Saturday, June 28, 2008


In Genesis 3 we read about the evil deed of Adam and Eve by eating of the fruit of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil". It was an evil deed because they knew what God had said, and they did not believe God, their Maker, but instead they believed the evil spirit, which indwelt the serpent.

Did Adam and Eve know that there was a spirit indwelling the talking serpent?

Of course they knew. God did not create two dummies. They knew that animals could not speak the human language. Their mouths are not built to speak like humans do. Adam and Eve knew that it was not God talking through the serpent. They also knew that it was a spirit that was against God. And yet they kept listening and debating with this evil spirit, until they too were convinced of the dishonesty of God. They believed the lie!

What has God done to deserve this kind of treatment?

What has God done to this evil spirit called Lucifer, who became Satan, to deserve this?

What has God done to Adam and Eve to deserve this?

Nothing! God has been totally fair with all of them. God created them and God was their Benefactor, which means that God did much good to them. But Lucifer was puffed up with:

Covetousness and Pride (Genesis 3:6, 1 Timothy 2:14, Romans 5:12)

Then, talking with these two humans, Satan also infected them with "Covetousness and Pride".

Genesis 3:6
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The woman saw. The impure look of Eve, infected with the poison of covetousness, was both the messenger and the witness of her impure heart. Now that she considered the tree to be good for food was in itself a sign of apostacy. Now she lustfully looks at the tree and she persuades herself that it is a tree desirable to make one wise. Then she plucked off one ripe fruit from this tree, she ate from it, and she did not fall down dead. We do not know how long Adam was watching her.

Was he there all along during her temptation, or did he come later?

That is not for us to know. She might have said: "Look Adam, I ate from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the serpent was right, I did not fall down dead", and then she told Adam about her conversation with the serpent "and she gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat".

That is why we read in 1 Timothy 2:14, "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression". She was the one who was deceived. Adam was not deceived. He transgressed the law of God because he went along with the wishes of his wife, and she drew him into the same fatal ambition that the serpent gave her: "Look Adam, the tree is good for food, it is pleasant to the eyes and it is designed to make one wise; don't you want to become as wise as God Himself?"

Dumb pride is what drew her the most to this fatal experiment. But God tells us in Romans 5:12 that sin came not by the woman, but by Adam himself. This proves that Adam also foolishly coveted more than was lawful. He too gave more credit to the flatteries of the devil than to the sacred command from God. This is how by pride the human race was ruined, and pride has never left mankind since then.

But did you notice how it happened?

It happened in the Garden of Eden the same way it happens today. Men rebel against God when they have forsaken the Word of God and they lend their ears to the lies of Satan. Therefore God will only be seen and adored in His Word, and reverence for God is shaken off when His Word is despised. Just as faith unites us to God, so unbelief for God's Word was the root of Adam and Eve's defection. Their unbelief has opened the door to ambition, but ambition proved to be the parent of rebellion, with the result that they would throw aside the fear of God, and shake off their obligation to His commands. All this is a love for what this sin cursed world has to offer. It is the world of Satan. God says:

"Love Not the World" (1 John 2:15-17, Matthew 12:39, Luke 16:31, Revelation 22:18)

Is it not amazing how close Genesis 3:6 is to God's description of worldliness?

What is worldliness?

Worldliness is loving the things of this world. That is how God defines worldliness in 1 John 2:15-17.

1 John 2:15-17
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

In other words, if anyone loves things of the world, it is a sure sign that he or she is still unregenerate, because the love of God the Father is not resting on that person.

What are the things that are in the world?

Well, what are the things that are foremost in our minds?

What are the things that we talk about most?

Let me give a few examples:

Are we talking about the word of God?

Are we talking about our Savior Jesus Christ?

Are we talking about how to apply our spiritual food, or do we leave that up to the Pastor?

Or are we talking about strengthening our fellowships during the week?

Are we talking about God's grace all the time?


Why not?

Let me give a few other examples:

Are we talking about food, and about recipes, and restaurants, and birthday parties, and how to cut short our stay in church?

These are things concerning the lust of the flesh.

Are we talking about houses, or cars, or computers, or stereo sets, or are we talking about other gadgets for entertainment, or movies, or clothes?

These are things concerning the lust of the eyes. Are we talking about how bright our children and grandchildren are, or about how many books on theology we have read, or how great and important our job is, and so on, then we are talking about the pride of life.

As soon as the church service is over, what are the things that we talk about?

Those are the things that are foremost in our mind. Now, can you see that in our affluent American society there is a great pull toward worldliness, much more so than in third world countries. You can see that if you would live in a third world country, where your walk to church on Sunday mornings takes 2 hours, one way, that the matters of the church and the Bible and God's grace are much more in the forefront of your mind, because you do not worry much about all the things of this world that we hold so dear.

