Grace and peace unto the Body of Christ, and greetings to those still in the world.
With evil growing exponentially, and the world growing increasingly hostile toward the Christian Church, Christians need to rely more than ever on the eternal Word of God for encouragement. What encourages us is that we believe the Word of God is true forever, so when our Lord Jesus says, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,” we can rest assured he was speaking the truth.
We believe this, because we believe that God is Omniscient: He knows everything, including the future. In times of trouble, we need to know that we can rely on Him to do what he says He will do. It is vitally important for Christians to become intimately familiar with the promises of God that we can hold them to our hearts in times of trouble. But we should also seize on passages where God declares His omniscience, for they will help us to understand that what He has written concerning the future of the Christian Church is reliable, and this is a comfort.
Isaiah 42:9 says that God declares “the former things…before they spring forth” and Isaiah 46:10 says that God declares “the end from the beginning.” These are the most oft-quoted verses proving God’s omniscience. But there is an oft-overlooked passage in the New Testament that demonstrates God’s omniscience even more poignantly than these.
In John 12:20-30, the Bible describes how the Greeks approached the Apostle Philip, desiring to see Jesus. Upon hearing this, Jesus was troubled, seeing it as a sign of His coming death on the cross and the fact that He would suffer and die not only for the sins of the Jewish people, but also for the Gentiles. Verses 26 and 27 are what we want to examine. Jesus speaks:
“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven saying,
“I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:27,28)
The power in this passage is in its simplicity. Let us look at it again.
“I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
The English student will be quick to notice that I [God] is the subject, and glorify is the verb. “Have glorified” means that the action was completed in the past, while “will glorify” means that the action occurs in the future. This is where it gets interesting, because the inclusion of the word both means that both the past and future actions have already been completed! God is essentially saying, “I have already done it, and I have already will do it.”
Now we have two choices in this matter. We can decide that a grammatical error was made in translation, and that what the author meant to say was “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again” (in fact, this is exactly how the passage is rendered in the New International Version), or—or, we can see it for what it is: that is, proof that God is Omniscient, and can, therefore, declare that which has not yet happened as though it already has.
We who believe know that the King James Version of the Bible was as inspired as the original manuscripts from which that Bible was translated. So, the first option is really not an option at all. We must, therefore, come to the obvious conclusion that the translation is correct, and that the Apostle John really did mean to write what he wrote. God is Omniscient. He really does declare the end from the beginning.
Brothers and sisters, if this doesn’t give you hope; if this doesn’t give you confidence; if this doesn’t make you excited, then you need to take your pulse and see if you are still alive. If you don’t believe God’s Word, then all this will be meaningless. But if you do believe, then this should give you goose bumps, as it gave me.
In these very difficult times, we will need to rely more and more on Jesus Christ for hope, strength, and assurance. Scriptures like this show us that we can believe in Him. For He is who He says He is. He will not only do it; He has already done it.
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Stay encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Still Man