IS THERE TRULY A GREAT AND AWESOME CREATOR GOD WHO HAS
A PLANNED OUT PURPOSE FOR MANKIND AND ALL OF CREATION?
DOES THE BIBLE “REVEAL” KNOWLEDGE ABOUT IT?
How much do YOU know about what the Bible reveals? Can you know if God is real, what God is doing and the purpose of His creation? With atheism, evolution and the religious confusions that are being taught in this world today, is it any wonder why so very few people have any real and true understanding of God, creation, the Bible and the purpose of man? There is awesome design and beauty on this planet earth, man admits, yet so many dismiss the Creator revealed in the Bible. Many people read the Bible, yet have very little understanding of it, not knowing that it also reveals a master planner. WHY IS the plan of God and the BIBLE such a mystery to the overwhelming majority today, including those who claim to be “CHRISTIANS”? How many leaders in today’s world, full of its various religious concepts, could or even would truthfully answer the questions listed above and below? Even theologians have trouble with some of these and cannot quite grasp the truth revealed in the pages of the Bible!
(This booklet is free for public use. The cover above reveals a couple of glimpses of the awesome universe as part of the handy work of God’s creation! This booklet is intended as plausible “food for thought” on what God is doing and educational purposes from Scriptural passages and Biblical content. Other booklets and articles are also found here on this website. Please feel free to use the “contact us” page with any question about this booklet. We will be using the NKJ translation throughout unless otherwise noted. This booklet also contains some speculations and comments of the author, for the reader’s scrutiny and these are not to be mistaken for COG doctrine.)
Does God really exist and what is the proof of it?
Is there really a Spirit realm at all?
What was created first, and what is the purpose of creation?
If there is no God, is there any real meaning to human life?
Is there a purpose for humanity? Why are we here?
Is there really a devil and demons and how did they get here?
Believe it or not, THE BIBLE answers these questions, and more for you!
But YOU the reader have the responsibility to believe or disbelieve—using diligence—studying to come to a good understanding of what is being given directly to you—or dismiss any possible evidence without effort. If anyone does dismiss God as not being real without an effort to prove it, not believing the things that come FROM THE WORD OF GOD, as atheism does, can they really hope for anything beyond this physical life? If God is non-existent, then life truly has no purpose or any true value at all. Get your Bible to verify what is shown in Scripture and then read this booklet!
[Author/Editorial note: If God does not exist, then how did you come to be? Evolved you say—then from what? A fish, bird or an ape, you say. Where did it come from? Nothing can evolve from non existent material or even dead matter. Life begets life. Science has come to understand that at one point in time even the universe and what is known as “matter” did not exist, so what brought it into being? Where did it come from? (They came up with the “big bang” theory for the universe, but that still does not explain how matter can come into existence out of nothingness.) It is physical and therefore had to come into existence at some point, so creation itself—the “around” here on earth and out in space—all the variety of everything we can see, hear, taste, feel or smell could not just bring “itself” into being on its own! Creation in its many forms proves that some superior intelligence truly does exist. Through these nearly 6,000 years of human existence, we have seen fulfilled prophecy, put together with historical facts, and some prophecy is yet future! This is another clear proof that a superior intelligence outside the realm of mankind and physical things exists! This booklet is written from that common understanding and standpoint of those proofs, which are found in the Bible. The Bible, past fulfilled prophecy and creation itself, is ample proof of God’s existence, (Rom. 1:18-20) so we feel questions of this nature are already answered.]
PRELUDE TO THE MYSTERY REVEALED
Anyone who has rejected the Bible, as having any valid say in explaining life, has rejected the only hope of mankind and the only true source of revealed knowledge! The Bible was inspired (2 Tim.3:16-17) to be written for the benefit of mankind and true Christianity, so that we can come to know God. It may seem strange or come as a shock to some even in the religious society of our day, but there is a GREAT DEAL of confusion among those who think they understand the Bible properly. Who, among these hundreds of differing religions, could possibly be trusted to have the right understanding, when each one interprets the Bible differently? After all, there are hundreds of differing religions that say they base their beliefs on the Bible, but all teach variations of those same Scriptures. Very few today are really honest and have the right understanding of truth. It may come as another shock to know that the majority of the “Christian” religions do not obey nor worship the True God!
Is it possible that what the world is thinking of as “Christianity,” is not really Christianity at all, but a clever deception of truth and error mixed? Did you know that it is possible that the very reason you are here was to eventually be born into the family of God, and BE God? Shockingly, some think that kind of statement is blasphemous because they have been taught by one set of religious beliefs that God is a trinity and a closed God-head! However, the Bible absolutely proves that God is not a trinity! The Jews also had a wrong concept of God, thinking He was only one being and they would not accept Christ as the Son of God. Did you also know that in Genesis chapter one verse one, the surface of the earth mentioned there was destroyed and became waste and empty? (V.2) Then, after the RENEWING of the earth, (See Ps.104:30-RSV) God began creating new plant and animal life, then mankind. Those humans and animals were also all wiped out over 1600 years later by a worldwide flood, except for those 8 humans and the choice creatures spared in the ark! (Gen.6 & 7)
There will be another short introduction to begin each chapter. We hope to answer at random all the unanswered questions that have been put forth in this short prelude and introduction to the MYSTERY REVEALED. Again, please get your Bible, to verify the Scriptural content of what God has been doing with His creation and through humanity up to now!
THE MYSTERY REVEALED; introduction to chapter one.
As we begin our journey reading through this booklet, we also must begin a journey in our minds. We are on a quest to personally discover the very beginning of CREATION—any created things—seeing it to understand the existence of God or make sense of what GOD is doing by creating. In order to do that and make it a little easier for our limited mind capacity, we must imagine we are able to step outside the bounds of the physical and human realm. We must be able to see, in our minds at least, come to fathom or at least discern that there is the Spirit realm, because without it there is no God. To do this, we will have to travel in thought beyond the human realm that we are confined to by this flesh. Let us begin by imagining that we can physically travel through space and time and discover things from the very beginning. (Which no human being could actually do) We start here in chapter one to discover the Spirit realm, because Christ said God is Spirit in John 4:24.
The mystery of:
GOD AND THE SPIRIT REALM
We find ourselves, here in this twenty first century, surrounded by technology that people just 50 years ago could only dream about. Many of these things—“advances in technology”—were nothing more than fantasies played out in someone’s mind that ended up being in some science fiction movie or written in a novel! Now many of those things are a reality because the intelligence of the human mind has been given limited creative power! Where did we get this inventive capability? The Bible says we were created in the image of God, (Gen.1:26) having a human spirit that God has placed in each one, but subjected to the limitations of the physical realm of matter that God also created us out of. But where did this “matter” come from? Did God create it as well?
Let us assume, for the purpose of this book, that mankind has now created a time traveling machine that goes all the way back to the very beginning and will then return us to our time! (Similar—but far more advanced than HG. Wells’ idea in the novel “The time machine,”— which was published in the end of the 19th century. Others have also used this same kind of theme in their writings.) This machine is something that a person could get into and travel backward in time, but yet be protected from time changes, aging and the elements of heat and cold, but all the while being able to observe everything around them. This would be like being invisible but able to stop and observe everything. Sounds kind of like something science fiction, doesn’t it? So, imagining that such a machine existed, we will get into our time machine—like a clear protective bubble of some kind—and travel backward from here to the time when there was nothing—except God only! Yes that’s right, before anything else existed, even the angels that are mentioned in the Bible, because the Bible says that even they were created.
We will travel all the way back to the very beginning, before the first recorded creation event. Our “machine” or “time bubble” will go as fast as we want it to go, so we can arrive very quickly at the beginning, but also as slow as we want it to go, so we can grasp the details that we need. From the vantage point of before the beginning of all creation, we can begin traveling back forward through time and see what God was doing step by step, in order to possibly understand what He is doing now. By then (hopefully) we will also have found out what the purpose of it all is. We will be able to determine if God really does have a master plan, or if He is just experimenting, doing things at random as time passes by. We will also see where it all started, the beginning of all things. Now just where is this beginning? Here we go! Our machine is traveling backward in time now, preset for before the beginning of anything created, based on what the Bible reveals!
Our time bubble is now moving quickly backward in time and the thinking in the majority of most Bible reading minds is that we have now arrived in the proximity of the Garden of Eden or just before. This is where just a few days earlier the earth was created, then came all life and lastly Adam and Eve in creation week, as is supposed. IF this is your idea of the beginning, then you would be shocked to know that unless we put on the brakes, hit the stop button in our imaginary time machine, we would zip right past this time and into the blackness of thick darkness, only to emerge into light once again, but still be seeing a very beautiful but perhaps somewhat different earth!
You see, Genesis 1:1 is not the beginning of all things according to the Bible, only the creation of the heavens and earth. WHAT??—you might be saying! Remember, this is a learning expedition and a quest for the true beginning, we don’t know anything for sure yet and our time machine is set for the beginning of any created thing! We would learn also that there are perhaps from 20 to a million years or more, just between what is recorded in Gen.1:1 and verse 2, if our time bubble has the “time calculating” feature and can tell us where we are in time frame. So let’s take a moment to ponder these facts and look at some Scripture to verify what I have just said. We have not yet arrived at the beginning of all things! We learn from Isa 45:18 “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.”
So what does this mean? Simply that God intended the earth to be inhabited when He created it, so it could not possibly have been created in a state of darkness, void and emptiness, or waste and decay as we see in verse two, meaning that the earth had somehow become waste and empty. So what then was God doing in Gen.1:3?
God was RENEWING the surface of the earth in order to get it ready for the creation of all the creatures we now see, including mankind! Many have some confusion over even this point and believe that the dinosaurs were in existence with man, up until the flood, but there is no Biblical mention of dinosaurs, as such, at all! It is not mentioned at the naming of creatures that Adam named any dinosaurs or any other great creatures and there is no evidence of them ever being there at that place and time in Scripture, so when were they in existence?
The finding of their bones is evidence enough that they were once here, so when was that? These things will be revealed in due time, but we must travel beyond the creation of mankind and even the physical realm to reach the spirit realm. What we need to do is go much further back in time, to get to God, and the spirit realm! (Of course this is just a figure of speech, because God is Omnipresent and can be anywhere at any given time, having no boundaries or limitations.) And if we were traveling backward through time toward God and the real beginning, recorded in the Bible from this present 21st century, after we have past all physical creation that people normally think of, we come to a point of cataclysmic disaster, the after math of which is the blackness we mentioned coming through earlier, verified by Gen.1:2. Now that we have emerged from that darkness, we find SPIRIT BEINGS battling and causing great destruction in the universe, according to what some Scriptures vaguely reveal. This seems to be verified by what science itself has revealed to us, but cannot fully explain, and this has happened to our entire galaxy in this part of the universe, putting several planets in a state of decay. (See Gen.1:2 and compare that to Rom.8:19-23)
After getting past this, continuing to travel backward in time, we would be able to see more physical creation, the dinosaur age, as will be explained later, as we turn around and travel back forward, once we reach the very beginning of all things! This "cataclysmic" disaster mentioned above is what must have destroyed the dinosaurs, and every living thing on the earth at that time, before mankind as far as we know, was ever created! This is why they are not mentioned along-side of man—they had already ceased to exist in this cataclysm, before God renewed the earth and man came on the scene! Once we pass this part of physical creation and this catastrophe, going backward, then we would begin to see—if we could see them—angels and then on further backward, we would see them being created! Creatures of the spirit realm!
But, again let us pause here and think about this; these creatures are also part of creation, and the first place we would see them would be here, on this earth, after passing through the catastrophe previously mentioned, if we are going backward. (Keep in mind that we are moving backward through time and space, in search of the beginning, where only God is.) But then, we would learn that there are even more of these angels that are out there in the “heavens” somewhere that we have not yet reached! The angels we see here are the ones in control of things on earth. So, we have to keep traveling backward in time. We will actually end up before the earth, or any planets, stars, suns and moons, even galaxies and universes were ever created—and then even these angelic creatures would disappear! This would then be the place where there is absolutely nothing, except GOD in existence!
Is all this sounding kind of far fetched? Like some Si-Fi movie, or novel, as was mentioned before? Well, if you believe the word of God, it should not! Notice now how this passage seems to make more sense: Ps 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
So we see right here that God has not, nor ever will be affected by time and space, and we have to go beyond all this, even in the angelic spirit realm, on out past time and space itself, to get to the real beginning! Prov 8:12-14 "I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength.”
Again, we see from God’s word, later in this same chapter of proverbs. Prov 8:22-26 "The LORD possessed me (wisdom) at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. 23 I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, (notice it) before there was ever an earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth; 26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world.”
Wisdom comes from God, and is actually part of God’s nature and character, which brings up something else we need to point out right here! There are many facets of God’s nature, which we will see, but GOD IS NOT JUST ONE BEING, NOR IS GOD A TRINITY, as most of religion teaches! More of this will be revealed later but now we have come to the place where God Himself reveals the beginning of all things in Scripture! This was revealed to the apostle John, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and he recorded it for those who believe the Bible.
John 1:1-4 ---this is the real beginning of all things that we can come to know from the Bible! God himself is everlasting and had no beginning nor will there be an end for Him but inspired this to show us the beginning point of all things created, at which time God was already there! Notice it: V.1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Did you get that? Here are two Great God Beings at this point in time! Awesome, but true, read it again! And at this point, nothing else is in existence but these two eternal beings! At last!! We have arrived at the beginning of what the Bible reveals!!
V.2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made (Created) through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
Through these Scriptures it is revealed to us who and what God is, that He is actually more than one being but not a trinity, because the Holy Spirit is not even mentioned here; only God and the Word as two God beings, both being God! We also see that at this point there were only these two beings and nothing else is mentioned. Verse 3 jumps ahead to creation and reveals that through the Word all things were made, which we will see more on this later as well - but what God does, as we can now see is create. These two great beings are Creators! (By the way, our “time calculator” went haywire somewhere along the way, so we really have no idea how long it took us to get to this point, as far as time is concerned. We will see why when we turn around and travel back toward the 21st century.)
We also see that “in Him was life” v.4,---- so life comes from him, God the Word and the other being that was God! (Who later became the Father, as we will also see) That tosses the theory of evolution right out the window, if we believe God! Evolution is a myth, or theory, based on falsehoods and clever deceptions, hatched up by men under the influence of Satan the devil and is intended to dispel the existence of God! However, the first chapter of Genesis actually dispels the theory of evolution too—again, if we believe the word of God!
We also see in v.3 of John 1 that all things that were made were made through Him! Who is this Being? He is God the Word, (V.1) or spokesman, the Logos, as you find in the Greek. But notice verse 14 of this same chapter. 14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
This great God being, perhaps billions of years (OUR TIME) later would become Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! Notice what Christ Himself inspired to be written about Himself!
Rev 1:1-2 He is the revealer! V.1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants-- things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.” NOTICE FURTHER, in verse 8 and 17 of the same chapter. V.8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
This is Christ speaking and He explains to us who and what He is and has been which is God in the beginning! V.17 “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last”.
OKAY, SO ALL THIS REVEALS GOD AS TWO BEINGS, GOD AND THE WORD, WHICH IS ALSO GOD, THE ONE WHO MADE ALL THINGS! THESE TWO BEINGS, WORKING IN TOTAL HARMONY, BROUGHT EVERYTHING ELSE INTO EXISTENCE.
(As a side note, II Jn 1:9, is another proof that God is not a trinity! Notice this statement in V.9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son”. (The word “both” has a meaning and definition of “the two” and cannot mean three, which excludes the Holy Spirit as being a personage. See also John 15:24—and our Bible study on the TRINITY DOCTRINE for further information on this subject.)
This is an important truth and all should notice it! Only the Father and Son, no mention of the Holy Spirit! Why? Because, the Holy Spirit is not a personality, but the very power of God that emanates out from Him and also from His Son, OUR Lord and master, JESUS CHRIST. Keep this one thing in mind, based on what we have now come to know. At this point in time, there are only these two beings and, as already pointed out, nothing else is in existence. WHAT ARE THESE TWO BEINGS COMPOSED OF? (NOTICE) John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
WE MUST UNDERSTAND, THIS IS TALKING ABOUT ONE OF THOSE BEINGS, as written “A SPIRIT”, AND SO CHRIST, who is now a human and in the previous verse, CALLS HIM THE FATHER! SO THIS IS THE OTHER GOD BEING, NOT THE WORD. LATER, WE WILL SEE HOW THEY ARE ONE GOD, but NOT ONE BEING and not a TRINITY, as amply proven here! But now back to the main point of all this is that they are Spirit and there is nothing else, at this point! GOD, through CHRIST, at that time being the Word, made all things—what did He make it out of? Remember, at this point there is nothing made, nothing in existence but these two SPIRIT beings which are GOD! There is a couple of conclusions we could come to and that is that all things in creation had to somehow come from spirit composition because as of yet, there is no PHYSICAL MATTER, as physical matter is also something God created. We passed all of that coming back to this point, remember? Another conclusion we could come to however, is that God made something out of nothing—just brought it into existence by His great power—which He can do, but this requires us to have and exercise tremendous FAITH in that power!
Heb 11:3 “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
So, going back forward now, God created other creatures as spirit, just brought them into being (I know that the human mind has trouble grasping this—spirit creating spirit, but we read in John1:4 that “life” was in Him, which would be any kind of life or living thing!) First Cherubim and other angels, and then later on as we will see, bringing into being physical matter, everything in the universe, planets and stars, galaxies, and still later, plants and trees, sea creatures and dinosaurs, land animals and then much later, mankind! God is Spirit, perhaps we could say—pure energy—and perhaps some of that was converted into the various forms of all created things! (Now I’m getting ahead and this is speculation because we are not told about these details.)
