Plan of God
Before the Beginning
In our quest to follow the trek of coming out of abject darkness into the brilliant light we go where John the beloved apostle began in his Gospel when there were only Jesus and His Father – and nothing else existed. We will look into what the Bible reveals about what they were thinking and what they were doing before the earth was created.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The first workings of God of which we are aware took place in the pre-Adamic age before the beginning of time and space. This period lasted until the destruction of the earth prior to the creation of the first man—Adam. We certainly do not presume to know all the workings in the Plan of God. Even King David was not given the knowledge of the mystery of the Plan of God as we are privileged to have so much of it revealed to us today.
The Book of Genesis speaks of a later beginning—the beginning of physical matter, energy, light and time. God's Plan began long before that. Time, matter and space are a part of God’s physical creation for the purpose of bringing about His Plan through man. Without a physical universe there is no such thing as time.
Anyone who has ever been a part of a construction project has learned that a great amount of detailed work had been done prior to the groundbreaking ceremony where the dignitaries come out to the building location with shovels to turn the first spade of dirt. We understand that engineers and surveyors had previously designed and mapped out the area long before. Feasibility studies and cost analyses had been done to determine the profitability of the venture.
Artist’s concepts had been presented to the stockholders. Licenses, regulations, permits, rights-of-way, agreements, schedules and a whole host of other considerations had been secured before the public beginning of the undertaking. In short, there had been a great deal of collaboration between the involved parties. In the same way, God the Father and Jesus Christ designed every facet of their entire Plan before the beginning.
The beloved apostle John adds greatly to our narrative by expounding on how Jesus Christ and God the Father were together in a previous all spiritual ‘beginning’ even before they began to put their creative Plan into action. Putting the Biblical pieces together we find how God’s Plan for us began spiritually before creation, then transitioned into its present temporary material phase, and will then see its ultimate spiritual manifestation. Jesus Christ is God and has always been God and always will be God. John is writing of their status much earlier – before ‘the beginning’ we read of in the Genesis narrative of creation:
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
God the Father and Jesus were the only two beings that existed. Even when Jesus came to this earth in a temporary fleshly body, He was the same one who was the ‘hands-on’ Creator God – Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:23).
The Scriptures reveal that even infinity is not a limiting factor for the incredible Plan of God because, after all, infinity is only limitless time, and God supersedes time and space.
Psalms 102:27 You O my God are the same, and your years shall have no end.
God the Father is the eternal, glorious, supreme Creator of the heavens and the earth. The Bible reveals that God the Father created all things by and through Jesus Christ. Through His eternal creative power, Jesus sustains the entire universe. When Paul says in Hebrews 1:3 that God upholds all things [the universe] by the word of His power, it means that Jesus Christ is guiding, powering and sustaining everything through the might of His Spirit. Without His ever vigilant support everything would vanish in a split-second just like when matter and anti-matter annihilate one another.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
As temporal, physical beings we like to say things like, “God has existed forever and ever,” and “God has existed for all past eternity.” And we think of it as being a long, long time. Actually, time, matter and space did not exist in the very beginning—only God existed. There were only two, God the Father and Jesus Christ the Word. Time as we know and experience it had not yet begun. Yes, time had a starting point!
Time, matter and space are a part of God’s physical creation for the purpose of bringing about His Plan. The Book of Genesis speaks of a later beginning—the beginning of physical matter, energy, light and time. God's Plan began prior to that Genesis account.
The Book of Genesis begins with a physical re-creation of the earth. God does not reveal how He brought about such a vast and magnificent handiwork—He simply states that He did so. Man, with all his brilliance, is unable to understand even the basic building blocks of that wonderful work. It is important that we understand that God the Father created everything by Jesus Christ—long before He became Mary’s flesh and blood son at Bethlehem. That is why John straightforwardly says of Jesus: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Luke 1:31-32,35 Behold Mary, you shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest...the Son of God.
Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
1Timothy 1:17 God is eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, to Him be honor and glory forever and ever.
Before God began His act of creation He established and set in motion many laws that would govern everything in the universe. He created all law – physical and spiritual. And, when God began, He started big! The vast physical universe is only a token of His Planned spiritual expanse.
Why would God create so vast a universe with so much power and so much potential? It was created for a transcendent purpose. God does nothing without purpose; no more than we would go out and build a barn for which we have no use. So, for what purpose was the universe created? The vastness of the heavens not only points to His unlimited power to create, but it is also an indication of God’s extensive Plan to expand His God Family. Yes, the Bible reveals that God in deed has a family!
Ephesians 3:14-15 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the entire Family in heaven and earth is named.
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His empire and peace there shall be no end.
Scientist speak of the distance across our observable universe being 14 billion light-years — and expanding at a rate that would preclude our ever seeing it all. Why did God create so vast a universe with so much power and so much potential? This vast universe demonstrates the inestimable scope of the Plan of God.
A universe worthy of such a noble project as the Plan of God requires order and regulation of its forces. Everywhere in the universe all things are ordered and governed by a distinct set of laws. Laws of physics, nuclear energy, special relativity, thermodynamics, electro-magnetism, gravity, and all the sciences are found to be uniform and unalterable across an almost limitless sea of stars.
Whether Newtonian physics, astrophysics or nuclear physics, all nature obeys laws—many laws. That multiplicity of law requires a commanding Lawgiver. Even the best scientists are at a loss when it comes to answering the question, "Where do the laws of physics originate?"
Most do not believe it, but it is possible to prove that God exists. However, each man must prove that God exists for himself – he cannot rely on another. First, he must believe what God says in His word:
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:
2Chronicles 15:2 The Lord is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you.
The very fact of the existence of ‘law’ demands that a Lawgiver exists. A universe without the stability provided by uniform law cannot exist. It would soon disintegrate as a result of its chaotic and haphazard condition. Chaos is not a law – it is a fact! The entire universe follows the laws of physics, gravity, light, heat (thermodynamics – all across the universe it is the same – no matter how far astronomers see…) The intelligent design of the universe is in itself evidence of a lawgiving Creator. Law is a roof of God. Speaking of God, James wrote:
James 4:12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.
On the earth alone (not including the angelic realm), the tremendous number of life forms up to and including man necessitate a Life-giver. Life comes from life. God is the only source of life. Man has never created life. Man is foolishly genetically modifying life-forms to ‘improve’ them, but life from scratch is God’s prerogative alone. Not only is God the only fountain and source of life, in His incredible Plan He is making it possible for us to attain to everlasting life—to drink in of His Life. David poetically wrote of this wonderful certainty in this manner:
Psalms 36:8-9 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house; and thou shall make them drink of the river of your pleasures. For with you is the fountain of life: In your light shall we see light.
Scientists in their efforts to substantiate a God-less universe are always searching for the “missing link” that would prove their theory that life evolved from inorganic elements. While supporting their “life from non-life” conjecture, evolutionists would never admit that any species came into existence by creation—because that would be tantamount to admitting that there is a God. Creation is categorically dismissed by them because it does not fit their postulated development of events. Let’s understand this: Missing links stay missing because they do not exist. The discovery of older and older specimens (using questionable dating methods) does not support evolution at all. In fact, when the historic record of the Bible is understood, the older specimens lend support to the Scriptural narrative.
Academics and scientists continue to push the age of the earth back farther and farther because they recognize the requirement of enormous amounts of time for all life to have evolved from a singular ancient ancestor. The branches of Darwin’s tree of life need inordinate amounts of time to slowly develop, or the whole thing falls apart. Since ninety percent or more of all species originated in the same age, there simply is not time enough for amphibians to slowly become reptiles, then birds, and then mammals with symbiotic relationships with other species. Only unreasoned logic can accept such an unsupported theory.
This present evil world has been hoodwinked into believing the false narrative of ‘evolution.’ Today's informed biologists categorically dismiss Darwin’s theory of evolution, though atheists continue to push it in the schools. Evolution has become the litmus test of orthodox education – like the Trinity is the orthodox test of false religion. Evolution teaches that there is no God, and that life spontaneously developed in some warm primordial ooze. "Evolution" remains the default position of almost all education systems. It is not our purpose here to disprove evolution as there are many good writings on the subject.
For the God-less men among us, the desire to be free from the consequence of all law, whether moral, religious or physical, is seen as the ultimate. On the other hand, the Creator God has given mankind an operating manual that is designed to offer happiness and prosperity. The Ten Commandments comprise the supreme points of God’s Law – which is spiritual in nature. Sin is the transgression of God's law (1John 3:4). In the same way that a bird does not fly half as well with only one of two wings, any single sin is the transgression of the entire Law of God. Breaking any single point of God’s Law invalidates the integrity of all.
