An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 130 of 270
act with complete certainty where, to us, all would appear in a contingent
light.  The whole testimony of the Scriptures is to the effect that God has a
purpose before Him, according to which He works and, in accord with that
purpose of peopling heaven and earth with the redeemed, He foreknew every one
who would respond to the call of grace, and accordingly marked them off
beforehand for the various spheres of glory that His purposes demanded.  If
we believe that God fixed unchangeably from all eternity whosoever should in
time believe, then however much we may hedge and cover the fact, there is but
one logical conclusion, a conclusion that in days gone by has driven many to
the edge of despair.  That conclusion is, that He Who absolutely and
unalterably fixed the number of those who should believe, just as surely
fixed unalterably the number of those who should not believe, a conclusion so
monstrous that it has only to be expressed to be rejected:
'How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and
how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard?' (Rom.
Both 1 Peter 1:2 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13 speak not only of the Lord's
election and choice of those who are saved, but His decision beforehand of
the means to that end:
'Through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth' (2
Thess. 2:13).
Paul has spoken very pointedly on the question of believing the Gospel,
in Romans 10:14, saying, 'How shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not
heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?' which leaves no room for
the intrusion of fatalistic decrees.  Peter, writing to the dispersion, who
were Hebrew Christians, uses a Hebrew figure saying, 'unto obedience and
sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ' (1 Pet. 1:2).  We give all the
references to 'sprinkling' in the New Testament which will confirm this
Hebrew attitude of Peter as distinct from the Gentile attitude of Paul (Heb.
9:13,19,21; 10:22; 11:28; 12:24).  God knows beforehand the circumstances and
conditions of our birth and upbringing, and His gracious purpose of election
never can miscarry, for His understanding like His love is unsearchable.  See
Eternal, Everlasting.
See Age1.
See Wages of Sin7.
Face.  The first five occurrences of the Hebrew word panim, 'face' are in
Genesis 1 and 2.  'The face of the deep', 'the face of the waters', 'the open
(face of the) firmament', 'the face of all the earth', 'the whole face of the
ground' (Gen. 1:2,20,29; 2:6).  Here, as in English, panim indicates the
surface, the external part of anything that has length and breadth.  The next
occurrence uses the word in a figurative sense:
'Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God'
(Gen. 3:8).
In Genesis 4:5 the word is translated
'countenance'.  In this instance,
as Crabb observes, 'the face is the work of
nature; the countenance and
visage are the work of the mind'.  The word
'presence' is used to indicate
someone of high rank or dignity, and so the
waiting -room immediately