STAND& COMFORT Newsletter
PART 1: BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD. . .
A Likeness To Passover From Genesis To Revelation
There are likenesses to Passover in the plan of God that extends from before Genesis to the end of the Millennium when Christ hands all things over to the Father. I want to open by sharing a few of those because I think it shows a consistency on the part of God in how He works. For instance, on the 10th of Nissan, an unblemished Lamb was chosen for Passover and examined for 10 days. In the likeness of Passover, Scripture also says that the Lamb was chosen (foreordained) before the foundation of the world to be sacrifice slain for the sins of all men:
1 Pet 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world . . .
The sacrifice of the Lamb was predetermined before anything was created. God had everything planned out before He created anything, meaning, redemption was a vital part of God's plan before He created. It was not an emergency measure injected into His plan when man fell. God's plan did not fall short of perfection. It was established without fault or defect before creation.
The Lamb being chosen by God before creation, He was manifested to be slain at the proper time:
1 Pet 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
Just as God struck a blow against Pharaoh when all of the first-born of Egypt died the night of Passover, so did Christ strike a blow against the devil when He died, opening the doors of salvation. Now men could come out from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of God's beloved Son, robbing the devil of his goods. The posterity of the first man, Adam, would be slain at the cross and the devil would lose them to the finished work of Christ if they believed. The condemnation of those who would not believe would be set in place:
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
At the cross, the exodus had begun.
The devil, furious at the victory of Calvary and Jesus' ascension into glory, scattered Israel through persecution and the destruction of the temple. He then turned on the Church to go after it:
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
This exodus out of the world to Christ continues to this day and the effort of the adversary continues to this day as well. It will culminate at some future time when all who have believed in Christ and the Jewish remnant will enter into the Millennial kingdom and reign of Christ as "Pharaoh's" army is destroyed in the valley of Megiddo, not by water but by fire, and devil is thrown into the bottomless pit.
Another likeness to Passover is that Passover was a time when any leaven was to be gotten rid of for the journey. The blood was on the door, but there was leaven in the house and it was to be gotten rid of. Paul relates these figures to the Church in its exodus from the world on its journey to the future visible kingdom:
1 Cor 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
These are likenesses to Passover I see in the overall plan of God from before the creation of the world into the Millennial reign. What makes all of this interesting is that Jesus said in Luke:
Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
At the end of this journey is a meal to be eaten again with Jesus:
Rev 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, 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.
These events over a period of 6,000 years bear a great resemblance to Passover:
2. 33 AD The Lamb slain, the first-born of "Egypt" slain at the cross and the "exodus" began
3. 33-2003 AD - The passover Lamb having been slain, we are to get rid of the leaven in our lives on our sojourn to the future visible kingdom
4. "Pharaoh's" army destroyed at Megiddo with the devil thrown into the bottomless pit
5. Enter the Millennial kingdom
God established His plan according to His purpose before the creation of the world. It was a perfect plan. I have read commentaries that put forth the idea that even though God knew man would fall and many would be lost, God's plan was so perfect, so glorious, so filled with unfathomable wisdom that it had to be implemented to His glory. Those are interesting thoughts. In this series of newsletters, I am going to once again discuss God's plan established before the creation of the world as a reminder of the simplicity of His plan in these times when all sorts of "new" ideas are coming forth as to what God has desired since the creation of the world.
The Father's Desire Before Creation
I was overwhelmed when I first realized how many times phrases such as these were used in the gospels and the epistles: "before the beginning of time," "before time began," and "before the creation of the world." As I read these verses, I found that each one relates what God desired within Himself before He created anything.
What did God purpose before He created anything? If we can know this, then we can see how our present state of affairs does or does not fit into His will because God "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" and "according to the purpose of him" established "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:11,4).
When reading the scriptures in this chapter, I realized that God is sharing what it was like before creation: All there is is God, and this is what is going on within Himself.
God's Pre-Creation Plan Concerning Christ
1 Peter 1:19-20: "BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD," God chose "Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" to be "manifest in these last times for you."
The pre-chosen Lamb was God's insurance that His intention would be fulfilled for Himself and therefore for man as well. He gave Adam and Eve free will, allowing them to choose whether to live for Him or for themselves. If they chose to live for themselves, the Father was prepared to restore them to a position of righteousness where He could fulfill His original intention.
Ephesians 1:4,9-10. "BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD" God determined that He would "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." Supremacy was to be His in all things:
"[Christ] is the beginning and the firstborn from the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy" (Colossians 1:8)
God's Pre-Creation Plan Concerning Man
We often speak of "God's plan for my life" without thinking of when He determined it. Before Adam existed, God had a single plan and a purpose for every man who would ever be born. It wouldn't matter if they were a married executive or a single plumber or a Chinese sailor. God has the same plan for each of us, and He works out His purpose through our occupations and our marital status and the restrictions of our nationhood. God's purpose for Paul of Tarsus was the same as His purpose for you. Let's look at scriptures that speak of God before He took that handful of dust and formed it into a man. Even then, it was His will and pleasure to plan a relationship that would lead man into what He ultimately intended.
Titus 1:1-3. "BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN" God determined to give fallen man "the truth which is after godliness, in hope of eternal life." This would be given "in due times." Paul is referring to the knowledge of God on which true faith is based. In addition, God wanted His creature to know who he was and what God wanted him to be. This revelation, which could only come through knowing God and His purpose, would bring man to an intimate union with God, which is eternal life.