James 2:10 Who so ever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Kind after kind is a God given law, and a proof of God. Dogs never have kittens. There is absolutely no evidence on record of one species or creature ever turning into something else which is able to reproduce – becoming a new viable line. Mallard ducks do not hatch Robin Red Breast songbirds. There are entirely too many symbiotic species that mutually depend entirely upon one another to function and survive. For example: Bees could not have waited for flowers to evolve for their food source, and cherry trees could not have waited eons for bees to learn to fly from blossom to blossom in order to reproduce and propagate.
Symbiotic relationships are essential to many life-forms and they provide the balance that can only be achieved by working together in harmony. They had to be created simultaneously.
Genesis 1:25 God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps upon the earth after its kind: and God saw that it was good.
Not only that, but when the objective of God’s Plan (mankind) was set in motion—male and female on their way to being made in God’s own image and likeness—everything was declared by God to be, not only good, but very good! (Genesis 1:27, 31) ‘Very good,’ means that absolutely everything worked in perfect accord, and would continue to do so generation after generation until the Plan of God came to its full realization.
John 16:21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish of childbirth, for joy that a man is born into the world.
There is nothing more intricate, perfect and possessed of an incredible potential than a newborn baby. Growth to maturity is a part of its promise. Thousands, if not millions, of complex connections form an involved composition of organs, glands, controls, and sensory perceptions. The five senses: sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell are only the most obvious. The infant’s digestive, respiratory and excretory systems are interlaced into its muscle and skeletal structures. The child’s immune, circulatory, hormone and nervous systems function Together perfectly. Imbedded deep within the child are his intellectual and reproductive systems waiting to blossom at the proper time.
The human brain will develop into brilliance unmeasured. There are an estimated one hundred-trillion synapses in the human brain – the junction across which a nerve impulse links. There is no design more perfect in all of the physical creation. This design proves a designer, and design is another proof of God.
Psalms 139:13-14 Thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast knit me together in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knows right well.
No man can predict the future. Only God can foresee centuries and millennia into the future because He is in control of it and brings it about. Man can only speculate ahead of time. When prophecy comes to pass – and it always does – then we know it was of God. Fulfilled prophecy is a proof of God. God says:
Isaiah 46:10-11 I Declare the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My Plan shall be accomplished, and I will bring to pass all my pleasure… yes, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
When God intervenes in the natural course of life, it is necessary that He momentarily suspend the every physical laws of nature. The Bible has a word for it – miracles. The unconverted mind will not give God the credit for His miracles, but will instead attribute them to time, chance and coincidence. God the Father, according to His Plan, and to achieve His Plan, often works miracles, as He did at the hands of Jesus Christ. Miracles are a proof of God.
Acts 2:22-23 You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the predetermined Plan of God, and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.
Have you ever cried out to God in prayer, “Oh God, help me?” “Oh God, heal my child?” How many times have our prayers been answered? Answered Prayer is a proof of God.
2Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
To prove that God exists and to know God in a personal way can only take place through the intervention of Jesus Christ. It is only by the involvement of Jesus Christ that we can have faith in God.
1Peter 1:21 Who by Jesus Christ do believe in God the Father, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
Once we believe – the Bible will reveal all we must know about God. There can be nothing more important to us than knowing what God has revealed about Himself, and understanding how intimately involved He is in our lives. How well do we know God? That is an important question. Is He near? Is He in our minds and hearts? Is He with us continually, or is He far away? For many people, especially for too many of those in God’s Church, God is too remote in their lives and thinking. How can we know more about God in order to draw nearer to Him? How can we know more about God so that He becomes real to us?<
The Holy Spirit is the Life of God the Father and Jesus Christ. It is the Power, Wisdom, Mind, Holiness, Love, Mercy, and a multitude of divine characteristics of God. The Holy Spirit is not a person or a separate third member of the Godhead. The Bible reveals that God is not a trinity of beings.
John 4:23-24 The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
When we say, “God is Spirit,” we understand that God is not a part of the fundamental nature of the universe – but higher in essence, form and substance than the physical state in which we were created. Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
In fact, not only is God Spirit, God is set apart above all others. “Holy” means to be set apart. God is Holy. Do not be confused by the trinity heresy that declares God to be three persons because that is not what the Bible reveals. The word “trinity” is not in the Bible. The Holy Spirit is not a third person. God the Father and Jesus Christ are personal Spirit beings. Scriptural references to “Holy Spirit” and “Spirit of God” show God’s incomprehensible might in dealing with His creation. God gets things done by way of His Spirit as we see in Genesis and Psalms:
Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Psalms 33:8-9 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
We humans are temporal flesh and blood – we perish after a while. On the other hand, God is Spirit – eternal Spirit. In the same way that oxygen is the life of our blood, Spirit is the Life of God. At baptism we are given a token of God’s Spirit which is necessary if we too are to have eternal life. We must become like He is. We strive as Christians to acquire the splendid and holy characteristics of God.
Spirit is not visible to us mere mortals – but that should not surprise us because so much of our physical realm is invisible. We cannot see gravity, electricity, heat, air, magnetism, sound, radio waves. We cannot even see light until it reflects or bounces off an object. The characteristics of God’s Spirit are invisible to our eyes:
Ephesians 4:23-24 Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
God's people are cultivating His spiritual characteristics including kindness, self-denial, empathy, compassion, and the willingness to serve others to the point of laying down their life in self-sacrifice. It is only through the power and motivation of God's Spirit that it becomes possible for mankind to become similar to God. It is only by God's Spirit that the saints become God-like:
1Corinthians 15:49 As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
The characteristics of God's Spirit must be in our minds and in our hearts, replacing all of the sinful and wrong thought patterns which once defined us. The apostle Paul said that for our hope of eternal glory in God's Kingdom, "Christ must be within us" (Colossians 1:27). God’s Spirit is able to bring every characteristic of God to His saints – His righteousness, gentleness, peace, compassion, excellence, generosity, mercy… the list is endless. We are totally unable to grasp all of the features of God’s Spirit with our human intellect, because God is far too great. And yet, it is absolutely necessary that we “grow in Spirit” in order to put on the Godly character that is essential to being in the Spiritual Family of God. God's Holy Spirit is the Life, Mind, Love, and Power of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
Are you truly led by God? Do you seek to do God’s will in every thought and action you perform? A Christian is one who is led by God’s Holy Spirit. If we do not have the Spirit of Christ, we do not belong to Him (Romans 8:9,14).
Colossians 3:12-16 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity [‘agape’ – Godly love], which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Those are Godly characteristics and attributes that man must put on before he is given eternal life. God’s character must become man’s character. That takes place when God’s characteristics are emulated by men – and they begin to resemble their Father in heaven. “Good fruit” has been produced in them. There is another set of Godly characteristics listed that when anyone has made them a part of themselves, they have begun to put on the mind of God:
Galatians 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
God’s character, epitomized by His Holy Spirit, is perfect and unchangeable. He determined that His Godly relationship with others would always be ideal and unspoiled in every way; always directed by His flawless, righteous character.
The mystery of the Plan of God is revealed in the pages of the Bible. Sadly, this wonderful mystery is understood by so few people. The reason that few know what the Plan of God entails is because people do not do or believe what God says. They say things like, “You only have to have faith in Jesus,” and in doing so they reject so much of what He came to reveal – and subsequently they remain in the dark. God’s Plan remains a mystery to them. What was God doing before the beginning?
In order for anyone to have all the riches of a plethora of confidence in the greater knowledge of the mystery of God (Colossians 2:2), they must do the things Jesus taught because all the answers are hidden in the things Jesus revealed:
Colossians 2:3 In Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
The first act of God, of which we are aware, is this: In their brilliant Godly wisdom and love, God the Father and Jesus Christ came up with a magnificent Plan – a perfect Plan. They did this prior to the Genesis creation in what we might call the pre-Adamic and pre-angelic ages. God the Father and Jesus Christ decided that they would invest themselves in the greatest venture imaginable.
Before launching into their Plan, they made absolutely certain that it was perfect and infallible in every way. They took into account every possibility, and covered every contingency so that nothing what so ever would ever destroy their perfect Plan to bring mankind into their Family—the Family of God (Ephesians 3:14-15). They would create a mortal being with the ability of replicating itself; that would be capable of putting on Godly characteristics; that would ascend out of darkness; that would shine like the light of the stars of heaven (Daniel 12:3); and become spiritual relatives of the Father and His Son.
Their Plan was to open their close-knit God-Family to others! It was the most splendidly designed Plan conceivable! In what will remain forever the ultimate decision of God, they elected to include humankind in their God-Family.
Because, God the Father and Jesus Christ loved one another before the foundation of the world (John 17:24), they did not see it as an intrusion to invite us into their Family. Their Plan is an expansion of their perfect love. For them, opening the God-Family to others was an act of sharing and giving of their Spiritual substance and very essence. They wished to share their Eternal God Life with an extended Family.
