Chapter 11

God's Will vs. His Secret Will

Brother William Branham had a foundational doctrine that is found throughout his sermons. It is the doctrine of the "Sovereignty Of God." God controls affairs in heaven and in earth. He is in charge of all that breathes, of inanimate objects, and of every circumstance. A leaf cannot move, a ripple cannot come on the water, nor can a sparrow fall without His permission. We will not use our space in this sermon proving this doctrine, but we have the message "The Sovereignty of God" available upon request.
In preaching "The Sovereignty of God" around the country, I have found that there is one main question in the minds of God's Bride. How can the Bible and the prophet teach that the will of God is always being done when it is clearly evident that men violate His WRITTEN WORD daily? His Word is His WILL!
The question is well put and needs an answer from the prophet and from the scriptures. As we have been taught, if there is a Bible question, then there is a Bible answer. That is true concerning the question before us. First let us read a statement by the prophet.
QUOTE: CHURCH AGE BOOK, PAGE 369, "The will of God will be done regardless. Amen! I hope you see this. It will not only clear up much of what is seen in all ages, but it will especially help in this last age, WHEN THE WHOLE PERIOD IS SO AGAINST THE WORD." (End quote)
Now, notice what he said, "If we can see that our God is always in charge-----(His will being done regardless) ----it will help us in this last age---WHEN MOST ALL THAT IS HAPPENING IS AGAINST THE WORD."
There seems, on the surface, to be a contradiction of terms here. How can the will of God be done when the whole period is going against the written Word, which Word is His will? If men are violating His written Word daily, and they are, how then can it be said that His will is being done regardless?
The written commandment "Do not kill." is broken daily. The commandments that tell us not to lie, steal, and commit adultery are broken daily. The command "Do not bear false witness." is violated daily. Then how could Brother Branham say that the will of God is being done, regardless of these many violations?
What is needed is to see from the scriptures and from the message that God has both a REVEALED WILL and a SECRET WILL. It is true that His revealed will, as shown in the Scriptures, is violated daily. On the other hand, it is just as true that He has a secret will that can never be changed, not violated.
God has in His will a secret plan that He made before creation. This plan is in full progress daily. It cannot be changed or violated by man nor devil. His master plan reaches out and takes in all the ways in which men daily break His REVEALED WILL and makes all these violations conform to His SECRET WILL.
Let us first establish that our prophet taught that God has such a SECRET WILL, then we will go to the scriptures.
QUOTE: DOING GOD A SERVICE, PAGE 10, "God reveals this Word in the season, and to whom He chooses to reveal it to. He chose that before the foundation of the world. All His doings were foreknown by Him, HIDDEN FROM MAN. He just reveals them as He wills." (End quote)
Here he plainly says that God made a plan before the foundation of the world. What He would do was FOREKNOWN by Him, and also that He hid this plan from man, only revealing it when and to whom He chooses. And so, we see that the prophet's statement is not at all contradictory. When he said, "God's will is going to be done regardless.", he made reference to His secret will, a plan made before He created. When he again said, " The whole period is against the Word.", he made reference to God's written or revealed will that is broken daily.
Man breaking the revealed will of God does in no way stop, or hinder, His secret, or overall will and plan from being done. This revelation will, in the days to come, be instrumental in bringing the Bride into PERFECT FAITH. To see that He controls even those things that we deem to be evil, and makes them to conform to His secret plan, will instill in us a trust in Jesus Christ that the enemy will be unable to shake.
Prov. 16:4, "The Lord hath made all things for Himself, yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."
Isa. 45:5-7, "I am the Lord and there is none else, there is no God beside me. I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me. That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord and there is none else. I FORM THE LIGHT, AND CREATE DARKNESS, I MAKE PEACE AND CREATE EVIL. I THE LORD DO ALL THESE THINGS."
Amos 3:6, "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city and the Lord hath not done it?"
Job 2:10, "----Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and not evil?"
Prov. 21:1, "The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water He turneth it whither soever He wills."
Let a ruler arise that is ever so evil, yet his heart is in God's hands, and God controls his doings to fit His own secret will.
Prov. 21:30, "There is no wisdom or understanding (That can come) against the Lord." (His secret plan)
Ps. 33:10, "The council of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart (His secret will) to all generations."
