Book: God's Plan for Mankind

Greetings everyone—welcome! Today we are going to learn about the secret of the Lord, and how important that is, and our part in it. How is it that we understand the secret of God—and the world does not know? The place to begin is at the beginning.

In the beginning God created Adam and Eve. What God did was enter into a covenant with them—the covenant of the Garden of Eden. God created man and woman to be a in a created, loving relationship. We’re going to see that God desires a relationship with us, a very intimate personal relationship. But we also need to understand that every covenant of God is a created relationship. In those created relationships there are responsibilities that God has declared that are His, and responsibilities that God has declared that are those who participate in the covenant.

We know that when God called Israel out of Egypt, He created a relationship with them and said, ‘I will be your God and you will be My people.’ However, as we have seen, they have never really fulfilled what God intended them to do. We’re going to see some very interesting things concerning the secret of God and the will of God.

In addition to what God has said, here is really quite a profound chapter in the book of the Bible— Isa. 48. This tells us many things if we want to know what God has done, if we want to know what God thinks. We need to understand our response to it, as well. Then we need to study the Word of God. As we go through these things, let’s remember some basic things. God said that ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’ (Deut. 8:3). He repeated it during the temptation that Christ had with Satan the devil that ‘man shall live by every Word of God.’

God has made His will known according to the bounds of the covenant that He has established. You can go back and go through the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which we won’t do at this time, but what we want to do is focus in on the covenant that God gave to Israel and that how hidden within the words of God are the secrets of God and the secrets of His will—which was not fully revealed until we come to the time of the New Testament, though He has declared these things.

Remember when we first started the Feast in Lev. 23, when I said that God has put all the Holy Days there and that we are to understand them by faith.

In Isaiah 48 we find a review of God’s created relationship with Israel, and how they never really fulfilled it. Yet, in creating that relationship and giving the Word of God, and then later all the histories of the kings, the prophets and all together God revealed certain aspects of Himself and the relationship that He expected from those who enter into covenant with Him.

Isaiah 48:1: “Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and have come out of the waters of Judah; who swear by the name of the LORD and make mention of the God of Israel (but not in truth nor in righteousness)” What God is saying here is that Israel never lived up to the terms of the covenant.

Contrary to everything that men do, down to this day and the perversion of the New Testament and Gospel is this: Men want to take the Word of God and add to it or take away from it, or misinterpret it, and this is done very subtly. Then gradually, just like being a degree or two off course, sooner or later you have gone into strange waters and territory that you know nothing about, and God is not with you.

Here is what the children of Israel always do. This applies today to the modern descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, especially the 10 tribes, and especially those that are descendant of Joseph. Verse 2: “For they call themselves after the Holy city, and rest themselves on the God of Israel; the LORD of hosts is His name. I have foretold the former things from ages ago; and they went out of My mouth; and I proclaimed them; I acted suddenly; and they came to pass…” (vs 2-3).

Isn’t that what God did when He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt? Yes! Is that not what God did at the time of Jesus’ birth? Yes! Brought it about suddenly! How did Jesus appear to the temple? Just exactly like it says in Mal. 3:1: the messenger was sent before the Lord to proclaim the way and the Lord shall ‘suddenly come to His temple.’ That was fulfilled in the Gospel of John, chapter two. Amazing, isn’t it? They came to pass!

The children of Israel were blinded because they didn’t obey, and here is a principle you can just count on absolutely: If you do not believe and hear and obey, you will be blinded! In being blinded then, you will do things that in your own eyes appear to be right, and something that God ought to accept. That’s the whole story of the children of Israel.

Verse 4: “Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your brow bronze.” Still today by those who profess to be Christians—isn’t that true? Those who profess to be God’s people, the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel. ‘Oh, God is with us.’ But you won’t listen to His Word.

He declares, v 5: “And I have even declared it to you ages ago. Before it came to pass I revealed it to you; lest you should say, ‘My idol has done these things, and my graven image, and my molten image, has commanded them.’ You have heard, see all this; and will you not declare it? I have shown you new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them” (vs 5- 6). A lot of hidden knowledge in things of God.

Today we’re going to see that God has given us the understanding of His secret, His very plan for the world, of which keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and understanding the meaning of it is a great part. But the rest of the world does not know. Orthodox Christianity does not know. Not one single religion in the world knows anything about the secret things of God according to His own will. We’re going to see how that relates to us, and relates to our calling to be kings and priests and to teach the whole world the will of God.

