Plan of God
Re-Creation and Renewal
The psalmist was inspired by God to record:
Psalm 104:30 Lord, you sent forth your Spirit, they are created: and you renewed the face of the earth.
We have seen thus far how God created the spirit realm before the physical creation of which we are a part. Long ago God brought about everything that we know of, and much more.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
It was such a vast and magnificent handiwork that man is still discovering and delving into the understanding of it. When there was absolutely nothing physical at all, no sea, no earth, no universe – and because God had not yet created even the basic building blocks of the universe to work with, He started from scratch – following, and never deviating from His Plan. He created the laws that govern the universe and everything in it; all of the elements, energy, and forces enough to construct all of the stars, galaxies, planets, sun, moon and more. Not only is man unable to duplicate His efforts, we cannot even fathom how God did it. God created all that exists. Physically speaking, most certainly He utilized the services of countless and innumerable angles in perfecting the virtually incalculable details entailed in bringing about this beautiful home for mankind. Why else would the angels sing for joy at the sight of this magnificent creation (Job 38:7)? They greatly rejoiced because God had given them a superb part in it.
God created life, and true to His Plan it was reproducible life. Myriads of extraordinary plant, animal and insect species flourished and propagated throughout the earth. Having begun to dominate the earth, some of the animals were of gigantic proportions. We find their relic evidence buried in the stratifications of the earth’s multiple and varied layers. Much of it giving testimony to its sudden devastation and burial under massive stone debris which eons later would be providing the coal and natural gas that man uses today. It is not revealed in the Scriptures when and exactly how the Plan of God was interrupted but we are told that Satan and his demons revolted and were cast from heaven to the earth bringing about its near total destruction.
Revelation 12:7-9 War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his demons, 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 demons were cast out with him.
Luke 10:18 [Jesus said]: I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
As a result, catastrophic destruction swept the face of what had once been a wonderful earth—on its way to being an ideal habitat and environment for mankind to dwell in. Reflecting back on that chaotic event, Isaiah asks the rhetorical question:
Isaiah 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Helyel [Satan], son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Thus, the Bible gives geologist (with the ears to hear) the only plausible answer to their many theories. Only the Scriptures solve the worldwide geological phenomenon with which geologist are faced. And, since God’s Plan included every possible contingency—God renewed the face of the earth.
God began revealing His eternal Plan of salvation to Adam, the first man, and subsequently to Adam’s son, Abel, who took his faith to the grave—the first martyr. The Plan of God was forgotten by mankind. Never the less, the Plan of God has been an ever-present influencing and controlling force throughout the history of mankind. Hidden and concealed from the world, God’s purpose in creating the universe is again revealed to those He has chosen. But, the Plan of God has remained a hidden mystery to most. Even today, for the greater part of mankind, the concept of a Creator God is elusive—and His Plan to bring sons and daughters into His Family, even more obscure.
The entire universe exists for the very purpose of creating many men and women in the glorious image of God Himself. The heavens would not exist at all in the sky above except for the fact that God determined in His great expansive love to create man to be like Him. The words, “in our image,” telling of man's ultimate destiny to be like God, must not be underestimated. Man in the flesh comes far short of resembling the supreme spiritual God. Man was created to be like God, but the process is ongoing.
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.
Where Genesis 1:26 reads, “Let us,” it refers to both God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They are, in fact, two separate beings sharing one Spirit. The Father and Christ are a duality of beings—but not limited to two. The incredible truth of the Bible is that God has determined to replicate man into a multitude of Divine Family members.
This Chapter on the renewal and re-creation of the earth begins at the second verse in the Bible:
Genesis 1:2 And the earth had become without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
That was when this earth was darker than ever. As we begin to see the earth being renewed, we first find the introduction of light as a symbolic elucidation of God’s ultimate Plan of enlightenment:
Genesis 1:2-4 The earth became without form [‘tohu’] and void [‘bohu’], and darkness [‘coshek’] was upon the face of the deep... And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
We learned that tohu meant a desolate wasteland, and that bohu meant a shapeless devastation – but we did not reflect as much on “choshek” which means a miserable darkness.
There was an example of a miserable darkness at the time of the Exodus:
Exodus 10:21 The Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness [‘choshek’] over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.
The First Messianic Prophecy – Let there Be Light
Genesis 1:3 God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
This prophetic utterance by God is the first of many, many Messianic Prophecies in the Bible. “Let there be Light,” is a reference to Jesus Christ who would bring enlightenment and salvation to all mankind. Paul acknowledges the fact that God vowed to send a Savior prior to mankind’s existence.
Titus 1:1-2 …Acknowledging the truth which is after Godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
1John 2:25 And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.
God created the earth in beauty and perfection. He created it to be inhabited.
Isaiah 45:18 …God Himself formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in vain, He fashioned it to be inhabited.
The meaning of this verse shows the Plan and purpose for which God created this earth was to be inhabited by mankind. His intention was and remains that there would exist a place for mankind to live and flourish.
In an attempt to thwart the Plan of God, Satan rebelled and devastated the face of the earth rendering it uninhabitable during the time span that takes place between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Perhaps in an attempt to make the world uninhabitable Satan had, through the manipulation and modification of the genetic properties of certain animals, bred fierce flesh eating reptile-like creatures. In any case, after Satan’s widespread destruction of the planet, God began to bring the earth to order—recreating the face of the Earth as we see in Genesis 1:2:
Genesis 1:2 … And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Early expansive prehistoric animal development prior to the time of the diabolical destruction is abundantly evidenced by the earth's wide-ranging fossil record. God did not create the fossils as we find them today. They are the remnants of a myriad of early created life forms—like sea creatures and giant sharks that filled the oceans. The psalmist reflects on the period of time when the earth was entirely covered by water:
Psalm 104:6 Thou covered the foundations of the earth with the deep waters as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
Psalm 104:25 The great and wide sea is full of thy riches Lord, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
The fossils are also the remnants of the immense dinosaurs that later roamed the surface of the earth. Satan’s extensive war brought about extinction and obliteration of early life on the earth. We saw in Chapter Two how the fossil record came into being at the time when Satan was cast out of heaven. Paleontologists have found many species of the earliest dinosaurs from 300 million years ago. Evolutionists try to base their fraudulent case on two points: Evidence of an ancient earth teeming with life, and a different world today. However, the Bible reveals that Divine creation following after a worldwide cataclysmic destruction is the correct explanation.
The fictitious theory of evolution is a feeble attempt to deny the obvious truth—that man’s temporal life requires a life-giver. Ultimately, mankind needs the addition of spiritual eternal God-Life added to his temporal human existence. God’s Spirit is His Life that He alone is able to impart to us.