Now, let us get back to Adam and Eve, who really represented a micro-cosmos of the church in that day. When Adam and Eve sinned, the church of that day was ruined. And let us ask ourselves: "Is this also the way the church is ruined in our days?"

1) When Eve saw that the tree was good for food, and she lusted after that physical food, that was a manifestation of the lust of the flesh.

2) When Eve saw that the tree was pleasant to the eyes, this was a manifestation of the lust of the eyes.

3) When Eve was convinced that the tree was desirable to make one wise, it was a manifestation of the pride of life.

Now, is this how the church gets ruined in our days?

Let us compare:

1) Gospels preached in most churches these days are catering to what the congregations like best. These are gospels that give them such a good feeling inside, almost to the point of ecstasy. The Pastor picks only those passages from the Bible that are well suited to give them a warm, soothing, feeling inside. It means the Pastor would not preach about Hell, or about Judgment Day, or about election and reprobation. These are things the people in the pew do not like to hear, so they do not hear them. But in fact, the preachers are not preaching what God likes, but they are catering to the lust of the flesh.

2) Gospels preached in most churches these days are making people believe that God is today still performing signs and wonders, like He did in the days that the Bible was written. Then the people in the congregations say: "I believe it because I can see it". It means that the Pastor would not preach on those passages where Jesus says, "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign" (Matthew 12:39), or at another occasion Jesus said, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16:31). The Pastor is catering to the lust of the eyes.

What does the congregation like to see?

They like to see a play or a show, instead of a worship service. They like to see a service totally performed by children. That will he give them to see.

3) Gospels preached in most churches these days are making people believe that God is still bringing divine revelations to mankind in dreams, or in visions, or in angel visitations, or in tongues. This is what the Charismatic movement wants us to believe. Now this is what the people in the congregations really like. It is so exciting when someone in their presence speaks with the voice from God. It is so exciting when they themselves are experiencing a vision, or a dream. It is so exciting when they can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost, and they hear others testifying that they have changed, and their eyes are bigger and brighter than before. And in their theology they believe that there must be more to it than just the plain Bible, because now we can rise to a higher level of spirituality. Now we can rise one stage closer to God. But all this is nothing but the pride of life. It is worldliness to the max. Just compare it with Genesis 3:1-6. Satan made Eve believe that she was missing out on something very important: "Be more like God". Today the Charismatic movement makes people believe that, unless they join, they are missing out on something very important. Eve believed that there was more that God had not yet said. The Charismatics believe that God has not finished declaring new things. For Adam and Eve the results were a disaster; they found out that they were deceived. For the Charismatics the results will turn out to be a disaster; they will find out that they have been deceived. And God has said, in Revelation 22:18, that they, by their actions, prove that they have not been saved. The testing program which God placed before Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, turned out to be very similar to the testing program which God placed before the end-time church.

By comparing the sin of Adam and Eve with 1 John 2:15-17 we recognize that their sin is nothing else than worldliness. They coveted the things of this world more than to be in the favor of God.

Let us turn back now to Adam and Eve, in Genesis 3:7.

"Then Their Eyes Were Opened" (Genesis 3:7, Hebrews 4:13, 2 Corinthians 5:2-3, Psalm 111:10, 1 Corinthians 1:20-21)

How long were they in the Garden of Eden in a state of righteousness with God?

We do not know. We only know that it was not very long. They had not had the opportunity to eat from the Tree of Life. They were deprived of God's benefits before they had become accustomed to use them. One man wrote about this fact in these words: "O wretched free will, which while it was yet intact, it had so little stability". Another author, wrote about this in these humbling words: "Since we read that a fall so dreadful took place in Paradise, what shall we do on the dunghill?"

Satan promised to Eve, "Ye shall know good and evil", but that knowledge was therefore accursed, because it was sought in preference to the spoken will of God. Therefore, unless we wish to fasten the same snares upon ourselves in which Adam and Eve were snared, let us learn to depend entirely upon the Word of God alone, because we want to acknowledge Him as the Author of everything good. Let us cast off all self-confidence, and offer ourselves empty to Christ, that He may fill us with His own riches. We read:

Genesis 3:7
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Now "The eyes of them both were opened" to their sin. This fact, that their eyes were opened, proves them to have been condemned by their own judgment. No one dragged them yet before the throne of God, and no one yet accused them.

But is not this sense of guilt and shame a sure token of their guilt?