Verse 7: “They are created now, and not ages ago; even before today you did not hear them; lest you should say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’ ” This is why the Word of God is ‘line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little,’ and the Word of God must be properly divided and put together in order to understand the Truth. God does not reveal His Truth—even contained in His Word—

  • unless you do the things that please God
  • unless you do as God has commanded
  • unless you do as Jesus has commanded

Verse 8: “Yea, you did not hear; yea, you did not know; yea, from ages ago your ear was not opened…” We find in 2-Cor. 3 that the veil is over their eyes when the Law of Moses is read. They can’t understand it. That’s why they reject and hate the Holy Days of God. Isn’t that amazing. The very thing that would help them understand about God, they reject, and ‘profess’ that they know God, just exactly as it’s prophesied here in Isa. 48. Think of that!

Here’s why, “…for I surely knew that you would deal very treacherously, and were called a transgressor from the womb…. [The ‘law of sin and death’ within us.] …For My name’s sake I will put off My anger, and for My praise I will hold it back for your sake, that I do not cut you off” (vs 8- 9). God still loves Israel. God is going to correct them, but God is going to glorify His name! God is going to show His greatness! When the Millennium begins, the re-gathering of Israel is going to take place, and He’s going to do a marvelous and wonderful thing. He’s going to remove this obstinance that they have and the ‘sinew of iron’ and give them a ‘heart of flesh.’ Then they will be able to understand. But the Church is given to understand now, and that is a tremendous thing.

Verse 10: “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake I will do it; for why should My name be profaned? …. [God is going to change it so it won’t be anymore.] …And I will not give My glory to another” (vs 10-11). Let’s really understand that, brethren. That’s why Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ There is no other way! That’s why Jesus said that He is ‘the door of the sheepfold’ and you have to enter in through the door, not climb up some other way.

Verse 12: “Hearken to Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the First, I also am the Last. My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens. When I call they stand up together.” The whole universe obeys God! But Israel doesn’t! The churches that profess His name do not! We in the Churches of God need to!

Verse 14: “Let all of you be gathered together and hear; who among them has declared these things? The LORD has loved him…” Still loved him; O Israel, why will you not hear the Word of God.’ And we can say also, ‘O Church of God, why will you not hear the Word of God and open your heart and open your mind and serve God in Truth, in love, in grace?’

Verse 15: “I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him… [Think about this! God has called you! You have answered the call!] …I brought him and he makes his way succeed. Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning….” (vs 15-16). NO! Everything that God wants man to know He spoke publicly, gave it to His servants and they wrote it so that we can have the Word of God. God says:

  • You don’t have to go to heaven to try and find it.
  • You don’t have to go clear across the see and try and find it.
  • You don’t have to go to the depths under the sea to try and find it.
  • It is very near you! In your heart and in your mind

—and that means put in a language that you can understand.

Isn’t that something? Why is it that people credit so much to God, but yet, they won’t love Him and obey Him? Why is it that when they read the Word of God they want to change it and try and improve upon it? Makes no sense at all. You have a perfect God, perfect law, perfect word, perfect character! Can the imperfect character of man, who wants to readjust it and make it better, really do so? Never can!

He hasn’t spoken in secrets. It’s all recorded. That’s why when we come to the New Testament it is the preaching of the Gospel of the witness of Jesus Christ, His crucifixion, death and resurrection and His personal intimate loving family relationship that He has created for us through Jesus Christ. That’s what God wants. The reason that He has given it to us, and it can be maintained the way God wants

  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through yielding to God
  • through doing His will

Then He’s going to perfect His character in us so we can bring it to the world. The secret things of God were spoken openly and publicly, but only He can reveal the secrets contained therein.

“ ‘…From the time that it was, there am I.’ And now the Lord GOD, and His Spirit, has sent me. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, ‘I am the LORD your God Who teaches you to profit…’ ” (vs 16-17). And the only profit is to know—not money, not physical assets, not gold and silver, not power—but to know God! And the only thing that profits is what is done according to the will of God and through the Spirit of God. Only God can make that profit. He says so:

Verse 18: “Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river… [Psa. 1] …and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

  • constantly coming
  • constantly growing
  • constantly renewing

Verse 19: “And your seed would have been like the sand, and the offspring of your bowels like grains of sand; their name would not have been cut off nor destroyed from before Me.” But that never happened with Israel. He’s yet to choose them. He’s yet to bring them back. Now He is dealing with His Church.

Psalm 25 is really a tremendous Psalm; it tells us a lot about understanding God, understanding His way, and they had this. Very few were there really ready to yield to God, to do his will. We know that David was. Let’s see how David sought God, and let’s see how it is that we are to do these things. Notice his attitude. Let’s this be part of how we think, of how we come to God, and how God is going to deal with us.

Notice the relationship that David had with God as we can discern it from this Psalm. We always look to God. Remember this: We are always dependent upon God for everything!

  • everything physical
  • everything spiritual

Psalm 25:1: “To You, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You…” (vs 1-2). That’s what we need to do:

  • believe God
  • trust God
  • love God
  • have faith in God

“…do not let me be ashamed, let not my enemies triumph over me.” (v 2). We’re to be overcomers— is that not true?

