.To return to work page.
The Everlasting Gospel
Query for the Month
Next up-date: August 1st 2017 (God willing).
Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.
This article is available as a PDF file here. Or as a WORD doc.
Some perpetual questions ....
Do you know the difference between the "love"
that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world? Click here to find out!
Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download and share amongst your friends. It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read!
In the meantime, try this site.
Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.
In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding. Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library. No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly. All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.
When did the “everlasting” gospel begin? Can it even be said that it had a beginning? Surely it must always have been there?
When Lucifer finally committed the unpardonable sin and the rebellion began in earnest, he and one third of the angels left heaven because they could not stand what they considered to be physical pressure from God, but which was really just His normal energy level reacting with their new sinful natures. (See Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:3-4.)
God had not changed, they had.
Now it was necessary for Lucifer’s plans to be fully developed, that the true nature and tendency of rebellion might be seen by all. He, as the anointed cherub, had been highly exalted; he was greatly loved by the heavenly beings, and his influence over them was strong, so he must be persuaded to expose his motives to them, which would take some time.
Therefore, when the rebels accused Him of using force on them, for there was a war of words in heaven (Revelation 12:7), the LORD God led a host of loyal angels, and many of the elders of other worlds, to a small, insignificant, and dark “corner” of a galaxy and began a series of actions which laid out for all the universe what had just happened and what He intended to do about it. (We can be sure that they were followed by Satan and his rebels, at a safe distance, but eager to find out what God had in mind.)
Humans call it His act of creation, but that had happened millennia before this and the swarms of creatures in it testified to this. But, of course, none of them had been present until the end of the original creation, and because the big question which was on everyone’s mind (planted there by Lucifer turned Satan), was what was the real position of the angelic-like being called Michael (He who is like God), they had to be shown in a way they could understand.
Not by words, for God had already tried that for a long time, but by a series of acted out parables. Lucifer had so clouded the mystery of iniquity with deception that it was nearly impossible to decipher the truth, and the action parables were needed. At this time nothing new was created, but the original materials were transformed into other shapes and uses.
We are told about this by the following text:
1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork [note this]. 2 Day to day utters speech, and night to night shows knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
In them has He set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit to the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Thus Paul wrote:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, ‘Have they not heard?’ Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world”.
Hence this story which He, the Son of God, told to Moses when it came time for him to write the first few chapters of the Bible, some 2,500 years later.
First, how the universe and the people in it all began, in 10 words in the very first verse!
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth [as well as the other worlds and their inhabitants as part of the universal creation, all at same time].
In our part of the universe:
2 And the [planet] earth was without form [shapeless, because its surface was covered with moving water], and [it was] void [of life]; and darkness [the absence of light] was upon the face of the deep [and its associated solar system].
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
God plans far ahead and as He had bestowed the gift of free-will on His creatures, so He had also considered the possibility of rebellion and made provision for it. The solar system containing earth was part of the plan.
We have this description of the event:
6 By the Word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap: He lays up the depth in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear [respect] the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
And a subsequent one:
1 God [the Father], who at sundry [various] times and in divers [different] manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days [of the Jewish nation] spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir [manager] of all things, by whom also He made the worlds. 3 Who being the brightness of His [the Father’s] glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high . . .
So He not only spoke the universe into existence, but has also sustained it since then. (Acts 17:28.) The very existence of the universe testifies to the power of justification (creation) and sanctification (growth) - the everlasting gospel. It was a bit of a mystery to the angels, but understandable, and now He set out to explain it.
Much later, He was to speak to a loyal follower and say:
3 Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and answer you Me. 4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding: 5 who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God [“the watchers and the holy ones”, Daniel 4:17] shouted for joy?
8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? [And the response is: only He who was there knows the answers.]
And that is what He was doing then.
In another translation this reads:
Job 38:1-11The Message (MSG)
And now, finally, [the Son of] God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm [the energy which surrounds Him]. He said:
2-11 “Why do you confuse the
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!
Up on your feet! Stand tall!
I have some questions for you,
and I want some straight answers.
Where were you when I created the earth?
Tell me, since you know so much!
Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!
Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
How was its foundation poured,
and who set the cornerstone,
While the morning stars sang in chorus
and all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the ocean
[at the Flood]
when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,
and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it,
a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.
Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
This established the occupation of all three of the Persons comprising the Godhead in the minds of the spectators. God the Father thinks the thought; God the Son speaks the thought; God the Spirit binds it all together, for They were all present at that time, working together. That harmony we call GOD.
Then came the transformation of the solar system (not the creation):
3 And God [the Son] said, “Let there be Light”: and there was Light.
4 And God saw the Light, that it was good:
and God divided the Light from the darkness.
5 And God called the Light “Day”, and the darkness He called “Night”.
And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Where did that Light come from? There was no sun or moonlight there at that time. But all those who were watching on saw it emanate from the Son, for He is the Light of the world! (John 1:1-14.) This was something that no creature could do and it immediately set Him up as different!
Step by step He began to build a home for a new race of creatures, and in doing so, He taught the watchers (and us, if we are willing), of how He had made them. At the same time He showed what He intended to do with His new responsibility. That Light which now shone all around the solar system, represented His saving grace, that which would transform sinful human beings into those who love the LORD. Of course, there was no individual to show this on (or in, for Satan and his followers had refused it), but He then stopped work and left the spectators for twenty-four hours to reflect on what He had done. His creatures are not without intelligence and one of the things they like doing is posing puzzles for others to work out, and so they eagerly took up the challenge. (Consider Judges 14:11-18.)
We are not told if He went away or just stood there, but we are told that the angels talked together, and sang about His past experiences with them. This went on for a long time for they had much to sing about and they are happy creatures. But when we see the complexities of the life forms that came into sight later we can be sure that He, His Father and the Spirit spent quite a bit of time thinking about their construction, and the home They were making for them.
But then it came time to add another clue to the puzzle, so He collected the atmospheric gases:
6 And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters”. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven [our atmosphere].
And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Seeing the bafflement on His creatures’ faces when at last they admitted they could not solve it, He no doubt smiled and added the next part of the riddle. Collecting a lot of the gases from the planet’s structure, He used them to separate the water into two parts – one of which He left on earth and the other He lifted up into the sky as clouds, separating them by the air, which itself is water in another guise!
In this He illustrated what had just happened in the angels’ home: the separation which had occurred between loyalists and rebels.
But, and this is important, He had added a new dimension, a new substance which although it had been there before in small quantities was now concentrated into a third area. The first two still looked the same right down to the microscopic level (H2O), although they were in separated positions, but this was entirely new.
What was going on? Much later, an angel interpreter was able to tell John that “The waters which you saw [in the vision], where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues”, so eventually the watchers surrounding the planet earth got the message regarding the firmament. Revelation 17:15.
It represented humanity, for the human body is, on average, 65% water.
But at first this was not so clear because the atmosphere did not look like water, so they were given another twenty-four hours of assessment, and eventually they came to realise that what they were looking at represented the rebel angels, and themselves as loyal ones, with the lives of some other creatures in between them! They were smart creatures! They had said, “Don’t tell us, let us work it out” and now they were expecting some new living things, as an earthly family awaits the arrival of a new baby. So He waited till they gave up and asked for the next clue.
A side thought:
The length of the twenty-four hours for a day was eventually to be confirmed by the rotation of the earth, but of course, that could not be seen immediately for it was under water. In the meantime the LORD God took care of the timing to show that He had full control over the elements of the planet, and right on cue He took the next step. The angels recognised that this corresponded to the times that must have transpired during their creation. (Why did their creation require spacing? We’ll see the answer to that shortly.)
Then He laid a restriction on the surface waters, to show that He had now laid a restraint on Satan and his followers.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear”: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth”: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day [after the spontaneous applause had died down].
As the lower waters were gathered together into great lakes some of them were absorbed into the earth in reservoirs and eventually some became underground rivers connecting one lake area to another, and the dry land appeared above and around them. Then it was that the land produced quantities of grass and plants and trees of every description, all of which in turn produced fruit (and seeds) that were exclusively of their own species. They required the moisture of the “firmament” to continue to propagate their fruit, but this was not immediately apparent, although the “mists” were. Genesis 2:5-6.
What the attentive ones saw in the sudden appearance of the plants was that the result of the interaction of the lower waters (the rebel angels) and the higher waters (the loyal angels) on the dry land where the air was, that the plants, and therefore the fruit, grew. Thus the Son of God showed that activities on the earth would be the result of the combination of rebel temptation, loyal angel guidance, and human response.
