GOD'S TWO GOALS
GOD'S TWO GOALSCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
If my understanding is correct, God has two primary goals. The first is to put an end to all rebellion and sin. The second is to enlarge His family. I now will explain these two goal and how God is moving toward them.
The first goal is to abolish totally all rebellion and sin from God's creation. We who live on the earth are so accustomed to sin and self-will that we hardly can imagine a life apart from this pattern of behavior. Yet, there will come a day in which all rebellion and sin have been removed from the creation of God.
Seventy "sevens" are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. (Daniel 9:25)
The atonement has been made on the cross. Now the problem is to abolish totally all rebellion and sin from God's creation. The program of abolishing rebellion and sin has commenced in our day and will proceed until the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age. It is the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Abolishing rebellion and sin requires a war. The source of rebellion and sin is the heavens. We are fighting against highly placed lords in the spirit realm. God's will cannot be done in the earth until it first is done in the heavens.
Today the Spirit of God is announcing the coming of the King to us to war against His enemies in our personality. As the Spirit of God points out an area of rebellion and sin we are to confess it to Christ, naming it clearly, and telling the Lord that by His help we never again will behave in that manner.
When Christ has a company of believers who will follow Him in putting all of His enemies under His feet, He will return and raise them from the dead. Then He will catch them up to meet Him in the air.
They will be mounted on the white war-stallions. Then Christ followed by His victorious saints and army of warrior angels will descend from their position in the air and destroy the armies of Antichrist. Satan will be bound and thrown into the Bottomless Pit. Antichrist and the False Prophet will be hurled into the Lake of Fire. The demons who accompanied the armies of Antichrist will be incarcerated in Hell, as I understand it.
Then Christ at the head of His saints and warrior angels will go through the earth, destroying the institutions of the Antichrist government and assigning the people left alive on the earth to their proper destinies.
For a period described as one thousand years, that I refer to as the Kingdom Age, Christ and His saints will govern the nations of the earth with a very strict rule. All people will be forced to obey Christ and behave righteously. No rebellion and sin will be permitted.
During the Kingdom Age, the members of the elect who were too immature to be resurrected and caught up to meet Christ in the air will be in the heavenly Jerusalem, where they will be nurtured by the victorious saints until they are ready to descend to the new earth and fulfill their role as members of the Royal Priesthood.
I hasten to add that no believer can put off serving Christ until he or she is in the heavenly Jerusalem. The truth is, all true Christians already have come to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God. They must serve Christ diligently if they would maintain their place in the heavenly Mount Zion, because there is coming a great shaking in which all that is not of Christ shall be removed from Mount Zion and thrown down to the earth.
His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. (Revelation 12:4)
It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. (Daniel 8:10)
At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shakenthat is, created thingsso that what cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:26,27)
The "created things" refer to all that is not wrought in Christ. Today the Spirit is inviting us to learn to live by the Life of Christ in all that we think, say, and do. That part of us which is of Christ will remain in the heavenly Jerusalem. All that is of the flesh will be removed back to the earth. All that is of Christ will lastnothing else.
I wish to dispel the idea that we can live a casual Christian life today and be brought to maturity later. We absolutely have to obey Christ when He comes to us, whether in the present world or the next. The issues we have faced and refused to gain victory over will pursue us. We cannot go around it!
At the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age the nations which were governed by the Lord and His saints, being tempted by Satan, will rebel against their kings. But fire will come down from the heaven and devour them.
Then the final resurrection and judgment will take place. Those found written in the Book of Life will be brought over to citizenship on the new earth. Those whose names were not found in the Book of Life will be assigned to the Lake of Fire.
God's will now has been done in the heavens so it can be done on the new earth. Here is the new world of righteousness we are looking for.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (II Peter 3:13)
As I see it, God has two major goals. The first is to destroy utterly rebellion and sin from His creation. The second goal is to enlarge His family, His Presence, the revelation of Himself.
