Providentially Empowered And Purposed

God has a number of purposes for mankind. Historical events and current events are moving us into the direction of a major prophecy about Israel.
Providentially Empowered And Purposed
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Anyone that reverentially and prayerfully reads the Holy Bible will come to the conclusion that God has sovereign control over the universe and anything else {1} He created. And they will also see that while God is Sovereign, beings like us and the angels have a level of freewill. However, His ultimate purposes remain unshakeable and set to be fulfilled.

In theological and Biblical studies the term “providence” expresses the fact of God’s sovereign control over all things, but also branches out to describe more specific ways and areas {2}. One specific way includes occurrences from God or permitted by God

and unplanned by us. Reading from Genesis to Malachi we will notice that people are seemingly more distant from God after Israel and Judah sinned and Judah was exiled.

Many of the inhabitants of Judah had been taken to Babylon, but the time came that Babylon fell to Media Persia. The Book of Esther records an amazing account of how the Jews were spared annihilation. Also amazing is the fact that though fasting is mentioned the term “God” is not found in the book of Esther. Neither are any titles of God, like Almighty, found in the book. However, as one reads the book they will find numerous providential occurrences that would certainly point to the workings of God to His glory and on behalf of the Jews.

For this message we are going to consider only one sentence from Esther, but in order for that sentence to make sense to those not acquainted with Esther we will need an outline of events to that point. Very briefly, the book begins with a description of a feast initiated by King Ahasuerus. At one point (Esther 1:11) he summoned his wife, Queen Vashti, to come to his gathering “wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold.” She refused and he removed her as queen.

After a time it was recommended to the king that a new queen be selected and he agreed. A number of young virgins were enlisted to prepare themselves to come before the king so he could make a selection. Among them was Hadassah, also called Esther, a Jewish orphan whom Mordecai, her cousin, took care of. Out of the many young ladies to choose from, Ahasuerus chose Esther to be his new queen.

In Esther 2:21-23 we then read, “In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 But the plot became known to Mordecai and he told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai's name. 23 Now when the plot was investigated and found to be so, they were both hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles in the king's presence.”

Just after that Ahasuerus elevated Haman to a position of honor and commanded people to bow down and pay homage to him. Mordecai refused. When the king’s officials questioned him about this he said he was a Jew. Haman wanted to kill Mordecai, but thought it would be better to kill all the Jews along with him. A date was selected, by chance, for that purpose and the king made a decree to that end not knowing that Esther was a Jew.

There was, of course, great dismay amongst the Jews. Esther heard that for some reason Mordecai had put on sackcloth. She was unaware of the plot to kill the Jews. She then heard from Mordecai about the decree who also indicated to her she needed to do something about the matter immediately. However, Esther had not been summoned by the king for thirty days and she informed Mordecai she (and anyone else)  would be killed if she entered his court without being summoned -- unless the king would hold out his golden scepter to her.

Mordecai replied (Esther 4:13-14 AKJV), “Think not with yourself that you shall escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14  For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but you and your father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

We will focus upon that last sentence for this message. If we are truly saved, born again, having Christ within, we can, and must, certainly apply that sentence to our own lives and time. Before we do, we must note that all the providential happenings just mentioned from the Book of Esther, along with those not mentioned, and the other providential happenings recorded after our text, were instrumental in rescuing the Jews from annihilation. From the last sentence of verse 14 we will see three things a Christian is to be.

I. Be Receptive

“. . . who knows whether . . .”

Most like to keep God at a distance. Subconsciously their flesh knows all too well that if they surrender to God through Christ they then become crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20). The old nature wants to live. So happenstance is often regarded as happenstance, or given some idolatrous term like “karma” when it seems like some type of cosmic vindication occurred. 

For the average Jew of Esther’s day we cannot really say what they were thinking in regard to God’s activity. Did He forsake them? Had the majority of the Jews gotten so spiritually low so that God would not have anything to do with them? Was God doing anything at all about their situation?

While unsaved people today might have similar questions, those who are redeemed by Christ now have the whole Word of God which includes the testimonies of those before us. We now have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and by God's grace are more enabled to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Yet it is good we wonder at happenstance at times because this spurs us to seek God’s direction. Consider when Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, especially when he arrives where Abraham’s relatives are at. Reading Genesis 24:12-21 we see the servant prays, asking God for a series of events to occur and even before he is finished praying Rebekah, Isaac’s future wife, is heading to the well where the servant is. She then “just happens” to fulfill every indicator requested to God by the servant.