Now that we have seen glimpses of these things and learned a little about God at this beginning point, let us now begin to move back forward to the rest of the Spirit realm. (There is no point in traveling backward any more, as there will be nothing else to find that we know of, except the eternal existence of God before any creation began.) The angels are spirit but created beings, brought into existence through this Great being, the Logos and the power emanating out from Him and the “other” God. GOD the Word spoke and the great Power and will of Him and the other God being we now call the Father went out and it was done!
-----“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (as in Gen.1 )
Ps 33:9 “For He spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” And we will see more about this later in this booklet. But now we need some evidence that the other spirits were in fact, created! Go back to John 1:3, where it is recorded: “all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” What does this mean?
Well, to put it simple, everything that exists but God has been created! Some have believed that Christ also was a created being before becoming flesh, but we have already seen that theory to be false if we believe THE WORD of God! The simple fact that the one Great God being, THE WORD, says He was there in the beginning with the other Great God being, should be enough! If one God alone then decided to begin by creating an exact duplicate of Himself, then THAT would have been the beginning, if you understand what I am saying, and the words we read above would not be true. (God cannot lie—Titus 1:2) This being, the Word gave up that divinity and power to become flesh in order to complete their plan after mankind had sinned! The Word was not ever created, but willingly transformed from spirit into the fleshly “seed” of man and placed into the womb of Mary! (oops! I got ahead again) The Bible speaks of various angelic beings, who are also spirit, of which there are simply too many to mention, but we will look at a couple places to make the point. Gen. 28:12 And he (Jacob) dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”
AND AGAIN WE SEE IN Ps 104:1-4:
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: you are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, who makes the clouds His chariot, who walks on the wings of the wind, 4 Who makes His angels spirits, his ministers a flame of fire.”
So here we see that He makes His angels spirits, so He created them as spirit! Let us look at one more passage, which will be important to remember.
Ezek 28:14-15: 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; (God speaking, through the prophet Ezekiel) you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till (or until) iniquity (sin) was found in you.”
We will see more about this created being later, but the point here is that he was created through the Word who became flesh and is now known as JESUS CHRIST! Of course we must say, at this point, Him (Christ) becoming flesh was probably millions of years into the future, from the time He created Lucifer until Christ became flesh, the way we view time in our “space bubble”! (Which temporarily quit working for some reason, stated earlier and will be explained later!)
So now, we have seen the evidence from Scripture of God, who He is, the Supreme Spirit Family, consisting of two personages and at this point equal, what He is—Spirit, and what He is doing is creating! We also see the rest of the spirit realm, who are all created beings! But this does not necessarily mean that these angels were the very first things created, or brought into being, as will be revealed later. Just keep that in mind as we go along, that these are only the first created living creatures! In chapter two, the planning phase, more about this mystery will be revealed.
Why did God create anything? What was the purpose of any creation? God does not seem to do anything at random, without purpose or reason. Why create and why angels, other spirit life? Why would God even create anything at all? One possible answer is in this passage;
I Jn 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
This last word LOVE, FROM STRONGS, MEANS: 26 agape (ag-ah'-pay);
from 25; (agapao) love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast:
KJV-- (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.
THIS IS NOT AS CLEAR AS IT COULD BE MADE, BUT RATHER THAN TAKE A LOT OF SPACE ON THIS, SIMPLY PUT, THIS LOVE, GOD’S LOVE, IS GREATER THAN JUST OUT GOING CONCERN FOR THE GOOD AND WELL BEING OF ONE HUMAN TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING! GOD AND THE WORD ARE THIS LOVE AND MANIFEST THIS LOVE TO EACH OTHER, NOW TO THEIR CREATION AND IT FILLED THE UNIVERSE! GOD WANTED MORE TO SHARE THIS WITH! BUT IT IS BECOMING CLEAR THAT GOD MUST HAVE HAD A PLAN FOR SOMETHING!
God is a giver or now a giving Family, sharing what He has with others that are created, and He wanted more of His kind to share everything with. What does He have to share with us that we can readily relate to? Eternal or everlasting life, peace, happiness, joy that is indescribable to the human mind and He is all knowledge and infinite wisdom, and has harmony and order, and most important to us is that he wants to share all that with us! He has the power to do anything He wants and it will always be right! We as humans do not yet have that kind of life, though many believe we have an immortal soul. This belief is also incorrect and will also become clear as we progress forward. What “life” we have now is temporary and only physical—because we are still physical.
God and the Word are eternal beings, having existed forever. Now think about that for a moment. Here are these two magnificent beings with all power to do anything they want, and these two beings are love! They are also alone, except for each other. So they determined to create other beings to share their lives with. Remember, all creation would have come from spirit which God is and can also create, and so all creation in that sense, is from God!
With all the information we have in the Bible, we can easily see that God is now a family, consisting of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, but at the beginning this was not so, as we have already seen. The angels were created spirit, to be like God only in that respect but on a much lower plain and there is much more to it than that alone. Angels were created as God’s helpers but not in His image as man is, and that fact alone tells us that God had much more in mind when the angels were created. What was that purpose? Much of this will be revealed in the next chapter, but at this point we need to insert some scriptural proof of why the angels were created, to help us better understand this part of the plan and the spirit realm! We have already seen, in the book of Revelation, that an angel was used to reveal things to John.
This provides us with some knowledge already, that they are servants and messengers of God.
Rev 1:1 was previously quoted so now let us read V.20 "The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”
In this passage as well as others dealing with the seven Churches, angel can and does have a dual application, referring to an angelic being as well as physical and human messengers. Notice what Dan 12:1 reveals; "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.”
Michael, in the passage above is not just an ordinary angel, but is an Archangel, a cherub, as was Lucifer, which we saw earlier. Zech 4:1 “Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.” Here we see that God used angels to communicate with man and this next passage could be referring to them as eyes of the Lord. 2 Chr 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.—
We can see more proof of this in the book of Job. This reveals to us that these angels, referred to as “eyes of the Lord” and “sons of God” can travel through time and space, from God to earth and back and is another proof they are servants of God. Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.”
Here, we must note that a distinction is made between “sons of God” (angels) and Satan. Satan means “adversary,” one competing or setting himself against God. This was not always so but only occurred after his rebellion and after he changed his outlook and attitude—thus changing and setting his own character, which we will see more of later.
7 “And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it."
Let us take a look at some more examples from Scripture to make this point of what the angels were created for. We find this in Acts 12:7-10 “Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands.
8 Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me."
9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.”
Ps 91:11-12 explains; “ For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
SO—from these Scriptures we can see that this was at least part of the purpose for God to create angels. They were to be servants and helpers to live joyfully with God and to help in other creation projects, such as galaxies and planets and then MANKIND!
Scripture also reveals that not all angels are the same. There is what is called seraphs or seraphim, which are higher in rank than ordinary angels. Then there are also cherubim or cherubs, as we saw in Ezekiel about Lucifer. "You were the anointed cherub who covers;”
This Lucifer was at the very throne of God. One who was, from every indication, the greatest most perfect of all the other created angels and was given ruler-ship over other angels. The author inspired to write the book of Hebrews, tells us something about this. Heb 9:5 “and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.”
Lucifer was one of these covering cherubs, trained in the administration of God’s Government, and then sent out and given charge of 1/3 of the other angels. There are two other archangel cherubs, Michael and Gabriel, having charge of the other 2/3’s of all other angels. How can we know this, you might ask? Well, beings this is the chapter to reveal the spirit realm, perhaps this should also be revealed here. We have seen up to this point the existence of these created beings and a glimpse of their purpose but what happened to this Lucifer and those angels in his charge? Before we close this chapter and this insert of information, we also need to get to evil spirits and where they came from, so we will answer that question by revealing this mystery at this point. We can actually do that very quickly and have already seen some of the explanation.
Moving forward in time now temporarily, from the beginning, on past the creation of all these angels, knowing now the purpose of their creation to be helpers of God, and on forward to what they were to help with! In God’s discourse with Job, He asks Job where he was when God was creating the earth. Something interesting is revealed to us in this passage of Scripture. Here again, we see the angels symbolically referred to as “sons” of God—meaning they got their existence from God—God says to Job;
Job 38:4-7 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Here, stars and sons both apply to angels, and Lucifer was the shining star of the dawn. He was the morning star or bringer of light. He is called the son of the morning. Isa 14:12-14
V.12 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'
Some assume and even have said that God created a devil and brought sin and evil into being but that is simply not true! God did not create evil nor did he create Satan and his demons as such! Notice again now, what we have already seen in Ezekiel 28:12-17 --- 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. 14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till (until) iniquity (sin) was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. 17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground,”--.
These Scriptures reveal much about what happened to Lucifer and where evil came from. God did not create it but it was “found” by God, or noticed-detected- in Lucifer—which actually became over time a part of Lucifer’s nature as he changed. Let us notice Strong’s definition for this word “found”, to avoid any confusion. It is #4672 matsa' (maw-tsaw'); a primitive root; properly, to come forth to, i.e. appear or exist; transitively, to attain, i.e. find or acquire; figuratively, to occur, meet or be present:” –so this should help us understand that sin came forth or appeared in Lucifer by his own free-moral-agency or choice—but was not created in him at first.
However only God and perhaps Lucifer and other angels, know how long that might have taken, as these details are not recorded. We must remember, he is a very powerful spirit being and was given authority over 1/3 of the angels. He had a throne as we see here, and he tried to take over God’s throne in heaven, but was cast out and restrained by God. He had somehow become perverted in his thinking and began to resent God and His way, and tried to stop what God was doing. The competitive nature, wanting to tower over others and gain by the getting and taking to oneself attitude, that we see in this world comes from Satan the devil and his influence. This became his nature over time but he was not created this way.
For whatever the reason, he became God’s adversary, now Satan and he was also able to deceive all the angels under his rule, which then became demons! God had to allow this because God granted His creation free moral agency or freedom of choice to choose which way they would go—the only exception was that God’s purpose would stand and He would intervene when that was threatened. We see evidence of this fact all through Scripture. Notice this about Lucifer’s rebellion; Rev 12:3-4 “And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.”—(These were deceived by him and so cast out when he was, and are now demons.) 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, (here we can see Lucifer now changed to Satan, along with his angels now turned into demons and after this sin of rebellion, they fought against the good angels that had not sinned.) 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
What was the reason given for Lucifer’s rebellion, if any is found? It was pride, competition, vanity and self importance, a looking away from God’s purpose and cooperating with it, the reason for his being created and looking to his own selfish desires. An exalting of himself over everything else, even God, must have taken place at some point in his mind. Why, again, were angels created? Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son"? V.8 But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.
10 And: "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail." 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool"? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
If Lucifer knew some of what God’s plan was, there may have been something in it that (more about this later) may have sparked resentment in Lucifer and from that, he began to go astray in his thinking and became perverted and hostile to God’s plans but this is only speculation on the part of the author, because God has not revealed exactly what caused this, other than vanity, pride and competition. But there is evidence in the prehistoric animals that they, at some point in time, began to display the predator tendency, the stronger more ferocious preying on the weaker. This of course, was not created in them, God being love as we have seen, so this opposite spirit could have only come from the influence of a spirit opposite to that of God, which is what Lucifer became! He still has this power of influence and uses it against mankind—sparking a great deal of evil at times.
We will see much more about this in other chapters, but this now concludes this chapter on GOD AND THE SPIRIT REALM and how the created spirit beings came to be. This is only the beginning stage of the MYSTERY of what GOD is doing as the Great Creator but with these things revealed and as some of the background bringing us some answers to some questions, we will close this chapter and move on to the next.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED; Introduction to chapter two.
In this chapter we will backtrack a little and see more of the details of what must have taken place in the beginning with God and the Word. The previous chapter focused on the spirit realm, and brought us up from God through the creation of spirit beings, revealing how some turned bad, and now work against God. They were deceived and were lead into rebellion by the powerful Lucifer who has now become Satan the devil. Lucifer was placed on this earth as the one in charge and leading these other angels in the care of the earth at that time. The reader may recall that our “time calculator” went haywire and it was also indicated that something else might have come into being through creation, before these spirits were created. So now we backtrack to come to the point of God revealing some of the mystery of:
THE PLANNING PHASE
Obviously this planning was before the actual creation of anything that took place! God is the Supreme Being, perfect in intelligence and knowledge, (omniscient) and with all power! He does not do anything without thinking it through and planning it out ahead of time! We saw how He is the foundation that creation rests on and comes from and all things came from Him, being created from and through Spirit or brought into existence by Him. So now we need to consider what must have taken place before anything was created and set in motion. God and the Word being perfect, which means “without flaw- whole and complete, lacking nothing,” so they, BEING OF SUPREME INTELLIGENCE would have made a plan! So the first thing they did was to plan out what they were going to do, most probably by visualizing what they were going to create. Some people never really think about this and seem to believe that God just started creating things without a plan or knowing the outcome. Others believe that God initially and in general, just set creation in motion and let it go where it may—without knowing what was coming next—then dealing with unexpected problems. This would actually mean that God was not in complete control of His creation and could be surprised by things happening without His pre-planned knowledge—something He had not foreseen—but that way of thinking limits God, insulting His intelligence and power.
To help the reader grasp what might possibly have taken place, we can use the analogy of builders, contractors and the making of blueprints. The author, being a professional welder before becoming disabled built a lot of different kinds of things by blueprint, knowing it is wise to even check the blueprint over from time to time for mistakes or miscalculations of the draftsmen, before starting to build or cut material, because of possible human error. But God does not have this problem because He is perfect and can visualize things to the smallest detail, having eternity to visualize and contemplate every possible aspect. He would have done so all the way to its end before starting anything. But none-the-less—I think you can grasp the point— He would have made His own blueprint, planning and visualizing every aspect of what He was going to do. He would have considered what might happen after creating spirit and granting free moral agency for those angelic spirit beings, having every part thought out and planned ahead of time, down to the smallest possible detail that could possibly interfere with His intended purpose.
This is much like contractors today who build multi-unit or multi-storied buildings or even building a simple family home from a bare lot. Just as builders of every kind who are thinkers—will have drafted out a plan of whatever they are going to do.
For example and simple understanding: the grounds have to be measured and considered for their various usage, to fit the buildings and their needs, the ground prepared and base dirt or clay put in place under the foundation and so on. Cost for materials have to be considered as well as the length of time to build, also considering weather conditions for the time frame planned to build in and these things should be considered ahead of time so as not building in an area that is prone to flooding, high winds, hurricanes and earthquakes etc.—as you can see, there is much to consider by the buyers, draftsmen and builders before anything can even start to go to contractors. (Of course not all men today think this far ahead or do much planning. Many in today’s world get in such a hurry they forget to plan or put fail-safes in place and then suffer the consequences.)
God had surely done far more in His endeavors for His creation, so this preparing and making of His blueprint must have taken these two beings some time, of which we can only guess at! God, not being in any hurry because He has eternity, would also have seen the need to set natural and physical laws in place to govern all of these physical things and that is why we see the various cycles of time in the life around us in our world. There were also Spiritual Laws set in motion for the spirit realm to govern them. God designed these Laws and set them all in place as a part of the plan and creation.
The human mind in general cannot fathom that God is not limited or bound by space and time, because we humans are, so these things also of necessity, had to be part of the planning phase. We saw in chapter one, that God wanted to share all that He has with others and that angels were created as servants and helpers. The universe and earth were created, then angels given rule over them and the earth. Their leader or one in command over them for earth, as we have already seen, was trained at the very throne of God for the purpose of the administration of God’s government on earth! This was Lucifer. We saw that he eventually rebelled and became Satan the devil. This means that he went AGAINST Laws that were already in place. (1John 3:4) BUT WHY DID HE RESORT TO REBELLION? Was there something that he understood about God’s purpose and plan perhaps that got him to thinking wrongly, as was mentioned in the first chapter? What was GOD planning? What was His ultimate purpose from the beginning? We saw that God created angels as helpers, but helpers in doing what?
We have already seen some of the many things that had to be planned out and seen through vision, before God could move forward with His plans and then put it into reality! What are some of these things that God surely considered, which are based on the Scriptures He has given us to reason from? We see in the Scripture that God predestined or predetermined some things to fulfill His purpose in case man chose wrong. Did that included all things, as some people teach and believe? There are those that believe that God predestined some to be saved and the rest to be lost! Others seem to believe that God and Satan are battling it out over the souls of men. Perhaps some time needs to be taken here to explain a little bit about this, so the reader is not confused on any of these points! Much is assumed on these points, but very little correctly understood, by the religious minded of the world today and based on the Word of God. That is why we need God to reveal this and that can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit and the pages of the Bible. We will explain this in more detail a little later in the book, along with some more about “free moral agency”, but here we will see a glimpse of this. We see in the book of Eph 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,---
V.9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-- in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,--(Another passage adds a little more to this--) Eph 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Here, we can certainly see the indication that these things were prepared “beforehand”, actually planned out ahead of time—or predestined. (We will see more about this in the chapter on predestination.) Let’s pick up one more Scripture here on this subject. We see in Titus 1:1-3, “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;”
There are several things to consider from these verses, but the first thing let’s focus on is this term in V.2, “before time began”! We have taken the time here to reveal some of what the Bible has to say about predestination, because this should be revealed here, in the planning phase of what God is doing! Predestination has to do with the things God was planning through vision to create and set in motion, before it was actually done and as part of the blueprint, so to speak. If the reader goes back and reviews those Scriptures involved in this, you will see that God, in predetermining, has to do with His purpose for mankind, a calling, a connection to Jesus Christ and His elect, a dispensation of times, and then before that time began. There is a definite order to all things and God planned these things out in advance—predestined them or predetermined them! We will see more about this later.