A few moments earlier they accused God of lying and accusing God of withholding from them the divine state of godliness. But now they found out that they were deceived, and instead of pursuing godliness they were pursuing worldliness. Now they want to hide themselves from God and they fled to hiding places. What a silly idea! Now their eyes were opened and they could see their own baseness, their own ingratitude to God, and they sensed that they had violated God's commandment, and that they had done something dreadful. That is why they were now ashamed of being naked. But even though they were convinced of their guilt, they did not humble themselves before God, they did not fear His judgments as they should, and they resorted to passing the buck. The same can be said for anyone on this earth who sins against God's 10 Commandments. God has planted into each man's heart an awareness of guilt when he violates anyone of these 10 Commandments. The eloquence of all the lawyers in the world cannot deliver those from condemnation, whose own conscience has become the judge to compel them to confess their fault.

Adam and Eve knew that they were naked, and they were ashamed.

Why were they ashamed now?

They had been walking naked for several days, or weeks, without feeling ashamed. But now they were ashamed of their sins. Now they knew they were exposed to God in all their sins. That is what their sense of nakedness meant, because God says in Hebrews 4:13, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do".

That is what spiritual nakedness means: being exposed to God with all our sins. For example, speaking about the Last Day the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:2-3, "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked."

If we are found naked, exposed to God with all our sins, then our sins have not been washed away in the blood of Christ, and then we will be cast into Hell. Therefore we should fear God when we sense that we are standing naked before Him. If we have no protection, for we cannot hide our sins, then we must "fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell".

That is a healthy fear. This is a fear that may lead to salvation. The Bible says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). We cannot hide our sins; neither can we hide ourselves from God. But people try to hide from God, like Adam and Eve tried to hide themselves from God.

How do people try to hide from God?

Well, they think of excuses. For example they say, "I did not think it was so bad. Everyone is doing it".

But what are people taught in the churches?

God loves you, and God will forgive you anyway.

Is that really so?

Can we continue to hide behind the God loves you slogan?

Is it true that God loves everyone?

No! God says: "The wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth" (Psalm 11:5).

But if God is the creator of everyone, does that not imply that God must love everyone as a loving heavenly father?

No! The Lord Jesus said to the Jews surrounding Him: "Ye are of your father the Devil" (John 8:44). If we do not know our Bible, then we are targets for this kind of nonsense.

God sees us the way we are, even though we try to cover up. Let us return now to Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve tried to cover up their sin, but it did not work. We read in Gen 3:7,

They Made Their Own Covering (Genesis 3:7, 1 Kings 4:25, Hosea 9:10, Jeremiah 24:1-10, Romans 9:31-32)

Genesis 3:7
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

They sowed fig leaves together to make themselves their own covering. And what a covering this was! They did not make themselves aprons. The Hebrew word is "girdle". They made themselves silly girdles of fig leaves. Suddenly their mind seems totally out of commission.

But is it not interesting that they chose fig leaves?

Why did God record this amount of detail?

Fig leaves have the size of large maple leaves, or sycamore leaves, but fig leaves are certainly not large enough to give them a covering. Fig leaves are difficult to tie together.

Why did they not choose banana leaves?

Those would have been much more suitable.

Why did they not choose a vine to wrap it around their body many times?

That would also have been much more convenient. But God does not record things in the Bible just for fun. God recorded "fig leaves" because God wanted us to know in what frame of mind Adam and Eve were when they made their own covering. Fig leaves point us to the fig tree, and the fig tree points us to the nation of Israel. For example, to indicate that the nation of Israel was at peace during the days of Solomon, God recorded in First Kings 4:25,

1 Kings 4:25
And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

Both the vine and the fig tree were pointing to the physical kingdom of the nation of Israel. Another example is from Hosea 9:10. There God says that He found Israel like grapes on the vine. We read:

Hosea 9:10
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time:

God says that He found their forefathers as the first ripe figs on the fig tree, again pointing to the fig tree as a symbol of the nation of Israel. In Jeremiah 24, God speaks about a large contingent of captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were taken to Babylon, and God compares them with those who were allowed to stay in Jerusalem and Judah. These two groups of people were compared to two baskets of figs.

Where do the figs come from?

They come from the fig tree, or from the nation of Israel. We read in Jeremiah 24:1,

Jeremiah 24:1
The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.

Jeremiah 24:2
One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

Jeremiah 24:3
Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

Jeremiah 24:4
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Jeremiah 24:5
Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.

Jeremiah 24:6
For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

Jeremiah 24:7
And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my
people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

Who is taking all the initiative?

God says: I will do that, I have sent them out of this place, I will build them, I will plant them, and I will give them a heart to know me. God lets us know that He will bestow His favor, His grace, upon this group of people from the nation of Israel who are held captive in Babylon. And then God speaks about the other group of people, who are allowed to stay in Judah.

