Astonishing Providence
Capitalism, Predestination, and The Division of Labor

Do you know what "Providence" is? Click here. Or here. On August 1, 1776, Samuel Adams delivered a speech at the State House in Philadelphia "to a very numerous audience." He said:

There are instances of, I would say, an almost astonishing providence in our favor; our success has staggered our enemies, and almost given faith to infidels; so we may truly say it is not our own arm which has saved us. The hand of Heaven appears to have led us on to be, perhaps, humble instruments and means in the great providential dispensation which is completing. We have fled from the political Sodom; let us not look back lest we perish and become a monument of infamy and derision to the world.

As we will see below, not a single person who signed the U.S. Constitution could be called a "deist." All the Signers believed that God intervened in American history in a supernatural way in direct response to the prayers of the colonists. God moves entire empires to free the godly and enslave the wicked. When we obey God's Commandments, God moves all of nature to bless us. When we disobey God's Commandments, God sends us to "political Sodom" for judgment. "Liberty Under God" is the theme of Sam Adams' vision of Providence. The opposite of this vision is state-socialism. See "Capitalism" and "America, 1776." Nature and human society are both under the providential care of God. Both are healthy and prosperous when human beings repudiate the selfish violence of humanistic (man-centered) autonomy and embrace the theonomic (God-centered) dominion and service of God's Law.

When we conduct ourselves peacefully and non-violently, we experience the "harmony of interests" which exist by virtue of God's Providence. This is why capitalism works and socialism, which is rooted in violence, brings poverty and death.


There is not a single human being on the face of the earth who knows how to make a pencil. From scratch, I mean. Without the assistance of what economists call "the division of labor."

The Bible says the Body of Christ is composed of various members. Not all are the head; some are arms, fingers, ears, or toes. Each plays a part. There is no such thing as complete "self-sufficiency."

Imagine a completely "self-sufficient" economy where everyone only consumes what they themselves grow, or uses what they themselves make. If you have milk, it's because you milked your own cow. If you have bread, it's because you grew your own wheat. If you plowed your field, it's because you forged the plow in your garage on your own anvil with your own hammer. You made the hammer and the anvil as well. Could you live like this? Completely self-sufficient? No. We depend on "the division of labor." We all do only one or a very few things, and depend on others for most of what we eat, use, and enjoy.

The concept of the division of labor gives meaning and purpose to our lives, when we see that the "routine" work we do benefits others, just as we are benefited by all the people who perform their specialized functions. Adam Smith began his great treatise on economics, The Wealth of Nations (1776), by explaining the division of labor. It is a vitally important concept.

In his treatise, Capitalism, Prof. George Reisman sums up the advantages of the division of labor:

Human life and well-being depend on the production of wealth. The production of wealth vitally depends on the division of labor, that is, a system of production in which the labor required to support human life and well-being is broken down into separate, distinct occupations. As we have seen, under a system of division of labor, the individual lives by producing, or helping to produce, just one thing or at most a very few things, and is supplied by the labor of others for the far greater part of his needs.

The division of labor raises the productivity of labor in six major ways, and thereby achieves a radical increase in the efficiency with which man is able to apply his mind, his body, and his nature-given environment to production.

It increases the amount of knowledge used in production by a multiple that corresponds to the number of distinct specializations and subspecializations of employment. This makes possible the production of products and the adoption of methods of production that would otherwise be impossible.

It makes it possible for geniuses to specialize in science, invention, and the organization and direction of the productive activity of others, thereby further and progressively increasing the knowledge used in production.

It enables individuals at all levels of ability to concentrate on the kind of work for which they are best suited on the basis of differences in their intellectual and bodily endowments.

It enables the various regions of the world to concentrate on producing the crops and minerals for which they are best suited on the basis of differing conditions of climate and geology.

It increases the efficiency of the processes of learning and motion that are entailed in production.

It underlies the use of machinery in production.

