God’s Plan For Man
Jehovah God created the whole universe—all the stars and suns and planets. (Read Genesis 1:1)
First, he planned exactly what he was going to do. Then he did what he had planned. He is a very careful Creator.
Even now, all nature must obey God’s laws. For instance, when a farmer plants a seed, he expects that something will grow. That is the way God’s creation works.
Astronomers, scientists who spend their lives studying the sun and the moon and the stars, have watched the sky for years and years. Because they know what has happened in the past, they understand what to expect in the future. God’s laws are constant, always the same. How simple, and yet how wonderful!
The Creator also planned a fine plan for all of the human race. It is going to bring true happiness to everyone, and this will happen when God wants it to happen, and how God wants it to happen. It will be the best plan that can possibly happen—better than anything you or I could ever plan.
- Who created the universe?
- Did he think about what he was going to do, or did it just happen?
- Give an example of something you expect to happen. What makes you think it will happen?
- Do you look forward to God’s plan for mankind? Why?
God created the planet Earth for man. He wanted mankind to live here forever.
Of course, God had a law for man: Obey me and live, God said. Disobey me and die. Simple. Sensible. A righteous Creator wanted everything to be right in his creation. (Genesis 2:17)
Sad to say, Adam disobeyed. He began to die, and then he was no longer perfect. (Genesis 3:22-24)
Adam and Eve had children. The parents were not perfect any more, so their children could not be perfect. Adam and Eve were no longer as close to God as they had been in the Garden of Eden; every year, the family felt farther from God’s friendship. God is completely righteous. The human family was unrighteous. (Genesis 4:1,5,8)
The Bible tells us about this. The things we have talked about so far are written in Genesis 1:1-4:8.
Some people have tried to return to God’s fellowship, his friendship, and they will be wonderfully rewarded. Other people have chosen to follow Satan. (Genesis 3:1,4,6; John 8:44)
So many people found it easier to follow Satan that he became known as The Prince Of This World. (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; Ephesians 2:2)
Sin began over 6,000 years ago. It has grown worse and worse. It has brought terrible sorrow. (Matthew 24:21,22)
God knew the end from the beginning. (Isaiah 46:10; 55:7,11)
The first book of the Bible tells how man left perfection. The last book of the Bible tells how man will be restored, returned, to perfection, happiness and fellowship with God. (Revelation 21:4)
We pray for that wonderful time. (Matthew 6:10)
Jesus told his disciples that today’s trouble would come just before the blessed Kingdom. (Luke 21:28)
A beautiful description of the kingdom is found in Isaiah 35:5-10.
The reason that we have the Bible is because God wanted us to know his plans. (Isaiah 1:18) When we know what God plans, we can cooperate, fit in with those plans, better. That is our heart’s desire.
The Creation of Man
“In my great-grandfather’s day, things were different from the way they are today.”
When you read that sentence, did you think of a 24-hour day when my great-grandfather lived? That is not what I meant.
I meant, “In the time when my great-grandfather lived, things were different.”
The first chapter of Genesis tells about six creative days. Genesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day God ended his work . . . and he rested.”
The Bible does not mean that a creative day was 24 hours long. The Bible means that a creative day was a certain period of time. God could have magically snapped his fingers and made the world in a moment. But God usually works wonders in ways that seem natural. In one way, every baby is like a miracle, every flower is like a miracle. But God has marvelous creations that come into being in seemingly natural ways. It was that way with the planet Earth. Probably, each creative day or period of time was 7,000 years long.
Even before God began preparing the earth for man, before these creative days of Genesis 1, “the earth was.” (Genesis 1:2) It was “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2), but all the elements were there to be used.
Jehovah God planned exactly how everything would be, but he created a helper to do the work. John 1:1-3 tells us about this being whom Jehovah created. We call him the Logos. John called him the Word:
“In the beginning [of creation] was the Word, and the Word was with [Jehovah] God, and the Word was [a] god [a mighty one] . . .
“All things were made by him [the Word]; and without him was not any thing made.”
For another description (words which describe or tell us how something was) of the Logos, read Proverbs 8:22-30.