Now, can we conclude that “before time began,” mentioned above literally means what it says? Was this before time itself began? Was time and space created? Is this possibly what is being meant here? Well, let us think about that for a moment. Going back to the beginning, which we have seen is God and the Word, before anything else was, certainly before this planning phase, knowing God is “from everlasting to everlasting”, “the beginning and the end, the first and the last”,-- etc as we have already seen. These two Eternal beings, have no beginning or end, are not and cannot be bound by time and space as we understand it! God, having no limitations or boundaries such as time and space, had to create time and space as we know it for at least part of His purpose! Like preparing the surroundings a step at a time for what is to be built, so when it is finished everything will still be in harmony. God first determined, and then brought into being, a time frame for His purpose to be accomplished in! This creation of His could and seems to have been established in different dimensions. The time in the spirit realm was set different than in the physical realm of mankind! So, one could also reason that God may have brought forth the creation in stages, once they had been visualized and determined to fulfill the planned out purpose. Let me give an example of what I am talking about here. 2 Pet 3:8 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, (to humans) and a thousand years (to humans) as one day.” (To God and the spirit realm) Ps 90:4 “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.”
Now let us expand this a little more, purely from the human perspective. If one of God’s days is a thousand years long, once time entered the picture the way we see it from our human perspective of looking at time, then this is a boundary that God would have placed here for His creation. Looking at it this way, how long is a year to God, from the human perspective and the way we think? Well, according to our calendar and simply as an example, it would be a little over 365,000 years long as we would calculate it! AMAZING!!—And yet—that is nothing, compared to an Eternal being where time has no relevance! Just multiply that by a normal human lifespan. That would be 25,550,000 years in human terms, but again God is not bound by space or time as we are! Science believes that the earth has been here some 50 billion years! That may or may not be true, as there is no honest way for us to tell, absolutely, but we can rest assured that God knows and to Him that is a relatively short period!
(Let the reader understand that this time frame is only given as an example, and not as a literal gage of time, because even in Scripture there are different ways of marking time that God has set in motion but this is only a human example for us to ponder. God is unlimited and cannot be put in a confined time frame, not even billions upon billions of years backwards or forwards. That is why our imaginary “time calculator” went haywire when we began to get close to God—we would have passed out of the created “time and space” for creation in order to travel all the way back to God and the very beginning.)
The Hebrews, as another example, when they were all together as a nation or kingdom, used two different methods for their calendar and keeping track of time. A civil use of their calendar and a sacred one for each year, both based on their Hebrew calendar and knowledge God had given Moses for keeping track of time. The civil year began on a different month than the sacred, which began in the spring. Other nations, even at that time, and also to a lesser degree today, viewed time differently than Israel of old. Judah, as one of the tribes of ancient Israel, after they split into two kingdoms, has maintained that calendar to a certain degree down to our time today. But today these people are known to us as the tiny nation of Israel and considered the Jews, are only from Judah, plus Benjamin and some of the Levites. But this information is simply to help us get the perspective of things in creation having different stages of time or dimensions possibly set in motion as well. (Today the USA uses a Roman calendar issued by Pope Gregory the 13th, which calculates a year differently than the Hebrew calendar, as was used in our previous example.)
Now, we have a vague idea of what God was looking at when creating spirit beings. There was of necessity to be a time frame for that part of creation and as we have seen, the spirit aspect of time is quite different than the human aspect and there are obviously also different dimensions, which also may have been created for the sake of all creation. Some believe that there are dimensions that run parallel with ours and that there is another human dimension and maybe there is a spiritual one as well but there is no Scriptural details of this, other than the fact that spirits can be all around us and yet not be seen. It does seem logical and obvious that the spirit realm is in another dimension and time, so that they can move in and out of our space and time, undetected. The Bible does tell us that angelic spirit is invisible to us but can manifest themselves as human when directed to do so.
But let’s move on now, seeing that it is very possible that a great amount of time elapsed in the spirit realm, during this planning phase. Perhaps millions or even billions of years! We also must consider that each spirit being was possibly created as a separate and individual being, which would extend the time even longer as we would know it. This also had to be planned out in vision ahead of the actual creation. That brings us back to something stated earlier, that of God’s intended purpose for His creation. What was the purpose for His creation, as we saw mentioned previously in Eph.1:11? Much more on this subject will be revealed in another chapter but what we need to see here in this planning phase is that God must have, from the beginning, had a purpose for all of this and we see it revealed all through Scripture, but was planned out and at least some of it predetermined.
GOD, in the beginning, I believe must have determined to reproduce Himself and expand the God realm! HE would have determined through this plan to have His own begotten, then born children—but Spirit cannot procreate through this process. Christ Himself said that flesh is flesh and spirit is spirit, so humans were created with reproduction ability and they could then be changed to Spirit! So this was the plan and human reproduction is a type of Spiritual reproduction. Everything we can see in Scripture, dealing with man, seems to lead to that one end or final result! Where is the proof of that, you the reader might gasp in wonderment??
Well think about this for a moment! Can we not already see where Scripture reveals that Christ literally was “begotten” as a human in the womb, and then born the Son of God in human flesh. After His resurrection, He is now the firstborn back into the spirit realm among many future brethren that are also to be born by resurrection as He was! (Rom.8:29) And furthermore, Christ Himself quoted a passage from the Old Testament to the Jews, saying “I said you are gods”. We see in Scripture that we can be born again and what more proof do we need, than the fact of what we see in Genesis! Gen 1:26-27 “Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
CLEARLY we can see that these two GREAT BEINGS in the beginning, (at least in the planning stage for man’s creation.) said “LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AND AFTER OUR LIKENESS”! We have been created after the God kind, which God planned in advance, in order to reproduce Himself! HE intended to have perhaps BILLIONS OF CHILDREN with the same kind of Holy and righteous character that He and the Word have. They would be like God as God is God, only with separate personalities as human children are in their families, different in that respect from their parents. This is what GOD and the WORD who became CHRIST were planning! Remember, God is love, and he wanted His children to have individuality and personality all there own, and yet have holy and righteous character like His, so He chose for the creation to develop their own individual character through freedom of choice! They also had to be able to change from one way to another—the process we call repentance—before becoming set in their character. This required what we call “free moral agency.” The ability to think and reason, make decisions and plans and act on those freely. I want to give you a quote from Herbert W. Armstrong, who died in 1986. (I know this book is questioned by some in the COG groups and membership as being full of flaws, but bare with me with an open mind.) This is from “the mystery of the ages,” page 101.)
“Godly spiritual character is the habitual action and conduct of the person or created entity to come to a knowledge of the true ways of God, and to exercise the will to follow those ways even against opposition, temptation or self-desire to the contrary. Character must be developed with the assent, will and action of the separately created entity. It is imparted by God and must be willingly received by that entity. So God now determined, or had predetermined, to accomplish the supreme creative feat--- by reproducing himself! That was to be accomplished through mankind! God knew this must be brought about through matter.”
Now there are Scriptures that reveal (Isa 46:10) that God declares the end from the beginning, and that He has all knowledge and knows all things, or “everything” as the RSV reveals in one passage. Notice it here; I Jn 3:20 (NKJ) “ For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”—or as THE RSV has it: --“for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” We have read in the book of Titus that God cannot lie, and these words are inspired by Him. (See Titus 1:2, Heb.6:18 & II Tim.3:16-17)
Scriptures reveal that God is perfect and so we would expect that this planning stage would be thorough and without flaw, before being set in motion to become reality! Yet some say, “if God knows all things, then He knew man would sin and that Lucifer would sin and therefore God is responsible for sin!”—because these things could not have happened any other way, is the thought! However, the very fact that we can see and read in Scripture that some things WERE foreseen and planned in advance, (Predestined) should help us realize that God foresaw this in order to plan ahead for either way man could go! The thinking that God cannot know WITHOUT affecting man’s freedom of choice is what is flawed. Every thought that comes into our minds is limited by the flesh and therefore cannot rise above the fleshly way of understanding without God’s help. His written Word, the Scriptures, are all we have to go by and if we chose not to believe them or reason around them, then all hope of understanding anything properly about creation and it’s purpose is lost and limited only to human reason! God is “outside the box” of human thought and reasons and much of what we read from Scripture has to be taken in faith and belief in God and His word AS WE LEARN and are led to it by the Holy Spirit!
This brings us back to the free moral agency we mentioned earlier. In this planning phase, God determined that in order for His created beings to have separate, individual personalities and develop Godly character, it was essential for them to choose this totally on there own and then come by choice, (Sometimes after several failures and much repentance) to be so yielded to God to allow Him to develop His character in them and do it His way! So God set in motion this free moral agency, right with His creation of angels. The spirit realm was given freedom of choice before mankind was created! But remember, God taught Lucifer right at His very throne, the ways of God, the Commandments of God, the Law and rule of God, and we have already seen those to be love, peace, harmony or unity, cooperation and obedience to the Laws that governed them! But these angels were already created as spirit beings and therefore their choice was to continue in God’s way or follow what their own minds came up with apart from God. God foresaw that some might choose not to follow His ways and had to plan for it! In the same manner, we as humans cannot develop this Godly and spiritual or “divine” nature or character on our own! The guidance for that has to come from God and His character molded and shaped in us to actually become our way by our own free will and unimpeded choice, thus maintaining individuality of character.
So now it has been revealed that God’s laws and way of living were also set in motion in the very beginning! (Of course they would have been, because they are the WAY God and the Word, also God, had lived for an eternity) God, being omniscient or knowing all things, determined to set in motion this freedom to choose on an individual bases, in the planning phase. God, being of supreme intelligence, had to know there was a possibility that one or more, perhaps even all of these spirits that He would create, could then choose to go against His way! He could not dictate or force them, or their character would not be their own choice. God set His will then, not to intervene in their decisions, choices and determined actions based on those decisions and choices. However, God maintained the right, as their Creator, to know what was going on at all times, even in their minds, as Scripture reveals! God is OMNISCIENT AND OMNIPRESENT by the power of His Holy Spirit. He can be anywhere at any time and everywhere at all times and knows all things, as we have already seen. (See also Psalms 139:7—12, 16) But humans cannot grasp that God can do this without us having any knowledge of it or it altering our freedom of choice, therefore it is so hard for us to believe. However, a thorough and in-depth study of God’s foreknowledge reveals the truth of these matters.
This now brings us to an all important part of this planning phase of Gods creation! The Word, as we have already seen, became flesh—Jesus Christ—but also Savior and Redeemer of mankind. WHY? We will see more of this later, but God knew the possibility of rebellion in the angelic realm, as we have already stated. He also would have known of the same thing occurring in the human realm when the time came to create them! He placed man where Satan was restrained—this earth—surely knowing Satan would try to destroy mankind and wreck the plan. So God seeing this through vision made provision for this, in the planning stage! We cannot, with any Scriptural proof whatsoever, say that God did not know that Lucifer would sin. What we do have though, is Scriptures indicating that He would have known this as a possibility and perhaps seen it in advance and therefore made provisions in His plan for it! But it is also very possible that God and the Word visualized all of this before agreeing to set it in motion to play out as reality! Nothing is impossible for GOD!
(It is also highly possible that God had visualized an alternate plan—A & B, as an example—that would automatically be set in motion upon either choice that was made by both angels and humans and that God has seen them both play out in vision and then set it in motion as His ultimate means of reaching the end result of the purpose He intended. It should be obvious to us all that we are in the world we live in because man made the wrong choice.)
It was predetermined that the Word would have to become human and do what the first Adam should have done, if he failed, which he did. Thus the plan A and the alternate plan B. Adam should have and could have rejected Satan and ate from the tree of life, it was his choice, but he did not and Satan then took humanity captive by his influence over their minds. (2Tim.2:25-26) Now Christ would have to come and pay the penalty for those sins because it was through Christ that all things were created. Rev 13:8 “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, (The Beast) whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb (Christ) slain from the foundation of the world.”
What does this mean?
This deals strictly with the first man Adam’s sin and so the “foundation of the world” would be this world, man’s world and this time of sinful flesh that we see. What is this world we are living in today founded on? Gen 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Gen 3:6 “So when the woman saw (believed by deception) that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” The woman chose to listen to Satan and then chose to disobey God and so did Adam. This world is founded on sin and rebellion and a taking to oneself—or “get” attitude!
Yes, this world is founded on Adam’s sin and his rebellion under the influence of Satan, taking to himself the knowledge of good and evil instead of reliance on God through believing obedience, then eating from the tree of life! Now man would die as God told him and unless God intervened, man would not develop Godly character and never reach the point of being born into the family of God, which is what Satan was after. This would destroy the plan. Knowing the possibility of this ahead of time, the Word as Creator of all life, planned to be our “REDEEMER” and be born in the flesh and do what the first man, Adam failed to do!
Seeing this failure through vision in the planning phase, as is indicated by the word meanings—world in that verse is from the word “KOSMOS”—showing it was planned long before the sin actually occurred! Christ would then come as a human and give His sinless life—being of far greater value than that of all physical humans because He was their Creator— continuing on with His plan of reproducing Himself by reconciling man to God, actually redeeming them through His own shed blood! This in turn shows us how precious we are to Him and His desire for us to be in His family, but it is ultimately our choice! Remember that we have already seen in Scripture how this was planned beforehand or predestined, if man chose wrong, proving God planned in advance for it.
Satan, because of Adam’s failure, would now get to remain on His throne as the god of this world and rule over man (II Cor.4:4 and Eph.2:2) but only for another 6 days or 6,000 years in human terms. (See the original 4th commandment, Exodus.20:8 & 9—remembering a day in the spirit realm is as a thousand years, in our time.) Christ would come as was planned in case of sin, qualify by conquering Satan and receiving ruler-ship, would return in great power and glory to restore God’s Government over the entire earth at the end of Satan’s 6th day! Other Scriptures also reveal this would be played out over time, each step in its own order. So, as we conclude this chapter on the planning phase, it has been revealed that God set in motion for His creation, time and space in a universe with galaxies. Laws concerning this time and space were set in motion for our little spot in the galaxy, with the 19 year time cycles for our planetary system. We learn these things from what is revealed in the book of Genesis and other Biblical books, as well as scientific knowledge and God’s calendar. In giving these boundaries for His creation, planning out each step ahead of time through vision, setting in motion free moral agency, first with the angels and much later with mankind, was for the ultimate purpose of His plan to reproduce Himself—or bring forth Godly offspring. I personally believe the Bible indicates that He was planning to do that through mankind and physical matter from the very beginning, as we have stated here. We can determine that from the fact that physical things were created and put under the control of Lucifer before his rebellion, which may have been to test him and his ability to issue Godly and loving rule. God obviously had not yet restrained Lucifer and he had to establish this part of his character in order to carry out properly the next step of God’s plan. God had given him rule over the earth to administer the government of God.
We have seen that the creation of angels was not for the purpose of reproducing after the God kind. (Nowhere in Scripture does it say they were created in His image or likeness, but only of spirit composition.) They were in fact created to be helpers in God’s supreme purpose in reproducing Himself and other things throughout time! These angels, along with Lucifer as their leader, may very well have been placed on the earth with some knowledge that God would eventually create something out of matter that would become God, such as mankind! The angels were created to eventually teach and train in God’s way and bring these physical creatures to the point of being made God beings, who would then RULE the entire universe, also ruling over the angelic realm. God, according to this plan, would have as His Own begotten in the flesh and then Spirit born children! We can surely grasp that Lucifer was to administer God’s Government on the earth, but Scripture reveals that the angels do not have exact knowledge of every detail and are in fact learning some of these things from us as God’s elect, the COG! 1 Pet 1:12 (RSV) “It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
So from this and other Scriptural evidence, it is the author’s determination that angels may have had some knowledge, but certainly not all and so they are in fact learning from those that make up the body and bride of Christ, (COG) as the Church is growing in the Grace and knowledge of these Scriptural and Spiritual truths.(Eph.3:9-11) The Church that is the SPIRITUAL ORGANISM, the True Church of God, understands spiritual things only as they are revealed by God through His Holy Spirit! We as humans can also see, by the bones of prehistoric animals, great land and winged animals of all kinds, physical creatures that lived on the earth, which only God could have created! These had to have been planned for and put here before mankind. I remember reading several years ago about how science had determined that these creatures very possibly all died within a five year span of time in some cataclysmic disaster striking the earth! That cataclysm was most likely Lucifer’s rebellion, which means they were put here on earth and lived under the care of Lucifer and the angels before that angelic rebellion! Lucifer may have had some understanding of God’s overall purpose and became jealous and resentful, knowing that these human creatures God was going to create would become greater than Lucifer was and actually be God’s own offspring and so he tried to take over God’s throne for himself and keep this from happening!
Not realizing that God all along was aware of his very thoughts and where they were leading, that they were becoming twisted and resentful, developing and setting his character as evil! God knew this in advance but had set Himself to allow this when giving the freedom to choose. This also may be the very reason prehistoric animals were possibly the only things created at that time. God was allowing time to bring out this possible flaw God saw developing in Lucifer’s character, giving him the opportunity to change before his character was actually set. And of course Scripture reveals he failed and his failure set his character to be opposite to that of God, making him an adversary to the plan of God. Because he was created spirit, he now cannot possibly change back without God’s help, his character is now set to be opposite of God. That is one of the reasons why God chose to use physical matter for reproducing Himself so it could be changed, if wrong choices were made. We have been given the ability to repent—turn around and go in a different direction—change our minds when we see where we are wrong and repent. God, in His great mercy (See psalm 136) has created us in this way for our own good and possibly the only way to fulfill the plan.
