By Michael Bunker
“All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto Him?” Isaiah 40:17-18
March 01, 2002 — The last days gospel is a man-centered gospel. Surely most of my readers will agree with that. What is strange is that we may all agree that the current pseudo-gospel is man-centered, and still almost ALL of nominal Christendom participates in some form of it.
Here is an interesting quote by A.W. Pink:
“The ‘god’ of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The ‘god’ who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible Conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside the pale of Christendom form ‘gods’ out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a ‘god’ out of their own carnal mind. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolute supreme God, and no God at all. A ‘god’ whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nought but contempt.” Pink, The Attributes of God – 1930
I write this article with some sadness because many of even my closest friends and family members have chosen such a “god” to worship. It once was to our credit when we told a heathen man that he knew not God, and it was accounted to us as “evangelism”. Today, since most of those who profess Christianity are certainly not worshippers of the Sovereign God of the universe, but as Pink rightly relates they are nothing more than religious atheists, we are forced to realize that to tell nominal Christians that they neither KNOW God, nor are they known of Him, in their minds makes us outcasts, haters, cultish and mean.
“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” (Acts 15:18)
You will notice that what is known unto God are all HIS works. The Christian heathen will operate under a faulty understanding of Foreknowledge. In every case where the word FOREKNOWLEDGE is used of God, the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge of PEOPLE and not of events or actions. Surely God foreknows all events and actions, that I firmly assert, but that is not what the term “foreknowledge” means in the bible. God foreknows all events and actions, even the horrible and sinful crucifixion of His Son, not because he is a passive watcher, banned from His creation, but because all events and actions proceed from His creative decrees, and all events and actions are the product of His direct determinative counsel and foreknowledge. We see this in regard to the death of Jesus: “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23) It is clear that Jesus was foreknown of the Father, and that his death was decreed of the Father. In fact, Jesus claims that it is the Father that sent Him: “I know Him: for I am from Him, and He hath sent me.” (John 7:29) Also, we read: “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:15) Once again we can see that the life of Jesus was ordered around the ordained and decreed will of the Father. The Old Testament agrees: “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6) and “it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; he hath put Him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10). It is God that works all things according to the counsel of His own will, even the death of His dear Son.
In the issue of salvation, some will say that God “foreknew” the actions of those who would be receptive to His Spirit, and so He predestined those who He “foreknew” would come to Him. This is utter foolishness and it is at the heart of the rebellion of man-centered “Christianity”. This belief inverts the actor and the one acted upon, and it makes God a mere responder to something “good” found in man. It makes a “god” who is NOT independent and all powerful, but makes his salvation determined by the pre-discovered goodness found in man. But we know that the salvation of God is not determined by what God finds in man. There is nothing good in man and we are altogether born dead in trespasses and sins. Salvation is determined by the determinate counsel of God, based on those that He knew with affection and elected to that salvation before the foundation of the world.
Some will make God a liar. They will say that God knew EVERYONE from the foundation of the world. But God will clearly say in all honesty to almost all of those who were ever to be born on this planet “I NEVER knew you.” Many will squeal and clamor at Him in that day. They will say, “But God, you KNOW everyone and everything”, and His answer will be the Truth proclaimed once again unto them:
“But I never knew YOU.”
This word “know” is not always the mere cognitive understanding of a thing or person. Quite often in scripture it declares the affection for the person, and not merely the cognition of them. Jesus told the Pharisees: “he that sent me is true, whom ye KNOW not” (John 7:28) Surely the Pharisees knew OF God, and were very cognizant of His existence, yet Jesus proclaims to them that they KNOW Him not, showing that they were not only ignorant of His character and His sovereignty, but they had no affection for Him. This can also be said of almost every one of those who claim to be Christians today. Unto those who he has ordained to Salvation, He says, “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee” (Jer 1:5)
HERE IS THE MAJOR PROBLEM
“Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such as one as thyself” (Psalms 50:21)
The “god” of the Christian religion today is the carnal god created in the mind of man and in the image of man. The average professing Christian creates in his mind an image of God that is altogether unlike the Sovereign God of the bible, but is wholly like THEM (only with sin). In their minds they say, “Here is what God is like”, when they actually are creating a God that thinks like them and acts like they would IF THEY WERE PERFECTLY SINLESS.
Listen to what Jesus said, “If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him” (John 8:54-55). Jesus says to the religious people of His day, that they say that He is their God, but they don’t KNOW Him.
One of the oft-repeated sayings of our current religious culture is, “Christianity is about relationship. We want a personal relationship with God.” Who is this ‘god’ of the personal relationship? Can you find for me the scripture that says this? It must be in the same book that has another often repeated saying, “God helps those who help themselves”. Can you find that scripture for me too?
What does the bible say about the REAL God?
God calls Himself the Potter. He says that he fashions one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor (Romans 9:21). Some he will love and “know”, others shall be broken with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed “in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 1:9) “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35) Modern Christianity has pots going about to try and please God by their actions, making themselves approved by their works and calling themselves “vessels of honor” apart from them being CREATED to be such.