Our purpose in life is serving God and serving others. Understanding the "division of labor" helps us understand how we can best obey these two greatest commandments.

The Bible shows how God ordained the division of labor. Adam was given a helper meet for him. "Meet" but different. Different capacities, different abilities, different personality. Eve was a complement to Adam's abilities. Together they could accomplish more than either of them individually, and by cooperating, they could accomplish more together than both of them working separately. Then we saw this:

"Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground" (Genesis 4:2).

The New Testament describes us as a "body," and each of us are members in that Body with different gifts. Our goal is to Christianize the world, and allow all the gifts God gives to flourish.

But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased (1 Cor 12:18).


[1] We can plant trees, and maybe be of some help in assisting the growth of a tree in a place where God does not normally do so (i.e., in a place where we might say "it might not grow by itself"); we can observe some of the ways in which trees grow, and in a biology textbook describe in as much detail as we can the growth of that tree. But we cannot create a tree. Only God creates in this way.

[2] We have briefly touched upon the use of the phrase "Spirit-Cloud" here. See Psalm 91:4,11; Ezekiel 10:4-5; Deut. 32:11 + Gen. 1:2.

[3] Human beings were created to have dominion over the trees. Sometimes we can help trees become more fruitful. But if we have unfruitful hearts (Matthew 7) we can also destroy the trees God has created.

[4] Someone might claim that he could build a pencil. But it would take days, weeks, even months or years to accomplish everything required to make a pencil from scratch. At minimum wage ($6.00/hr) the cost would be thousands of dollars for one pencil. Only a fool would try.

[5] Even those who work in a "pencil factory" are not working to create millions of pencils which they will use, put in their shirt-pockets, or save in hundreds of pencil cases; they don't actually want the pencils they are creating, but are going to exchange them for other things they do want.

[6] Here is the irony undergirding the whole point of this paper. The people we will encounter in this essay are acting freely and uncoerced. Just because God predestined them to have a hand in the creation of my pencil does not mean that they are not humans. God created human beings in His own image to work and create my pencil. And at this point we can only speculate on what effect your reading of this paper will have on future generations; God knows ("Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the First, and with the Last; I am He." [Isaiah 41:4]). But if the Bible is wrong, these human beings are created in the image of a random-chance collision of molecules in the "primordial soup." We can laugh at their thinking that their lives — body and "soul" — are anything but an inevitable chemical product of their environment. They don't even need or directly benefit from making pencils, but they spend their life at it. However, their labor has purpose in the personalistic universe created by an Infinite-Personal God. Either this planet-wide interaction of human beings has meaning according to God's eternal decree (plan), or billions of humans are randomly and foolishly acting in a play which signifies nothing.

[7] But the Rule of God's Law also speaks of God's vengeance. The New World Order understands the concept of vengeance, and its Generals, scientists, and politicians seek to "be as God" (Genesis 3:5). Vengeance is an inescapable concept in every religion, every world-and-life view; vengeance always belongs to the God of that religion, and the only question is, "Who is God?" In the modern world, man is the self-proclaimed god. In the footnotes I will try to discuss how God's vengeance operates to bring peace, and how man's vengeance brings conflict. War, conquest, and slavery are major themes in the Bible. Get used to it!

[8] Then again, it may have been a "Mongol 482," assembled, fabricated, and finished by Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This was the pencil Leonard Read described in his classic 1958 essay, "I, Pencil." I'm glad that Mr. Read was predestined to write that article so that I could use my free will to plagiarize it so extensively here and now. I searched for a "Mongol 482" among my vast pencil collections so that my plagiarism could more precisely parallel Mr. Read's essay, but it appears that after a merger, all that remains of Eberhard Faber is "Faber-Castell" Co., and all the pencils I have of theirs are called "American." For purposes of this anarchist discussion of predestination, "Empire Pencil Co." was rhetorically more powerful than a pencil called "American," although the latter would have served admirably. (Please check out the Foundation for Economic Education:

[9] And He will judge whether I used the pencil in an ethically proper way.

