GOD'S GRAND PLAN
Copyright © 2018 Robert B. Thompson. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8—KJV)
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; (Hebrews 5:7—KJV)
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (Hebrews 5:8—KJV)
We also are to learn obedience to God by the things we suffer.
The entire period of time from the fall of Adam and Eve to the coming down to earth of the new Jerusalem has been for the purpose of teaching mankind stern obedience to the Father. In the beginning, mankind disobeyed God. God has begun this program by selecting from mankind a Church and teaching them to obey God carefully according to God’s standard.
These people, the Church, the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, will be brought down from the spiritual Zion to the new earth, as we read in the last two chapters of Revelation.
Each member of the Church, the Body of Christ, must be perfected in obedience. As soon as God is satisfied that these men and women have been perfected in obedience by ceasing from their own works and resting in the will of God in order to complete their personal destinies, they will be used of God to teach the remainder of mankind to obey God and also to worship the one true God.
(Ironically, current Evangelical doctrine teaches that we can be “saved”—by this is meant eligible to enter Heaven—by believing in Christ, but we can rely on “grace” to save us if we do not obey Christ’s commands or those of His Apostles. This of course is ludicrous, but it appears to be believed by millions of professing Christians.)
“I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations.” (Isaiah 66:19)
The passage above means that Christians are to be sent to the nations of the earth to teach them to always obey and worship the one true God. This shall take place as soon as the members of the Church have been prepared. I would say this is quite a different concept from the current notion that after Christians die they will rest forever in Paradise.
The next appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth will indeed be an epochal event.
“The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18—NKJV)
After Christ returns in His Glory, there will be a thousand years (literally or figuratively) in which Christ, and the Firstfruits of the Church, govern the world. I believe the purpose for the thousand-year period is to bring the members of the Royal Priesthood to the maturity required to govern the creation. Also, the nations on the earth will have grown accustomed to a government consisting of Christ and His saints. This would be in preparation for the final eternal government of the new Jerusalem.
At the end of the thousand-year period, God will release Satan from the bottomless pit. The fact that at this time a multitude of earth’s people will follow Satan, reveals that even a righteous government cannot force the peoples of the earth to obey and worship God. Individually, each man and woman must choose.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:7-9)
I wonder if this camp of rebels, so easily seduced by Satan, remembered what they had read in the Bible. They were doing that which their Bible taught was leading to their destruction.
So it is today that we read about Noah’s flood and the fire that destroyed Sodom and other cities of the plain. But Americans, although Bibles are in plentiful supply, tend to forget in the midst of their material abundance that our God is a God of wrathful destruction of the disobedient as well as a God of incomprehensible love, in that He watched His Son go to Calvary for the redemption of mankind.
We must stop right here and consider what has been stated.
How many people are we discussing? “The number of whom is as the sand of the sea, the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth.” These people obviously were an enormous multitude. Apparently they had not agreed with the restrictions placed upon them by Christ and His saints. Fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them. Apparently no residue remained of this mountain of corpses, and they are not mentioned again that I know of. We might be tempted to think of this as a necessary evil, and go on about our business. But these were fathers, mothers, and their children, each one having a name. I wonder if their names were written down somewhere by one of the survivors. Perhaps not, but that is a shame, isn’t it?
All these spirits must have gone to a penal camp in the spirit world in the Land of Darkness. It appears to me improbable that even though they were disobedient to God, they all were cast into the lake of fire. But it is not impossible. I believe Christ preached the Good News of salvation to the spirits who drowned in the days Noah.
After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, (I Peter 3:19,20)
We see therefore that the purpose of the thousand-year period between the return of the Lord, and the coming down of the Royal Priesthood from the heavenly Zion, is to prepare both the Priesthood and the saved people from the nations for the eternal rule of the new Jerusalem.
And now we come to the final resurrection of the dead. Every dead person, with the exception of those of the Church who had attained to the first resurrection when the Lord Jesus came to set up His Kingdom on the earth, will be called forth to stand before God. I believe that the people who are brought from the graves at this point, at the end of the 1000-year Kingdom Age, will be in their physical bodies.
Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:28,29)
As I see it, there only are two destinies. Either to be brought over to the new world of righteousness, or to be cast into the lake of fire.
Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15)
Some are teaching that those who are thrown into the lake of fire will finally be reconciled to God. I do not find this in the Scriptures.
“From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.” (Isaiah 66:23-24)
I ask you, does this sound like reconciliation to God? But that is our belief in the present hour.