God did not create the fossil record in the petrified form in which it is found today. Fossils exist as an early record of one stage of this earth’s early development. Vast deposits of deceased plant and animal life accumulated in early geologic ages to become today’s coal, petroleum and natural gas stores – providing the energy to fuel this present age before the return of Jesus Christ. Scripture provides for the record of the prehistoric ages in which God was instrumental in preparing the earth for the next step in His unrelenting, on-going Plan. Scientists define many stages from the earliest Paleozoic [Greek for ‘ancient life’] to the Cenozoic [Greek for ‘new life’]. It was Satan’s rebellion that necessitated God’s re-creation of the face of the earth.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Psalm 146:5-6 …God made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that is within them.
Spiritual Creation Comes to the Earth
Genesis 2:2-3 On the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and set it apart from the other days: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.
God does not need rest. God rested as an example for man. The Sabbath is a part of God’s spiritual creation with prophetic overtures for all time. On the seventh day, which was a Saturday, God rested from all His work of the physical creation. He set aside the seventh day for His spiritual purposes. God had to give man the seven-day week or it would not exist at all! The Sabbath was created as a day of physical rest and spiritual nourishment. It is the principal day to worship God. We find the prophetic prototype of God’s little understood time schedule for His Plan in the beginning of Genesis.
In nature’s heavenly bodies, we find the length of one day defined by the Sun. It being 24 hours for the earth to rotate one turn on its axis, we have the day. We find the length of the month defined by the moon with one revolution around the earth being a lunar month. The length of the year is defined by the stars as it takes 365¼ days for the earth to orbit the sun and return again to the same sidereal constellation. But nowhere in the universe do we find a reference for the length of the week! Where and how did all of mankind come by it? That is a telling question. Why did God give us the seven day week? The answer is because it so clearly defines His Plan for us. The week is highlighted at its end with the Sabbath Day which is a sign between God and His people forever (Exodus 31:17).
Men have searched the circuits of heaven, but nowhere can the week be found. At the Genesis re-creation, mankind was given the Sun to mark the days, the moon to mark the months, and the stars to mark the years. But, where does the time period we refer to as the "seven day week" come from? Its origin is not to be found in the heavens like the day, the month and the year! God gave mankind the seven-day week with the Sabbath at its end because it is not found in nature. God had to give us His seven-day week or we would not have it at all! The seven-day week points prophetically to the seven-thousand year Plan of God.
2Peter 3:8 …One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Every race of man all around the earth recognizes the seven-day week because it was given before the great flood of Noah's day, and before the scattering of civilizations (Genesis 11:9). In fact, the seven-day week was assigned to man at the very time of creation. The world hates to admit where the week came from – and yet, everyone observes it, but there is no other source for the week – except God Himself! All around the earth, everyone’s calendar is built around the week – without giving God the credit for its design and origin. The whole world goes by the seven-day week – but few know the derivation of it – fewer still, keep the seventh-day Sabbath Day holy. Jesus said unto them:
Mark 2:27 The Sabbath was made for man.
Exodus 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
The Sabbath is the memorial that reminds us each week, not only of God’s physical creation, but also of His incredible future spiritual Plan for mankind's future. We are able to see God’s physical creation with our eyes. Yet, the seventh day Sabbath rest is a part of God’s spiritual creation just as assuredly as His physical creation was on the other six days of the week. There are few who understand that the Sabbath is a memorial of creation, or who believe that the weekly Sabbath rest is the promise of the prophesied one thousand year Kingdom of God on earth (Revelation 20:6).
The Sabbath is a sign that identifies the people with whom God is working. Paul referred to New Testament Christians as the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16):
Exodus 31:14-17 Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defiles it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord... It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.
The Sabbath day is holy time because it was God, Himself, who set the seventh day apart from all the rest of the week. The Sabbath is Biblically commanded – by God. The Sabbath Day is the first picture we are given of the different epochs in the Plan of God’s spiritual creation.
The Sabbath Day was observed as a distinctive day by Jesus Christ, the Apostles, and all the faithful New Testament Church of God members. The Sabbath Day was given for the very purpose of having God’s people come before Him in weekly worship and remembrance of His great Plan of redemption. God is the one who made the Sabbath holy. By resting on the seventh day, He “sanctified” it, setting it apart for a special purpose. After completing His work of re-creating the face of the earth and creating all physical life, including mankind, God rested!
God provides a brief synopsis of His Plan in the Book of Exodus. It is an astute picture of 6,000 years of labored hardship followed by a glorious 1,000 years of peaceful rest.
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, making it holy.lign="justify">2Peter 3:8 Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
In Chapter Four we will take a closer look at the sin of Adam and Eve—the fall of man, and how God has allotted 6,000 years for humanity to go its own way in order for man to learn the futility of his way of self-governance compared to the efficacy of God's guidance in the issues affecting mankind. God has allotted an additional 1,000 years of “rest” with Jesus Christ ruling over the affairs of man. God established His 7,000-year master Plan which began at the re-creation of the earth.
The seventh day of the week, beginning at Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is the Holy Sabbath of the Lord. On this day God directs us to rest from our physical labors and pursuits, and be spiritually invigorated and rejuvenated. God rested on the seventh day after creation, picturing, not only the weekly Sabbath rest, but also the millennial rest at the end of the first six thousand years of God's Plan for mankind. Jesus Christ always observed and kept the Sabbath Day holy as God’s Commandment calls for:
Luke 4:16 Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as His manner was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.
Acts 17:2 Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath Days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.
Deuteronomy 5:12 Keep the Sabbath Day to sanctify it, to keep it holy, as the Lord thy God has commanded you.
God is allowing man to work a prophetic six days—six thousand years, followed with His seventh-day rest—a 1,000-year Millennial rest.
The Millennial Rest
Hebrews Chapter Four shows a connection between God's rest on the Sabbath Day during the re-creation week and the coming one-thousand-year reign of Christ on earth, called the “Millennium.” We will see more on the Millennium in Chapter Six. It is the story of paradise regained and set up on earth once again—with God’s Kingdom being established over all the earth by Jesus Christ.
It follows that the other six weekdays of the re-creation represent the 6,000 years man has been on earth. God has a 7,000-year plan to bring humanity into His Family, and recorded history shows that we are at the end of man's allotted 6,000 years before the 1,000 years in which the earth will be returned to an Eden-like excellence. It will be a 1,000-year peaceful rest that will follow this present age of human labor and futile struggle to master and govern the earth. Prophetically, the Millennium is compared with or corresponds to a “day” of the week.