Jehovah God instructed the Logos to create the light that caused day in contrast to night, and that was done scientifically, slowly, wonderfully, in the first 7,000-year day of creation. (Genesis 1:5)
Each 7,000-year creative day, the Logos accomplished, finished, a marvelous creation according to Jehovah God’s instructions.
Then “God said, Let us make man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26)
- Today, we usually think of 24-hour days. Is the word “day” ever used to mean something besides a 24-hour day? Explain. What was accomplished (finished) in each creative day (7,000-year-long day)? Read Genesis 1:3 (First Day); Genesis 1:6,8 (Second Day); Genesis 1:10,12 (Third Day); Genesis 1:16 (Fourth Day); Genesis 1:20 (Fifth Day); Genesis 1:24-26 (Sixth Day), and Genesis 2:2 (Seventh Day).
- We are still living in the seventh 7,000-year day. It has been over 6100 years since Adam was created.
- Does God have the ability (is he able) to create miracles instantly?
- Why didn’t God create the earth quickly?
- Explain Genesis 1:2—”the earth was” and it was “without form and void.”
- Who originally (first of all) planned creation?
- Who was the only creation made by Jehovah God?
- What do you know about the Logos?
Before the sixth day ended, man was created “in the image of God.” That means he was like God in a moral way; he could understand what God’s laws consider right and what God’s laws consider wrong. Man could think.
A dog or a monkey may seem very intelligent and clever, but a dog or a monkey does not think, “I will be kind to my mother. I will be loving to my wife. We will be sure that our children are educated and skilled so that they can support themselves. We will eat cereals and vegetables and fruits so that we will be healthy. We will praise God. We will try to understand him.”
- When was man created?
- What does Genesis 1:27 mean—”God created man IN HIS OWN IMAGE“?
Read Genesis 2:7. Notice the phrase, “Man became a living soul.” This is a basic, primary, most important truth. Other truths are based on it. They rest on it as their foundation. This is a primary truth, a first truth, a simple truth; yet many people do not understand it. They think “Man RECEIVED a living soul.” We are greatly blessed to know the truth: “Man BECAME a living soul.” When we learn important truths, we thank God that he has caused us to know him better.
“Man became a living soul.” The word “soul” means “a living being.” Man, Adam, became a living being.
Our bodies are made of elements that are in the ground. Our bodies become alive when the breath of life comes into them. The body is not a living being until it breathes. The body is not a soul until it breathes. Read Genesis 2:7 again.
In Genesis 1:28, God told Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful. Multiply. Fill the earth.” They were to have children and grandchildren and many descendants—all people would descend from them (come from them). Everyone on earth is a part of Adam and Eve’s family.
That is why God had the earth created—so that Adam’s family would live here forever. (Read Isaiah 45:18)
I Corinthians 15:47 says that the first man (Adam) was made from the earth for the purpose of living on the earth. If Adam had obeyed God, he would have lived on the earth forever. There would have been no death. Jesus came to save mankind from death. In his kingdom, perfect mankind will live on this perfect earth forever.
Psalm 8:4-8 tells of God’s plan for man. It is wonderful that all the Bible agrees. We have read scriptures from many different parts of the Bible. They all tell that the earth is where perfect man will live forever in God’s kingdom.
Genesis 2:8,9 tells how it all began in the perfect Garden of Eden.
Genesis 1:28 tells God’s instructions to Adam: “Subdue the earth.” Only Eden had been made beautiful and useful so far. As the years continued, Adam and his growing family would be expected to go out and make all things beautiful all over the earth. They would plany vegetables for food. Eden would grow and grow and fill the whole earth.
God’s purpose, his plan, was for Adam’s family to make all the earth a paradise. The perfect happy human family would have perfect health and everlasting life. They would love God and one another, and he would love and bless them.
This was God’s plan for man.
- Did Adam RECEIVE a living soul? Did God GIVE a soul to Adam? Explain.
- What is a soul?
- Is a dead body a soul?
- What did God tell Adam and Eve to do in Genesis 1:28?
- Explain Isaiah 45:18.
- What does I Corinthians 15:47 say about Adam?
- What does Psalm 8:4-8 mean?