As we close this chapter it must be understood that of necessity, God having given men and angels both freedom of choice, would also need to intervene from time to time knowing that Satan would still try and mess up God’s plan and destroy mankind. God would always be watching and keeping things on course or making adjustments for the intended purpose, always going forward to the planned out end result, though not forcing His will on any created being to make them do things His way. God does not force His will on anyone by simply knowing everything going on or that is possible to happen and this does not alter our freedom of choice. This is also hard for us to understand, but perhaps will become clearer as we go on. We simply (this author included) cannot grasp all the details of how, but must allow that some things are possibly orchestrated by Satan to mess up things for the elect and God simply intervenes for the sake of mankind and His purpose during this 6,000 years.
God would have His overall plan laid out, visualizing in general (If not every detail) through its course all the way to the end before creating and making it a reality, as previously stated. God has the capability to do anything He wants to do and see every detail, He does not do things haphazardly and without purpose or not knowing how it is going to turn out or what will happen next! We humans do not and cannot know exactly how all this took place, but have to rely on what the Scripture reveals through the Spirit. God, through His Spirit, has promised to open to us even the “DEEP” things of God, (1Cor.2:9-14) even giving us glimpses of some things that no human could otherwise ever come to know. Then we must, as we are being led by that Spirit also let God develop the faith of Jesus Christ in us, so that we can trust in and live by every word of God even without all the details. (Luke 4:4 & Matt. 4:4) We must develop the faith that we are even now, HIS OWN begotten but yet UNBORN children! (Rom.8:14, V.29) In order to better understand all of this, we need now to go to chapter three, which will reveal more of creation through its various stages, showing us some more of how God brought certain things into being and answering some more of the initial questions at the beginning of the book.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED; Introduction to Chapter 3.
Much has already been revealed, but much more is still ahead! In this chapter, the purpose is to be a continuation of and from what we saw in the planning phase, moving forward into the creation stage. Much of this has already been revealed, but may need to be reviewed as we get into the actual reality of the creation. So please bear with me as some of this may seem repetitious, but may be necessary for some of our reader’s sake. The hope is not to be confusing to anyone, especially with Scriptural points. So let us move on forward now, allowing God from His word, to reveal some of the mystery of:
Creation in its stages
We ended the last chapter with much revealed about what must have gone into the planning stage or phase, but had not come fully to the creation of physical matter in our search, though already mentioning it several times and even mankind, in connection with some other things. So we are moving back and forth in time in our little imaginary space traveling “bubble”, where we can get the full scope of it all. (Now that our time calculator is working again because we are in the “zone” of created time) As previously alluded to, God knew there was a possibility that Lucifer or either of the other leading arch angels could rebel, possibly leading all those angels placed in submission to them into rebellion also. God, seeing or knowing this in advance and from the beginning, having determined to give them freedom of choice or free moral agency, saw or knew that If rebellion was their choice and did occur, it could cause chaotic problems throughout the rest of the plan. God had to set Himself to allow this in order to go forward with the plan.
Chaos in rebellion, bringing about destruction, decay and emptiness is what we see in the planets surrounding earth and the Bible says that creation or at least the planets in our part of it where earth is, are now in a state of decay! Gen.1:1 is the original creation of the earth, and V.2 is most probably what happened to it through Lucifer’s angelic battle and rebellion. Hundreds or even millions of years could have passed between the things described in these two verses, or as little as 20. God has only revealed the slightest detail of those events. We have to remember that God is not bound or limited by time and space. Then God, after however much time elapsed, renewed the earth after this catastrophe and this is made clear in Ps 104:30 “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.” Something cannot be “renewed” without first being in a state of harmonious existence and then coming into a state of decay, or ruin!
But let’s back up a little, to the original creation of earth. Remember, Lucifer was placed here and had not rebelled at that point. God is Creator and so the evidence of those prehistoric creatures found on earth had to be created by God. What was their purpose, if any, as they were also just physical creatures? Well, as was mentioned previously, the very purpose of those creatures is not actually made known in Scripture, but one purpose for them may very well have been a testing phase for Lucifer—to see how well he would administer God’s way of love and kindness toward these created physical beings. It is possible, as previously indicated, that God detected something in Lucifer before He sent him to rule on earth and before any physical creatures were even created! After all, Lucifer was one of the covering cherubs at the very throne of God. There may have been millions of years go by while all this was going on! Again, this is something we are not told in Scripture. We can understand that when animals began to fight and kill one another and the strong began to prey on the weaker as is depicted for us through scientific knowledge of these creatures, this was not what God wanted. The spirit of competition and survival of the strongest entered the picture and the predator mind set came from somewhere, so where did it come from? God is love and would not have instilled that in them. It had to come from the governor over the earth where they were, which was Lucifer as a powerful spirit being! Notice this passage of Scripture, and what it reveals about him in his restrained state. Eph 2:1-2 “And you (Christians) He made alive, who were dead (under the death penalty-Rom.6:23—because of Satan’s influence) in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,”
This spirit (Satan) now works in all humans, which were cut off from God—sons of disobedience—as Scripture calls them, which includes all true Christians. However, we can only speculate that in prehistoric times, Lucifer could have begun using this “power of the air” (spiritual influence) to broadcast those evil influences and instinctive attitudes into the brains of animals, causing them to fight! (Competition) God is love! (Not competition, but out going concern for the good and well being of others, which would include all creation.) This was opposite to that of a Godly oriented mind! God knew this was going to happen even before it actually began, IF GOD WAS seeing this wrong motivation working in Satan’s mind. God perhaps kept creating physical creatures of different sizes and shapes until Lucifer, for whatever the reasons, rebelled openly and defiantly! With this same evil influence, by now he had caused all the other angelic beings under his authority to rebel and fight along with him, as we can see in the word of God! (Rev.12:4, 7-9) This may have gone on gradually over a long period of time, perhaps thousands or even millions of years (In human terms) until Lucifer openly rebelled.
God in loving kindness and mercy may have given Lucifer every opportunity to correct his twisted reasoning and thinking patterns, if that were possible, but he did not. God also knew that with these huge physical creatures now influenced with an evil and killing nature, would wipe out man, if they were created at that stage. That also may be why Lucifer did what he did, to try and stop God’s plan! Because of his jealousy and pride and the potential of what man would become, man would thus have to be eliminated, in Lucifer’s now twisted and jealous mind. However it happened, it did happen and now God’s Government, love and peace was no longer here on earth and every living thing on earth was allowed to be destroyed through the cataclysm mentioned earlier.
The earth, in the aftermath, now had to be restored and made ready for man, which brings us up to the creation as we know it from Gen.1:2, the last part, on. We must remember that God says His “counsel shall stand.” What counsel is that? Could it be the counsel between Him and the Word, at the beginning and in the planning phase? Acts 15:18 say’s- "Known to God from eternity are all His works.” This is certainly in agreement with what we have already seen in Scripture, that God knows the end from the beginning. So once this was all planned out and the creation began to be implemented, it was going to continue as planned for the intended purpose to its completion. Angelic rebellion would have been foreseen or known as a possibility, causing provisions for that choice to be built into the plan, and another stage of the plan was set in motion! The universe and all of its planetary systems were brought into being. The angels were already created when this part was done. (Job 38:4-7)
Jumping forward now, Lucifer’s rebellion has now materialized as a reality, him becoming God’s adversary by his own choice and turning himself into an evil spirit known as the devil. God gave Lucifer time to show what he was going to do and did not create him in this evil and rebellious state! Satan chose this for himself over time. God knew before the creation of man that Lucifer, now Satan the devil, would continue to work against God if allowed. Knowing this, that man was very likely to sin as well, being weaker and also physical as the prehistoric creatures were before them, yet God had to allow this. God had to know already that Satan would surely deceive mankind or at least try, as he was successful in doing with the angels and prehistoric creatures. God had given angels freedom of choice and had to let these choices run their course in order to fulfill His purpose. (Some believe today that God would not have created Lucifer if He had known He would become rebellious—but as we have explained it, in order for God to go through with His plan of allowing freedom of choice, He would have to let it run its course in order to fulfill His purpose. Another reason God must have had a planning phase and at least two different plans.)
But man also had to be given freedom to make his own choice as the angels were and of course God would give him instructions to choose rightly, along with whatever else man needed, to be able to resist Satan and overcome him. God did not “plan” for man to fail, but knew it was possible and therefore did plan for that aspect of it if that choice was made. This “choosing” He had already set in motion as “free moral agency”, for the purpose of character development. This will be explained in a little more detail, along with some understanding on predestination in other chapters, but mankind would also be equipped with intellect—like God, only limited—the ability to think and reason for themselves, as apparently the angels had also.
But now we come to another stage of the creation, according to God’s great purpose and His plan to reproduce Himself! It was also determined in the planning phase, God seeing the possibilities of all this through vision, that when & if a cherub or archangel rebelled, He would have to have a plan for that. God then knowing that later they might also cause man to rebel, in order for this plan to go forward, He would have to plan for that. God or the Word who was in the beginning (John1:1) and as Creators of all, (V.3) knew that one of them would have to come, live a sinless life as a human being and die to redeem mankind. He would then become a sacrifice by His death, to redeem and reconcile mankind back to God, paying the penalty of all mankind’s sin by His shed blood. Mankind in general would be witnessed to through the Gospel and example set by Christ and those who responded could then repent and have another way of life, with God’s help. God at that point consisted of the two great supreme beings, but now more clearly as a Family, consisting of a Father and Son! So man was created male and female, (the reproductive process) also placed in all the species on earth that are physical, but only mankind is like God, created in His image and likeness and with intellect, a spirit component in man’s brain to make this possible!
Adam and Eve were to “be fruitful and multiply,” to “fill the earth”. If Adam had chosen the tree of life as he was commanded, there very possibly would have been no death and the Word would not have had to come and die! Adam could have drawn close to God and conquered Satan, if he had eaten of the tree of life, then the devil might have been bound at that point and banished, as he will be in the future. The very fact that God put a tree of life there in the garden and told man he was free to eat of it indicates that God had provisions in His plan for that choice if man had made it. (God would have visualized this choice running its course through time as well, for reproducing Himself through an obedient mankind without the influence of evil.) Adam failed however and now the Word had to come, live as a human and die to pay our penalty of death, to become Savior of man. As the second Adam, He would continue the plan to reproduce the God kind, even in this six thousand year rule of Satan as the god of this world!
This would be another stage toward the fulfillment of God reproducing Himself, plus now restoring what the first Adam was given to do, yet failing because of his wrong choice and Eve’s deception by Satan! We see this recorded in 1 Cor 15:22-23 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.”
Notice further, beginning in verse 45: And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." (Not an immortal soul) The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.”
The very first created man, Adam, was fully instructed in how to obey God and have life, then left to make his choice and begin to develop character by those choices. In making the wrong choice and following Eve’s disobedience, he sentenced the whole human race, all of their children until Christ, to be cut off from access to God except for those predestined. God would not deal with the majority now and they would not receive the Holy Spirit for 6 millennial days, again, except for the choice few that God had predetermined. (This brings us back to what was previously mentioned about the possibility of plan A and B, the two different ways that man had been given to choose from.) God would call out these choice few for the continuation of His plan and purpose if Adam made the wrong choice. The world, as a whole, is still cut off from God because of its sins and will remain so until Christ returns and binds Satan for the Sabbath rest of a thousand years! Only those who hear and answer their calling through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, (“many are called but few are chosen.”) are granted repentance and a walk with God, at this time.
After being called, having their minds opened to truth, upon repentance and baptism, they are begotten (impregnated) by receiving the Holy Spirit. This gives them the potential of becoming a part of His work and potential family and these will be letting God mold and shape His character in them, just as a baby grows in the womb until the point of birth. This is done by the working of His Spirit in this physical human life, which can then bring one to the point of being born into the kingdom of God! The point here is, God is still creating, now in those yielded to him, the Holy and righteous character to become Gods. We humans are even now considered His children “IF”—and that is a big word—we have His Spirit in us and are led by it! (Rom 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”.) God only grants His Spirit to those who obey Him! (Acts 5:32) So God is still creating, even now, future God beings! But that creation itself, because of the sin of man—Adam’s wrong choice—has made it necessary for God to create a bride for the 2nd Adam, Jesus Christ, which is the True Church of God!
She will be made ready through this 6,000 year age and changed to Spirit at His return! So in a sense, this age is the creation stage for a “second Eve” so to speak. All of this God visualized, planned out and predetermined before the creation was set in motion! HOW HARD THIS IS FOR THE HUMAN MIND TO GRASP! By doing it this way however, God was not influencing any decisions of mankind, nor was He interfering with freedom of choice by knowing. God was most probably seeing it all through vision in the planning phase and setting it in motion by the creation stage and allowing it to then play out as He had seen in vision. When each step seen in the planning phase was set in motion, it would then become a reality, set on its course by the stages of creation with each thing coming into play as that time was reached for it. When those decisions through the created beings were made and acted on in “REAL TIME”, they would as reality have required a re-action. This was also another Law that God had already planned and set in motion.
So let us go back now and review, what has been revealed up to this point of the creation in its stages! God first set forth time and space and perhaps different dimensions, with which to contain His creation of spirit and physical and do His work. We saw that. He then brought forth spirit beings in all of their functions and purposes, taught and trained them in His Law and way of love, which is a Spiritual Law shown through the Commandments of God and the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Rom.7:12-14) He then created and set forth laws that would govern the movement and placement of all the physical creation of planets and stars, suns and moons, throughout the whole entire universe, including our galaxy and earth.
The laws of gravity established for earth and other planets, and everything that holds every other thing in space in proper alignment with each other, sun moon and stars, as well as all other planets in this galaxy, most likely all set in motion at approximately the same time or at least in close sequence! (Possibly why science has come to determine the “big bang” theory—and there are obviously some galaxies out in space, that collide from time to time, as seen by Hubble—but that does not concern God’s plan for man, at this point.) We know today, that because all creation is living and moving, there are certain cycles that bring planets back into conjunction with one another every so often, and there are other movements of galaxies and stars and planets that come back into line on longer time schedules. Even here on earth there are definite cycles of life that repeat themselves over and over as time goes by. God placed this here as a part of His creation and for the benefit of man. (Gen.1:14)
God has created and set in motion these cycles, and there are shorter seasonal cycles and then longer cycles of life, but the point is that they realign themselves according to the plan of God and the way He created them. (See our article on PARALLELS-Calendar for further explanation on these cycles and the Holy Day calendar that also helps to reveal the plan of God.) God set all this in motion before mankind was created! How long it might have taken to put this all together is just beyond our finite human minds to grasp but if we believe God and the limited information given to us, we know that He did this in order to carry out His planned out purpose, as previously stated. As we can see from the book of Job (Ch.38) where God asked him where he was when God created the earth and laid out its boundaries and foundations, knowing from that, everything was perfectly planned. As science has discovered, the universe has been here, functioning properly (with few exceptions) for millions perhaps even billions of years, to say the least!
Through the Hubble telescope humanity is still seeing new things about the entire universe that boggles the minds of us all. It baffles me how people that are so very intelligent, can see all this and come to the conclusion that it all came about by random chance! That life, with all of the complexity that we can see, could somehow “evolve” out of some “soup” of elements that had been brewing for millennia, then all of a sudden all the different and various life forms we see on earth today just began to crawl out of it and develop into every kind of species that is here! How incredibly foolish and ignorant we as humans are, to try to push God as the Creator out of the picture!
CREATION CANNOT BE EXPLAINED PROPERLY, without a little understanding of the God who is the CREATOR! Evolution is a relatively young myth perpetrated by man and is false.
The creation itself is proof of a Creator, as seen at the beginning. (Rom.1:18-23)
I hope the reader has already come to the conclusion that there is a God and that God is able to do anything that man could ever even imagine in ten lifetimes and it would still be nothing in comparison to what the great God has already done! Even mankind has created or built some fascinating things in the last hundred years that the ancients would be amazed at. Do you think Abraham would be amazed at being able to get into a man made machine and travel great distances in just a few minutes or fly half way around the world in a day? We know and can see that there are certain small elements of evolution in some species, but those happen relatively quickly and come to a completion and then it lives out the rest of its life and dies, not going any further. This was created! A knew beginning, whether birth or hatching out of some egg, starts with the same species and goes through the same process. It does not go further and become something else. A frog, starting as a tadpole, never eventually becomes a crocodile or an alligator or a huge python snake etc, just as a humming bird never “evolves” into an eagle or a vulture, even though it is of the bird family.
There are several varieties within one family of creatures, but they are still belonging to one specific family, such as the cat family or the cattle kind or the fish kind, etc, just as in the human race now with several different races and cultures. This all came from the three main races which came from Adam and Eve. (Noah later became the father of three sons to continue those races on the other side of the flood.) This was all created that way and is not a product of evolution or random chance, even though man has done certain cross breeding to produce even more variety within some animal species. Man has also mingled himself with the other distinct human races until there are many varieties in the human family—blacks mating with whites or Orientals and then those mixed race humans mate with other mixed races to produce even more mixtures— but it is still the human family and not some mixture of man and beast or half man and half fish or animal, etc. However God did not intend originally for even this mingling of the races and even told Israel not to mingle with the other races around them. We have to reflect back on and take into account in the Biblical record that Adam and Eve did not have any children until after they had sinned and come under the influence of Satan.
The different races and strife between them may also be a result of their sin, (Gen.3:16) as we do not know for sure. So we have had revealed to us in this chapter some about the stages of creation coming down through time to mankind. God first had to have created time and space to work in, which He did not need when it was just the two great God beings and nothing else—but then this is just based on what we can come to know by the few vague Scriptures—knowing that a supreme God being cannot be contained in time or space. We saw that also. Then angels were created—other spirits—but lesser in power and ability. Then came all the creation of planets and planetary systems—the universe and the many various galaxies that have now been discovered. We saw where the angels shouted for joy when the earth was created, as it was to be the abode of some of them and then eventually mankind. God then first created large physical creatures on earth, both land and sea animals and continued to create and bring forth animals until Lucifer rebelled and brought sin into the spirit realm. Chaotic destruction to God’s beautiful creation ensued. Random collisions of galaxies out in space may be a remaining side affect from that rebellion—but that we just don’t know for sure!
