God’s Purpose and Plan for Man
God has eternally existed. In eternity past God created the angels before the creation of the universe (Job 38:7; Ps.148: 2,5, “for he commanded and they were created.”) Before the creation of man there was an angelic rebellion against God that was led by Satan (Is.14; Ez.28; 2 Pet.2:4; Job 4:18;Rev.12:4; Jude 6; Gen.3:1). Satan was sentenced to the Lake of Fire (Mt.25:41) but he was cast to the earth instead (Luke 10:18;Ezekiel 28:17). We are forced to ask why is Satan on the earth instead of in the Lake of Fire? The OT does not reveal much of this answer. In the NT we see that God is demonstrating (teaching) his character (also known as “the glory of God”) to all of creation through the vehicle of man. God’s character that consist of wisdom, love, justice and much more has been and continues at this moment to be seen in his interactions with man. Also, man’s involvement with God causes each individual man to become a witness of the character, or the glory, of God. In the end men will be called on to serve as witnesses in the final episodes of the great angelic trial involving Satan (1 Cor. 6:3; Heb.2:5; Rev. 12:10-12; Is.24:21-22) When man’s time is finished on this earth then this earth will be burnt up (2 Pet.3:10; Is.34:4; Rev.20:11; 21:1) and Satan’s sentence to the Lake of Fire will be secured (Rev.20:10). Man is created to Solve the Angelic Conflict a. All men fell in the Garden Romans 5:12, “Sin entered the world through on man. . .all sinned.” b. Men were now under the same condemnation as Lucifer. Romans 5:18, “The result of one trespass was condemnation for all men. . .” Mt. 25:41, “Depart from me you who are cursed into eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.” Eph. 2:2,3, “. . .the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the Spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. . . .Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. . .in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace. . .” c. Satan, along with the spiritual realm, considers the natural man as damned by God. Romans 8:36-39, “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor heavenly rulers (demons) . . .will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” d. Man has to be judged with the same sentence as Lucifer for God to maintain his fairness and justice. This is the cross: Isaiah 53:4-7, “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” e. We were created for God to demonstrate his full character to the whole creation including angels Ephesians 1:12, “In him we were also chosen, having been p0redestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 3:21, “To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations. For ever and ever! God’s Hidden Strategy 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Conditional “if” Sentences in the Greek: First Class. . . “if and it is true” (“If you are the Son of God, and I know you are. . .”) (1 Cor. 15:2) Second Class. . .“if and it is not true (Luke 7:39, “If this man were a prophet, and I know he is not. . .” (Mt.11:21; Mt.23:30; 1 Cor.2:8) Third Class. . . “if and I don’t know” (Mt. 4:9, “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me. What will you do?”) Fourth Class. . .“If and I wish it were true, but it is not” ( Luke 22:67, “If you are the Christ and I wish it were true but it is not, tell us.” “This age” 2 Cor.4:4 Satan is the god of this age. “Rulers” Greek word “arkon” also in: Col. 2:14, disarmed them Ep.3:10, church teaches them Ep.2:2, of the air The concept of not understanding leads to the wrong conclusion about circumstances: Ex.14:3 – Pharaoh will think. . .Israel is confused and attack them. Isaiah 53:4 – People will think . . .God is judging Jesus. 1 Corinthians 2:8 – Satan’s wisdom will tell him . . .he can kill Jesus and take over. 1 Cor.1:18-19, Cross is foolishness but it will destroy the wisdom of the wise. In this case Satan’s wisdom is overthrown by the hidden plan of God. Isaiah 29:14 God will frustrate the greatest wisdom of the wise men and angels. Acts 13:26-28 1 Corinthians 1:21 Isaiah 11:9 Matthew 11:25 Full Word of God Hidden Col. 1:25 Col. 2:15, Disarm them, Public spectacle of them, Triumphed by cross over them, Fragrance symbolizes both life and death “Disarm” is “apekdusamenos” means “to strip off, to put off as one puts off a garment.” “Public spectacle” is “edeigmatisen” and means “to display, to expose, to display as a victor displays his captives or trophies in a triumphal procession.” 2 Corinthians 2:14, The triumphal procession Note from “Linguistic Key to the Greek NT:” THRIAMBEUO: “TO LEAD IN A TRIUMPH. The picture is the triumphal entry of a military hero into the city of Rome. The victorious Roman general marched into the city in a long procession preceded by the city magistrates. They were followed by trumpeters, then the spoils taken from the enemy followed by white oxen intended for sacrifice, then the captives headed by the king of the conquered country, then officials of the victorious army and musicians dancing and playing, and at last the general himself in whose honor the whole wonderful pageant was taking place. Paul represents himself as one of the victorious general’s soldiers sharing in the glory of his triumph. OSMA FRAGRANCE, SWEET SMELL. It was customary for the triumphal processions to be accompanied by the release of sweet odors from the burning of spices in the streets.” 2 Peter 2:4 Jude 6 1 Peter 3:18-4:2 Administration of Grace Hidden Ephesians 3:2-13 mystery not made known in other generation but hidden in ages past is now the church making known the manifold wisdom of God. Others References Titus 1:3 promised before time. . .brought to light at appointed season Process: 1) Knowledge 2) Faith 3) Hope 4) Godliness 2 Timothy 1:8-12 Romans 16:25 1 Corinthians 2:7, secret wisdom that has been hidden Revelation 13:8, the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. Living in the Victorious Proclamation: The Church Age! Colossians 3:3, You are now hidden in Christ. 1 Corinthians 4:9 “We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.” God is currently searching for witnesses in favor of God against Satan. Next Week: The witnesses appear in court.