GOD CHOSE ELECT MANKIND FOR
THE MANIFESTATION OF HIS GLORY
IN TIME AND ULTIMATELY IN ETERNITY
by Pastor George D. Cutler
Grace Gospel Ministry
God’s eternality and His existence are equivalent terms that imply the same idea; hence God eternally exists in Himself. It is beyond finite comprehension to intelligently presume, fully understand and explain the Being of God or fathom His infinite attributes. In the limited conveyances of Old Testament writings, pointed questions are raised, i.e., “Can you by searching find out God? Can you find out the Almighty unto perfection?” (Job 11:7). The revelation of the Mystery writings in the Gospel of Grace conveys pointed statements, i.e., “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 has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who has 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 is glory for ever...” (Rom. 11:33-36). If God could be fully comprehended by finite creatures, He would be no different from them. The natural tendency of the depraved human mind is to think of God as corresponding in some way with men. The anthropomorphic (expressions of human form) representations of God in the Bible appeal to the natural disposition of the human mind, which is all natural minds can relate to.
Man’s depraved reasoning is, “since I was made in the image of God, I must think of God in my image” but such thoughts lead to flawed perceptions of who God really is. This is even addressed in Old Testament Scriptures, i.e., “.....you thought that I was altogether such as one as yourself...” (Ps. 50:21). Here it is profitable to ascertain the revelation that God took upon Himself in His incarnation, the likeness of men but He is in no way by nature like mankind (Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7). There are many Scriptures that testify that though He was manifested in the likeness of men, the incarnate Christ was in no way fashioned unto depraved humanity. Mankind is not eternal except in God’s eternal purpose. Mankind’s manifested existence began in time; however he was conceived in the mind of God in eternity and can never cease existing. Mankind’s manifested and current existence in time is positioned in reality to God in eternity, which exudes neither a past nor a future. Therefore, all things have their real existence only with respect to God because time is also a creation of God. Man’s existence in time does not mean that time coexists with God or God coexists with man. God is the first and He is simultaneous the last as even the Old Testament prophesy queries and then answers, “Who has wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am He” (Isaiah 41:4).
It is of note that the Bible nowhere attempts to prove God’s existence, as it declares that the knowledge of God is revealed according to His will for selected ones to comprehend and other to be void of it to their detriment (Rom. 1:19-21, 28, 32; John 1:9). God’s existence itself does not demand a cause, however the coming into existence of that which did not previously exist does. This induces the principle by which the Source of the endless series of causes is voided. The principle is the difference between the Creator (the uncaused Cause) and creation (which demands a cause), which eliminates the endless series of causes. But how is such a principle formulated? It is interesting to note that God is more conceptualized than He is described and He exists more than He is conceptualized. Thus the subjective knowledge of God is actually less impassive than the objective fact of His existence, which means that God is more in existence than ones thought of Him is. Therefore the formulation of the objective causes one to more fully internalize the subjective. When the objective is formulated, the subjective evolve from it, e.g., as light from the sun manifests other things, it also manifests itself. Thus, God reveals Himself to much of mankind in general revelation, but He especially reveals Himself to His elect in grace.
In this light, there are only three kinds of beings:
There is the Entity without beginning or ending, which can only be ascribed to God. All creatures not only derive their existence from the eternally existent Creator but they are also totally dependent on Him
There are beings that had a beginning but shall have no ending, in that both angels and men have a never ceasing existence
It seems that there are creatures, i.e., beasts, fowls, and fishes that have a beginning and an ending.
In focusing on the first two, it is observed that created life is successive whereas the life of the Creator is inherent.
In distinguishing mankind from angels, angelic creatures were adapted in the celestial sphere wherein they have access into God’s presence. As celestial beings, they were created as ministering spirits (Ezekiel 28:13-18; Hebrews 1:14). There are some 273 references to these heavenly creatures with the designation of “angels,” as defined in both the Hebrew and Greek languages as messengers. The elect angels are the messengers of God (I Timothy 5:21) and the fallen angels are the messengers of Satan (Matthew 25:41). In focusing on the function of the elect angels, they are not only generally referenced as cherubim, seraphim and living creatures but identified as individuals, e.g., Lucifer (son of the morning), Michael (who is like God) and Gabriel (the mighty one).
In the Old Testament and Kingdom Covenants, angels are sometimes referenced as “sons of God” while elect men are called “servants of God.” By stark contrast in the Grace Dispensation, the Grace Covenant references angels as “servants” while the elect are designated “sons of God.” In this light, angels perform a special service for God on behalf of His people according to their placement as His elect. This is definitively documented in the Scriptures, e.g., “For he shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalms 91:11-12). “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).
In the Gospel of Grace, the Apostle Paul described the close attention given by angels to the Son of God during His first advent: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh...seen of angels...” (I Tim. 3:16). Angels were witnesses of some of the most important events concerning the Redeemer, as they observed Him with wonderment. Here was One who was above them but had come down to be clothed with a nature beneath their own (Hebrew 2:9). What amazing condescension! Never until that point had they seen the eternal Son insulted and maltreated by human creatures. Their desire to look into the affairs of the redeemed resulted from Christ’s sufferings and glory that shall follow (Romans I Corinthians I Pet. 1:10-12). Although their knowledge is limited, it is yet temporarily superior to the elect and progressive. They are decidedly different from their Creator who is of “one mind and purpose.”