Then God put Lucifer, now Satan, under restraint on earth and restored order and beauty and brought forth a new creation for the surface of the earth and in the sixth day of this creation week, God created mankind. God put him into a beautiful garden that had everything man needed to live and begin to develop a relationship with his Creator, just as a new-born child does with its parents. The opportunity was put before Adam to conquer Satan and his influence and eventually have eternal life, by simply obeying what God told him to do. (The demons also are held in restraint on earth, still under Satan’s rule.) Eve succumbed to Satan and was deceived but Adam was not, however he also made a wrong choice and chose to follow after Eve’s decision of eating the forbidden fruit. They together made the wrong choice and succumbed to the devil, being taken captive by him. (2Tim.2:26) It is most likely that God preferred in His plan for Adam and Eve to have eaten of the tree of life and therefore resisted Satan. However, they had to make the choice on their own and God had to allow this, to get the results He desired without scraping the plan and man.
Eating of the tree of life would have given Adam the top ruling position on this earth as is indicated by some of the verses in the first few chapters of Genesis. God’s Government would have then been restored through him and Satan could have then been removed. But now that man had made his choice and chosen wrongly, the plan of God would take an alternate course—built into the plan for this very purpose—and Satan would get to have six more millennial days to govern, as we have seen. God had previously set Lucifer over the earth as its ruler and even after his rebellion God did not remove him from office because this would leave a complete vacuum—no authority in place. However, God did restrain him.
We see that Adam’s failure has now changed the course of events that could have happened for mankind and the future creation of God beings through him, but as we have said before, God certainly must have foresaw this as a possibility and had planned for it in advance. This little bit of a review brings this chapter to a close. This brings us now to chapter four, with more to be revealed about what God is doing through His creation and mankind, in giving them freedom of choice!
THE MYSTERY REVEALED; Introduction to Chapter four.
Free moral agency or freedom of choice God obviously established as a part of His plan. We need to gain a better understanding of how this fits into the plan of God and what God is now doing through mankind with it—how this is involved in His plan. A wrong concept of these Scriptural revelations could take away our hope of salvation in this age, as it has already done for the world around us at this time, because they have not sought to learn and love the truth. If we stay ignorant of this Biblical concept and believe falsehoods about its purpose, we cannot be added into the family of God when Christ returns. Many modern religions do not know the truth about this point of free-moral-agency and are ignorantly deceptive with certain Scriptures, so we need to examine what Scripture reveals about freedom of choice and learn more about it. We now begin chapter four, to reveal some of the mystery of:
Freedom of choice
Free-moral-agency, as a part of what God is now doing through mankind, obviously had to be a part of the plan. This was first given to angels, based on what we have seen thus far. God did not just come up with this “idea” halfway through the process of creation! He had to have determined beforehand that the intelligent creatures of His creation would be granted freedom of choice, given the capability to freely think and reason, developing their own character and personality. If there was no freedom to think, reason or choose, all of the created spirits and then later humans, would be no more than pre-programmed automatons, doing whatever they were programmed to do. We will look at several Scriptures, dealing with this subject of freedom of choice, as a part of what God has set in motion.
However, in the process we need to further explore what we brought out in chapter three about God knowing what was going on in Lucifer’s mind. God must have known his thoughts if He detected something in Lucifer, as we have stated, without God “causing” him to do or think what he did. God knows when you or I am thinking wrong thoughts in the mind, as Christ explained this is sin. (Matt.5:21-30) This of course also deals with freedom of choice. Some prominent figures in the past history of the COG have believed and taught that if God knew ahead of time what man or even angels for that matter, were going to do before they did it, then they would actually not have any choice and would have to do those things God had seen in them. The thinking is that if God already knew, then this would mean that any intelligent creature really did not have the freedom to think and choose. The belief is man would instead be destined to do what God had already come to know. (More about predestination in the next chapter)
Those who think and reason this way do not realize that God has the unlimited capability to have seen all this play out step by step through vision several thousands of years in advance, from beginning to end, before He decided on what He would allow or set in motion to play out as a reality. God could have seen through vision SEVERAL different scenarios play out before Him, deciding which one He would set in motion as a reality to reach the intended purpose! NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD! (Jer.32:17) Many today and in time past put their own limits on God without even realizing that they are doing so, simply by using human reason apart from Godly revelation found in the Bible. God shows us that He even has the capability to reveal things of the future to man through His visions; notice this passage-- Isa 1:1 “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”
(God allowed Isaiah to “see” or revealed it to him through vision, these things as this Scripture says.) Many prophetic events were revealed to men through visions, such as those recorded in the book of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and elsewhere. But notice what God says about Himself as compared to mankind, again through the prophet Isaiah;
Isa 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (This passage seems to deal with both thoughts and actions of man, telling us that we cannot even compare our thoughts and ways to that of God.)
God has no limitations, as I have stated before, but mankind has all kinds of limits and we just seem to equate that to God as well! Even angels have limits, but are of far greater power and abilities than mankind, at this point. We have to learn that we cannot put limits on God, as many Scriptures reveal to us. (Jer.32:17 & Luke1:37) God can know your thoughts and mine, about something in your life and mine, long before you or I are even born or grow up to that point, because GOD can look down through time—did look down through time—to see various things and even people in advance, having seen the end result way ahead of time in the things He has chosen to look into! Now, was that all things, or just some things?
For example, below is a Scripture that is dealing with human beings that are still not even born and will not be born for hundreds of years! Yet this prophecy was given to Ezekiel approximately 625 years before Christ’s ministry began! Approximately 3,600 years or more in advance of its future fulfillment! Yet the wording of this prophecy was given this way and God says He knows the thoughts of these people! Ezek 38:10 “Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:”—
The context of this prophecy is for after the 1000 year rule of Christ, when Satan will be released “for a little season”. (KJV-Rev.20:3 & v.7) If God “cannot know” about some things until they come into existence, or that He cannot know the thoughts of man until the man thinks them—as I have heard from the ministry and many others seem to agree with—then the words of God above could not be true. (How could we even have advance prophecy if God cannot KNOW the future before it comes to be?) If God intends to make the people think these thoughts and do these things when that time comes in order to fulfill this prophecy, is this freedom of choice? This cannot be the plan because this action would not be freedom of choice for them! However, the word of God given above is true and this prophecy will come to pass as so many others already have! God could not “make” or cause these people to have these thoughts and even wrong actions, because that would take away their freedom of choice, in answer to the question above! They have to be allowed to come to this on their own! It is obvious this was known in advance or SEEN by a supreme being, the Creator God.
AUTOMATONS, you say—how?
As mentioned previously, some have believed that if God knew what any humans were going to do before they did it, then He would be altering their freedom of choice and those decisions would not be their own. Others in the world today believe that everything is predestined and whatever man does, then that is the way it was already planned out before-hand, or destined to be. If this is the case then we are nothing but automatons, mere robots and everything is already determined for us—we have no real choices. Let us read this quote from the book, “The Incredible Human Potential” and contemplate it; (Emphasis with bolding mine)
“God does not CHOOSE to know, in advance, what YOU or I will be thinking, reasoning, deciding, tomorrow or in the future. He gave these Spirit beings, as He gives us, the power to think for ourselves, to choose, to make decisions. Otherwise we should be nothing more than automatons, doing what we are compelled to do.”
So now let us think about that quote for just a moment—comparing that statement with the Scripture above from Ezekiel and others that we will see. How is it that God can know that “thoughts” will arise in peoples “minds” that will develop into actions and be carried out in people who are not yet even born? It says God knows they will make an evil plan a thousand years or more from now! (He knows what kind of plan it is, if He says it is evil.) If God “cannot know” until this comes to be then this prophecy, as well as so many others, could not be in the Bible! Does God only “choose to know” SOME things in advance and let other things happen randomly without first knowing? If so, then Satan could catch God off guard with something. Does God involve Himself with some humans, an action that WOULD take away their freedom of choice and cause them to do something they might not have done otherwise? That would show God to be an unfair God, which He is not. Here is another example from during Christ’s human time frame—His ministry; John 6:64 "But there are some of you who do not believe." (Christ said) John continues the verse; “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.” Dropping on down now to V. 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.” (John was inspired by the Spirit of God to write this and this was known long before Judas betrayed Christ.)
Why did God tell Adam to choose between those two trees, even command him to eat of any tree but the one that would give knowledge of good and evil? If Adam did not really have a choice, why even give him one if he had been predestined to sin? This makes no sense if there was no plan for Adam to choose right in the first place and not die or disobey! Would God punish man for a wrong choice that God already knew he would make because he had to, or was predestined to anyway? On the other hand, if God gave man the option to choose the tree of life, would God then not have a plan in place for that choice as well? It makes more sense to this author and others of the same mind on this subject that God simply saw the choice he would make in advance, without determining it for him. However, God made available the opportunity for another choice and had an alternate plan. God told Adam about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and told him not to eat of it, or he would die!
Think about this for a moment—what if Adam decided to obey—if Adam had listened and on his own chose to obey God, eating of the tree of life and God had not planned for that, that very act would have also spoiled God’s plan—if God really meant for man to sin and suffer! God had to have made plans for either decision man would make, visualizing those scenarios all the way through their course to the end, if man truly was to have freedom of choice. When man made the choice he did, he plotted the course for mankind based on that choice and then God already knew what was going to come from that choice, how it would play out to the end, having already seen it through vision. God knew that by their wrong choice, Adam and Eve were giving Satan the upper hand and would be taken captive by him, destining the human race on a course of suffering and pain and death for 6,000 years.
The same thing had to be true for man if Adam had chosen to obey and taken of the tree of life. Mankind would definitely be living in a different world today, as Adam would have conquered Satan—but yet we cannot know how that way would have played out entirely—there is no history to look at—based on that right choice which was only seen by God, through vision and today is not a reality! But God knows how it would have played out because He saw it all through vision in the planning phase. What is happening today is now real and is happening because of that initial wrong decision that was then acted on and became a reality—Adam followed Eve in listening to Satan instead of God.
Now we have been indoctrinated with Satan’s nature of the selfish and get way of life instead of God’s nature of love and giving, cooperation and sharing. When this is all played out to the end, mankind and the angelic realm will know without a doubt that God’s way is the only way that works to bring us peace, joy and happiness and on into eternity! Billions of human beings might have already been transformed into Spirit by now, if Adam had obeyed God—that we can only speculate about. But Adam had a choice, even though God already knew what would happen based on what way he would choose!
So surely you the reader can understand that God did not “make them” or predetermine for them to choose the wrong tree, but obviously He knew they could and so He planned in advance for that choice. This is where predestination fits into the plan. Adam would have to be allowed to make either decision not being forced, even if God had a plan for him to make the right choice, because God did give them freedom of choice and did not take that away by seeing and knowing in advance what that decision and action might be. I repeat; God gave them a choice and they made their choice by their own human reasoning instead of God’s command, and then acted on it, even though God had already foreseen the possibility of all of this in advance. So surely now we can move on! Clearly we can see that Satan was influencing Eve to make a wrong choice, in the hope of disrupting God’s plan to reproduce Himself. God already knew Eve could make this wrong choice and planned for what would come after. Mankind was free to exercise freedom of choice.
Predestination has to do with what God will do to further His plan in this world led and influenced by Satan. Righteous character has to be developed over time and the one developing this character has to choose by their personal free will—not coercion— to do the right thing, even against great pulls or temptation to do wrong or travel an easier path at the time. I want to repeat this also; we need to understand that God does not think the way we humans do and is certainly not limited the way many humans have come to believe.
Read this passage again and in the RSV translation this time, if one is available. (Isa 55:8- 9) (As some would say—God thinks “outside the box” and is far superior to the angelic realm even, which is in turn more superior than the most intelligent of humans.)
There are other Scriptures that clearly show us God can and does know the decisions we are going to make before we make them, proving that God is not bound by any limits other than what He would choose to place on Himself. Note these two examples: Jer 17:9-10 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?— He answers by telling us that only He can! V.10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings”.
Now notice Heb 4:12-13 (RSV) “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
Those who want to think that God cannot know something before it comes into being are simply ignorant of the fact that God is Creator and NOTHING comes into being without His knowledge or foreordained planning of it. God and the Word had existed prior to the creation of mankind and even angels, for aions (Biblical—ages) of what we call time—eternity is a better word, as we have already seen—before actual “time” as we know it even began or was brought into existence by the Creator God and the Word! They had all that “time” (if we can call it that) to plan this all out visually and think through in every detail and every possible scenario that would or was possible to happen—all the way to the end of human existence! We, in our finite and limited minds, have no idea how far into the future God’s plan extends from this 21st century. Many have assumed and have taught (Some still teach this today) that God’s plan for man is only a 7,000 year plan but even that is misunderstood and taught in error, according to what is revealed through the Holy Days!
We know that at the end of this 6,000 years of man ruled by Satan, there is another thousand years ahead for the peaceful kingdom of God, with Christ and the saints ruling on earth with the government of God and as the family of God. The COG has properly taught this in the past. How many people will be born into that family during that time, we do not know. Satan is loosed a little while and then put away completely after the 7,000 years are finished but then comes the great white throne judgment period—for how long? Some in the past have stated 100 years, but that is based on only one passage of Scripture that we might not have the right understanding of either. God’s plan deals with man from the time man sinned until all mankind are reconciled back to God and death is destroyed. (1Cor.15:54-57 & Rev.20:11-15)
As far as we know, this last judgment period begins in the 8th millennial day and we do not even know how that 1,000 year day ends or if it lasts a full thousand years. We do not have THOSE details but we do know for certain that the Scriptures say Satan is not loosed until the 1000 years are finished—which is referring to very near the end of 7,000 years. So, except for Satan’s “little season”, the great white throne judgment period is in the 8th day, (Lev.23:39) along with the resurrection of the Valley of dry bones, prophesied in Eze.37. Where we go from there we can only guess at. God’s plan is more than a seven thousand year plan—and if not, it would leave out the time of judgment of all those who come up in the second resurrection! Then, after how-ever-long that judgment period really is, there is to be a third resurrection for all who would insist on remaining evil and they will be burned up! Is this also done in the 8th day? We do not have enough of those details and do not have a need to know that at this time! God has not revealed all of those specific details in the Bible.
We have been given just the few details in Scripture of how we got here and what God is doing—the purpose for man, which is part of what this booklet is about. God does nothing, as we should now see clearly, without purpose. Nothing can just “happen” without the knowledge of God, or else God would not be in total control! Nothing can just come into being on its own! God is never surprised and caught off guard, having no knowledge of something. In this sense, God does know everything. A supreme being is not supreme if some things are out of His control and beyond His scope of knowledge. The Spirit of God, as Christ told us, (John 16:13) will lead us humans who are called and chosen into all truth, but only if we let it. Even Satan the devil, with all of his power, can only go as far as God will allow and no further!
God is OUTSIDE the realm of time, space and every boundary we can think of and therefore not bound by anything but what He Himself determines! Jesus Christ gives many examples of this greatness, even stating things that reveal that He, as a human knew the thoughts of man, when He walked the earth. John 2:24-25, (given later) and also John 16:29-30 –this comes in the form of a statement from His disciples but was inspired to be written: V.29 His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! 30 "Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God."
Here it is recorded that the disciples state their belief that Christ knows all things, and then we can also see that Christ knows what they will do when He is led away to be crucified, BEFORE THEY EVER DO IT! John 16:32 "Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” Christ had or was given advance knowledge of what they would actually do, even when they were all saying that they would not do it but He nor the Father would “make them” do it. Just before He was taken, they were all sure they would never deny Him; Matt 26:35 Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.”
This is clear evidence that Christ knew the decisions that they would make concerning Him and there loyalty to Him. This was their immediate future! These Scriptures certainly indicate that God knew these things that they would do, for this was prophesied in advance. So if God intervened and made them do it to fulfill prophecy—then He did take away their freedom of choice—this is a solid proof that this was something God and Christ already knew was going to happen—but did not intervene or change anything about it. Notice what is recorded in John 21:17 as another example; “He (Christ) said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.”
Peter knew that Christ had accurately predicted his (Peter’s) actions earlier, exactly as they then unfolded in the course of those next hours, but Peter had chosen to do those things at the spur of the moment—under pressure maybe, but of his own free will! All of the disciples had done the opposite of what they had said they would do—in the heat of the moment—they did exactly as Christ had said they would! Now did Christ make them do it, taking away their freedom of choice, or did He just know this in advance? This was mentioned earlier, recorded in John 2:24-25 “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man”.
There are other Scriptures as well, but here again I must remind the reader that our finite human minds find it so difficult to grasp the things that God reveals, so we naturally can come up with all kinds of reasons not to believe what His word actually reveals. We cannot seem to grasp how God could know all things, but He says He does and we must learn to have the faith to believe and trust Him, EVEN WITHOUT the full understanding of it. Notice this in Romans 11:33-36; “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?" 35 "Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?" 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
Many people today want to argue with almost every facet of Scripture that they themselves do not want to agree with or perhaps do not understand! The carnal mind will reject the things of God that it cannot readily grasp—that GOD, having all knowledge, means nothing can exist or ever come to be without God knowing it and having allowed it! Speaking of this, Scripture says of God in Col 2:3-4 “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.”
