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This book represents years of study. Its contents have been tested again and again in the classroom—in classes composed, in some instances, of representatives of thirty-six denominations. However, it is not supposed for a moment that it exhausts all the Bible has to say on the topics treated, much less that it takes up and exhausts every topic dealt with in the Bible. The Bible is the one inexhaustible book. This work is simply an attempt at a careful, unbiased, systematic, thorough-going, inductive study and statement of Bible truth. The method of the book is rigidly inductive. The material contained in the Bible is brought together, carefully scrutinized, and then what is seen to be contained in it stated in the most exact terms possible. Exactness of statement is first aimed at in every instance, then clearness of statement. Beauty and impressiveness must always yield to precision and clearness. The scripture from which a proposition is deduced is always given before the proposition. The methods of modern science are applied to Bible study—thorough analysis followed by careful synthesis. Though no Hebrew nor Greek words appear in the work, it is based upon a careful study of the original text as decided by the best textual critics (especially Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort in the New Testament, though other editors, and the manuscripts themselves, have been considered in some instances). Wherever possible the text of the Authorized Version has been given. In many instances this was impossible, as the Revised Version is manifestly much more exact. Had it appeared that the Revised Version would soon obtain that general acceptance and use which it seems to so richly deserve, the author would have adopted it through out; except in those rare instances where it is manifestly in error. In very few instances, indeed, has it been necessary to adopt renderings differing from both the Authorized Version and the Revised Version, and from the American Appendix to the Revised Version. Some of the propositions in this book may appear new and even startling to many, but it is believed that they fairly and exactly state the contents of the passages upon which they are based. It is hoped that the book will prove of interest and help, both to those who believe in the Divine origin of the Bible and to those who do not. One of the most satisfactory ways of determining whether the Bible is of Divine origin or not, is by finding out precisely what it teaches and whether there is one deep philosophy running through the book composed by such a multiplicity and variety of human authors. The writer must confess that his own conviction that there was one Author back of the many writers, and that that one Author was God, has ever deepened as he studied. Just the suggestion of a few ways in which this book can be used with profit: Its most apparent use is as a classbook in Bible Theology, its arrangement by sections and propositions having had such use in mind. The book can also be used in family devotions by those who desire something more orderly, systematic and thorough than the methods usually employed in this important, but neglected, department of Christian culture. It is hoped that it may be helpful also in private devotional study of the Bible. While the book aims to be scientific, it is not cold. Too much devotional study of the Bible is haphazard. By the use of this book it can be made orderly, thorough and progressive. The author has received numerous letters from groups of believers where there were no churches, and from other groups in various churches, asking for a definite outline of Bible study, and trusts that this book may be helpful in many such cases. Why, for example, could not groups of Christians who are shut out from ordinary church privileges gather together and study the Bible itself with the help of this book?

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What the Bible Teaches

A Thorough and Comprehensive Study of what the Bible has to Say Concerning the Great Doctrines of which it Treats

BY

R. A. TORREY

Superintendent of the Bible Institute, Chicago

“To the law and to the testimony! if they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.”—Is. 8:20 (R.V.).

“He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.”—Jer. 23:28.

“I will hear what God the LORD will speak.”—Ps. 85:3

Fleming H. Revell Company

COPYRIGHT

1898

By Fleming H. Revell Company

Hope. Inspiration. Trust.

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CONTENTS

BOOK I

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT GOD

CHAPTER 1—GOD AS SPIRIT

I.The Fact that God is Spirit

II.The Manifestation of Spirit in Visible Form

III.God Manifested in Visible Form

IV.What Was Seen in These Manifestations of God

CHAPTER 2—THE UNITY OF GOD

I.The Fact of the Unity of God

II.The Nature of the Divine Unity

CHAPTER 3—THE ETERNITY OF GOD

I.God Eternal

II.God Immutable

III.God Self-Existent

CHAPTER 4—THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD

I.God Everywhere

II.God Not Everywhere in the Same Sense

CHAPTER 5—THE PERSONALITY OF GOD

I.God a Living God

II.God’s Relation to the Affairs of Men

III.God as Creator

IV.God’s Present Relation to the World He Has Created

V.The Extent of God’s Care and Government

CHAPTER 6—OMNIPOTENCE

I.The Fact that God is Omnipotent

II.The Exercise of God’s Omnipotence Limited by His Will

CHAPTER 7—OMNISCIENCE

I.The Fact that God is Omniscient

II.What God Knows

CHAPTER 8—THE HOLINESS OF GOD

I.The Fact of God’s Holiness

II.What Does Holy Mean?

