THE PLAN OF GOD (5) – a Golden Thread that runs right through the Bible…

The next part of God’s Plan started with a man called Abraham. God chose Abraham, from Ur of the Chaldea, to be the person through whom He would start putting His plan into operation. Abraham’s descendents would become the nation Israel (or the Jews/the chosen people as we know them today.)

Over a period of 4 000 years God dealt with them¹. Having Adam’s old nature in them, His chosen people drifted away from God numerous times to succumb to idolatry, sin and disobedience and numerous times God had to discipline them to bring them back. He taught them through bitter experience that if they remained true to Him, they were blessed, but when they turned away from Him to sin or idolatry, they were disciplined.

Time and again the Holy Spirit indwelled certain people who were called prophets, to warn the people to turn from their sins; of the coming destruction of this world and of the coming of the promised Redeemer who would provide a way of escape before it happened. But the people stoned the prophets.

Four thousand years after creation it became time for God to become Man in order for the pivotal part of His Plan to take place. Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) came and lived as a human being on this earth and became a living testimony of the living God, proclaiming the glorious Gospel – the good news of the Kingdom of God.

They crucified Him exactly as the prophets foretold! But He was resurrected on the third day after His burial and fifty days later He ascended to Heaven, to sit on the right hand side of the Father.

While hanging on the Cross, something very significant happened… one of the Roman soldiers pierced His side with a spear and at the same time the most central part of God’s Plan was acted out – at present still a mystery, but soon to be fulfilled when He comes for His Bride.

His Companion, His Bride was formed. He would be

NO LONGER ALONE.

The amazing story of God’s plan to create a Companion for Himself has finally gone the full circle.

There have been many long betrothals but Christ’s has been the longest on record. He has been waiting for His Bride for more than 2 000 years, but He will not have to wait much longer. Soon Heaven shall resound with the cry: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him, for the Marriage of the Lamb is come.” [Revelation 19:7]

¹ Hebrews 4 shows a connection between God’s rest on the  Sabbath day during the creation week and the thousand-year reign of Christ, commonly called the “Millennium.” It is logical to conclude that the other six days of Creation typify 6,000 years of man’s government on earth. Thus, God has a 7,000-year plan to bring humanity into His Family, and we find ourselves near the end of man’s allotted 6,000 years!

THE PLAN OF GOD (4) a Golden Thread that runs right through the Bible

Because of the Fall, two major things happened: firstly, the earth and the heavens around it [this world as we know it] like a black, festering cancerous sore in a healthy body was established in the midst of the pristine and perfect Universe, and, secondly, in His mercy, God instituted the duration [or passage] of time.¹

The overall result of their choice to rule themselves was that God was dethroned and man was enthroned. Henceforth it would be man’s will as opposed to God’s will. God’s kind of giving-love was scorned and wanting-to-be-loved, -adored, -worshiped, -obeyed, -desired, took the place. Man became totally self-elevating and self-serving with no natural love for his fellow man or for God with the resultant discord, division and fragmentation between individuals and nations in the world today, because there can be no unity without selfless love.

Man would arrange everything according to his wants and needs. He would put himself and his little kingdom first, then other people and then, God – if at all. Sitting on his little self-made throne, he would be supreme ruler of his little kingdom, more often than not violently clashing in a battle of wills with all the other little gods who are sitting on their own self-made little thrones ruling their own little kingdoms.

The once perfect earth, hovering in the infinite blue of the sky like a glistening emerald ball against the vast backdrop of the Universe, became a ferocious beast that devoured its inhabitants. Ruled by His Infernal Highness, Satan, and his evil spirits; broken, polluted, dangerous and, over the ages, sated with the blood and tears of sorrow and suffering of man and beast, it became the headquarters of the Kingdom of Darkness.

It wasn’t long before the disastrous consequences of their choice [ruling themselves and their world] became clear, as it is up to this day. They were appalled to see that some animals started growling at others and even at them, and one day they saw a huge lion stalking a pretty, graceful little faun. Whereas before the lion posed no threat to the faun, the now terrified fawn ran as fast as it could, but the next moment the lion caught up with it, its long nails tearing into the tender flesh, grabbed hold of it, broke its neck and started eating it. What was left of it lay rotting and giving off an awful stench. Flies and blue-bottles settled on what was left of the little carcass and feasted on the rotting flesh.

In between the beautiful flowers that grew in wild abandon and profusion, weeds shot up.

In one of the luscious sweet red apples hanging on a tree, a fat white worm stuck out its head. The lovely, sweet, juicy fruits, golden pears and red apples, plums and oranges… one by one, as the days went by, started falling off the trees where they lay rotting.

There was a storm brewing in the heavens and before long there were flashes of lightning and claps of thunder and the next moment hailstones bombarded them mercilessly so that they had to run for cover. They shivered with cold and anxiety. When night time came, they were frightened and felt very much alone and exposed. All kinds of dangers seemed to lurk in the darkness. That night, the first pair had their first bitter argument. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed Adam… as it is still done today.

There was no more free lunch. Adam started to till the soil in the sweat of his brow with the sun burning down mercilessly on his back. Eve had borne their two children accompanied by excruciating birth pains and managed, against terrible odds, to raise them until they were grown up. And then the most heartbreaking and emotionally devastating tragedy for any parent took place… their eldest son Cain slew their younger son, Abel. The first murder.

So, in time, danger, pollution, emotional and physical pain, sickness and death, hardship, rejection, slavery, exhaustion, suffering and sorrow became an every day occurrence of their lives. Such would life be in the newly established Kingdom of Darkness – this world – and this was only the beginning.

God subsequently took measures to begin to undo the damage that was wrought. There was only one way: total destruction and removal of the “cancer” [this world] and every creature in it. Should He, after all, be credited with less integrity than a good surgeon that, when he finds a cancer in a healthy body, would not cut it out completely so that not even one small tentacle of the cancer remained to stealthily start growing again and spreading its gangrenous path of destruction?²

But, in His mercy, there was also the promise of a Redeemer… who would provide a way of escape for the inhabitants of the doomed planet before it was destroyed and who would also be the Redeemer of His future Bride. “The seed of the woman [Jesus] should bruise the serpent’s head,” and will eventually destroy the last trace of his slimy trail over the fields of this fair earth.

