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God described himself this way, in Isaiah Chapter 55 - My thoughts are not
your thoughts neither are your ways my ways saith the Lord. For as the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
One of my favorite themes of the Bible, one that I go back to at various
times for various reasons, is the fact that there is an enormous distance
and difference between God and man. The first chapter of the Bible at
least suggested the difference when it says, simply, God created man.
God is the creator and man is the creation. That makes a constitutional
difference between the two. The differences between God and man are so
many, so immense, I would be hesitant to enumerate them. I do however
want to mention one in particular. Not merely a difference between the
two, but one of the great characteristics of God.
God has always been characterized by His perfection. When I say that I
don't just mean by that that God is perfect in the moral sense only, free
from any moral defect, or fault or blemish. He is that alright. Perhaps that
is why Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, Be ye therefore perfect
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. But I mean God is
perfect in the sense that His is the ultimate being. Some folks like to use
bigger words than other folks. There are two you will hear pretty often.
God is omnipotent and God is omniscient. These are good words that
accurately say something about God.
God is omnipotent, which means He is all powerful. John, the one that
gave us the revelation said, And I heard as it were the voice of a great
multitude, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty
thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. The
Lord God is all-powerful. The word is actually almighty. The Almighty God.
He is also omniscient, which means all wise. As the apostle Paul said in
Rom. 11, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of
God; How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding
out. No one can really understand the depth of the knowledge and
wisdom of God. And if you want to put those two ideas together, there is
saying in Psalms 147:5, Great is our Lord, and of great power, His
understanding is infinite. God's power is infinite and God's wisdom is
infinite. He is the all-powerful and all-wise God. What that means though is
this. If God is all-wise and all-powerful, then God can do all things. Is there
anything too hard for the Lord to do? Do you remember Jesus and his
discussion of that camel going through the eye of the needle? With men,
he said, this is impossible, but with God, what? All things are possible.
What's impossible for God to do? Anything is possible for one who is
absolutely and utterly supreme, who is all wise and all powerful.
I have not told you anything you did not already know. And the point I've
labored to make may not seem especially noteworthy. Certainly not
controversial with people who believe the Bible and there may not seem to
be a great application or lesson that we can learn from it. But let me go a
little further and establish this thought a little more secure in your mind.
When God plans or purposes to do a thing, it is as good as done. There is
a verse in Isaiah that says, 14: 27, The Lord of hosts hath purposed and
who will annul it? His hand is stretched out and who will turn it back? If
the Lord stretches out his hand and purposes to do something, who is
going to get in His way or stop Him?
Man is a great deal different. We are characterized by weakness. We are
not all wise. We are not all powerful. So we make a plan. We purpose in
our heart to do something, but very often we are not able to do it. Jesus
said, Lk 14:28, For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not
down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all
that behold it begin to mock him. You can start, set out to do something,
get the foundation laid, but you may not be able to finish it, because you
God is not human. God is infinite. That is the word. And the word infinite
means without limitations. He is all wise, all powerful, and he can do what
he sets out to do. 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 46:9 That is what God said.
Do you believe that about God? I doubt I have said anything that you
disbelieve about God. One more verse says it very well. Job said, chpt 42,
I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be
withholden from thee. Another version says it better. "I know thou canst
do everything, and that no thought of thine can be hindered."
What is the point of making that point? Well, I do have one. Most lessons
are supposed to have 3 points., but this one only has one. But first we
need to have firmly in our mind what we have said about God.
God is characterized by absolute perfection. Perhaps you know
something about baseball. If God played baseball, and of course it is a
ridiculous thought, but if God played baseball, and he were the pitcher,
and he was starting the first game of the world series, He would pitch a
perfect game. In fact, God would pitch a perfect game every time out, every
game. And I don't just mean pitch to 27 batters and get them all out, but no
one would ground out, or pop-up, or even tip or foul the ball. There would
not be anyone to even touch the ball. No one. Being all powerful and all
wise, he could throw exactly where he wanted to throw it, and however
hard he needed to throw it, and nobody would be able to touch it.
And if God were the batter, he would not just bat .400. Not .500 He would
bat 1.00 And I don't just mean he would get a hit every time at the plate. He
would hit a home run every time, every time at the plate, first swing, would
be a home run. Because God is a God of absolute perfection.
If God were a golfer, how do you think he would rank in the competition
today? Tiger would not come close. God would hit a hole-in-one every
time. You see, God is not subject to error. God cannot make a mistake.
None of His plans or purposes or intentions can be defeated. All things
are possible with God.
But having said all that and having that understanding and belief in God,
let's take it now and apply it. Let's apply it with reference to those who
claim to represent God and who claim that God is working through them
and doing some things.
Let's take this principle, and apply it to those "miracle workers" of our
time. There are many involved in the miraculous healing campaigns that
are a big part of the religious world today. They all say the same thing,
that they are healing people, not by their own power, but by the power of
God. They all say with one voice, this is not my doings but it is God's
doings. This is something God is doing.
So the sick get in line. Those infirm get in line. The crippled get in line. The
blind get in line.
Doctors today have proven you can give sick people sugar pills and 40%
will improve. They will have their pain alleviated. I think God should be
able to do as good as a sugar pill, don't you?