This mind-boggling concept—that we have been created to be like God, as His sons and daughters, was not an afterthought or a fallback notion—it was the very objective for all creation—that we might be filled with all the fullness of God!
Ephesians 3:19 To know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge so that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
That is an enormous statement, “That you might be filled with all the fullness of God!” Our little minds are completely incapable of being filled with all the fullness of God. We have to be changed a lot before that can happen!
Everything in this book about the Plan of God is based on the fact that God’s word (the Bible) is true, and that it is able to set His people apart from those who do not believe it (John 17:17). God’s people fully rely on Scripture to direct their course in life because the Bible is the foundation of Truth – and until a person believes it – he will be second-guessing God at every turn. But we are told by God that we do not need to guess.
Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
With the Bible as our guide, the Plan of God comes alive in a way that is astounding. So much so, we find ourselves saying, “Why is it that everyone cannot see it?” The apostle John added greatly to the Plan of God narrative by explaining that before the physical creation of the universe there was a previous “beginning” (John 1:1-2). That beginning took place in the spiritual realm only.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God. He is God—always was—and always will be. His name is Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14).
Let’s look at some of the “behind the scenes” workings of God the Father and Jesus Christ before they launched into the masterpiece of creation that shows their handiwork. That masterwork is mankind – created with the promise of eventually taking on the very nature and image of God Himself.
Genesis 1:26 God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
God put together His Plan before the creation of spirit beings (angels), and prior to the earth’s first destruction, and prior to the creation of the first man—Adam.
God never intended for the angels to become His glorified children. They were created for the sole purpose of being ministering spirits.
Hebrews 1:14 Are the angels not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Mankind was not an afterthought in the creation process, but the very means and basis by which God’s Plan of reproducing Himself would be carried out. Man was designed with the capacity to be born of God – and for the very purpose of God bringing about the replication of Himself. God’s Plan was completely refined and perfected before time ever began in the pre-creation period. In His wisdom, God considered every possibility so that nothing would ever destroy His perfect Plan of bringing us into the God-Family. David reflects on the unwavering flawlessness and purity of God’s excellent Plan before He ever began to set things in motion:
Psalms 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
In this verse, purified seven times, is a phrase signifying God’s Plan to be finished, and completely purified. Over and over silver goes through the purification process to get pure sterling silver. That is what God did with His Plan of creation before He ever began to enact it. While it was still on the “drawing table,” God’s Plan was perfected—before being inaugurated. Before He began His creation He had to be positive that all things would work together in perfect harmony until His Plan was complete. Writing to the spiritually mature Church of God, Paul contrasts the inferior intelligence of this world’s rulers with the excellent manifold wisdom of God, and tells how superior God’s wisdom has always been:
1Corinthians 2:6-8 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are morally and spiritually advanced: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the leaders of this world, that comes to nothing: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.
Paul was inspired to share the fact with us that perfect Godly wisdom was utilized in His Plan before the world existed. The quintessential achievement of God was in conceiving and designing a being (man), and an enduring environment for him that would always be conducive to the development of good and righteous spiritual growth.
Psalms 104:24, 30 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your riches… You send forth your spirit, they are created.
God refined His Plan from start to finish so that it would be absolutely perfect in every way—before He began! God’s Plan is sure—it is coming to fruition. We see this process playing out so clearly in the Book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 8:22-23 The Lord possessed me [Godly wisdom personified] in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I, wisdom, was fully implemented from everlasting, from the beginning, before the earth existed.
Amazingly, God reveals that in His perfect wisdom, He Planned every move and eventuality – step by step – before He created the earth!
Proverbs 8:23-29 Before the earth existed. When there were no depths, I [Godly wisdom personified] was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills came forth, I, Godly Wisdom, brought forth: While as yet He had not made the earth nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
When He prepared the heavens, I, Godly wisdom, was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth: When He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountains of the deep: When He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth.
God did not begin His magnificent creation unprepared, but He tested, devised and purified every last detail before He ever started. Only then did God prepare the face of the earth for man to develop in the character, image and likeness of Himself. We cannot begin to imagine the incredible detail that God considered before He ever began the work of creation. Paul told Timothy that before creation, God’s Plan specifically included man’s salvation:
2Timothy 1:9 [God] Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
The first workings of God took place in the period before the beginning of time and space. God has existed eternally. He was around before anything else was around. By definition, that is our starting point, but we have to work our way back to comprehend it correctly. That is what we are doing in this chapter.
Isaiah 57:15 Thus says God, the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
In this chapter, we begin long before man walked the earth. In fact we begin long before there was an earth, or even a universe. Everything we are able to detect, or know of, or perceive of had a beginning. But “something” had to come before every object, concept, design or idea we can possibly conceive of. Those who choose not to believe in an absolute First Source Originator (Creator God) are not thinking the progression of our existence through clearly.
It seems counterintuitive to our thinking that we must begin with something, but without a Primary Force or entity (God) nothing could exist. Those who disingenuously assert and accept that we do have something, like the universe, without a First Cause have presented an implausible hypothesis based in denial. For them it seems better to obstinately and foolishly deny the existence of a Creator God than to admit the obvious, which would consequently make them beholding to Him (Psalms 14:1).
As we have shown, there are bona fide ways for finite man to prove that an infinite God exists. Not only is the proof of God possible, it is imperative that we individually prove for ourselves that there is a God. We can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is real. Life is not spontaneous. Life does not come from non-life. All living things are the result of the reproduction of other living things – there are no exceptions. The very first life required a Life-giver. Life is a proof of God. It is wise that we individually prove ‘God’ for ourselves.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He rewards them that diligently seek Him.
Even though God is spiritual He has shown Himself in His works of creation. All that is required is an honest and objective mind looking at His meticulous creation to know that our Creator God exists. Again, take the vast universe as an example. Where did it come from? It has not always existed because it would have burned up by now. The universe had a beginning. Before that space was empty. When there is nothing in space – it stays nothing. The nothingness of space was not explosive. It was not apt to become a Big Bang. Nothingness does not blow up into a universe with billions of billions of star filled galaxies and planets. Modern physicists want to surmise that you can tear apart the fabric of “nothingness” into matter and anti-matter. It is a well-known fact that Energy is equal to Mass times the speed of light squared. That means that energy and matter are interchangeable. Modern scientists have formulated how energy, mass, radiant light and time are functions of physical laws. That means that there is an incredibly enormous amount of energy stored up in every bit of matter.
And when you consider the mass of the entire universe, it goes without saying there was an unfathomable amount of energy involved in creation. To leave God out of the equation scientists must construe that nothingness must somehow be interchangeable with that which now exists. There is an unwritten law that states, when you have nothing – it stays nothing. Creation demands a Creator – so creation is a proof of God. Paul wrote:
Romans 1:19-20 God has shown Himself…in that the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and divinity so that they are without excuse.
Even the godless evolutionists, who believe that life came about spontaneously, realize that the universe is subject to entropy—ever slowing downward in gradual decline. And yet, they persist, and take childish comfort, in believing that the universe evolved from a primordial and primeval nothingness. Cynics say that man created God in his mind, rather than the other way around, and that when man dies God ceases to exist.
Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is not one that does good.
Modern scientists have formulated how time, energy, mass, and radiant light are functions of physical laws. Energy as a component of matter is equal to the speed of light times the mass of materials, times the speed of light again! That means that there is an incredibly enormous amount of energy stored up in every bit of matter that Jesus created.
Everything in the universe is moving from its present order toward eventual collapse. Orbits of heavenly bodies, as well as the elemental primary constituents of matter, are degrading and will finally give way. For example, over time, uranium atoms decay slowly turning into lead. Yes, there is the constant conversion of energy to matter, and vice versa, but there is no new source of energy and matter.
And, yes, there are new stars forming in space, but they are materializing out of greater galactic debris from other deteriorating remnants. Even theories concerning black holes and vast amounts of dark matter cannot violate the first principle of thermodynamics which establishes that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The total sum of energy plus mass of the universe remains the same. As sure as rivers flow to the ocean, and stones finally become the sands of the sea – the universe will erode away.
Under the inspiration of God (2Timothy 3:16), and looking forward to a new creation, the apostle Paul wrote of how this physical world in which we live would one day perish, giving way to something much more superb—which is the earnest expectation of all creation.
Romans 8:19 With anticipation the creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the Children of God.
Paul explains that our transitory and provisional universe was designed to yield to the hope of the resurrection into the eternal Plan of God:
Romans 8:20-21 The creation was made subject to decay and futility, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope, because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of decay into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
It was necessary that a temporary physical dwelling be established wherein the Plan of God would be worked out to the full. In the same way that a child’s spinning top begins to slow down, wobble and then topple over, everything in the universe is winding down. But, how did it come ‘up to speed’ in the first place? Remember, there was ‘nothing’ to come up to speed. By excluding a Creator God, scientists must theorize about things like, ‘what’ blew up in a Big Bang, and ‘where’ matter goes that gets sucked into black holes? Is it captured forever, becoming a part of an even more powerful black hole? Does it go out the other side of the black hole into an alternate universe? Where did the substance of our universe come from? The universe is not eternally old – there was a point where there was no space and no matter at all. When you start with ‘nothing,’ it stays nothing.