III.How the Holiness of God is Manifested

IV.Practical Inferences from the Doctrine that God is Holy

CHAPTER 9—THE LOVE OF GOD

I.The Fact that God is Love

II.Whom Does God Love?

III.How Does the Love of God Manifest Itself?

CHAPTER 10—THE RIGHTEOUSNESS, OR JUSTICE OF GOD

I.The Fact that God is Righteous

II.What is It to Be Righteous, or Just?

III.How the Righteousness, or Justice of God is Manifested

CHAPTER 11—THE MERCY, OR LOVING-KINDNESS OF GOD

I.The Fact that God is Merciful

II.Toward Whom is the Mercy of God Manifested?

III.How is the Mercy of God Manifested?

CHAPTER 12—THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD

I.The Fact that God is Faithful

II.What Does “Faithful” Mean?

III.The Extent of God’s Faithfulness

IV.How the Faithfulness of God is Manifested

BOOK II

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT JESUS CHRIST

CHAPTER 1—HIS DIVINITY

I.Divine Names

II.Divine Attributes

III.Divine Offices

IV.Statements Which in the O.T. are Made Distinctly of Jehovah, God, Taken in the N.T. to Refer to Jesus Christ

V.The Way in Which the Name of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son are Coupled Together

VI.Divine Worship to Be Given to Jesus Christ

CHAPTER 2—THE SUBORDINATION OF THE SON TO THE FATHER

CHAPTER 3—THE HUMAN NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

I.Human Names

II.Human Physical Nature

III.Human Parentage

IV.Human Limitations

V.Human Relation to God

VI.Human in All Things

CHAPTER 4—THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST

I.The Holiness of Jesus Christ

II.The Love of Jesus Christ to God the Father

III.The Love of Jesus Christ to Men

IV.Jesus Christ’s Love for Souls

V.The Compassion of Jesus Christ

VI.The Prayerfulness of Jesus Christ

VII. The Meekness of Jesus Christ

VIII. The Humility of Jesus Christ

CHAPTER 5—THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST

I.The Importance of Christ’s Death

II.The Purpose of Jesus Christ’s Death, or Why Did Jesus Christ Die?

III.For Whom Christ Died

IV.The Results of Christ’s Death

CHAPTER 6—THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST

I.The Fact of the Resurrection

II.The Importance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

III.The Manner of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

IV.The Results of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

CHAPTER 7—THE ASCENSION OR EXALTATION OF JESUS CHRIST

I.The Fact of the Ascension or Exaltation of Jesus Christ

II.The Manner of the Ascension or Exaltation of Jesus Christ

III.The Purpose of the Exaltation of Jesus Christ

IV.The Results of the Exaltation of Jesus Christ

CHAPTER 8—THE COMING AGAIN OF JESUS CHRIST

I.The Fact of His Coming Again

II.The Importance of the Doctrine of the Coming Again of Jesus Christ

III.The Manner of Christ’s Coming Again

IV.The Purposes of Christ’s Coming Again

V.The Results of Christ’s Coming Again

VI.The Time of the Coming Again of Jesus Christ

BOOK III

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

CHAPTER 1—THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

I.The Importance of the Doctrine

II.The Fact of the Personality of the Holy Spirit

CHAPTER 2—THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

I.Divine Attributes

II.Divine Works

III.Statements Which Refer to the Lord or Jehovah in the O.T. Applied to the Holy Spirit in the N.T.

IV.The Way in Which the Name of the Holy Spirit is Coupled with that of God

V.The Divine Name

CHAPTER 3—THE DISTINCTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM THE FATHER & FROM HIS SON, JESUS

CHAPTER 4—THE SUBORDINATION OF THE SPIRIT TO THE FATHER AND THE SON

CHAPTER 5—THE NAMES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

CHAPTER 6—THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

I.The Work of the Spirit in the Universe

II.The Work of the Spirit in Man in General

III.The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer

CHAPTER 7—THE BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

I.What the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is

II.Results of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit

III.The Necessity of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit

IV.Possibility of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, or for Whom is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?

