Part One of a Series
The eternal God with no beginning or ending, chose to create out of His limitless dimensions of time, space, and matter, a mystery creature called man. An added mystery is WHY He chose this tiny week of millenniums, and this little earth for possibly His greatest creation, a Bride for His Messianic Son.
In the council of His own Will and in His prehistoric chambers, He declared His divine plan, but not His purpose. “And God said, let US make man in our Image and after our Likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
God then followed with His first command to man, with a promise. In Genesis 1:28 they were commanded to "...multiply, subdue the earth, and have dominion.” God foreknew that man would have the imparted nature of Satan to subdue before he could have full dominion over all earthly things.
The Triune God created a triune man, with a body, soul, and spirit. Man would have two relationships or two expressions of life: one with God through his spirit, and one with man through his soul or mental senses.
Adam and Eve, our first parents in God’s created paradise of millions of earth creatures, were given God’s pure Word for guidance. But Satan, God’s created enemy, tempted them to use their own human reasoning to interpret God’s Word, breaking God’s divine order of the spirit over mind or soul. Thus began a terrific struggle between the mighty Spirit Forces of the Almighty God, His enemy Satan, and their angelic hosts; and man’s soul became the battle ground.
God chose man’s spirit, while Satan chose man’s soul (or mental facilities), in which God gave man’s election or choice. This began a progressive revelation of God’s divine plan and purpose for man, in worship with his Creator.
Each family of the patriarchs became a LOCAL CHURCH, with the father being the priest of the home, until the first-born son became of age, then the first-born son acting as priest and the father as elder. Holding his new-born son in his arms, he prophesied the character of life he would live, and named him accordingly.
God had set the full story of man’s coming redemption in the sixty constellations of stars, which was man’s first Bible, and the first aspect of His coming Kingdom to possess the earth, which was from Eden to Sinai.
(Adam also enjoyed God’s spoken Word directly from his Creator, when they walked together every evening in the garden. God had personally told Adam about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, even before the creation of Eve. Adam, in turn, told his wife.)
In the third chapter of Numbers, God changed His priesthood from the first-born son, to the family tribe of Levi. Later at Calvary, God changed back to His own first-born Son.
God’s sovereign election for the carrying out of His divine purpose, yet giving every person their own choice in life, may be likened to the earthly father’s election overshadowing his small son’s choice. Each person makes his or her own decisions in life, yet God’s overall divine purpose goes on.
Before Calvary, the believer in God had only one nature, a human nature. After Calvary, the born again believer in Christ has the human nature and also the divine nature of the indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ.
Satan engrafts man’s soulish/mental life in his sin-nature, i.e. a deep heart desire to have man’s own will above God’s will. Thus, we must daily decide between the engrafted sin nature and the engrafted righteous Nature of Christ, within our regenerated spirit. By changing our thoughts, we can step from one nature into the other.
In 1 Corinthians 12:13, we see our first baptism, called justification of the human spirit. In Acts 2:4, Christ baptized us into the Holy Spirit, for our soul/mental daily satisfaction. These are two phases of one baptism. The same Holy Spirit which indwelled us when we asked Jesus to come into our heart/spirit, we can also experience Him overflowing into our soul. The two phases of this baptism are of the same Spirit, and is called one baptism. (Paul continues on in chapter 12 explaining that even though the physical body has many organs and limbs, it is still one body.)
Life reigns in a believer when we are fully God-conscious, but death reigns in us when we are self-conscious. As a man has a natural outer body, he also has an inner spiritual body. This also applies to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the earth. The outer body is carnal, while the hidden inner body is spiritual. This inner group of Spirit-filled, Spirit-gifted, and Spirit-led, will produce the Bridal company of first fruits. These first fruits or "overcomers," were pre-figured in two of the seven annual feasts of ancient Israel.
At the Passover each spring, a sheaf of growing immature grain was gathered from the fields, and presented to the priests, who waved them before God as an offering. This was the very best and a promise of a full harvest.
Fifty days later at Pentecost, the priests, having gathered the first fruits (Leviticus 23:10-17) and best of the matured grain, baked two loaves, and waved them as an offering to God, in thanksgiving for His full harvest. These two loaves represented the "better resurrection" for both Israel and the Church.
The first fruits of the New Testament will be the Bride of Christ, which lives within the divine ordered life of the true New Testament Church. These are the saints who are watching and waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to return in the air. The Apostle Paul tells us that there will be the sound of a trumpet, which only the Bride can hear. Those who had already died in the faith will rise up out of their graves first, to be instantly followed by we who are alive (including all the babies and young children of the world), and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
This is the Rapture, or the “snatching away” of the Church, and seven years later, we shall return with Christ to rule and reign with Him on the planet Earth for one thousand years.
We will continue this study next time.
God bless you all,
(Portions of this series are taken from the writings of my teacher, the late Glenn W. Ewing, Waco, Tx.)