Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 15:18

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Known unto God are all his works from the beginning - As if he had said, This is not a new counsel of God: he had purposed, from the time he called the Israelites, to make the Gentiles partakers of the same grace and mercy; and ultimately to destroy those rites and ceremonies which separated them from each other. He therefore has sent the Gospel of his Son, proclaiming equally peace to him that is afar off, the Gentiles, and to him that is nigh, the Jews.

The whole of this verse is very dubious: the principal part of it is omitted by the most ancient MSS., and Griesbach has left γνωϚα απ 'αιωνος doubtful, and has thrown εϚι τῳ Θεῳ παντα τα εργα αὑτου out of the text. Of the former clause, Professor White, in his Crisews, says, "forsitan delenda," "probably these words should be blotted out." And of the latter clause he says, "certissime delenda," "most assuredly these should be blotted out." Supposing the whole to be genuine, critics have labored to find out the sense. Some very learned men, and particularly Schleusner, contend that the word γνωϚα, from γινωσκειν, to know, should be understood here in the same sense in which ידא yada is in many parts of the Old Testament, which not only signifies to know, but to approve, love, etc. They therefore would translate the passage thus: All the works of God are ever dear unto him. And, if so, consequently we might naturally expect him to be merciful to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews; and the evidence now afforded of the conversion of the Gentiles is an additional proof that all God's works are equally dear to him.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Known unto God … - See the notes on Acts 1:24. The meaning of this verse, in this connection, is this. God sees everything future; he knows what he will accomplish; he has a plan; all his works are so arranged in his mind that he sees everything distinctly and clearly. As he foretold these, it was a part of his plan; and as it was a part of his plan long since foretold, it should not be opposed and resisted by us.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
We see from the words "purifying their hearts by faith," and the address of St. Peter, that justification by faith, and sanctification by the Holy Ghost, cannot be separated; and that both are the gift of God. We have great cause to bless God that we have heard the gospel. May we have that faith which the great Searcher of hearts approves, and attests by the seal of the Holy Spirit. Then our hearts and consciences will be purified from the guilt of sin, and we shall be freed from the burdens some try to lay upon the disciples of Christ. Paul and Barnabas showed by plain matters of fact, that God owned the preaching of the pure gospel to the Gentiles without the law of Moses; therefore to press that law upon them, was to undo what God had done. The opinion of James was, that the Gentile converts ought not to be troubled about Jewish rites, but that they should abstain from meats offered to idols, so that they might show their hatred of idolatry. Also, that they should be cautioned against fornication, which was not abhorred by the Gentiles as it should be, and even formed a part of some of their rites. They were counselled to abstain from things strangled, and from eating blood; this was forbidden by the law of Moses, and also here, from reverence to the blood of the sacrifices, which being then still offered, it would needlessly grieve the Jewish converts, and further prejudice the unconverted Jews. But as the reason has long ceased, we are left free in this, as in the like matters. Let converts be warned to avoid all appearances of the evils which they formerly practised, or are likely to be tempted to; and caution them to use Christian liberty with moderation and prudence.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 193.5

God desires men to understand the claims He has upon them. He will judge any man who shall interpose between his fellow men and their God, to lead them into paths not cast up for the ransomed. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). He has ordained that His works shall be presented before the world in distinct, holy, sacred lines. The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, but by the gentleness of the inspiration of His word, by the operation of His Spirit in the soul. His work in many places of the world would now be much farther advanced had not man interposed between the people and God, to do a work God has not appointed.—Letter 93, July 3, 1900, to Elder G. A. Irwin, president of the General Conference. TDG 193.5

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 282

“For there is not a word in my tongue,
But, lo, O Jehovah, Thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before,
And laid Thy hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain unto it.”
8T 282.1

Psalm 139:1-6, A. R. V. 8T 282

“Great is our Lord, and of great power:
His understanding is infinite.”
8T 282.2

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 251.3

If you would see the evidences that there is a God, look around you wherever your lot may be cast. He is speaking to your senses and impressing your soul through His created works. Let your heart receive these impressions, and nature will be to you an open book, and will teach you divine truth through familiar things. The lofty trees will not be regarded with indifference. Every opening flower, every leaf with its delicate veins, will testify of the infinite skill of the great Master Artist. The massive rocks and towering mountains that rise in the distance are not the result of chance. They speak in silent eloquence of One who sits upon the throne of the universe, high and lifted up. “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.” All His plans are perfect. What awe and reverence should His name inspire! ... OHC 251.3

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 433

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts. MH 433.1

“Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin expiated.” Isaiah 6:1-7, A.R.V., margin. MH 433.2

“There is none like unto Thee, O Lord;
Thou art great,
And Thy name is great in might.
Who would not fear Thee, O King of nations?”
“O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising,
Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down,
And art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue,
But, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset my behind and before,
And laid Thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain unto it.”
MH 433.3

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