The Purpose of History

(added 11/28/98)

Back during my undergraduate days in college, I used to intentionally try to stir up a number of people by sending various letters to the editor of our school newspaper.  Here is one of those letters (published September 1978).   I think it would serve as a good introduction to this article:

What is the purpose of studying history here at CSULB?  Some say it is to avoid making the same past "mistakes" in the future.  Others say it is to find out how "important" events and people added up to equal what we call the present.  If a commonly accepted theory is true, this college is being unfair, and has no purpose in forcing students to take history courses.

This theory states that all things (rocks, trees, man, etc.), given an infinite amount of time, came into existence by pure chance.  Bunches of matter joined and broke apart randomly until we got our present universe.  Time and chance don't have minds and therefore had no reason or purpose to create the universe.

Each individual bunch of matter would have to make up purpose and meaning for itself.  Things such as "mistakes" or "important" events become nothing more than an individual's opinion.

Let's apply this theory to history.  The history teacher asks his class, "why study history?"  If the teacher truly held to this theory, and if one or both reasons are given which I gave earlier, he would tell them that history was just a pile of different opinions.  What was thought a "mistake" to the teacher may not be to the student.  What the teacher thought was "important" may be trivial to the student, even though the student may be serious about the subject.  Those who are honest, admit that they can't even be sure about how we got to where we are in history.

If this theory is true, I wonder why CSULB requires everyone to hear such long-winded opinions to graduate.  I suggest that the Supreme Court decide on one opinion of what happened in history, and then we could pretend to make some sense out of it.

For those who believe in evolution, the rest of this article would be meaningless to you.  To those who believe that God used evolution, I feel sorry for you that you believe in a "God" who would use such a cruel method known as the "survival of the fittest."  Such a method of producing all things through death would be contradictory to what the Bible says about God.   Also, even if God actively helped at all during any supposed evolution, it would no longer be considered evolution.  It would be considered a form of creation, since evolution is based upon the idea of all things being produced completely by random mutations without any design.  For the rest of you who can look beyond the theory of evolution, please continue reading.

 I suspect that the reader has heard too many times as I have, little or no explanation for why God does what He does, apart from something like, "we are not meant to know in this life," or maybe "His ways are so far above ours to understand." Granted, both of these statements I believe are true to a large extent, but I believe that the Bible has provided enough to understand at least some of the big picture purposes of the "drama" of history.

I think that we can get some good ideas for what the purpose of history is by first looking at the creation of mankind.  The most accurate record for this event I believe is found in the book of Genesis:

Genesis 1:26-28-- Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

What does it mean for mankind to have been created in God's "image" and "likeness?"  According to Strong's Concordance, the word "image" comes from the Hebrew word  "tselem" (tseh'-lem) which is derived from an unused root which means to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol.  "Likeness" comes from the Hebrew word "demuwth" (dem-ooth'); and its root word means resemblance; concretely, model, shape.  In other words, it appears that mankind in some way provides an important picture of God in some way.  Having the "image" and "likeness" of God appears to be one of the most important purposes for man throughout all of history.  So, what kind of picture do we draw of God?

One of the best theories I have heard of what this means, is that we are a small, finite picture of the characteristics of God.  What are some of the characteristics of God?  This is a good question to ask an atheist or an agnostic.  Even though they might not want to believe God exists, they can usually come up with the characteristics God should have IF He existed, even if they knew NOTHING about God from the Bible.  Consider this: IF God created the universe, what would He be like?  He would have to be very powerful (omnipotent).  He would have to be pretty big, and not limited to time and space (omnipresent and eternal).  He would also have to be very smart (omniscient).  The Bible says that every human sees evidence for all these characteristics of God just by looking out at our universe:

Romans 1:20-- For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Unless you hold to some kind of "New Age" belief, you probably do not see humans as having such kind of infinite characteristics as God has.  Since we are only an "image" of God and not God Himself, we then only have a small finite portion of those characteristics.  We may not be omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal (in this life), or omniscient, but it could be argued that we are in many ways strong, able to move ourselves to a number of places, can reach eternal life through belief in Christ, and know and do quite a lot.  Yet, I think there is still another important way that we are made in God's "image."

