting to note that in
the progression of this passage it would seem that it was only after Jesus was manifested on earth as God’s Son does He
uphold all things by the word of His power. It can be rightly argued that Jesus the Man operated in power on the earth, not
Jesus the God. That was because it was man to whom God delegated authority over the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28) We must
remind ourselves that Jesus emptied Himself of His divine authority and privileges to come to earth and be born into the
human race. This was necessary, as we can see, because as God He did not have the right to rule as Jesus did. God restricted
Himself by His own words when He delegated authority to mankind. Once again the Bible destroys this error that God is in
control. Jesus (the Man) upholds all things, and He does it through His church! (Ephesians 1:20-23) Our part is to listen to what
the Head of the Church says, and follow His direction. In that is perfect control!
God is God. He is King. He is sovereign. Because He is King He exercised His divine right to establish authority on the earth as
He saw fit. He delegated to Man the responsibility to rule this planet. Man lost this right of rulership, but Jesus regained it
lawfully and once again mankind rules the earth - through Christ Jesus. God controls what we determine. If we sanctify
something (set it apart as holy unto Him) we give Him control over it. Because it has been brought under subjection of His
Lordship He then, and only then, will control it.
|A BIBLICAL STUDY ON THIS TOPIC
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love
God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew,
He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the
firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also
called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified,
these He also glorified.”
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are
all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
“Just as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having
predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the good pleasure of his will.”
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven
and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created
through Him and for Him. And He is before all things,
and in Him all things consist.”
|II Timothy 1:9
“…[the Lord] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not
according to our works, but according to His own purpose, and
grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
“God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the
fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom
He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who
being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person,and upholding
all things by the word of His power…”
|Is God Really In Control?