God’s eternal plan for man and the world

[ 0 ] September 9, 2019 |
P. A. Thomas

P. A. Thomas

Creation: purpose and mandate: Extension of God’s rule through His people- ruled and directed by Him

God created man in His own image with abilities of choice, decision and control over all the other created beings on the earth. God gave man the responsibility to rule over the beings as His representative and take care of the earth on his behalf. For that procreation was a necessity and hence God blessed Adam and Eve with the responsibility of rearing children and educating them to follow God’s mandate. They were to be God’s own people taking care of His interests and accomplishing His plans on earth. That would have been the ultimate fulfillment of man’s life and enjoyment as God’s special creation on earth. For this, they had to choose to be under the rule of God and obey his directions on their freewill. They were to be dependent on God as the source of their life and authority and remain thankful to Him for that status of being in fellowship with God, the Creator.  No creation can attain more than that with the Creator. Read Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15,18

Fall: purpose derailed, mandate exploited, God’s rule indirect, partial and ineffective

That is where things went wrong. Man chose to rebel, act on their own understanding, lust and take control of things independent of God. For that Satan enticed man and made them to disobey God, thereby breaking the supernatural (spiritual) relationship between man, the creation and God, the creator. Man’s status has become lower that what they were made and now had to live more of a biological life just like other animals but with natural abilities endowed in the image of God. Man’s capacity to relate, communicate and co-work with God freely has been lost and hence they became lonely and left to make their own lives. But God was concerned about His purposes and started to promise them with a plan beyond what they could earn or achieve. This was out of His love for Man and expressed in His grace towards them. God is just and hence had to punish them and curse this present world, kept under man’s dominion and prepare for a new world for the final consummation of His creation plans. Read Genesis 3.

Promise: The Seed coming to take over the enemy and establish a new race- new birth.   Genesis 3:15

In that fallen state of helplessness, man couldn’t accomplish God’s plans for which they have been created and assigned to earth. So God in His mercy and love gave them a promise of sending a Son born of the fallen woman but able to win over the enticement of Satan and hence qualified to start accomplishing God’s eternal plans for mankind. He becomes the progenitor of a new mankind from the old- the second Adam. The first procreation was physical and human hence perpetuating fallen-ness and sin. The new is to be by the Spirit of God, thereby assuring eternal life and hence a new creation striving to attain Christ likeness de-robing the old. It is putting away the old nature from Adam and putting on the new nature in Christ. This was a promise and hence had to wait for God’s timing and action in human history. Read Romans 5:14, 6:6; 1 Cor 15:22,45, John 3:5,6; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9 etc.

Man who had become to live independent of God found soon that they are incapable of living on their own. So they started to seek after God to receive help and tried to appease Him through their corrupt mind. Their corruption got darker with seeking after natural forces of wind, water, air, fire and mountains to help them. That is where they started worshipping- trying to appease, nature and then the celestial objects. That perversion gave rise to animistic religious systems with idolatry and all kinds of human perversion with their body and mind. In all this, Satan and his spirits helped them and enticed them more to be subjected to them. Slowly they developed philosophies and presumptive modes of religious rites to satisfy themselves and their aspirations beyond biological life as the image of God in them aspired for more. This gave rise to lust, pride, greed and all kinds of injustice and human atrocities. Man has become more perverted and uncontrollable than animals by their own choice. All laws, rules, systems and philosophies utterly failed to change man and their fallen nature through centuries and it is becoming ever worse.  Man has destroyed the natural structures and ecosystems on earth instead of taking care of it, inviting their own massive destruction and suffering. Instead of taking dominion over the created beings, man has succumbed to illnesses and diseases caused by even micro-organisms and failed even to safeguard their bodies. Man has become a liability on themselves due to their fallen nature from which they couldn’t come out.

God is His mercy and grace continued to intervene into human lives through personally communicating with people who were looking beyond themselves and listening. He used nature and events in human lives to do that. So from time to time God found a man who was willing to listen and follow His instructions. The first man God wanted to help- Cain, did not accept His instruction and hence failed to make any change. Enoch found favor with Him though we do not have any details. The Bible brings these encounters as God’s calls to humans. This is the story we read of humanity even in the form of chosen Israel from Genesis 11- Malachi 4 in the OT.

Calls:

  1. Noah: For judgment and for a new beginning but failure leading to Babel, challenging the rule of God

 

The first such call was to Noah in Genesis 6. Concerned with the increasing perversion of humanity challenging their own existence, God called Noah to do an action of faith- doing something he cannot understand or perceive but fully trusting God on His Word. He was ridiculed for what he was making, the ship, and the preaching he did calling them to leave their ways and come to the ship. This was God’s judgment in His mercy and grace to save the human race from annihilation. Those eight who responded to God in faith entered the ship, got saved and continued human race. But that didn’t last long and we see a big plot at Babel (Genesis 11) to dethrone God and His rule over humanity which God had to thwart their designs by scattering them all over the world.

