Practically every scientist and scholar upon the earth would agree that the actions and their results which can be observed in the earth, have a root cause. We can see this most clearly demonstrated by the fervor of the rank and file who warn us of our impending doom due to the dreaded, “climate change” which they tell us men are the cause of. Of course, this very term was coined due to a lack of concrete evidence of what was once called “global warming”.
We do not bring this subject up to engage in a debate about “climate change”, because we believe very much in it. The climate has changed in one fashion or another throughout the course of the world’s history according to the good pleasure of HIM who made the Earth and its inhabitants. The great scholars among men tell us of ice ages and periods of great warmth which have occurred in the earth. They even tell us (with a straight face, as if they knew) that this is what ultimately killed the supposed “dinosaurs” whose “bones” they have unearthed.
So, while we have no debate at all about these changes or that we might be in the midst of one of those changes in the present time, we are very much in opposition to the notion that man is the one who can “cause” these changes or prevent them from occurring. Science “falsely, so called” does not deny cause and effect. The proponents of it however often treat it (i.e.; science) like a god which they worship, in direct concert with their affirmations of man’s free will and his ability to change his outcome by the power thereof. Many of them actually believe they can extend the lifespan of men in one fashion or another by the same in concert with various “discoveries” of their own making. (see Job 14:5,6; Job 7:1; Ps.39:4)
So back to our original premise that most men (scholars and scientists especially) believe strongly in an underlying cause of the events which occur in the earth. While they would set forth this truth, they would with very little exception, deny that the Sovereign GOD of the universe is the FIRST CAUSE of all events in the Earth, the Heavens, and regions known and unknown to men. By nature, man takes great delight in his supposed mastery over his own fate and only acknowledges the hand of GOD in occurrences for which he has no better “explanation”. He might refer to GOD’s “intervention” from time to time, as if all things just go along like a child’s wind up toy, until HE “intervenes” to remedy this or that situation. This is a very foolish view, since the LORD, HIMSELF declares, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa 45:7) “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.-----I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa 46: 10,11)
Paul writes to the Thessalonians about a “power” or “cause” over which man has no control. The word that he uses to describe this “powerful and irresistible force” is “effectual working”. In the original Greek, the word which is used in the KJV is “energeo” which literally means “active and efficient.” It is the root word from which our English word “energy” is derived.
Paul writes concerning the “cause” of his rejoicing, which he says is the result of his observation of the power of the WORD of GOD which manifested itself in those that were given ears to hear. This word did not simply go in one ear and out of the other, nor did they regard the TRUTH which Paul was enabled to deliver to them, as the mere words of men. Rather they embraced the TRUTH for what it was, “the WORD of GOD”. When the LORD is pleased to open the heart of a man to receive the TRUTH, he will cleave to it and be as that “good ground” which the LORD spoke of in HIS parable of the sower, “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” (Mat 13:8)
The LORD described this “effectual working” to Isaiah, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa 55:10-11) We do not know every thought or purpose which the LORD shall bring to pass in the course of demonstrating HIS saving work in HIS elect children, but HE is pleased to manifest HIS work in them by an “effectual working”. HE does not hope or try to draw HIS people to HIMSELF, rather HE does so by HIS mighty power.
We see this same concept declared by Peter on the day of Pentecost, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39) The LORD’s promise is not a conditional offer of blessing which HE leaves up to man to take advantage of. Rather, HE who makes the promise, also fulfills the promise in those to whom the promise is given.
HE does so by an “effectual working” of HIS WORD, applied through the power of HIS SPIRIT who awakens those dead in trespasses and sins, causing them to hear the WORD of GOD. The outcome of that “calling” is never in doubt for it is indeed an “effectual calling”. Did HE not say, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28) “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) HE is both the GIVER and the FULFILLER of HIS own promise.
A great amount of time is spent by many, trying to make the goats act like the sheep. This is largely due to a false idea or notion that mere preaching and teaching can cause men to walk in obedience to the truth of GOD. Paul understood that such was a waste of time and he was not interested in trying to reform dead men but rather rejoiced at the demonstration of the LORD’s power to transform those whom HE is pleased to work in. “We give thanks to God always for you all, --- Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, ---Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost.” (1Thes 1:2-5)
Preaching, without this POWER (effectually working) is no true preaching at all but is mere entertainment or a religious exercise which cannot profit those who sit under it. Men cannot cause this POWER to be present and men cannot prevent it either (thanks be unto GOD). Neither can the carnal abilities of men enhance it, or their ignorance diminish it. The LORD may work in the mighty wind or HE may be pleased to minister to HIS elect in a still small voice. Regardless of the fashion or circumstance in which HE is pleased to manifest HIS power, HE will bring his purpose to pass, and will humble sinners in the dust and cause them to praise HIM. “Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.” (Isa 50:2)
The LORD JESUS CHRIST is that ONE who is revealed in the Gospel, of which Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom 1:16) Has HE wrought “effectually” in you? Have you received the WORD of GOD as it is in TRUTH?