V.The Refilling with the Holy Spirit

VI.The Conditions Upon Which the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is Given

CHAPTER 8—THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PROPHETS AND APOSTLES

I.The Distinctive Character of the Work of the Holy Spirit in Prophets and Apostles

II.Results of the Work of the Holy Spirit in Prophets and Apostles

CHAPTER 9—THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN JESUS CHRIST

I.How the Holy Spirit Worked in Jesus Christ

II.Practical Inferences from the Work of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ

BOOK IV

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT MAN

CHAPTER 1—HIS ORIGINAL CONDITION

I.Man Created in the Image of God

II.The Original Intellectual and Moral Condition of Man

CHAPTER 2—THE FALL

I.The Fact of the Fall

II.Result of the Fall

CHAPTER 3—THE PRESENT STANDING BEFORE GOD AND CONDITION OF MEN OUTSIDE OF THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS

I.The Present Standing Before God of Men Outside of the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus

II.The Present Condition of Men Outside of the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus

CHAPTER 4—THE FUTURE DESTINY OF THOSE WHO REJECT THE REDEMPTION IN JESUS CHRIST

I.The Future Destiny of Those Who Do Not Believe that Jesus is the Son of God

II.The Future Destiny of Those Who Have Done Ill

III.The Future Destiny of the Factious and Disobedient

IV.The Future Destiny of Those Who Know Not God and Obey Not the Gospel

V.The Future Destiny of Those Who are Not Found Written in the Book of Life

VI.The Future Destiny of Those Who Neglect Christ by Neglecting His Brethren

CHAPTER 5—JUSTIFICATION

I.What Does Justify Mean?

II.How are Men Justified?

III.The Extent of Justification

IV.The Time of Justification

V.The Results of Justification

CHAPTER 6—THE NEW BIRTH

I.What is the New Birth?

II.The Results of the New Birth

III.The Necessity of the New Birth

IV.The Manner of the New Birth, or How Men are Born Again

CHAPTER 7—ADOPTION

I.What is Adoption?

II.The Origin and Ground of Adoption

III.The Recipients of Adoption, or Who Receive the Grace of Adoption

IV.The Time of Adoption, or When the Believer Receives His Place as a Son

V.The Proof of Our Adoption, or How We Know that We Have the Place of Sons in the Family of God

VI.The Results of Adoption

CHAPTER 8—SANCTIFICATION

I.What Does Sanctification Mean?

II.How are Men Sanctified?

III.When Does Sanctification Take Place?

IV.The Results of Sanctification

CHAPTER 9—REPENTANCE

I.The Importance of the Subject

II.What is Repentance?

III.How Repentance is Manifested

IV.The Results of Repentance

V.How Repentance is Effected

CHAPTER 10—FAITH

I.What is Faith?

II.Saving Faith

III.How Faith is Manifested

IV.The Results of Faith

V.How to Get Faith

VI.The Relation of Faith and Repentance to Each Other

CHAPTER 11—LOVE TO GOD

I.Its Importance

II.How Love to God is Manifested

III.Results of Love to God

IV.How to Get Love to God

CHAPTER 12—LOVE TO CHRIST

I.Its Importance

II.How Love to Christ is Manifested

III.Results of Love to Christ

IV.How Can We Attain Unto Love to Christ?

CHAPTER 13—LOVE TO MAN

I.What is Love?

II.The Objects of Christian Love

III.How Love?

IV.How Love is Manifested

V.The Importance of Love to Man

VI.The Blessings that Result from Love to Men

CHAPTER 14—PRAYER

I.Who Can Pray So that God Will Hear?

II.To Whom to Pray

III.For Whom to Pray

IV.When to Pray

V.Where to Pray

VI.For What to Pray

VII. How to Pray

VIII. Hindrances to Prayer; or, Why Many Prayers are Not Answered

IX.The Results of Prayer

CHAPTER 15—THANKSGIVING

I.The Duty

II.To Whom to Give Thanks

III.Who Can Render Acceptable Thanks

IV.For What to Render Thanks

VI.How to Return Thanks

CHAPTER 16—WORSHIP

I.What is Worship?