The Redeemer needed to be a sinless man, in other words He should not have the inherited taint of sin in His nature, and therefore could not have a human father. There was only one option. The Giver of the promise would Himself become the Promised.

*

¹ Time in the sense of duration or passage of time – with its resultant corruption and death – did not exist before the Fall. The universe was part of the timeless spiritual realm. God instituted duration of time when man sinned so that man would not have to live forever in his fallen state.

Duration of time was necessary for the way back

“Time and its concomitant decay, sorrow, suffering and death were introduced to the whole of Adam’s cosmos so as to make a way back possible for Adam’s cosmos. Seen in this light, the tortures of our present time would seem to be necessary mercies consistent with a God intent on restoring man and his cosmos to a kingdom of love, and intent on restoring Adam to His own image.” The Paradox of Pain – A E Wilder Smith

² Why did God proceed knowing the misery it was going to cause?

Adam is a corporate figure. Because of his sin we are all – everyone who has ever lived or will ever live – on our way to hell. Jesus Christ provided a way of escape firstly for His bride – who receives everlasting life – and secondly for the righteous who, though not part of the Bride, will accept God’s rule over them. They will be those who are going to live on the New Earth over whom Christ and His bride are going to rule from the New Heaven.

Although the Fall was in God’s Plan, God did not plan things to happen the way they did. If He did, His gift of Free Will would have been meaningless. Because God is omniscient and dwells in the great NOW of non-time, He knew beforehand what was going to happen to His creation and He simply took measures to counteract every wrong and sinful action that would happen because of the Fall of man, and turned it into our highest good, and this became His Plan. His Plan was God’s loving response to our future rebellion.

“At this point many will maintain that, if God saw in advance the chaos, misery and suffering which would certainly follow the gift of the possibility of love [involving free choice] why did He proceed with His plans to create if they would result in the creation of such a miserable universe? Was He not rather sadistic to have persisted in those plans, knowing the consequences in advance? Would it not have been better to have ditched the plan if it was all going to work out as it has?

In principle the same type of questioning arises every day in our own lives, but seemingly we don’t recognize the fact. Consider for example, the decision we must make on whether to marry. Even the marriage ceremony emphasizes rather drastically that the same question is involved; for the clergyman says our marriage vows are binding us until death do us part. Surely there is scarcely greater grief than that experienced by a really devoted couple when separated by death. We could, of course, avoid this terrible grief by the simple expedient of not entering into a marriage relationship at all! Avoid marriage and its love relationship and no grief of parting by death will ever overtake you.

Yet, we rightly go into marriage with our eyes open. We know that, in normal circumstances, death and all its sorrows will overtake us and will separate us. Most of us fear this more than we could ever say. In spite of all this we marry because we believe that the joy of love and the ennoblement of giving ourselves to another in the abandon of devotion even for a day [and forty or fifty years pass like a day] is better than no love.

Those who know the love of God in Christ and those who have experienced just a faint taste of that same quality of love in God-given marriage will confess that it is worth the certain severe suffering which it brings with it. The principle is that even a little, short-lived love is better than none at all. A few days of love – even at the price of the disaster of separation and ceasing of mortal love – is worth more than none at all.

Evidently the Creator, being love personified, thinks this way too, for He did indeed create us and the rest of the fallen creation, in spite of the foreseen mess and separation.” The Paradox of Pain – A E Wilder Smith

Why did God have to become a man?

“Paul Writing to Timothy said that the will of God was that all men might be saved, and that he had appointed to that end a Mediator between God and man, the MAN Christ Jesus. [1 Timothy 2:3-6]. He is a Mediator for both believers and unbelievers, but He had to become a MAN to mediate between God and man. A man can mediate between two men but he cannot mediate between a man and a horse, because he has not the nature of both a man and a horse. So the Son of God could not mediate between God and man until He became the Divine MAN, that is, had the nature of both God and man. It was necessary then for the Son of God to become a MAN that He might mediate between God and man, and when He ascended He took His MANHOOD WITH Him, and He is now in Heaven as the MAN Christ Jesus. [1Timothy 2:5.]” – Dispensational Truth – Clarence Larkin

God had to become a human being to be able to speak to us

God is spirit. Our spirits were extinguished at the Fall with the result that we lost our ability to communicate with God or He with us [of course He could communicate with us – He is God, but we would have been unable to receive His messages directly]. There was no way that God could communicate directly with us or us with Him.

The necessity of God becoming man can be explained by means of an analogy. The world is like an ant heap where the ants are all busy doing what ants normally do. They have no idea that there is a bulldozer on its way to level their ant-heap with the ground and kill them all. In order to try and save the ants, the driver of the bulldozer shouts to warn them. But the ants do not understand or even hear the driver’s words. What is the solution if the ants are to be saved? The only solution would be for the driver to become an ant so that he can tell them about the bulldozer that is on its way. In the same way God became flesh [a human being] in Jesus Christ to help us to get to know God as a loving Father.

THE PLAN OF GOD (3) – a Golden Thread that runs right through the Bible

Because God wanted voluntary obedience and love from His creatures, He gave them the gift of Free Will. This meant that they could carry on being ruled by their loving, wise, righteous and holy Creator, God – or they could choose to rule themselves. The test was their obedience or disobedience to a certain command that God gave them. It was this: They could eat freely of the fruit of the Tree of Life, but of the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were not allowed to eat for if they did they would certainly die.

“Man’s existence on the emerald ball began under the most favorable circumstances. The earth had been restored to its primeval glory. The waters swarmed with fish and fowl; the land was one mass of luxuriant verdure, and hills and valleys and plains were covered with flocks and herds of sheep and cattle. The air was alive with bird life, and filled with fragrance from fruits and flowers. There were no storms to terrify and destroy, for the earth was watered by a mist, and the beauty of the day with its bright sun presiding over it and night with the moon and stars to preside over it was unspeakably grand. Everything must have been perfect for we read that God saw everything He had made and behold, it was “very good.”