  • overcome Satan the devil
  • overcome sin
  • overcome the self
  • Yes!

Verse 3: “Yea, let none who wait on You be ashamed; let them be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause…. [notice what David cried out for; and God gives this to us as we grow, change, overcome and constantly seek after it]: … Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You do I wait all the day long” (vs 3-5). This is the attitude that we need to have, brethren, to really grow and fulfill what God has for us, so that we can teach it to the world, to the people.

Verse 10: “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Notice the condition there. No one is going to stand the paths of mercy and truth if you don’t keep covenant. That applies directly to the New Covenant, which is a created relationship between God the Father, Jesus Christ and each individual believer. Combined together we form the Church. God is the One Who does it; those who don’t won’t know.

Verse 12: “What man is he who fears the LORD? He shall teach him in the way that He [God] shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease, and his seed shall inherit the earth…. [That is the Church.] (Here’s where we want to come): …The secret of the LORD…” (vs 12-14). God’s secret plan

  • to understand God’s Word
  • to understand His Truth
  • to receive His Holy Spirit united with the spirit of your mind
  • to be able to have the righteousness of

Christ developed within us This is so great, because it is:

  • preparing us to rule the world with Christ
  • preparing us to be in the Family of God
  • preparing us to expand the Family of God beginning with the Millennium!

This is a tremendous thing, v 14: “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.” That’s the New Covenant that we are in now. When we’re resurrected, there will be another covenant established— the marriage covenant with the Lord, the covenant of the work that we will be doing and teaching the whole world.

God is a covenant God and all of these things are created relationships. That’s the secret of the Lord! Your relationship with Him He created in a special and tremendous way so that through the Word of God you can understand the secret of God.

Let’s see how fantastic this is, brethren. We’re going to look at this and analyze these verses in a way so we can understand them and the truth of it. Of course, we are going to see that God has done something according to His will for us: for us to know, for us to understand.

We then—when we are kings and priests in the Kingdom of God—are going to show the rest of humanity that very thing. We will be elevated to a level of life that is immortal. This is why in the created relationship that we have now with God the Father and Jesus Christ, the covenant sacrifice is the sacrifice of Christ and His shed blood. Our covenant sacrifice is repentance and baptism by full immersion in water, which is symbolic of our death and we are joined to His death. The created relationship! God the Father is our Father and gives us of His Holy Spirit. Here’s what God want with all of us and I want you to focus in on the will of God:

Ephesians 1:1: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” That means out beyond the city of Ephesus and to all of those who are in Christ all the way down through time. This has been preserved for us so that we have

  • the words of God
  • the knowledge of God
  • the will of God
  • the Truth of God

Notice what comes to us first. This is what God wants to bring to us, v 2: “Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”—directly from God. This created relationship is a spiritual relationship that involves the Spirit of God from God the Father and Jesus Christ. We become the begotten children of God.

John expresses it this way, ‘Behold, what glorious love that the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God!’ (1- John 3). Paul writes that ‘if we are children then we are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ.’ Think of the magnitude of that!

Verse 3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ.” Don’t we have a lot of spiritual blessings that have come from heaven?

  • the Spirit of God
  • the Word of God
  • the Truth of God
  • understanding His plan Yes, inde ed!

Verse 4: “According as He has personally chosen us for Himself before the foundation of the world…” This doesn’t mean that He knew us before the foundation of the world, but from the foundation of the world, the very plan of building the world, He had a plan that those that He would call would be His spiritual children through Christ. Christ was slain from the foundation of the world.

When you put all of these things together, God has called us and brought us into a tremendous plan that He is fulfilling and working out in our lives, and working out in the lives of all those who have His Spirit; working out everything in the world according to the prophecies that He has given.

“…in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love” (v 4). It is a loving relationship. We stand in grace, we walk in faith, we believe in hope, we live in love! Notice our destiny; this is the secret of the Lord that the world doesn’t know, v 5: “…Having predestinated us for sonship to Himself…”—to be His children. That’s why we can call Him Father, Abba, or Daddy (Rom. 8).

A close, personal, created relationship from God the Father, “…through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will.... [and what he is going to do] …To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son” (vs 5-6).

That is so fantastic, brethren. Look down here at us, whatever age you are, whatever difficulties you have in your life, whatever things you need to overcome, you are the object of God’s love and grace. This is what we’re going to bring to people in the world. They then will become the objects of God’s love and grace. We were created to be totally dependent upon God in everything.

Verse 7: “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Think of that! Notice what he has done and compare this to what the world knows, all those who think they know everything—the elite of the world who proclaim themselves to be the ‘wise ones’—become fools in rejecting God.

