The Revealed Plan
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan tohis servants the prophets. Amos 3:7
The bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun but are your ears ready to hear what God has revealed? God has something planned for every generation that has already been revealed by recording them in the Holy Scriptures. Are we seeking, asking and knocking at Godís door to know what they are so we will be prepared to meet him in the air. When Christ comes we may not know everything that God has planned but we will be amazed in the way he completes his plans as promised.
The written word of God says mankind is without excuse because they know God created the heavens and the earth. The bible says;
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Psalms 19:1-3
The bible also reveals what may be known to man has been made obvious through the perceiving eyes of Godís creation.
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities ó his eternal power and divine nature ó have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20
When we take time to consider our natural surroundings we canít help but notice an intelligent design in what we see. Everything has a purpose and has a specific manner of doing things to support the life surrounding the man God created. There can be only one answer a Supreme Being exists who created living things capable of moral reasoning behaving in like manner. Yet God has made his prize creation responsible to him because man is a created possession of God.
God wants his authority to be recognized above all and any established order. In this matter God is warning mankind there are powers that assume their right to rule over Godís creation. God warns mankind that they can be deceived because many seek the absolute power to rule mankind. When the truth is revealed God rules his people through faith but has given man control of the destiny his deeds has chosen though no man has seen him.
God has offered a plan of salvation and is ready to receive manís response. The plan sent the Lamb of God his messiah into the world to assume manís sin and pay the due penalty for the sins of the world. God wants man to accept that Jesus as our atonement and wants us to accept Jesus as our Lord. When we accept Jesus our sins were atoned, our sins were forgiven and we have been redeemed to serve our creator.
How is that we can know where we will spend eternity before we physically die? The assurance comes through a choice to serve God by faith as soon as we make Jesus Lord of our life. What follows is a personal relationship with God. Thatís when we learn our names have been written in the Lambís book of life confirming our future with eternal life. Our salvation is further confirmed with the peace we have with God knowing our sins have been forgiven and forgotten. Since then Jesus has become a friend closer than a brother.
In Genesis chapter three in dealing with sin God revealed something we often overlook. After God had investigated the cause for deceit leading to Adam and Eveís sin, God gave a reason for his method of judgment. God said to Eve ďwhat is this you have doneĒ (Genesis 3:13) but to the serpent God said ďbecause you have done thisĒ (Genesis 3:14) and to Adam God said (Genesis 3:17) ďbecause you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded youĒ. God revealed that each person would receive a Judgment according to what they have done. This premise can be traced throughout the bible warning mankind that they will be judged according to what they have done.
Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. John 5:29
God has also revealed that he thinks and acts differently than men do.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
As men we can discern some reasons why Godís thoughts and deeds are different from men. For example God does not have a calendar or a clock to govern his use of time. Godís thoughts to some extent are governed without time restrictions because he is eternal. However the decisions he makes have to endure for ages and establish peace and harmony well into his future. His decisions are consistently practical and designed so that he doesnít have to redo things again due to a fault that causes things to fail. His disposition is one of prudence testing everything to know how his creation reacts to common temptations. He wants to know whether his people will follow instructions and whether his people are hot or cold. Then God records his findings in a book that will lay open at the precise time to reveal what you have done during your life.
The bible reveals when man prosper they put God aside then God does something to gain their attention by making them serve their enemies. Throughout the bible God reveals that man does not pay attention to Him, reform their lives or make the effort to understand why God created mankind. It has been said that the need for something is the mother of invention. Are we to believe that God created mankind because he could or do we comprehend that God had a need he wants to fill.
But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Micah 4:12
God has a mission and purpose for everything he has revealed. To those who lack the wisdom to seek God, to them what God has revealed is irrational and foolish. To those who can fathom the reality of God existence also seek God by faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
God also spoke to the prophets who wrote the inspired word of God and revealed his plans openly to the world. The Lord confides in those who hold him in reverence so his plan affecting our future would become known to everyone. God came in his time to give his prophets insight and understanding into his kingdom. God has also revealed that he gave men a means of knowing how he expects men to discipline their lives.