On the seventh day of the creation, God did not work. Rather, He developed in His mind the plan that would bring about obedience on the part of all mankind, except for those who refuse to obey Christ. The rightful place of residence for the rebellious is the lake of fire. If they were permitted to remain among the saved people of the nations, they soon would reproduce what we see in the world today.
At the present time, God is watching over His Word, to perform it.
for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:10)
We enter God’s rest when we are completely and joyously obedient to every detail of God’s will for us.
Today, God’s people are being taught that God has given us His “grace” so that we don’t need to obey Him rigorously. We can disobey His will for us, and if we appeal to grace we are forgiven. In fact, I was taught in Bible school that God’s requirements are so strict that no one can obey them. The current teaching of grace is destructive nonsense. “Grace” in actuality is the wisdom and power of God coming to us through the Lord Jesus Christ in order that we may strictly obey the teachings of the Lord Jesus and His Apostles in every detail of our existence.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (I John 5:3)
“The love of God is that we keep His commandments.” A person who trusts in grace for salvation and continues to disobey Christ is not revealing love toward God. People raised in the current Evangelical doctrine of “grace” are not being prepared to teach the people of the nations obedience to the Father, because they themselves have not been taught obedience to the Father. Hence the theologic confusion among the churches. The conversion of the nations to obedience to the one true God and the worship of Him will come about as the members of the Body of Christ serve as channels through which the living Water can flow.
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38)
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. (Ezekiel 47:7)
The above are trees of life. Having been through the waters of judgment, the Water of Life pours out to the nations from the Throne of God that is in them. This is the fulfillment of the Levitical feast of Tabernacles.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1)
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)
The work of evangelism must continue throughout the world. But I believe that the emphasis of the present hour should be upon that of learning stern obedience to Christ and God. We can develop this characteristic by looking to the Lord Jesus for every thought we think, every word we speak, and every action that we take. This is how we enter the rest of God.
In His mind, God has completed all of His works through to the coming down of the Wife of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem, through the sky to be established upon a high mountain of the new earth. From there, the members of the Wife will nourish, teach, and judge those people of the nations who bring their treasures to the new Jerusalem.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24)
In the passage above, we can see clearly the distinction between the new Jerusalem, the glorified Christian Church, and the people from the nations who have been saved to citizenship on the new earth. This is what being “saved” means. It is to live forever under the Presence of Christ and His Church. This is the Kingdom of God, and we must be found worthy to be part of it.
All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. (II Thessalonians 1:5)
And as to the work facing us when the Lord appears:
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:18-21)
We may notice that there are seven steps in the plan of redemption:
- Unleavened Bread
- The Blowing of Trumpets
- The Day of Atonement
- The Feast of Tabernacles
These seven steps are the plan of redemption as it is symbolized in the seven Feasts of the Lord. These seven feasts are described in my other writings. The seventh feast, Tabernacles, represents the fullness of redemption. In the fullness of redemption, as Smith Wigglesworth stated, “There is a place where God, through the power of the Holy Ghost, reigns supreme in our lives.”
“I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)
The seven steps of redemption bring us to the Feast of Tabernacles. The spiritual fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles is the full possession by the Christian of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is the fifth of the Feasts of the Lord. The Firstfruits of the Christian Church is at the spiritual fulfillment of Pentecost. The believer who presses forward in the Pentecostal experience will come to the spiritual fulfillment of the Blowing of Trumpets—Christ coming to deal with the spiritual enemies in the believer.
Now the believer is to press forward into the Day of Atonement, in which every trace of self-will and the lusts of the flesh is removed from him or her. The believer is now ready for the full indwelling of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, represented by the Feast of Tabernacles.
In Noah’s day, there were five people saved by water. Because of the fullness of sin in the world today, there is approaching a Noah-like catastrophe.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. (Psalms 91:23)
At that time, all the people whom God deems worthy of salvation shall be saved to citizenship on the new earth. The members of the Royal Priesthood, the Firstfruits of the Church, will descend to earth as the new Jerusalem. Then the saints from the new Jerusalem shall go forth throughout all the world to teach the people of the one true God, and how we absolutely must obey and worship Him.
Brother Elmer E. Fullerton, who first taught us about the rest of God, used to sing this song:
“Filled with God, yes filled with God.
Pardoned and cleansed, and filled with God.”
(“God's Grand Plan”, 4313-2, proofed 20210814)