Answers to Correspondents: All Power; Counsel/Promise/Covenant?

Matthew 28:18  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Q. " All power is given unto me in heaven and earth," the Lord says in the end of Matthew:-does this mean that as God He orders things down here, in the sense in which people often speak of a "higher power" overruling everything? J. K.
A.-The quotation from Matthew has reference to the place of universal authority in heaven and earth given to the Lord Jesus as man; an authority He will share with His saints in the world to come. The " higher power," or " overruling providence" of which people speak, is what attaches to God as. Creator, and, of course, in this way the Lord Jesus, as being God, is ever acting; but this is not what is referred to here.
Q. Will you kindly explain the difference between. " counsel," " promise," and " covenant "? J. A.
A.-We should say that "counsel" (βουλή) means the formed purpose of the mind. Hence we read, that God will "manifest the counsels of the hearts" of men; and of "the counsel of his own will;" and of " the immutability of his counsel." " Promise " (ἐπαγγελία) is the announcement of what is in the mind to another. So we read, that "God gave to Abraham by promise:" and "God made promise to Abraham"-He announced to him unconditionally and unasked, what was in His mind concerning him. " Covenant " (διαθήκη) goes further, and is the arrangement or disposition in favor of another of what is in the mind. And thus we read of " the covenant which God made with Abraham;" and " God gave him the covenant of circumcision." C. W.