In setting apart the seventh day Sabbath as God did, He defined the seven-day week and prophetically pointed to the ultimate rest for mankind – the millennial rest spoken of by the apostle Paul:
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Paul says that no one should miss out on God’s prophesied millennial rest – shown by the weekly Sabbath Day.
Hebrews 4:3-4 For we which have believed, we ourselves are entering into the rest, as He said, “As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest…”: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works (Genesis 2:2).
Then Paul pointed out that most of the Israelites who came out of Egypt died in the wilderness. They missed out on their “Promised Land Rest” because of their lack of faith – and yet, there remains God’s promised rest.
Hebrews 4:5-6 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief (Numbers 14:23, 32:11, Deuteronomy 1:35):
Then Paul explains that this “rest” of which God speaks was not only that of the Promised Land as some supposed. King David spoke later of the “millennial rest,” as being yet future. And since there was no Greek word to adequately express the concept of the “millennial rest,” Paul had to coin a new Greek word – sabbatismos – used only here in the entire Bible. Sabbatismos means “a keeping of the Sabbath Rest.”
Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains therefore a keeping of the Sabbath Rest for the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us endeavor therefore to enter into that rest.
Paul is saying to Christians that it is necessary to enter into the weekly Sabbath rest just as God did in the beginning. Because the Sabbath is from creation—and the Creator Himself set the pattern for man by resting on it—it has universal application for all mankind. The Sabbath Day is vital to man's well-being because it shows the greater ongoing spiritual creation of God reproducing Himself through the Children of God (1John 3:2). More on this Sabbatismos thread later in this Chapter.
Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed.
God planted a breathtaking garden, the Garden of Eden, making a place of beauty, tranquility and comfort for His children—a veritable paradise. The entire earth was not restored—only a relatively small portion dedicated for the purpose of God instructing man in His perfect way. The beautiful Garden of Eden was physically fashioned to be an exact replica of the spiritual Garden of Eden in heaven (Ezekiel 28:13).
Fish, Fowl, Cattle and Animal World
Genesis 1:20-23 God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Kind after Kind
Genesis 1:24-25 God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
A Strange Environment
Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
God reveals details of His creation of the earth in intricate detail that we would never be able to figure out for ourselves otherwise. Before the creation God envisioned and perfected each and every aspect of what the physical creation would consist of. Consider the many types of grass that are extant around the planet. Before they were on the earth, they were in heaven being made completely free from faults and defects. Heaven is where the concept of pollination and cross-pollination were thoroughly analyzed in plant life before they were placed in earth's environment. It is God’s design—not wild and meaningless evolution. Cross-pollination for example allows for a grand diversity in species of grasses and plants—it had to be just right. Ask yourself, “Where were the plants of the field before God saw fit to re-plant them on the earth?” And, “How could these plants survive without cultivation and rain in due season?”
Genesis 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
The earth’s atmosphere and climate were exceedingly different from what we find today. There were differences in air density, humidity and solar radiation penetrating to the earth’s surface, and there were subterranean seas in abundance (Genesis 7:11). We have all seen the fog in the cool of the morning and we have experienced dew so heavy that the ground was saturated. Evidently, that was the type of weather typical on earth prior to the flood. There was never a rainbow like the ones we observe after a summer shower today.
The First Rainbow
Genesis 2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
It was not the rain, but an enveloping water vapor that irrigated the foliage. That would all change when God sent the great Noachian Flood upon the entire earth for mankind’s iniquity. Both, the subterranean seas and the dense clouds in the heaven were released at the same time:
Genesis 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
For the first time since re-creation the sun’s rays were able to break through the heretofore impenetrable clouds and split into the glorious colors of the rainbow. God set the rainbow in the sky in remembrance of His oath to never again flood the earth. God said:
Genesis 9:11-14 I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth. And, this is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud.
God Made Man
It was a Friday – the sixth day of re-creation when God the Father by way of Jesus Christ made man. Jesus would not be known by the appellation ‘Jesus Christ’ for some 4,000 years – but nonetheless, the Father created all things by and through Him (Colossians 1:16-17). 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 (Ephesians 3:9). That is why John straightforwardly says of Jesus: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
It is here that God gives His specific purpose statement – His objective in creating mankind. Mankind is to be made glorious as God is glorious (Hebrews 2:9-10). Man is destined to be in the very same image and likeness of God Himself.
Adam made in God’s Image
Genesis 1:26-27 God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
A non-believer will read this verse and conclude that it is man who is anthropomorphizing God – ascribing man’s characteristics to the Creator. They fail on two points: First of all, God is speaking here—not man. And secondly, these verses distinctly say that it is God who is assigning His image and likeness to man. Man is to become like God is – “we shall be like Him” (1John 3:2).
These verses do not say that God looks like a man. He is not a physical flesh and blood human; He is Spirit (John 4:24). God created us to become as He is, not the other way around. Man is not yet completely in the image of God because this creation is an ongoing process. The Children of God are being created in the likeness of His own character image—wherein His standard of righteousness is being engraved onto our very beings. For this course of action to be beneficial, God gave men and women the ability and the freedom to choose, and yet all their choices are still subject to God's sovereignty. This Godly development will not be completed in us until the time of our resurrection and the return of Christ.
Philippians 1:6 ...He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Mankind was created to be in the image and likeness of God. But, man is mortal without the possibility of eternal life inherent in himself, except and until he receives the Holy Spirit of God with the laying on of hands at baptism. The very purpose of man's existence is to ultimately be born into the Family of God. Christians are already the Children of God, heirs of the promise, but not yet inheritors (Romans 8:17, Ephesians 1:18).
Show Me Your Glory
Isaiah 45:12 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.
God did not create the earth in a state of waste, confusion and darkness. It became that way as a result of Satan’s retaliation against the Plan of God which relegates the angelic world to that of ministering spirits.
Hebrews 1:14 Are the angels not all ministering spirits, sent forth to serve those [the children of God] who shall be heirs of salvation?
God created man-kind for the very purpose of becoming God-kind. God is ultimate brilliance – such that if a man gazed on God’s glory he would be eradicated.
Exodus 33:18-20 [Moses said to Jesus] I beseech you to show me thy brilliant splendor… show me your glory, [And Jesus said] You cannot see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
God radiates such brilliance that man cannot even come into His presence. But, He has created man to ultimately be changed into a comparable brilliance to His own – though man will never be equal to God’s almighty attributes. Daniel speaks of how faithful mankind – the saints – will ultimately take on some of the radiance that God displays.
Daniel 12:3 They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the heavenly expanse; and they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever.