- Where did the history of man begin? How do you know?
- Why didn’t God expect all of Adam’s children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to stay in that first little garden?
- What did God want Adam and his family to do with their time?
- How long did God want Adam and his family to live on the earth?
- How would mankind’s experiences, their health and lives, be different if Adam had not sinned?
Death’s Reign Begun
God designed (planned) that man should enjoy everlasting life on earth. God’s law required (insisted upon, demanded) that man would obey him. God’s plan and man would be frustrated (unhappy; it would not work well) if man would not obey the laws of God’s universe.
God said, “Keep my laws, and you shall live. Do not keep my laws, and you shall die.”
That was what God meant. The exact words in scripture are:
“Ye shall keep my statutes (laws) and my judgments (what I have decided): which IF A MAN DO, HE SHALL LIVE.” (Leviticus 18:5)
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4 and Ezekiel 18:20)
“The wages of sin is death . . . the gift of God is eternal life.” (Romans 6:23)
God used a tree to test Adam’s obedience. “Thou shalt not eat of it . . . in the day that thou eatest thereof THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.” (Read Genesis 2:15-17)
- How long did God want people to live on this earth?
- How do you think things would have worked if every man could do anything he wanted and if he did not want to obey God’s laws?
- Do you think God had the right to make laws and to expect perfect man to obey God’s laws? Explain.
- Does it make sense to have laws, then not punish people who do not obey the laws? Explain.
- What was God’s punishment for disobedience?
- How did God test Adam to see if Adam would obey?
God created Lucifer a perfect creation. He placed Lucifer in the Garden of Eden to help Adam and Eve. (Ezek. 28:12-19) But pride overcame Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-14) and he fell. Then his name was changed to Satan. The Devil, Satan, wanted to be in charge of Eden.
But Lucifer did not want to fit into God’s plan. Lucifer saw the planet Earth and beautiful Eden and the fine man and woman who would have a family that would fill the earth. Lucifer made a plan of his own—wicked, not blessed and righteous like God’s plan.
In order to carry out his own plan, Lucifer went to Eve. The Bible says Lucifer made himself look like a serpent. To Eve, this bright and shining being seemed wise; but he was really subtle (deceiving, clever, shrewd, tricky).
Somehow this wicked being (now known as Satan, the devil) made Eve believe, “You will not die. God is afraid that you will have as much knowledge as he has if you eat from the tree. That is the only reason he does not want you to eat of the tree.” (Read Genesis 3:1-5)
We think, “Why was Eve so foolish?” But it is surprising that many intelligent, knowledgeable, educated people today believe Satan’s lie, “You shall not die.” (Genesis 3:4) These people say, “You LOOK as though you die, but something inside you lives on.” They are wrong. That is Satan’s lie.
Here is what the Bible says about death:
“That which happens to men happens to beasts. As men die, so do beasts die. They each need breath to live. A man is no different, no better than a beast when it comes to dying. All go to one place when they die, man and beast. Their bodies are made of elements found in the ground; when they stop breathing, their bodies decay and those elements return to the ground.”—Ecclesiastes 3:19,20.
“The dead know not anything.”—Ecclesiastes 9:5.
“Whatever you find to do, do it while you are alive; for there is no work, or plan, or knowledge, or wisdom in the grave.”—Ecclesiastes 9:10.
Because there is no pleasure (no happiness) in death (nor is there torment or sorrow; there is nothing), our entire hope is in the resurrection—coming out of death into everlasting life in the last day, the resurrection day. This day, as the Bible states in 2 Peter 3:8, will be a thousand years.
Daniel (12:1,2) knew: At that time, the many who sleep in death shall awake.
Jesus’ friends were not sure how the dead will awake. So Jesus showed them.
A man named Lazarus was sick. (John 11:1). Jesus was traveling in another town. After awhile, Jesus said to his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps. I will go and awaken him out of sleep.” (John 11:11)
His disciples said, “Lord why would you want to waken him? Resting will help him get well. Let him sleep.” (John 11:12,13)
Then Jesus explained, “When I said he is asleep, I meant he is dead.” (John 11:14)
Death is like sleep because there will be an awakening, a resurrection. Before Lazarus’s sister knew Jesus would awaken Lazarus then, she said, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24) All faithful Jews knew that.