Around mid-1997, I got into an internet debate on a Jewish bulletin board regarding whether or not God could be triune (three people, or the Trinity), as how most Christians believe He is.  This caused quite a commotion, especially since I was quoting from the book of Genesis, a book that they believe was from God.  How could I show that God is Triune, using their own Bible (the Old Testament)?

There are quite a few different words in the Hebrew that have been translated "God" in the Old Testament.  The most unusual one is the one used in the Genesis creation passage, namely "Elohiym."  What is the big controversy about this particular name of God?

Strong's Concordance gives us the definition:  'elohiym (el-o-heem');plural of 'elowahh (el-o'-ah) (which means deity); gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.

Apart from this word, whenever you see the "iym" at the end of a Hebrew word, it means plural (more than one).  In cases of people's names with the "iym" ending, it means "race of."  Two examples are the Nephilim and Cherubim (both English spellings).  Therefore if we are consistent in translation, "elohiym" literally means "the Race of God."

Various Hebrew "experts" claimed that the "iym" ending of "Elohiym" was the single exception to the rule.  They said it is like the "royal we," such as when a single royal person saying "we are not amused" literally means, "I am not amused."  Well, hold on.  When a "royal" person speaks using the "royal" word "we," aren't they referring to the entire house and lineage of their "royalty?"  This is where they get the "right" to speak as a royalty.  They are not "royal" in and of themselves.  So, even in this case, the so-called "royal we" points to a plurality of persons. Also, even Jewish scholars admit that before 1000 ACE (1000 AD to most of us), that NO royalty used the "royal we" phrase. Interestingly, it was invented around 1100 AD by Jews in Spain who tried to get around the evidence that God is united as more than one person.

Based upon this more accurate but controversial translation, I propose that being made in the "image" of God means that the entire human race is a picture of the Race of God, more commonly known as the Trinity.  If there truly is a Trinity, then there are multiple persons in it, but just one God.  Humans are certainly multiple persons, but there is only one mankind (humankind, to be more politically correct).  I believe that the human race is a picture that teaches us the strange concept of how God could still be "one" and yet be multiple persons.  Plurality in unity is the image.  If you still doubt my proposal, check once again the Genesis passage regarding this subject, and notice the parallel shifts between singular and plural references to both God and man:

Genesis 1:26-28-- Then God said, "Let Us(plural persons) make man(singular word for plural persons) in Our(plural persons) image, according to Our(plural persons) likeness; and let them(plural persons) rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  And God(singular word for plural persons) created man(singular word for plural persons) in His(singular person) own image, in the image of God(singular word for plural persons) He(singular person) created him (singular person); male(singular person) and female(singular person) He (singular person) created them (plural persons).  And God (singular word for plural persons) blessed them(plural persons); and God (singular word for plural persons) said to them(plural persons), "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Hopefully, you can now see that the mankind (singular) carries the very honorable image of the Triune nature of God.  Plurality in unity.  I suggest that we now continue to the next major chronological event recorded in the Bible, and see if we can begin to see a pattern for the main purpose of history.

One of the main purposes of history is to reveal more and more about who and what God is, and how we fit in. Quite a few years ago, I came up with the following "rhyme:"  The Bible is: God's revelation of Himself and creation, which includes man's station, and toward God his relation.  Before Adam and Eve fell into sin, through observing creation, they were able to recognize that God was stronger, smarter, and older than they were.  Eventually, God reveals to them and their children that He is actually omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal.  They may have even begun to believe that God was good, because all of Creation was created good (Genesis chapter 1).  Yet, as my article What is Evil pointed out, evil is not necessarily the absence of everything good, therefore, they may have not been at first able to rule out that God is evil.  When Adam and Eve finally did sin, God then had new opportunities to reveal more about Himself:

What did God say would happen if they ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil?  (Gen 2:16-17)-- And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."

What actually happened when Adam and Eve ate from this tree:  God curses the serpent to now crawl on its belly, Eve to have the pain of childbirth greatly increased from what was meant to be before, and to Adam, the ground is cursed, so that its productivity is not only decreased, but that it would produce unwanted byproducts that add pain and necessary extra work.  Also, Adam (which means man from the ground), who was made from the materials found in the earth (dirt, Gen 2:7), would now have to return to the dust that he came from through death (Gen 3:19).  It appears that the entire universe now for the first time experienced any kind of death or decay, contrary to what some theistic evolutionists choose to believe.