 

  1. Abraham: For a walk with God– obedience in faith for God’s ways and time

 

God was seeking for a man who will listen and follow Him in His plan to make a people of His own choice to challenge the whole humanity- to make Him known. Abram a Mesopotamian was the one who heard and responded to the call. In Genesis 12:1-3, God gave an unusual promise to Abram, a childless old man, of giving him lands, nations, and a great people, finally blessing the whole humanity through him.  With his wife he started to follow God in faith without knowing the plans or destination. But God continued to direct him, changed his name to Abraham and made him a success before others, thereby making him known as a man of God and a friend of God. God in His grace confirmed his faith through giving him a son in his old age miraculously and testing on his integrity towards God. So God made Himself known as the God of Abraham. Isaac, his redeemed son (Gen 22) continued to follow God and His voice though not fully as Abraham.

 

  1. Jacob: To be a people- different and under God but again way-ward

 

Jacob, the second son of Isaac was the one chosen by God. So God chooses as well as calling people. He was chosen from the womb of his mother but remained a pervert until he received the call. Jacob recognized the God of Abraham in a dream when he was alone and afraid of his future, running away from his brother whom he cheated. Again God gave a promise to him and Jacob in all his perversion held on to that promise and worked hard. Finally God acted on his family, changed his name to be Israel- people of God, and told him that he will be the father of a nation under God. He had to leave the Promised Land but it was a learning period for his generations in Egypt, the cradle of political education. Jacob died in Egypt seeing the hope of fulfillment of God’s promises through his generations later. God was not in a hurry but allowed people to learn the hard way how to live on faith and adhere to god’s plans for them.

 

  1. Moses: To be a nation- different and lawful, obedience and adherence demanded

 

So it was now over 400 years in Egypt. Again God chose someone who failed to recognize the call. Moses assumed God’s action through him but had to wait for 80 years. Then was the call of God (Exodus 3) and a hesitant Moses was commissioned to do the most extraordinary exodus of a nation out of the greatest empire of the times. It was the greatest move of God humanity had ever witnessed and declaring to the whole world that God is there and is concerned. Through Moses God disciplined His people to be a nation for forty years and finally God brought them to the Promised land after giving them laws, worship systems and a civil code to live as His people- different from other nations and ruled by God. God’s demand was adherence and obedience to His laws and he promised care and protection to make them a people who will show His light to the whole humanity.

 

  1. David: To be a Kingdom- under God and ruled by His King who is after His heart

 

That people who had been called by God as His own could not become His people as they continued to rebel against God and His laws. Yet God cared for a remnant who remained faithful to Him and continued to protect them proving His faithfulness. Finally at the time of Samuel people wanted to become a nation under a human King rejecting God’s Kingship. God allowed them to have Saul, a person acclaimed by the people as a fitting King. God blessed him but as he failed God, God chose a shepherd boy David, a man after God’s heart to be the future King. David never strived to become the King even after he was anointed by Samuel, but God brought him to the throne in his own way and time (Psalms 78:70-72). David clearly understood that he was a King under God for His people- that is why he became the man after God’s heart. He made Israel a great kingdom but his focus was on making them a worshipping community of God around the Ark of God. David failed to give continuity to what he has done for god as he failed to control his family in God’s way.

 

  1. Prophets: To call back those who have lost the way, purpose and real life

 

From the time of Solomon, the people of God has failed to be God’s people in life and obedience. God was patient and in His mercy and faithfulness, continued to protect and use them to reveal Himself and His concern for His people. So from to time He sent prophets to warn, teach, and exhort His people to repent and come back to Him. Through the prophets, God made His voice heard and His mighty hand of discipline and mercy acting up on His people. It was a visual lesson for the whole world. Daniel’s time was one such when God acted up on the Kingdoms of the world to show that He is in control and is concerned about the whole humanity while what has been revealed through His people Israel remains to be the truth for all. Prophets called for repentance and proclaimed a future action of God when God Himself gets into action among His people- Immanuel.

 

  1. John the Baptist: The final call for repentance and the acceptance of God’s kingdom

 

The Kingdoms failed, prophets words were not adhered to and God stopped direct communication for 400 years but He was in the affairs of the world all through. Finally He sent John the Baptist, one chosen from his mother’s womb to be the last prophet for the Kingdom of God. He was to proclaim the coming of the King Himself and introduce Him to the few faithful who were waiting for His coming as the Messiah, God’s Christ (John 1:15-27, 29,36). He was proclaiming as well as preparing the hearts of few to receive the King and to be His followers. A new dispensation was beginning. God was going to act on His promise to bring a new humanity through His son, a new humanity born of the Spirit. Son of man, born of a virgin as the seed of the woman to crush the head of Satan was entering the world and John, the Baptist announced His coming as well prepared a way for Him. Not few but many from all walks of life came to him on the way to join the new band with Jesus, the son of man.