The creation and then the transformation began a series of earthly lives which over a period of the next 4,000 years slowly revealed to the people of the universe what was going on. And yet, even with that lengthy illustration it took until the crucifixion before they really understood the underlying point: that Satan is a destroyer only and God is a restorer only, for then they saw Satan attempting to kill Christ. (Most Christians are still learning this!)
During their time of contemplating, the minds of some of the inhabitants of the universe, both good and bad, began to get the impression that not only the plants, but also themselves, were there for a purpose which was not readily apparent. So they waited.
Right on time came the next hint:
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth”: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He [had] made the stars also [in the beginning which are also great lights, but they were a long way from the planet earth].
17 And God set them [the new lights] in the firmament of the heaven [space] to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. [Nearly half of the observable star systems have double, or even more, suns, as the earth now did.]
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
When the Son of God turned His attention the next day out into the realms of the solar system, the watchers expressed great interest in the two planets which suddenly burst into flames. They took notice of the words of God that these had more than just a practical use, but would also be involved as symbols and for the distinguishing of “seasons” and “time – days and years etc.”, words that had no meaning for them as yet.
But here was their first inkling that this world would have a finite type of life,
a thought that was entirely new to them, for they lived in infinity.
Later, one of the prophets was told:
26 Moreover [in the new world] the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD binds up the breach of His people, and heals the stroke of their wound [because it was like that in the beginning].
Then he was informed:
19 The sun shall be no more your [only] light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give [reflected] light to you: but the LORD shall be to you an everlasting Light [like that first day], and your God your glory.
20 Your sun shall no more go down [in brightness]; neither shall your moon withdraw itself [go out]: for the LORD shall be your everlasting Light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
21 Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, [they will be] the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.
Another aspect which took the attention of the watchers was the way in which plants responded to the first great light during the day [it represented the Holy Spirit], and also to the lesser power of the second great light, the moon [picturing the Bible, which at first was only oral], during the night.
Because of their spacing in the system these two orbs complimented each other so that there was never a time on the dry land when the darkness could take over completely again. (This represented a special gift from God. Genesis 3:15.) There was just a dimming from bright to medium and back to bright, as the progress of the gospel was to ebb and flow in history.
Between the confining of the earthly waters and the heavenly lights it was obvious to the angels that the LORD had control over what was happening, and would happen, on the earth, but that He was allowing natural powers to mould most of it. But what was it they wondered?
So far, in the four periods, they had seen the LORD God adjust the solar system and the planet so that now it resembled more closely the worlds in which they lived. But there was a singularity about it that intrigued them. By now the attention of both “waters”, the loyal and the rebel creatures, was riveted on the scene unfolding before them.
In due time another clue was able to be added to the explanation:.
20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven”.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moves [fish, crabs etc.], which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth”. [Each species illustrated a specific lesson from God and this began an intensive study of His character.]
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
After the suitable period between the fourth day and the next Michael stepped out in full view and spoke again. This time many life forms suddenly appeared before the wondering eyes of the watchers and the holy ones. Swarms of birds and fishes of every description from immensely large ones to intensely small ones hardly visible to the eye were moving freely about in the air and in the water.
But it did not escape the observant eyes of spectators that rarely did one kind move into the element of the other. It could be done, but not for long.
What they also noted was that there were some creatures in the water which needed to come above it from time to time to obtain life-sustaining air.
Then finally came the earthbound creatures, which were varieties of cold-blooded and warm-blooded living things.
Animals and insects:
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind”: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And at last came the crowning achievement:
26 And God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth”.
27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. [At this point there was only one body and both gender characteristics were in it.]
28 And God blessed them [as one], and God said to them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion [watchcare] over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”.
29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it [the seed and the fruit] shall be for meat [food]”.
30 “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have [also] given every green herb [the leaves of the plant] for meat”: and it was so. [The diet was vegetarian for all.]
31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good [righteous and informative]. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
At this point nearly all the players were in place and the spectacle could begin, but, as mentioned before, it was going to take some time to unravel.
In fact, we are told about its continuation in the New Testament times.
8 To me [Paul], who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery [an, as yet, unexplained truth], which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 to the intent [for the purpose] that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our LORD . . .
In another translation:
Ephesians 3:8-13 The Message (MSG)
7-8 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.
8-10 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
11-13 All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go. So don’t let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
That which we have already read could be seen as the full story of the beginning of this world as a spectacle, as the poet has written: “All the world’s a stage” (see endnote 1); but, wait, there’s more . . .