Verse 8: “Which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence.” The true education from God—from His Spirit, from His Word.

Verse 9: “Having made known to us the [secret] mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure…” So, we have:

  • according to the riches of His grace
  • according to His good pleasure

Stop and think about it for a minute! Remember this time, this moment sitting here at the Feast of Tabernacles and going over these words. When you have a trial, a difficulty, something that comes along, remember: God loves you! And you, through the love of God and the Truth of God— through Jesus Christ—are going to enter into the Kingdom of God and combined, all of us together, are going to bring the love of God to the world. Think of that!

“…which He purposed in Himself” (v 9). Only God could think of a great plan like He has. Look at all the other religions, what do they know? At best they can be a counterfeit! But God has given us the real thing!

Verse 10: “That in the divine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth… [and He’s going to do it] …yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose…” (vs 10-11). He proposed it before the foundation of the world.

  • He has carried it out
  • the call has gone out
  • we have answered the call
  • God has given us of His Truth and His righteousness

He has shown us

  • His plan
  • His secret
  • the reason why we’re here
  • the reason why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles, the Sabbath, the Passover—all the Holy Days of God

because contained therein is the secret of God that He reveals. Notice this:

  • according to His purpose
  • according the riches of His grace
  • according to the good pleasure of His will

—this is something! Brethren, do you grasp it? Do I grasp it? Do we all grasp the greatness of God’s plan and His secret that He has given to us?

“…Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will; that we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ: (vs 11-12). That’s something! To the praise of the glory of God! That also tells you something very profound—doesn’t it? That just as Paul said, God can do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think! How is that for a God of love, truth and goodness? How do you then compare anything in this world to what God is giving, to the plan of God? You can’t!

Verse 13: “In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…. [All of this according to the will of God] …which is the earnest of our inheritance…” (vs 13-14).

  • the very fact that you have the Spirit of God united with the spirit of your mind
  • the very fact that you understand the Word of God and the Truth of God
  • the very fact that you understand the things that Paul has written here
  • the very fact that the Holy Spirit of God leads you in Truth and righteousness
  • the very fact that God has given you strength and the power to overcome inwardly

That’s the seal of the promise that God will deliver what He has promised! That is something, brethren! That is fantastic!

“…until the redemption of the purchased possession… [that we have been bought and paid for by Jesus Christ] …to the praise of His glory” (v 14). There are hardly any other verses in the whole New Testament, even in the whole Bible, that come close to conveying this tremendous relationship that God has given to us!

This is specially created by God, through Jesus Christ, through the Word of God, through God working His will in our lives. This is tremendous! Think of the responsibility that God has given to us. that He has revealed to us according to His own will His secret plan! That is something that we need to really keep in mind!

Now let’s look at little bit more at the will of God and what this requires of us. We’re going to

see some very important things.

John 1 is so fantastic and reveals so many things to us. Brethren, I want you to grasp and understand as never before. This is how we’re going to be able to endure the difficult days ahead of us. If things that we see happening in the world are any indication of what’s going to go on, we’re going to face some very difficult times. This is why we need to have the hope, the inspiration, the grace and the love of God just completely satiating our mind through the Spirit of God.

Here is what God has done for us, from God directly to each one of us through Christ, John 1:9: “The true light was that which enlightens everyone who comes into the world.” Everyone has the spirit of man—Christ gives it. However, look what happened; look what Jesus did:

Verse 10: “He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, but the world did not know Him.” Exactly what we read in Isa. 48 to begin. God called Jacob, but he just wanted to flatter God and not have true righteousness. Same thing in the world: they want the name of Christ, they preach the name of Christ, but they don’t know Him.

Verse 11: “He came to His own… [He came to Judea. He came to those of which it was prophesied that He would be of the physical linage and to whom He would come can preach the Gospel] …and His own did not receive Him.”

  • They hated Him!
  • They judged Him!
  • They crucified Him!

But through the power of the resurrection God overcame all of it, and here is what He has done for us—this is to us:

Verse 12: “But as many as received Him…” To receive Christ involves everything concerning

  • repentance
  • baptism
  • growing in grace and knowledge
  • believing His Word
  • living by every Word of God
  • receive Him as Savior
  • receive Him as Redeemer
  • receive Him as our High Priest

“…to them He gave authority… [No one else has the authority, because you have to enter into that created relationship through covenant.] …to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name… [this is a spiritual thing that must take place]: …who were not begotten by bloodlines, nor by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the will of God” (vs 12-13). God has done that!

  • What does He expect back from us?
  • What are we to do?