Why did God not immediately kill them?  This question is in my mind very similar to scoffers who ask the question of why does God allow evil to exist.  It seems safe to conclude that it is not due to Him either lacking knowledge of the evil ones or being impotent to take action.  I believe that God uses our mistakes as opportunities to teach us more about Himself.  Along with His sparing of Adam and Eve, I believe the following verse further expands God's revelation of Himself (Gen 3:21)-- And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Where do you think God went to get these garments of skin?  It seems obvious that God had to take the lives of various animals to replace the human's unsatisfactory attempts at clothing themselves with fig leaves (Gen 3:7).  God did promise that there would be continual war between the "serpent" (Satan) and mankind, and in that war, mankind would be "bruised" in the heal, and the "serpent" would be "bruised" in the head (Gen 3:15).  Most Christian scholars would agree that this was the first prophecy of Jesus dying on the cross, which would in effect be His "heal bruising," and yet end up leading the way to the final defeat of Satan, with the "crushing of his head."  It is interesting to note that the constellation Ophiuchus (means Serpent Holder) is pictured as trying to restrain Serpens (The Serpent) who is reaching out to seize Corona Borealis (The Crown), while Scorpio (The Scorpion, but literally means conflict, or war) is trying to sting Ophicuchus in the heal.  The brightest star in Scorpio is the heart named Antares (The Wounding).  The brightest in Serpens is in the neck named Unik (encompassing, or accursed in the Hebrew version of the word).  In the foot of Ophiuchus is the star Saiph (bruised).  Other noteworthy stars in this constellation are Triophsas (treading under foot), Carnebus (the wounding), Megeros (contending), Api-bau (the chief who cometh), and Khu (ruled, or enemy).  Some might argue that this is proof that the Bible stole its ideas from earlier sources.  I personally see this as proof that (Psalms 19:1) The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. This isn't just poetry folks.  This is fact.  God used the stars and constellations for thousands of years before the Bible was ever written to tell us His about His glory, and about the work He is doing.

 We learned that a big part of human history is about the continual battle between Satan and his "seed" (demonic armies, I take it) with the human race.  Even the New Testament affirms this (Eph 6:12)-- For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual {forces} of wickedness in the heavenly {places}.  So, why are humans in war with Satan and his fallen angels?  It looks as if Satan started the fight, while he worked at getting Adam and Eve to disobey God.  Before this, Satan chose to rebel against God, which is the real catalyst of the conflict.  See this article for more details on Satan's and mankind's fall into sin.  Even though we know why Satan wanted to rebel against God (see same article), it I think is less obvious to most why Satan is against humans.

So, why is Satan against humans?  Here are some answers:

(Heb 1:13-14)-- But to which of the angels has He ever said, "Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet"?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? This verse tells us that Angels were meant to be the servants of humans, namely, those who are "saved" by God.  If Satan already did not want to serve God, how much more of an insult would it be for him to have to serve lowly humans!

I will insert comments in the following verses: (Heb 2:6-9)-- But one has testified somewhere, saying, "What is man, that Thou rememberest him? Or the son of man (the title Jesus most often referred Himself to), that Thou art concerned about him?  "Thou hast made him for a little while lower than the angels(mankind was created as a lower form of life than angels); Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, and hast appointed him over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him (Mankind was created to be rulers over all other things, which include angels).  But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him (we are still waiting to be promoted past the angels).  But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, {namely,} Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.  These verses are crammed with a lot of teachings.  This passage teaches that the lowly race of humans will one day be co-rulers of the universe, and this would include ruling over angels.  Jesus, now that he has paid for our sins and is resurrected, fulfills this passage.  This is exactly the opposite of what Satan wanted.  Notice the interesting construction of how this passage goes back and forth between mankind (plural) and a single man.  This sure reminds of the passage talking about how humans were created in the image of God referred to before.  The following verses help us understand further what this means:

(Heb 2:10-11)-- For it was fitting for Him (Jesus), for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.  For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one {Father}  for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren..." We were not only created in the image of God, but we were all meant to be CHILDREN OF GOD, which would make us Jesus' brothers and sisters in the legal sense!  We take this phrase "children of God" for granted due to it being so overused by nearly every religion.  This is truly an amazing thing, especially considering this fact:

(Heb 1:1-8)-- God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
in these last days has spoken to us in {His} Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.  And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;
having become as much better than the angels (Jesus at this time, a HUMAN, now is higher than any of the angels), as He has inherited a more excellent name than theyFor to which of the angels did He ever say, "Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee"? (to no angel, of course) And again, "I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me"?  And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, "And let all the angels of God worship Him."  And of the angels He says, "Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire."  But of the Son {He says}  "Thy throne, O God (Jesus is GOD), is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom."