The first pair was happy in their sweet companionship, and believed that it would last forever. They knew nothing of the ruins of a primeval earth beneath their feet, nor did they know that the heavens above swarmed with fallen beings under the leadership of Satan; that their happiness would end in a Fall that would necessitate their expulsion from that Garden of Delights and that sooner or later they should taste of physical death.”

It wasn’t long before they encountered Satan for the first time. He made God’s instructions suspect in the eyes of the pair by telling them that it was not true that they would die if they ate of the fruit but, in fact, they would become like God in “knowing good and evil.” ¹

As it were, they succumbed to the temptation and ate of the fruit. This was a clear message to God: “We will decide what is good or evil. We want our independence. We will rule ourselves. ²

“The sun set that day upon a scene that witnessed the downfall of the human race. It was a dark and fearful night. They both dreaded to meet God and so hid themselves in the forest when the Lord God came down to take His usual walk in the garden in the cool of the day. Heretofore they had looked forward to the daily visit of the Lord God, but now they feared to face Him. By questioning them the Lord God got them to sit in judgment on their own conduct. Adam blamed his fall on Eve; she blamed her fall on the Serpent. God patiently listened to them and gave them an opportunity to justify their conduct, and then He passed judgment on them.” But to the Serpent He gave no opportunity for justification; ³ however, Satan had lawfully, by Adam’s default, acquired the rights to man and his environment [this world] and even God will not dispute these rights. The flames of their spirit (the image of God) were extinguished and, like Satan and his angels, the pair was expelled from the garden [realm of spirit]  to this world [realm of soul] in order to prevent them from eating of the Fruit of the Tree of Life and live forever in their fallen state. ⁴

*

¹ There were two trees in the garden of Eden – and they represented two ways of life. The tree of life symbolized a life centred in God – where God would be the centre of every decision made by man. The tree of knowledge of good and evil on the other hand, symbolized a life where Self would be the centre, and where man would live without consulting God and would determine for himself what was good and what was evil. God sent Adam and Eve into that garden and told them, as it were, “You can choose now which of these two ways you want to live by”. And we all know what Adam chose. He chose to live a life centered in himself.

² Adam and Eve were created innocent. Innocence is not righteousness. Innocence cannot become righteousness until tested. If Adam and Eve had stood the test they would have become righteous or holy; they failed and became sinners. There is but one step from innocence to holiness or from innocence to sin. Adam and Eve took the step from innocence to sin and became sinners. If they had taken the opposite step they would have become holy and been beyond the possibility of sin. Now man cannot become holy without the new birth.

Free will and consequences comes in the same package

 “Our freedom, which, incidentally, proves that we are real persons, allows us choices of paths in one way or another almost continuously. But we never have any freedom of choice as to the consequences of any path we choose whether good or bad, for these consequences are the built-in properties of the way which we have chosen. For example, though I choose the way of cheating in examinations, I cannot choose the consequences of cheating. They are built into the way known as cheating.

 Man chose and still chooses to turn his back on the only good – God. Before doing this he was automatically part of paradise, for paradise was everywhere that God was. If man had chosen God, the consequences of his choice would have been eternal and abundant life. But he chose the alternative way, the consequences of which were thistles, thorns, snares, pain, sorrow and death. This caused man excruciating pain and sorrow in this life, but undoing the consequences of his choice is painful too. So, suffering can originate from either source; the Fall or the cure of the Fall.” The Paradox of Pain –A E  Wilder Smith

³ Satan cannot be justified because he cannot be redeemed

There could be no opportunity for justification for Satan because He is a spirit being and therefore cannot die, and therefore cannot be redeemed. Satan’s time as ruler of this world would be limited though, and in the end he will be cast into the lake of fire and there would burn forever without being consumed. This is why the Bible describes him as a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” before his time is up.

⁴ Every person born into this world has a spirit

Man was created with a spirit but because of the Fall, the flame of his spirit was extinguished. His spirit will be re-kindled when he is born-again spiritually through faith in Jesus Christ in the same way that a candle, though its flame is extinguished, still has its pit – and will “burn” again when re-kindled with a flame.

Seeing that God knew beforehand that some of his creatures were going to rebel against His rule, physical death [and extinguishing of the flame of the spirit so that it cannot be exploited by Satan] was the only solution because death of the physical body was the only means for opening the way to redemption.

THE PLAN OF GOD (2) – a Golden Thread that runs right through the Bible…

First He would create an environment for His Eternal Companion. The Universe that He created was timeless, pristine and perfect and was bathed in the glorious uncreated light of holy love that issued forth from God’s nature.

God prepared one specific planet to be conducive to supporting the life that He was on the point of creating.

The very first beings that He created were angels. ¹ They were pure spirit beings and were to be messengers of the Most High. They would also eventually have a role to play in the lives of the people who would live on the earth. He created archangels, angels, seraphim and cherubim, as well as thrones, dominions, principalities and powers.

Among the angels there was Morning Star, the Anointed Cherub that covereth, the guardian of God’s throne, and he walked upon the holy mountain of God. He was clothed in a garment that was covered with the most rare and precious gems: the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, all woven in with pure gold. He was perfect in all his ways from the day that he was created, until iniquity was found in him. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty, and his wisdom was thus corrupted. He said in his heart:

“I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the ‘Stars of God’ [other ruling powers];

I will sit also upon the Mount of Congregation, in the sides of the North.

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

 I will be like the Most High.”

For this presumptuous act, Morning Star and his angels, amounting to a third of the angelic host, were expelled from heaven [realm of spirit] and took up their abode in the heavenlies [realm of soul] located between the atmosphere of our earth and the heaven where God dwells, and thus became the “Principalities and Powers” and “Rulers of the Darkness of this Age,” and “the Spiritual Wickedness in High Places.” Morning Star became Satan [ho-melas – the Dark One.] ²

Then God created man in His image and likeness. He breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul. ³

The first man, Adam was commanded by God to name the animals. The man noticed that they appeared in pairs – male and female. Because man had his Creator’s loving nature, he also longed for a special companion of his own kind. God then, from man’s body, created a female counterpart for him. They would multiply and fill the earth and live forever in sublime and innocent love, with a sinless nature, in total dependence on their holy and righteous Creator and in an environment most favorable to a pure and holy life, in a perfect universe.