As we move on into the next chapter in Genesis, we are told of an event of special significance to our study today. Like many of the really important points in the gospel, this one is given almost “in passing”. Watch that you don’t miss it!
Genesis Chapter 2:
The end of the transformation:
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested [ceased to create or transform although He still sustained] on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it [set it aside as special]: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.
Thus He explained to the angels where and when their day of worship had originated, for the seventh day applies just as much to them as it does to humans. It had begun right there at their creation. I don’t know how He regulates it in different worlds, but it will be interesting to find out one day.
So He says:
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
11 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Now we are given more details regarding the transformation:
4 These are the generations [the fine points of the beginnings] of the heavens and of the earth when they were created [transformed], in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life; and man became a living soul.
We can note that the LORD God first fashioned a body out of the materials of the earth, and THEN He breathed Life into it. He did not give the body a soul, but a breath.
Man became a living soul by the combination of body and breath, for the word “soul” simply denotes a person made up of those two things, like a light bulb with its glass body and electrical power which together can produce light.
God says that a soul can die, for there is no such thing as an immortal soul: “Behold, all souls are Mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sins, it shall die”. Ezekiel 18:4.
That is the same as switching off the electric power from the light bulb and the light ceasing to exist, even though the glass bulb and the power remain (but separated). “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit [the Breath of Life] shall return unto God who gave it”. Ecclesiastes 12:7.
Now we move on to the special home:
It was actually one of God’s country estates which He has in different worlds!
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man [singular] whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil [as it came to be known].
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads [which went out into the rest of the world].
[This all changed physically at the time of the Flood when the Garden was removed to safely abide in heaven, so, Moses added in their day’s terms:]
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good: there is [also] bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasses the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goes toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
In a vision intended to illustrate the new world and the temple of it, and yet be a fact on earth (which sadly, never happened), the prophet/priest Ezekiel was shown what that river represented. It came first of all from the throne of God, and then went out into the world increasing as it went, for it was a picture of the gospel going to all the world through human messengers.
1 Afterward He [the LORD God, Ezekiel 46:1] brought me again to the door of the house [in the courtyard of the new temple, God’s house, in his vision]; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house [the front door] eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under [God’s throne in the second apartment] from the right side [the north] of the house, at the south side of the [brass] altar [which was off to one side of the courtyard].
2 Then brought He me out of the [courtyard by] way of the gate northward [on the north side], and led me about the way without [along the outside] to the utter [outer] gate by the way that looks eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side [of the gate, the side of favour].
3 And when the Man [the Son of God] that had the line in His hand went forth eastward, He measured a thousand cubits [about 500 yards or metres], and He brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. [Ezekiel was being given a lesson in history.]
4 Again He measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again He measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.
5 Afterward He measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed [walked] over.
6 And He [the LORD God] said to me, “Son of man [you representative man], have you seen [understood] this?” [It is the Spirit who explains all the symbols.] Then He brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.
7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 Then said He to me, “These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the [Dead] Sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters [of it] shall be healed. 9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that lives, which moves, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river comes” [This is another way of describing the new birth and the gospel]
. . .
11 “But the miry places [bogs] thereof and the marishes [marshes] thereof [the rejecters] shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt”.
12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow [the greatest of] all trees for meat [food], whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof [ever] be [totally] consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. [Today, that tree represents the Bible.]
Thus about 3,500 years after the transforming of the earth, God’s people were again shown the Son of God’s work in the great controversy. Nearly 500 years before His incarnation the vision was again written out and presented to the people, who then studiously ignored it! But it still holds great lessons for us, as well as for the angel spectators at the time of the earth’s transformation.
In case we missed it, it was shown again in the last vision of the Bible.
1 And he [John’s angel guide] showed me a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it [in the middle of the channel], and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life [it had two trunks which met in the middle of the river], which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:
4 And they shall see His face; and His name [character] shall be in their foreheads [minds].
But let’s get back to the newly fashioned planetary system:
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it [as gardener of the estate].
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” [You will separate from Me the God of Life, both immediately and continuously as Lucifer has done].
There was another significant Tree in the middle of the garden – it was the only place of temptation in that beautiful estate. Why was it a place of temptation? Because it was God’s private tree and to eat of it would be to steal His fruit!
It could be had for the asking, because God is generous to a fault, but to take of it without permission was to break the Law of God.