Ears that hear and eyes that see ó the Lord has made them both. Proverbs 20:12
Even though man has ears to hear and eyes to see man only sees and hears things that they are interested in. Even then the very things that could save them from sorrow are rejected. God says.
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Proverbs 4:20
To those who reject the knowledge God imparts God says;
But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. Deuteronomy 29:4
Jesus said do not be deceived. The things you do not know or understand lead to ruin primarily because you did not know how to proceed. Lacking the knowledge of Godís plan and personally knowing God will prevent you from going to heaven. Jesus revealed these truths.
For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect ó if that were possible. Matthew 24:24
I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. John 14:29
When God has completed his plan will you be caught by what you did not know? The consequence of not understanding Godís plan is irreversible eternal torment.
There is no peace," says the Lord , "for the wicked." Isaiah 48:22
God Master Planner
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. Proverbs 21:1
Iíve been reading about how God has used certain kings throughout history to establish his goals and direct the affairs of men. Cyrus gave a decree, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, Belshazzar saw writing on the wall, and Darius reconfirmed the decree of Cyrus the Great. Due to interpreting a dream Joseph was elevated second to Pharaoh and like other kings in the bible that were influenced by godly men and women.
The influence of godly men and women turned the tables on evil men and rewrote history for the Godís people. They were people who displayed a strong belief in God had a tremendous impact on evil men as they revealed reverence and respect for their God in their lives. I canít help but believe these men stood their ground in critical times in their life. All we have to do is look at the Lord Jesus Christ to see itís possible for God to change history and human culture through one man.
How many people read and study the life of Jesus Christ. Some say he is the most studied person ever lived specially among those who propagate the gospel. Christ was the one person appointed to carry out Godís plan of salvation in hopes no man would perish. Godís plan made it possible to be saved from the coming wrath of God because of Godís compassion for men who fail to understand who and what they are in Godís eye. What God has planned astonishes those who know God as much as those who do not know God, which includes those who serve God and those who do not.
Among the people who do not serve God in this world, how many people take God seriously? How many are aware that God has a mind of his own and is able to make decisions contrary to the human desire. Most people hope they have been good enough to be counted worthy of going to heaven but are deceived because they repeatedly sin in Godís eye. God has inspired men to put into writing what he expects of mankind and what mankind can do to ensure going to heaven. In summarizing his plan God said;
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3
However no one takes God seriously unless he holds God in the highest regard and looks to him for wisdom. Those in the world want to live their way but that idea keeps them in constant turmoil because they reject the wisdom and restraints God finds necessary to live in an orderly manner. To manage his affairs God takes time to consider known facts before designing a plan to accomplish his goals. When things are planned right then anyone can know the end before they plan things.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. Isaiah 46:10
Even when people seek the Lord they donít always pay attention; come to an agreement or reform their ways. If they would only listen to God to understand his reasoning they would turn from their wicked way God would heal them (Matthew 13:15). Paying attention to God has a reward and prevents you from saying if I only known I would have done things differently.
Every plan has a purpose and God has revealed that he is building a kingdom of priests that desire to serve him throughout eternity. Within his purpose, God established a mandatory moral standard for each person to adopt so they may be counted worthy of eternal life. The plan reveals that any violation of Godís moral standard is rebellion against God and the error of your way will be disciplined.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not thesmallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Matthew 5:18
Godís purpose will be completely accomplished - to the last letter. Everything he has planned will be done so fix it in your mind and take it to heart it will happen as planned. Godís purpose was established by decree long ago; God has provided redemption for his people through every covenant made with man. Yet his purpose will be unsuccessful unless God remains faithful to his word to ensure his plan and promises achieve his chosen outcome.
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
The person who pays attention to Godís words and puts them into practice is liken unto a wise man who built his home on a solid foundation which is the rock of Christ. For when the storms of life beat down the doors to your home your home will remain intact. The person who rejects Godís words and does not put them into practice is liken unto Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall and all of the kingís men could not put him back together again.