II.Whom to Worship

III.The Duty of Worship

IV.Where to Worship

V.How to Worship

VI.The Results of True Worship

CHAPTER 17—THE BELIEVER’S ASSURANCE OF SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE

I.The Believer’s Privilege of Having Assurance, or Knowing that He Has Eternal Life

II.How We May Know that We Have Eternal Life

III.How to Obtain Assurance

CHAPTER 18—THE FUTURE DESTINY OF BELIEVERS

BOOK V

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT ANGELS

CHAPTER 1—ANGELS, THEIR NATURE, POSITION, NUMBER AND ABODE,

I.Their Nature and Position

II.Number of the Angels

III.The Abode of the Angels

CHAPTER 2—THE WORK OF ANGELS

I.Their Work in Behalf of the Heirs of Salvation

II.The Law Given Through Angels

III.Their Presence with the Lord Jesus at His Coming

IV.The Executioners of God’s Wrath Toward the Wicked

BOOK VI

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT THE DEVIL, OR SATAN

CHAPTER 1—THE DEVIL: HIS EXISTENCE, NATURE, POSITION AND CHARACTER

I.The Existence of the Devil, or Satan

II.The Position and Nature of Satan

III.The Devil’s Power

IV.The Devil’s Cunning

V.The Devil’s Wickedness

VI.The Malignity of the Devil

VII. His Cowardice

CHAPTER 2—EZEKIEL 28

CHAPTER 3—THE ABODE AND WORK OF SATAN

I.The Abode of Satan

II.The Work of Satan

CHAPTER 4—OUR DUTY REGARDING THE DEVIL, AND HIS DESTINY

II.The Devil’s Destiny

ABOUT CROSSREACH PUBLICATIONS

MORE R. A. TORREY TITLES FROM CROSSREACH PUBLICATIONS

PREFACE

This book represents years of study. Its contents have been tested again and again in the classroom—in classes composed, in some instances, of representatives of thirty-six denominations. However, it is not supposed for a moment that it exhausts all the Bible has to say on the topics treated, much less that it takes up and exhausts every topic dealt with in the Bible. The Bible is the one inexhaustible book. This work is simply an attempt at a careful, unbiased, systematic, thorough-going, inductive study and statement of Bible truth. The method of the book is rigidly inductive. The material contained in the Bible is brought together, carefully scrutinized, and then what is seen to be contained in it stated in the most exact terms possible. Exactness of statement is first aimed at in every instance, then clearness of statement. Beauty and impressiveness must always yield to precision and clearness. The scripture from which a proposition is deduced is always given before the proposition. The methods of modern science are applied to Bible study—thorough analysis followed by careful synthesis. Though no Hebrew nor Greek words appear in the work, it is based upon a careful study of the original text as decided by the best textual critics (especially Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort in the New Testament, though other editors, and the manuscripts themselves, have been considered in some instances). Wherever possible the text of the Authorized Version has been given. In many instances this was impossible, as the Revised Version is manifestly much more exact. Had it appeared that the Revised Version would soon obtain that general acceptance and use which it seems to so richly deserve, the author would have adopted it through out; except in those rare instances where it is manifestly in error. In very few instances, indeed, has it been necessary to adopt renderings differing from both the Authorized Version and the Revised Version, and from the American Appendix to the Revised Version.

Some of the propositions in this book may appear new and even startling to many, but it is believed that they fairly and exactly state the contents of the passages upon which they are based.

It is hoped that the book will prove of interest and help, both to those who believe in the Divine origin of the Bible and to those who do not. One of the most satisfactory ways of determining whether the Bible is of Divine origin or not, is by finding out precisely what it teaches and whether there is one deep philosophy running through the book composed by such a multiplicity and variety of human authors. The writer must confess that his own conviction that there was one Author back of the many writers, and that that one Author was God, has ever deepened as he studied.

Just the suggestion of a few ways in which this book can be used with profit:

Its most apparent use is as a classbook in Bible Theology, its arrangement by sections and propositions having had such use in mind. The book can also be used in family devotions by those who desire something more orderly, systematic and thorough than the methods usually employed in this important, but neglected, department of Christian culture.

It is hoped that it may be helpful also in private devotional study of the Bible. While the book aims to be scientific, it is not cold. Too much devotional study of the Bible is haphazard. By the use of this book it can be made orderly, thorough and progressive.

The author has received numerous letters from groups of believers where there were no churches, and from other groups in various churches, asking for a definite outline of Bible study, and trusts that this book may be helpful in many such cases. Why, for example, could not groups of Christians who are shut out from ordinary church privileges gather together and study the Bible itself with the help of this book?

In all study of the book the scriptures given should first be pondered carefully; the reader should then put his own understanding of the contents of those scriptures, in respect of the subject in hand, into his own language before considering the author’s statement in the proposition. In many instances the reader will thus be able to improve upon the author’s statement; if not, he will understand it and appreciate it all the more for having done a little thinking for himself.