Do not let someone deceive you into believing God cannot know something about His own creation and plan, without having any affect on your freedom of choice! There are many examples of human beings exercising free moral agency and making wrong decisions that have fulfilled prophecy! Did Christ or God take their freedom of choice from them, forcing them to make those mistakes? Absolutely not! If He did, then it would be Christ’s or God’s fault that man sinned and not THEIR OWN! God simply foresaw these things by vision and knew these things in advance! Does this alter mankind’s freedom of choice just because God knows? When you instruct your child not to “touch the stove” knowing it will hurt them, does that remove their freedom to disobey and burn themselves? NO!
Christ knew in advance that Satan wanted Peter instead of Judas and Christ prayed to the Father that Peter would not yield to the temptation to betray Him as Judas would, and he did not, although Peter did forsake Christ, as Christ predicted. Peter had said he would never do this, as did the others, but they did anyway as we have already shown! Did Christ take away freedom of choice by knowing? Again, no, He did not! EVERY CHOICE WE MAKE, THERE IS ANOTHER CHOICE THAT COULD BE MADE, AND WE COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENT ONE IN EVERY CASE! This even applies to Judas, but it was foreseen that he would not relent, the same as with the Pharaoh in Egypt, who hardened his heart. (Exo.3:19-20)
Every sin is by choice and every right action is also by choice and God has the prerogative to know what choice we will make, because He is God and we are His to do with as He pleases to further His plan. (Isa.64:8) After all, we would not be here at all if it was not His plan, and everything does work together for good to those that love God, according to His purpose, even in this world! (Rom.8:28) We do not have the right to say to our Creator, “why have you made me this way, and why are you doing things the way You are.” (Rom.9:20-21) God has the right to make out of us “vessels for honor, and vessels for dishonor,” if He so chooses! But we can also safely rely on the word of God that tells us He does not desire that anyone should perish. (2 Pet.3:9) So this is another verse that shows it was not God’s will or plan for mankind to be so sinful and suffer in evil doing and die eternally for doing so. These things are because of the wrong choices humanity has made and God’s plan was to allow mankind to choose and then reap the blessings or the curses. Mankind has freedom of choice.
We have to have faith, or we cannot please God! (Heb.11:6) There is too much unbelief, limiting God and doubt in the carnal mind! God does not take away our freedom of choice by knowing ahead of time what we are going to do or think, simply because He has seen it in advance. He has decreed or predetermined that He will not force us to alter our own decisions or choices by His power, forcing us to do His “predetermined” will, because that would take away our freedom of choice! However, many Scriptures do reveal that God predetermined that if Adam sinned, He was going to work through some individuals anyway, to fulfill His purpose. (We will see more about this in the next chapter.) There were those God had already seen through vision who would yield to Him and go His way, even though they would have to be called by Him when they were born. God did predestine or pre-determine to go forward with His plan, even if man sinned and this does not take away our freedom of choice, just because He knows and predetermined this in advance.
God has set Himself not to interfere in our decisions and choices but He has given to those called and chosen ones, everything they need to succeed and He knows that those in the true COG today can succeed, or He would not have called and chosen them at this time. If we fail it is our own fault because of neglect or continued wrong and rebellious choices, or perhaps being careless enough to again come under deceptions we could avoid. Whatever the case, we still have the freedom of choice, or free moral agency to make the choices we desire to make. So it is my hope at this time that the reader has a little better understanding of freedom of choice (free-moral-agency) and what it deals with. Predestination is something that God also set in motion for His planned out purpose in the event man made the wrong choice and gave Satan the upper hand.
God was going to go forward with His plan for reproducing the God kind, no matter which way man chose to go. God had a plan for either choice man could make. This is where predestination comes into play, as is revealed in the Bible. At the sin of Adam, the tree of life was closed to man in general until the Government of God could be restored. God does not involve Himself with mankind in general, during this 6,000 year time frame—with the exception of those whom He calls and are chosen. He is involved in their lives because they have invited Him in by accepting His way as their own. Now we can move on to something more on predestination in chapter five, seeing some more of what is revealed about that, in relation to what God is doing.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED; Introduction to chapter five.
Because there seems to be such a close link of predestination to freedom of choice in some people’s minds, we will move into this chapter with things that relate to the previous chapter as well. Do these two subjects link that closely together, as everyone assumes? Scripture reveals something about the elect having been predestined—but we have seen that this could not take away their freedom of choice. This is something that every last human being on earth needs to know and understand at this time in our history! So let us get into this next chapter of this booklet and let God begin to reveal some of the mystery of:
Now, in this chapter, we need to deal with predestination a little more specifically than what we have previously covered on this subject. God predetermined how He would complete His plan upon either choice made by man as has been previously stated. He could have done this even to the smallest and slightest detail—this we do not know for absolute certainty. Even so, He would know that some of the angels given freedom of choice, might make some wrong choices and then later man could as well. We saw this is what has happened with Lucifer and those fallen angels, revealed in the Bible as we have previously related. It has also happened with mankind and we live in a world that is cut off from the true God of the Bible, except for those few whom God predestined to fulfill His planned out purpose for the creation of man.
We have tried to make these things plain enough to understand, with the limited ability and understanding of the details we have. We have to rely on what God reveals through His word and be believers. If God planned this out from the beginning to the end, granting the freedom of choice and seeing this through vision, then He would know how each possible scenario would play out to the end and would chose the one to fulfill His purpose. We are writing from that assumption and let me remind the reader once again, that this is based on the Scriptural evidence we have found and revealed here. Of necessity and God knowing that Satan would have deceived man and tried to destroy him, God predetermined that if man made the wrong choice, did not choose the tree of life, there would be implementations in the plan for it to continue and reach the intended outcome, though mankind would now suffer greatly through time. A God being, the WORD, would now have to die. The outcome of this plan was the very purpose of God reproducing Himself through mankind and this was planned from the beginning! Notice the Scripture given below and let it soak into your mind!
2 Tim 1:9-10 (GOD) “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death (the penalty of it) and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”---and of course the Gospel was the “GOOD NEWS” of the coming kingdom of God that we as first fruits can be a part of! Once the plan was complete and had been visualized to the point that God was ready, it was set in motion and would play out to the completion of the physical aspect of it.
Dealing with mankind and the particular choices that were made by Adam and Eve, God knew then which way this was going to have to work out because He very possibly saw this scenario all the way to its end in vision, as we have stated. We saw that God and the Word had predetermined if man sinned, which they both knew he could, then the Word would have to come and die to redeem man from his captor, Satan the devil, if they were to move forward and complete the plan. (Rev. 13:8—the last part) Knowing that Satan would continue to try and destroy man and wreck the plan every step of the way—that he would influence man and seek to cause man to self destruct—God, having everything planned and generally visualized all the way through to the end, would allow that to be set in motion to play out as reality. God knew He would need to intervene from time to time to keep man from self destructing ahead of time, under the influence of Satan. With the general theme of this seen through vision, mankind was then created, instructed, put in a beautiful garden, (Adam was given a wife so they could reproduce) given the instructions and the tree of life and man had now made his choice.
Most of mankind does not understand even to this day that freedom of choice was not an optional way of living that gave man several alternatives to choose from and still have eternal life! No, freedom of choice was between two and only two ways that man could go! One way was to choose life and obedience to live God’s way by His Laws of love and to eventually receive eternal life. There were many trees they could eat from for food, including the tree of life. For Adam and Eve the only choice for a relationship with God and to have eternal life was the tree of life—there was no “neutral” tree that offered another way or a third option. To neglect the command to choose from this tree of life was an automatic opening for Satan’s influence—leading to death. In reading what details we have in Scripture we can see that Adam had neglected to eat of the tree of life when Eve was approached by Satan. Even at this point, Adam could have taken Eve by the hand and steered her to the tree of life by taking and eating of it himself but he did not. There were only two choices given, the same as today. (Deut.30:15-20) God and His way is life, Satan and his way is disobedience and death.
This would now be what we would call an alternate course in the plan because man had chosen the way of sin and taking to oneself the knowledge of good and evil. The easiest way for us to understand what set the stage for the need of predestination is to use an analogy of our modern technological world. It is kind of like making a movie—God through vision could clearly see that if Satan had his way he would easily influence man to choose wrong and self destruct—so God predestined that He would inject something here and there (in the script) throughout this alternate course that would also fulfill His planned purpose. He predetermined to intervene, if mankind cut themselves off by rejecting the tree of life, to call out some that God knew would respond if given the chance. The rest would go through this life being deceived and in disobedience—but would come up in a later time for their judgment and chance at life when Satan is gone. The movie, once this predestination was put to “script”, edited and “set to film”, is done! It will play out now as the “movie”. God, having seen all this through vision would know what is going to happen before it happens, once He lets the vision become a reality.
God and the Word would have determined this in the planning phase. The reality for man would be set in motion by his choice of which tree they took fruit from to eat and would trigger which vision of God would play out as reality. God knowing this all in advance does not alter each scene as it comes or any freedom of choice that any individual would make because they are not forced to make it. Mankind was setting their own destiny based on their own choices and God is allowing us to actually set our own course as we move through life, acting on our decisions and them then becoming our own reality. Most do not realize that even though God cut man in general off from the tree of life and eventually removed it altogether, He also built into the plan—predetermined—that He would extend His mercy to those called in this time frame that would seek Him and want to change if given the opportunity. (Matt.20:16 & 22:14) That is a part of predestination.
God made us of physical matter so that we can change our minds and correct wrong choices if we so desire, or at least repent of them and go another direction—which was also put into the plan, for God’s purpose of reproducing Himself. This is not done by going back in time and re-doing our lives, but by repenting of sin and moving forward in a different direction, once we allow God to open our minds to learn what we were doing and thinking is leading to death. This gets us to the point of explaining predestination a little better from the Biblical perspective and how it is part of the plan. God knew if man sinned and succumbed to Satan’s influence of their own free choice, then they would also have to freely choose to change from that—but the penalty for sin would have to still be paid, which is death by the shedding of blood. (Heb.9:22-28) Any violation of the Laws and ways of God that He would set in motion exacts a penalty. This was predetermined by God in the planning phase and set in motion at the creation of mankind for them. God planned to go forward with His plan no matter what choice man made and this is also called being “foreordained” in Scripture. Adam could have chosen the tree of life which would have set in motion a totally different way of life for man!
But here again, let me point out that this is looking at it from the human perspective, based on what is revealed knowledge found in Scripture and as time goes on, new understanding is very possible to come on some of these points that will change the picture for us! Understanding, not yet grasped, could give us further knowledge of what has already been revealed or it can change the perspective of some of what we have revealed. The author does not claim to have perfect knowledge of these things but only what God talks about and so chooses to believe that His Word is truth based on many evidences found in Scripture! There may be other explanations to all this that no human being that I know of has yet come to or written about, nor has that understanding been thoroughly explained without flaw—if it exists. Most just assume that even God does not know and therefore no human can either, as we have already explained. The information contained in this booklet, as stated before, is based on the Scriptures given and what they actually say—to the best of my understanding of them as being led by the Spirit of God, which then is written for the purpose of helping the reader see more clearly what the Great God is doing through His creation and predestination.
Luke 4:4 --"It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'" It is very clear that human beings can totally misunderstand God’s word at times and DO! (Even true servants of Jesus Christ misunderstand at times because of the human weaknesses we all still have.) Notice John 21:22 “Jesus (Speaking of John to Peter) said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." Now notice what is recorded next, in verse 23 “Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?" 24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.”
So here, recorded for us, is an example that called out ones can easily misunderstand, even Christ’s own words, if we do not pay very close attention to exactly the way things are worded! John indicates by what is written here, that misunderstandings were in the early Church, on some points and certainly that also exists today, in the true Church of God! One can certainly see, by looking at the true Church of God, beginning in the 20th century, up to our time now, there have been many things not understood correctly and mistakes have been made! Therefore some have been mislead on these wrong points of understanding. Under the servant leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong, mistakes were made because of things he did not understand correctly, (Which he admitted) but God gave him far more correct understanding than the Church had, prior to him coming on the scene and being ordained as an Apostle. However, God has always worked through humans in this age who are not infallible and it is a sure sign of the true COG body that when error is found it will be corrected.
One purpose for Herbert Armstrong’s calling and election was to restore truth to the Church and turn a people back to God, which he did. Anyone who denies this is a liar and the truth is not in him! Another reason was to help open our minds to the right understanding of the Bible; still another was to preach the true Gospel as a witness to the world! This was also predestined to happen and prophesied in advance. (Mala.4:4-6 & Matt.17:11 & ch.24:14) Some today have begun to lose, or reject, the understanding they once were given through him, since his death in 1986 and others are failing to continue to grow in new or clearer understanding, rejecting truth while thinking they already have it all, which is a typical Laodicean lukewarm trait! It is an “I have need of nothing” attitude and approach seen in Rev.3:17. Still others are watering down and compromising the truths of the Bible that have been revealed, twisting and perverting it for their own agenda and this also is lukewarm at best but maybe these have already been vomited out of the body and just don’t realize it yet—something to think very seriously about! All of these things were warned against or prophesied about and so one could conclude that this is also partly Predestination!
What does this mean to you? Many people assume that to be predestined is to be preset for life and that the human entity that is predestined has no say in what happens in their lives and no responsibility for their choices! The thinking for some is that everything is already predetermined by God and must play out exactly as it has been predestined to do. Whatever choices you seemingly make in life were the ones you were predestined to make and there is no chance at changing your course for the better—and if you do, then that too was already predestined—it was already decided before any man was created! However, that is not what the Bible reveals about the purpose of predestination that is revealed in its pages. Every human being on this earth has the potential to change from living a disobedient and captive life to Satan and the world around us. (This is the freedom of choice talked about in the previous chapter.) This is the very reason God predestined to call some in this time frame.
Those who respond to the call could change to living a life of obedience to God’s Laws and go the opposite direction. (Matt.13) This is called repentance in the Bible. Acts 2:38-39 “Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” There are only two ways as previously stated for mankind to go and these were both presented in the Garden of Eden in the two trees.
Romans 6:23 shows us that what we earn from this carnal way of living (sin) is death but that the free gift of life eternal is now only in Christ and comes from God, through Him. 1John 3:4 show us that to live in a way of transgressing the Laws of God—disobedience to the Ten Commandment Law and other commanded Festivals found in the Bible for us today—is sin! God cut mankind in general off from the tree of life in the Garden of Eden because of disobedient sin and God has not been working in the lives of individuals in the world as a whole and will not until Christ returns and Satan is bound! I cannot repeat this enough, in hope of some finally getting it that may be dull of hearing! God had predetermined (In the planning phase) if man made the choice he did, then God would only work with a few choice individuals as that vision played out as reality until Christ returns, binding Satan and then the Holy Spirit (Tree of life) will again be offered to mankind in the kingdom of God. This “LIFE” now is offered only to those whom God through Christ would work with during the 6,000 years of Satan’s rule. Christ Himself did not pray for the world or those in the world, (Showing He is not trying to save the world now) only the called out and chosen ones that would make up the true COG. You can read of that prayer in John the 17th chapter, which is the true Lord’s Prayer.
Now, did God KNOW all of these “predestined” individuals before they were born? In some cases Scripture reveals that He did, such as David, Jacob, the prophet Jeremiah and John the Baptist—just to name a few, and there are some others named in Scripture. Could God have predestined every individual member of the Body of Christ that is to marry Him at His return? Yes he could have and may have—just as God made every detail of mother Eve from one small bone taken from Adam—but this predestining every elect we are not told specifically—it is only indicated. However, the Scriptures that indicate He did for some could be taken to mean that He could do it for all. These passages we have to be careful with and not read into them something they may not be saying, so we also have to examine the context and even other passages that may connect to that subject, making sure we do not distort the revealed facts.
So now we need to examine some of these Scriptural references that seem to deal with being predestined or foreordained. Rom 8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (We know the purpose of God is to reproduce the God kind from man.) 29 For whom He foreknew, (Which means— to know beforehand, i.e. foresee or see in advance) He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Christ) might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
Now before doing any further explaining, let us examine another passage on this seemingly same train of thought. Eph 1:3-6 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.”
So the above verses could be interpreted to mean that every individual who will be in the first resurrection was predestined to that end in the planning phase, before Adam was created. Some have in fact done exactly that and those individuals find certain Scriptures that they feel support their belief. But is that what God really did and is that what these Scriptures mean? We have to let the Scriptures interpret themselves—the clear ones will help explain unclear ones. Let us notice one other passage before getting into any explanation; this one is given from the RSV. 1 Pet 1:18-20, which says; “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was destined (KJV & NKJ says foreordained) before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.” Now there are many other Scriptures that we could go to but this should make the point enough for us and we may see some other Scriptures as we try and determine exactly what this means and what God is doing through predestination.
Back in Ephesians, there is another verse that we will now look at, which says; “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Eph 1:11-KJV) The word predestined or predestinated in other Scriptures have the same meaning, which is found in Strong’s concordance, and it is this; # 4309 proorizo (pro-or-id'-zo); from 4253 and 3724; to limit in advance, i.e. (figuratively) predetermine: (The KJV uses this word for the English words -- determine before, ordain, predestinate.)
This definition can help us begin to understand what God is saying about this. The indication is that God, upon seeing that man could and most likely would make the wrong choice, predetermined He would limit or restrict who and or how many would be chosen in this 6,000 year time frame, under the sway of Satan. Mankind in general is now held in captivity to Satan and his influence, as previously shown, (2 Tim.2:24-26) because of the sin in the Garden, now having only the knowledge of good and evil that leads to death. God cut off access, (Gen.3:22-24) as was stated before, to the tree of life symbolizing access to the Holy Spirit which opens ones mind to Spiritual things. (1 Cor.2:6-14) This, God predetermined, would now only go to those He chose to call, who would, upon hearing the truth, choose to respond and obey Him. (Acts 5:32 & Heb.5:9) These God would have to teach truth before they could actually come to Christ. (John 6:44-45) These are things that God determined ahead of time or predestined. Do any of these Scriptures actually say that anyone was individually predestined to be lost, regardless of what they do? No, they do not! Even with predestination, the outcome is still based on what that person freely chooses.