[10] Of course, my pencil is a great blessing from God, whether I use it correctly or not.

[11] But maybe he had a life-long love of trees, and knew how valuable they were, and how humanity could be helped by the production of more of them.

[12] "For God giveth to a man that is good in His sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God" (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

[13] Perhaps one of the loggers did not believe in predestination, and used to work for a Calvinist who did. Perhaps the logger left that job because he didn't want to help any Calvinists. Well, he helped me get a pencil! ("There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand" ([Proverbs 19:21]).

[14] Tesla was an inventor who lived at the turn of the century. He is best known for developing the "polyphase" system of Alternating Current. The difference between electrical power before Tesla and after him is the difference between battery power and the power in the electrical outlet in the wall. Yet this was the first and perhaps least important of Tesla's inventions, although it completely revolutionized Western Industrialism. The entire planet is surrounded by energy. Scientists speak of the "Van Allen Belt." Energy rotates the needle in your compass. Tesla figured out how to use this energy to power turbines. He developed the technology to transmit this power without wires (which would have eliminated the unsightly wires strewn across our skies). He developed energy which traveled faster than the speed of light ("Beam me up, Scotty"). He developed a force field which would have rendered all nations invulnerable to aerial attack. He offered this technology to all nations to bring peace. The United States State Department forbad him to do so, and hours after his death his papers were confiscated.

[15] "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will" (Proverbs 21:1).

[16] Government involvement in this project necessitated the theft of land ("eminent domain") and property ("taxation"), and radical alteration of the environment. Many people were thus "victimized" by these sinful acts. But we question the morality of God's predestination only by supposing ourselves to be more omniscient and moral than God.

[17] "Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. {17} No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD" (Isaiah 54:16-17).

[18] Question 1 of the "Larger Catechism" (1648) asks, "What is the chief and highest end of man?" and answers, "Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever."

[19] It actually contains no true lead at all.

[20] in his book The Three Princes of Serendip, the heroes of which make "serendipitous" discoveries.

[21] Read: "debtors."

[22] Meek and humble submission to slave-holders is anarchistic, because it affirms the Law of Christ, Who defeated the archists (Col. 2:15) and told us not to be like them (Mark 10:42-45). "Resistance" is the violence and conflict of two archists fighting for domination.

[23] Being grateful and expressing my appreciation for gifts does not come easy for me. The Biblical Doctrine of Predestination makes it easier for me. Jesus says these gifts come from God. How can I be ungrateful?

[24] Acts 3:17-18 And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. {18} But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
1 Samuel 2:6-7 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. {7} The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
1 Kings 12:15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
2 Chronicles 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing,
Ezra 6:22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
Isaiah 45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts

[25] Revelation 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

[26] Daniel 11:27 And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 

[27] Novus Ordo Seclorum, "New Order of the Ages," the motto on "The Great Seal" of America (see under the pyramid [?!] on the one dollar Federal Reserve Note).

[28] Ezekiel 29:19-20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. {20} I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD.
1 Chronicles 5:26 And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.
2 Samuel 17:14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
Judges 9:23-24 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: {24} That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.

[29] Exodus 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.
Deuteronomy 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.

[30] Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
God often makes masters out of the slaves:
Psalm 105:17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Acts 7:9-10 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, {10} And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

[31] "Thus saith the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships" (Isaiah 43:14).

[32] I mention the "colonial" names because the colonization is critical to the development of the production of the resource. Without the intervention of European power, the natives would not have developed the production, and even if they did, they might not be interested in selling to the U.S. today.

[33] I admit that virtually every step in the life of an American is directly or indirectly "regulated" by an army of government bureaucrats. But it's not like when a child is born the State hands his mother a birth certificate and a document which says that the child will work in a pencil factory. And if any of the laborers in Third World countries were forced to labor, we all recognize the moral evil which this represents.