BOOK I

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT GOD

CHAPTER 1

GOD AS SPIRIT

As the aim of this book is to ascertain and state in systematic form what the Bible teaches, the method pursued will be to first give the Scripture statements, and then sum up their contents in a proposition, following the proposition by such comments as may appear necessary.

I.The Fact that God is Spirit

Jno. 4:24—“God is (a) Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

FIRST PROPOSITION: God is Spirit.

Question: What is spirit?

Answer: Luke 24:39—“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” A spirit is incorporeal, invisible reality. To say God is spirit is to say God is incorporeal and invisible. (Compare Deut., 4:15–18.)

Question: What does it mean, then, when it says in Gen. 1:27: “God created man in his own image?”

The answer to this question is plainly given in the following passages:

Col. 3:10—“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

Eph. 4:23, 24—“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Col. 1:15—“Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature.” (Compare Tim. 1:17.)

The words “image” and “likeness” evidently do not refer to visible or bodily likeness, but to intellectual and moral likeness—likeness “in knowledge,” “righteousness” and “holiness of truth.”

II.The Manifestation of Spirit in Visible Form

Jno. 1:32—“And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.”

Heb. 1:7—“And of the angels he saith, who maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire.”

SECOND PROPOSITION: That which is spirit may manifest itself in visible form.

III.God Manifested in Visible Form

Ex. 24:9, 10—“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu: and seventy of the elders of Israel; and they saw the God of Israel, and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.”

THIRD PROPOSITION: God has in times past manifested Himself in visible form.

IV.What Was Seen in These Manifestations of God

Jno. 1:18—“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared Him.”

Ex. 33:18–23—“And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face, for there shall no man see me and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock. And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts, but my face shall not be seen.”

FOURTH PROPOSITION: That which was seen in these manifestations of God was not God Himself—God in His invisible essence—but a manifestation of God.

Question: Is there any contradiction between Ex. 24:9, 10 (“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and they saw the God of Israel”), Is. 6:1 (“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple”), and Jno. 1:18 (“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared Him”)?

Answer: None whatever. To illustrate: A man may see the reflection of his face in a glass. It would be true for the man to say “I saw my face,” and also true to say “I never saw my face.” So men have seen a manifestation of God, and it is perfectly true to say those men saw God. No man ever saw God as He is in His invisible essence, and so it is perfectly true to say: “No man hath seen God at any time.”

Under this head of manifestations of God belongs “The angel of the Lord” in O. T. Clear distinction is drawn in the Bible in the original languages between “An angel of the Lord” and “The angel of the Lord.” The R. V. always preserves this distinction; the A. V. does not.

Gen. 16:7–10, 13—“And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence comest thou and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, return to thy mistress, and submit thyself unto her hands. And the angel of theLord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?”

Here “the angel of the Lord” in verse 10 is clearly identified with the Lord (Jehovah) in verse 13.

Gen. 21:17, 18—“And God heard the voice of the lad: and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thy hand; for I will make him a great nation.”

Gen. 22:11, 12—“And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not with-held thy son, thine only son, from me.”

Here “the angel of the Lord” in verse 11 is identified with God in verse 12.

Judges 2:1, 2, R. V.—“And the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and he said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers: and I said, I will never break my covenant with you: And ye shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not hearkened to my voice; why have ye done this?”

Here “the angel of the Lord” distinctly says “I” did what Jehovah did. (See also Judges 6:11–14, 19–24, R. V., especially verse 14.)

A very noteworthy passage is:

Gen. 18:1, 2, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16—“And theLord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre, and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground. And they said unto him, Where is Sarah, thy wife? And he said, Behold in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life, and, lo, Sarah, thy wife, shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. And theLord said unto Abraham, wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.”

In these verses one of the three clearly identifies himself with the Lord or Jehovah. In the nineteenth chapter (v. 1) only two come to Sodom. One has remained behind, two have gone on. Who the one was, appears as we read on.

Gen. 18:17, 20—And theLordsaid, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do. Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And theLordsaid, because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous.”

Then in verse 22 we read: “Abraham stood yet before the Lord (Jehovah).” Clearly the one of the three who remained behind was Jehovah manifested in the form of a man. In verse 33 the story continues: “The Lord (Jehovah) went his way as soon as he had left communing with Abraham.” (See also chapter 19:27.)

FIFTH PROPOSITION: The angel of the Lord is clearly identified with Jehovah—a visible manifestation of Jehovah.