I have been discussing in recent essays the doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity indeed is a venerable longstanding doctrine. I would not bother with it, except for the fact that at the current time it is working against what God is seeking to accomplish, that is, the enlarging of His family, the revelation of Himself in His creation.
The doctrine of the Trinity is involved and hedged about with many explanations. But there are three impressions gained by those of us who have not been involved in the explanations.
First, there are three equal Gods.
Second, there is one God in three manifestations.
Three, and this is where the problem is, there is a wall, a dividing line, between the Trinity and mankind that cannot be breached.
The idea of there being three equal God is disproved readily by the Scripture. It is obvious in the New Testament that the Lord Jesus obeys God.
Second, that there is one God in three manifestations also is disproved readily by the Gospel account. When the Lord Jesus prayed, "Let this cup pass from Me," If Christ were a manifestation of the Father and not a unique Person distinctly different from the Father, having His own unique will, then Christ's prayer in Gethsemane indeed is difficult to understand.
The truth is, the doctrine of the Trinity is faulty. The Lord Jesus is God's Son, with all that implies. Being God's Son, He is of the same Nature of God, just as human son is of the same nature as his father.
Christ is not co-eternal with the Father. If Christ was begotten of the Father, then there was a point a which the Father preceded the Son, just as a human father exists prior to his sin.
The Father is greater in authority than the Son. The Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, has been given by the Father all authority in Heaven and upon the earth. If the Father has given this authority to the Son, then the Father is greater in authority than the Son in that the Father has the authority to give such fullness of authority.
The Father knows more than does the Son.
Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father." (Matthew 20:23)
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, (Revelation 1:1)
The truth really is simple to understand. No training in theology is necessary. There is a God in Heaven. God has brought forth from His own Being a Son in whom He is well pleased. The Son is so complete a part of God's Person that He is referred to as the Word. God created the spirit and physical realms and their personages through the Word.
There came a point at which God invited the Word to pray to God that the Word might inherit the nations and the farthest reaches of the earthall of which the Word had created.
I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession." (Psalms 2:7,8)
At this point the Word became the Son. "Today" may refer to the time Mary conceived. God often proclaims matters hundreds of years before they happen. Yet, when God proclaimed them, they did happen for all intents and purposes.
So the Word became the Son. Then the Son had to be made perfect in obedience to His Father, which He did after much suffering. Now He has been made the supreme Lord of all., although remaining subject to His Father who made Him the supreme Lord.
For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. (I Corinthians 15:27)
As to the preeminence of Christ:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
We can notice several things from the declaration above.
First, God is invisible and Christ is His image.
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (I Timothy 3:16)
It is interesting, isn't it, that God cannot be seen by the angels except in Christ.
Christ is the "Firstborn." This is a foundation of the concept that God's goal is to enlarge His family, His visible Presence in the creation. The term "Firstborn" tells us clearly that more sons are on the way. And real sons too, not just some sort of religious expression.
How many sons we cannot determine at this point. But obviously more than one.
Christ not only made the spirit and physical realms and all their personages, but they were created for Him.
Christ existed before all the things He created, obviously, just as the Father obviously existed before the Word came forth from Him.
Christ is the Head of the Church, which is viewed as His Body.
Christ is the beginning. He is not the beginning of God, because God has no beginning. Rather, He is the beginning of the created worlds and personages. This would have to be since He created them.
Christ is the Firstborn from among the dead. Again, the term "Firstborn" tells us there will be more sons born from among the dead.
What does it mean to Christ to be born from among the dead? It means that what came forth when Christ rose from the dead is the beginning of a new creation, a new world.
What does it mean to us to be born from among the dead? It means that our spiritual nature has been conformed to the image of Christ and filled with all the fullness of God. Our body then is adopted, confirming that we indeed are a son of God.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
We now are a new creation. The old has passed away and all has become new and is of God. Now our goal is life is to reconcile the creation to God.
All the fullness of God dwells in Christ. If we will follow on to know the Lord, there will come a time when all the fullness of God dwells in us.