I do not of course believe that we will be worshiped by angels, but that we will clearly share in the glory of Jesus in the future:

Rom 8:14-23-- For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with {Him} in order that we may also be glorifiedwith {Him.}  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption (death, decay, pain, and all aspects of God's original curses) into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.  And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for {our} adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. God is in the process of adopting us, which will entitle us to share all of God's riches in His Kingdom.  I can certainly say that it is an interesting experience to be adopted, since my step-father chose to adopt me.  He did not have to, but he chose to, even though he knew me.  This choice cannot be made by simply birthing children.  It is truly special to be wanted enough to be adopted.  Here are some more verses about our big transformation that puts us above the angels:

(2 Cor 3:18) But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

(2 Cor 4:17) For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

(Eph 1:13-14) In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of {God's own} possession, to the praise of His glory.

(Eph 1:18-19) {I pray that} the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so 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 surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. {These are} in accordance with the working of the strength of His might

(Eph 5:25-27) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.

(Phil 3:20-21) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Since we will be glorified with God, we ought to live a certain way NOW:

(Col 3:1-15) If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.  But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, {and} abusive speech from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its {evil} practices,and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him{a renewal} in which there is no {distinction between} Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.  And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things {put on} love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

(2 Tim 2:10) For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus {and} with {it} eternal glory.

Satan is VERY jealous of these plans God has in store for the part of mankind who puts their trust in God, and is thus, full of hatred for such believers.  Satan and his demonic forces are not alone in hating God's plans.  Most of mankind hates it too.  This hatred has to do with the fact that most of us deep down do not want to bow and obey God in our life.  Instead, we try to find ways to replace God.  One of the earliest pictures of human-organized rebellion against God was what occurred at the Tower of Babel, a relatively short time after the Noahic Flood wiped out all of life on the earth apart from aquatic, and what was on the ark:

(Gen 11:1-4) Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.  And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.  And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn {them} thoroughly." And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.  And they said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top {will reach} into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."

At least one extra-biblical source tell us that Adam made a prophecy that the earth would be destroyed two different ways in history: once by fire, and once by water.  At this point of history, it was obvious that the earth went through destruction by water.  What they wanted to do was to survive the coming fire.  This is why the tower they were building was made of bricks that were burnt thoroughly, so that it could supposedly survive great heat.  In my mind, this arrogant and autonomous attitude of mankind is basically no different than the one we find in mankind during the time of the book of Revelation.  More and more people are finally awakening to the fact that events of the book of Revelation are soon to occur.  Unfortunately, even among Christians, the main concern is not WHY is this happening, but what can I do to survive it.  Few bother trying to understand why the book of Revelation HAS to happen the way that it does.  What was the outcome of man's attempts to protect Himself from God scattering them throughout the earth?  Just what they feared would happen:

Gen 11:5-9 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.  And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.  "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."  So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.  Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

Notice that God saw great potential evil in mankind if it would be allowed to unify.  Thus, God protected mankind up until now in order to do His Will.  Check the following verses for more clarification:

(Deut 32:8)  "When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel."

(Acts 17:26-27) and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined {their} appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

We are quickly approaching the day when such boundaries will be allowed to be destroyed, and that the evil mankind wanted to do originally at the Tower of Babel can now be fully realized through the leadership of the coming Antichrist:

(II Thess 2:3-12) Let no one in any way deceive you, for {it will not come} unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.  Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?  And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed.  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains {will do so} until he is taken out of the way.  And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; {that is,} the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.  And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false,  in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

God will not deal so mercifully to those of the earth who reject Him this time in their rebellion.  He will allow them to live in the lies of the Antichrist through various continued sin in order to achieve a final polarization between the "wheat" (children of God) and the "tares" (children of Satan) (Matt 13: 24-30).