Thus the creation of man was commenced in the flesh – with the ultimate goal and purpose of becoming spiritual beings with the character and image of God Himself. Man does not yet possess the strength of character, the glorious spiritual image, and the likeness of God, but he will! The Bible is the story of how God is bringing about His Plan to make man like Him.
Breath of Life in Man
Genesis 2:7 The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
God breathed life into Adam and he became a human being. This one statement entails so much. What is a human being, and what are his attributes? He is able to reproduce and replicate himself. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, but God does not have to step in and create a new life at every conception for every person. God breathed life into mankind – once and for all. It was God who created and placed that human spirit in man.
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, says the Lord, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.
Job 32:8 There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding (38:36).
This breathing of life-giving breath into Adam was a singular event. God put the spirit of man in Adam – and he became a man. God instilled into Adam an extraordinary vital life force that established mankind above all the other animals (Genesis 1:26).
Job 35:11 God teaches us more than the animals of the earth, and makes us wiser than the fowls of heaven.
Only man-life is destined to become God-Life which is Spirit (John 4:24). After that initial life-giving action by God, all human life proceeded from Adam because God had created life in him as an inherent and essential attribute. Eve was not a new creation as Adam was. Eve was "taken from man" retaining that original, unique, “life” given to Adam by God. It is not necessary for God to create a "new life" each time conception takes place because life was passed from Adam, first to Eve, and subsequently to all mankind. We read:
Genesis 2:22 The rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man.
This shared life concept will take on much greater significance throughout this book as it is shown that God the Father and Jesus Christ share the same Spiritual Life – and their Plan is to eventually have the great majority of mankind share in their God-Life. In the same way that husband and wife are one flesh (Genesis 2:24), God the Father and Jesus Christ are one Spirit.
Ephesians 4:4-6 (4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The incredible lesson of this book is that we too are destined to be of that same one Spirit.
Spirit in Man
God has given man a human brain and fired it to life and reason—hence our mind. The human mind is the most complicated mechanism in the universe by far! Computers cannot feel, cannot be happy, cannot think, cannot fear, cannot envision life, let alone eternal life, and cannot love. Next to the human mind a computer is nothing more than a bucket of nuts and bolts. But, add to our mind the workings of God’s Holy Spirit and what do you have? You have a Child of God. As children of God, every detail of our lives is intricately known by our loving Father. Indeed, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
Human beings have an intellect composed of a physical brain working in conjunction with a non-physical element – spirit – that God formed in us. The non-physical element is the component that the Bible calls, the spirit in man.
1Corinthians 2:11 Who knows the things of a man, except by the spirit of man which is in him?
Romans 8:16 The Spirit [of God] itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the Children of God:
It is difficult to put into words what this spirit in man is, but it defines who a person is. It is the non-tangible part of the mind which recognizes each individual’s personal identity. We each have a unique identity that distinguishes us from all the rest of mankind. The spirit in man gives us self-awareness so that we know who we are. The mind, heart and spirit of man is his knowing and cognitive nature. The Bible utilizes the word heart as the seat of emotions of our very being. Heart is used figuratively for both emotions and intellect. God even speaks of His own heart in this figurative manner when He speaks of how the evil thoughts of man’s heart grieve His heart (Genesis 6:5-6). God knows our heart and mind and thoughts (Psalm 139:1).
Psalm 44:21 … God knows the secrets of the heart (Mark 7:21-23).
The spirit of man is not a conscious element of man—rather it is the human spirit which imparts the capacity, an additional dimension, to the human brain enabling man to reason, to think, to be aware of his own existence. Only man can write music, invent the heretofore unknown, and fulfill his dreams. Man has been given the ability to add wisdom to his human mind (James 1:5).
Man has deemed himself “wise man” – homo sapiens. The spirit in man is an immaterial aspect of our being that records for us our performance. It is the conscious part of the mind that tells us who we are… who we deeply are to the very core of our existence. One aspect of the spirit in man is his personal individual conscience—the moral monitor of a person. The conscience is guided by the character of an individual. In actuality, the spirit in man is more the essence of who we are than the brain which can be seen and touched, for the brain remains after death – but the spirit returns to God who created it (Ecclesiastes 12:7, James 2:26). (Man does not have an immortal soul.)
Acts 7:59 They stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
The spirit is man is equated to human breath, but there is much, much more to it than that. Man has an entire additional dimension that is absent in animals. The spirit of man distinguishes us from the animals in that we possess faith, but only because God granted it to us (Ephesians 2:8); we possess attitudes with God-like qualities like character and creative imaginations; imaginations that are able to be brought to fruition (Ephesians 3:20).
Genesis 11:6 The Lord said… this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from the people, which they have imagined to do.
A man's mind obtains and processes information giving rise to reason. Each man has a conscience which is transcendent to the human mind itself. The conscious reasoning mind of man is influenced by the conscience to exercise self-control.
Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
The conscience is a personal record of moral behavior, freedom to choose, and exercise of free will according to informed values of right and wrong, pure and impure, good and bad, morality and immorality, lawful and unlawful, fair and unfair, and justice and injustice.
Romans 2:13-15 It is not the hearers of the law who are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles… show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.
The conscience develops as a person judges his own actions against his moral and belief system.
Acts 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.
Acts 24:16 Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
The conscience is violated when one does something contrary to his morals and beliefs. It is a person's conscience which bothers and convicts him.
John 8:9 They which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one…
The conscience can be dulled by frequent and exceeding abuse. It is as if the conscience is scorched or cauterized (Greek, kauteriazo).
1Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
A converted man's conscience has been purified and made clean by Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts purified from a guilty conscience…
A converted conscience will override and supersede the needs, influences and instincts of hunger, procreation, and even the very survival of the carnal flesh—yes, even life itself. Jesus said:
Matthew 16:25 Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Character is the ethical quality of an individual—the strength of his moral backbone. In a mature individual character becomes fixed—for good or for evil. “A man is only as good as his word.” There is a higher form of character that is being imbued in a converted person. It is holy righteous Godly character. Godly character is a Christian’s objective, though it is never perfectly achieved in the flesh. To attain to Godly character a person must be continuously instructed and shaped according to Biblical values and morality.
Acts 17:11 These were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
2Peter 3:18 Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Godly character is life’s goal for those called by God. A man must be conquered by God. He must willingly yield his will to that of God. He must always choose God’s righteous way over his own personal desires and will. In that way, one becomes “like” God—with Godly character. He is obliged to learn what it means to “lay down his life,” just as Jesus did, and then daily and continuously do so (Romans 12:1). Then he will be taking on the very character of God.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
1John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we are obligated to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Man’s mind is differentiated from that of the animals in that to man is given the capacity to love in different ways: There is the love of a spouse. There is also a proper and good sexual love in marriage, and there is inordinate erotic love (2Samuel 13:1-2). There is a philadelphian love with deep, abiding friendship and brotherly affection for others (Romans 12:10). And there is agape love, the greatest and ultimate of all types of love – Godly love.