God planted a Garden eastward in Eden; a garden in which He caused to grow every tree that was pleasant to the sight and good for food, and in the midst of the garden He planted the Tree of Life and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. ⁴

The garden was watered with a beautiful river, and when it was ready God placed Adam in it. In this garden of matchless delights, and amid scenes of indescribable loveliness, with God for their Counsellor, and angelic beings as visitors, with a sinless nature and an environment most favourable to a pure and holy life, the progenitors of the human race were placed. The conditions were ideal.

*

¹ God, the center and the highest point

According to the Hebrews and the Christians, the universe is a hierarchy – a Cosmos in which God is both at the center of the Cosmos and at the highest point of the hierarchy [the pyramid?]. Entities radiate outwards from His Presence, some being close to the center while others move further and further away from the Divine Source of Light and Love. These subtle vibrations issue from the beat of their wings and the sound of their voices and yet remain essentially immaterial and insubstantial. Angels, an Endangered Specie – Malcolm Godwin

 ²  Sin existed before man was created.

The Scriptures begin with the sublime declaration – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” As the word “heaven” is in the singular it will clarify matters to limit this creative act to our own planet and the solar system to which it belongs, rather than to the whole of the starry spaces or universe.

The creation of the original or pre-Adamite earth was in the dateless past. It was not at the beginning of the first day as described in Genesis 1:3-5. The six days’ work as described in Genesis 1:3-31 was the restoration of the earth [not the heavens or starry space,] to its original condition before it was made “formless and void,” and submerged in water and darkness.

Peter speaks of it as “the world that then was, that being overflowed with water, perished.” [2 Peter 3:5-7.]

The manner of the creation of the pre-Adamite earth is not revealed in the Scriptures. They simply declare that – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

The creation of the original earth was in the dateless past. It was doubtless a most beautiful earth, covered with vegetation and inhabited with fish and fowl and animal life, and probably with human life. How long it continued in this condition we are not told, but an awful catastrophe befell it – it became “formless and void” and submerged in water and darkness. [Genesis 1:2] That it was not originally so we know from Isaiah 45:18: “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; he is God; that formed the earth and made it; He established it, He created it. He created it not a waste; he formed it to be inhabited.”

What caused the earth to become a “waste” after its original creation is not clearly revealed. It is clear from the account of the Fall of Adam and Eve that sin existed before man was created.

In that remarkable passage in Ez. 28:12-19 there is revealed to us under the title “The King of Tyrus”, a being of surpassing beauty and wisdom, who had been in Eden, the Garden of God. Not the Eden of Adam’s day, but possibly the Eden of the earth as it was first created. This being spoken of as the “anointed cherub that covereth”, who “walked upon the holy mountain of God” and was “perfect in all his ways from the day that he was created until iniquity was found in him. But his heart was lifted up because of his beauty and his wisdom was thus corrupted.

As no king of Tyrus answering this description has, as yet, existed, this passage is taken to be a prophetic portrait of the Anti-Christ and as Anti-Christ is to be an incarnation of Satan, it probably is a description of Satan before his fall. The intimation in this scripture then, is that Satan, with a host of angelic beings, was placed in charge of the original or primeval earth, and that he through pride [1 Tim. 3:6; Isa. 14:12-14] sought to be equal to God, and that to punish him the earth was thrown into a chaotic state, and Satan and his angels, amounting to a third of the angelic hosts [Rev. 12:4] were excluded from heaven, and took up their abode in the heavenlies, the second heaven, located between the atmosphere of our earth and the heaven where God dwells, and thus became the “Principalities and Powers” and “Rulers of the darkness of this age” and the “spiritual wickedness in high places” [the second heaven], of whom we are warned in Eph. 6:12. This seems very plausible, for Satan is said to be the “Prince of the Powers of the Air” [Eph. 2:2] and “the god of this world” [Age] and it looks as if his plan for the Fall of man was a scheme to regain control of this earth.

If there were human being on the original or pre-Adamite earth they were doubtless involved in Satan’s fall and destroyed. In fact the demons are believed by many to be the disembodied spirits of the inhabitants of the pre-Adamite earth, and their efforts to re-embody themselves in human beings, as in the days of Christ, is looked upon as evidence that they once possessed bodies similar to human bodies. Naturally the question arises, “if the inhabitants of the pre-Adamite earth were human beings like ourselves and were destroyed when the pre-Adamite earth was thrown into a chaotic form, where are their fossil remains; why have we not discovered them in the soil or rocks of the earth? [Keep in mind that the book was written in 1918 – brackets mine.] The answer is their bodies may have been consumed by fire, as will be the case with the rebellious hosts of God and Magog at the end of the Millennium [Revelation 20:7-9], and their escaping spirits became the demons referred to above. It is clear that the demons are not Satan’s angels, for they are free, while the demons are confined in the Bottomless Pit and are only given liberty as it suits God’s purpose. [Revelation 9:1-21.] Neither are they  the fallen angels of 2 Peter 2:4, and Jude 6-7, for they are reserved in chains under darkness against the Judgment of the Great Day. The “demons” then is in a class by themselves and for aught we know shall never be different. What we do know in reference to them is that the time is coming when they are to suffer torment. [Matthew 8:29.]

If death reigned on the pre-Adamite earth, and the bodies of the pre-Adamites were buried in the earth, they may still remain buried in that part of the earth which they occupied, which now may be the bed of the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. If this be so, it helps to explain the Scripture passage which reads – “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and Death and Hell [Hades] delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to his works.” [Revelation 20:13]. Here we have the “sea” differentiated from “Death” [the grave], which swallows up the body, and “Hell” or “Hades”, the abode of the soul between death and the resurrection, and this seems to imply that the “Dead of the Sea” are a different class of mankind and may refer to the dead of the pre-Adamite world as now resting at the bottom of the sea. As God’s creatures are to be judged each in his own order, it would seem no more than right that the dead of the pre-Adamite world should be judged before the wicked dead of this present world.