God is very providentially active in today’s world. He is also providentially active in your life whether you are redeemed or not. Those that are redeemed recognize such providence more. Providential occurrences might occur more to the redeemed, when you come into the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of God’s Son. God’s Kingdom is the best place for anyone to be in, especially in our times, even though that means persecution in various degrees.

II. Be Enabled

“. . . you are come to the kingdom . . .”

God is not willing any should perish. In various ways, but foundationally by His Spirit, He beckons each of us sinners to forsake our life of sin destined for damnation and surrender to His Way, the only Way (John 14:16). I would like to use two human examples, myself and Martin Luther. Do I think I am like Martin Luther? Yes, because we have at least two things in common: each of us were born sinners destined for hell and God loves us both. The same is true for you.

Providence, Me, And Salvation

One of the earliest providential occurrences to me, and one of the most memorable,  that nudged me to the salvation found only in Christ happened when I was a young boy. My family would visit cemeteries to remember loved ones that passed on. My maternal grandmother’s body was buried in a cemetery in North Arlington, New Jersey. That is a big cemetery and, since it was a shorter walk, we would park at the dead end of Devon Street (or maybe Elm Street), and walk through an area of trees and shrubs, then into the cemetery and over to the grave. On such a trek one day a bee or some insect notified the right side of my forehead and I started crying and wailing. For many years after that I was very afraid of many flying insects. Keep that in mind as I recount a few more things before I surrendered to Christ.

Around the age of ten or eleven I was arrested. I felt horribly ashamed. I was so ashamed and embarrassed that I did not want to eat my meals with my family and ate them while watching TV. But then, my parents bought for me a multi-band shortwave radio and I got into the hobby of shortwave listening. It was fun and exciting to hear foreign stations, send in reception reports, and receive QSL cards or other verification. QSLs cards are like postcards that list verification items on it. At one point I received a QSL from Trans World Radio in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Along with it was a Gospel tract titled “Religion Is A Drag.” Though I did not come to Christ immediately after reading it, it did help me to realize there was a vast difference between religion and a relationship with God through Christ. I consider my arrest, the shortwave radio, and that tract to be providential toward my salvation. 

In my junior year in high school a sophomore befriended me, Bob Wittik. We would walk home from school together and talk about different things. There were times the conversation turned to the topic of God. Bob encouraged me to listen to evangelist Billy Graham. Graham would always seem to tie current events to things in the Holy Bible. He began to preach from Revelation.

As a young boy I had been interested in the spookiness of the end of the world. I had an uncle that got me interested in Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and a lot of satanic {3} things. But the book of Revelation is part of the Word of God, although I did not solidly think so at the time. I read Revelation, not once, not twice, but four times before coming to Christ. I knew if Billy Graham’s sermons were right then certainly there is a God, and He is holy, and I was a sinner and therefore doomed to experience Revelation 6 through 20 if that time would occur in my lifetime. And, thanks to that sting on my forehead about ten years earlier, to me the most frightening passage was Revelation 9:1-6, the fifth trumpet. Here are verses 3 to 6:

“. . . out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. 6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.”

Do not take that too figuratively. I know Revelation has a lot of symbolism, but, if you read it, some things that could not be literally fulfilled before the 1900s can certainly be literally fulfilled today. Anyhow, I sure did not want to go through any of it. Then, on Sunday January 25 Billy Graham’s message made very good sense. And, after hearing him so many times, I was very much aware that he beckoned me to Christ and not to a religion. Less than an hour after the broadcast I knelt at my bed and asked Christ to come into my life. He did. What a tremendous peace! What tremendous release from shame, guilt, despair, an more!

Providence, Me, And Serving

About four or five weeks later I felt the call to the ministry and by His grace, in His kingdom I am a pastor, evangelist, and teacher. By His grace I play the keyboard (used to be a piano when there was one) for worship, produce audio messages and video when I can and more. This is by His grace and His grace includes providential occurrences that occurred before I was redeemed.

My interest in piano was sparked when as a very young boy I came across one at a wedding reception. I tapped one of the lowest keys and the deep bass sound grabbed my heart. I took piano lessons years later. My parents also bought various kits at times, one of which was an electronics kit. We built various radios.