In case you still are not clear, the climax of history found in the book of Revelation has to do with a transition of power, from Satan to Jesus Christ.  Most people do not realize that they are praying SPECIFICALLY for this major transition, when they pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."  In fact, the opening verses of the book of Revelation tells us Who and what this book is about, The FULL REVEALING OF JESUS CHRIST TO THE WORLD:

Rev 1:1-8 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated {it} by His angel to His bond-servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, {even} to all that he saw.  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us {to be} a kingdom, priests to His God and Father; to Him {be} the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

It is interesting to note that there are various extra-biblical sources that teach that there was a different kind of response from holy persons, the sons of Seth, under the leading of Enoch, to the prophecies that the earth would be destroyed by both water and fire.  There are both Coptic and Jewish traditions that say that the Pyramid of Giza was built 300 years before the Noahic Flood, which occurred around 2344 BC.  The "Egyptian Book of the Dead," which was found in the Pyramid when it was finally broken into by Muslims sometime around 820 AD, calls this structure, "the Pillar of Enoch."   It was designed to survive the flood.  Strange water (not sand) erosion on the Sphinx in my opinion indicate that it also was built before the Flood.  Also found in these extra-biblical sources (Josephus is the best source) is information telling us that a similar structure was built, but it was designed to survive fire, being made of burnt brick.  It appears that this last structure that was meant to survive the fire could not survive the Flood.   What made these structures more acceptable to God than such structures as the Tower of Babel: The Pyramid of Giza was designed for God's glory, not for man's glory or protection.  It appears that Isaiah 14:19-21  Is talking about this pyramid: In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border. And it will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them.  Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it.

The Millennium, where Christ reigns for 1000 years, shows us that only God can fulfill our ultimate desires and needs in the world.  Every event in history has been leading up to such a time of peace.  As history progresses, more of the mystery of Christ is revealed.  Thanks to the Bible, we understand the most important aspects of this mystery, but only through the living out of the rest of history will we fully be able to learn the depth and detail of such mystery, and how we fit into the mystery:

Eph 3:3-13 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.  And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; {to be specific}  that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.  To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; 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.} {This was} in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.

Strong's dictionary gives the following definition for the word, "mystery:"

3466  musterion (moos-tay'-ree-on); from a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites): KJV-- mystery.

The purpose of history was not only meant to teach us  about who and what God is, but it is also the way to provide us all the necessary proof that He has the right to do what He wants, that He is righteous and good, and that He deserves our praise and worship from our hearts out of love, not just out of fear.  Whether or not we willingly praise and worship Jesus Christ, ALL OF US will one day have to bow before Him:

Rom 14:11-12 For it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Believe it or not, there is officially only ONE reason (from my best understanding) why God is delaying bringing us world peace through Christ.  It is based upon the last thing Christ said to His own Jewish people in Jerusalem publicly: Luke 13:33-35-- "Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next {day;} for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, {the city} that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen {gathers} her brood under her wings, and you would not {have it!} "Behold, your house is left to you {desolate;} and I say to you, you shall not see Me until {the time} comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

Notice the last part, where Jesus says the next time He will be again seen by the Jews. That phrase "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" were the words that the crowds were proclaiming as Christ came into Jerusalem on the donkey less than a week before. The Jews knew this was a Bible quoteabout the Messiah (from Psalm 118:26) who would come to bring salvation to their people. They had no idea at that time (most Jews still don't know) what all the things "salvation" would be about. Most of them thought of the Messiah as being nothing more than a man who would bring in a wonderful peace that would never end. The Old Testament has within it pieces of information that more than hints of even greater meaning to what "salvation" would be. The New Testament makes the definition much more clear, now that the victory of the Cross is complete, and Satan's power in effect was defeated. There is clearly war between "seed of man" (Jesus) and "the seed of the serpent (literally "dragon," Satan)-- Genesis 3:15. One reason why full and clear information was not made available before the Cross was this:

(1 Cor 2:7-8) but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden {wisdom,} which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 {the wisdom} which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;