Let’s see what Jesus says; let’s see what we are to do with the will of God; all the will of God in our lives and everything that we do. Here’s a very basic Scripture that we’ve gone over many times:

Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’… [there are a lot’s that do] … shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven…”—what we’re striving to do, enter into it through the power of the resurrection

  • to have immortality
  • to have a spirit body
  • to have a spirit mind
  • to love God
  • to see God
  • to serve God
  • to bring peace to this world

“…but the one who is doing the will of My Father Who is in heaven” (v 21). Think on that! Everything that Jesus did was the will of God. He didn’t do it on His own. He didn’t come here to preach His words.

This becomes important because what are we going to do to serve the people in the Millennium? We’re going to teach them God’s ways, God’s words! We are going to open up as God gives us the knowledge. Remember, the knowledge of the Lord is going to cover the earth as the seas cover the earth. What is that going to be like? That’s just on the earth. What is it going to be like in the spiritual realm, the spiritual plane of the Kingdom of God? Here we have the will of the Father!

Let’s see something very interesting in Luke 6. It’s not only the will of the Father that we saw in Eph. 1 and John 1, but come here and let’s see what Jesus also said in addition to the will of the Father. It said in Matt. 7 that you ‘have to be practicing the will of the Father Who is in heaven.’ To practice means that you live by it. Likewise, when we teach people in the Millennium they’re going to learn to practice the will of God; they’re going to understand the will of God.

Everyone who is a good ‘dyed in the wool’ Protestant or Catholic or belonging to any other religion—Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam—all are rejected of God! All are satanic counterfeits of the Truth! Think on this, here’s how you judge these things. Jesus said we have to be practicing the will of the Father Who is in heaven, notice:

Luke 6:46: “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but you do not practice what I say?” All the teachings of Christ. No one is going to receive eternal life without practicing the things that Jesus has said.

Verse 47: “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and practices them, I will show you what he is like.” That has to be the way that you live. God has revealed His secret to us. So, we have to be practicing all of the Word of God—living by it.

Verse 48: “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the Rock [Christ]; and a flood came, and the torrent beat against that house, but could not shake it, because it was founded on the Rock.”

Let’s just stop and think here for just a minute. How many people did not build their spiritual houses on the Rock of Christ? What’s going to happen? Remember this: there is always a test coming, always a divide coming! These things are going to happen to test and to prove and to eliminate the dross, and to eliminate all those unprofitable servants, those wicked, evil servants, even within the Churches of God.

If you’re built on the Rock, you are going to believe

  • through thick and thin
  • through every trial, through every difficulty
  • through every blessing
  • through every great thing of God

and God will give you understanding of His Word, of His Truth. Everything that we saw there in Eph. 1 God is going to give, and He is going to give it to us first, because we believe in Jesus Christ now. Think what it’s going to be like when Christ returns. What are we going to bring to those in the world? The very same thing!

For us, v 49: “But the one who has heard My words and has not practiced them is like a man who built a house on top of the ground, without a foundation; and when the torrent beat against it, it fell at once, and the ruin of that house was great.”

We’re going to look a little bit more at the created relationship that God wants us to have. This is important, because God has given it to us to save the world! Think on that for a minute.

Let’s continue on, brethren, in our study concerning the created relationship that God has with us, and also the secret of the Lord. The world does not know these things. It cannot know these things. It cannot understand these things. We don’t learn them all at once. We learn them by constantly growing in grace and in knowledge.

Even though we’ve gone over this before, let’s go over it again from the point of view that we learn more and more and more even from the same Scriptures that we know and have studied previously. This is why also in the Word of God we study all the way through the Word of God, we go back over it again when we study it again. BING! We understand more things. God’s Spirit gives us understanding. God is working with us and revealing to us the secret of His own will!

  1. -Corinthians 2:9: “But according as it is written, ‘The eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” That’s the key, important thing, brethren: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, being and everything that is in us, and to love our neighbor as ourself, and the brethren as Christ has loved us— and even to love our enemies.

Remember what Jesus said, the very first words when He was crucified, hanging on the cross: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing! Likewise, they are blinded in the world. But God reveals to us. There’s another principle that we find in Matt. 13—they’re blinded, they can’t hear, so therefore, He speaks to them in parables. Even that which they have understood will be taken from them. But Jesus said, ‘To you it has been given to know the mysteries—the secrets—of the Kingdom of Heaven.’ That has to be revealed by God.

When Jesus asked Peter: ‘Who do men say that I the Son of man am?’ Peter asked all the disciples and they said, ‘Well, some say one of the prophets, some say John the Baptist, and some Elijah.’ Jesus said to Peter, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Peter said, ‘You are the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said, ‘Blessed are you Simon Bar- Jonah—that means the son of Jonah—because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but My Father has revealed it to you.’

