Tuesday February 11, 2020
EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
EPH 3:9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;
EPH 3:10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
Verse 10 reveals that what God has hidden from creation until the church is to be openly revealed in the widest sphere; all earth and even heaven.
EPH 3:11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
This name is the mystery of the hypostatic union. The Lord Jesus Christ is undiminished deity and true humanity in one person.
The fact that He alone sits at the right hand of God above all rule and authority is proof that all the past ages were employed in preparing His way.
God’s purpose for the world was centered on mankind.
Man alone was made in the image of God. When we fell we retained His image in a fallen state. It was God’s plan to then make us in the image of Christ Jesus our Lord.
This alone was the purpose of God in the universe - the new creation in Christ. This present universe will be destroyed. Elect angels are observers, learners, and ministers of this purpose. All the saved from all ages will enter into Christ’s kingdom and into conformity to it.
(Disclaimer: though not all ages are the same or people the same during human history) This has to be said so that the above statement is not confused as replacement theology. Israel and the church are different in human history. Do they, and the Gentile believers of the age prior to Israel, remain different after the Millennium, for all eternity?
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." 5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." 6 And He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
So little is said of the eternal state in the Bible. Much is said of the Millennial reign of Christ and apparently that has confused more than a few expositors. I had been taught for years that the New Jerusalem was a satellite city hovering above the earth, when in fact that it not taught anywhere in the Bible. It is inferred from the fact that it already existed “in heaven” and is not on the earth during the Tribulation, but inference is not reality.
“The possibility of Jerusalem being a satellite city over the earth during the millennium is not specifically taught in any scripture and at best it is an inference …” [J. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ]
For eternity, if we take things literally and simply as they are stated, the New Jerusalem will exist on a new earth (where there are no bodies of water) in the midst of a new heaven, and nothing indicates that there will be any separation of people into various classes. In fact, with one King, King of the Jews sitting on David’s throne, as well as the Head of the church, in one kingdom with one will unto perfect holiness, separation would be the last thing we would think of. The city has a “street” of gold (singular of plateia) and not “streets” of gold, which fits the theme of unity.
REV 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
Some imply that because John describes the city “as a bride” that there is no actual city, but that it represents the people of God. Since the city is described as a perfect cube, and only the Holy of Holies was a perfect cube in the Tabernacle, they claim this is evidence for their theory. This is also inferred and has no solid basis in scripture.
The point I wish to make from this is that it was humanity and his life that was the entire purpose of God. Perhaps (now it’s my turn to inference) that is what set Satan and the fallen angels off.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
This city will serve as the eternal abode of several groups. It will be inhabited by the entire Triune God, the entire angelic host, the church saints and the “spirits of just men made perfect” who are the Old Testament saints. And therefore, also there but not mentioned here, the Tribulational and Millennial saints.
As John wrote in Rev 21, the habitation (tabernacle) of God will be with men, which affirms all the residents of Heb 12; the New Jerusalem will be the eternal abode of God, angels, and redeemed humanity. Do you think it will be too crowded?
Rev 21 also states that there is no temple in the New Jerusalem. There is no need for one, since the Trinity inhabits the city and dwells among the people, ultimately fulfilling the New Covenant. Also, the glory of God, the lamp of the Lamb shall lighten the entire city. The gates of the city will never be closed throughout eternity and there will never be darkness.
All the curses upon man, woman, and the earth are removed, as the eternal order has no more tears, death, mourning, crying, or pain.
God’s purpose was to make man of a certain type - the image of God in the image of the person of Christ.
What is the type of man that God has purposed? He is eternal, righteous, holy, blameless, just, wise, understanding, insanely rich spiritually, powerful, disciplined, filled with hope, confident, forgiven, filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control; who doesn’t judge others, forgives, is exceedingly gracious, virtuous, always growing, akin to God in everything, obedient to God in anything, in love with God forever, walking by the Holy Spirit.
I’m sure I could add more, but in a fast description, that is the purpose of God for all history - to make such men, and it is no coincidence that Jesus was just that type of man. He gave us His life.
Eph1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Eph1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
Eph1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
EPH 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Eph1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace Eph1:8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight
Eph1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
Eph1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him
EPH 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
EPH 1:12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.