(Continued from previous part.)
The eternal God had a purpose and plan when He created the heavens, the earth and their fullness. The apostle Paul gave a glimpse into this grand agenda in the closing remarks of his epistle to the Roman Christians: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith” (Romans 16:25,26).
Also: “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel... According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:3-6,11).
As we can see, this mysterious purpose of God is in continuity with what we have been discussing on this site: the establishment of a unified kingdom comprising Jews and Gentiles under Christ. And from the unique Gospel According to John, this eternal purpose of God can be summarized in a brief statement: A desire to express Himself: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS GOD. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made... And THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3,14).
What is a word? It is an expression of a thought. Before God could say, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), He had it as a thought, an idea, a purpose, in His mind. This minor purpose was “with God” in the beginning, and when He expressed it, it became His Word. Then that Word was “made flesh,” so to say, in its realization as visible light. That was how God created “all things” – by His Word. He was giving expression to His thought, His purpose, Himself – “the Word was God.”
The whole purpose of God is called the mystery of Christ and the Word of God that created all things is particularly identified with His fleshly and glorious revelation because He is “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). All that God was and was going to express are personified in Christ. That is why the apostle spoke of the “eternal purpose which [God] purposed in Christ Jesus.” The Revelation also calls Christ “the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14).
Don’t get it wrong. “The man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5), the fleshly embodiment of the whole Word of God, was not bodily with God in the beginning, neither was He the first thing God created. But His future revelation was “with God,” as a purpose in His mind. And every other thing God did before that revelation, during and after it, was for the central purpose of expressing Himself in Christ. That is how He is the beginning – or the focus, in the sense of the “diverging point” of a convex mirror in optical physics – of the creation of God. Every other thing was an outpost of that central purpose.
This purpose is made more mysterious by the fact that the first revelation of Christ was made necessary by something that went wrong with the Creation – that is, for the purpose of the work of redemption that the Elders and Beasts testify of. We are, however, told the end of it: “that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” The ultimate material fulfilment of this promise is the Messianic (or “millennial”) kingdom, which, as we have learnt, has eternal consequences. It is what the apostle called “the covenants of promise.”
Now, notice. Although we call and know Him as God, God was not really God when He conceived His purpose. A god is an object of worship, and unless there is a worshiper there would be no god. But in Him was the potential to be God, along with several other things. He was going to express every bit of them. His first move towards expressing the God in Him was the creation of His Angels. These spirit beings worshipped Him and He was manifestly God. Truly, that very act of creating the Angels also gave expression to the Creator in Him.
Since it is our primary interest, we will add that in Him was the potential to be King and the diverse other vocations we have made out of the Elders and four Beasts. These, you would agree, were of limited use to the celestial, or heavenly, realm in which He dwelt with His Angels. There had to be a terrestrial, or earthly, realm on which they would be fully expressed.
Watch it. He knew His whole purpose from the beginning, and clever as He is, the creation of the Angels was tailored towards unveiling the bigger picture. It did not only manifest the God and Creator in Him but also took Him a step forward in executing the other items He had on His grand agenda. It was also an intelligent move towards expressing His other attributes on a physical plane. Yes, He needed workangels, but these workangels were going to have more to do than we might have thought!
All the diverse occupations and abilities that we have made out of the Elders and four Beasts were obviously more than could be conveniently and effectively expressed in one body. So, knowing what He was going to do, the Creator, the eternal Holy Spirit, “divided” those specialised attributes of His among the Angels He created. They were His “gifts” to them. He was “the Head” of that spiritual “body,” from Whom and by Whom all the parts functioned. Of course, all this sounds familiar (see Ephesians 4:15,16; Colossians 1:8), echoing why this divine purpose is called “the mystery of Christ.” And just in case you are wondering how I came about this, you will discover it soon.
(To read the concluding part of this article, click here.)
In the King’s Service,
David Olagoke Olawoyin.