The manner in which the pre-Adamite Earth was made “formless and void” and this refers only to the exterior surface, the habitableness of the earth, is clearly revealed by Peter, where he says – “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” [2 Peter 3:5-6]. It is clear that Peter does not refer here to Noah’s Flood, for the world of Noah’s day did not perish, and Peter goes on to add that – “The heavens and the earth which are now [that is, have been in existence since the restoration of the earth of Genesis 1:3-31], by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. [Great White Throne Judgment].” [Revelation 20:11-15]

The manner then in which the pre-Adamite earth was made “formless and void” was by water. The water which lies upon the surface of the earth is about 1/4950 part of the earth’s mass. If the land surface was even the water would cover it to a depth of 11 miles [24,2 km].

Violent convulsions must have wracked the pre-Adamite earth and covered its surface with the waters of its oceans. Not a living creature remained alive upon it, and its atmosphere of murky darkness hid the light of the sun, the moon and the stars. To all intents and purposes it was a dead planet, though the seeds of its vegetable life remained entombed in its bosom ready to spring into resurrection life on the Third Day. The absence of the warm rays of the sun caused the earth to go pass through the “winter” of its life, and the submerging waters were congealed into ice that preserved in “cold storage” the remains of immense quadrupeds and winged creatures, that we might know the kind of animal life that inhabited the pre-Adamite earth. This was probably the Glacial Period of Geologic Times.” – Dispensational Truth, Clarence Larkin.

Evolution

Evolution could well have been the way that the creatures of the “original earth” came into being, [this will also explain fossil remains of millions of years found in the earth] but there is no doubt at all – according to the Bible – that at some stage [6 000 years ago] God created intelligent man in the image and likeness of God Himself, because it was then that man received a spirit – something that lower, less developed life forms do not have.

The theory of evolution can be acceptable to the Christian only insofar as it keeps to the evolution of the same species.

It is general knowledge that the “missing link” has never been found and never will be.

It is not that the Bible cannot accommodate the theory of evolution. We know what is revealed to us in the Bible but that does not mean that we know everything about God or what He did or how it was done. It is only when faith in evolution – or faith in anything or anyone else for that matter – attempts to take the place of faith in a Creator God that it becomes problematic for the Christian.

³ The spirit, the soul and the body are three separate entities.

“May your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire.” [1Thessalonians 5:23.]

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12.]

Like the universe, man was also created with an invisible, spiritual part with which he communicated with God and the spirit beings, and a visible physical part – the body with which he related to the material world. In addition to the spirit and body of man, man became a living soul when God breathed His life into his nostrils.

Every person born into this world has a spirit

Man was created with a spirit but because of the Fall, the flame of his spirit was extinguished. His spirit will be re-kindled when he is born-again in the same way that a candle, though its flame is extinguished, still has its pit – and will “burn” again when re-kindled with a flame.

Elements of spirit

Elements of spirit are conscience, faith, worship and communion. With his spirit man was created to relate to God, the Dimension of Spirit and Spirit beings. [Man’s spirit is inaccessible to Satan. He cannot influence it or affect it, nor corrupt it. Man’s spirit is inviolate and only God the Holy Spirit and the Holy angels have access to man’s spirit. All Satan’s dealings with us are in our souls and bodies.]

Elements of soul

Elements of soul are the will, intellect and emotions – the personality of man. The soul is not the same as the spirit! To use the terms “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably is wrong.

Elements of body

Elements of body are the five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. With his body man was created to relate to the material world.

⁴ There were two trees in the Garden of Eden – and they represented two ways of life. The tree of life symbolized a life centered in God – where God would be the center of every decision made by man. The tree of knowledge of good and evil on the other hand, symbolized a life where Self would be the centre, and where man would live without consulting God and would determine himself what was good and what was evil. God sent Adam and Eve into that garden and told them, as it were, “You can choose now which of these two ways you want to live by”. And, in hindsight, we all know what Adam chose. He chose to live a life centered in himself.

Did God create only one man on the 6th day

The account in Genesis 1 does not say that God did not create other people on the 6th day. It must be remembered that the Bible is not a historical book treating of the total history of the world. It is a Jewish Book, it was written by the Jews for the Jews about God’s dealings with the Jews because God chose this line of men [Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah etc.] out from among other men, and the nation Israel out from among other nations, through whom He would reveal Himself to serve His plan to bring forth the Messiah, and through the Messiah the Bride of Christ. It does not mean that there was no one and nothing else. This would explain where Cain and Abel got their wives.

*I have made liberal use of the information in the book Dispensational Truth by Clarence Larkin, which I acknowledge with much gratitude. His book had a very definite influence on my understanding of the Plan of God. The book was written in 1918.

THE PLAN OF GOD (1) – a Golden Thread that runs right through the Bible.

There was a time – non-time really – when all there was, was one Supreme Being, God the Creator. He existed all alone in an everlasting silence and in complete solitude. Nothing shared space with Him; not sound or sight, nor form. Not even nothingness, because even “nothingness” was “something.”

He was a Trinity – meaning that although He was one Person, He expressed Himself in three Persons, namely God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.¹

Paradoxically, the very essence of this God who was so alone and silent was love, but there was no other for Him to love.

It was then that He, with tender heart yearning and uncharacteristic vulnerability, conceived a plan so astounding, with a scope of such magnitude and intricacy, and carrying with it a risk so grave, that even He trembled in its contemplation. He would create an Eternal Companion for Himself.