God gave Adam and Eve brilliant minds – possessing attributes lacking in the remainder of the creation. To man is given the ability to consider the infinity of eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11). However, because we humans have minds that are finite, we are unable to grasp or explain the infinite. Man has a conscience, a free will and the ability to plan. The animals have none of these things. They have only instinct – their fixed pattern of behavior. They can perform only that which is programmed into them – like the aptitude to migrate or hibernate as the seasons change. Man possess character, for good or evil; he possess intellect, whether he uses it or not; he possess wisdom that has the capacity to put on Godly wisdom (James 3:17); he possess free will which is more difficult to reign in than the tides of the sea; he possess, feelings and emotions that bring smiles and tears; and greatest of all he possess the judgment of conscience that measures his works against perfection (1John 3:20). The mind is not limited to the brain, but as we ascend to Godliness we find that the spirit is man is confined by the mind which is the receptor of inspiration, which has the incredible faculty of being able to receive a token of God’s Holy Spirit (2Corinthians 1:22, 5:5).
Ephesians 1:13-14 …ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.
What is Man
It was King David who prayed for God to reveal to him the nature and purpose of man. Indeed, the Bible contains those answers for us today as well.
Psalm 8:4-6 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that you visit him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou made him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.
Man has a spirit in him, but he does not have an immortal soul or an eternal soul that goes to heaven or hell after death. Man does not possess eternal life because he is an unfinished creation. Without God as an integral part of man, the spirit of man is incomplete and powerless (Romans 7:18, John 15:5). And while incomplete, the spirit in man is hostile, in opposition, and defiant toward God who made him—it cannot be otherwise (Romans 8:7). Paul wrote about the tendencies of the spirit in man without a Godly motivation:
Romans 7:23 I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
James, the half-brother of Jesus echoed that same sentiment about the wickedness of man being great, and that every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5):
James 4:5 Do ye think that the Scripture says in vain, The spirit that dwells in us lusts after envy?
The Plan of God includes the healing of that breach between the mind of man and the mind of God. God will join His Spirit to the spirit of man—forming a new creation. Whenever that takes place, the old spirit in man is no more, and a new life in God has begun.
2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
At that point God puts His way into His children’s minds, and writes them on their hears (Hebrews 8:10). God's Holy Spirit, united with the spirit of man, enables man to keep the commandments, understand the Bible and those spiritual truths contained within it.
Paul spoke of how men are set apart from all living creatures by way of the spirit in man that God has instilled in him. That spirit in man makes him a natural man – a man with a human nature – higher than all the animals – God made him so.
Job 32:8 There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding.
It was at the time of the re-creation of man that Jesus Christ formed man of the dust of the ground, and blew with force into his nostrils the breath of life. Man became a living soul [being]. Jesus put His hand over Adam’s mouth and blew into his nose as He administered the breath of life in a forceful exhaling of air into his lungs giving him physical life. However, that prophetic act of creating the spirit in man looks forward to the future Day of Pentecost when God will breathe into us His Eternal Spirit. At that Day, God will breathe into us, not the human breath of life, but the Breath of Eternal Life forever more.
Job 35:10-11 God is my maker, who teaches us more than the animals of the earth, and makes us wiser than the fowls of heaven.
The spirit in man is man’s link to God. Interfacing with God becomes possible – for the ultimate purpose of uniting with the Spirit of God. Paul elaborately explains how the interaction between natural man and God takes place:
1Corinthians 2:9-14 It is written in Isaiah 64:4, 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 hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit of God searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For how is man able to know the things of a man, except by the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, no man is able to know the things of God except by the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man is not able to receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither is he able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Here, Paul has given us a brief synopsis of this Book on the Plan of God from Darkness to Light, in that we see how the enlightenment of man takes place. In short, the spirit in man allows us, not only to have a relationship with our Creator, but also to become like Him (1John 3:2). In other words, we have become, or are becoming, one in mind and purpose. The spirit in man makes this possible as it says in:
1Corinthians 6:17 He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.
The Holy Spirit when united with the spirit of man, makes it possible for man to keep the commandments, understand the words of God and His spiritual truths contained within the Bible.
After death, that which the spirit in man has become, our non-physical component, is what God remembers of our character, our thoughts and our frame (Psalm 103:14).
Ecclesiastes 3:21 Who knows the spirit of man that goes upward, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?
‘Upward’ means that God keeps perfect track and remembrance of every person’s life. God has a perfect image of us in His mind, and He is able to restore us—even replicate us spiritually. God does not forget us, or anything about us. After all, we are His precious creation. Paul speaks of the dead in Christ (1Thessalonians 4:16) when he says to the brethren who will be a part of the first resurrection:
Hebrews 12:22-23 You have come… to the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.
In Chapter Five we will examine the conversion process wherein the spirit in man is enlivened by the Spirit of God making us Children of God.
Spirit in Man – Plus - the Spirit of God
The natural man is only a stepping stone in God’s Plan to make man into the very image of God. In a few people at this time, God is going over and beyond the natural man to elevate the human spirit above this mundane world by infusing in man’s human spirit a token of His Spirit—which is ultimately to be born into the eternal Family of God in the Kingdom of God. Those who go through this transitional change become Children of God now just as assuredly as a babe in the womb is on his way to becoming a complete human being. It was Jesus who gave us this exact analogy:
John 3:5 It is an absolute truism that I say unto you, Unless a man be born of water [as an emerging fetus from its mother’s Amniotic fluid] and of the Spirit [of God], he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
The King James translators had difficulty with the Greek word for Spirit – ‘pneuma,’ because it is the exact same word translated as “breath.” That is where we get our English word for a pneumatic tire—an air-filled tire with an inner-tube filled with pressurized air. Thankfully, many times in the New Testament, it is called “holy breath” which is correctly translated as Holy Spirit.
Mankind was given the ability to reproduce, thus propagating his human characteristics from one generation to the next. That facility to reproduce is a picture of the Plan of God. God is reproducing Himself, and He graciously gives us a part in the regenerative process. He gave man the gift of reproduction.
Genesis 1:28 God blessed the man and woman, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
This blessing bestowed on the family is a prophetic picture of God Himself. Paul tells us that it is possible to see the invisible hand of God in the creation of nature.