At creation God put a spin on every galaxy – indeed the entire universe. The physical universe is also going to topple over, but not until it has fulfilled its transcendent role leading to a spiritual future! Isaiah and Peter spoke of this eventuality:
2Peter 3:10-13 …The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conduct and Godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth.
Isaiah 34:4 All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
This present world in which we live is not going to last forever. That is why we are told not to base our hopes on the things of this earth, but to look on the things above (Colossians 3:2). This present earth is going to vanish.
Psalms 102:25-26 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of your hands. They shall perish, but you shall endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shall you change them, and they shall be changed.
The children of God and the coming new universe have an incredible everlasting spiritual future! Isaiah prophesied about the same new creation that will be forthcoming:
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall endure forever before me, says the Lord, so shall your children and your name remain.
God is real, and He does real things. What was God thinking before He began the creation— before the beginning? Let me add some perspective to this:
When I was a kid, I loved the funny papers. I would read them every Sunday morning. I liked the comic strip “Peanuts” created by Charles M. Schulz. Imagine for a moment that cartoonist Charlie Schulz is the god of his little comic world – a miniature society of young children featuring the characters Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Lucy and Linus, a beagle named, Snoopy, among others. As he sat in his art studio at his drawing table He was able to determine the beginning of the story and the end of the story in each strip. Charlie Schulz created and drew the characters in, and gave them their individual characteristics.
In the same way,God looks down at His vast creation just as Charlie Schulz looked down on his comic strip. From a single perspective God sees the beginning and the end. He even determines what the beginning and the end are. God is gracious enough to tell us a lot about the end. That is what the Biblical glimpses on prophecy are all about. God says:
Isaiah 14:24 Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed so it shall stand.
No one, or no incident, is going to prevent God’s will that has been set in motion.
Isaiah 46:10-11 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure… I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
But dear reader please understand this: Physical things and spiritual things are as different from each other as a flat two-dimensional comic strip on paper is from living and breathing three-dimensional real life. Speaking of Himself, God reveals this about His creative acts, and the transient nature of the physical universe.
The creation that we see about us has a transcendent future that will endure forever after this physical universe will have passed away. The very name of God, “I Am,” denotes His constancy; God is what He has always been, and what He is, is what He will always be.
Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not.
Time and space were created by God together. Because space consists of more than two dimensions, we tend to think of a three-dimensional existence – but actually time is also a dimension. Space-time joins four-dimensional space into a single continuum. In the space-time continuity of General Relativity strange things begin to happen. For example, at extremely fast speeds the mass of an object increases incredibly. The point is this: Even when one considers many more dimensions (as mathematicians are inclined to do), God is not affected. Spirit is dimensionless – and God is Spirit (John 4:24). God, who created all things, is perfectly capable of intervening at any point and working His will—and His will is being done!
God’s ultimate creation comes about in dual stages. Because we are flesh and blood it seems to us that physical comes first – and then ultimately, the spiritual. Scripture reveals, however, that the spiritual creation actually pre-dates everything physical. The physical is temporal, whereas the spiritual is eternal. God is interested in the end product of His creation, and that end product is spiritually created beings in the exact image of His Spiritual character.
One of the first orders of business on God’s agenda was the creation of legions of advantageous angels. We find that angels have not existed or lived forever in the past. Unlike God, the angels had a beginning. Speaking of the angels we read in:
Psalms 148:5-6 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and the angels were created. He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
Unlike God, the created angels had a beginning. Paul confirmed this when he referred to the angels in this way:
Colossians 1:16 By God all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
A great deal of God's creation is invisible – even within the physical realm. Air is invisible, as are the sun's light and radiation, gravity, the earth's magnetic field, and so on... It should come as no surprise to us that invisible things are very real. This verse, however, is primarily referring to the invisible spiritual creation. The dominions, principalities, and powers are angels. We know that they were created before the earth and universe (Job 38:4, 7).
Angels were created before God began the physical creation of this earth, the other planets, and the stars in the sky. Not being a part of our physical realm, angels do not die as men do – they are ageless (Luke 20:36). However, like with men, the character of angels was not fixed when they were created, but able to change, subject to their free will. Until the angels came to the point of recognizing and accepting Godliness as their way of being, they were fully capable of rejecting God’s way and doing their own. So, in God’s perfect Plan, He factored in the possibility of an angelic insurrection. God even had an alternative course of action in place to allow for interruptions, such as Satan’s iniquity and the sin of Adam and Eve.
God the Father and Jesus Christ had done an immense amount of planning, preparation and application of Godly wisdom but they had not yet put their Plan into operation. The very first act of creation that God has revealed to us is that of the angelic heavenly host of spirit beings.
Psalms 148:2, 5 Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for He commanded, and they were created. The invisible spiritual realm of the angels was created by Jesus before the physical creation was begun. Jesus made them and He sustains them. We are not told much about how God brought the angelic host into existence. We do not know if their creation was individually – one at a time as men come into being – or if God suddenly brought them all into existence in an instant.
Hebrews 1:7 God brought forth His angels as spirits, and His ministering spirits [serving spirits] as a flash of lightening.
Man would know nothing of the invisible spirit world were it not for the fact that the angels are revealed by God in the Holy Scriptures. Angels cannot normally be perceived with the five senses. In a few instances and for His purposes, God has allowed angels to make a temporary changeover into our physical realm (Hebrews 13:2). When angels appear, they usually do so looking just like men (Daniel 10:16). However, God desires that mankind know of the myriad of angelic helpers He has created (Psalms 91:11). From the twenty-four spirit beings that surround the throne of God to all the host of heaven standing by God on His right hand and on His left (1Kings 22:19, Revelation 4:4), they are ready to perform their special services in worshipping God and declaring His supreme holiness. Angels were created by God to serve Him and man. For the time being angels are superior to man.
Hebrews 2:7 God has placed man for a little while lower than the angels.
Jesus too, assumed that lowly subservient position while on earth. However, it is revealed that the resurrected saints will be superior to the angels just as the resurrected Jesus Christ, who is crowned with glory and honor, is superior to the angels today (Hebrews 2:9).
Jesus created a vast array of spirit beings. Individually, they specialize in a host of specialties. Thrones, archangels dominions, Seraphim, Cherubim, principalities, and powers are angelic designations of which we know very little. We do know they were all created by Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:16-17 By Jesus Christ were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.
Scripture shows clearly how God the Father is the Creator God, and how He created all things through the Word – His Son, Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 1:2-3 God the Father has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Jesus whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds. Jesus being the brightness of His Father’s glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
We see here that it was through Jesus that God the Father made the worlds. Because it is so important to know, and for emphasis, there are many places in the Bible that reveal that God the Father created all things, including the vast universe, by and through Jesus. It is imperative that we understand what preceded the actual creation of the heavens and earth? Obviously, there was a great deal of Planning, forethought and interaction that went on between Jesus and His Father prior to His first creative actions.
A better translation of "worlds" is "ages." The Father created the ages through Jesus. The Bible speaks of "ages," and refers to the divisions of time, history, and culture from eternity past to eternity future. Without a physical universe, there would be no such thing as “time.” We see that it was through Jesus that the Father "made the worlds." It is Jesus who created the pre-flood age, this present age, and He will also bring about the ages to come.
It is Jesus Christ who is in command of, and restrains, the phenomenal forces of nature by supporting and sustaining everything by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). Physical laws, whether Copernican or Quantum-Mechanics, operate well below and outside of the threshold of God’s spiritual realm. All of the physical laws in the universe are subject to God and they are there to do His bidding.
They were set in motion for a purpose – and one purpose alone – and that is in order to aid in the development and completion of mankind as the eternal and glorious Children of God according to His Plan. From the very beginning God’s intention was to bring many sons and daughters to share in His brilliant glory:
Hebrews 2:10 For it became [God the Father], for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory…
That verse tells us that God has made it our destiny to be glorified spirit beings, just as they, God the Father and Jesus Christ are glorious spirit beings. His Plan is that we enter the Family of God forever more. The phrase “bringing many sons unto glory,” means that it is God’s Plan to make men into glorified spirit beings just as He is. And His children will be a part of His Family forever more.
That term, "glory" has to do with the future brilliant glorified state of those resurrected spirit beings who will have attained to everlasting life (Psalm 8:5). The very Plan of God from before the foundation of the world was and is for the Children of God to obtain glorious eternal life.