The Bible teaches us from Genesis to Revelation that God's secret will moves steadily forward, toward the conclusion of His will and plan, and that in spite of man's continual violation of His revealed will.
The most evil act that was ever committed on earth was the slaying of the "Holy One of Israel." When Judas betrayed our Lord, he certainly broke the commandment that we should "Love our neighbor and our brother as ourselves." The sins of the High Priest, and of the Roman rulers concerning their part in our Lord's death, only added to the secret will of God in that it pleased Him to "Smite the Shepherd" (Zec. 13:7). The secret will of God to die for His own was in full swing, and the violation of God's revealed will could do naught but fulfill the plan.
It was sin for Pharaoh to continue holding the Israelites in the face of God's command to "Let My people go." God hates slave masters. But all things considered, it was best that he held them. God's SECRET WILL revealed to Moses was, "I will harden his heart that he will not let the people go." (Ex. 4:21) God had determined to show His mighty power before both the Israelites and the Egyptians, and the sins of Pharaoh could but aid the plan.
It was God's DECLARED WILL that the brothers of Joseph should honor and respect him as a Spiritual man, but it was His SECRET WILL that they should sell him as a slave into Egypt. Therefore, the sins of the brothers were made to carry out God's plan to save the known world from a seven year famine, through the knowledge and wisdom of Joseph as an under ruler in Egypt.
It was God's REVEALED WILL that the nominal church should receive and honor John the Revelator as one of God's chosen vessels, but it was His SECRET WILL that He be placed on the Isle of Patmos in order to receive the Book of Revelation for us. And so it was that the sins of the Government and the Church were made to aid God's plan.
In the Garden of Eden we can now plainly see that God had a SECRET WILL and plan that He was carrying out. His REVEALED WILL to Adam was, "Do not partake of the forbidden fruit.", but His SECRET PLAN was that they should partake, that sin should enter and thereby His great desire to be a Saviour be fulfilled. Lucifer and the Serpent were but tools in the hands of Omnipotence, and Adam's and Eve's sin did not disrupt His SECRET PLAN. Rather did it give occasion for it to be carried out.
QUOTE: THEN JESUS CAME, PAGE 17, "He sits tonight as the Majesty, He looks down on earth. There is not even a ripple can come on the water without Him, it's by His permission. The sea can't move, a leaf can't move, a bird can't fly (without His permission). He is above all
principalities and powers----He is so high until He has to look down to see Heaven." (End quote) Matt. 10:29, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father."
God, knowing that man would not keep His declared Written Will had prepared His Secret Will so that His Eternal Plan could not fail. Many times we do not understand His Secret Will, but He has shown us in His Word that He has one, that we may yet trust while we do not understand.
I Corinthians 2:7-8, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:"
Verse eight, "Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
I Thess. 5:18, "In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (This circumstance that you find yourself in at any given moment is my will for you.) (God planned it before He created, but He keeps His plan for us a secret. We meet it day by day.
This is not to say that our Lord is in agreement with sin, far from it, but we have to conclude that He allows it and controls it for our good.
All through the Bible we can see the difference between God's revealed will and His secret will. Was it God's revealed will for Paul (Saul) to persecute and kill Christians? No! Paul was beyond the bounds of God's Law that stated, "Thou shalt not kill." But all things considered, it was best that Paul persecuted the Christians. It caused them to scatter and take the Gospel into many other places. In that, then, the SECRET WILL of God was done.
It is one thing to see these precious truths in the scriptures, but quite another to apply them to our own personal, daily lives. We don't understand why certain things happen, but if our faith can reach out AND BELIEVE that His SECRET WILL is being done in everything that touches our lives, then we are approaching perfect faith.
We don't understand why a dedicated Christian man's house would burn and he would loose all. We don't understand a sickness that comes and remains for months, or even years, after we pray and do our best to believe. It's hard to understand why the Lord would ask His children to do without sometimes, when He owns the whole world and all the riches on it. But all things considered, it is best that we experience what we do. Through our many failures and our hard trials our character is being perfected.
We could say that the secret will of God is His business, and that it gives room for our faith to work, while His revealed will (as shown in the scriptures), is our duty and responsibility. When we fail in His revealed will, we have an advocate with the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is merciful to forgive.
