God Must Either Rule or Be Ruled

“Who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the Devil? What do the Scriptures say? If we believe their plain and positive declarations, no room is left for uncertainty. They affirm, again and again, that God is on the throne of His universe; that the scepter is in His hands; that He is directing all things “after the counsel of His own will” [Eph.1:11]. They affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm that God is the “Almighty” [Gen.17:1], that His will is irreversible, that He is absolute sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. And surely it must be so. Only two alternatives are possible: God must either rule—or be ruled; God must either sway—or be swayed; God must either accomplish His own will—or be thwarted by His creatures. Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High God” [Psalm 78:35], the only Potentate and King of kings [1 Tim. 6:15], vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power—the conclusion is irresistible, that He must be God in fact—as well as in name!”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p.8

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He Is a Law Unto Himself

“Now God did not place Adam upon a footing of conditional, creature responsibility, because it was right He should so place him? No, it was right because God did it. God did not even give creatures being because it was right for Him to do so, that is, because He was under any obligations to create; but it was right because He did so. God is sovereign. His will is supreme. So far from God being under any law of ‘right,’ He is a law unto Himself, so that whatever He does is right. And woe be to the rebel that calls His sovereignty into question: ‘Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you making?” Does your work say, “He has no hands’?’ (Isaiah 45:9).”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.26-27

The god of This Twentieth Century

Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel, “You thought I was just like you” (Psalm 50:21). Such must now be His indictment against an apostate Christendom. Men imagine that the Most High is moved by sentiment, rather that actuated by principle. They suppose that His omnipotence is such an idle fiction that Satan is thwarting His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, constantly subject to change. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s ‘free will’ and reduce him to a ‘machine.’ They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which has actually redeemed everyone for whom it was made, to a mere ‘remedy,’ which sin-sick souls may use if they feel disposed to; and they enervate the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to an ‘offer’ of the Gospel which sinners may accept or reject as they please.

The god of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ, than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The god who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible Conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of mushy sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form gods out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their own carnal mind. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A god whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nothing but contempt!”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.21-22

God Foreknows What Will Be Because He Has Decreed What Shall Be

God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be. It is therefore a reversing of the order of Scripture, a putting of the cart before the horse, to affirm that God elects because He foreknows people. The truth is, He foreknows because He has elected. This removes the ground or cause of election from outside the creature, and places it in God’s own sovereign will. God purposed in Himself to elect a certain people, not because of anything good in them or from them, either actual or foreseen, but solely out of His own mere pleasure. As to why He chose the ones He did, we do not know, and can only say, ‘Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure’ [Luke 21:10]. The plain truth in Romans 8:29 is that God, before the foundation of the world, singled out certain sinners and appointed them unto salvation (2 Thessalonians 2:13). This is clear from the concluding words of the verse: “Predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.’ God did not predestinate those whom He foreknew were conformed, but, on the contrary, those whom He ‘foreknew’ (that is, loved and elected) He predestinated ‘to be conformed.’ Their conformity to Christ is not the cause, but the effect of God’s foreknowledge and predestination.”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.19

The Counsel of the Lord Shall Stand

“Now the divine knowledge of the future is not a mere abstraction, but something which is inseparably connected with and accompanied by His purpose. God has Himself designed whatever shall yet be, and what He has designed must be effectuated. As His most sure Word affirms, ‘He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand’ (Daniel 4:35). And again, ‘There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand’ (Proverbs 19:21). The wisdom and power of God being alike infinite, the accomplishment of whatever He has purposed is absolutely guaranteed. It is no more possible for the divine counsels to fail in their execution than it would be for the thrice holy God to lie.”

– Arthur W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p.13