Jeremiah 24:8
And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:

Jeremiah 24:9
And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.

Jeremiah 24:10
And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

You see, both groups of people are identified with the fig tree. There are many more references pointing to the fig tree as a symbol of the nation of Israel.

But what has this to do with Adam and Eve?

What typifies the religion of most in the nation of Israel?

Let me read to you what God says in Romans 9:

Romans 9:31-32
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;

You see, Israel adhered to a works gospel. Since they were children of Abraham, they believed that God had promised all of them to go to heaven, as long as they obeyed the Ceremonial Law. Therefore they had no need for Christ; they had no use for a Savior.

What would He save them from?

They believed that they could become righteous by obeying the Law. That is what fig leaves indicate. But such a works gospel is not the language of the Bible at all. God says in Galatians 2:16 that "By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified".

Instead of a covenant of works, God established a Covenant of Grace for all those whom God wished to place in that Covenant. The language of the Bible is that salvation is all by grace, which means that it is all a free gift. We must believe this gift by the Spirit who dwells within us. That is the Spirit which prompts us unto good works, but those good works are not the cause of our salvation; they are the result of our salvation.

What sort of good works are the evidence of salvation?

First and foremost it is the desire to hear the voice of our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. His speech comes to us from the words we read on the pages of the Bible. In no other way does Christ speak to us, because the Bible is a Book that has been completed. Secondly, the desire to be with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is also an evidence of our salvation. This is the communion of the saints.

Do we enjoy to fellowship with the saints, or is it a drudgery?

Do we try to escape it?

Adam and Eve did not like to hear the voice of God, and they did not like the presence of His
Company. Their fig leaves indicated that they were planning to make up for the damage they had done, but they did not know how. They showed by their actions that they had fallen from grace. This was the only time in history that people were under a covenant of works, and as a result we see that a covenant of works cannot work unto salvation. Under the best of circumstances it leads to failure.

But God had mercy on them. God drove them out of the Garden for their own good, and:

God Gave Them Covering (Genesis 3:21, Isaiah 61:10, Hebrews 9:22)

Genesis 3:21
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Historically it meant that God took away those silly girdles of fig leaves, and God killed two animals and prepared their skins so that they became suitable for clothing.

But why did God do that?

God sacrificed two animals. We read in the New Testament that all sacrificial animals were types and figures looking forward to the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. These two animals fell in that same category. God showed hereby that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins". (Hebrews 9:22)

How can we see that remission of sins is what God had in mind?

We read that "God clothed them". God put these animal skins on them to show that He has forgiven them. Adam and Eve did not deserve this, but neither do we. This also shows that there is no sin so great that it cannot be forgiven.

In Isaiah 61 God describes the New Testament saints as the planting of the Lord. But then in Isaiah 61:10 one of the saints breaks out in singing:

Isaiah 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

The reason I can be so joyful is that God has clothed me. I did not save myself by accepting the Lord Jesus as my Savior. When God saved me, He took the filthy rags of my own good works away from me, and He has clothed me with the robe of Christ's righteousness. Now all my sins are covered with the righteousness of Christ. This is the Covenant of Grace. It comes to me freely by grace. But on Christ's part it required blood, and sacrifice, and death, even unto the 2nd death. The fact that God clothed Adam and Eve with two animal skins indicated that God saved them by His grace, through the blood of Christ, like He saved all the saints both in the Old Testament and the New Testament time, because Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

The question is, how will we respond to God providing for us such a righteous covering?

We know that we do not become righteous by that act of God whereby He declares us righteous. We have not become righteous because we still sin in this body of death. This body still lusts after sin.

But how do we respond to such a great gift of God's grace?

The answer is that when Christ paid for our sins on the cross, He did not abandon us from that point on. He continues to watch over us as an eagle watches over her young. God continues to give us grace to live the life that He wants us to live.

This Is What God Will Do (Isaiah 61:11).

Isaiah 61:11
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

God will do that. This is what God will do for all those whom He saves. He gives us a life of continued sanctification. Our life is entirely controlled by God, "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). And also "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). But if there is no spiritual growth, then we need to worry.

By Alfred Chompff

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Isaiah 55:6
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Isaiah 55:8
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:10-11
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Isaiah 55:12
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:13
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

God’s call to seek Him is very urgent, because we are never sure when He may not be found any more. This opportunity to find Him ends when our body dies, or when our church goes apostate, or when the end of the Final Tribulation Period will be upon us. This is an urgent call that goes out into all the world, and in verse 7 this call is accompanied by the call to repent of our sins. There is no salvation without repentance.