Question: Just who was this “The angel of the Lord?”

Judges 13:18, R. V.—“And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore asketh thou after my name, seeing it is wonderful?”

Compare Isaiah 9:6—“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

(In the Hebrew, the word for “wonderful” in the passage in which “the angel of the Lord” gives it as his name, is practically the same as the word in Isaiah, where it is given as the name of the coming Christ.)

Mal. 3:1—“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Answer: The angel of the Lord was the Son of God before His permanent incarnation. (See also Jno. 8:56—“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”)

“The angel of the Lord” does not appear after birth of Christ. The expression occurs in A.V., but is always a mistranslation, as the R. V. shows. (See Matt. 1:20, 28:2; Luke 2:9; Acts 8:26; 12:7, 23.)

CHAPTER 2

THE UNITY OF GOD

I.The Fact of the Unity of God

Deut. 4:35—“Unto thee it was showed that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God: there is none else beside him.”

Deut. 6:4—“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”

Is. 43:10—“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servants whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”

Is. 44:6—“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God.”

Is. 45:5—“I am the Lord, and there is none else; there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.” (See, also, vv. 14, 18.)

1 Tim. 2:5—“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Mark 10:18—“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.”

Mark 12:29—“And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.”

FIRST PROPOSITION: The Lord our God is one Lord, and there is no God besides Him.

II.The Nature of the Divine Unity

Question: Is there a multiplicity of persons in this one God?

Answer: (1) The Hebrew word translated “one” in these passages denotes a compound unity—not a simple unity.

See Gen. 2:24—“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Gen. 11:6—“And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

We find a similar use of the Greek word for “one” in the New Testament.

1 Cor. 3:6–8—“I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God, that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labor.”

1 Cor. 12:13—“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

Compare Jno. 17:22, 23—“And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

Gal. 3:28—“There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

(2) The Old Testament word most frequently used for God is plural in form.

(3) God uses plural pronouns in speaking of Himself.

Gen. 1:26—“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Gen. 11:7—“Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Gen. 3:22—“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”

Is. 6:8—“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go forth for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

(4) Zech. 2:10, 11—“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.”

Here the Lord (Jehovah) speaks of Himself as sent by the Lord (Jehovah) of Hosts.

(5) “The Angel of the Lord” is at the same time distinguished from and identified with the Lord. (See preceding chapter.)

(6) Jno. 1:1—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

(7) We shall see later that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all clearly designated as Divine Beings and as clearly distinguished from one another (e. g., Matt. 3:16, 17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14.)

Question: How can God be three and one at the same time?

Answer: He can not be three and one in the same sense. In what sense can He be one and three? A perfectly satisfactory answer to this question is manifestly impossible from the very nature of the case: (1) Because God is Spirit, and numbers belong primarily to the physical world, and difficulty must arise when we attempt to conceive spiritual being in the forms of physical thought (2) God is infinite, we are finite. He “dwells in the light no man can approach unto.” Our attempts at a philosophical explanation of the tri-unity of God is an attempt to put the facts of infinite being into the forms of finite thought, and of necessity can be, at the best, only partially successful. This much we know—that God is essentially one, and that He also is three. There is but one God: but this one God makes Himself known to man as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and they are separate personalities.

Jno. 14:16—“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”

Mark 1:10, 11—“And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Summary of Doctrine Contained in These Scriptures.

There is one God eternally existing and manifesting Himself to us in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

CHAPTER 3

THE ETERNITY OF GOD

I.God Eternal

Gen. 21:33—“And Abraham planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.”

Is. 40:28—“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.”

Hab. 1:12—“Art thou not from everlasting, O lord my God, mine Holy One? We shall not die. O lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.”

Ps. 90:2, 4—“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”

Ps. 102:24–27—“I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: Thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” (See also Is. 57:15; Rom. 1:20, Greek; Gen. 1:1; John 1:1.)

FIRST PROPOSITION: God is eternal. His existence had no beginning and will have no ending. He always was, always is and always will be. (Compare Ex. 3:14.) He is the I Am—Jehovah.

II.God Immutable

Mal. 3:6, f. h.—“For I am the LORD, I change not.”

Jas. 1:17—“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

1 Sam. 15:29—“And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.” (See also Heb. 6:17; Num. 23:19.)

SECOND PROPOSITION: God is unchangeable. His counsel purpose and character are always the same.

Objection: Jonah 3:10—“And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” It is here said God repented.