Even though Lazarus was only awakened from death to live a few more years, still this story makes us realize the happiness of the real resurrection when people will come back to live forever on the earth.
The wonderful events of Lazarus’s awakening are recorded (written) in John 11:1-45.
- Who was Satan?
- Who was Lucifer?
- Read Isaiah 14:12-14. Explain.
- What was the lie that Eve believed? (Genesis 3:4)
- Describe death. (Tell what it is.) Do not describe the suffering of sickness —but what happens after a person stops breathing?
- Tell the story of Lazarus.
- What is the difference between the awakening of Lazarus and the way the resurrection will be?
- How was Lazarus’s awakening like the true resurrection in the Kingdom?
Eve was deceived (fooled, tricked into believing it) by the Devil’s lie. She disobeyed God’s law and ate the fruit which she was not supposed to eat.
Adam was not deceived. (I Timothy 2:14) Before Eve was created, God had told Adam, “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” (Read Genesis 2:16, 17, 18, 21, 22)
But Adam ate of the fruit, and knew he had done wrong. He could no longer be God’s friend. (Genesis 3:7-13) So it was because of Adam’s disobedience that death came upon the human race.
God told Adam and Eve how he would punish them during the thousand-year day before they finally died. (Read Genesis 3:16-19, 22-24.) 2 Peter 3:8 says some of God’s “days” or periods of time are a thousand years long. Adam died when he was 930 years old—Genesis 5:5.
- Did God tell Adam not to eat of the tree BEFORE Eve was created, or did God tell Adam AFTER Eve was created?
- God told Adam not to eat of the tree. Who do you think told Eve?
- Did Adam fall over and die the minute he ate the fruit? Explain.
- We have talked about “days.” How long was the day during which Adam must die?
- Did Adam die in that day?
God condemned (pronounced sentence, told what his punishment would be) Adam and Eve before they had children.
By the time the children were born, Adam and Eve were no longer perfect. Psalm 51:5 says, “In sin did my mother conceive me.” When Eve became pregnant, she was already a sinner.
Romans 5:12 says, “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned.”
Sin and its punishment began in Eden. They have continued on earth for 6,000 years.
This long period of human suffering is described, spoken about, as a night-time of weeping (crying). Psalm 30:5 gives us hope. It will not last forever.
Mankind is learning the terrible result of disobeying God’s law. Man will always remember that it is very important to obey.
- Did Adam and Eve have children while they were perfect, or were the children born after Adam and Eve had become imperfect?
- Do imperfect parents have perfect children? Explain.
God told the serpent (Genesis 3:15), “He (Jesus) will crush your (Satan’s) head, and you (Satan) will strike his (Jesus’) heel.”
Which would kill—a bruise on your heel or a crushed head?
When Eve heard God say this, she was happy. When her baby boy was born, she named him Cain. She said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.”
She must have thought this was the son who would rescue her, deliver her, take her back to the joys of Eden—away from the power and strength of the Devil and sin and sorrow and death.
But the Son of Man who would deliver mankind was Jesus.
Revelation 10:1-3 tells what Jesus will do to the serpent.
I Corinthians 15:25, 26 tells what Jesus will do about death.
Revelation 21:4 tells what Jesus will do to bless all of Adam’s family (all people who have ever lived on this earth.)
- Why was Eve happy when she heard God speaking to the serpent?
- Who did Eve think would deliver her family from Satan?
- Who do you think will deliver all mankind from Satan?
- Looking at the three scriptures we read here, what do you expect Jesus to do in the Kingdom?
About 2,000 years after God told the serpent there would be a Deliverer, God told Abram (Abraham) that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him and his seed. (Genesis 12:3)
God tested Abraham to know if he would obey. (Genesis 22:1-13) This was a very difficult (hard) test. But Abraham was willing to obey. And so God confirmed the promise with an oath. This was the strongest way there was to show Abraham that God would never change his mind. God would surely, positively, definitely do what he had promised. (Genesis 22:15-18)
Every human being who has ever lived is a part of Adam and Eve’s family. As Jesus was the son of Mary, he was the seed of Eve.
