The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 1


Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God

There Is A Plan

As the title of this series of studies suggests, I want to give us all an over all view of what the scriptures reveal God had planned before He created Christ, and what He is, in and through Christ, even now working out in the affairs of mankind.

All we will accomplish in this study today is to show you that God does have a plan, and that plan will produce a creation of which this “earnest” physical creation is but a disposable prototype which is unfit to even exist in the “purchased possession” phase of the kingdom of God.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

God is in the process of revealing to us “the mystery of His will” which He tells us He has deliberately kept secret from all of mankind until the time of Christ.

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

The Literal Version (LITV) translates Eph 1:9 more accurately because the phrase “Having made known” is in the Greek aorist tense, and should read:

Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, (LITV).

Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

“Made manifest” in verse 26, and “make known” in verse 27 are both in the aorist tense. The former is in the passive voice and the latter is in the active voice. What “made manifest to his saints” means is that it is God who has hid his secret from mankind, and that it is also God who is making us to know His secrets, and mankind had nothing to do with what God is doing.

“Hid from ages and from generations” tells us that we are all born blind from our mother’s womb, both our physical mother and our first spiritual mother, Babylon, out of whom we must all be delivered (Rev 18:4).

“To whom God would make known” is in the aorist tense in the active voice, meaning God is the initiator of what is being done; ‘Making known’ to His saints what is the riches of the glory of this mystery, this secret, which he keeps hidden from all but his saints.

Because the Truth is so resented in every generation, it becomes less popular and more obscured, denigrated and despised with each passing generation:

2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Simply acknowledging the truth of these verses of scripture, simply acknowledging that God has revealed His secret to us, makes us hated, despised and reviled by all who do not like that revelation.

That verse of scripture, 2Ti 3:13, aligns and accords with all other verses dealing with the progression of God’s plan in this age. For example the disciples asked Christ this question:

Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? [Greek, aion, age]
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

How “many shall [be] deceiv[ed]”? We are not given a specific number, but Christ does tell us this:

Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

To which He adds this:

Luk 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife.

And finally Christ concludes with this very revealing question:

Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

The salvation of all in Adam is secure, but that goal is not ordained to be realized in this present age. The salvation of all was never intended to be realized in this age. This, again, is what will be realized in this age:

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Nevertheless there has always been a figurative 7,000 whom God has reserved unto himself (Rom 11:4), and since sending His Son, He has revealed so much more to those to whom He is making Himself known, revealing Himself, His mind and His plan for mankind.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Heb 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Heb 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
Heb 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Since “now we see not yet all things put under Him”, it is obvious that there is much more work to be done. “You… put all thing in subjection under Him” is in the aorist tense, meaning that in Christ it is the process of being done, and it will be realized. But the plan is the same plan God has had from the beginning, as we are told in the first part of Hebrews one:

Heb 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
Heb 1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
Heb 1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Heb 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Why we need to know the plan of God

In the 12th chapter of this same book of Hebrews we are told this:

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Christ was motivated by “the joy that was set before Him”, and because of the promise of sitting with God in His throne, He “endured the cross”, esteeming the shame of the cross to be nothing by comparison of the glory that would come with “the joy that was set before Him”. That is the meaning of “despising the shame”. Christ esteemed the pain and shame of hanging naked on the cross to be unworthy of being compared to the glory that would be revealed in Him and in His Christ:

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

It is an integral part of the plan of God that “Many are called… [to] read, and hear” those words, but very few are given to keep these words faithfully to the end. If you are a child of God, then His spirit will witness that to you. If it does not, then you will be unable to make that claim for fear of being labeled by men as someone who has “lifted [himself] above the congregation of the Lord”. That is what happened to Israel, and that is what we all do in our own appointed rebellious time. It was “all the congregation” that gathered with Korah against Moses and Aaron:

Num 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
Num 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:
Num 16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?

But as we will see, it is all an integral part of the plan of God, which was in God’s own mind “before the world began” (2Ti 1:9 and Tit 1:2). Moses is a type of Christ, and the priesthood of Aaron typifies God’s elect, who are given to enter into the tabernacle and to administer the different functions of the tabernacle. While it is true that Israel represents God’s elect while coming out of Egypt, that is not the case while Israel is wandering in the wilderness. Korah and the 250 “men of renown” who were leaders of “all the congregation”, who rose up against Moses and Aaron, who were God’s ordained leadership, become typical of the rebels who God will purge from His people as having the spirit of Babylon within God’s own people and who “will not have this man to rule over [them]” (Luk 9:14).

This is what God did at that time, and what He is doing to this day:

Num 16:19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them [Moses and Aaron] unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.
Num 16:20 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Num 16:21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.

