“O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness” (Isa. 25:1). No Christian dares to dispute this verse or the contents of it, (for it pertains to all who seek to understand His existence), but all do not believe. No one disputes, because it would mean going against God, who Himself has authorized this Word. Yet, this does not mean that one will not choose to disbelieve it; disbelieve its application and its long lasting nature. Herein appear the teachings, doctrines and practices of the church and by these it is known as belonging to God or to this world. A Christian or church simply does not dispute any part of the word of God, since it has already been written and must be accepted. But, one chooses to disbelieve it, since his heart has not been predestined to believe. Herein is established the power and nature of faithlessness. Belief can only come by hearing God’s word, whether it was then or now, and it comes by man’s willingness to suspend all the hurdles that obstruct it.
The word of God has been predetermined i.e. existed even before the foundation of the world and God’s works too are completed before the foundation of the world. This, no Christian disputes, since it has already been written in the word. If then His works have already been completed, it is a wonder and miraculous, for who can complete a work without its coming into being? And this miracle is in its working mode, for it has to be, since Christ has not yet returned. However, how many actually believe and treasure this? Those who treasure it are those who do not predict His working nature and do not bring their influence upon the kind of works He has already performed. For this reason, the faithful always believe that God works wonders. His carrying out of wondrous works has nothing to do with the times of the Old Testament and New Testament, since His working in “perfect faithfulness,” has not been shaped by the Law of Moses and thus, had no need of being nullified by Christ on the cross. So able and powerful is our Lord God of heaven and earth.
It is because of the unfathomable ability of God that Isaiah regarded Him as his God and was determined to exalt and thank Him. It is in the hands of God’s people to have regard for His ability. For this, each believer has to examine himself and regard his stature before the mighty God. The prophets of Israel and certain leaders were primarily chosen by God, because of their examining of themselves. Many Israelites simply believed in God’s works, and then were able to treasure them, since they first examined their stature as little before the mighty God. On the other hand, many also did not regard His ability, since they simply chose to disbelieve the word regarding His works. Obviously, the reason behind their disbelief is their belief in the things of this world. They loved idols and the works of men, because their form appeared more beautiful to them than God. They loved gold and silver, since their value appeared greater to them than God. They were more attracted to the daughters of men, as they put an end to beholding God. How effortless it was to disbelieve! The kind of works disbelief brought forth from them as heinous as they were, are still being brought forth, but now by different set of God’s people, which are Christians.
Christians carrying out these acts have nothing to do with the kind of testament revealed, whether Old or New, since their working in ‘perfect unfaithfulness’ has not been shaped either by Law or Christ and now has every need of it being nullified by Christ who died on the cross. This Christ dying on the cross is a wonder or miraculous, since it was a plan formed by God long ago with perfect faithfulness. What was His perfect faithfulness? That whoever believes (continually believe) in Him shall for no reason perish. This is impregnated with the truth that the God who had already completed working wonders even before the foundation of the world will now reveal them that those who believe may not sin. Herein is carried out the exaltation of God by the faithful. Belief in God has such great strength that it allows us to live without sin. While the very intention of sin (Satan’s work) is to produce suffering in us, our belief in God has the very intent to keep us sinless. For this reason, a righteous man once said “Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire?” (Job 3:11). Since he believed that by belief in God he became sinless, he said that his death should have come quickly after his birth implying that he would not have suffered. But, he lived and suffered, and still did not sin when suffered. It was the intention of Satan’s work that produced suffering in him. What does this mean to us today? Though he desired to have died to overcome suffering, but lived and suffered, he still remained sinless. He was sinless, because he knew God’s ability through believing Him. Intense suffering causes any to speak like Job, but it is belief in God that makes peace with our life. When he spoke he felt relieved and that made his belief all the more precious. So, whether he died before suffering or lived and suffered by belief it would have yielded in one fruit i.e. to be sinless. But, because he lived and suffered by belief it was credited to him as righteousness and hence, was made sinless.
One thing has to be learned by Christians of the present days. It is only by belief in God through His word, which reveals His works that they will overcome sin and all its work. Whether it is disbelief, rebellion, unrighteousness, immorality, etc all are forms of Satan’s work; they must be nullified in the cross on which Christ died. Even in times when Satan worked furiously, Job still relied on his belief in God, but not on the things around him or the counsel of his friends. For this reason, he was justified by God more than his friends in the end. To look toward man and incumbent teachings based on peripheral understanding of God for help, counsel, blessings or guidance is relying on the staff of a crushed reed. It will provide neither refuge nor salvation. “Now behold, you rely on the staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt; on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him” (2 Kings 18:21). It is not only frivolous to lean on the staff of a crushed reed, but is a tool for self infliction. The reason that Job relied heavily on his belief in God is simple – it had already provided him with wondrous works, which God carried out in perfect faithfulness. Unless our belief in God has brought forth certain confirming works it will not help us to overcome Satan and his work. Those confirming works begin with the induction of repentance, then baptism and much more.
For the lack of confirming works many Christians are actually without Christ. Not only are they suffering, but their suffering is not being justified by their belief in God. The works of sin they possess has become an evidence of this. It is as obvious as Israel being punished by God and it is known, because of the presence of His word that reveals His works. “Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years” (Judg. 6:1). May the seven years in their days not be as seventy times seven for the unfaithful Christians at the coming of the Lord! Just as the Lord has desired for the world, may all Christians living on the peripheral teachings of Christ know the true Christ for repentance. It is a mandatory that all Christians understand the beholding eyes of God. Any evil and falsity committed in His sight shall not escape. If remained guilty to the end it will be for them in that day as the pursuing of enemies by God’s children. “Now these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah” (Josh. 10:16). They will desire for a hiding place, but there shall be none. Though they find one, it shall not be the one, since they would be encumbered with God’s wrath.
Rest assured that those who clean up their life by believing God will have the promise of His peace. This peace is what keeps us healthy, both on the outside and the inside. Whether you are a preacher, elder, leader or a mere Christian as long as your path does not assure you a hiding place from God, you are at peace with Him (for every hiding place from God is fictitious). This is marvelous, since a wondrous work of God has been performed in you through His Son, Jesus. By what Phinehas did to put an end to God’s wrath on Israel, it was said of him, “Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace” (Num. 25:12). This is the peace that gentile Christians are also to receive, which now is possible only through Christ. Since Christ Himself has become the peace to all who believe, he who has Christ in him has the covenant of peace from God.
For the peace that Israel received from God is in this manner – “From the sacrifice of the peace offerings he shall present an offering by fire to the LORD, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails” (Lev. 3:3). This offering was essential to abate the anger of God against Israel. This happened quite often and it became burdensome. Though it was burdensome they offered, since they knew the result of God’s wrath. But, what peace offering is present in these last days that Christians must offer to make peace with God? It is belief in His Son, whom He offered for our sins, and this is not burdensome. It must be offered with great zeal, which is our offering by fire. This is much more to God than the fat of many animals. Let not Christians make this belief trivial by predicting its working nature and by bringing their influence upon the kind of works it has already performed in those who believed. For this belief is what helps to overcome.