There was nothing special about it – it even looked like all the others – but God had declared it to be out of bounds, and of course, that was naturally where the serpent agent of the Devil lurked. Consider Genesis 3:1-7.
It was then that the final clue had been added:
18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him a help meet [fit] for him”. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God [had] formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air [in their couples]; and [now He] brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called [the species of] every living creature, that was the name [character] thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam [it was noticed that] there was not found a help meet for him.
In the final act of the transformation, the Son of God had then showed that the new creature had great intelligence by getting him to describe the characters and purposes of each species, some of which the angels had not yet figured out. They came to him two by two, their natural state, and only when the naming was finished did the question arise, “Where is Adam’s mate?”
In answer to the question, the Son of God performed an operation on Adam and separated the genders into two separate bodies. From all that had proceeded previously it was plain that He did not need to do that, or make a show of the fact that the new body was made from one of Adam’s bones.
We are not told in words whether He breathed the Breath of Life into Eve or whether she carried on with Adam’s, but that will no doubt be revealed to you if you ask, for that will answer another question you might have.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her to the man [for a wedding ceremony].
23 And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh”.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed [for they wore the normal robe of light].
Why did the Son of God do that? Or, rather, why did He do it that way?
All the other earth creatures were fashioned in pairs from the beginning, but Adam was first made in the likeness of God, and, as the angels are also the “sons of God” (Job 38:7), he was made in their likeness also – two genders in one body.
But now they were separated.
The first ever to be so in the history of the created universe.
And yet Adam’s words indicated that they should still be one, for he was not surprised by this new development. (Genesis 2:24.)
What could be God’s purpose in this?
Gradually the idea came to the spectators that their world (heaven) was now short of many members and that given the earthly marriage and the command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), the new species (humanity) would be able to replace the missing ones. Adam and Eve, and their descendants, were being given the privilege of pro-creation, and the opportunity to repopulate the universe!!
That brings humans even closer to God than the angels can ever be!
As we have seen, Sabbath observance was old even at that time, but the idea of marriage and children was brand new. It was not something that the creatures of the universe were familiar with, for there had not been any need to increase the number of living creatures before. Jesus told some of His critics, “Do you not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they [the righteous] shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven”. Mark 12:24-25. So the idea was new, and from those words, we can see that it was designed to be temporary.
But that does seem to be a roundabout way of getting that result.
Then the penny dropped!
The big question had always been – where did the Son of God fit in?
Now they had an answer which they could understand. Like Eve, He had been part of the Father from eternity and then He was separated. He had “come forth” as we shall read.
Under the pseudonym of “Wisdom” He has since told us about Himself.
20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: 21 that I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures [of knowledge].
22 The LORD possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 26 while as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
Partaker of “everlasting Life” while in the bosom of the Father, He retained that along with all the other talents God has, and is, therefore God’s equal in all ways. That’s why John tells us that: “the Word was [is] God” . . . and “in Him was Life”. John 1:1 and 4.
Unlike Eve who was only a portion of Adam and left the man depleted and even deprived of some emotions and capabilities, Michael was indeed “He who is like God” “the brightness of His glory [character] and the express image of His person [physically and mentally]”. Hebrews 1:3.
He was, therefore worthy of the words, “Let all the angels of God worship Him” [as God], for He [the Spirit] also said, “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever:
a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Your kingdom . . . therefore God, even Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows”. Hebrews 1:8-9.
6 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
So the “gospel” is literally “everlasting” with no beginning or end because it is the story and purpose of Christ, the Son of God.
* Note 1:
"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play . . .
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts . . .
"Pythagoras said that this world was like a stage
Whereon many play their parts; the lookers-on, the sage".
When it was founded in 1599 Shakespeare's own theatre, The Globe, may have used the motto Totus mundus agit histrionem (All the world plays the actor), the Latin text of which is derived from a 12th-century treatise.
Ultimately the words derive from quod fere totus mundus exercet histrionem (because almost the whole world are actors) attributed to Petronius*, a phrase which had wide circulation in England at the time of Sakespeare.
Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Next query. To be discussed from 1st August 2017
7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed a hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. . . .
7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands . . .
In the Revelation there are two texts which some theologians tell us are describing the same group, but they have different words! How can they be the same?
To see the list of some my past queries and work them out yourself with God, click here.
To see past queries and my responses, click here.
Send in your thought on this current query.