Actually what we find is that God had predetermined in the planning phase that if Adam sinned, because of man now being under the influence of Satan, that He would work with only a few during this time, as previously stated and the definition to the word (proorizo—given above) indicates. Did God predetermine each and every one of these individually or did He just determine a certain amount or number to be called? Actually we see in Matt.20:16 & 22:14 that many are called but few are chosen. Did God look down through this time of Satan’s rule and determine who He was going to call or just the chosen ones? There are Scriptures (some of which we have already seen) that seem to indicate both—so it is not impossible for God to have known them all individually—nothing is too hard for Him—but most likely a number was determined that would be reached of the called and chosen, which would then remain faithful, becoming the collective bride for Christ. We must not forget that all of these would have to first be called, then repent and start coming out of the ways of this world, receiving the Holy Spirit—becoming the chosen—then remain faithful through what ever trials they would face. This would develop Godly character in them.
How? By obeying God, striving to make right choices through the power of the Holy Spirit and repenting when wrong choices are made, asking for forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ, they would grow toward Spiritual maturity. They would not be compromisers or slumbering to neglect and letting their Spiritual “oil” run low (Matt 25:1-13) or becoming so lukewarm in their approach to salvation that they have to go through tribulation in hope of reawakening their zeal for God and His truth. (Rev.3:14-21) We are in the time frame for that time of repenting and have been for several years, some have already been separated from the body and more will be that do not wake up before the great tribulation comes on the world! (Rev.3:10 & Matt.24:21) These things seem to deal with freedom of choice and predestination.
These chosen ones must choose to maintain a constant relationship with God and Christ through that Holy Spirit, their “Helper” or give them the extra strength needed to resist Satan and remain faithful while being led into a greater understanding of truth. They would have to make a habit of going to the word of God in study to come to understand what is expected of them and how they should live. They would have to pray constantly for more of the Holy Spirit, strength and understanding, as Satan would come up with new and far more subtle and clever ways to deceive them. (Matt.24:23-25) If anyone was already preset or predestined to have salvation or damnation at the beginning, it would not matter what they did, what God had predestined would be the outcome—having no freedom of choice. This is not what the Bible presents and Scripture is clear on this, as it is the called, chosen and faithful who are seen to be with Christ after His return! (Rev.17:14) These individuals have freely chosen to do what it takes to be a part of this—but God only predestined that there would be this amount of first fruits—not each and every individual that will be a first fruit. If not, then not one of the first fruits could fail! But we can see that they can.
Even though God knows all things and could have viewed this throughout the course of man’s time through visionary thought, it does not or would not alter our course or our decisions and freedom of choice, as was explained in the previous chapter! Why? We are told to; --“work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12-13) This is done by our own free will. Because mankind in general is cut off and will be resurrected to have their chance at salvation in the 8th millennial day, God is not concerned with them at this time. This is also part of what God had predetermined before the foundation of this world! All who are the called and hopefully the chosen at this time are plotting their own course and their own destiny by the choices they make and how repentant they are of being wrong and sinful, when this is found in them. As long as they are yielded to God and allowing Him to work in them, they are, as the Scripture above indicates, working out their own salvation by this act of surrender and willing obedience to God. If each individual was predestined to do this then they would not have a choice.
God had predetermined that if Adam sinned and set mankind on the wrong course, He would work His purpose through the called and chosen few down through time that would become the first fruits (James 1:18) and would marry Christ at His return! These are called the Church of God today, the first fruits, both Old and New Testament and Scripture tells us that Christ gave Himself for His Church! (Eph.5:22-32) She is a kind of second Eve, as Christ is called the second Adam (1 Cor.15:45) and together, after the resurrection and they are made Spirit, the God Family will rapidly begin to increase as they bring more and more from the human realm into the God Family! This is the purpose of and what predestination is all about, that even if and when Adam made the wrong choice under the influence of Satan, God determined He would complete His purpose for the creation of mankind! God had predetermined to reproduce Himself through mankind and that is why we were created after the God kind! (Gen.1:26-28) God also predetermined He would go forward with His plan even if man sinned, thus an “A & B” part to the plan.
As was mentioned before, there were two ways set before Adam in the garden and he had to choose. Adam and Eve were both instructed but had not yet taken of the tree of life to eat. Through this negligence, they were not staying close to God which allowed Eve to succumb to the deceitful lie and temptation of Satan to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Then Adam also in disobedience took of it and ate. These two ways were brought forth once again for the nation of Israel and they had to choose. (Deut. 30:15-20) They also failed to obey God, choose the right path and stay on it. After the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ (second Adam) to now, it is Spiritual Israel, (Spiritual Eve) the New Testament COG that now has to choose. The second and Spiritual Adam (Christ) has already chosen and been made perfect. Those whom God has predestined to fulfill that “limited in advance” number, as the Scriptures and word definitions have shown us, are being worked with at this time. Out of those who have been called, chosen and remain faithful, the predestined number will be reached! (Rev.6:11, ch.14:1-5 and ch.20:4-6) This is what God is now doing through freedom of choice and predestination for the sake of fulfilling His plan! The next chapter will go back and reveal more details about how God began to bring about what He had predestined, beginning with the father of the faithful, Abraham.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED; introduction to chapter six.
In this chapter we will watch from our “time traveling” machine to see how God begins to fulfill the first steps of what we saw in the previous chapters. We saw how God had determined that He would reproduce God beings from mankind but started out His creation with angelic spirit beings—the Spirit realm, also bringing into being time and space, the universe and planetary systems. We have seen the planning phase and some of what had to be determined there, moving on into the creation stage and some of what took place through that process of creating physical creatures. Then we explained some of the knowledge revealed about freedom of choice and then on to predestination. So now we have come to the point in time where God in reality, called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldeans, or Mesopotamia, as Stephen explains it in the book of Acts, chapter seven. Here we can now begin to reveal something about the beginning of the Church, some more of the mystery of:
THE CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS
The calling out of Abram may seem like we have skipped ahead and are missing many details from Adam to Abram. We have mentioned much of it already and will skim some of the remaining details very quickly from Adam to Abram. Why have we titled this chapter “the Church in the wilderness”? We will get to that momentarily but let us bring out here that for over 1500 years only evil and sin permeates the earth and only a very few people knew God. We already saw that Adam and Eve had sinned and been taken captive by Satan. Many centuries pass quickly in the first 6 chapters of Genesis with very little detail except that man has become utterly corrupt. God determined that only one man could be used by the time of the flood. (The first child born to Adam became a murderer under the influence of Satan! (Gen.4:6-8) In his uncontrolled anger and jealousy, he killed the first righteous person recorded—his own brother Abel.) Noah was instructed to build an ark that would save only him and his family through the flood. God had determined to be merciful to all the rest of mankind and put them out of their misery. They will be resurrected later in the 8th millennial day and given a chance to know God without the influence of Satan. One of Noah’s sons, the oldest of the three named Shem, was the father of the linage that led to Abram.
As was stated in the introduction above, Abram was called out of his country and his father’s house to go to a land God would reveal. Abram was promised a blessing for his obedience, as we see here; Gen 12:2-3 “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." This last sentence is not just physical but has in it the spiritual element of what Christ, born of one descended from Abraham on through David, would do for all mankind.
We are just picking up the highlights of this in order to move forward quickly but I strongly recommend that you take the time to read more of the details in your own Bible. First, Abram was promised this blessing of being a great nation, then that was later expanded and a covenant was made between God and Abram (Gen.15) that would be fulfilled through children from Abram’s loins and would actually become a marriage covenant. (Gen 15:4 --- “one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.") Keep this in mind, as we will see more about this in Chapter seven. Sarai, Abram’s wife was unable to have children at this time and so Abram brought forth a son through Sarai’s maid, at Sarai’s request and prompting. This child, Ishmael, became the father of many of the Arabic peoples we see in the world today, however, he was not the child God intended for the fulfillment of the covenant and promise He had already made with Abram. (This covenant would later find more fulfillments in the COG Jesus said He would build.) That child would come through Sarai and from Abram and would be a miracle child—the child of promise. (Gen.17) When this promise was made to Abram, he and his wife’s name were both changed to Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was born and grew to be a young man, and then God called on Abraham to sacrifice him. This incident was showing both of these individuals as well as all who would read of this afterward in the Bible, that God is the giver of life and all who would be in His family are to be willing to give their all, putting God first, in order to be in His family.
God was teaching them and all of the chosen ones that nothing could come between God and His chosen— “seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, (Ps.119:172) and all these (other) things will be added to you.” (Matt.6:33) Abraham and Isaac both obeyed God in this trial, showing that they were willing to give of themselves, sacrifice all at His command. Hebrews chapter 11 indicates they looked forward to being in His family and a world of peaceful living under the government of God. Later on (Gen.26:1-5) God passed those same blessings on to Isaac and his children. After Abraham showed his willingness to offer Isaac in obedience to God, the blessings promised him became unconditional and would come to Abraham and Isaac’s children down through time. However, God reserved the right to withhold those blessings as He saw fit if they failed to obey Him—which is what history and the Bible reveals has happened.
Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob and Isaac loved Esau as the firstborn. However as we move forward we see that Jacob tricks his brother out of his birthright while he is in a state of hunger. A little later we see Jacob pushed into deception by his mother in order to obtain the birthright blessing that would have gone to Esau. Jacob succeeded in deceiving his father and was given the blessing. As we move on through time, we find that Jacob suffers some deceptions himself at the hand of his father-in-law, before finally breaking away from him. Jacob, through some unusual circumstances, fathers twelve sons. One son, Joseph was used powerfully by God as God performed some wonders through him in Egypt. We also were able to see this wrestling match with Jacob and an angel—his name was changed to Israel, as what God had predestined begins to unfold. They end up in some of Egypt’s choicest land to grow into a nation but after Joseph died, they are made slaves and put to hard bondage. Moses was born to be their deliverer, grew powerful in Egypt but had to flee at the age of 40, after killing an Egyptian. At 80 years of age, Moses is then called and chosen at the burning bush incident and sent back to Egypt to bring the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery.
The congregation in the wilderness is what Israel as a nation was called, after God miraculously brought them out of Egypt. Many miracles were performed as God revealed to Egypt and Israel the greatness of His power through Moses, culminating in the Red Sea crossing and the destruction of the armies of Egypt. However, Israel as this congregation, refused to fully obey and trust in God, even refusing to go into the land they were promised when told to—forgetting that nothing is too hard for God and failing to remember His power—and all those who grumbled against God and Moses, those numbered for war all died in the wilderness, except Joshua and Caleb, who remained faithful. (See our online Bible study on JOSHUA AND CALEB.) Throughout the Old Testament you will find many passages that refer to Israel as the “congregation”, even after they were established in the land of promise. God watched over them and provided for them over and over when they looked to Him and obeyed Him—but when they turned aside they would receive curses as punishment, just as He told them they would. This was told to them by Moses, which came from God and still applies to the Israelite descendant peoples of today. The blessings and curses are found in Duet.28, something that the USA & Britain’s leaders should have been teaching to all of their citizens for many decades—but failed to even obey themselves because they, as a whole, have not known who they were! (Jacob’s name being changed to Israel was passed to Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s two sons, just before he died while in Egypt. (Gen. 48) This was the birthright promises and blessings that would ordinarily have gone to the firstborn.
What were some of the Laws and commands that God gave to Israel that they were to keep down through time? Let us take just a little bit of space for that here—let us pause our “time machine” for a little bit while Israel is at mount Sinai and see what is about to take place! We see that the Israelites are gathered at the base of the mountain—camped there— and they are commanded by God through Moses to prepare themselves for God to come. Smoke begins to gather around the mountain and the ground begins to quake—and we read in;
Exod 19:16-20 “Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. 20 Then the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”
What a magnificent spectacle this must have been and it was so awesomely fearful to Israel that they were afraid for God to speak to them like that anymore—but they did agree to all that God had said. God delivered the two tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandment Law, which was to be obeyed by them and their descendants from that time forward and forever! There were many other ritualistic and civil laws given to Israel and they were a covenant people—to be a Holy nation—considered a marriage covenant between them and God. The book of Leviticus also reveals some other commands that were given to Israel that are called “appointed days” and “Feasts of the Lord” and are still to be obeyed today by those who would strive to obey this God who gave them. Notice this in Lev 23:2-4 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. (GOD’S—not man’s) 3 'Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. 4 'These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.”
We can see that this God being expected these covenant people to keep HIS festivals forever—passing down through time to their children and children’s children! They were not to go after other gods, as the nations around them did. He said at one point; “It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.” God commanded this nation of people to strive to be a Holy people and set the rest of the nations in the world an example of obedience and blessings—but they failed generation after generation, just as they are still doing today! When they put their heart into obeying, they were blessed—but the curses came when they turned away from God. As we come on through time, and after Israel entered into their land, we see the period called Judges and then we come to a short period during the time of Judges, where we see a Moabite woman (Descendant of Lot) named Ruth. She is called a virtuous woman, a part of what God has foreseen or predestined. After she converts to the God of Israel, it is through her first child that David is later brought forth.
Later on we find that this “marriage” of God and Israel was dissolved because Israel played the harlot. (Jer.3:6-8) But they were blessed as a nation under the ruling hand of King David because David looked to God. Solomon, David’s son inherited the throne and Israel became even more prosperous. Solomon started out well and even built the first temple, also God granted him great wisdom. This did not last however, as Solomon took many foreign wives and was corrupted by them. The kingdom of Israel (called the congregation of Israel many times) was split after the death of Solomon and the ten tribes that split off became known as Israel and the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, plus some of the Levitical priesthood stayed together to be known as Judah or the Jews. As we move through time toward the birth of Christ we see that the ten tribes are taken into captivity for their national sins and then years later the same thing happens to the nation now known as Judah for their sins! Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed and the people are carried away captive. But for the purpose of God these things have to be restored, in order to be in place for Christ’s time, yet to come.
As we move on forward now, we see that some from Judah however, are allowed to go back to their homeland and rebuild because of a determination by a king that God, through Isaiah, calls His servant (Isa.44:28 & 45:1) and seems to have been predestined for this purpose. This decree is made and as we move forward, we see that what is decreed is carried out and many other prophecies are fulfilled. The decreed time for these events during the 70 weeks prophecy, recorded by Daniel happen right on time, Jerusalem and the temple are both restored and those of Judah, Benjamin and Levi—including some of the priesthood—known now as the Jews, are again in the land known now as Judea. The trouble’s of the Jews continues, a period called the time of the Maccabees occurs and the Roman Empire period is now here. Mary is born of the linage of one of David’s sons, named Nathan—going all the way back through Abraham to Shem, Noah’s oldest or firstborn son— on back to Adam through Seth, as the 3rd chapter of Luke reveals! So Christ is a direct descendant from Adam through Noah and then Abram on to David and then to Mary.
With the 69th week of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy (Dan.9) ending at 27 AD, we also see this is when Christ begins His ministry. Christ was actually born, probably in mid to late September, between 4 & 3 BC. (Scripture says He was about 30 when He was baptized) This brings us up to what will begin another stage in God’s purpose being worked out, during this age of man ruled by Satan. (Some see this as a possibility of three stages, or ages approximately 2000 years each, is the theory—6,000 years of man ruled by Satan) We will see more about this next stage or phase in the 7th and last chapter of the mystery revealed! We begin the next chapter where we leave off here—at the beginning of Christ’s ministry and continuing the building of the Church of God in the New Testament, which will lead us back to our time today.
THE MYSTERY REVEALED; introduction to chapter seven.
We have seen much of what God has been doing to fulfill His predetermined plan to reproduce Himself through mankind, the reason for the creation itself as we know it—but we are not yet finished! We have now come to perhaps the most important part, even though it was all important to reach the completing of the plan, as far as we can understand from the Bible. Now comes the Spiritual phase for the Church, where much happens to fulfill the last two thousand years of man under Satan’s rule! Christ has to come and conquer Satan before He can begin to build His Church. In the process, He will also pay the death penalty for all mankind—but will begin to reconcile only a few in this age as we have already seen. He also has to become our “Passover” which is typified by the Old Testament Passover lamb and Festival, or no human can be redeemed and brought into the family of God, not even the few that have already lived and died as the faithful up to this point. Humanity has not yet been fully reconciled with God for sin and so they are still under the death penalty. The stage is now set and it is time now for God to send the Word to become human, bringing us to the point of Christ’s birth. We pick it up now with the mystery of;
The Christ/Messiah, the Church/Bride
Both of Christ’s physical parents are descendants of Abraham through David, one through Solomon and the other through Nathan, as the Bible reveals and as we previously mentioned, dealing with Mary. But that is only in the physical sense, because we know that Christ was actually begotten of God through and by the power of the Holy Spirit, and Mary remained a virgin until after Christ was born. Mary is the true link back to the promise made to Abraham and the fulfilling of prophecy about Christ coming through David. This makes the “other” God being—(John1:1-3) that the “Word” was with in the beginning—now the Father. (John 1:14) The Word that was God became Christ and came not only to fulfill all those other things mentioned, but to also REVEAL the FATHER to humanity! (Matt.11:27 & Luke 10:22) Up until this time, Israel had only known ONE God, even though the plan for the Word to become human was already set in motion and playing out to that point, it was not yet a reality until Christ was born.