The prophet Ezekiel tells us this was all a type of what God does as part of “working all things after the counsel of His own will”, His predestined plan for mankind (Eph 1:11):

Eze 20:35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
Eze 20:36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
Eze 20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
Eze 20:38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

It is part of God’s preordained plan that we will all at first reject Christ and His Christ, just as Egypt and then “all the congregation of Israel” refused the leadership of Moses and Aaron. We will all, at our own appointed time, consider the trials of the wilderness to be nothing short of suicide:

Num 16:12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up:
Num 16:13 Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?
Num 16:14 Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.

According to Eze 20:35, of course it is really God who brings us into the wilderness and gives us all of our trials. But those who do not want to endure this time of trial, and those who despise the chastening which God places upon us while we are in the wilderness, turn on those whom God has placed among His people as leaders and blame the leaders God has given them for all their trials, complaining that the promises of God are not being realized and blaming God’s faithful leaders for what their own rebellious sins have brought upon them.

God’s own apostles are blamed for the abuses of Babylon, and are in effect told “Ye… lift yourselves up above the congregation”. So if we cannot deny the doctrines of Babylon, replace those false doctrines with “the doctrine of Christ”, and if we cannot accept the Lord’s order which He “has placed in the church”, then we will be judged, as Korah and company were, out of our own mouth:

Luk 19:22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

All of this is part of the predestined plan of God, and it is very helpful that we know as early as the Lord grants us in our walk. Christ put it all in these words:

Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Luk 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
Luk 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Whether you are a military leader fighting an adversary, the CEO of a company that produces a certain product, or a general contractor who has contracted to build a building, it makes all the difference in the world in the performance of those who are working for you to present to them clearly what is the goal of your endeavors, and if you can give them a clear overview of what is needed to reach that goal. It was because the apostle Paul had a clear vision of what God was doing that he could make this statement:

Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

A soldier digging a ditch will do so with much more enthusiasm when he knows just how wide, how deep and how long the ditch must be and why it is needed. A soldier who is told to dig a ditch without any instructions or specifications is not inspired to get the job done, because he doesn’t know exactly what the job is. Knowing that there is also a great prize for giving up all things to follow Christ is also a great incentive which God gives to those whom He has given to value the things of the spirit.

Knowing the width, depth and length of our calling is to “know [Christ] and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings”, all of which help us to become willing to “forsake all [we] have to [become Christ’s] disciple”, and to become “conformable unto His death”.

This is the formula John is given throughout “the revelation of Jesus Christ”. This is what is meant when we, as John was, are told to measure the New Jerusalem:

Rev 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod [“a rod of iron”]: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

John, who typifies God’s elect, is told just what is to be ‘measured’, and he is also told what not to measure. We are in “vessels of clay”, and our strength and our efforts are very limited in these weak bodies of flesh and blood, so we really do need to focus on what the Lord tells us to do and not waste of energies on people or things of no profit to the growth and health of the New man”.

Mar 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Let’s look to Christ as our example of the measure to which we are seeking to attain. Here is how He uses His own time and His own efforts. First He tells us to pour out our resources on Him and His body first, before we pour out our resources out upon the poor of this world:

Mat 26:8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
Mat 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor [the poor of this world].
Mat 26:10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
Mat 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
Mat 26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
Mat 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

The woman, who is commended by Christ, places her resources upon Christ “for [His] burial” of His flesh. That is where our resources should be bestowed. We are perfected only with the burial of our own bodies of flesh.

Then Christ clarifies Himself even further when praying for His disciples by making this point for our edification:

Joh 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
Joh 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Joh 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

Conclusion

There we have it:

Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
Joh 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

God has given Christ to die for “them which you have given me” at this time, and through “them which [the Father] has given [Christ]” He plans to use as the channel for His mercy to be given to all the rest of “all in Adam”, all men of all time.

Here’s the plan from the mouth of our Lord Himself:

Luk 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

This promise is reiterated in Hebrews:

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

“Reverence and Godly fear” are just more than this world is willing to give to a loving heavenly Father. But that is what Christ rendered to His Father, and that is what we must do also:

Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

If we are granted to “serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear”, we will “not fear what man can do to us, and like Christ was sent of His Father, Christ will send us to save this world:

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

That is not the sum of God’s word on who is the Savior of this world. Christ was told by His Father to tell us this:

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me [“that the world through Him might be saved”], even so send I you.

Next week we will see just a little more clearly how important to the plan of God are “those [the Father] has given to [Christ]” in carrying out His plan to save all of mankind of all time.

[Click here to go to the next chapter.]


Other related posts