In regard to radio, we would travel back and forth from Kearny to Jersey City, New Jersey. There were times we would use NJ-7. Back then there were three transmitter sites: WOR, WNEW, and WMCA. I would have greatly enjoyed to go inside those buildings and watch the technicians work. Well, since I was a young boy I really wanted to twist and turn the knobs myself. And, after I came to Christ I served as a Christian radio announcer at Servants For Christ Radio (studio in LaVale, MD) and later at He’s Alive Radio in Grantsville, MD.

During those younger days none in my family, including myself, knew God through Christ. I do not know what it was about, but there were times my parents would violently argue, cursing at each other. On one trip back from Jersey City I was shaking and in tears on the back seat of our car as Mom and Day vehemently argued. Then, one evening, while they thought I was asleep I heard my mother threaten my dad with divorce {4}. That made a very deep cut in my heart. But God has used that in the ministry He has assigned me to reach out to those who are having trouble in their marriage {5}.

At this point I would ask about you. Surely there have been occurrences to you to bring you into the Kingdom and be used in His services. Perhaps you have been ignoring some things that were very providential. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you along that line.

Martin Luther

Now, Martin Luther. Before Luther was born much of the world was in deep spiritual darkness due to the Catholic Church.  One of the worst things was, and still is, its denial in doctrine and practice of the sufficiency and completeness of the work of Christ. Quite a number, however, responded to God and stood upon His Word down through the centuries. By the providence of God Luther would become one of them.

{6} Luther’s dad wanted him to be a lawyer. His training in that field prepared him in a way to surrender to Christ (since Christ paid our penalty). The plague was quite prevalent in his time and area and people were dying all around, so Luther was naturally concerned about his own mortality and his encounter with God upon leaving this world. Returning home one day he was almost struck by lightning, and being spared from that he joined a monastery in 1505.

Luther was later ordained, and became a professor. He was influenced by another priest, John von Staupitz, in regard to various spiritual matters. Luther was sent on business to Rome. While there from November 1510 to April 1511 he was shocked by certain practices and the corruption in Rome. He later yielded to God’s revelation that we are justified by faith in Christ alone and not by our works. 

III. Be Active

“ . . . for such a time as this.”

Returning to the story in Esther, it was decreed that the Jews would be annihilated by the citizens on a certain date. Esther did take action which was immediately followed by a series of providential occurrences where Haman was finally hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.

What about our times? Paul by the Spirit says in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that “the ends of the ages have come” upon the Church, the Body of Christ. Without taking the time to bring


out other eschatological points, a main age about to end is the age of the Gentiles (Daniel 2) and then the Millennial Reign Of Christ on earth will begin. From what many Holy Bible scholars see, there is a seven or a three and half year period of time that occurs right before Christ’s reign on earth. You probably have heard of that time period as The Great Tribulation.

The Great Tribulation will be used to bring the remnant of Israel to the true Messiah. By the Holy Spirit, Paul writes in Romans 10:1 (KJV), “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” And, in Romans 11:26 we read, “and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.’” Zechariah 12 to 14 gives us further insight to this coming time.

Greater Freedom

The Body of Christ has greater freedom today in a few countries to proclaim the Gospel to all, including Jews, than what there was in the Middle Ages. To free the true Body of Christ to be a coworker with God in our present time God set in motion a number of occurrences, stopped certain things, or permitted certain things so that the Protestant Reformation might occur.

A quick way to print literature would be needed to create literature for evangelism and instruction. Wood blocks were in use around 200 AD and movable type was developed in 1040. Then, Gutenberg developed the printing press. Copies of the Latin Vulgate were the first thing from it. This happened around 1440, less than a hundred years from the Protestant Reformation.

As the 1500s rolled in God raised up William Tyndale who translated much of the Holy Bible from the original languages into the English of his time. It was during those years Luther entered a monastery along with the other things mentioned above. And, as mentioned, at some point he truly trusted in Christ alone for his salvation.

{7} The Catholic Church began to sell indulgences. Pay an amount and you will free a deceased loved one from Purgatory and let them get to heaven. Of course, there is no Purgatory {8}, but the average person did not have access to a Holy Bible and was very conditioned to believe anything the Catholic Church would say. Some of Luther’s parishioners heard about the sales and traveled a short distance to pay the fee to set a loved one free. Luther heard about this and took offense that indulgences were being sold.

Luther drafted 95 theses and posted them on the church door at Wittenberg Germany October 31, 1517, the day before All Saints Day. Such doors functioned as bulletin boards in those times, and we might consider the 95 theses as “talking points.” However there was hardly any civil discourse on the matter by Catholic officials and Luther was now “in hot water” over the matter. Eventually Luther and his followers broke away from the Catholic Church. Others throughout much of Europe did the same. Numerous groups of believers began to develop.