A tree is a miracle. It is evidence of the predestinating sovereignty of God. No one on the face of the earth knows how to create a tree.[1] Each of the trillions of molecules in a tree are sustained by God and animated by His Spirit-Cloud[2] to work in unique ways, creating "systems" with their own special functions, with none of these molecules self-consciously desiring to be a "tree" or to produce a "tree," but performing their own individual gift. I am then left in awe by the tree God has created. It is an amazing display of natural harmony in an environment uncoerced by man.[3]

A pencil is a miracle. It is evidence of the predestinating sovereignty of God. There is not a single human being on the face of the earth who could from scratch create a pencil like the one I can buy at a store for a couple of pennies.[4] This sounds incredible, especially since there are billions of pencils produced every year. But no pencil is produced by one single person, from start to finish. Nor is the production of a pencil overseen and dictated by a government bureaucracy called "The Ministry of Pencils," nor is there a "Pencil Czar." The Pencil is created by "the Free Market." Each of the millions of human beings who are a part of the pencil-creating process work in unique ways, creating "systems" with their own special functions, with none of these people or systems self-consciously desiring to be a pencil or to produce a pencil,[5] but functioning as God has predestined them.[6]


There are many people today who speak of the "Rule of Law." They aren't the "man on the street" (you might have guessed) but rather the politicians in the capitols and the law professors in the ivory towers. You may have heard the phrase recently in the news.

         Governor Jeb Bush of Florida did not want to walk into a Florida nursing home and physically prevent Terri Schiavo from being murdered by dehydration because he respected "the rule of law."

         Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was thrown off the Court because he refused to subordinate the Ten Commandments and his duty to acknowledge God to "the rule of law."

For those who worship Man rather than God, "the rule of law" means the rule of the law of man, the totalitarian sway of statist planners and their rational designs over all creation. For them, "law" represents their acts of planning, coercion, and force that bring "order out of chaos" as it is imposed on those "underdeveloped" people who resist their New World Order.

I like to speak of "The Rule of Law" too. For me it means a world created by God, governed by His Law, in which all creation follows God's purposes (Law) for them.

As an anarchist, I find predestination by a Personal God to be of great comfort. The pencil — a product of God's predestination, a visible example of goodness created not by an earthly "archist," nor directed by a human "Pencil Czar," but by the Triune God of Scripture — gives me hope. The pencil helps me imagine the day prophesied by Micah, in which archists have given up their competitive machinations and begin to be God's servants.

    1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
      That the mountain of the Lord's house
      Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
      And shall be exalted above the hills;
      And peoples shall flow to it.
       2 Many nations shall come and say,
      " Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
      To the house of the God of Jacob;
      He will teach us His ways,
      And we shall walk in His paths."
      For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
      And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
       3 He shall judge between many peoples,
      And rebuke strong nations afar off;
      They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
      And their spears into pruning hooks;
      Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
      Neither shall they learn war anymore.
       4 But everyone shall sit under his
                  vine and under his fig tree,
      And no one shall make them afraid;
      For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
       5 For all people walk each in the name of his god,
      But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
      Forever and ever.

Micah speaks of the Rule of God's Law in the hearts of all people, and the subsequent shalom-blessing of God upon our lives. The pencil is an illustration of this blessing.[7]


I was predestined to jot a few notes for this essay with a "Trusty 916 No.2" pencil, "Made in U.S.A." by the "Empire Pencil Co."[8] Not a single one of the millions of people involved in the creation of this pencil were aware that I would use it in this way, nor did they so intend.

But God knew.[9] And if this paper helps you worship God, then I will count my pencil as a great blessing from God.[10]

It would take me a lifetime to create a pencil without the aid of those whom God has predestined to create it for me. I am able to buy a lifetime of labor for pennies. My pencil is a gift from God of inestimable value. How is it I came to possess the wealth of millions?