However, we want to keep in mind that repentance is also a gift from God. Therefore no one can repent and turn to Christ out of their own free will. No one can do that, because it is absolutely contrary to human nature. All those who have come to realize that they are sinners, and fear God because they know that they are in trouble with God, will God save from their slippery slide into Hell. All those who abhor their sins, and confess their sins to God, will find mercy with God because our God delights in mercy. We thank God that we have a merciful God, for He will abundantly pardon.

Who are all those who come to realize that they are sinners?

They are all those who have been drawn by the Father to the Lord Jesus Christ, for no one will come to Christ except the Father draw them.

We read in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”. This is God’s way of planting His beautiful garden. And look what a variety. Every one of His plants is different. And when we read about God’s great forgiveness in verse 7 we realize that the cross is in view. God’s pardon for our sins is only possible through Christ crucified on April 3, in the year AD 33. That was the only day in the history of mankind that any sins were forgiven. This was the day when we could most clearly see that

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4:24, Acts 2:23)

And then God continues to emphasize how different God is from us, creatures. We read in verse 8,

Isaiah 55:8
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

And not only are God’s ways different from our ways, but God Himself is totally different from us. God said that He has made man in His likeness. Many people conclude from this that God must be like us, yea high, with a head, and arms, and legs.

And since He is a compassionate God, does He not feel our infirmities like we do?

They have brought God down to our level. They have made a caricature of God. They have made themselves an idol. When God said in several places in the Bible that He has made man in His image, it means that God has given man certain of His communicable attributes, like wisdom. Man has received some wisdom from God. Hopefully we grow wiser as we age, but that does not always apply to everyone. We can think and we can continue to learn and to teach. We can speak and reason with each other, and with our own selves. And we can learn to speak, and read, and write in other languages. Man has received some feelings from God. And by that I mean the ability to love, and to hate, and to have compassion, and to have mercy, and to laugh, and to cry. Man has received from God the ability to comprehend abstract knowledge, such as linear algebra, and trigonometry, and calculus, and invent new tools such as radios and computers, and to meditate on things such as creation, and intelligence, and poetry, and music. And God has given man also an abstract knowledge of spiritual things pertaining to God, such as worship, and prayer, and faith, and hope for the future, and love for God, and sin, and retribution for sin, and righteousness, and grace, and Heaven, and Hell, and a host of other things. All these things are reflecting what God said, that He has made man in His image. But God is not yea high. The Lord Jesus Christ is God, but He is not yea high. Jesus is not your buddy. Get that idea as far from you as possible. Christ never ceased to be God. And therefore when He came to this earth as the carpenter of Nazareth, he was seated in heaven at the same time, and He ruled this universe at the same time. The Lord Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”.

This is the principle we always must have in mind: God is Spirit!

God made this universe, which is so large it has almost become incomprehensible, which means beyond our ability to understand. If God created this universe then God is greater than this universe. That is how different eternal God is from mortal man. God gave man some wisdom, but the wisdom of God is infinitely greater than our wisdom. God is infinitely wise. It means that God does not improve His wisdom over time. God does not continue to learn and become wiser. It also means that God will not be surprised by things that are happening in history. God is omniscient, which means that God knows everything that has occurred and everything that will still come to pass. Also, God does not have to wait for mortal man to make a decision to turn to Jesus, for that would make God dependant on man’s decisions, and that would make God less than omnipotent. Therefore from before the beginning of time God chose whom He will save, and in the course of history God actually saves those He wanted to save, by His irresistible grace. God does not have to wait for mortal man to see who will become saved, but God laid on Christ the guilt of all the sins of all those whom God elected unto salvation; not one sin more, and not one sin less. Therefore those who hold to the premise that Christ paid for the sins of every human being on this earth are making God less omniscient than He really is. God saves whom He wants to save, and God saves to the uttermost. Those whom God has saved will never again fall into the hands of Satan. God has sworn that with an oath. God has given man some feelings like the ability to love, but God’s love for His elect creatures is so infinitely greater than we can imagine that God gave His only begotten Son to suffer and die for them the equivalent of them spending an eternity in Hell. We just cannot comprehend such a great love of God for His creatures. That is why God could say in Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

This verse starts with “For”, or “because”, and thus it refers back to verse 8. But verse 8 also starts with “For”, and thus this verse refers to verse 7. And here is the reason why God says that His ways are higher than our ways. God ended verse 7 with the words, “for He will abundantly pardon”, which translated literally says, “for He will multiply forgiveness”.