Why A Lot Of Denominations

These rightfully broke away from the Catholic Church because it is very clear the Holy Scriptures indicate there is to be no fellowship between light and darkness. And while different groups were formed partly because of slight differences in understanding certain doctrines, different groups came about mainly because of geography, physical distance from other groups, and other reasons. Again, I would say a providential occurrence, fulfilling to a degree what the Savior said in Matthew 13:31-32 “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."

Briefly on this point, while some moan and grown about all the different Christian denominations and fellowships today they forget at least three things. First, as we have just seen, Jesus said it would happen and gave no indication that such would not be of His will. Second, they either forget or are blind to the fact there is a level of unity in Christ amongst the various groups. Third, the more branches there are more birds will find refuge. This all helps to bring many souls to Christ both non-Jewish and Jewish.

Numerous Providential Occurrences

Since the Protestant Reformation many areas have greatly developed to facilitate the spreading of the Gospel in our time which is very near to the end of the Gentile Age. Printing has gone from the printing press to copy machines to computers and digitalization. Of course, to facilitate that and other developments, God permitted an increase of knowledge so that the industrial revolution came about from around 1760 to 1840.

Also, to help spread the Gospel, God has seen to it that communications have been greatly developed. After the telegraph and telephone radio was developed. It was then discovered that, given some other factors, transmissions below 30mHz were capable of going throughout the world. When I was a young man I heard the Gospel on shortwave not only from the United States but also from Ecuador, Bonaire, and other locations. After radio came TV. Communications satellites were developed and even closer to the end of this age the Internet came into existence. Now the average Christian, the most shy Christian, any Christian can let people almost anywhere know about the gracious power of Christ to release us from our sins and give us real life and everlasting life.

There are more real Christians now to propagate the Gospel than there would have been if the Catholic Church was still holding a demonic spiritual grip on lives. After the Protestant Reformation there have been a number of revivals including the Great Awakening and Azusa Street. Various types of people were raised up to reach the lost. Billy Graham was one of them. All this and more makes ready for the end of the end of the ages when Israel turns to Christ.

Concerning The Jews

But the Jews had been scattered since 70 AD. However, and so all shall see Holy Bible prophecy shall come to pass, numerous providential occurrences over the centuries, but many more from around 150 years ago, happened that eventually brought forth two key elements of Armageddon, an event at the very end of the Gentile Age: Israel as a geographical and political entity, and something that could be referred to as “all nations” coming against her.

As the world entered the 1900s Jerusalem was in the control of the Ottoman Empire. Eventually British armed forces endeavored to liberate Jerusalem. {9} Chaim Weizmann invented artificial acetone which greatly helped the British war effort. As a result, Earl Arthur Balfour, a friend of Weizmann, promised British support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland. An article on Aish.com continues to note, “Balfour's support for a Jewish homeland became known in history as the Balfour Declaration which was issued in the form a letter to Lord Rothschild on November 2nd, 1917.  . . . One month later, in December of 1917, the Turks surrendered Jerusalem to the British.”

Within three decades from that point two things occurred which set the stage for Joel 3:1-2 to literally come to pass: The United Nations came into existence in 1945 and the nation of Israel was established in 1948. The Temple Mount came under Jewish control in 1967, but the Jewish powers of that time permitted the mosques to stay and come under Muslim oversight. Now read Revelation 11. It should become clear to all we are in an epic time, very near to the end of the Age of the Gentiles.

Providential Occurrences In The U. S. A.

Because the United States (U.S.A.) was initially the friend of Israel and at its inception was to be a land of religious freedom, among other freedoms, a few more observations are to be made in regard to providential occurrences. Surely anyone can conclude that President Donald Trump is very unique. His election was a surprise to many, including me. But before him we had Barack Obama and under his rule religious freedom was greatly suppressed specifically for Christians, and a shame of his administration was the promotion of the homosexual agenda.

Now, while, in my opinion, Donald Trump is not the best thing for the U.S.A. I greatly thank God he is President. Mr. Trump so far has proven to be a true friend of Israel. I would think this means the U.S.A. will feel a smaller measure of the wrath of God once it is poured forth on the nations. Also under Trump the oppression of the Christian faith has lessened. In other words, if you are a Christian in the U.S.A. it would be very wise for us to take this window of opportunity and increase our efforts by the power of the Spirit to propagate the Gospel and edify the Body of Christ.