There is an active illustration of how God reveals things to us. And just like as we have been going through in the series, Grace Upon Grace, God has given us:

  • a greater understanding of grace
  • a greater understanding of our relationship with Him
  • a greater understanding of His Word

—as revealed through His Spirit and through His Word by Jesus Christ and God the Father. It can’t come by intelligence. It can’t come by just reading.

Verse 10: “But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things—even the deep things of God.” That agrees with Eph. 1, the deep things of God.

This is wonderful, brethren! This is marvelous! Keeping the Feast of Tabernacles and understanding what God has given us to understand is absolutely glorious and magnificent! This is just only kind of a foretaste of understanding of what it’s going to be when the real thing occurs. What a thing it’s going to be to the whole world.

Then Paul says, v 11: “For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God.”

Contrasted with the world—we’ve covered this earlier, but it’s good for us to understand this, v 12: “Now, we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God.” What we’re understanding here is

  • by the graciousness of God
  • by the goodness of God
  • by the Spirit of God
  • by the love of God.

God wants us in this created relationship with Him. Then when we’re resurrected and we enter into the covenant with Christ with the marriage, and we enter into covenant of the work that we’re going to do under Christ. Then we are going to directly assist God as the sons and daughters of God to bring every man and woman into this covenant relationship with God. Isn’t that something? Brethren, the whole universe is out there! The whole universe! God’s plan is so great and so marvelous and so beyond the comprehension of our mind, that even though we can state certain things that we know and understand is true, that doesn’t tell us the deep things of God! That doesn’t tell us the depth of what God is going to give to us.

Verse 13: “Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom…” I’m going to give a sermon down the road about this: How can they preach from the Bible and never know the Truth? That’s something! You talk about the ‘blind leading the blind.’

“…but in words taught by the Holy Spirit in order to communicate spiritual things by spiritual means” (v 13). We can only understand this with the Spirit of God. God has to reveal it! God has to teach it! Christ is directly behind it! God the Father is behind it! He is opening our eyes to see the Truth of the secret of His plan!

Verse 14: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” That’s why if you say, ‘Read the Bible.’ No, I can’t understand it. So you give it to someone who is unlearned and he says, ‘I can’t understand it either, I’m unlearned.’ That is the dividing line. That’s the whole Truth concerning grace.

Let’s see what Paul writes of this, and let’s see where it’s going to go, and let’s see what it’s going to do, and let’s see what we are going to do, and how then God, through each one of us individually and the Church collectively—remember, the seven churches (Rev. 2 & 3). It has to be done spiritually, and that the eyes of our mind are opened to see, know and comprehend how great a thing this is going to be, brethren.

Romans 8:9: “However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” They don’t receive the Spirit of Christ except legally, lawfully, through the grace of God, through repentance and baptism.

Verse 10: “But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Now, if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you… [we have the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father—both of Them— dwelling in us (John 14). We are a temple of God as Paul defines.] …He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live” (vs 10-13).

That’s growing in grace and knowledge constantly, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-bymonth, year-by-year. Here we are in 2012 at the Feast of Tabernacles—Whoa!—how many more do we have to go? We don’t know! Every time we think it looks like prophecy is going to be fulfilled then something happens so that it gives us understanding. The prophecies of God are going to be fulfilled in such a way that it is going to be to the maximum. When we are looking at things and we see a little bit of it fulfilled, let’s not get all excited and try and speed God up and say, ‘Oh, prophecy is speeding up.’

Remember, prophecy never speeds up or slows down, it is always on time—God’s time! We have a book about that, called: The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah.

Verse 14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God” (vs 14-16).

Notice what that means; it blends into the Millennium and then this blends into the completion of the Millennium and New Jerusalem and the New Heavens and the new earth. The Word of God goes on forever! These things are here. Here’s a promise, a blessing:

  • don’t ever be discouraged
  • don’t ever get down
  • don’t ever get depressed

Verse 17: “Now, if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…”

  • that’s why we will be kings and priests
  • that’s why it is worth it to be in the first resurrection
  • that’s why God is going to depend upon us to bring His plan of salvation to every man, woman and child beginning with the Millennium.

After that is done, on into the Great White Throne Judgment, and on into the meaning of the Last Great Day, and on into the opportunity for salvation for all the rest of mankind that have been cutoff before because they didn’t respond to God.

“…—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him. For I reckon… [this is how we need to think] …that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (vs 17-18). Brethren, that is an amazing, awesome thing, just so inspiring and uplifting!

Notice what the world is waiting for, v 19: “For the earnest expectation of the creation itself is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God.” They don’t know it! They don’t realize it! They’re out there deceived by Satan the devil, doing his will, his plans, his bidding at the present time, working to bring in Satan’s counterfeit millennium, which is the ‘beast’ of Rev. 13 & 17. Remember, God said He has revealed His secret to us!

The reason they’re waiting for us is, v 20: “Because the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope.” All to prove and to show that we all have come from God!

