The sovereign will, permissive will, and overruling will of God; John 15:16.

Class Outline:

Title: The sovereign will, permissive will, and overruling will of God; John 15:16.


John 15:16

"You did not choose Me, but I chose you,

Aorist middle indicative of evkle,gomai[eklegomai] = election in Christ, which is God’s will for you to receive His highest and best.


The gnomic aorist states that this is always the case; it is an absolute. The middle voice reveals that election is to your benefit. God has found a way to have victory in the AC and benefit you at the same time.


If righteousness is imputed immediately after faith in Christ [Rom 4] then so is election. God does not elect the unrighteous.


Nowhere in the scripture does it state that the unrighteous are elected or predestined, and when I say “elected” I mean election in Christ. One cannot just chose any verse that has the word chose, or chosen in it and assume that they all refer to election in Christ. There are elect angels and fallen angels and there are elected persons and fallen persons. The only difference is faith in Christ as Savior. The election of Israel, certain ones in the OT, the election of Christ, the election of the CA believer, and the election of angels each have their own uniqueness and nuances. And as such, they must be fully studied and understood.


For instance, Abraham is said to be elected.


NEH 9:7

Thou art the Lord God,

Who chose Abram

And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees,

And gave him the name Abraham.


God chose Abraham because He knew that Abraham would believe God. Abraham does not believe as a result of being chosen.


We must build a case for the coexistence of the Sovereign will of God and the free will of mankind. This doctrine is being attacked vehemently in the US and Europe at this time. It’s only a matter of time before the attack gets to your doorstep or that of a loved one.


Another passage by way of introduction to our doctrine of election:


ISA 45:1 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed,

Whom I have taken by the right hand,

To subdue nations before him,

And to loose the loins of kings;

To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:


 “anointed” - mashiach = messiah, anointed one. This is the exact Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Christos. Cyrus was an unbeliever who was anointed or chosen for a certain task.


Under the 5th cycle of discipline Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were captured and led away as exile slaves in 586 B.C. by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar.


The Jews were in exile for 70 years. During this time Nebuchadnezzar died and the throne passed through several successors. During this time a man named Cyrus, king of Anshan, rose to power over the Lydians and the Medes began the Persian empire, and Cyrus set out to conquer Babylon.


ISA 45:1 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed,

Whom I have taken by the right hand,

To subdue nations before him,

And to loose the loins of kings;

To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:


Does this mean that God made Cyrus an unbeliever or that God caused Cyrus to commit sin or evil, which he did? The answer is an emphatic negative.


Cyrus was pro-Semitic, in fact, he was simply pro-happy subjects, and he knew that letting the people worship their own deities, rather than forcing them to worship the deity of the empire, provided a certain contentment resulting in fewer uprisings.


ISA 45:2 "I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze, and cut through their iron bars.


ISA 45:3 "And I will give you the treasures of darkness, And hidden wealth of secret places, In order that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.


I would emphasize, “may know,” here since there is no indication anywhere that Cyrus became a believer in fact quite the opposite. This reveals that Cyrus was given the opportunity to know Jehovah, yet history as we know it seems to state that he never took advantage of that opportunity.


ISA 45:4 "For the sake of Jacob [Israel] My servant, And Israel My chosen one [election of Israel to the four unconditional covenants], I have also called you [election or choosing of Cyrus] by your name; I have given you a title of honor Though you have not known Me.


ISA 45:5 "I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;


ISA 45:6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other,


ISA 45:7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.


This passage is highlighted when so-called teachers are advocating that God is the author of evil and sin.


 “creating” - bara = to create out of nothing. Its objects are the heavens and earth as well as mankind, Israel, cloud and smoke, salvation, righteousness, speech, wind, and a new heart.


God bara’d darkness [chosek = darkness], and calamity [ra = that which is bad, evil, or unpleasant].


Chosek is used for the darkness over the earth in GEN 1:2, the darkness plague placed over Egypt, the darkness of a person’s eyes when they get old in ECC 12:3, the darkness of the grave and in the context of judgment.


God has done all this and in the context of Isa 45, the darkness refered to in verse 7 is the divine judgment of Babylon.


Ra is used for whatever is bad, evil, or unpleasant and is again used in our context for judgment upon Babylon. God has also judged all sin in Christ, and will judge all unbelievers at the GWTJ.


The king Nabonitis will be put to death by Cyrus, which is the decision of Cyrus. When God messages circumstances around people, His omniscience knows exactly what they will do. This in no way means that He forces them to do what they choose to do.  


In this case evil Persian is being used to destroy evil Babylon with the result that the Jews will be able to return to Judah and rebuild the city and the temple. Throughout history God has used one evil nation to destroy another, even to destroy His client nations that are under the 5th cycle of discipline. No empire have ever lasted through all history.


God has not created sin and evil. God does sovereignly administer discipline on evil people and evil nations, and He does judge sin. Discipline and judgment are represented by darkness and calamity in the scripture.


The most significant creation of darkness in all history was the darkness that God created over Calvary while He judged His Son for the sins of the entire world.


John 3:16

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [pas ho = all the] believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.


Acts 10:43

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone [panta ton = all the] who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."


John 6:40

"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who [pas ho = all the] beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."


2 Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all [pas], therefore all [pas] died;


2 Cor 5:15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.


2 Cor 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh [our flesh and not His], yet now we know Him thus no longer.


2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.


2 Cor 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,


2 Cor 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.


ROM 5:6

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.


1 Tim 2:6

who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.


1 Tim 4:10

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men [pas anthropos], especially of believers.


Titus 2:11

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men [pas anthropos],


HEB 2:9

But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone [pas].


1 John 2:2

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.