Not one of the laborers who were planting cedar sprouts back in 1951 knew that their labor was going to produce a pencil which I would use to describe the division of labor and the Providence of God. Even the entrepreneur who purchased thousands of acres of unused land and planted hundreds of thousands of tiny trees did not know what would happen to those trees. All he knew was that in 40 or so years, he could harvest his crop and sell it for more than it had cost him to grow it. Maybe all he cared about was money.[11] His foresight, combined with the risks he took in acquiring the cedar sprouts and hiring the planters, ultimately led to the gift of my pencil.[12] I do not have his entrepreneurial abilities, but I benefit from them.

Then in 1991, saws and trucks and rope and countless other gear were used to harvest the trees and cart the cedar to the railroad siding. I know too little about the making of saw blades to describe God's Predestination of their manufacturing. I can only vaguely imagine the numberless skills that went into their fabrication: the mining of ore, the making of steel and its metamorphosis into saws, axes, motors, chains. I have no idea how to do these things, but I benefit from them all.

I've met loggers in Oregon and can imagine the logging camps, the beds, mess halls, the food they consumed while harvesting the trees. Each cup of coffee the loggers drank could tell a story every bit as miraculous as the one my pencil can tell.[13]

I know that rope is made from hemp, which had to be grown like the cedar trees, shipped, turned into strong rope, sold to the rope distributor, who had a printer print up his catalog of all the different kinds of rope he had collected for sale to those who needed them, which was read by our cedar entrepreneur, who purchased what he needed to tie the logs onto the trucks that carried them to the next stop in God's plan for my pencil. The rope distributor and the catologue printer may not have thought of themselves as performing vital tasks in God's program, but they were.


The logs are shipped to a mill in San Leandro, along with all kinds of other products which depended on the rails, the flat cars, and the powerful engines, whose ancestry I cannot trace. The tracks were laid by thousands of dedicated laborers, and the schedules each train must follow to avoid collisions were carefully planned by hundreds of skilled specialists and communicated over electronic systems of communication. God made sure they were all in place, knowing that they were helping to bring me my pencil.

Here the cedar logs are cut into small, pencil-length slats less than one-fourth of an inch in thickness. These are kiln-dried in ovens too complicated for me to describe, operated by people who know much more about drying wood than I, having been born, raised, educated, and given just the right opportunities by God to ensure that they would be in San Leandro drying the wood for my pencil.

Because people over the years have bought far more cedar wood when it was tinted than when it is a pallid white, the laborers in San Leandro, knowing they will increase their sales, tint the wood, then wax it, then dry it in the kiln again. I don't know where the tints and the wax comes from, all I know is that God made sure the raw materials were gathered, the finished product shipped to a distributor known by the mill operator so that they could be purchased and used to fabricate a pencil I would need in order to write this essay.

I wish I could say that the electricity used to supply the mill's power came from a generator like the kind envisioned and developed by Nicola Tesla.[14] But I'm afraid that the power came from a dam built for a hydroplant,[15] which required many people to design (to support millions of pounds of water pressure), build (pouring millions of pounds of concrete) and maintain.[16] God may have hidden Tesla's secrets from a nation that would have used them to destroy others, advancing its "Manifest Destiny" rather than building and serving others. An environment scarred by a dam may be a small price to pay for the preservation of life on a larger scale. I can give thanks to God even for the dam He predestined to be built.


The wood for a "Mongol 482" would then have to be shipped to Wilkes-Barre, PA. Railroads have had a tremendous impact on the last few generations in America, with millions of people having their lives moved by the Hand of God in just the right way such that railroads could be built across the continent so that in late 1991 wood could be sent from California to Pennsylvania to be made into my pencil.

Once in the pencil factory each slat is given eight grooves by a complex machine, after which another machine lays leads in every other slat, applies glue, and places another slat atop — a lead sandwich, so to speak. Eight pencils are mechanically carved from this wood-clinched sandwich.