No imagination by the most brilliant intelligence in heaven or on earth, in time or eternity – even if there were such a thing then – could even remotely have conceived of a being that could be a suitable companion for this awesome Personage. She would have to be His equal in every way. She could not be superior to Him nor could she be inferior to Him. She would have to be the highest life form He could create and would have to complement Him perfectly on all levels of His being. Why God did not create a spirit Being like Himself is not clear.²

The story of how God the Father put His Master Plan into action to create His Bride makes for amazing reading. It runs like a Golden Thread right through the Bible, starting with the creation of Adam and Eve and much later (in terms of our perception of time) choosing  the virgin Mary of the nation Israel to be His wife, in order to bring forth the Man Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) who would be put to death to bring forth His Bride – us, the redeemed believers – in the same sense that Adam was “put to death” to bring forth his bride, Eve.³

*

¹ As in 1 x 1 x 1 = 1 and not 1 + 1 +1 = 3.

² In hindsight one may ask why God did not just create a spirit companion for Him. It is obvious from what happened to Lucifer and his angels who were pure spirit beings that they had an element of choice and could therefore become corrupt. If it is assumed that the spirit Companion would also have had an element of choice, and she became corrupt, (God must have known that she would, which is possibly why He did not create a spirit being as a companion for Himself) there would be no possibility of redemption for her because spirit cannot die and therefore cannot be redeemed from the curse of corruption and sin. She would have had to be cast into hell just like Lucifer and his angels, because corruption can have no place in the perfect and holy Kingdom of God.

³ Israel is not the Bride of Christ:

“The Church is not a continuation of the “Jewish Dispensation” under another name.

It is because some religious bodies believe that the Christian Church is but another phase of what they call the “Jewish Church” that they insist on a ceremonial ritual and retain the Priesthood with its altar, vestments, etc. and Temple-like buildings; and call the ordinances of the Christian Church “sacrifices” and “sacraments.”

While Israel is a “called out body”, it is a “national body,” composed exclusively of the descendants of Abraham, but the Church is not a “national body” for it is not composed of the people of any one nation, but of individuals from every kindred, people, tribe and nation.

Israel was chosen in Abraham from the foundation of the world [Matthew 25:34] while the Bride was chosen in Him [Jesus] before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:4-6]

There are two Brides mentioned in the Scriptures.

One in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. The one in the Old Testament is Israel, the Bride of Jehovah, the one in the New Testament is the Church, the Bride of Christ. Of Israel it is said: “Thy Maker is thy husband.” [Isaiah 54:5-8] Because of her whoredoms, Israel is a cast-off wife, but God, her husband, promises to take her back when she ceases from her adulteries. [Jeremiah 3:1-18, Ezekiel 16:1-63; Hosea 2:1-23, 3:1-5.] Sarah is a type of Israel before her fall and Keturah of Israel when God shall take her back again. She will not be taken back as a virgin but as a wife. But it is a virgin that the Lamb [Christ] is to marry. So the wife [Israel] of the Old Testament cannot be the Bride [virgin] of the New Testament.

Again the “Wife” [Israel] is to reside in the earthly Jerusalem during the Millennium, while the “Bride” [the Church] will reside in the New Jerusalem. These distinctions make it clear that Israel cannot be the Bride of Christ.” Dispensational Truth – Clarence Larkin

 

THE ETERNAL COMPANION (In the Celestial Paradise before she is born into the world to be perfected and matured.)

As the people of God, chosen in Christ even before the foundation of the world, heaven is not only our destiny but also our origin! This is an amazing thing that in you and me there is an element that is essentially otherworldly. The life we have as God’s gift came from Heaven and never was in the world at all. And though we must mingle with the world daily, it will never let us settle down and feel at home…

“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” (Eph. 1:4)

 *

The sound of fresh youthful voices singing in clear and harmonious unison – “Kyrie eleison! Christe eleison! Kyrie eleison!” accompanied by the silvery notes of chiming bells, floated in sweet echoes on gentle breezes towards the young girl leaning lightly against the tall marble pillar of a graceful temple-like building.

She was tall and slender, her countenance divinely beautiful. Her eyes were dove-like, reflecting the light of an eternal innocence within their violet depths.  Her raven hair cascaded in loose, rippling strands over her shoulders. Her hands were white and slim. Her skin was fair, almost transparent – like warm wax tinted with just a touch of rose. She was clad in a robe of glistening amber that clung softly to her young, maidenly form. A roseate nimbus spread itself around her in scintillating points of light that sparkled with a thousand brilliant and changeful hues like a rainbow seen through a spray of falling water.  Resting on her head was a blossom-coronal that glittered like a circlet of stars. She was altogether unearthly in her beauty.

A group of angelic beings were playing on the soft, green velvety grass bordering a lake, their happy laughter filling the balmy air. Snow-white ducks with a trail of yellow ducklings behind them were gliding over the crystal clear water towards the trees and lush plant overgrowth. A superb peacock with brilliant crest strutted majestically across the terrace, spreading its exotic plumes as it piercingly, hauntingly, called to its mate.

Apart from the sheer unspoilt beauty of this glorious place and everything in it, there was a dewy early-morning freshness about it. There were no signs of pollution or danger.  A magnificent lioness and her mate were lying nearby, while their cubs cavorted with woolly, snow-white lambs, their mothers grazing contentedly nearby. In a little stream cascading over glistening rocks, little birds exuberantly splashed and preened their feathers. Squirrels scampered up the great oaks that cast their dappled shade over a dew-sparkled lawn.

Her eyes lit up joyfully when she saw a magnificent figure striding towards her. The angelic beings stopped their playing for a moment and joined the myriads of angels that were flitting like exotic butterflies in the air around Him, in a joyful song. For a moment she feasted her eyes lovingly on His form.

He was tall and muscular but slim. His beauty combined the delicate features of high thought and character with the vigorous ruddiness of mature, vibrant manhood. He had the unmistakable regal bearing of a born king. His eyes were dark with a brilliant under-reflection of steel grey in them. His complexion was olive-tinted and his hair was black, falling in soft curls to his shoulders. He was arrayed in a robe of finest ivory cloth, with a belt and armlets set with precious jewels.