Answer: God remained the same in character, infinitely hating sin, and in His purpose to visit sin with judgment; but as Nineveh changed in its attitude toward sin, God necessarily changed in His attitude toward Nineveh. If God remains the same, if His attitude toward sin and righteousness are unchanging, then must His dealings with men change as they turn from sin to repentance. His character remains ever the same; but His dealings with men change, as they change from a position that is hateful to His unchangeable hatred of sin, to one that is pleasing to his unchangeable love of righteousness.

Objection: Gen. 6:6—“And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.” Here it not only says that God repented of what He had done in creating man, but “it grieved Him at His heart.”

Answer: (1) Man’s wickedness was so great and so abhorrent that his very creation was an object of great grief to God. This does not necessarily imply that God wished, all things considered, that He had not created man, but only just as is said, that He grieved that He had. Many things that we do are a grief to us, and yet, everything considered, we do not wish that we had not done them. (2) By God’s repenting that He had made man is meant (as the context, v. 7, clearly shows) that He turned from His creative dealings with man to His destroying dealings (v. 7). This was necessitated by man’s sin. The unchangeably holy God must destroy man who has become so sunken in sin.

III.God Self-Existent

John 5:26, f. h.—“For as the Father hath life in Himself.”

THIRD PROPOSITION: God has life in Himself. He is self-existent. God not only exists from eternity, but also exists from Himself. (See also Acts 17:24–28.)

CHAPTER 4

THE OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD

I.God Everywhere

Ps. 139:7–10—“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

Jer. 23:23, 24—“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill Heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”

Acts 17:24–28—“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Neither is worshiped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation: that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also of his offspring.” (See also Is. 57:15.)

FIRST PROPOSITION: God is everywhere. He is in all parts of the universe and near each individual. In Him each individual lives and moves and has his being.

II.God Not Everywhere in the Same Sense

John 14:28—“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”

John 20:17—“Jesus saith unto her, touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God.”

Eph. 1:20—“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”

Rev. 21:2, 3, 10, 22, 23—“And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Rev. 22:1, 3—“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him.”

SECOND PROPOSITION: God is in some places in a way that He is not in other places. (Is. 66:1—“Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me, and where is the place of my rest?) There is a fullness and manifestation of His presence in some places that there is not in others. “Heaven” is the place where at the present time, the presence and glory of God is especially and visibly manifested.

Note.—Mark 1:9–11—“And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, thou art my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”

God the Father is especially manifested in heaven. God the Son has been especially manifested on earth. (See also John 3:13, the entire gospels and “the Angel of the Lord” in O. T.) God the Son is now in heaven. (Acts 7:56; Eph. 1:20 and many other passages.) God the Holy Spirit is manifested everywhere. (a) In nature (Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30); (b) In all believers (John 14:16, 17; Rom. 8:9); (c) With unbelievers (John 16:7–11). Through the Spirit, the Father and the Son dwell in the believer (John 14:17, 19, 20, 23.) (See also Matt. 28:19, 20.)

CHAPTER 5

THE PERSONALITY OF GOD

We have seen that God is omnipresent. This conception of God must be balanced by the conception of God as a person or we run into Pantheism, i. e., the conception that God is not only everywhere and in everything, but that God is everything and everything is God; that God has no existence separate from His creatures.

I.God a Living God

Jer. 10:10–16—“But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of Hosts is his name.”

(Note the context vv. 3–9, especially 5, 8, 9.) God is here distinguished from idols, which are things, not persons, “speak not” “cannot go,” “cannot do good, neither is it in them to do evil;” but Jehovah is wiser than “all the wise men,” is “the living God,” “an everlasting King” a being who hath “wrath and indignation” separate from His creatures—“at His wrath the earth trembleth and the nations are not able to abide his indignation.”

Acts 14:15—“And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.”

1 Thess. 1:9—“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.”

2 Chron. 16:9—“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”

Ps. 94:9, 10—“He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?” (and numerous other passages).

FIRST PROPOSITION: God is a living God. He hears, sees, knows, feels, wills, acts, is a person. He is to be distinguished from idols, which are things, not persons. He is to be distinguished from the works of His hands which he formed.

Note.—Personality is characterized by knowledge, feeling and will. Some confuse personality with corporeity.

II.God’s Relation to the Affairs of Men

Josh. 3:10—“And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.”

Daniel 6:20–22, 26, 27—“And when he came to the den he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live forever. My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. * * * I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he speaketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

1 Tim. 4:10—“For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Heb. 10:28–31—“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, where-with 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.”