Romans 1:20 The invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are created, even His eternal power and Divinity.
In this case, God is replicating Himself through mankind. That is the very reason He has established the proclivity in man to reproduce. God's Plan is to reproduce Himself by developing man-kind into God-kind, placing them into His Family – the eternal Family of God. Paul said it like this:
Ephesians 3:14-15 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole Family in heaven and earth is named.
God the Father and Jesus Christ are now in heaven – but Jesus is soon returning to this earth to establish His Father’s Kingdom here. It is Man’s destiny to ultimately become a part of God’s Family. Those newly incorporated into the Family of God will initially, for one-thousand years, be reigning and ruling with Jesus on earth.
Revelation 5:10 Jesus has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign and rule on the earth [with Him].
Mankind is being created in the very image and likeness of God. The process of creation will continue until man has become spiritually like God and able to see Him as He is.
The Two Trees
Genesis 2:8-9 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Many people still have a hard time grasping the tremendous significance of the two trees that stood in the Garden of Eden. There were two special trees in the midst of the Garden, and they possessed profound symbolic meanings. Adam and Eve had to choose between carnal nature with Satan as their father (John 8:44), and Divine Nature with God as their Father.
2Corinthians 6:18 I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Adam and Eve chose the forbidden tree, and their choice brought about the foundation of this present evil world, which has led mankind to the type of knowledge that leads to suffering and death (Galatians 1:4). Adam and Eve chose the law of sin and death for themselves and their progeny (Romans 8:2). Godly knowledge would have led Adam to eternal life, instead of the temporary existence we now know.
Adam was incomplete when God created him. He was created needing another Spirit, the Spirit of God. This was freely offered to Adam through the Tree of Life. The Holy Spirit from God would have given man contact with God, and would have opened his mind to the comprehension of spiritual knowledge. Without the Spirit of God coupled with to his human spirit, man was limited to materialistic knowledge.
What would have happened to Adam and Eve and their descendants had they taken of the Tree of Life? The Bible tells us how they rebelled and took of the forbidden fruit. They rejected the Tree of Life, and chose to take to themselves the knowledge of good and evil. They relied on themselves instead of God as the source of understanding and knowledge. In essence, Adam and Eve decided to choose for themselves what sin was. They rejected and abandoned God’s law, which defines right and wrong.
Consider how different things would have been if Adam and Eve had taken of the Tree of Life. God would have ruled in their lives. There would have been no murder, violence or wars. There would have been no sickness. All people would have known happiness. There would be peace everywhere between all nations, groups, families and individuals. But Adam and Eve sinned. They disobeyed the explicit command of their Maker. What did God do as a result of their disobedience? Since they had chosen a human nature for themselves making them unworthy to take of the other Tree of the Garden of Eden – they were force out of the Garden of Eden.
Expelled from the Garden of Eden
Genesis 3:22-24 The Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
God shut up the Tree of Life. He barred access to His Holy Spirit for 6,000 years to all mankind, except for those expressly drawn from this world for a special purpose. In the Old Testament Scriptures, we can see God using only a small number of individuals, the prophets, who wrote the first books of the Bible. This was the case until the coming of the second Adam, Jesus Christ!
1Corinthians 15:45 So it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus Christ] was made a quickening spirit.
The first Adam had the opportunity of taking of the Tree of Life, obeying God, and thereby, replacing Satan on the throne of the earth. But Adam rejected his opportunity, making it necessary for Jesus, as a human in sinful flesh (Romans 8:3), to reject the “forbidden tree” and accept the Tree of Life. Jesus came to do just that – to qualify to replace Satan on that throne. In the Book of Revelation we will see that it was revealed to John that the Tree of Life shall be accessible for all nations of the Kingdom of God.
Tree of Life
Revelation 22:1-2 He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Adam failed to follow God. He rejected God and the laws of God. By rejecting God’s way he lost his right to the Tree of Life. We must ask ourselves, “Do I follow God’s way, keep His Commandments and worship Him in spirit and truth, or do I follow Satan’s way, and worship according to the traditions of men?” Reading further in Revelation, we see that it is the right of those who keep God’s Commandments to take of the Tree of Life.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that keep His Commandments that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
God intended from the very beginning of His creation to make man into God-like beings possessing Eternal Life. For Adam and Eve first, and then their children, God placed a special Tree in the Garden of Eden—a Tree that represented the Life-giving qualities that only God Himself possesses.
God in His loving kindness taught Adam and Eve how to choose His way of Life. To do otherwise would bring certain death, He told them. Adam and Eve were most brilliant – God made them so. God did not create mankind with a sinful nature – where did it come from? Adam and Eve lacked nothing by way of the ability to choose correctly. Their choice would not be only for themselves, but for those children born to them as well. When Adam and Eve sinned, their nature became corrupt (Ephesians 2:3), and that sinful nature was passed along to their children and their children’s children – and even to Jesus Christ (Romans 8:3).
Ephesians 2:3 …We all had our conduct in times past [before conversion] in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others are.
Genesis 2:16-17 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof you shall surely die.
We are introduced to Satan the Deceiver in Chapter 3 of Genesis. To Eve, he appears as a fascinating and brilliant being who is able to converse intelligently and eloquently (2Corinthians 11:14). ‘Serpent’ (Genesis 3:1) is a figure of speech that emphasizes Satan’s unholy character – it does not indicate his appearance. Rather, he is angel-like in that he possess advanced knowledge and wisdom. Eve appears to be neither cautious nor fearful of him, and yet she is entirely seduced by him (2Corinthians 11:3). Adam should have covered for Eve, but he was not there for her (Ephesians 5:23). It is not revealed how Satan won over the confidence of Eve – except that Satan is described as the deceptive adversary of mankind (1Peter 5:8). When Satan began with a distorted statement that meant she could eat of none of the trees, Eve firmly and sternly sets the record straight—“Yes we can!”
Genesis 3:1-2 Now the serpent [‘nachash’] was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, has God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Eve understood God’s instruction (Genesis 2:17) perfectly, but when she reiterates it back to Satan (Genesis 3:3) we are able to see that she has begun to equivocate and be ambiguous – because the Tree of Life is also in the midst of the garden. God had specifically said:
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof you shall surely die.
Notice the subtle was Eve says it differently:
Genesis 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Satan said, “That is not so, You shall not surely die.”
Genesis 3:4 “You shall not surely die,” he said.
That is “the lie” of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and “the lie” of the immortality of the soul. Thus began the foundation of this evil world and the sinful nature of mankind.
Divine Institution of Marriage
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
According to God Marriage is between one man and one woman.