The factory itself represents capital worth millions of dollars.[17] It is probable, unfortunately, that not all of this money was saved up by those who, for the sake of building up capital for future service projects, consumed less than they earned. Some of this money may have been stolen from others through a process called "Fractional Reserve Banking." Those who built the factory may have been more interested in monetary profit than in serving others in obedience to God's Law. As Jesus might say of them, "Truly I say unto you, they have their reward."

But as the Bible says, "The borrower is the slave to the lender" (Proverbs 22:7). Sometimes slavery is voluntary, as well as difficult. In their quest for money, they may not have seen the wonderful ways God's predestination works in our world, and may not have been able to enjoy life to its fullest, the way God intended for us to live.[18] They may have had to work overtime, under tight schedules; they may have lost much sleep over whether they could make the payments on their loans; developed ulcers when they saw how much interest they were paying; and they may have led very unhappy lives, working day in, day out, to keep their indebted factory in business. "There is no rest for the wicked" (Isaiah 57:20-21).

Our culture does not want us to believe that "whatsoever cometh to pass" has been ordained by God. If things "just happen" and the universe is not completely controlled by God, then the door is open for man to declare himself king of the universe and begin to implement his own decree, his own predestination. "Serendipity" is such a romantic, light-hearted word, until one recognizes that the philosophy of unpredestined serendipity leads to raw archism, as man incarnates himself in the Divine State in order to predestine others in a lawless, unpredestined world.

The universe has meaning only because God has given it meaning by predestinating all things. All things happen by virtue of the personal, loving Plan of our sovereign God.

How ironic, then (to return to my pencil), to find that the "lead" for my pencil[19] was predestined to be found, mined, and shipped from the island of "Serendipity." Actually, "Serendib" was the name of the island when Horace Walpole coined the term "serendipity" back in 1754.[20] Later called "Ceylon," and now "Sri Lanka," it has been a major source of graphite, which makes my pencil write.

How can I call my pencil a "blessing" when many people who created it were slaves? Sometimes slavery is less voluntary than the slavery of American "capitalists."[21] Strong men, calling themselves "the government," conscript human beings into involuntary service.

We are commanded to follow the model of Jesus, should we be taken captive (1 Peter 2:18-25),[22] but this command to "submit" does not mean that the act of conscription is morally legitimate.

If an unBiblical slave-holder offered to sell me the product of slave labor, I would shop elsewhere, even at higher prices. Sometimes it is impossible for me to extricate my purchases from those industries which have used unGodly means to produce their product, oppressing many along the way.

At other times, I realize that when men are slaves to sin, their covetousness drives them to become the slaves of men. When faced with this tragedy, I remember the proverb, "The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just" (Proverbs 13:22).[23] I know that God creates Pharaohs and other "vessels of dishonor" whose sole purpose is to bring glory to God and blessings to the "vessels of mercy."

I think about the conditions in which the miners in Serendib, laboring close to the equator, must work. I might consider them woefully underpaid; they might be happy to have a job at all. God will deal with their employer (James 5:4); and while his life may be cursed, I am blessed, for "He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor" (Proverbs 28:8).


Throughout this essay I am writing rather idealistically of a "laissez-faire" world in which people are free to act in ways which produce the pencil I need to write about them as predestined actors in God's cosmic drama. Alas, the world is poisoned by slavery and statism. There is no such thing as a "free market." The Bible describes the rise and fall of "the State." Here is what we will see as we read through the Bible:

First, God is sovereign over the State; He predestined it.[24]

Second, for every person enslaved by the State, there are three people who participate in the enslaving: the slave-driver, the government politician who sanctions the activity of the slave-driver, and the "constituent" (voter) who benefits from slave labor and elects the politician and his cronies to baptize the slave-system with words like "rule of law."[25] Enslavement of the innocent by the State lasts only as long as the Lord has predestined it,[26] although the organs of propaganda for the New World Order say their system is eternal.[27]

Third, those who think they can satisfy their covetous lusts through impersonalist statism are at war with God's Law. They are eventually destroyed by the State they construct. Thus God predestines His vengeance upon them by the State which they so "freely" desired.[28]

Fourth, after destroying its "enemies," the State thinks it's the "king of the hill." It is only the king of a hill of dung, however, and it dies the death of all parasites; its destruction (which some would say is a "natural" result of its violation of "economic" law) was predestined by God.[29]

Finally, in the end, the Godly benefit from this whole panorama of human action and history.[30] We continue to learn that God's ways are best, and man's ways, even if described by the "experts" as "realistic," and "practical," lead to destruction.