She stretched out her hands to him and he pulled her lightly into his embrace, kissing her tenderly on her forehead. With that perfect understanding and rapport peculiar to soul mates and lovers, without having to say anything, they clasped hands and strolled around the building, up wide, marble steps while the voices of the angelic beings and the angels receded into the background. They entered on a pathway across terraces of lush green grass leading up a gently sloping hill; the grass velvety and dotted with little jewel-like wild flowers. Through winding paths of alternate light and shade; under groves heavy with the fragrance of flowers and fruit and alive with the joyful warbling of sweet-throated birds they strolled, hand in hand, to a seat where he bade her rest and he sat down beside her. For a while they reposed content, in silence, gazing at the magnificent panorama laid out before them. In the distance, hazy purple mountains formed a perfect backdrop for the white- and gold-domed city below.

At last He broke the silence. “I have brought you here with a purpose today my love.”

She looked at him with faint surprise. There was a singular magnetism in the flash of the fine, soft eyes, a marvelous sweetness in the firm lines of the perfect mouth – a royal grandeur and freedom in the very poise of his well-knit figure and noble head. His steadfast gaze seemed to enfold her in a grave, compassionate earnestness.

“Your demeanor is so very serious my Lord.”

He did not answer, but took her hands in his and, closing his eyes, he pressed his lips against them for a few moments. She sought his eyes with her own. “Are you distressed my Prince?” she asked, just a little anxiously.

He avoided her searching glance. “Not… distressed, no my sweet Love….”

He was quiet for a moment before he turned back to her and spoke again. “I have brought you here, to our special place, because I must prepare you for a journey…” he said. He intercepted her quick glance towards the far mountains. “No, not to these mountains nor in this realm….” Looking down into her eyes he seemed momentarily to be at a loss for words, “…a journey through the Domain of Time.”

His voice, so grave, filled her with some… trepidation – the very first time in her life that she felt a negative emotion.

“But there are things I must explain to you before you leave. You see…” He hesitated, searching for the right words; “…you have always lived in this perfect celestial paradise that was especially prepared for you even before anything else was created. In it was every measure taken for your total comfort, enjoyment and happiness. Your every wish was fulfilled even before it could be expressed; you were cherished by all and served and attended to by no less than the very angels of heaven. Angelic beings and -creatures were especially created to be your companions, for your personal enjoyment and pleasure. In fact, for your sake the universe and all it contains was created.”

She nodded her agreement. She has never given the slightest thought to any idea that there could be anything else than this perfect paradise or anything less than this perfect happiness.

“You have not known any fear or experienced any danger,” he continued, “nor pain or sickness, parting or death; no suffering of any kind – indeed, not even the intellectual meaning of any of these things have you known, since the first moment that you were created as a living spark from My own being and were transported here to this, your glorious dwelling.”

She waited quietly, listening intently.

“…. You were, and are even now, totally innocent, but there is an endless Universe out there and a place called earth, where there are human beings – beings similar to you in form but totally different in substance – and where the drama of life in the Domain of Time is acted out daily in all its complexities and intricacies. There are also evil beings, of which you cannot even begin to form a concept….”

She felt a little involuntary shiver at the thought of this mysterious journey and the strange beings that He was telling her about. But once again she nodded her agreement. “I have been, and am still so happy, that is true. I have only known love and joy in living; but you say ‘innocent’ as if it were something that was less than good, my Lord.” Her voice was small, unsure.

“Not at all; indeed, it is the single most endearing quality about you. But innocence is not righteousness. Innocence cannot become righteousness until tested, and righteousness is what your journey through the Domain of Time is all about.”

She reflected on this for a moment. It has never occurred to her that she needed to be anything other than what she was, while, in fact, she reflected, if she was innocent, that was evidently not what she should be, and she has never learnt how to be anything other than “innocent”.

She placed her hand in his and pressed it tightly. “Oh, my Lord, I am apprehensive. I have feelings that make me most uncomfortable.”

She found it strange that he looked away, as if he was avoiding her eyes. He suddenly felt so far removed from her. She had always felt a perfect one-ness with her Bridegroom-to-be, and this estrangement filled her now with anxiety and fear.

For comfort she nestled her head on his broad chest and he put his arms around her. He held her like this for a little while, his chin resting gently on her head, his eyes gazing into the vast blue nothingness of the sky towards the dark dimension of her pilgrimage.

“When will we begin this journey my Lord?” she asked.

When he started talking again, his voice was as deep and serious as she has ever heard it.

“You will go alone, but I will be with you in spirit, and I will always come to you whenever you call my name.” He added, “I have gone before you and I have prepared the way for you. Nothing will befall you that I do not allow to happen to you, and no road will you travel that I have not treaded before you. The very angels of heaven will protect you and guide you towards your destination where we will meet again.

“But…” she started to object but He continued. “You are about to leave on your journey. Don’t be afraid. Believe in me and in my love for you.” He looked deep into her eyes, and for the first time since she was created, she felt emotional pain and tears welling up into her eyes.

Then He laid his strong hands lightly but with a strange tenseness on her shoulders and He said. “Before you leave, there is something I must give you.”

Looking deep into her eyes He quietly and gravely said: “I give you the gift of Free Will.  From this moment on you will have the power of choice, even to the point of accepting my love or rejecting it.

She started, with, what she meant to be, a passionate denial of any remote possibility of this happening, but he laid his finger on her lips and continued. “You will understand later.”

Then He lifted his one hand and suddenly the air around them was filled with glorious beings. An angel handed them a crystal goblet decorated with exquisite gold filigree, with a translucent ruby-red liquid in it.  Her hands were shaking slightly as she cupped her hands around the goblet and he placed his hands over hers to steady it and said quietly:

“I will not drink this cup with you until we meet again.”

She nodded quietly, trusting Him even through the apprehension that she was feeling.

They both drank. The wine was sweet and seemed to fill her with strength and fortitude. Then He embraced her tenderly.