What happens to all those in line? Some seem to get better, some seem to
improve. What percentage are cured? Completely? I know this, that if
God is doing the healing, it would be 100%. Because when we go to the
Book and read about the same sort of thing in the New Testament, that is
what we find. Jesus went about all of Galilee teaching in their synagogues,
and preaching the kingdom of heaven and healing all manner of sickness
and all manner of disease among the people. Matt. 4:23 And it was not
just that he cured all manner of sickness. Matt 12:15 says, Great
multitudes followed him and he healed them all.
How many did he heal? Not 40%, not 80%, not even 99%. He healed them
all. The point is - it is really a dishonor to God, a discredit to God to
attribute failure to Him. To associate his High and Mighty Name with failure,
really, anyone should be ashamed. It is just wrong to say this is a work of
God, and he has a 50-60% success ratio. That bothers me. Because you
can be dead certain of one thing. If God is involved in any kind of healing
activity, He will have 100% success, because He is a God of 100%.
Take the same point and apply it to those who claim the gift of prophecy.
And I mean by that the ability to predict the future, the foretelling of things
that will take place. There was once a lady who wrote a book, The Gift of
Prophecy. She supposedly predicted the assassination of President
Kennedy, and predicted that Marilyn Monroe would commit suicide, and a
number of things I guess. And many people were impressed with that.
Amazing predictions that came true. But it is said of the author, Jane
Dixon, in the forward of her book, "Jean has also experienced some
failure." How about that? Here is someone who has the divine, god-given,
gift of prophecy who experiences some failure. I wonder what her ratio of
accurate predictions to failures would be? Many go across the country
claiming to be super naturally endowed, immersed in and baptized in the
Holy Spirit to the extent that their very utterances are the utterances of
God. They have the gift of prophecy. They can tell you about, not only
your past having never even met you before, but also can tell you about
your future, predict things about you personally, they can predict things
about this country, and the affairs of the world, and all that. And they have
done and said some amazing things. But every last one has failed. Every
one of them has failed, in many many cases.
In the Bible, prophets of God never failed. If it was a prophet like Micaiah
telling Ahab he would not return from battle, it didn't matter what
precautions he took. He dressed up in all the armor of a soldier, he hid out
amongst the troops, but the Syrian soldier drew his bow at a venture and
shot it into the sky and true to the word of the prophet, the arrow struck
home and Ahab died. Because that is what the prophet of God said.
In the New Testament, you have a man, a pretty obscure prophet, but he
had the gift. God was working through him. His name was Agabus. The
record says, he signified by the spirit that there should be a great famine
throughout all the world. And it came to pass in the days of Claudius
Caesar. Act. 11:28 He didn't miss it. That same prophet, in Acts 21, saw
Paul, took his girdle you remember and bound himself and said the man
that owns this girdle, if he goes to Jerusalem, will be bound, and turned
over to the Gentiles. And he didn't miss. He never missed. And neither did
any one who had God working through him. It is a shame and disgrace to
attribute the name of God or associate the name of God with failure.
In Deuteronomy 18, God told Moses there would be a man raised up
among the people like Moses. God said, I will put my word in his mouth,
and he will speak the things I command him and it will come to pass that
those who will not listen to him will be destroyed, and he went on to say,
The prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not
commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other Gods, the
same prophet shall die. The next verse says, And if you say in your heart,
How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken? How are we
going to know if a prophet is really speaking words from God? How will
we know? He gave the answer. When a prophet speaks in the name of the
Lord, and it does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the
Lord has not spoken. If a prophet speaks one word of prediction and it
does not happen, than that is enough evidence, enough proof, the prophet
does not represent God. Because God is a God of 100%.
The book we study bears the mark of God, which means it bears the mark
of perfection. There have been those through the years, skeptics, who
have thought they have found errors in the book. They thought they found
a reference to a King or a city and there was never any evidence to support
such a King or such a city. They are sure the Bible is wrong. But then,
years later, some archaeologist digging around in ruins of the earth will
low and behold uncover the evidence, it was just like the Bible said. This
book is not wrong. It is not even 1% wrong. It bears the mark of God. It is
right every time about every thing.
That is the difference between God and man. An uninspired man, he can
be wrong. You cannot rely on me. I will be wrong. But Peter, James, John,
Paul, they were inspired of God, the God of heaven, and they were always
right. This book is an inspired book. There are many creed books written
by men. They all have one thing in common. They have errors in them.
They have mistakes in them. And men recognize the mistakes, because
every creed book has been revised. It only proves, the book came from
men, and not from God. God does not have to have his work revised.
Soloman said, It shall be forever and nothing can be put to it and nothing
can be taken from it. Eccl. 3:14 Why? Because God is the God of
perfection. He is the God of 100%.
Just take that truth and apply it, and the truth about many things will be
clear. The closing point should be the one already made. You and I as
people trying to please and serve God should rely, not upon any man or
any work of man characterized by imperfections and errors but we need to
rely on God and God's word, which is absolutely perfect. That is why the
Psalmist said, I esteem all thy precepts right and true. Psalms 119:128
I hope these thoughts will be of some practical value to you, whoever you
are or whatever your thinking happens to be.
May God bless.