The bible says that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3). God planned that to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12) and would not perish. To those who received Jesus Christ into their life as Lord we have access to the Father and become a member of Godís household and citizens of Heaven.
Godís plan is awesome but it has conditions that require you to choose and accept. The choice requires you to take hold of the gospel and continue to live by faith. God has become your father and he expects you to obey him in the same way you obeyed your human father. God has the right to discipline your life because you are his child; you now belong to his household and live under his roof. His parenting goals is similar to our own in that we raise our children to be honored and respected by our peers; to develop a demeanor that is fair to others and demonstrates a godly love for one another.
Godís Plans Are Credible
The credibility of Godís plan is often determined by whether you choose to believe the details of his plans or doubt its veracity. Still the plan of God can be seen from insight and known from hindsight. Then again Godís plan can be experienced or felt from a distance. On the other hand the plans of God cannot be overturned because mankind ignores them or attempts to nullify them.
God has made his plans known not only because they affect our lives but so we can participate in them. Making the attempt to understand Godís plans gives insight into their importance but on the other hand hindsight reveals that you should have taken God to heart and his plan even more seriously. There will be a day you will come before God and you will be unable to say what have I gotten myself into or just plain oops! On that day your opinion will not be worth two cents and what God decides may not be in your favor.
It pays to know how to counter the schemes of the devil and know how to resist thoughts that are really meant to deceive? Satan asked Eve ďDid God really sayĒ (Genesis 3:1) which is thoughts that brought doubt into Eveís beliefs. In the same way doubt not only makes you question the credibility of Godís word but makes you uncertain whether it is the truth. When it is all said and done experiencing the power of God gives his plan credibility when Satan flees from you.
In his book How To Study The Bible For Yourself, Tim Lahayemakes it clear that the bible is a commentary on itself. The repeating of certain phrases adds credibility to its precept. For example
Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
Is a principle that tells us why we fail when we attempt to fightour spiritual battles in our own power? The reality that nothing is impossible to God makes it possible for God to succeed in what we fail to achieve. David was faced with what was humanly impossible on the day he faced Goliath in combat. David enters the battle scene with this principle firmly fixed in his mind and by faith he said:
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spearthat the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:47
Hanna in her praise for what the Lord had done for her said this;
"It is not by strength that one prevails; 1 Samuel 2:9
And the psalmist wrote.
It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. Psalms 44:3
The principle demands that you not place trust in your own strength, your skills, or your good nature but to trust in the Lord completely to conquer the temptations and fight the spiritual battles you are facing. This principle teaches you to use your faith in God trusting in his promises to fight your battles. The credibility of this principle gives you the confidence to quench the fiery darts flung at you through trust in God.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16
Connecting two virtues add credibility to Godís plan. God gave us the right to become children of God by a decision of his. And because of his decision he retains the right to raise you according to what is right in his eyes.
This is what the Lord says ó your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:" I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18
There are many doctrines in Godís plan that resembles the methods we as human beings use every day. Godís plans develop credibility because we understand his plan through our earthly experience. For example how do we understand the principle of growth without ever planting a garden? There is purpose to prepare the soil, sow the seed, fertilization, cultivation and harvest the crops because they are all a part that leads to the dinner table. Yet God applies these same principles to raising his children for the day will come when he harvests the earth of its fruit. In this principle those who participate in the divine nature are taught to escape the corruption of the world and avoid the spots and blemishes caused by sin.
When the words spoken by the prophets come to pass Godís plan becomes extremely credible. God has revealed himself in many ways but he has also revealed his son to those who were not seeking him. God moved men and women to seek him and obtain a reverential and sacred knowledge of him. The evidence is found in those who were drawn to God followed by change of heart to please their maker.