1 John 1:1-4. "THAT WHICH WAS FROM THE BEGINNING, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched; this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." The Church is to proclaim the full revelation of Christ, "that which was from the beginning." He is the only word of life there is, as declared by Peter:
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Colossians 1:25-26. "FROM AGES AND FROM GENERATIONS" the entire mystery of God "hath been hid." Finally, though, God revealed the Lamb and commissioned Paul to "present to you the word of God in its fullness--the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations," referring to that mystery of Christ from before Genesis all the way to Revelation. Paul wants the Church to understand this revelation of Christ so that we have the right perspective on the place of the gospel message in the entire plan.
Ephesians 1:4-5. "BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD" God "hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." God had determined that all who believed in Christ as related in the gospel message would be adopted as His sons. They would be made holy as the Lamb was holy. The Father's eternal purpose was that He simply wanted a corporate body of sons after the image of the firstborn.
2 Timothy 1:9. "BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN" God delivered, saved and called us "with an holy calling." He did this "according to his own purpose and grace." This grace was given us in Christ Jesus" before world began."
2 Thessalonians 2:13-15. "FROM THE BEGINNING" God chose us "to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: . . . to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 3:9,11. "FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD" God planned to manifest His hidden wisdom that "the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." He wanted this done "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul was commissioned "to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery," that through the Lamb's death and resurrection, the Jews and Gentiles would be united into one body (vv. 4-6) with Christ exalted over all. In Christ, God accomplished that purpose so all men who believed could be adopted as His sons through their faith in Christ.
Romans 16:25,27. "SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN" God purposed that the Church be established by the "gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith." This is very important because it is what God intended for the Church on earth. We are to be established by and then proclaim the now revealed gospel so the people of all nations have the opportunity to accept God's offer to adopt them as His sons by grace, through faith.
1 Corinthians 2:6-8. "BEFORE THE WORLD" God had within Himself "hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory." All who accept the faith and knowledge referred to in Titus 1:1-3 (above) would share in His glory.
Matthew 25:34. "FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD" the Father had His kingdom prepared as part of our inheritance. Notice that the Father has already done this. If we were given the responsibility of setting up that kingdom now for Christ to return, we would be establishing our own inheritance. God's "works were finished from the foundation of the world" (Heb 4:3).
These scriptures tell us what God determined to do before He created anything. This is what God wanted for His own pleasure and satisfaction. It would serve as His standard for His work in the earth until His plan was completed and His purposes fulfilled. Let's recap these points as an aid to discerning the many activities of today s Church.
BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD:
1. God had a plan that He would follow with an ultimate purpose in mind.
2. Following His plan, He would work out everything according to the purpose of His will for His own satisfaction.
THE LAMB BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD:
1. The holy, chosen Lamb was with the Father.
2. The Lamb is to be exalted over all things.
GOD'S PURPOSE IN CREATING MAN:
1. For His own pleasure and satisfaction, God willed that He would have a family of adopted sons created after the image of the firstborn, the Lamb. In this corporate body of adopted sons, the greatness of the glory of His unique Son would be exalted.
2. If man fell, God would restore him to holiness by grace because man on his own would be unable to bring about that restoration. This inability on man's part was part of God's plan. Again, God would bring about this restoration "because of his own purpose and grace."
3. God promised to give man, in His appointed season, a faith and a knowledge that would rest on the hope of eternal life.
4. All who accept that knowledge by faith would be destined for glory.
5. God would sanctify us by the Spirit and the word so one day we will be glorified as sons.
6. God manifested His wisdom through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
7. The mystery, once revealed, was to be shared in its fullness so man could cooperate with God in bringing about His ultimate purpose.
8. The Church is to be established by, and then proclaim, the gospel. In that way, the nations (the people) can accept God's offer to adopt them as His sons by grace through faith.
9. The Church would be commissioned to proclaim the fullness of God's word, the full revelation of Christ, that which was from the beginning before the world began.
10. All who believe would inherit a kingdom that the Father has already prepared for them.
11. In the end, in that visible kingdom, Christ wold be exalted over the many sons brought to glory.
This is what God intended for us before creation and to be involved with as His sons. It is obvious that what He expects of us is to work with Him as He provides all to further His eternal purpose.
It was with this plan in mind that God worked through the creation of the earth and man, and man's Fall. He told man to subdue the earth and fill it because He wanted Adam's descendants to be adopted into His family as sons.
The key message here is that God didn't change His plan because of the Fall. He never told anyone to establish His kingdom on the earth. There are any number of movements and agendas that are attempts to restore man, living in a fallen world, to a place where he can live righteously and, therefore, happily and in peace. Fallen man's nature is man's hindrance to bringing about such a world. Since he cannot overcome his own nature, he cannot bring lasting peace to earth. But, God will send Christ back and He will accomplish all of these things. All is to center in Christ. The restoration of man by God from the Fall is to give God access to the hearts of men so He can gather a people to inherit His kingdom when He returns, a glorious kingdom already prepared for those who will believe in Christ. This was the Father's will and good pleasure, the end result being the exaltation of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ as Head over all.
This newsletter will be sent out whenever I think there is something the body of Christ needs to consider, to build it up, to give it encouragement or comfort in hard times.
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