She slowly became aware of angel voices singing softly and, looking up, noticed that hosts of her angel- and angelic creature-friends were gathering around them. She started to step out of his embrace to, as always, join the angels in bowing low before Him in adoration and worship but He took her by the hand and raised her up so that she stood beside Him. At this gesture, the singing intensified in timbre. There was immense pathos in the hauntingly beautiful angel voices and she felt again that strange twinge of pain, and unaccustomed tears started filling her eyes, blurring their shape.

She did not, at first, notice the large portal above which was written in large dark letters: Portal of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was opening up behind her and fear gripped her heart as she suddenly became aware that she was being drawn backwards towards it as if by some terrible, unseen force.  She tried to grab His hand again but only the tips of their fingers touched and slipped away while the distance between them became wider by the moment. For the first time since she was created she experienced sheer terror as she was imploring Him, pleading with Him, “…don’t… don’t let me go! Please let me stay with you!” as she was desperately trying to propel herself back towards her friends and her Beloved. But the next moment, she was roughly sucked through the portal.

*

In a simple cottage in a small country town an egg and a sperm came together in union and immediately started the process of life… dividing into cells.

The parents, who were totally unaware of the spiritual beings hovering in the air about them slept soundly and peacefully. Micha-el, an archangel in command of the Angelic Army of Heaven, robed in a glistening white robe with a golden band around the waist, a glowing sword in his right hand was hovering in a protective attitude, a host of angels behind him.

Another angel, dark, haughty, beautiful, yet repellent in his beauty, clothed in a garment that was covered with the most rare and precious gems: the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, all woven in with gold, was standing nearby with a host of evil spirits behind him. He was smiling wickedly. A spiritual battle that would span a lifetime was about to begin.

From the moment that babies are conceived a spiritual warfare starts between the angels of God – whose task it is to protect them, influence them for good and lead them gently to the Meeting Place – and the evil spirits under Satan’s rule – whose task it is to prevent them from reaching the Meeting Place at all and any cost. However the angels will not and the evil spirits cannot violate their free will. In the end it will be their own choice that will determine their eternal destiny.

Before children reach sexual maturity they are saved through their believing parents’ faith if they should die, but after sexual maturity, they become responsible for their own destinies. Whenever they are born-again spiritually, that becomes the moment of their meeting with their Redeemer. At that moment the Holy Spirit takes over from the angels and leads, comforts and teaches from within. He also reveals the depths of God to them in an ever-increasing measure until they reach spiritual maturity on their journey through life.

A BRIDE – THE PURPOSE OF CREATION

(What follows in this first part and the rest of the blog is the contents of a book that I have written over a period of 10 years. I am posting it in parts. As this is my own personal theory of how I understand the Plan of God, it speaks for itself that I don’t claim it to be the Truth, so, I welcome comments discussing, challenging or criticizing (even agreeing) that anyone would like to offer. I have never had a sounding board for these theories, so anyone’s input would be very welcome.) 

*
PROLOGUE

We see a glorious Being; the perfect bodily form of a mature male person no more than 33 years of age; of awesome, unlimited, unbridled power, a Being of the most exalted and extraordinary majesty and nobility; robed in auras of pure, effulgent, billowing light; enveloped in a most profound solitariness; a Being whose very essence, we perceive, is passionate, emotional, expressive, unconditional love.

We hear the first faint notes of sweet, haunting music, rolling in softly as from afar, rising slowly in cadence and timbre, by which we perceive a profound longing in this Being; an intense loneliness in His alone-ness, a longing to love and be loved in return.

But there is a paradox: although He loves, there is none for Him to love.

Now a beautiful female voice can be heard to sing, first softly in the background and then, while the music is still rising, we see revelation welling up from deep within the Glorious Being until, in a spectacular climax of music and scene, a thousand-million portions of His Being explode in streaks of escalating light, igniting simultaneously into sparkling, flaming brilliance while slowly taking on the form of an exquisite maiden; youthful, raven-haired; robed in pure, iridescent light; a maiden incomparable in beauty; of pristine innocence and holy character; a maiden whose very essence is love… love passionate and emotional, love expressive and unconditional…

Now we see the Glorious Being enfolding this vision into His bosom with infinite care and tenderness, while the music slowly recedes into the background.

All at once the air is rent with thunderous notes of celestial music and we witness the tempestuous paroxysms of the universe in the throes of its cataclysmic birth, spoken into being by the words of the Glorious Being… “Let there be…”

We see creation spiritual and invisible… the heavenly places populated with angels…

We see creation temporal and visible… the canopy of heaven, vast celestial spaces, the starry host…

We see the heavenly bodies, the constellations, and the planets…

We see the earth, the land, the sea and vegetation; animals, fish, fowl… and then…

…there is complete cessation of movement, sight and sound – an attentive pause as the whole universe and every living thing waits with abated breath… and then we see the greatest, most momentous creative act ever… an act of which none greater can be conceived; behold! Man, fashioned in the likeness and image of the Glorious Being. Man: a tripartite like his Creator. Man: body, soul and spirit. Man, the Crown of Creation.

Next we zoom in on something that He holds in His hand. It is a seed! We sense the profound significance of this small seed as the Glorious Being declares: “This seed abides alone forever, unless it falls into the ground and dies…!”

A burst of music rushes wind-like downwards and sweeps in strong, vibrating chords over the land – pealing forth “Kyrie eleison! Christe eleison! Kyrie eleison!” In the background is the form of a great, flaming cross, which, absorbing moon and stars in its fiery redness, blazes from end to end of the eastern horizon.

*

God’s Eternal Purpose

As far as Scripture reveals, all that God has done from all eternity, and all that He will do until the marriage supper of the Lamb, is concerned primarily with one thing, and only one: the gathering out and training of His Bride for her exalted position of co-rulership with the Son over His vast, ever-expanding, eternal kingdom in the ages to come. All that precedes the Marriage Supper of the Lamb from all eternity is only preliminary to God’s eternal enterprise. Only after the Bride is on the throne with her Lover and Lord will God be ready to unveil His creative program for the eternal ages.” – Paul E. Bilheimer – Don’t Waste your Sorrows.

My inspiration for this post was gained from the book of Gene Edwards – The Divine Romance.