This says that God will multiply His forgiveness for our sins to such an incredible height that we simply cease to understand how great His forgiveness is. We cannot understand that God gave His only begotten Son as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of those who murdered His Son. It becomes even more incomprehensible when we understand that all this did not catch God by surprise, but that decided all this from before the foundation of the world, and that God arranged all the events so that Christ was “delivered and crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”, according to Acts 2:23. In other words, God’s hands, or God’s providence, made these things come to pass because God, in His counsel between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit before the foundation of the world, decided to have it so. This is what we see developing here in the following verses in Isaiah chapter 55. It is:

The Providence of God (Isaiah 46:1,9-11, Ezekiel 39:17-20, Isaiah 55:10-11, John 1:13)

In Isaiah chapter 46 God reached into the future and God assured His children, and US, that He has carried us in the past and He will carry us in the future. In Isaiah 45 God spoke of Cyrus. In Isaiah 46 God tells us what will happen when Cyrus defeats Babylon.

Isaiah 46:1
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.

Bel and Nebo were the chief idols of the Babylonians. Since Bel and Nebo were made of gold and silver the Medes and the Persians carried them away in carriages. They were a burden to the weary beasts pulling the carriages. And while the carriages hobbled over the uneven roads Bell and Nebo wobbled, as if Bel was bowing down and Nebo was stooping to worship Jehovah, who caused them to be dethroned. And then God uses the backdrop of the overthrow of Babylon to describe Himself.

Isaiah 46:9-10
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 46:11
Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

What is God saying here about Himself?

Paraphrased God says, “Remember, I am God, and there is none like Me”. I am unlike any other concept of god that came out of man’s imagination. Remember how I am described in the Bible. This is how I want to be remembered and this is how I want to be worshipped. I am the one who declares the end from the beginning. Not because I am omniscient, not because I know the future, but because I will do it for My good pleasure. “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure”. I shall call a ravenous bird from the east, referring to Cyrus, My servant, who shall overthrow the kingdom of Babylon and shall proclaim to the slaves who are Jews that the House of Jehovah in Jerusalem must be rebuilt.

Was Cyrus a saved man?

No! That is why God calls him a ravenous bird, like the ravenous birds of Ezekiel 39:17-20.

Was Cyrus then a pawn of Satan?

Absolutely not!

God says in verse 11, “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it”.

Is anything left to just the foreknowledge of God?

Absolutely not!

God says, “I have purposed it, I will also do it”. And so we see that the God whom we worship has the reigns of this world firmly in His hand. He has a purpose for everything that occurs in the history of mankind, and He will bring it to pass. God had a purpose for the attack on America by the terrorists of September 11, in the year 2001, when they destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. O yes, Satan might have a hand in it too, but Satan cannot do anything without God’s direction and God’s approval.
Our God reigns and our God reigns absolutely over everyone and over everything. This then is the principle that God develops in Isaiah 55:10. Let us read this beautiful passage.

Isaiah 55:10-11
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Verse 10 begins with “For”, indicating that My ways are much higher than your ways in this manner: First God paints a wonderful metaphor, which portrays the providence of God: Water like rain and snow is coming down from heaven, fully under God’s control. Then before the water evaporates and returns to the hands of God, it waters the earth and causes it to sprout forth all kinds of plants, and it brings forth seed for the sower and bread for the eater. We can’t help but think of the spiritual implications of water, and seed, and the sower, and bread, and the eater. In other passages of the Bible water represents the Gospel that flows like water from those whom God has saved and sent out to preach the Gospel. Such an evangelist is compared to a sower who sows seed into a field, according to Matthew 13. The seed represents the Word of the Kingdom, or the Gospel, and it provides bread for the eater. When someone hears the preaching of the Gospel and becomes saved, he or she becomes an eater of the Word of God. The Bible is the Word of God, and it provides the Bread of Life for those who partake of it. And then the water returns into the hands of God.

Is this not a marvelous introduction to the next verse?

There in verse 11 God actually speaks about the evangelist and his message. God says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth”. God spoke His Word, it is written in the Bible, and God says that the evangelist who speaks these messages from God is actually the mouth of God at that moment. And about these messages God says, “it shall not return unto me void”, which means, like the water in the previous verse, it shall not return to God empty, “but it shall accomplish that which I please”.

Is God pleased if everyone who hears these messages will be saved?

Absolutely not!

That is not God’s plan at all. A man is not saved because he lends a listening ear to the evangelist. That would be a works gospel. A man is not saved because the evangelist desires that he will be saved. That again is a works gospel. Remember that God said in John 1:13, “Not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man”. And yet, in most churches this is how verse 11 has been explained to me: “Just preach the true Gospel to them and leave it alone, and in time God will draw them and save them, because God has promised it here in Isaiah 55:11”. But that is not at all the promise of God. What God has promised here is, “it shall accomplish that which I please”.