God clearly does not let us know all of His plans because we are in the middle of a war that includes all of the Heavens, space, and the earth. God as Commander-in-Chief of His Holy Ones (angels) and of His saints does not divulge the most top secret information to His troops ("Hosts" in the Bible) until they need to know. This leads to the question "what's with all the waiting," especially since God could rid the earth (and the rest of the universe) of all evil, death, poverty, loneliness, and the rest of pain in an instant.  It is clear that God does not delay because He NEEDS to. The entire history of His created heavens and earth were designed to teach angels and men a number of things. Did God need 6 days to create all things? Of course not. He was trying to teach us certain things with this length of time. For one thing, it taught us how to measure our days in terms of days and weeks. We also learned from it the concept of working 6 days and then resting 1. Time is such a strange thing. God is beyond all constraints of time and space. He knows the future because He has always been in the future, as well as the past and present. Space and time were created for His creatures to exist in. Also, God did not create man or angels because He was lonely, otherwise God would be imperfect. Besides, He had perfect companionship as 3 persons in the Trinity. God teaches that all things are to be done at "their appointed times." This is a constant theme throughout the Bible. The Bible even indicates that the sun, moon, and stars were not only designed to help us in telling time, but would act as "signs" for important events:

(Gen 1:14) "Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years..."

Christ's first coming was and His second coming will be preceded by signs in the sky. God uses certain "stellar" events in the sky as His "alarm clock" to wake up the world (at least His people) to what is going on. One important and relevant verse that has been abused by both Christians and non-Christians is found right in the middle of a prophecy regarding Christ's second coming:

(2 Pet 3:8-9) But do not let this one {fact} escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

A number of early Christians, at least one going back to at least 100 AD (book of Barnabas), interpreted this verse along with the creation "week" to mean that Satan and evil mankind would reign for 6 "days" (6000 years), and then Christ would come to bring rest for 1 "day" (1000 years).  If we take the Bible literally, we are somewhere near the end of the 6th "day." God is a person who does all things in an orderly and timely manner.

What is God trying to teach the angels and us?  It is much harder for me to understand the "lessons" for the angels, since we do not experience life exactly the same way (at least not yet) as they do. The Bible indicates that the fallen angels have already been judged, and are waiting to be sentenced. It appears that these demons see God's "delay" as a chance to try and defeat God. One way would be to prove God wrong regarding even one of His prophecies. The hub of all things in prophecy is the subject of salvation. Yes, God could have created mankind and angels in such a way that none of them would ever sin. Of course that would destroy the ability to have choice or free will. Without choice, it would have prevented us from learning more about God. In other words, if there never was sin, we never would learn about God's forgiveness. This may seem paradoxical at first. As I explained previously, before mankind fell into sin, mankind could only see to a certain degree that God was omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal. In fact, it is probable that Adam and Eve, before they sinned, really did not see God as being that much more amazing than they were. I doubt that they understood the concepts of God being just, righteous, and holy, and most surprisingly, a God of love. Yes, love, even before they sinned. Many in the past and in the present doubt God's love for the world, and for each person.

I am going to let you in on a little secret: I have been a Christian since 1973, and I still have doubts about God's love. The doubts have greatly subsided through the years. Ironically, these doubts did not lessen because life got easier, but because it got HARDER. Here is why: when life got much harder, I first ran from God, but found life unbearable. I then ran back to Him after a relatively short time. The running back and forth has lessened in degree because I have seen that God's promises regarding taking care of me were always kept. From a human point of view, many points in my life appeared forgotten by God.  The future does not appear much brighter in the short run.  Yet in spite of all this (and a lot of other things, believe me), I have THROUGH TIME, learned so much more about God's omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, justice, righteousness, love, among other things.  I am right now more happy than I ever have been, in spite of my present circumstances.  One of the greatest things to experience is Biblical "joy." The capacity for this kind of "joy" can only be enlarged through such things as pain, sorrow, and persecution (ouch). I remember the first time that I finally realized that this was true, I threw my Bible in great anger across the room and against the wall.