I definitely feel it was providential that Donald Trump became the U.S. President. Consider the 2012 election when Obama won, oddly enough, a second term. It was very evident he was very inept. Mitt Romney challenged him for the presidency. To me the choice was easy. However, some Christians did not vote for Romney because he was a Mormon. While Mormons have been classified as a cult, at least, to the best of my knowledge, they are pro-Israel and pro-life. It was very evident Obama was neither, but for some odd reason, oh, OK, the providence of God, a cluster of Evangelicals did not vote for Romney.

After eight years of the liberal agenda, milk toast international involvement, overemphasis on climate change while ISIS was torturing and killing people, and a few more other nauseating things, apparently many in the U.S.A. wanted a drastic change. And note very well who was running on the Democrat side. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Ah! No! One more: Martin O’Malley. Though I would never vote for him, had the Democrats focused upon him and not chase after “get a woman in as president” or the sweetness of the poison of socialism, they might have trumped Trump. Better yet would have been Joe Biden, but it just happened his son had recently died. Biden declined to run but, if he had, perhaps he would be the U.S. President now.

So, despite his numerous insults to numerous groups, his shortcomings and big mistakes, we have Donald Trump. However, be very mindful he currently favors Israel, tends to be pro-life, and under his administration Christians have it a little easier. But let us keep in mind it is easier for us to minister. And look a little further. Trump said his son-in-law could bring peace to the Middle East. Again, read the Holy Scriptures and realize that unless this is a “dress rehearsal’ we are on the verge of Armageddon.

For Such A Time As This

With that anyone who has come to Christ should realize we have come into the Kingdom of God for such a time as this. Let us tell all we are led to tell, in any way the Spirit of God leads us to tell, about the saving merciful power of Christ. God really does not want anyone to be damned, but each person has to make the choice to commit to God through Christ. Let us do what we can while we can. And let us build up each other in the Body of Christ.

If you are not a real Christian please realize God wants you to fully trust Him now through Jesus Christ alone. We cannot earn God’s salvation. We will never be good enough for Him. But once Christ comes in He makes us worthy. If you do come to Christ please grab the fishing net and let us bring more to Him. 

Notes:

{1} Decades ago it would not be necessary for me to add the phrase “anything else” because the universe was understood by most as that in which everything is. However, our current society seems to be shifting on many matters and I have seen phraseology that indicated some, including some scientists, feel there is a possibility of more than one universe. Whatever there is, God is in control.

{2} Thiessen,‭ ‬Henry Clarence: Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology (Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich) 1968 p177

{3} Not capitalized on purpose. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

{4} My parents never divorced. They surrendered to Christ almost a year after I did!

{5} Please visit my Marriage Pages at https://oasisofhope.neocities.org/ma00.html .

{6} Adapted, edited, and abbreviated from Unger, Merrill F.: Unger's Bible Handbook (Moody Press, Chicago, IL: 1967), p 909

{7} Adapted, edited, and abbreviated from Bainton, Roland H.: Here I Stand   A Life Of Martin Luther (The New American Library Of World Literature, New York, New York / Copyright 1950 by Pierce and Smith) pp59-60

{8} Please read the article Good News About Purgatory at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/good-news-about-purgatory .

{9} Adapted, edited, and abbreviated from the article Israel Independence Day http://www.aish.com/h/iid/48961161.html

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by November 20, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M474 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 20-10-2017 94 3

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  • nbillett  27-10-2017
    Thank you BrotherPete for sharing such a deep article. A lot of information here to digest. First I want to thank you for sharing your personal stories. Secondly, I did not fancy the Obama regime either for as you said it glorified and promoted homosexuality and it was too celebrity focused and overemphasized. There are still many persons who resort and depend on horoscopes and astrology to dictate how and when they should behave and act, instead of depending and trusting in God.
    reply 1
  • goldstay  21-10-2017
    Thank you for sharing this article but what is your main point in writing this? A lot of topics has been branched out in this article. But anyway, I just want to focus my comment to Esther. I read a lot about her and she's the rhetoric of marginalized group. She is a strong woman of faith.
    reply 0
    • BrotherPete  25-10-2017
      Greetings goldstay. The three headings, Be Receptive (some people do not see the hand of God), Be Enabled, Be Active. God bless!
      0
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