But, in order to do so each individual’s character and image must be dramatically made over and greatly revolutionized to conform to the image of God. God is sharpening and perfecting His character in those who believe Him and humbly yield to His will. Notice the description of the glorious resurrected Jesus Christ:
Hebrews 1:3 The Son [Jesus Christ] is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His image.
God's Plan is to create full-fledged sons and daughters in His image as God-beings. As such, we will be born as spirit-life beings endowed with the same spiritual qualities of holy righteous character as our glorious brother, Jesus Christ, who has attained to glory through His resurrection.
Hebrews 2:11-12 For both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, I will declare your name Father unto my brethren.
God's Plan is to create mankind into fully matured sons and daughters in His image as God-beings with everlasting life. The resurrected saints will enter the Kingdom of God in the same way that Jesus did, by being glorified after death (John 17:5).
Godly character must be built of free choice, developed over time, and shaped by pressure, until man comes to see the true ways of God, and to know that there is a penalty for sin (1John 3:4). God created man for the supreme purpose of reproducing Himself. Notice how we are lumped into the same family relationship with Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 2:11-12 Both He that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: For which cause Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, I will declare your name Father unto my brothers and sisters.
To be able to come out of darkness and into God’s glorious light it is necessary that the distinction be understood of how God the Father created all things by His Son. The relationship and bond between God the Father and Jesus Christ represents ideal Godly love and complete harmony. The spiritual concept of the Plan of God was committed to Jesus to be turned into the present reality. Please notice the wealth of Scriptural evidence that positively testifies to the fact that Jesus is the hands-on Creator God:
Psalms 102:25 You laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of your hands.
Everything that exists does so because Jesus made it so for His Father.
1Corinthians 8:6 To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.
Near and far, physical and spiritual – Jesus created them all.
John 1:3 All things were made by Jesus; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
For salvation’s sake Jesus set aside His spiritual glory to become a part of this physical world which He had created (Philippians 2:6-7).
John 1:10 Jesus was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.
Colossians 1:16 For by Jesus Christ were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible.
All that Jesus creates; He does so at the behest of God the Father.
Ephesians 3:9 God the Father created all things by Jesus Christ:
Hebrews 1:2 God the Father has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son… by whom also He made the worlds.
Jesus is the Logos, the Word, and all things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
Psalms 33:6, 9 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth… For He spoke and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
The entire creation is subject to, and directed by Jesus who made it. There is a principle to consider: Just as an artist is to be more highly valued than his paintings, Jesus’ life and existence is of greater worth than that which He has created. We will see later how Jesus was able to lay down His life in exchange for our salvation.
Hebrews 2:10 For it became Jesus, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things...
Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Master of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands.
Psalms 146:6 The Lord made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that is therein.
The earth was created by Jesus specifically as a home for mankind. He did not create it to be a wasteland, but to be inhabited:
Isaiah 45:12, 18 The LORD says, I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded… For thus says the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in a disorderly ruin, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is no other.
Fundamental to the Plan of God is for His people to have a personal relationship with Him in His ever-increasing Family of God. When Paul wrote in Hebrews 1:3 that God upholds the universe by the word of His power, it means that Jesus Christ is guiding, supporting, powering and sustaining everything through the power and mightiness of His Spirit. Without His ever vigilant support everything would vanish in a split-second just like when matter and anti-matter come together and annihilate one another. Jesus is the ruler and the one who preserves all that exists. Not only did Jesus create absolutely everything – He upholds it and keeps it running.
The relationship and bond between God the Father and Jesus Christ represents ideal Godly love and complete harmony. They determined that their Godly relationship with others would always be perfect and unspoiled in every way; always directed by flawless, righteous character. Therefore it was necessary that creation consist of finite rather than eternal substance. God is eternal, and He is eternal Spirit. His character is perfect, fixed and good. Mankind, on the other hand, has not yet developed perfect righteous character, and is therefore subject to coming short of God’s perfection.
God is not going to give His gift of eternal life to any who have not unequivocally chosen His way of righteousness; and with the help of His Holy Spirit rejected lawlessness altogether. It is God's Plan, that only with our willingness and submission to His sovereignty, will He infuse His holy righteous perfect spiritual character in us. While the gift of salvation is within our grasp, it is not determined until we have finished the race by enduring unto the end (Mark 13:13). How we run and finish that spiritual race has everything to do with how we exercise the true faith and the doing of it. That means that we are to be living that belief system that God has shown to us and called us to. That is why we are told to be doers of the word, and not hearers only (James 1:22).
We must be living it with every fiber of our existence! Those who refuse to walk the strait and narrow path will be allowed to perish (Matthew 7:13). That is why mankind is created with a temporal existence, because all men will not enter the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 7:14, 21 Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto Life, and few there be that find it… Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
At one point or another, each in his own order (1Corinthians 15:23), God is sorting out those who will be like Him. First He makes us His conceived children, and if we are faithful to maturity, spiritual parturition, then we are invited into the eternal Family of God. God’s children will hear the words, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
John 1:12 But as many as received Jesus, to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name:
The universe, including mankind, was created with a Plan, and for a purpose. That purpose is to provide a suitable setting in which man is able to dwell and develop Godly character.
Isaiah 42:5 Thus says God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; He that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk thereon:
The meaning of this verse shows that the purpose for which God created this earth was so that there would be a place for mankind to live and flourish. The ultimate goal of God’s Plan is seen in the beauty and perfection that will be revealed in the eternal Kingdom of God.
Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.
God knew absolutely where He was going with His Plan; how He was going to bring it about; and what He was going to achieve even before He began to enact His Plan. That is another really big statement!
Before there were any stars, sky, sun or earth below, God established His quintessential spiritual Temple in heaven. The holy places and things of God that we have seen on the earth are only replicas of the heavenly. God’s Spirit is compared to a river flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb that brings life. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells (Psalms 46:4, Revelation 22:1).
Genesis 2:10 A river went out of Eden to water the garden.
God has revealed to us that there is a perfect spiritual Eden in heaven. The Garden of Eden replica on earth for Adam and Eve was only a physical facsimile of the real heavenly paradise (Ezekiel 28:13).
Revelation 2:7 … To him who overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
God has many other patterns which also reflect the reality of His Plan. For instance, Moses constructed the Tabernacle in the wilderness using the blueprints of heavenly Temple itself.
Acts 7:44 Our fathers had the Tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the pattern [blueprints] that he had seen on Mount Sinai.
And there is the perfect spiritual Temple of God in heaven which is the master prototype or pattern from which Solomon’s Jerusalem Temple was also built. The heavenly realities of the Tabernacle, the Temple and the Garden of God pre-existed even before the creation of the physical earth and universe.
Hebrews 8:5 There are priests… who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle: for, See, says he, that you make all things according to the pattern shown to you on Mount Sinai.
Notice that Paul is telling us about the heavenly objectives, which pre-existed this earth’s creation, which are the ultimate goal of the temporary earthly renditions we have known of.
Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns on earth of the things in the heavens should be purified with these Old Testament animal sacrifices; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
When Paul speaks of ‘heavenly things’ there is an interesting Greek word used, Epo-Uranious, meaning above the sky. Known to the ancients before the time of Jesus Christ was the object we know as Uranus. It is the seventh planet from the Sun, and at magnitude +5.7 Uranus is barely visible to the naked eye on very dark nights. Uranus is named after the Greek mythological deity of the sky Ouranos. Uranus is the Latinized version. The element uranium derives its name from the same source. In short, Paul was referring to the true heavenly things which are able to reveal the Plan of God.
What we see in Hebrews 9:23 is that Jesus Christ, of necessity, was fulfilling the heavenly Plan of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). That is reality in the making! Jesus was completing and perfecting the Holy of Holies in heaven! The earthly Tabernacle, Solomon’s Temple and the re-constructed Temple of Herod are all gone. They are not what Jesus entered.
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures [Greek antitupon, antitype in English] of the true, [the real]; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
Exodus 25:8-9 God said, Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye fashion it.
The Holy Place in heaven is not manmade with hands as the Tabernacle and the Temple were. Jesus Christ has entered the Holy Place in heaven itself in the presence of God the Father. Antitypes are merely the representations of the genuine article. An original type is the real thing – usually in heaven or the Old Testament that foreshadows something that follows. Types are often prophetic in nature.
Often, types in the Old Testament prefigure their greater fulfillment antitypes found in the New Testament. For example, the Passover lamb was a type of Jesus Christ.
We can understand how and why God’s very real spiritual Temple in heaven is off-limits to sinful mankind. The patterns which are in heaven are indestructible, while the things on earth are simply physical examples of that which exists in heaven. God gave His prophets the plan or pattern from which to construct the Tabernacle and the Temple (1Chronicles 28:19, Exodus 25:40). The patterns in heaven were in place before the beginning, prior to the creation of the physical world. God showed the blueprints to Moses for the construction of the Tabernacle and all its furnishings while he was on Mount Sinai.