Hopefully by now, the reader  can see that salvation is more than just individuals being kept out of "hell." It is a process in which the entire universe is moving through and groaning for its completion. This is a big part of the purpose of history.  Universal as well as individual lessons are being taught as well.  I believe that one of the most basic things God is trying to teach both angels and mankind is that we are His creation, and that we are not gods ourselves. Libraries could be filled with trying to begin to explain what all this could mean. One thing it means is that we are not at all independent of God, and that we owe Him our lives, and our full obedience. This is probably the most offensive concept to mankind in general. Many religions have been designed by Satan (with man's help) in order to avoid this truth, and set up anything else IN PLACE OF God. Ultimately, we sinfully desire to be our own god, and only use other gods to get what WE want out of life to satisfy our own desires. WE WANT TO BELIEVE THAT WE DO NOT NEED THE ONE TRUE GOD, AND THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE WHAT WE WANT WITHOUT HIS HELP! I believe that all of history (His Story) was designed to teach both man and angels the opposite. When man sins, he is basically trying to prove that he or she does not need God, and can satisfy himself or herself without His help. God had to let mankind deteriorate to a low enough degree to let us see that we are not gods, and that we cannot reach our goals without God's help.

In the near future, mankind through the help of the Antichrist and Satan will attempt to bring world peace, prosperity, and happiness WITHOUT the true Messiah or the True God. The Bible makes it clear that this attempt will be a total failure well before seven years of trying is over. The first major "failure" during this false peace will be when God through His Holy angels kick all the fallen angels out of Heaven. This ungodly "peace" then falls apart after this expulsion. God continues to show how false this peace is by injecting His various judgments in opening the seals of Revelation. This appears to lead to Satan's "plan B." Satan I believe will blame "bad aliens" (the real God) for the breaking of the peace, and other world problems.

Satan  would love to rule the world in peace, and to appear as if he was our caretaking God if he could. God simply will not allow this, at least not for long. He will only allow this deception long enough so that evil men and women will grow in their evil to the point that they are completely ripe for judgment. Did you know that even when Christ returns, it will not be for another 1000 years before He gets rid of all pain and death? Why do you think He "delays" getting rid of such things even longer? At the end of this "delay," we see that Satan is allowed to turn mankind against God once again. Based upon all the prophecies of this 1000 year period, it seems clear that even though death and pain will exist, that much of its effect will be greatly reduced. Animals will be friendlier. People will live longer. Justice will be swifter and better. I think that a lot of mankind under demonic influence will once again believe that they can live life without God. They will see everything working so well, that they will take it all for granted, much like how many of us do now, except even more. God's last major lesson to mankind as a whole appears to be that even in an ideal environment (kind of like the Garden of Eden, part 2), we still need God, and need to be obedient to Him.

Then, God finally destroys the entire Heavens and the universe which was tainted by sin and God's resulting curse, gives every human being resurrection bodies, finishes final judgments upon all those who rejected Him, and then creates new heavens and earth that is without pain, suffering, or death, all the things that every person desires. In summary,  I believe God "delays" in order to give all of us not only a chance to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him, but also to let those who reject Him plenty of time and chances to see that their rejection of God cannot produce what they desire.  Somehow in God's plan, the ripening evil of mankind, the completed number of those to be "saved," and Israel as a nation accepting Jesus Christ as their true Messiah, will all come together quite possibly at the end of mankind's 6000th year of rebellion, whatever year that turns out to be. God is the ultimate story-teller, and He is about ready to let us "read" some of the final chapters of His Story. I expect the ending to be better and more exciting than any other story ever written. Expect many surprises. I hope and pray that you the reader can get beyond any of your doubts of God's love, and trust that His delays are not just for His ultimate glory, but also for our good. He has a plan for you that will ultimately bring you your deepest desires. He first needs to build in you the capacity to enjoy what He will one day give you. Think of this life as "boot camp" for the next life. As a person who went through US Marine boot camp, I know that this analogy is not too far from accurate.  There are so many questions I cannot begin to try to answer, such as why God would allow a particular child to suffer or die.  God does not provide answers to most of our questions that have to do with individual people.  These answers are waiting on the other side of this life. We only know the source of these problems: man's sin, and we know that God is in control, and that He loves His children.

  So, when does history end? Neither mankind, nor angelkind, nor God ends, when God one day judges us all, and sends us to our reward or judgment. He then destroys the old universe and earth, and creates a new heaven and earth, one without His curse upon it, for His chosen ones to live in forever. There will be more history to occur, even though we do not know now what it fully will consist of, other than it will be all joy, without sorrow or pain. It will take eternity to fathom all things about God, so history will continue to do its main task for humans and angels: teach us more about all the wonderful things about God.

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