This is the part that so few people can even begin to understand about the covenant God made with Abram. Without the Holy Spirit to guide our minds and reveal these things to us, we as mere man, cannot grasp the truth of God and what He is doing through His creation! Not only was God’s PLAN to bring Christ as the Messiah through Abraham’s seed, (a combining of God and man) but He also determined that the Church would ALSO begin through Abraham’s seed! (Predestined in the planning phase) This would, through and from Israel first (eventually including true converts from gentiles) make possible the Bride for Christ to also be considered children of faith and righteousness through Abraham. Just as Eve was taken out of Adam—Gen 2:23 “And 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."—so now the “wife” for Christ the “second” Adam, would be totally from the flesh, but begotten of God and converted through the work of the Spirit of God, built into a companion for Christ. She would become the “second Eve” and we will see more of these details later in this chapter.
THE MESSIAH/CHRIST AND HIS MINISTRY
After Christ had been baptized, conquered Satan and chosen His disciples—He would spend the next three and one half years training them as the nucleus of His Church, joined with the faithful and the prophets from the Old Testament period. (Eph.2:20) Christ would be the ROCK the COG was founded on, (Matt.16:18) and He would shed His blood for all of mankind but the Church was first, which would include those who had already died obedient and faithful. That sacrifice would eventually apply to all mankind as the plan continues to unfold on into the future. We will begin to see that now. So we begin this chapter dealing with Christ the Messiah and then the Church of God, (COG) establishing that GOD is its builder and Christ is the Head! We will also see the message that this COG was to preach is THE GOSPEL OF THE COMING KINGDOM OF GOD, which will also be established by God the Father through Jesus Himself! We see this now in the gospel of Mark. Mark 1:14-15, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The word “gospel” actually has the meaning of two words, which is good news! These verses are saying that Christ and all His servants who would follow Him would be preaching this same exact message until HE would return, and it becomes a part of working out their salvation to do so, extending to those that would believe and support it with zeal! Mark 8:35 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.” This is very possibly what Christ is referring to in John, where He makes this statement to His disciples; "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
There are not many people today who even know what the true Gospel is, let alone being willing to lay down their life to preach it so that you and I can be called by it and given the chance at being chosen to inherit salvation. Then there are others that know what the Gospel is but want to distort it or water it down from what it was in Christ’s time—still others are so lukewarm that they cannot seem to find the zeal to make it a high priority in their preaching. (We have another booklet titled “The Truth of the Gospel” that covers this subject, so we will not spend much time on this subject.) Most in the religious realm of today just preach half- truths, being deceived and deceiving others, while others preach lies for the money they can get from very gullible people! Jesus Christ did not build a Church that was to follow after pagan concepts and every manner of worship people can come up with! He intended for His Church to obey God and follow His examples!
Did Christ come to do away with the law, or the commandments? Many have this belief, and in fact, what is considered mainstream Christianity, have this and many other false beliefs that do not come from Scripture! Therefore, those who follow after manmade religions and pagan traditions are not a part of His true Church! Matt 5:17-18 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
These Words from our Savior and especially Verse 18, should make it clear to anyone that the Law of God is still in force for us today, as “ALL” is not yet fulfilled! The earth has not passed away yet, so obviously we must still keep every aspect (jot and tittle) of the 10 commandments! Many may not understand that the God of the Old Testament, the one who gave those Laws to Moses, is none other than Jesus Christ but we have already revealed that! However, maybe looking at it from a different perspective will be helpful. Notice 1 Cor 10:1-4, revealed through the apostle Paul; V.1 “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” This is the same “ROCK” that the Church is founded on, as we saw earlier in this chapter, and now also in this next passage: 1 Cor 3:11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
So the Church of God is founded, “Built” on Christ and the original twelve apostles plus the prophets. The New Testament tells us twelve times the name of that Church is “the Church of God”! What does this mean? Simply put, no church with any other name can really be God’s Church, however, there are churches that call themselves “church of God” but do not follow the full teachings of Christ! Neither do any of them keep the Holy Days that Christ as the GOD of ancient Israel gave and then kept Himself as a human! So we must point out that not all churches that claim to be “Christian” or even claim “church of God” status really are true Christians. The only way to determine what and where God’s True Church is today is to go by the fruits that are being shown or exemplified and the direct commission that was given to that one true Church! Most who claim to be “Christian” today, do not even know for sure what the Church was commissioned to do nor do they understand the full plan of GOD! Christ gave the qualifications of what it would take to be His Church and a part of the body of Christ that would become His Bride and to inherit eternal life! Christians of the Bible were first called Christian because they were followers of Christ and His examples. God does not give the impregnating Holy Spirit to anyone who will not obey Him or His Son! (Acts 5:32 & Heb.5:9)
(Many of the details that pertain to the True COG are covered in an article titled SIGNS OF GOD’S TRUE CHURCH!, so we will not cover those details again in this booklet, as we move forward in time.)
We find that not too long after the COG begins to grow in the apostolic era, persecution and false teachings begin. Satan the devil begins immediately to counterfeit the true COG with a false one! A movement is started by men who are agents of Satan—perhaps some were unwittingly, as many are today—but agents of Satan and false ministers, none-the-less! Christ Himself warned His servants that false religion would come very quickly and would deceive the many. Notice what Christ told the disciples shortly before He was crucified. Matt 24:4-5 “And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.” Notice now these next verses from the same chapter. 11 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
This was to come in their time and would continue until the whole world would be deceived, except for Christ’s own Church and even many of those called to the truth would be battered about with trials and some taken captive once again by deceptions and negligence! (See Matt.24:24-25 & Rev.12:9) Look at more proof of this from the Apostle Paul himself, in II Th 2:7-10! “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; (in his time) only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. (At the end of the 6,000 year time of Satan’s rule over man,) 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
Now let’s look at something else Paul told to them and us today as well, when we read it, those who are in the true Church and love the truth! Acts 20:27-30 "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. (Every word of God—Luke 4:4) 28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” What Paul was talking about is the same thing Christ warned the disciples to look for and this began during their life time.
This is something that every called and chosen one has to watch and be alert for, or we could be caught off guard and led astray! (Col.2:6-8) History reveals to us that this very thing HAS happened over and over down through time to our time today. This is the falling away that Paul also talked about that would come. As we move forward in our “time machine” we would be able to witness much of these events as they transpired. We have evidence of some of this in the seven letters to the churches, revealed to the aged apostle John in the book of Revelation. But before we leave this part of what Scripture reveals—let us back up just a bit in our time machine to just before Christ was crucified—and look at some of those happenings from our position in our time “bubble” and learn a little more about the true Messiah! Christ gave only one SIGN for proof to those doubters of His time, a sign of His being the true Messiah. We find ourselves on the afternoon before the day of crucifixion and we hear Christ talking to Peter and John about the Passover.
Christ had previously stated that the only sign that would be given was the sign of Jonah and that Christ would be in the grave for the exact same amount of time. (Jonah 1:17 “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”) Three days based on what is given here is 72 hours—the only sign or proof of the true Messiah— Matt 12:39-40 “But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” So for the sake of all who will read this and believe, let us record the details from our “time bubble” and Scriptural revelation before moving on!
(Some of these details are also brought out in our article on “Christ’s Resurrection”.)
So here we are now at the end of His ministry and Christ is giving instructions to Peter for the last Passover He would eat with them until the kingdom is established; Luke 22:8 “And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat." (Clearly, Christ intended to eat a Passover meal with His disciples, as we find revealed here in Scripture. However, some deceivers from inside the congregations of the COG in the later 20th century and even today, have said that Christ did not eat a Passover lamb.) Before Christ was crucified, this was the commanded way of keeping the Passover and Christ was perfectly obedient to those commands. But now, let us observe carefully the details, as we watch from our “time bubble”. We are able to see that the Roman world is using the Julian calendar at this time, but our observation shows us that Christ goes by the Hebrew calendar that He, as God, had given to Moses (Exo.12:2) and does not even follow the tradition of the Jewish priests and how they observed the Passover!
What is Christ doing and why this way?— okay, we can see that He is sending Peter and John to kill and prepare the Passover lamb before the Jews do and only a few at that time were still doing this the way Christ is. So we can see that this is done right after the sun has set—the Hebrew calendar says it is the 14th (beginning at sunset—Exo.12:6) of the first month but we can also see that the Roman calendar date is April 24th, 31 AD and Tuesday evening right after sunset! Okay, so we see (according to Luke 22) the meal is a lamb that Peter and John killed and prepared—we see things during the eating of the meal as they transpire—(through all four Gospel accounts) the foot washing and the blessing of the bread and wine, the accoutrements of the New Covenant Passover—established for the COG from then on. Paul will re-iterate this later for the COG, after he has been called and ordained an apostle.
Following the events we see from our vantage point and what Scripture reveals, that Christ, after the new symbols are all given and Judas is then sent out, sings a hymn and they all leave to go to the garden where He will pray. Here Christ goes off and prays for an hour and returns to find them sleeping—this happens three times and then Judas comes with this mob and betrays Christ to them. The disciples all scatter and He is then taken around mid-night, mocked and beaten and at daylight handed over to the high priest for questioning. Accusing Him of blasphemy, He is then given to Pilate to be tried, beaten then scourged and crucified. Now we see Christ on the cross, dieing.
There came darkness on the land and then He died on that same day, perhaps a few hours before sunset. It is now approaching sunset when we see two men take down His body, prepare and wrap it hurriedly for burial and place it in the tomb nearby, rolling the stone over the entrance right at sunset. Scripture verifies all of this and we can see this is at sunset on Wednesday. The Hebrews started their days at sunset, as previously mentioned. That night and all day Thursday, the first annual “High day” as we see, is the 1st day Christ is in the tomb. Then comes sunset which began Friday and that was another night and day, the 2nd full day. Then when the sunsets again, beginning the weekly Sabbath starting the 3rd night and day, which we can now see is ending at sunset on Saturday. This would have fulfilled what Christ said would be a proof of Him being the true Messiah, but the last seconds are ticking away and the sun is disappearing ------
WAIT! What is that brilliant white light we see momentarily streaming from every crack and gap around that huge stone that was rolled over the opening of the tomb!?? What is going on in that tomb, just at the last second before the sun was set in the western sky? Thinking back to our own time, the COG has said for years, even decades that Christ was resurrected at sunset on Saturday evening, the same time as He was placed in the tomb and the stone was rolled to seal it. That must be what we are now seeing as GOD resurrected Christ as a Spirit being! Now we also know in our minds that this sign was fulfilled!—hold on—as the time passes until morning, (in our imaginary scenario from our time bubble) though it is still dark, we now see angels come and roll away the stone but Christ is already gone! As He was resurrected into Spirit form, He must have invisibly passed right through that stone and we did not even see Him! But now wait a minute, here comes some women with some spices as the first hint of light comes and they went into the tomb and then out again, the brightly clad angels tell these women that Christ has already risen as He had said. (Luke 24:1-9)
Well, now we know that what millions have been told in our own time, by what is falsely called “Christianity” about Christ being killed on a Friday and resurrected on Sunday morning is just not true! As we observed this, it was just as Peter later said; Acts 10:40-41 "Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 "not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.” For Christ did rise just as that last second was ticking away on the 3rd day and for that instant we imagined that we saw that brilliant light of glory seeping through those cracks of the tomb! Every prophecy about Him was fulfilled and now we know that the true Messiah was not resurrected on Easter Sunday morning! This has been a ploy to deceive millions of people by a counterfeit church and cause those same deceived people to accept another Jesus! Now it becomes even more clear to us why Paul warned about this and recorded it in Scripture for true Christianity.
He knew what was happening around him and God gave him insight as to where it would lead, so he wrote it down for our benefit. As we pass on back forward to our time, we could see the rise of this counterfeit church and how these things have transpired. It persecutes the true Christians and tries to make them accept paganism, while destroying those who cling to the truth! The seven letters and what they reveal help’s us put the pieces together with what we can find in history. (For more information on some of these details, we recommend that you read our booklet titled “THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST”)
Church of God/Bride of Christ
We now move on to the last part of this booklet—the purpose of the Church. Those Holy days that were given to ancient Israel, the ones Christ and His disciples kept and taught the COG to keep, are essential to understanding the plan of God that is being worked out! They reveal the very steps that God is working out to bring the Bride of Christ to the point of being made Spirit—her time for birth and a resurrection to Spirit life as we saw happen with Christ. We have learned that all down through time, the COG has never been a great influential power, but rather a small amount of people called a little flock and some times very few in number—but always clinging to the truth of what we can see written in the pages of the Bible. Those that have died in the faith were seen clinging to the hope given and willing to endure—because Christ said; "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) True Christians know the word of God does not lie, nor is it contradictory in its passages! It tells us that God does not change and that Jesus is the same today as when He walked the earth! (Mala.3:6, Heb.13:8 & James 1:17)
At times the COG congregations were numerous in number until severe persecution found them once again and they were driven into hiding—many of those would fall away under the pressure or be martyred for there beliefs—as Christ revealed to John through those seven letters and other prophecy written in the book of Daniel and Revelation. God has never been working with the masses and Jesus Christ did not pray for the world, but only for His Church, (John17:9) because He knew that the world in general was cut off from God and had to be called and chosen to be a part of the true Church. This was predestined before and was a part of the plan. However, when Christ returns and Satan is bound, the tree of life will be opened once again—but that will be too late for those who are called to be first fruits, so they are given the Spirit now to guide and strengthen them! The COG today is scattered and we are in the last era before Christ returns, so what must we be doing to ensure our success? Holding fast to the truth of what we can prove from the Bible and be getting the true Gospel out to the world as a witness! Too many today claim that their organization is THE COG and so we have to be careful to ensure we are not pulled back into deceptions that will get us off balance and cause us to miss the mark. Many of these groups do not hold tightly to the truth!
The True Church of God is not, I repeat, NOT any one organizational structure calling itself The Church of God! It is also not denominational! Does that sound unbelievable? Christ said “I will build my Church”! He did start building His Church and it is still here to this day but today, it is the last era of Laodicea! That word “Church” means the called out ones that have committed to Christ and have received the Holy Spirit that Christ promised. His true Church keeps the commandments of God, all of them, and obeys the command to keep the statutes, His annual Sabbaths. It is a tithe paying people to do the work of God with zeal and will be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ! In short, the true Church of God is a SPIRITUAL ORGANISM, MADE UP OF THOSE WHO HAVE AND ARE BEING LED BY GODS HOLY SPIRIT, even though they are scattered today!!
Now, having said that, one can quickly understand that for the COG to do the best job of preaching the Gospel to the world as a witness, Christ’s command to them, (Matt 24:14 & Mark 16:15-16) then common sense tells us that collective cooperative effort in unity is what would be best. That does not happen much between human beings that allow carnality to rule in their minds, but it should between truly dedicated, growing and overcoming disciples of Christ. So why is that not happening today, among those who claim to be the COG? Matt 25:1-8 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' 7 "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 "And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.”
After the COG had the truths restored in the early 20th century and the true Gospel was once again going out, the COG took on new life and began to thrive under the leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong, as he turned people back to God. This was predestined and prophesied by Christ, (Matt.17:11) and now the evidence of recent history reveals this truth of Scripture has happened. By looking at the seven letters and comparing that with history, we can see that time frame coincides with the Philadelphian time or era for the COG. The man God was initially working through as the leading individual for this died in 1986, bringing an end to that time frame and we now find ourselves in Laodicea. This has been covered thoroughly by many other writings and articles on our website. It is only those who make their calling and election sure that will be born into the family of God to be a part of the Bride of Christ, a collective body that will make up the second Eve! God is preparing her now through the COG and she will be ready when Christ returns. The COG today is scattered because it has gone through another apostasy and some were vomited out of the body, while others have chosen to fall away—going after false precepts and denying their Lord and Master. Just as the physical Eve was the mother of all future human beings, so it seems that the second and Spiritual Eve (True COG) will become the mother of all future Spiritual Children of God! After the 1,000 year reign of Christ, even more children will be brought into the Family of God during the 8th day—called the great white throne judgment period. Christ will not be married to the compromisers of our time—this has to be repented of before it is too late.
What is ahead that God is still going to do with His creation and everything that is ahead of us at this point in 2010? There are many prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled and not much time left for their completion. The great tribulation is coming and the horrors of the destruction of America and Britain are yet ahead because of great national sins! We are a nation that has forgotten the true GOD! Strive to be a repentant part of the COG by maintaining the Holy Spirit and continuing to grow while working together in unity and peace. The return of Christ is eminent and some horrible things will transpire as Satan becomes wrathful, for he is learning that he is running out of time. The world immediately ahead of us is dark and gloomy as the book of Revelation reveals. There will be a place of protection, (Rev.3:10 & 12:14) promised for the faithful and true COG—while the rest of the world is plunged into the great tribulation.
For the true COG, there is great joy in the knowledge of God’s great master plan and how death and destruction will finally cease. Well, I see that we are back in our own time where we started, in our imaginary time traveling machine and the “time bubble” is shutting down for now. My fellow brethren and friends please pray for the Kingdom of God to come and that you will be a truly repentant and growing first fruit. If you are, then you will be given the ability to travel forward and see the rest of THE MYSTERY REVEALED Spiritually, through the kingdom (1,000-year) period, then on into the 8th millennial day which is the great white throne judgment for the rest of man and angels, seeing the New Jerusalem come down and then on out into eternity as the rest of God’s plan plays out! This we have little or no record of, revealed in the Bible, so we will have to wait for that.
(This is not the end—just a another step)
(Again, remember that this booklet is produced as a plausible explanation of these events based on what the Scriptures we have used seem to reveal. It is the author’s hope that you are stirred to search the Scriptures and prove to yourself what God is doing and what His plan truly is for all mankind and creation! If you have any questions or comments about this booklet, be sure to “Contact us” by sending an email with your thoughts. Or write a letter and send it to the P.O. Box number given on the contact page. We thank you for taking the time to read our material and would like to hear your comments.)