Numbers 8:4 This work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern [blueprints] which the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the candlestick.
When it was nearly time for Solomon to build the Temple, God gave David a roll of drawings showing every detail to be intricately and precisely followed. God gave David the blueprints of the heavenly temple and all its accoutrements so that David could pass them on to Solomon to build a stone and metal temple at Jerusalem.
1Chronicles 28:19 David said, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern [blueprints].
God had previously given Moses the same detailed blueprints for the Tabernacle:
Exodus 25:8-9, 40 Let them make me a Sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern [blueprints] of the Tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it …And be sure that you build them after their pattern [blueprint], which was shown to you in the mount.
Please understand that all the holy things we have seen on earth are only replicas of the spiritual reality previously established in God’s heaven.
Specific successive steps in the Plan of God, over the span of time, are clearly referred to again and again in the Scriptures.
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the ages, periods of time and steps in God’s Plan were thoroughly prepared by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
There are stages in the continuing progression throughout history of God’s development of His Plan. In Chapter One we describe a major theme of the Bible: Darkness to Light. Then there are the seven key stages used in this book for the purpose of portraying the overall Plan of God. Each phase is described in-depth according to God's Divine Plan of Salvation for mankind:
Chapter 2 – Before the Beginning – Devising the Plan
The ascent of God’s Plan continues in leaps and bounds toward its completion. Worldly theologians have come up with their own varying lists to describe and limit the development of stages according to the Biblical narrative – but they always miss the mark because they have rejected God’s Holy Day Plan as revealed in Leviticus 23. They refer to themselves as dispensationalists. These dispensationalists have been taught that the Jew’s feast days have been done away with, or nailed to the cross, or some such dismissal. However, they go off course because the Holy Days are the Feasts of the Lord – not the feasts of the Jews. When properly observed, God’s Feast Days hold the key to understanding the consecutive stages in the Plan of God.
Leviticus 23:2 The Lord said, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them concerning the Feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be Holy Convocations, even these are my Feasts.
A Holy Convocation is a commanded assembly of God’s people for His special purposes. Since it is God who commands that His Holy Convocations be observed – perhaps the dispensationalists should reconsider their bias against the Feasts of the Lord, and follow God’s lead to find out what they are all about.
The Plan of God was a mystery from before the beginning, but when He came, Jesus declared that it was no longer to be hidden in secrecy, but shown to His spiritual brothers and sisters. However, Jesus deliberately concealed the meaning of the mystery of the Kingdom from those not being called to Christianity at that time. Jesus and His apostles revealed the mystery of the Kingdom of God unto the Church brethren. Paul said that the mystery of the hidden wisdom of God – which God ordained before the world unto our glory – was now available to the Church (1Corinthians 2:7). God revealed Himself and worked with men in diverse ways during the early phases of His Plan, but He never revealed the mystery of His entire Plan until the era of the New Testament Church.
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
1Timothy 3:16 Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
This godless world has contrived its own inexplicable and nonsensical mystery about the nature of God consisting of three persons, which is found nowhere in the Holy Scriptures. It is totally made-up and its origin is in paganism. The strange thing is that most Western religions have made this artificial trinity mystery the test of orthodoxy and accepted doctrine for their faith. The sad thing is that this unintelligible fabrication blinds the minds of those who would know the truth of God. Most people have never heard of, much less understood the mystery kept secret from the foundation of the world. Paul tells us what the Biblical mystery actually is and to whom it is being revealed.
Colossians 1:26-27 The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints. To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The glory of God is the brilliance, the magnificence, the power, the majesty, the greatness, and an unlimited host of indefinable attributes of almighty God. Our human language comes far short of being able to define the wonderful glory of God. And yet it is God’s Plan that His people take on every characteristic that He possesses—even God-life ever more! Few people know Jesus and what He taught, and even fewer are willing to submit to His way of living. Therefore, the people of this world do not know God, and they do not know Jesus Christ.
As a result, most people in the world are blinded as to what God is doing. The world is oblivious to these wonderful revelations, and cannot comprehend them because their eyes have been closed for now. The mystery is revealed only to those whom God is calling to be His divine sons and daughters.
Few people consider that God is a personal God who is touched with the feeling of our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). Few people ask themselves questions like: What is God doing? What makes God happy? When will God be finished with His present project? What is His Plan? Does He even have a fixed Plan in place?
Only God’s people are able to know the answers to these questions because they have been revealed to God's apostles and prophets – and are recorded in the sacred Scriptures for those who have the eyes to see (Ephesians 3:5).
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He reveals His secret unto His servants the prophets.
Intellectually, those men in the world believe that they are able to discern as much as true Christians, but without God’s calling and granting them repentance, the faith of Jesus Christ, and the motivating influence of God's Holy Spirit – they are not be able to live their lives according to the principles Jesus has laid before us.
A general definition of a Biblical dispensation is God’s administration of a period of time in an appointed age. The word dispensation comes from the Greek ‘oikonomia’ – which literally means "household management.” As used in the Scriptures, ‘oikonomia’ refers to the individual periods in the administration of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). God worked in certain ways and revealed specific things at various times according to His Plan. We follow the Scriptures to observe the dispensations or steps in the Plan of God which are revealed through the meaning of the Sabbaths (pl) – weekly Sabbaths and also God’s Holy Days – the Feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23). It goes without saying that if you are invited to an event and you show up a day late – you miss the entire affair. In the same way, God is deadly serious about the way in which He is worshipped and the lessons to be learned on His Holy Convocations. God regards the Sabbath Day to be the link –the sign – between Him and His people. The Lord spoke unto Moses, saying:
Exodus 31:13-14 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Truly my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you (set you apart from others). You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
We find an example of God’s self-revelation in the Book to the Ephesians. The Scriptures speak of past ages [aion], the present age, and the age to come.
God's Plan is to replicate Himself by developing man-kind into God-kind, placing us into the eternal Family of God. Paul describes the mystery of the Plan of God:
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the sonship of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…
We find here that God the Father decided in advance to make us His sons, sons of God, [Greek uihothesia, sonship in English] in His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He Planned to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.
Paul alludes to the yet future final time period when everything in the Plan of God will come to fruition. The entire work of God will be complete when that final step will have come to fulfillment. God will have brought many sons and daughters into His glory at the realization of the dispensation of the repletion and culmination of all the steps in God’s Plan.
Ephesians 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of His will – [the Plan of God] – according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the Fullness of Times (pl.) He might accomplish all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.
Again, Paul is saying that God will have completed His Plan by and through Jesus Christ – in the "Fullness of Times." When all things have been achieved in man, in heaven and on earth Jesus will return everything to His Father, so that God may be all in all (1Corinthians 15:28).
God’s blueprint Plan was fully devised before He began to initiate its implementation by His creation.
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose [Greek prosthesis, a setting forth beforehand] of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will.
Here in the Book of Ephesians the word "dispensation" is a reference to God’s Plan – His active involvement and administration over time in bringing about His will. Dispensations (in the span of time) are the duration of specific periods of time. For example, some dispensations are periods of time in which man is tested with respect to his obedience to certain revelations of the will of God. Each dispensation is accomplished in order. The things that God brings about are not the same in every age, but are progressive, happening or developing gradually or in stages – proceeding step by step. They are interconnected major interventions to bring about His Plan of adding God-beings to His Family. But one thing that remains constant is God’s Plan to bring us into a glorious eternal relationship with Him. God’s Plan is a Plan of Salvation, a plan of resurrection to eternal life, a plan of glory and a plan of hope:
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
God's Plan is sure. Step by step, God is resolutely moving forward in His Plan to bring many of His sons and daughters to glory in His eternal Family of God. From the beginning of beginnings, God's intent has always been to dwell with those who are His children.
Exodus 25:8 Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
Leviticus 26:12 I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
The Plan of God remains a mystery to all of mankind—except those who have been called by God into His Church—because God's Plan for mankind is only revealed to those who have been privileged to receive His Spirit.
1Corinthians 2:9-10 As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Jesus made the distinction clear to His disciples of how He was revealing the mysteries of God to them and not to the people of the world just yet. That is why those who are uncalled are so confused about Jesus parables.
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto the disciples, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given. [The Kingdom of Heaven is the Kingdom of God]
Even the prophets of old were not privy to the Plan of God and the mysteries of the kingdom, because Jesus brought that revelation when He came.
Matthew 13:17 Truly I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them.