“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as Head above all” (1 Chron. 29:11)
He is the “Governer among the nations” (Psalm 22:28)
“O LORD GOD of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? And rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?” (2 Chron. 20:6)
God rules NOW in heaven and on the earth. He will not only rule in the millennium, but He rules NOW and has done all those things in heaven and in earth that he has purposed in Himself for the praise of His glory. His decrees are accomplished. His will is done NOW in heaven and in earth! So why does Jesus pray that things will be done on heaven as they are done on earth? In Heaven His will is done purposefully, joyfully and immediately, while on earth His work is done ignorantly, unwittingly and despite the ornery and contrary will of those who claim to know Him.
Did Judas do the will of the Father? Certainly he did. Jesus said that he only said what He heard the Father say. Jesus decreed to Judas, “That thou doest, do quickly” (John 13:27), showing that it was the decreed will of the Father that Judas was to fulfill the scriptures that foretold of His betrayal. But did Judas do this thing willingly? Was he a free moral agent? Why would he say to Jesus, “Master, is it I?” (Matthew 26:25) Judas did that for which He was created. He was a slave to the decree of God right up to the point where Jesus allowed him to be filled with Satan, whereby he still fulfilled the purpose of God. He, like Pharoah, was a vessel of dishonor created for destruction. Luke said this: “this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus, For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.” It remains for the reader to decide whether or not at the time of this writing by David it was still an unknown thing unto an omniscient and omnipotent God that Judas would absolutely betray Him, or whether it was within the fallen and corrupt Judas to withstand the ordinance and decree of God that he must betray Jesus. If you decide that God only “foreknew” that Judas was to betray Christ, then you do violence to the direct exhortation of the scripture that says that Jesus was delivered by the “determinate counsel” of God. Will you claim that God “foreknew” Judas? What of this scripture: “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29) Judas was never conformed to the image of Jesus.
God did not just “foreknow” what actions Judas would take. To believe that is foolishness. It not only denies the Sovereignty and Power of God, but it also makes of Judas the creator of His own actions, and of God merely a responder to the vessel created for wrath.
The “god” of the mind is one that can elect some unto salvation (2 Thess. 2:13) but wouldn’t dare elect some unto reprobation. The one who worships the “god” of the mind will have the Father give some unto Christ (John 6:37) but will deny that there are those who were NOT given unto Christ. The heathen “Christian” atheist religionist will deny that there are those that the Lord hardens unto their own destruction. They will deny that “the LORD hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Prov. 16:4)
So where is this “god” of the “personal relationship”? Who can claim to “know God” other than in the manifold and wonderful ways that He has shown Himself to us in the Scripture? Can the sheep truly say that they “know” the shepherd? Not in a personal way. Do they know much of Him at all? Jesus says, “I am known of mine”, but He does so in the context of us being sheep and Him being the Shepherd. We may know Him and hear His voice and follow Him, but what we Know of Him is only “through a glass darkly” based on what He has allowed us to know of Him.
The heathen Christian “god” of the personal relationship is really the “god” of emotion and personal experience. I meet folks who worship this god every day. Listen to the words that come out of their mouths. They will always tell you of their personal experience with God, whether that experience lines up with Scripture or not. After reading the previous section on God’s willingness to create some people only to eventually destroy them in hell, they will cry “My ‘god’ is not like that!”
“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 honor, and another unto dishonor?” (Romans 9:20-21)
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:9-10) “The Lord hath made all things for Himself” (Prov. 16:4), and John said that for His “pleasure they were created” (Rev. 4:11)
John Bunyan said, “They that do continue to reject and slight the Word of God are such, for the most part, as are ordained to be damned.” Still, the “god” of the mind is the one worshiped by nearly all those who claim to be Christians. They “know ‘god’” in that they have affection for the mythic creation of their fallen, carnal minds, but the one, true God declares that they do not KNOW HIM, the Sovereign Creator God of the Universe. He says that they will say that they know Him, but they do not know Him.
Those who He has ordained to eternal life know Him, just as a sheep may know His shepherd. But there are so many things about Him that we do not know, for “how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? or who hath first given unto 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 forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36) Do you see that Salvation cannot be compensation for anything that proceeded from, and that has its origins in, man? Which God have you believed?
Most Christians today do not KNOW God, although they claim to know Him. They have no affection for the real God of the Bible, in fact, they have disdain for Him. They would dethrone Him in an instant if they had the power. They use Bibles for manipulation and coercion and to assuage their consciences, but they will scream and yell and howl at this doctrine of God’s Sovereignty, although it is consistent througout all of Scripture. They know the “god” of their minds, and they have affection for him and they have enthroned him in their carnal mental temple, that temple they have constructed to the “god” of their minds “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:4)
In the end you will either believe or disbelieve in God’s Sovereignty, or you will soften its edges with compromises in order to blunt the truth of it. But you will certainly not affect the Glory of God or His Sovereignty by your belief or unbelief, for “when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants” (Luke 17:10) You will not have had an affect on the glory of God one way or the other. All those who read these words will, in the end, come to know the One and True God, or they will continue to worship the God of their minds, and in doing so they will heap unto themselves destruction and damnation for all eternity.
Man-centered religion is the product of “churches” and their foul shepherds. This is their fruit – a false gospel of lies that leads men to worship at the foot of the “god” of the mind.
Rail on ye workers of iniquity who slight the Word of God to your own destruction. Wrestle with the Scriptures while it is daylight. The night comes quickly. Repent from your evil way and go unto the REAL Jesus Christ while there is still time, “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I am your servant in Christ Jesus,