Genesis 3:20 Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
Very early on in the creation process God established the foundational relationship in which mankind was to propagate the earth – marriage. The prophetic route is developed throughout the Bible with God orchestrating the wedding ceremony between Adam and eve; then marrying Old Testament Israel; and then ultimately, we will see that Jesus Christ takes the spiritual Church as His Bride. The Lord showed Himself as Old Testament Israel’s husband and foretold that He would one day soon enter into a new marriage covenant with Spiritual Israel. The New Testament reveals that Jesus Christ will marry the resurrected Church.
Jeremiah 31:31-33, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new [marriage] covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Revelation 19:9 …Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Christ and the Church
Ephesians 5:31-32 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.
Genesis 2:23 Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Adam and Eve were created in an innocent state. They had all the earth to themselves. They had no guilt or shame. Eve did not have her own body, and she did not have a mother. Everyone has a mother. Not Eve!
Genesis 2:25 Adam and Eve were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Eve was of Adam’s body. Eve came out of Adam’s side – she was of his body. These words in verse twenty-three, “She is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” are the prophetic words of Adam as he took Eve to be his wife – prophetically pointing to the marriage of the Lamb.
Ephesians 5:30-31 For we are members of [Christ’s] Body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
This is another Messianic Prophecy – and the first to picture Jesus Christ and the spiritual Church He will marry (Revelation 19:7-9).
For more on this topic see Chapter 5 The Church Age, The Fullness of Time.
It was Very Good
One thousand years before Jesus was born, young David, tending his father's sheep looked up at the starry sky and was inspired to write his inspired thoughts upon considering the magnificent stellar night sky:
Psalms 8:3-4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what is man that you are mindful of him, mere mortals that you concern yourself with him?
David realized that God, capable of creating such vast beauty and perfection, has included man as a part of His Plan. It is a very good Plan.
Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Everything that God had created was in harmony and synchronization with everything else. The whole of creation had been coordinated, sectioned and matched so that no one system would overcome another. The mightiest could live in accord and not be able to eradicate the weaker animals. Man’s immune system was strong and resilient enough that no plague or illness would wipe man off the face of the earth. No unforeseen weather phenomenon would wash man away. God’s Plan was sure and would not be deterred. The earth had been re-created to perfection, and to the extent that man was capable of replenishing the earth with man-kind, it would be so until God Himself was satisfied with the number of sons and daughters He would bring to glory (Hebrews 2:10).
2Peter 1:3 According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and Godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
At re-creation God established the Sabbath and all that it means. The world has rejected God’s Sabbath. Islam has moved to Friday. The Catholics and Protestants have moved their mode of worship to Sunday – anything to avoid the Saturday Sabbath. That is why the apostle Paul, writing after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was so explicit about the Sabbath Day, and the “rest” that it depicts, still remaining.
The Sabbath Remains
Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a keeping of the Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Remember that the Sabbath is a sign between God and the people of God. Reluctantly, secular history attributes the earliest known civilization to use the seven day week to the ancient people of Israel – actually the Jews who were carried captive into Babylon.
In the 21st Century we are looking for the conclusion of the allotted time God has allowed for mankind to learn his lesson – 6,000 years – followed by the 1,000 year millennial rest when Jesus will rule from Jerusalem, making a total of 7,000 years. We are near the 6,000 year mark at this time. Peter has clarified it, and, the apostle John also hides this wonderful truth within his works – for those who have the eyes to see and ears to hear. In the Book of Hebrews, it is Paul who is comparing the promised “rest” of the Promised Land to the yet future “rest” that Jesus will bring with Him – the Millennium. Just before Israel arrived at the Promised Land, we read of that first rest in:
Deuteronomy 12:9 For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God gives you.
The key point that Paul is making in Hebrews Chapters 3 and 4 is that so much of Israel did not make it into the Promised Land, and he warns the Church of God, just as David did, not to make the same mistake of not believing—and thereby missing out altogether on the promised millennial rest. Notice God’s warning through His Holy Spirit of prophecy, where Paul is quoting King David’s Sabbath sermon:
Hebrews 3:7, 11 Wherefore as the Holy Spirit said, Today [spoken on the Sabbath] if ye will hear His voice… So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest (Psalm 95:11).
Then, Paul explains that there are non-believers in the Church of God today.
Hebrews 3:15 While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 3:18 And to whom swore He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?
Belief or Unbelief
If the people of the Church of God make the same mistake of not believing and not imitating the life of His Son, Jesus Christ in everything He taught and lived, they too will not inherit the promised rest of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:34). It is not enough to be in a friendly congregation – there are many of those. It is not enough to be in a congregation that keeps the Sabbath – the Jews do that. It is not enough to be in a tithe paying congregation – there are Protestants who do that. It is not enough to be in a congregation that keeps the Holy Days – we do not have a corner on those either. Where are the compassion, mercy, reconciliation, and forgiveness – that define Jesus?
What is it that makes one a Christian living according to Godliness? How many attend Sabbath services for the purpose of provoking all the others to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24)? How many could define Godly love – or good works for that matter. How many are actually laying their lives down daily as Jesus Christ gave us example? How many even know what that means to lay down their lives (Matthew 16:24-25)? How many know how to overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11), and then set out to prevail over him? That is what “believing in Jesus” means. In a red flag warning, Paul says we must be anxiously on guard:
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear [be on dire alert, on our guard], lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
The “rest” of which Paul is writing here is not a reference to the Promised Land of former times (Deuteronomy 12:9), but to the millennial rule of Jesus Christ when the entire earth will enjoy the peace and rest of the Kingdom of God.
Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest [speaking specifically of the 1,000-year millennial rest], as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest: although the works [six days of creation] were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 4:4 For He spoke in a certain place [specifically in Genesis 2:2 it says that God rested] of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His [six days of] works.
This “day” will be fulfilled at Christ’s intervention and it will last a thousand years (Revelation 20:4). The millennial “rest” was designated at the foundation of world. It has always been a part of God’s 7,000 year plan. The Sabbath Day is the weekly reminder of God’s millennial rest. God’s Plan is sure. There will be a number of resurrected Christians who will reign and rule with Jesus in the one-thousand year Millennium (Revelation 5:10).
Hebrews 4:6-7 Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter into the rest, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, He pointed out a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Let’s go back to that Sabbath service where King David was preaching on this exact same subject – the millennial rest. David’s sermon was given long after so many Israelites died in the wilderness for their unbelief. David is intimating that the millennial Sabbath rest was not fulfilled when the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land.
Psalm 95:7-8 For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear His voice. Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
As we continue in Hebrews 4, we find where the King James Translators, because of their lack of understanding the point Paul was making, failed to translate ‘Jehoshua’ correctly.