It pleases God to save His elect, for to this end He created the world and all that is therein, and to his end the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross. God intends to save the remnant, chosen by grace. Out of all the nations of the world God chose only a remnant. And God’s providence, the hands of God, is at work to save this remnant, and only this remnant. Not one will be added, and not one will be forgotten. God does not change His mind later in history, because He is God. Not only does He know the end from the beginning, but He says, “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it”.

Those whom God wants to save under the hearing of the Gospel call, He will save. And those whom God does not want to save under the same Gospel call, will be hardened in their soul. That too is the purpose of God. When we preach the Gospel we should not feel bad when someone does not want to believe what God has said so plainly in the Bible. We must simply accept that God did not intend to save this one, and leave it at that. To us God has a far greater promise. God says at the end of verse 11, “and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”.

In other words, your task is done; you are 100% successful.

How would you like a job like that?

How would you like a Boss like that?

He sends you out with the task of preaching His Gospel, don’t leave out Hell, or any other essentials, and whatever you do in the execution of your task, your Boss says, “Well done good and faithful servant; you have done exactly what I wanted to accomplish”.

Now this is the providence of God, for you and for those who hear. Some of those who hear will be infinitely better for it, and others who hear will be worse off than before they heard the Gospel. The Gospel will go out into all the world, both to the elect as well as to the reprobate. For the elect it will be a great blessing. It will be the grace of God that is showered upon them.

But what about the reprobate?

Can we also say that the grace of God is showered upon them when they hear the proclamation of the Gospel?

Can we say that they share in the common grace of hearing the Gospel?

Is there such a thing as common grace?

Let us see what shape the grace of God takes when we take it into the entire world, both to the elect and to the reprobate.

The Grace of God (Matthew 5:48, 2 Peter 2:21, Matthew 11:23-24, 5:44-45, Romans 5:8, 8:28, Luke 12:16-20, Psalm 92:7, 2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

God’s grace stands for God’s “unmerited favor”. The word “common” means “it is shared by all”.

And thus the common grace of God means the unmerited favor that God bestows upon all without exception. When we study the word “grace” in the Bible we find that there is no such monstrosity as “common grace”.

According to the Bible, grace is only in Christ Jesus. There is no grace that is shown outside the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. God is infinitely holy, and righteous, and just, and thus He does not show favor or love to anyone who has anything less than perfect righteousness.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”.

Since God demands perfect righteousness, the only way we can be righteous in the sight of God is when the Lord Jesus Christ covers all our sins and gives us His righteousness. That is exactly what He did in His atonement for our sins, which includes His cross and His resurrection together, as one act of God. Therefore for all those who show less than perfect righteousness God has only wrath.

Why then do people hold to the heresy of common grace?

It is a heresy indeed.

They are unaware that they are agents of Satan busy destroying the Gospel.

The true Gospel is the Gospel of grace, the one and only grace of God which is given to us through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we have to ask ourselves:

When the reprobate are under the hearing of the Gospel, is God doing what is better for them or what is worse for them?

Is God blessing them or is God cursing them?

Let us hear what God says in 2 Peter 2:21, “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them”

For example, in the days when Jesus walked on earth the people at Capernaum were greatly blessed by being the city where Jesus had His headquarters.

But what does God say about the people at Capernaum?

He says in Matthew 11:23-24, “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee”.

Was God doing what was better or what was worse for Capernaum?

Was God blessing them or was God cursing them?

Why do people hold on to the notion of common grace?

Primarily they show as their proof text Matthew 5:44-45, which reads as follows, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, …... That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust”.

But if it is true that the sun and the rain are evidences of God’s love and God’s favor upon the evil as well as on the good, what then are droughts and hurricanes and tornados and earthquakes and floods evidence of?

Well, to be consistent they have to say that natural disasters are evidence of God’s hatred, God’s curse upon the evil and upon the good. According to this scheme, when God brings good things on the wicked He shows He loves them, and when God brings calamity on the wicked He shows He hates them. And when God brings good things on the righteous, He shows He loves them, and when God brings calamity on the righteous, He shows He hates the righteous.

But this is utter nonsense!

The moods of God are not like a yoyo, up and down, up and down. That is not the God whom we serve. God’s people know that God works out everything for the good of His people, out of love and grace for His people, and God works everything out for the curse of those He never intended to save, out of hatred and wrath for them.

What then does Matthew 5:44-45 mean?

The Lord Jesus commands His people to love their enemies as God loves His enemies. By nature WE were the enemies of God. We read in Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

God loved us when we were His enemies. And so, we are to love our enemies as God loved His enemies for whom Christ died.

Today in the Sunday School the children discussed the question if bad things happen to us when we have done something wrong, or if good things happen to us when we have done something right. This again is related to the common grace heresy that is floating everywhere through the churches. God is not a yoyo. Let us hear again Romans 8:28, and please pump this verse into your memory. God says in Romans 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”.

