God chose the Ekklesia, aka, the church in eternity as the fourth of His principal tools for completing His plan as it plays out in time and space.
Turn to Eph. 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
To clearly understand the amazing value of that declaration, we must analyze certain words from the original language. “Blessed be” is translated from a Greek word–eulogetos–which means adorable. “Has blessed” is translated from ‘eulogeo’ which means to invoke a benediction upon. “All spiritual blessings” means every commendations available in the spirit realm. According to this scripture, so far, the adorable God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ invoked a benediction upon us that includes all of the commendations available in the spirit realm of eternity. He did that in the same way that He chose us, in Him, before the foundation of the world. In other words, God the Father selected us in God the Son before God the Son created time and space.
How can that be? How could God choose us in Christ even before time existed? We find the answer is Col. 1:16: ” For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
Consider what this means in a practical sense. All created things begin with an idea in the mind of its or their creator. That’s the design phase of creation. Everything created comes into existence with a functional purpose, based upon some developmental plan that springs from the mind of its creator. That’s the development phase of creation. Finally, this idea, designed, imagined, or pictured in the creator’s mind, developed as a step-by-step plan, comes into existence so that its functional purpose can be achieved. That’s the deployment phase of creation.
Now, let’s consider what verses three and four in the first chapter of Ephesians means in a practical sense. God, translated by a Hebrew word–“El” that means indefinable and limitless power, designed, developed and deployed a plan to expand Himself from a single eternal being into a family, composed of millions of beings just like Him, but still constituting just one God. God’s driving and primary motivation is to reveal Himself as an eternal being who is love, possessing the limitless riches of grace as well as limitless faith and hope
Therefore, His initial step was to personify His thoughts and words. This personification has been revealed as God the Son. Then God personified His power. This personification has been revealed as God the Holy Spirit. Thus God, the original eternal being, came to be personified as God the Father, head of this divine, eternal family. With these actions, God created the concepts of family and team. Therefore, His initial revelation of Himself to His creation is as “Elohim”–a single being revealed as a team that includes His Word and His Power. Elohim also includes the concept of “family,” a collective of beings–word and power personified–perfectly united in one overarching plan and purpose.
The three personifications, traditionally referred to as “the Trinity,” have specific roles and responsibilities in executing this amazing plan. God the Father, for example, serves as the Sovereign Leader for whom all things are done. God the Son was set aside to be the “lamb” or sacrificial instrument of God the Father that He would use to ensure the eternal existence of a group of beings later to be deployed and called human. God the Son has also been assigned the roles of Prophet, Priest and Potenate in a realm of rulership, known traditionally as the Kingdom of God. Thus, God, the Son, aka Jesus, the Christ, as God’s sacrificial lamb, became the Father initial tool to bring about this amazing expansion plan.
God the Holy Spirit was assigned the unique responsibility of literally living in these limited beings called humans and transforming them, from the inside out, so that they could cross over from time into eternity as the literal children of God–spirit as He is spirit, thinking and speaking as He thinks and speaks and thereby behaving in impeccable cooperation with God. Thereby, God the Holy Spirit began the Father’s second vital tool He uses to perfect His powerful plan,.
Next God–the Elohim–begins fashioning other unique tools He will use to complete the plan He designed, developed and deployed. The third tool was a reproductive instrument that He named “woman.” Turn to Revelation 12 and let us begin reading in verse one: “Now a great wonder appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars . . .”
The word translated “appeared” means literally to gaze–with wide-open eyes–upon something remarkable. The word “wonder,” also translated “sign” is from the Greek word “semeion” and means a supernatural or ceremonial indication. This tremendous wonder–woman–is clothed with the sun, that is, enveloped in light, or brilliance. The concept of moon–or incredible attractiveness–is at her feet. This means that woman is greater than, or elevated above, her attractiveness. So yes, all women, as God deployed them in time and space, are attractive. Yet, her greatness lies not in her attractiveness, but in her brilliance and her unlimited reproductive capacity. Let’s continue reading.
On her head, this woman wears a crown–or a badge of royalty. That’s the first aspect of this tremendous concept that is greater than her attractiveness–her royalty. She is the creative masterpiece of the only and thereby the great mind of eternity. Thus, she is royal and regal by design. Next, we read this: “She being with child, cried travailing in birth, pained to be delivered.” That’s the second aspect of woman greater than her attractiveness–her ability to give birth to potential greatness. She can give birth to beings who are designed, developed and deployed to become servants–the epitome of greatness (See Matt. 20:26).
Next, God the Son begins designing specific human beings who will become individually and collective the next instrument of accomplishment in God awesome plan. As God the Son designed these specific beings–first to be human and next to become divine–He parades their individual and collective designs before God the Father. He selects them to be holy–set aside for specific purpose and blameless–beyond condemnation–as far as He is concerned. But how could beings so fatatally flawed–enslaved to a nature incapable of “hitting the mark,” and burdened with “anomia” or lawlessness also be seen as holy and blameness in God’s sight? In Romans 6:16 Paul was inspired to refer to this flaw as being enslaved to sin. This potential became possible because God the Father had already set aside God the Son to become the instrument upon which God the Father would spend all of His wrath against sin–the missing of the mark–based in lawlessness. This group of beings–to become first human and then spirit–were to be known as the Ekklesia–the church, a group of called ones, honored to serve as the Body of God the Son as He works on earth in this dispensation of God the Father’s profound plan.
Now, let’s continue in the summary of God’s plan revealed in the first chapter of Ephesians. Let’s pick up at verse five: “Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Therefore, before deploying this collective of humans, God the Father, working through God the Son and God the Holy Spirit created a legal concept called “adoption,” and predetermined that those selected being would be transferred from one familhy–humans–to a new family–Elohim–by the legal concept called adoption. As a legal concept, adoption means, among other things, that any evidence of the person’s previous relationship with a prior family is destroyed and the only evidence available for anyone to observe is the legal connection the person has to his or her adopted family. God–the Elohim–did this because He wants to give us eternal positioning and power in this tremendous kingdom known as the Kingdom of God . God describes this as a goal that gives Him tremendous pleasure (See Luke 12:32 and Eph. 1:5).
Thus, as God the Father selected us, God the Son accepted us as His siblings, (Eph. 1:6), knowing that He was scheduled to become the firstborn of God the Father. (See Heb. 1:6).
“In Him, we have redemption–which means to be delivered from. We were delivered from the sinful nature, and thereby also from our citizenship in the Dominion of Darkness, aka “the world.” Yet more important than what we were delivered from is what we were delivered to–the eternal forgiveness of all our sins and into the Kingdom of God. Our citizenship now resides in heaven–headquarters of the Kingdom of God where our High Priest and Potentate–Jesus the Christ lives and advocates for us.
Now, consider the other seven steps that God took as he revealed his plan in time and space:
1. ” . . . having made know to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.” (v. 9)
2. ” . . . in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth–in Him.”
3. “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.’
4. “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession to the praise of His glory.”
5. ” . . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are 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 work of His mighty power.”
6. ” . . . He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”
7. “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.’
That’s summary number one–an overview of God’s plan–seen from eternity looking into time.
In part 2, we will consider a summary of God’s plan, viewed from the perspective of time looking forward into eternity.