Before Eternal Times

” … that Sovereign Being who has an absolute right to do what he will with his own, having determined to create man and to leave him to the freedom of his own will, foreseeing he would certainly fall ; of his free distinguishing love, chose a certain number out of the apostate race of Adam, and ordained them to a participation of grace here, and to the enjoyment of glory hereafter” (Abraham Booth, The Reign Of Grace).

Says Booth: “…and to leave him to the freedom of his own will, foreseeing he would certainly fall.” That’s in line with the Wicked Westminster Confession:

“being left to the liberty of their own will” (WCF 4.2).

Yea, indeed, the WCF men and Booth perversely labored under the delusion that the Sovereign Creator “unGods” Himself by “sovereignly” leaving the creature to his own sovereignty.

“Oh your perversity! Shall the former be counted as the clay? For shall the work of its maker say, He did not make me? Or shall the thing formed say to him who formed it, He does not understand?” (Isaiah 29:16).

Abraham Booth and the men of Westminster have confounded potter and clay. For in their scheme the “Sovereign Clay” is the ultimate metaphysical cause of its own fall, and the ultimate creator and former of its own demise.

The salvation that is found exclusively in Jesus Christ is according to God’s eternal purpose. God made the fall of Adam (and in him his posterity) an inevitable certainty by ordaining and causing it to happen. Many who adhere to the Westminster Confession speak of things like the fall of Adam and especially the fall of Satan as the “greatest mystery” in all of Scripture. To them, the most profound and perplexing mystery is the origin of sin in created beings. To those who submit to the clear testimony of Scripture, it is not a mystery at all. God ordained before eternal times to elect and save His people and to actively cause the fall so that He might be glorified in the Person and Work of His Son.

“according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11).

“Then do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, His prisoner. But suffer hardship with the gospel, according to the power of God, the One having saved us and having called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before eternal times, but now revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ, indeed making death of no effect, bringing life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a herald and apostle and a teacher of nations” (2 Timothy 1:8-11).

“So, then, to whom He desires, He shows mercy. And to whom He desires, He hardens. You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? Yes, rather, O man, who are you answering against God? Shall the thing formed say to the One forming it, Why did You make me like this? Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, out of the one lump to make one vessel to honor, and one to dishonor? But if God, desiring to demonstrate His wrath, and to make His power known, endured in much long-suffering vessels of wrath having been fitted out for destruction, and that He make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He before prepared for glory, whom He also called, not only us, of Jews, but also out of nations” (Romans 9:18-24).