Through Christ, and through us, God intends to reconcile to Himself all things on the earth and in the heavenlies. This is possible because of the atonement made on the cross. All must come through the cross if they are to be reconciled to God.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)
Let me add that this does not mean the fallen angels and all people eventually shall be reconciled to God. This notion is not at all supported by the Scriptures.
The angels cannot be redeemed; no provision has been made for them. The people who will not be redeemed, not reconciled to God, and who will be assigned to the Lake of Fire, are those who refuse to obey the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no exception to this!
All people who will love and obey the Lord Jesus will be reconciled to God. All rebellion and sin shall be barred for eternity from the new world of righteousness.
Now, as to God's goal to enlarge His family.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of the Father and the Firstborn from the dead. When the Lord said, "It is finished," He meant that He is the First of the new creation, and everything before Him is finished in the Mind of God. Everything that matters is from that point forward.
There is a point of view that works against what God intends to do in our day. It is that there is a line that cannot be crossed, a wall between the Godhead and humanity. As long as that concept is held in mind, the hopes of the believer are limited to what is possible to flesh and blood.
The truth is, every member of the Royal Priesthood has been called to be a member of the family of God. Of such, that person, like our Lord, is both son of man and son of God. He or she is a partaker of the Divine Nature and no longer is merely a descendant of Adam. He or she truly has been born of God, not as a figure of speech but in reality.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of Godchildren born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. (John 1:12,13)
Well, it seems to me that if, upon receiving Christ, we actually have been of God, then we participate in the Divine Nature. In other words, we are a genuine part of the family of God, just as it true of the Lord Jesus.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (II Peter 1:4)
We are a participant in the Divine Nature. We now are part of the family of God.
Would you agree with me that the line has been crossed, the wall has been breached?
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. (Ephesians 3:14,15)
Can this be true? Is God really taking from the children of earth people who, by receiving Christ, are being made part of God such that their destiny is to be His image, His Presence, to His creation? Is He really lifting us from the ranks of mankind to be part of Himself?
It seems too good to be true, doesn't it?
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. (Hebrews 2:10,11)
The Lord Jesus makes us holy. We are of the same family as He.
Our chief delight is to be a brother of the Lord Jesus. But how could anyone be a brother of the Trinity; or a member of the wife of the Trinity; or a body of the Trinity?
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)
The verse above kind of says it, doesn't it. We are to be conformed to the likeness of the Lord Jesus. When that is true of us, we can say, "He who has seen us has seen Jesus." And since he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father, then it is true that we are bearing the image of God and thus can be instrumental in reconciling willing people to God.
We are becoming genuine brothers of the Lord Jesus, wouldn't you say?
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)
It appears to me that the verse above does away with the wall that has kept us from being close to our Father. We are to be one in the Father and the Son, just as the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father.
Is that what it is saying? Are we really to be one in the Father and the Son to this extent? This is what the Bible says; and I have learned in my life as a disciple of Jesus that what God has put in writing in the Bible cannot be changed and never shall be changed. Every word in the Bible is eternally true.
The Bible states that God has called us to be one with Christ and the Father. I choose not to stumble at that. The Bible says this. I believe it. It is done.
I really like the follow passage:
Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:17)
I do not know about you, but I get a sense from the passage above of Jesus' love for His followers. It is true that we want to be part of Him, but I think He is far more desirous that we be part of Him than we are to be part of Him.
I seem to feel that emotion in His words: "I am returning to My Father and your Father." "I am returning to My God and your God."
Do you get the feeling that He, having finished the work of atonement and having completely broken the authority of Satan over the creation, is now savoring His victory? "Here are my beloved friends and I am reconciling them to My Father and My God. They now are one family with Me, the family that takes its name from the Father."
We can believe that the Father is rejoicing.
We can believe that the angels who have been faithful to the Father are rejoicing.
We can believe that all Heaven is rejoicing.
We too should be rejoicing. We now really are one with Christ in the Father. We can rest in the bosom of the Father, in the very center of His Person and will, and realize to the core of our being that God is our Father and Jesus Christ is our Brother.
And it shall be so for eternity!