Who then are “the called according to his purpose”?

The elect. If you are one of His elect, then all things work together for your good, and that includes the so called “good” and the so called “bad” things that happen to you. If you are one of the wicked, then all things work together for your judgment, and that includes the so called “good” and the so called “bad” things that happen to you.

Why does God give good things to the reprobate?

Is it out of love and grace toward them?

Absolutely not!

It is to harden them for destruction. In Luke 12:16-20 the Lord Jesus tells us the parable of the rich man whose land brought forth much fruit, and he was able to rest and have fun.

Was this common grace?

His physical needs were met and he had even more than he needed.

Did God show grace for this man?

“But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee”.

Why does God give good things to the reprobate?

Psalm 92:7 gives us the plain teaching of the Bible. God says in Psalm 92:7, “When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever”.

That is the purpose of the wicked’s flourishing and blossoming, so they will be hardened in their sin and in their unthankfulness toward God. Here is the plain teaching of the Bible. Good things for the reprobate are to harden them for destruction. There is no common grace for the wicked here.

Likewise God does not show common grace by proclaiming the Gospel into all the world, both to the elect and to the reprobate. The truth is that the preaching of the Gospel to the reprobate is meant to harden them for destruction. God says in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16, “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life”.

Let us now return to Isaiah 55:12 where we are faced with the bringing of the Gospel into all the world. And then God holds this promise in front of us:

Ye Shall Go Out With Joy (Isaiah 55:12, Psalm 1:3)

Isaiah 55:12
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

What is the joy with which we shall go out to bring the Gospel?

It is the joy of knowing that we are saved, and that we are doing a work that is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. It is the joy of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ, and knowing that we are certain of our salvation, because we know Him from the Bible, the personally spoken Word of God. We are sure that we are not being led by the nose by some fake gospel, because we have every spoken Word from God at our disposal, and we can check out everything we hear from the pulpit. Therefore we are “led forth with peace”.

What is that peace?

It is the peace with God that we have, because God has wrought a work of faith within our hearts.

Can there be anything more glorious than to know that we are on our way to heaven?

Before we were saved this earth was a dark place. This earth was a place were big dogs eat little dogs. It was a place were there was no God and it was a place for the survival of the fittest. It was a jungle here, and we could be killed by anything bigger and more powerful than we were. The boss at work was mean. The drive to work was mean and the drive home was even more terrible and exhausting. We came home into an atmosphere that was tense, and there was a stack of mail most of which was generated by people who made mistakes at our expense. And so on. It was one calamity after another. But after I became saved my outlook on life also changed. The drive to and from work was not so bad. Given the right radio station, I was singing hymns all the way. A mean boss at work did not make me nervous, because I was working for my Father who is in heaven. As long as I got His approval, it really did not matter what my earthly supervisor thought about it. He thought to get me by lowering the annual raise in salary. That is OK. He will be held accountable by God; I would not want to be in his shoes. As long as I am in Christ and Christ is in me, all earthly problems fade by comparison. And so on. God expressed this changed outlook on life in Isaiah 55:12 by saying, “the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing”. That really is the meaning of verse 12.

How wonderful!

And then God says at the end of verse 12, “and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands”.

What is this?

Trees do not have hands. People have hands. God uses the metaphor of trees to indicate people who are elect of God. For example, in Psalm 1:3 God also speaks of His elect as trees. God says in Psalm 1:3, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”.

And then God speaks in verse 13 of:

An Everlasting Sign (Isaiah 55:13)

Isaiah 55:13
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

What do the thorns and briers represent?

They represent people who remain unsaved. But in their place God causes the fir tree and the myrtle tree to come up. These are not the plantings of the evangelist, but these are the plantings of the Lord. He caused these trees to come up and He causes these trees to sow their seeds so that more trees will come up; just like He causes people to become saved and they in turn sow their seeds of the Gospel into the world and cause other people to hear the Gospel, and God saves them.

Why then shall they be to Jehovah “for a name”, and “for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off”?

Who is God speaking about?

He speaks about these trees who are representing elect people.

What is the status of the elect?

They are the Bride of Christ, both in this life and in the New Heaven & New Earth.

What is their name?

The Bride of Christ.

What is “the everlasting sign that shall not be cut off”?

Christ shall never divorce His Bride. This is truly a marriage made in heaven. What a glorious hope we have, and what a glorious future we can look forward to.

What will we be doing and will we ever be bored by listening to long sermons?

Absolutely not!

Is God ever bored?

We will be like God, because we will be the adopted sons of God.


By Alfred Chompff