After benefiting from the labor of shipbuilders, dockworkers, ship captains, lighthouse keepers and harbor pilots,[31] the graphite from Serendib is mixed with clay from Mississippi, in which aluminum hydroxide is used in the refining process. Then wetting agents are added such as sulfonated tallow — animal fats chemically reacted with sulfuric acid. After passing through numerous machines, the mixture finally appears as endless extrusions — like from a sausage grinder — cut to size, dried, and baked for several hours at 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit. To increase their strength and smoothness, the "leads" are then treated with a hot mixture which includes candelilla wax from Mexico, paraffin wax, and hydrogenated natural fats. Paraffin wax is a petroleum product. General Schwarzkopf recently admitted that the murder of 200,000 Iraqis and the whole Mideast war (Gulf War I) was "over oil." God predestines war, as we will see in future chapters in the Bible. My pencil was one of the by-products of that war.

The Oregon Cedar receives six coats of lacquer. Do you know all the ingredients of lacquer? If I were to tell you, would you know where to buy them all? How to mix them? Would you have thought that the growers of castor beans and the refiners of castor oil played a part in the creation of my pencil? Each of them was better at what he did than Bill Gates would have been. God predestined them all.

The ferrule is brass. The black rings are black nickel. And the crowning glory of my pencil is rather inelegantly referred to in the trade as "the plug." After my free will makes embarrassing mistakes with my "lead," God predestines me to erase them. An ingredient called "factice" is what actually does the erasing. It is a rubber-like product made by reacting rape seed oil from Indonesia (once called the Dutch East Indies[32]) with sulfur chloride. Rubber, contrary to popular perception, is used only for binding purposes. I could also trace the lineage of the various vulcanizing and accelerating agents. The pumice comes from Italy, the pigment which gives "the plug" its color is cadmium sulfide.


It is a source of great delight to me that neither the logger, nor the chemist, nor the digger of graphite or clay nor any who mans or builds the ships or trains or trucks nor the one who runs the machine that does the knurling on my pencil's bit of metal nor the president of the pencil company performs his singular task because he was ordered to by the Pencil Czar, nor any other archist who dictates the production of pencils.[33] The entire miraculous process took place freely under the guidance of an "invisible Hand."

Only God can make a tree. Only God can sow the seeds of zinc, copper, graphite, under tons of hills and mountains. But to each of these miracles which we find in nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies — millions of tiny know-hows coming together naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire — and all in the absence of any human master-minding. Since only God can make a tree, I insist that only God could make a pencil. Man can no more direct these millions of know-hows to bring my pencil into being than he can put molecules together to create a tree.

But if these millions of know-hows were not created by a personal, loving God, as described in the Bible, then the scientists, generals, dictator-Presidents —all following the lead of the Nazis and the materialists—are correct. They are—we are—nothing but the random and meaningless confluence of chemicals and water, which over time has developed the idea — the delusion — that we can make rational, moral, choices. In the cold, purposeless universe of the evolutionist, morality is an illusion, and meaning is vanity. All is chance.

I am not the being imagined by the defenders of "free will." I am not a lump of randomly-concocted molecules floating meaninglessly in a cold impersonal space-time continuum, in which some god may or may not have known that I would come into being and definitely does not know what my next move is. I will argue that I am a creature of the God of the Bible, predestined for glory, created in God's Image, and sustained by the angels who also worship a predestinating "violent, vengeful God."