 

God taking over the plan of action and rule, in the flesh of a man- Jesus, the Son:   John 1:14, Phil 1:5-11

So in Jesus God took over the mission of God to establish the rule of God over His world. He started with an encounter with the enemy and beginning the crush. Satan tried enticement as before with this man but to fail forever. Then on He began to call people, no more from heaven but from the world around Him- Immanuel in action. He taught people of the way to God and offered the living water and the living bread that will satisfy their thirst and hunger for ever. Thirst for truth, thirst for real life and hunger for the lost relationship with God the creator. Jesus named it eternal life and He Himself was that life (John 1:4, 3:15,16). He had to be taken in (John 1:12,13) and trusted up on (John 3:36). He has to come in and be with us permanently as a branch lives out of a vine (John 15) and become fruitful. It is total dependence against the independence activated in the Garden of Eden. Jesus was the perfect man who accepted the rule of God in His body (flesh and mind) thereby fulfilling God’s plan for humanity, hence all the laws fulfilled in Him. As Paul says in Colossians 1:12-22, everything thing was created through Him and for Him and for His church- His body continuing on the earth to complete the mission of God.

In Church Jesus expects the extension of God’s rule through His people- ruled and directed by Him. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom being established: Kingdom is coming, has come, in your midst, in you, you are the Kingdom. These were the phrases He used while teaching His disciples. He demonstrated the power and authority of this new Kingdom as the King, through the signs and miracles He did over human body, life, nature and against the powers of darkness and Satan. He offered peace beyond all human understanding and the knowledge of the coming world to those who committed to follow Him. He promised the Holy Spirit who will remain in his followers once He leave in His physical body.

So Jesus prepared His Kingdom of people for the uncorrupt new world eliminating the corrupt old world and its systems. We are not of this world but in this world till the number of God’s people under His rule are welcomed by His grace, truth and power through the witness of the Gospel into eternal life in Him. These  new born people of God called as Christians are to be people called out and living in the hope of the new world and accomplishing god’s eternal purposes into the lives of people around.  Christians are those who live looking up as their life is there in Christ (Col 3:1-3).  Now and here, this is having Him in us, controlled and directed by Him, feeding on Him- His Word and truth for power and wisdom and abiding in Him as a living sacrifice fulfilling what He wants through our bodies and minds (Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:10). It is a new beginning, a life-long commitment and an ongoing transformation, to be fully realized in glory when Jesus comes.

It is becoming one with Jesus in the new birth,

  • Raised from death in the spirit (Eph 2:1-9)
  • Being built to be like Him in mind (Phil 2:5) by feeding on Him and His truth
  • Consummated in the new body as the bride of the heavenly King.

 

Here and now we Christians have three functions to fulfill in this lost, perverted, corrupt world. We need to live as the children of light in three aspects. Consider the three occurrence of the word Christian in the NT.

First is to demonstrate a lifestyle against the currents of this world- a life which emanates Christ and His lifestyle so that we can be truly called followers and imitators of the perfect Man. Read Acts 11:26.

 

Second is to witness the life of Christ in us, in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit before others through utterance and action as Paul did. Read Acts 26:28.

 

Thirdly it is the commitment to enjoy suffering for Christ and Kingdom’s sake. As Jesus warned us, we will have persecution and suffering in this world and Paul reminds us of this as an essential part of the gift from God as we believe on Jesus (Phil 1:29). Peter admonishes us to enjoy that suffering without being ashamed as the apostles did in Acts 5:41. Read 1 Peter 4:16.

 

The new eternal world order with the new eternal system being established through the King and His people accomplishing God’s plan of establishing His rule through His creation. After the Church being taken into the clouds and after the period of tribulation when the Jewish nation will share into the Body of Christ, the final judgment of the whole humanity will happen before the white throne. The hell will receive its share of those who rejected God and the OT saints will be ushered to join us in the Kingdom. The earth will pass away and the new earth and the heavens will be revealed to begin the eternal kingdom of God established with His people.

 

There is not much description of these in the Bible as they are things yet to happen and are reserved under the authority of God until the time comes. There is enough mention of what is going to happen for us to look forward to and hope for. Enveloped in the love of God, we will reign together with Jesus our Lord, the head of the Body- Church and with all God’s saints ever and ever. Now we wait for it in faith and looking for that great morning on the new earth with hope. We have received the eternal Spirit of God as an assurance now and hence we are prompted to worship our great and faithful God, waiting for the fulfillment of the unfolding of His eternal kingdom. Read Rev 21 and 22. Marannatha.

 

I want to close with the following verses from Revelation.

“These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Rev 22:6,7)  and  “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev 22:16,17).

PA Thomas

 

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