There are distinct steps in time of God's intervention in setting His Plan in motion. Always keep in mind that He is actively bringing His Plan to fruition. There are distinct periods or ages for establishing and overseeing the Plan of God as defined in the Bible. Jesus knew the end from the beginning because He is the Alpha and the Omega. He said:
Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
The very reason that the Church of God is able to set the events of God's Plan in chronological order in this book is because so much of this knowledge has been imparted to us (Ephesians 3:3-5). When a person is keeping God's Sabbath Day holy; celebrating the Feast Days of the Lord; and obeying His Ten Commandments, God begins to open their mind to His Plan for mankind (Leviticus 23, Psalms 111:10).
In the beginning, there was only God the Father and the Word, who is Jesus Christ.
John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.
They were the only two beings that existed. God the Father is the eternal, glorious, supreme Creator of the heavens and the earth, the source of all life. God is a personal Spirit being, the epitome of love, wisdom, justice, power, goodness, and mercy. God is the Sovereign Ruler and sustainer of all that exists.
The relationship and bond between God the Father and Jesus Christ represents supreme Godly love and complete harmony. Jesus of Nazareth is the Savior, the divine Son of God, begotten of Holy Spirit. Born in the flesh of the virgin Mary, Jesus became fully human, and died for all. Jesus is the Messiah who will soon come again to establish His Father’s Kingdom over all the earth.
Before there was a physical universe, God created and began using a countless number of angelic spirit beings to regulate, oversee and communicate many of the variables in the physical world. Because the spirit realm surpasses our physical realm, angels are able to monitor and intervene wherever necessary in accordance to God’s will. The angels of God even rejoice when one sinner Repents (Luke 15:10).
God called them messengers or angels, and they were designed to be beneficial serving agents or, "ministering spirits" (Hebrews 1:14).
How many angels did Jesus create? When angels were created time had still not begun. There were so many design characteristics that needed to be calculated prior to creation in order to work perfectly the first time. Angels were the number crunchers that would oversee their myriads of individual calculations and projects for more than 10 million species. For example, even after it was decided that flying squirrels would eat pinion nuts, the air density had to be taken into consideration for their projected trajectories and right wing loading on the membrane between the front and back legs.
As an architect ‘sees’ his project before he starts the actual design and construction – angels had to ‘see their projects’ before God was ready to go ahead with His creation. Imagine the magnitude of vision and forethought required to bring God’s creation into existence!
One more telling example: Angels programmed the butterfly’s navigation system – their airborne control centers – giving them their “instinct” to return to the same bush their now deceased parents visited the year before on another continent. Those same butterflies also required a nectar gathering apparatus before the flowering plants were ever in the earth!
Genesis 2:5 Every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew…in the ground.
Interestingly, angels which cannot reproduce, are given responsibilities to interact with beings who can reproduce. Jesus tells us that the angels were not created with the ability to reproduce:
Matthew 22:30 In the resurrection men neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
The angelic spirit world is vast and varied just like the physical creation of seemingly limitless varieties of animals, plants, insects, and microbes. Just consider the immense number of species of birds, fish, warm and cold blooded creatures, trees, grass, ferns and lichens – the list would be staggering.
God's "ministering spirits" are also untold and manifold in number and variety. They were created for the purpose of carrying out God’s directions especially for those who would eventually be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:14) Jesus said that He was able to call on more than 72,000 angels at a moment's notice (Matthew 26:53).
Angels are sometimes referred to as “sons of God,” because they are beings created by God, but nowhere in Scripture is there any indication or suggestion that their purpose and destiny was to be glorified beings in the Kingdom of God as man is destined to become. And yet, the angels celebrated to witness God’s handiwork. The very moment that Jesus finally set in motion all of the intricate designing and planning of this physical masterpiece of the universe, all the angels rejoiced greatly! Speaking of the angels as the morning stars and the offspring of God:
Job 38:7 The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Satan and his demons were included with the sons of God in an angelic conference:
Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them (Job 2:1).
Man’s destiny includes eventually judging and ruling over angels. The eternal Jesus Christ, Son of God, is above and superior to all the creation He made. And yet He humbled Himself to be mankind’s Savior (Philippians 2:7-8).
Hebrews 2:9 We see Jesus, who was made a little while lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Even while in the flesh, God gave man dominion over His creation.
Hebrews 2:7 You made man temporarily lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of your hands:
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
Because of their spiritual state, angels are superior to fleshly mankind – but that will change for Church brethren at the time of the first resurrection.
1Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?
So God started by creating the vast angelic realm and then the immeasurable, physical universe – this earth, the sun, the moon and the billions of stars (Colossians 1:16). It is so expansively enormous that it is impossible to measure or comprehend its size.
The mission or responsibility of the angelic host was to employ all of the elements and forces that existed in order to establish a protected home for mankind to dwell in. The earth was the province of the angels to be developed and perfected by the angelic host in order to provide an advantageous environment in which mankind would flourish and prosper. Satan’s task was the development of the earth and everything that pertained to it. He was put on earth to tend it with the help of myriads of lesser angels. Before he was sent to earth, Satan had been trained in heaven before the very throne of God, and he had angels under his command. Jesus said:
Matthew 18:10 Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
Why did God create so vast a universe with so much power and so much potential? It was certainly created with a Plan, and for a purpose. Those men and women who have been drawn by God, and called into His Church, have been given the ability to believe in God's sovereignty, providence, protection, and goodness (John 6:44, 65).
Our calling is to walk through life with the Father and the Son, because through our relationship with them, their fundamental attributes and qualities will always be before us, which is how we will take on the character and image of God.
God created man for the supreme purpose of reproducing Himself. Carnal sinful man is not yet made in God's image because God has perfect divine character. Development of righteous spiritual character in man is a must for man to be in the likeness of God. It is God's Plan, that with our willingness, He will infuse His holy righteous perfect spiritual character in us./p>
As individuals, we have our part in developing Godly character. Righteous character is the capacity to discern what is right from what is sin, and to choose correctly by resisting the wrong and taking a stand for what is true. We cannot have Godly character without the motivation and power of God’s Holy Spirit. And after that, to realize that spiritual character is a gift of God. Each and every one must overcome sin and cultivate Godly spiritual character during this lifetime in order to be born into the Kingdom of God!
The creation of the vast physical universe took place billions of years ago.
Isaiah 45:11-12 Thus says the Lord, the holy One of Israel, and his Maker… I have made the earth, and created man upon it. I, even my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their host [the angels, stars, planets] I have commanded.
Clearly, God had a Plan and purpose in creating the earth with its wonderful climates, vegetation, rivers and lakes—and that objective was to create a habitat for mankind:
The archangel Satan was created perfect, beautiful and very powerful (Ezekiel 28:15). He was positioned at the very throne of God as one of His covering angels. There was no more important position than that held by Satan at God’s throne in heaven. Jesus created him and placed him in that high place.
Ezekiel 28:14 [Satan], you are the anointed cherub that covers [the throne of God]; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire [in the heavenly Temple].
Because of the devil’s rebellion against God there was war in heaven. The archangel Michael and his angels fought against Satan and his angels.
Revelation 12:7-9 There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The devil became the Adversary of God and man, and was cast down to the earth. Only two covering angels remained covering the throne of God – most likely Michael and Gabriel – the only two archangels named in the Bible (2Chronicles 5:7). The Ark of the Covenant was fabricated by gifted artisans according to the pattern and blueprint of God’s throne in heaven with only two covering angels.
Exodus 25:19-20 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
Two cherubims of gold covered the Ark of the Covenant – one at each end of the mercy seat. Facing one another, they stretched forth their wings on high over the mercy seat – covering it!
“Satan” was not the original name of the evil being we know as the devil (Greek daimonion, lying false accuser). “Satan” means “Adversary.” “Lucifer” is not a good translation of the Hebrew heylel – a Pagan deity (Isaiah 14:12). The Soncino Chumash, a set of Hebrew Bible commentaries, has for heylel, “The morning-star (son of the morning) under the name of Istar was worshipped by the Babylonians…” Ishtar is Easter. We are not told what Satan’s name was when he was created by Jesus Christ, but it was a beautiful name like the names of Gabriel and Michael. Satan forfeited the use of his right name by his dissent against God – and God never mentions his name again! Jesus calls him the devil. He is the very powerful spiritual being that led the revolt against God.
Jesus has qualified to replace and subdue Satan’s rule over the earth but has not yet done so because Satan yet retains his power and authority over mankind (Matthew 28:18, Luke 4:5-6). Satan’s evil influence is pervasive – like the air – it is everywhere. Satan is god of nothing. Paul is wise to make him only a prince of every bad attitude.
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
Colossians 2:15 Having spoiled principalities and powers, the fallen angels; Jesus made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Through His crucifixion Jesus stripped Satan and the demons of their power and authority, and openly exposed the demons making an example of them. Jesus gained victory over them all. When Jesus returns to this earth to establish His Father’s Kingdom, He will have bound Satan for a thousand years (Revelation 20:2).