To Moses God revealed;
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. Deuteronomy 18:18-19
God confirmed Deuteronomy 18:18-19 by revealing through Christ;
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." John 12:48-50
God revealed the plans for his atoning grace.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 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. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:1-12
When Christ came into the world he gave evidence of his purpose;
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17
"This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Luke 24:44
Jesus Christ also said
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am ó it is written about me in the scroll ó I have come to do your will, O God.'" Hebrews 10:5-7
God accredited his plans through Paul about the life of Christ;
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:21-24
Death could hold him, for three days after his crucifixion Christ was raised from the grave so his body would not see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life (Acts 2:32) and seated him at his right side. Yet Christ will return in the near future to gather his elect and present a holy people to his father who is God.
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Completion Of Godís Plan
A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself crowned king and then planned to return. Some of his servants took exception and did not want this person to become their king. Then the noble man returned as king and demanded an accounting from his servants. Afterwards, his servants were rewarded according to the increase or the profit earned. Those who did not want the man of noble birth to be their king were granted their wish but not the way they expected. Instead they were summarily put to death. (Luke 19 Parable of the minas)
A parable is a simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth because they are illustrated by everyday experiences we are familiar with. Nearly every normal task has a standard way of doing them along with the character traits of people have not changed over the years. When the task is known the method that guarantees its success can be assumed without having to give the details. At the same time meditation on the parable leaves room for different opinions and gives life to the parable because Godís word is;
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Jesus used a number of parables to explain what the kingdom of God was like and to reveal what we can expect on the day he returns and gathers the fruit of the earth. Jesus spoke of his imminent return in most of the parables and expressed that we were to be ready, alert and at work.
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Mark 13:32
God has planned and set apart a day when those who crucified him will see him coming in the clouds seated at the right hand of God. Every eye shall see him when our Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire surrounded or followed by his angels. 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him (Isaiah 40:10). The Lord planned this day to punish those who do not know God and have not obeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus. In addition to being cut off from the land of the living they will be thrust from his presence into everlasting destruction.
On the other hand God has planned a day to be glorified in his holy people and to gaze in awe by those who have believed and participated in his plan. They will be reminded that God will quickly bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he not as promised repay those who have troubled you double what troubled you?
Hear, O earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law. Jeremiah 6:19
Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light. (Amos 5:18). Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. (Joel 2:1-2).
For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:27
It will be a day of darkness but the splendor of his coming will light up the skies and every eye shall see him and the peoples of the earth will mourn. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people and he will swallow up death forever. Behold God says I am making all things new for the old order of things is no longer God's way.
There is no more need for the sun or moon as God will be the light of heaven. Time will not be measured or confined to days and years. The precious metals and jewels we once adorned our bodies with will surround us but as the building materials of heaven. Pearls became the gates of heaven, the walls inlaid with precious stone and the roads paved with gold.
The river of life is clear as crystal and will flow from Godís throne down the middle of the great street of the city. Beside the river is the tree of life that bore twelve crops of fruit in their season. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. The people of God will see his face and they will be receiving a new name written on their foreheads.
Jesus said in his fatherís house there are many rooms and he was going there to prepare a place for us. He also said he would come back to take you there. Then he said you know the way to the place where I am going because I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
It comes right down to the facts God laid out in his plan and you have no excuse because you know God exists. He sent his Son so that every person of this world could see and hear Godís message; understand it and turn from evil. His plan includes the right to believe in him so you would not perish but have life lavished on you in abundance.
The gift of God does not mean that the gift of life is without cost. Whenever God speaks of eternal life as a gift it is rendered from Greek words that define gift as a gratuity. A gratuity is something given in return for service. Godís plan has a purpose and has revealed that he is building a kingdom of priests that desire to serve him throughout eternity. Within his purpose, God established a mandatory moral standard for each person to adopt so they may be counted worthy of eternal life. In other words heaven will not be a place where we can be idle because God has other plans for the ages to come.
God has committed himself to his plan and he wants you to participate of your free will.
"They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Malachi 3:17-18
The Lord said Ė those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned John 5:29. The choice to have life is in your hands, choose it and make every effort to comply with it. 2/25/2016