Hebrews 4:8 For if [Joshua is correct] had given them rest, then would he [David] not afterward have spoken of another day.
Joshua’s rest in the Promised Land had not fulfilled the prophesied rest – because David (who came later) spoke of the rest still being yet future. Paul is saying that if Joshua had given them “the prophesied rest” in the Promised Land, then David would not afterward have spoken of another day’s fulfillment of that 1,000 year millennial rest yet to come. Paul reiterates that same point:
Hebrews 4:9 There remains [yet to be fulfilled] therefore a rest [again, the Greek had no word for the seventh-day Sabbath rest, so Paul coined a new word – ‘Sabbatismos’ – a keeping of the Sabbath] to the people of God. [Paul is speaking specifically of the weekly Sabbath which points to the 1,000 year millennial rest.]
In the book of Hebrews, the "millennial rest" of 1,000 years is termed a "Sabbath rest," [‘Sabbatismos’] by Paul.
The Moffatt translation of the Bible is even clearer for Hebrews 4:9. It says: "There is a Sabbath-Rest, then, reserved for the people of God."
Moffat goes on in verse 10, “For once a man enters His rest, he rests from work just as God did.” The picture that God has given us is of six days of labor - followed by one day of rest. God established the seven day week as a picture of His entire Plan for mankind becoming Children of God.
Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Those who are privileged to enter into the millennium will have ceased from their own works—which were 6,000 of mankind's disobedience to God.
Hebrews 4:11 Let us be eager therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
It was a horrible example: Nearly all of those Israelites who left Egypt in the exodus died in the wilderness of Sinai. The exceptions were Joshua, Caleb and the youngsters under 20 years of age (Numbers 14:29-38). We see that example here:
Numbers 26:64-65 Among these there was not a man [left alive] of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. For the Lord had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness.
The seventh day is mentioned as a type of the peaceful rest – a 1,000-year rest – that will follow this present age of human labor and futile struggle to have its own way, apart from God. The Millennium, then, is compared with a “day” of the week. The world is oblivious to how very near the beginning of the millennium is now. They do not believe every word of God, so they end up reading over so many important markers.
John the beloved apostle is meticulous in the way he presents the timing of events in his Gospel account – which differs from Matthew, Mark and Luke's synoptic Gospel accounts. In fact, John writing so late – nearly 100 AD – had time to really put events in a right order. Keep in mind that we are talking about how the millennium corresponds to the 7th day.
As the Millennium begins, Revelation 19 shows us that Christ will have taken His Bride, the Church. Jesus will wed His bride just prior to the beginning of that 7th day so that she will ever be with the Lord (1Thessalonians 4:17).
Seven Prophetic Days
Over and over, the Sabbath is hidden in the Scriptures, but revealed to those who have eyes to see. John’s Gospel account utilizes the Sabbath and the Holy Days during Christ's public ministry as his basic outline. Why is John numbering these days in this manner? Notice what John’s time-line reveals. John surreptitiously inserts this same picture of seven prophetic days that David and Paul made mention of. Count the days in this section of the Book of John:
John 1:21 John the Baptist was asked if he was Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. [Day number 1]
John 1:29 The next day [That would be day number 2.] John sees Jesus coming unto him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God,
John 1:35 Again the next day [That would be day number 3] after John stood, and two of his disciples;
John is keeping meticulous track of the time…
John 1:43 The day following [That would be day number 4] Jesus would go forth into Galilee...
Just for a reference point, Jesus' public ministry was approximately 2,000 years ago at approximately 4,000 years after creation – or day number 4 in God’s 7,000 year Plan. Going into Chapter 2 in John's account we now add another three days - coming to day number 7. And surprisingly we find a marriage – just like we have seen associated with the 7,000 year Plan of God.
John 2:1-2 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
Please note John’s similar wording here to his wording in the Book of Revelation.
Revelation 19:9 He said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
This mention of marriage is by no means a coincidence, but the wonderful truth. Jesus marries His wife as a prelude to the Millennium. This is a picture that after 6,000 years the true believers will be caught up to the Father’s throne to take part in the wedding of Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints. John is writing in this furtive manner for the same reason that Jesus taught this way when He said,
Matthew 13:11 It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
John had learned that little didactic and informative method by studying Hosea the Prophet. Again, Jesus' public ministry was approximately 2,000 years ago. We are very near to the day of the better resurrection—that of the Church brethren—the saints (Hebrews 11:35). From the time of Jesus’ public ministry to His return is approximately 2,000 years, or two prophetic days. From the time of the Lord’s public ministry to the return of Jesus Christ is two-thousand years. Compare this to Hosea’s writing:
Hosea 6:1-2 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
Yes, as we begin to enter the third day – the third one-thousand period after the Lord’s public ministry “He will raise us up” in the better resurrection—the resurrection of the saints.
Some useful dates to use when studying the relative chronology of the Bible:
It is interesting that when archeologists try to push the dates on man’s origin back into antiquity - they have a very difficult time in pushing the written word back to 6,000 years ago.
6,000 Years is Nearing Completion
Mankind’s “week of 6,000 years” is nearly complete, and God’s Sabbath rest of 1,000 years will soon be here. God has a way of inserting time and events unbeknownst to man, so it is wise not to depend on man’s dates. God’s people are told to watch and to stay close to God at all times.
The Letter Answering Dept of the Worldwide Church of God – the Personal Correspondence Department – sent out this letter (even from the days of the Radio Church of God):
Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
This book is a compilation of Biblical knowledge that has come to be understood by a few in these last days—making it a gold mine of Revelation for the last generation of God’s people before the return of Jesus Christ. God reveals a great deal about Himself in the Scriptures – and this is what we now recognize to be the best interpretation of God’s Plan. As always, when proven wrong by the Scriptures, we will gladly revise our understanding to the knowledge of the truth (2Peter 3:18). We know that there is so much to add to our understanding of the present truth (2Peter 1:12).
Knowing what God has revealed about Himself aids our relationship with Him greatly. The prophets of old were given only a small portion of the greater picture that Jesus Christ was revealing to His disciples and to the Church of God today. Jesus told His disciples:
Luke 10:24 I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Most of what is known about God the Father was revealed by Jesus and further explained by Paul:
Matthew 11:25-27 Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes… All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
God’s Church is to learn from those who have gone before us. We are to learn from the fall of Adam and Eve. Their fall is our heritage – but one legacy from which we are to escape. Chapter 4 is about the wrong choice made by Adam and Eve and the resulting world of darkness brought on man by their disobedience.
Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.