Verse 21: “In order that the creation itself…” That’s why the prophecies talk about the change of the environment, the change of the things in the creation, because the sins of mankind collectively down through time. There have been cycles of it good and bad, blessing and cursing, because it had been subjected to the “bondage of corruption”; “…subjected it in hope.”

Verse 21: “In order that the creation itself might be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God”

I hope that through this Feast of Tabernacles that we can all get a spiritual grasp and understanding and vision of what God wants us to do, and how great that this is going to be. It says in the Proverbs that ‘without vision the people perish.’ We’re talking about the vision of God, knowing that God has “…subjected it in hope.” We are part of that hope. He began this with the Church.

Let’s see what God is doing in the Church right now. Brethren, we all have things we need to change and grow and overcome in. We all have things that we need to work on, and the Truth of God that we need to understand even more. Brethren, let’s all learn together. There’s no such thing as coming to the full knowledge of the Truth in this life. We constantly are growing in it—constantly! I am, and as I do I teach you and you do, and all of together are growing in grace and knowledge. This is the whole purpose of the Church:

Ephesians 2:8: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God.”

  • How could we ever do the things that are prophesied that we’re going to do without the Spirit and power of God?
  • How could we ever overcome evil human nature and be perfected unless it were by the Spirit of God?

Verse 9: “Not of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them” (vs 9-10). Are you going to let God:

  • work with you
  • mold you
  • shape you
  • help you
  • strengthen you

in everything that you do

  • to qualify you
  • to bring you to knowledge of the Truth

as never before. It can happen!

Concerning the Gentiles, God did not bring you into Israel. Don’t worry, Israel is not the sum total of what God is doing. The sum total of what God is doing is through His Church

Verse 13: “But now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far off are made near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, Who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition” (vs 13-14). The religion of Judaism and the pagan religions of the Gentiles were those walls of partition. How did Christ do it?

Verse 15: “Having annulled in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments contained in the decrees of men, so that in Himself He might create both into one new man, making peace.” That’s how important the Church is, and how the Church needs to function; how we need to work together; how we need to love each other. That helps us to grow in grace and knowledge and overcoming.

Verse 16: “And that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, having slain the enmity by it. Now, when He came, He preached the Gospel—peace to you who were far off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have direct access by one Spirit to the Father” (vs 16-18)—collectively now, the whole Church. Remember, God is no respecter of persons. We all are built on the foundation of Christ.

Verse 19: “So then, you are no longer aliens and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of the household of God…. [In His Family!] …You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone in Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together…” (vs 19-21). We all have a part together; the way God brings us together, brethren. This is why understanding these things and having the love of God is so important.

“…is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit” (vs 21-22). That is accomplished by the grace of God. Let’s see here in Rev. 19 that this proclaims the relationship, proclaims what is going to be done, and it is going to be accomplished while we’re on the Sea of Glass in the clouds before we descend to the earth. God has not left the world to anyone. He’s going to give to Christ and the saints together. We are going to work together to bring it.

After the resurrection takes place and we’re on the Sea of Glass, and the marriage of the Lamb takes place, the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place, that is a New Covenant with Christ. This New Covenant with Christ is going to be between us and Christ and God the Father for

  • setting up of the Millennium
  • bringing peace to the world
  • reconstruction to the world
  • the understanding of the Truth of God to everyone
  • the changing of human nature from hostility to a heart of flesh

to be able then

  • to teach
  • to preach
  • to guide
  • to direct

and all of that under Christ. The greatest time that the world have every seen up to that point. I would have to say that I imagine the second resurrection is going to be greater than that. Just think of the things that God has called us to do, brethren. Have that vision!

Notice, this is just before come to the earth and then we’ll be kings and priests under Christ, Revelation 19:1: “And after these things I heard the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! The salvation and the glory and the honor and the power belong to the Lord our God. For true and righteous are His judgments; for He has judged the great whore, who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and He has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.’ And they said a second time, ‘Hallelujah! And her smoke shall ascend upward into the ages of eternity’” (vs 1-3).

Even the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures are all subject to God, as well. They are celebrating in this, as well. Brethren, this is going to be the most fantastic thing that is ever going to happen in our lifetimes and after the resurrection.

Verse 4: “And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, Who sits on the throne, saying, ‘Amen. Hallelujah!’” Think about this, they have been there over God’s throne for eons and eons of the ages of eternity. They have seen how God has unfolded His plan. They didn’t understand all things either, but now they’re seeing, and seeing what God is doing. They are worshipping and praising God, as well.

Verse 5: “And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all His servants, and all who fear Him, both small and great.’ ” What a praise that is going to be! I wonder what that great hymn is going to be that we are going to be singing.

