This teaching focuses on Daniel 10 and examines the Decline of the West and the Rise of the Spirit of Islam. Part 1 is the Sunday morning sermon, but because of the questions that people had, this topic is continued in the evening service. Parts 2 and 3 are actually one message, split in half because of the time involved in responding to people's questions.
Excerpt: Spiritual forces of wickedness can hinder the advancement of the kingdom of God.
Now, some of you will question that because you believe in the sovereignty of God in a Muslim sense of that word instead of in a Christian sense. In a Muslim understanding of the sovereignty of God, God is sovereign period. But in a Christian and biblical understanding of the sovereignty of God, God not only ordains the end result, but he ordains the means to that end. And therefore you and I must pray. Therefore you and I must witness. Therefore you and I must labor in God's vineyard to see God's will be done on earth. And there's a bit of a mystery here, but I want you to understand the Bible clearly teaches predestination. But it teaches predestination in a way that's different from Mohammed's understanding of predestination.
In Mohammed's understanding of predestination there's a capricious, unknowable God who arbitrarily simply decrees whatever comes to pass -- period. And so the response to that can be a kind of a que sera sera attitude...That's not a biblical or Christian view of the sovereignty of God...
Response: God and Evil, 3 The greatest illustration of how God is the Creator of all things and fully in control of everything, yet without himself committing sin, is the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ: that one event is fully a human action and fully the carrying out of the divine plan. On the one hand it is the greatest evil men have ever committed, but this same event is God's greatest act of love and kindness toward us.
In other words, God is the author of the crucifixion of Jesus, and it is a wholly good act on God's part. Yet the human actors in this event intended evil and committed a horrible sin against God. They were not forced to do what they did; they were not puppets on a string; they acted as they chose to act without coercion -- God never does violence to the will of the creature.
God has foreordained whatever comes to pass; yet God has given human beings the ability to make authentic choices without coercion.
You might find my blog on this topic of interest( http://www.sermonaudio.com/new _details3.asp?ID=7474 ).
God bless you,
Bob Vincent (10/2/2007)
from Alexandria, Louisiana
Response: God and Evil, 2 The Hebrew word, _ra_, translated "evil" in Isaiah 45:7 is contrasted with the Hebrew word, _shalom_, "peace." _Shalom_ is much broader than our concept of the absence of war; it also includes health, prosperity and well being. _Ra_ is the exact opposite of _shalom_; _ra_ includes all the things that Zoroaster attributed not to his god, Ahura Mazda, but to Angra Mainyu.
For Isaiah, as for the rest of Scripture, God's sovereignty extends to all events. That doesn't mean that God is the author of sin (God does not act contrary to his own nature; God does not and cannot sin.), but it does mean that sin doesn't happen outside of God's control or outside of his benevolent plan. For example, Joseph's brothers committed dreadful sin against him when they sold him into slavery. Yet all these terrible events took place under God's benevolent plan: "But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20).
Bob Vincent (10/2/2007)
from Alexandria, Louisiana
Response: God and Evil In Isaiah 45 the future king of Persia, Cyrus the Great, is addressed almost a century before his birth. Cyrus would be steeped in the Persian dualism that was given its most popular expression by Zoroaster (Zarathustra):
"He apprehended Ahura Mazda as God, the one eternal uncreated Being, wholly good, wise, and beneficent; but coexisting with him he saw another Being, the Evil Spirit, Angra Mainyu (Pahlavi Ahrimanc), who was wholly evil, ignorant, and malign, likewise uncreated, but doomed in the end to perish" [Mary Boyce, "Zoroaster, Zoroastrianism," _The Anchor Bible Dictionary_, Vol. VI, David Noel Freedman, ed., (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p. 1170.].
Against such dualism, the Holy Spirit moved Isaiah to write that there is only one God, the God of Israel. Isaiah explains that this one true God created all things and is completely sovereign over everything, including good and evil. This was completely contrary to what the future Cyrus would believe, indoctrinated as he was with Zoroastrian dualism. But, says Isaiah, the true God is the Creator of all things and fully in control of whatever happens.
Larry Shannon (10/1/2007)
from New York City
Great Sermon! Praise The Lord,
Hello there. I am listening to your sermon Principalities and Powers. In the beginning you teach that God, did not create evil.
You have said that all things have been created by God. But God did not create evil.
Could you please explain ISAIAH 45:7(5-10). I am enjoying you message/study.
Bob Vincent has been the pastor of the Grace Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Louisiana since 1975. He and his wife Sandy were married in 1968; they have five children and eleven grandchildren to date. ¬†In 1984, Grace established Grace Christian School, K-12. ¬†Bob is a native of South...