SECOND PROPOSITION: God has a present, personal interest and an active hand in the affairs of men. He makes a path for His people and leads them. He delivers, saves and punishes.

The God of the Bible is not only to be distinguished from the God of the Pantheist, who has no existence separate from His creation, but also from the God of the Deist, who has created the world and put into it all the necessary powers of self-action and development, and set it going, and left it to go of itself. God is personally and actively present in the affairs of the universe.

III.God as Creator

Gen. 1:1—“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Jno. 1:1–3—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”

THIRD PROPOSITION: God is the Creator of all existing things.

IV.God’s Present Relation to the World He Has Created

Ps. 104:27–30—“These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to the dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”

Is. 45:5–7—“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me, I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

Ps. 75:6, 7—“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the Judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

FOURTH PROPOSITION: God sustains, governs and cares for the world He has created. He shapes the whole present history of the world.

V.The Extent of God’s Care and Government

(1) Matt. 6:26, 28–30—“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

Matt. 10:29, 30—“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

FIFTH PROPOSITION: Gods care and government extend to all His creatures.

(2) Gen. 39:21—“But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

Dan. 1:9—“Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.”

1 Kings, 19:5–7—“And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.”

SIXTH PROPOSITION: God’s care and ministry and government extend to the individual.

(3) Matt. 10:29, 30—“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

SEVENTH PROPOSITION: God’s care and ministry and government extend to the minutest matters.

(4) Ps. 76:10—“Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”

Gen. 50:20—“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; butGod meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (And Rom. 9:17, 19.)

Acts 2:22, 23—“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”

Job. 1:12—“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.”

Job 2:6—“And the Lord said unto Satan, behold, he is in thy hand; but save his life.”

Luke 22:3—“And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, being one of the number of the twelve.”

EIGHTH PROPOSITION: God’s control and government extend to the wicked devices and doings of evil men, and of Satan, and He makes even these work out His own glory and His people’s good.

(Compare Rom. 8:28—“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.”)

CHAPTER 6

OMNIPOTENCE

I.The Fact that God is Omnipotent

Job 42:2—“I know that Thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee.”

Gen. 18:14—“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Matt. 19:26—“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

FIRST PROPOSITION: God can do all things, nothing is too hard for him, all things are possible with Him. God is omnipotent.

(1) Gen. 1:3—“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Ps. 33:6–9—“By the word of the Lord were the Heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”

Ps. 107:25–29—“For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.”

Nah. 1:3–6—“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.”

All nature is absolutely subject to God’s will and word.

(2) Jas. 4:12–15—“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? Go to now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

All men are absolutely subject to His will and word.

Note.—Happy is the man who voluntarily subjects himself to God’s will and word.

(3) Heb. 1:13, 14—“But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Angels are subject to His will and word.

(4) Job. 1:12—“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.”

Job 2:6—“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.”

Satan is absolutely subject to His will and word.

II.The Exercise of God’s Omnipotence Limited by His Will

Is. 59:1, 2—“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

SECOND PROPOSITION: The exercise of God’s omnipotence is limited by His own wise and holy and loving will. God can do anything, but will do only what infinite wisdom and holiness and love dictate.

Question: Why doesn’t God destroy Satan?

Answer: It would not be wise to destroy him yet. By his malevolence he is working out part of God’s benevolent plans.

CHAPTER 7

OMNISCIENCE

I.The Fact that God is Omniscient

1 Jno. 3:20—“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.”

Job. 37:16—“Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?”

Ps. 147:5—“Great is the Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”

FIRST PROPOSITION: God “Knoweth all things.” He is “perfect in knowledge.” “His understanding is infinite.”

Literally, “of his understanding there is no number” (See Marg.)

II.What God Knows

(1) Prov. 15:3, R. V.—“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch upon the evil and the good.”

FIRST PROPOSITION: He sees all that occurs in every place and keeps watch upon the evil and the good.

(2) Ps. 147:4—“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”

Matt. 10:29—“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

SECOND PROPOSITION: He knows everything in nature, every star and every sparrow.”

(3) Ps. 33:13–15—“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.”

Prov. 5:21—“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.”

THIRD PROPOSITION: “He beholdeth all the sons of men” and “considereth all their works.” “The ways of men are before” His eyes, and “He pondereth (or maketh level) all his goings.”

(4) Ps. 139:2, 3—“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.”