Rom. 8:28, "And we KNOW that all things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called (Bride) according to HIS PURPOSE (plan)."
Dear Little Bride, how could ALL THINGS be working together for our good unless our God and Father is controlling ALL THINGS? And how could He be controlling ALL THINGS unless He has already defeated our enemy? Can we not see that this leaves Satan as a tool in Father's hands, taking orders concerning what he is able to do to us, even as he was controlled in what he did to Brother Job?
Surely the carnal, intellectual mind will be confused about these great truths, but the Bride is even now receiving the MIND OF CHRIST. The carnal church always sees the enemy working, while the Spiritual Bride will see God working. The carnal mind will be twisted by the lies of Satan, because the TEACHER is not in them.
QUOTE: POSSESSING THE ENEMY'S GATES, PAGE 13, "Now how the intellectual mind will be so twisted up. See the intellectual world was just as hard to overcome in Daniel's day as it is now. ITS ALWAYS BEEN THE ENEMY WORKING TO THEIR WAY OF SEEING. But there were those always who dared to stay there and say GOD IS RIGHT, GOD'S WORD IS TRUE." (End quote)
The Prophet said in the preceding quote, "It's always been the enemy working to their way of thinking." Then he went on to say, "But there has always been those who believed that God was right, and there is nothing going on that He is not controlling."
God created all things. No one who is born again questions this. Neither should we question the fact that He had some great end, or ends in view, worthy of His great Love, Power, and Wisdom, and that He is even at this moment controlling all things so as to accomplish His ends.
Ps. 33:11, "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generation."
All born-again people will accept the words of the Psalmist and declare with him, "O Lord, How manifest are thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all." Surely, we also understand that Creation was not the end of God's purpose concerning it. He never once thought to create the world, place man on it, and then leave both as playthings for Satan.
Isa. 46:9-10, "Remember the former things of old. For I am God and there is none else, I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the END FROM THE BEGINNING, AND FROM ANCIENT TIMES THE THINGS THAT ARE NOT YET DONE, saying My council shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."
It is only when we have the mighty revelation that our God has a SECRET WILL and PLAN that will most surely be realized, that we can intelligently appreciate every circumstance of our lives from our very birth even up to this hour. In these last hours of time, the Mighty God has condescended to take His Bride into the secret chamber of His eternal counsels. He did it by sending a prophet.
What then was God's great purpose for which the world and the human race were created? Let the scriptures answer. Pro. 16:4, "The Lord hath made all things for Himself." And again, "Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." (Rev. 4:11)
The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork, but it was by man, originally made in His own image and likeness, that God planned to show forth His glory. But how was the already Glorious God to be glorified further by man?
Before He created, God saw the fall of Adam and Eve and the resulting ruin of the human race. Therefore, we know that His plan was not that man should glorify Him by remaining in a state of innocence. He would rather show His mighty power and wisdom by bringing him back from the pit into which he had fallen. In line with this plan, we are taught by scripture that Christ was "Foreordained before the foundation of the world" to be the Savior of men.
God created man for His own pleasure, and it was His pleasure to save him. By saving him, He would receive glory unto Himself over all evil powers.
Therefore, we clearly see that the redemption of man was no mere afterthought of God, but had been in His SECRET WILL before creation. As far as God was concerned, there was no unforeseen calamity in Eden that day. When Adam fell he found MERCY walking hand in hand with JUSTICE, as Father God slew the innocent lamb.
From the beginning of His plan, God had ordained that the world He had created would be the stage upon which He would bring to pass His own SECRET WILL, and in so doing not one time would he interfere with man's free moral agency. Every man must choose the way he will go, yet he cannot but in the end cause God's SECRET PLAN to come to fruition.
We can never understand all the complex and complicated ways of God over His world, but we can see in His Word the end toward which he is working. Paul saw this basic truth and said by the Spirit, "Wherefore I endure all things FOR THE ELECTS SAKE, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with ETERNAL GLORY." (II Tim. 2:10)
How can we do anything but fall on our faces in awe and reverential fear, before this One who has such wisdom and power as to formulate a SECRET PLAN that takes in every decision of every person and measures it to His own ends and His own Glory?