Verse 6: “And I heard a voice like that of a great multitude, and like the sound of many waters, and the sound of mighty thunderings, saying… [this is all of the resurrected saints collectively together, standing on the Sea of Glass.] (we’re going to say): ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord God Almighty has reigned.’ ” That introduces the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Verse 7: “ ‘Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come…’ ” Now we come down to the earth, we destroy the armies of the ‘beast.’ The false prophet and beast are cast into the Lake of Fire, and that Lake of Fire is for Satan the devil later on. Then we begin. When we’re on the Sea of Glass at the first resurrection.

  • we receive our new names
  • we receive our assignment
  • we receive what we’re going to do
  • we’re there for the marriage supper of the Lamb
  • we’re there for the giving of the rewards

all of these things! Now, everything is ready to go! God has fully prepared.

Revelation 20:4: “And I saw thrones; and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given to them…

  • now we will have the spirit mind of Christ
  • now we will have immortal glorious bodies
  • now we will have the righteousness of God so we can make the judgments

Remember, we read earlier that we are going to judge angels. Judgment was given to them.

“…and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and those who did not worship the beast, or his image, and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (v 4). Just think what the world is going to be like for the thousand years.

  • I wonder what it’s going to be like when we get toward the end of the thousand years?
  • I wonder how many people will enter into the Kingdom of God during that time?
  • I wonder how fantastic the whole earth is going to be with no sin, no deception: with
  • the Spirit of God
  • the sons of God
  • the love of God
  • the faith of God
  • all families growing up together
  • in happiness
  • in joy
  • in Truth
  • in knowledge

That’s going to be something!

Verse 5: “(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.)….” There’s and interjection right here, because there’s more in God’s plan to come— which we’ll cover on the Last Great Day.

“…This is the first resurrection. Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (vs 5-6). And then after that into all eternity!

Brethren, this is the work of God, the calling of God, the unfolding, unveiling, revealing secret of God, of what He is doing. This is what the world does not know. This is what the world does not understand.

Ephesians 1—Let’s read Paul’s prayer, so that we can understand even more. I’m sure that when Paul wrote these words—though he was in prison, though he was in chains, though he was in fear of his life—this is one of the most inspiring and glorious books of the New Testament, and we understand it even more today. Here’s Paul’s prayer, and this prayer is meant for us today, especially for us today, on whom the ends of the earth have come, so that we can understand it:

Ephesians 1: 15: “For this cause, I also, after hearing of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is among you, and the love toward all the saints.” What’s it going to be when Paul is resurrected and sees all that was done because of his epistles? It’s going to be awesome, indeed!

Verse 16: “Do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers”—and we do everyday, brethren. We all pray for each other everyday. We pray for:

  • God’s blessing
  • God’s mercy
  • God’s forgiveness
  • God’s healing
  • God’s love
  • God’s Truth

Everyday! And everyday it seems as though so great is God’s way that in growing and overcoming we really see that without God’s direction we don’t know which way to go.

Here’s what God wants to do, and this is what we’re going to help Christ do to the world— every man, woman and child—all during the Millennium.

Verse 17: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” This is what we need now! Let the Word of God be able to reveal to us even more and more. Like David said in Psa. 119:18—open my eyes so that I may see wondrous things from your law. Let it be also that we see and understand wondrous things from the Word of God, the New Testament, the words of Christ, and the inspiring personal letters from God the Father and Jesus Christ through the apostles to us.

Verse 18: “And may the eyes of your mind be enlightened in order that you may comprehend what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the inner working of His mighty power” (vs 18-19). That’s what God wants for us!

Brethren, what a calling! What a fantastic thing! It is so great! It all comes back to Christ:

Verse 20: “Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above every principality and authority and power and lordship, and every name that is named—not only in this age, but also in the age to come” (vs 20-21). That means us!

Verse 22: “For He has subordinated all things under His feet, and has given Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body— the fullness of Him Who fills all things in all” (vs 22-23).

Brethren, this is how the Millennium is going to produce great and overwhelming fruit. God has called us to have a fantastic part in that!
This is the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

Isaiah 48:1-19
Psalm 25:1-5, 10, 12-14
Ephesians 1:1-14
John 1:9-13
Matthew 7:21
Luke 6:46-49
-Corinthians 2:9-14
Romans 8:9-21
Ephesians 2:8-10, 13-22
Revelation 19:1-7
Revelation 29:4-6
Ephesians 1:15-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

Deuteronomy 8:3
Leviticus 23
Malachi 3:1
John 2
Corinthians 3
Psalm 1
John 3
Romans 8
Matthew 13
Revelation 2; 3
John 14
Revelation 13; 17
Psalm 119:18

Also referenced:

Sermon Series: Grace Upon Grace

Book: The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah
by Fred R. Coulter

BOOKS