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FOREKNOWLEDGE AND PREDESTINATION
These two words have been the cause of a great deal of controversy among various classes of religionists, and many strange positions have been taken in regard to their Biblical meaning. Generally speaking foreknowledge is made to mean that unlimited wisdom of God which he possessed before the world was. We do not question but what God knew all things from eternity, but does the word foreknowledge, as used in the Scripture, refer to that unbounded intelligence which characterizes the infinite, or does it refer to that system which is revealed to us in the prophets? To us it appears plain that the two words foreknowledge and predestination, have no reference to the infinity of God’s wisdom, but have specific reference to the plan of redemption made known in the promise, in type and in prophecy. In other words, the things written in the prophets. Foreknowledge refers to the things foretold. In order to make this point plain, we will refer to the Bible proofs:
Take for example Peter’s words on the day of Pentecost. „Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” (Acts 2:23.) The above text seems to be well explained in the next chapter. „But those things which God before had showed by the mouth of all his holy prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” In strict harmony with the above, see Luke 24:44. „And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning me.”
The reader will notice that Jesus does not refer to any pre-arranged plan beyond that mentioned in the Holy Writings. Indeed, all that is said upon the subject of foreknowledge of God seems to refer to that which was written. It is a matter of relief to feel that the things revealed in the promises, types and prophecies of the Scriptures are referred to by the word foreknowledge. Now, as knowledge precedes plans or actions, it therefore follows that predestination and election merely refer to that pre-arranged system or plan by which God will save all who conform to the image of his Son through the gospel. We do not offer the above in a dogmatic spirit, but as suggestive of a possible solution of a much abused and misunderstood subject.—Our Rest.
— May, 1883 —