Bible Studies/ephesian 1:10


All the famous commentators agree that this passage and in particular this verse means that God has been the one who has "arranged" history so that all things could come under one head, and that head is Christ.

1) Stalin Killed almost 20 million people, then you have hitler. History itself is just a series of horrors - even a lot of the history of the church. If God is the head and arranger of history as the ancient Greek would assume, how can I possibly believe he is loving. The fact that Stalin killed 20 million people cant be shrugged off and said that God had nothing to do with it - its way to big an historicle event to say that. So just what kind of God would arrange history the way history has presented itself?

Dear Pete,

I think you’re wrong about Stalin. I believe he’s responsible for the deaths of more than 40 million people—a true monster!

How could God “arrange” history so that this would happen? The answer is: He didn’t. So, who did? Satan—the devil; the serpent; the great deceiver.

Jesus described him well. He said, speaking to His enemies:

John 8:44  “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [native language], for he is a liar and the father of it.”

On the other hand, God is a God of love. How do I know this? Because the Bible tells me so. Look at this biblical evidence:

1 John 4:8  “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

But you’re asking: “How do I know that God is love? Maybe John was mistaken.”

Well, let’s talk to Paul:

Rom 5:8  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

This reminds me of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

And who is the Son of God?  

John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2  He was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made….
John 1:10  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him….
John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

So Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, is the Son of God—the Creator of everything in the Universe! And He “became flesh and dwelt among us,…” And Jesus died for us: our God was willing to die so that He could rid the earth of sin, and save in His Kingdom all those who were willing to believe in Him. Wow! Talk about love: you could never find a greater love than that, a love that loves you more than He loves His own life!

So this God was supposed to have arranged history so that millions would die at the hands of Stalin and Hitler? I don’t think so! God loved all those people so much that He died for them, as well as us. Why would He want to have them killed? It wouldn’t make any sense, would it?

But, as you saw in John 8:44, Satan is a liar, and a murderer. He’s the one behind the tyranny in the USSR, and in Germany. Put the blame on him instead of God. Actually it was his idea to kill all those people and then to blame it on God. He’s always trying to give God a black eye, and make people hate God as much as Satan hates Him.

I couldn’t find a Bible version that could be construed to make God the villain. In fact, commentator Adam Clarke sees the text as saying this:

After discussing other parts of the text, Clarke says:  “Here it means the gathering together both Jews and Gentiles, who have believed in Christ, into one Church and flock.... I believe that the forming one Church out of both Jews and Gentiles is that to which the apostle refers.” --Adam Clarke.

So nothing in the text itself could be construed to point to God as being responsible for the evil works of tyrants like Stalin and Hitler.

When questions like this arise, go to the Bible and see what you find. Ask God to help you understand it, and I believe you’ll find the answer yourself. But if you can’t, always feel free to write to me:

God bless you as you seek to worship Him.

Thurman C. Petty, Jr.

Check out my web site: I’ve put there the entire text of 18 of the books I’ve written, free to read by anyone who clicks on the titles. There are also 43 Bible lessons arranged by subject, and much more.

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Thurman C. Petty, Jr.


I`ve been a Pastor and Bible teacher for 40 years.


I`m a writer--author of 18 Bible-based books and over 200 journal articles. Web site: where a lot of my books and writings are posted. I've been married to the same lovely lady for 55 years. We're more in love now than when we married. My wife and I were missionaries to Pitcairn Island, in the South Pacific, from 1982-1984.

I've been a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church since the age of 9.

Books: Pacific Press Publishing Association; PettyPress. Number of titles published: 16. Journal Articles: Adventist Review; Signs of the Times; Guide Magazine; Ministry: A Journal for Clergy; Sabbath School Leadership; The Youth's Instructor; Student Movement; Cord, and others. Total Journal articles: over 200. Web Site: Contents: 18 of my books; 41 Bible study guides; over 30 sermons; Stories; poems; links to other sites, etc. E-mail address:

I have a BA and a Master`s degree--both degrees are in Biblical studies.

Awards and Honors
I was awarded the "Golden Cord" from my Alma Mater, Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, for my foreign mission service.

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