Within God’s word Satan is referred to in many different ways: In Genesis 3:1 we find the great dragon, that old serpent, who deceived mother Eve (Revelation 12:9). Satan remains “The prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2); or “the prince of this world” (John 14:30;16:11).
Paul calls the devil “the power of darkness.” Jesus calls the devil “the wicked one” (Matthew 13:19). Paul calls Satan “the tempter” (1Thessalonians 3:5). In Revelation 12:10 he is called “the accuser of our brethren.” However, Paul refers to “the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” without mentioning “Satan” (2Corinthians 4:4), because, it is God, Himself, who blinds the minds of the unbelievers and hardens their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, [that God] should heal them (John 12:40). Satan is “an angel of light” (2Corinthians 11:14). Jesus identifies the devil in John 12:31 as “the prince of this world.” Jesus says that Satan is a wolf that seeks to destroy the sheep of God (John 10:12). Peter says, “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1Peter 5:8). Satan has covered our world in darkness, but Jesus will see him bound at His coming:
Isaiah 25:7 He [Jesus] will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
Luke 10:18 Jesus said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God.
We also know that Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden on earth. They sinned, and that sin separated mankind from God (Isaiah 59:2). Man inherited death as a result of his sin. Death is not natural, but it can be overcome through Christ and His shed blood. It was necessary that God reconcile the world to Himself through Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:19-22 It pleased the Father that in Him [Jesus Christ] should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.
All our days we must strive to maintain and build on that reconciled state with God the Father.
Satan was a magnificent being of the angelic creation... the most beautiful and brilliant of them all in fact – the highest in prominence. Satan was perfect at the time of his creation, but he was created with free moral agency; that is, he had free will and could choose for himself. God said that Satan was perfect and full of wisdom (Ezekiel 28:12):
Ezekiel 28:15 You [Satan] were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.
God started out in the spiritual realm by creating the vast angelic host to be His servants, and eventually the servants of man. And then God created the immeasurable, physical universe – this earth, the sun, the moon and the billions of stars (Colossians 1:16). It is so enormous that it is virtually impossible to comprehend its size.
Why did God create so vast a universe with so much power and so much potential? It was certainly created for a purpose.
As you and I would measure progress, God’s Plan was moving along very well. Then something horrific happened! Iniquity, imperfection, sin, jealousy and rebellion were found within the angelic realm – horrible sin! It was a dreadful thing, but it happened before the character of those in the angelic realm was firmly established.
Satan, an archangel, sinned; thereby becoming the Adversary. He proved to be unfaithful to the Plan of God. He revolted and led one third of the angels into rebellion. Satan and the angels who followed him were originally created as holy beings capable of making their own decisions and choices. They could choose to stand for God’s way, or they could reject it. They rebelled against God’s way of love that is outgoing concern for the good of others. In doing so, those angels became demons.
Those demons rejected the way of humility, of love for their Maker, of giving, serving, cooperating, and sharing. They turned instead to Satan’s way of lust and greed, of competition, bitterness and destruction. As a result, God has reserved for them darkness forever.
2Peter 2:4 God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell [tartaroo] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment…
Jesus subjugated the demonic powers, and will ultimately put them in their right place—to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (Jude :13).
Our earth was well on the way to completion when it was annihilated in the demonic battle that took place at the time that Satan attempted to seize God’s throne. Satan forgot the principle of light that states: Darkness cannot encroach on light, while light dissipates darkness. That is truer in the spiritual world. Darkness could never win in a battle to dethrone God who is Light (1John 1:5). Light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:5). Satan could not understand how he could lose his battle against God.
Because of the restraints placed upon them, Satan and his demons can only go so far in taunting man. God has placed a protective hedge about His saints. Satan and his demons were referred to as sons of God when Satan presented himself before the throne of God in order to get permission to vex the ancient patriarch Job.
Job 2:1-2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said unto Satan, where do you come from? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 1:10 Have you not made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Persecutions will come as God allows His people to build character, but God always make a way to escape, that His people may be able to bear it (1Corinthians 10:13). Satan desired to take Job’s life.
Job 2:6 The Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.
Satan’s rebellion and the ensuing war were unable to put a stop to the inevitable Plan of God. That is because God had an alternative course of action in place to allow for interruptions, such as Satan’s rebellion and the sin of Adam and Eve.
God the Father and Jesus Christ had determined that their Godly relationship with others would always be perfect and unspoiled in every way; always directed by flawless, righteous character.
Though God did not directly reveal the entirety of His Plan of the expansion of the God-Family to him, Satan was brilliant enough to figure out a good part of the Plan of God.
Could it be that Satan – who was the most brilliant of all within the angelic realm – determined that he was not going to be relegated to being subservient to human beings? Perhaps in his pride he thought it too demeaning for someone of his stature. Satan rebelled against God, becoming the Adversary. Satan was not alone when he rebelled against God. One-third of his angels accompanied him and became demons in the process – which means that the other two-thirds of the angels remain loyal to God until this day. Even the good angels would not understand the full nature of God’s Plan until Christ’s work of redemption (Ephesians 3:10-11).
Satan rebelled because of pride and jealousy. He could not accept God's goal to reproduce Himself through mankind. Satan figured out God's intention that once those human beings, who are made out of the dust of the earth, enter into the Kingdom of God and are transformed to spirit beings in the very Family of God – they would be above him. Satan was furious and incensed because it was he who wanted to be like God, or even ‘God’ himself.
Isaiah 14:13-14 For you [Satan] have said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
Satan wanted to be just like God – or better yet, he wanted to be God – in place of God!
Long before mankind existed, the planet earth was the location for the angels to provide a good home in which mankind could grow and develop. Satan was created by God to be a ministering spirit. He was an angel of the highest responsibility. Satan rejected what God had given him to do. We are shown Satan’s demise:
Jude: 6 The angels which kept not their first estate [administering God’s Plan on the earth], but left their own habitation [for the purpose of going to heaven to dethrone God], He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Those fallen angels are now reserved in everlasting chains under darkness – that is, they are the demons of darkness, still ruling on this earth, who are "chained" or held captive. There is no humility in Satan – only pridefulness.
We find that Satan falls from his station at the throne of God to the earth because iniquity is found in him.
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Isaiah’s implication here is that Satan is a false God - O shining star, son of the morning!
When Satan was a covering cherub in heaven with Michael and Gabriel, adorned with every precious gem, he was in the heavenly Eden—the Garden of God in heaven. The Eden of Adam and Eve was only a replica of the heavenly Eden. Satan was no longer adorned with precious jewels, but appeared as a serpent (Genesis 3:1-2).
Through the Prophet Ezekiel, Jesus said to Satan:
Ezekiel 28:13 You hast been in Eden the Garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that you were created.
So we see that Satan was brilliantly endowed with, not only unmatched intellect, but with incomparable talent, limitless expertise, every resource, including the capacity and the means to accomplish the task God set before him. But, Satan’s pride overcame him and he sinned. He thought himself to be on a par with God the Father and Jesus Christ—or even superior to them.
Ezekiel 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Ezekiel 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
It was Satan's plan to rival God Himself—but it was God's Plan to glorify His children in the Family of God (Hebrews 2:10). Satan was prevented from achieving his takeover of the throne of God and cast to earth. In His hate Satan reasoned that if he could not be God—nobody else was going to be God either. He set about destroying the preparatory work on earth that had already been done in creating a habitat for mankind.
Beyond that planetary destruction, Satan introduced sin into the world of humans (John 8:44; Genesis 3:4) — knowing that sin would result in death to mankind (Romans 6:23). Satan hates the Plan of God. Jesus said of Satan:
John 8:44 …He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of lies.
When Satan rebelled against God the earth was well on its way to becoming a habitation fit for mankind (Isaiah 45:12-18). However, Satan, in his hatred of God’s Plan began to populate the earth with dinosaurs and mighty sharks – making the land and the sea unfit for man’s survival. Pterodactyls with fifty foot wingspans ruled the skies. After all, Satan himself is described as a great dragon (Revelation 12:7). Finally, in a gigantic battle, asteroids from outer space wreaked havoc on the earth and its environment. Comets and meteorites bombarded the earth’s surface until no life remained. Thick dust and gas covered the entire globe blotting out the sun. The ruined earth became a bizarre and isolated world of death and destruction. Everything was destroyed and in total darkness.
Genesis 1:2 The earth became without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
We end this chapter with the physical earth having become tohu, bohu and choshek. Tohu and bohu mean without form, and empty. But take notice that the Hebrew choshek means ink-black darkness. Satan’s obliteration left the earth pulverized and trashed, and with his unique signature—darkness—covering the planet for a long while.
In Chapter Three we will see the face of the earth renewed. A prophetic Scripture describing the re-creation and the renewal of the surface of the earth can be found Psalms:
Psalms 104:30, You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.