Every Jew who has ever lived is a part of Abraham’s family. As Jesus was a Jew he was the seed of Abraham.
So Jesus is Eve’s seed who will deliver all mankind from Satan’s power.
And Jesus is Abraham’s seed who will bless all the families of the earth.
In the New Testament, Galatians 3:7,8 says that all who are of faith are children of Abraham; not only Jews are now considered to be, counted as being, children of Abraham. God now justifies (considers and counts them as righteous) heathen, Gentiles, non-Jews if they have faith like Abraham’s faith.
Now anyone who believes, has faith, that Jesus died for us—anyone who tries to please and serve God as Jesus did—God considers, counts that person as Abraham’s seed. (Galatians 3:29)
All the people of the earth will be blessed by Abraham’s seed. Those who believe in Jesus and follow his ways are counted as Abraham’s seed. Those who believe in Jesus and live as he did (serving and pleasing God) will bless the people of the earth.
John 3:16—”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (the only one he created himself), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (die), but have everlasting life.”
I Corinthians 15:21,22—”Since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead. As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Isaiah 25:8,9—”He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
“And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
Isaiah 35:10—”And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
- When did Abraham live?
- What did God tell Abraham?
- Was Abraham obedient to God? In what way?
- Which of Eve’s sons would deliver her world-wide family from sin and death?
- Which of Abraham’s sons would bless all the families of the earth?
- The nation of Israel are Abraham’s children. In Christ’s kingdom, that nation will bless all the families of the earth. Who else are considered “children of Abraham”?
- Explain Galatians 3:29.
- What does John 3:16 say?
- What does I Corinthians 1:21,22 say?
- What does Isaiah 25:8,9 say?
- What does Isaiah 35:10 say?
The Savior and Salvation
When Jesus was born, an angel announced (told, said) that he was to be the Savior (the one who would save men from sin and death). Read Luke 2:11.
God’s plan for salvation (saving man from sin and death) required (demanded, needed) a Ransom.
Ransom means: Something was lost. You have to pay to get it back.
Adam and his family (all the people on earth) are lost. When Adam disobeyed, he lost his right to live and he lost his family’s right to live.
So, in God’s plan, it was Jesus that would come and give his perfect human life as a ransom for Adam’s lost life.
Adam lost his life. Jesus paid to get it back.
Justice demanded “a life for a life.” This was God’s law.
Jesus gave his life as the ransom price.
Jesus’ perfect human life was the same as Adam’s perfect human life.
It was a corresponding price, exactly the same.
That was God’s perfect law. If a man killed someone, he must pay with his own life: a life for a life. (Exodus 21:23-25; Deuteronomy 19:21)
Jesus bought Adam’s life by paying his own life.
This is The Ransom.
- What did the angel tell the shepherds?
- What does “salvation” mean?
- What does “ransom” mean?
- In this plan of salvation, what was lost?
- What was the payment that got it back?
- What does “corresponding price” mean?
Because Adam lost his perfect, human life, only a perfect human life could get it back. An imperfect human life would not be the corresponding (same) price. A perfect angel’s life would not be a corresponding price. It had to be a perfect human life.
What human being was perfect?
Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”
Psalm 49:7 says, “None of them can . . . redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.”
God and the Logos agreed (decided together) that the beloved Logos would become the ransom. He would become a perfect man and give his perfect human life to redeem, buy back, Adam.
John 3:16—”God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I John 4:14—”The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
Hebrews 2:9—”We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death…that he…should taste death for every man.”
Hebrews 2:14—”As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also [Jesus] … took part of the same [flesh and blood]; that through death he [Jesus] might destroy him [Satan] that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
John 6:51—”My flesh . . . I will give for the life of the world.”
Read Isaiah 53:3-7.
I Timothy 2:5,6—”Christ Jesus gave himself a ransom for all.”
I Corinthians 15:22—”As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
- God and Logos loved one another very much. How did God feel about the world of mankind? (John 3:16)
- Who did God choose to be the Savior (one who saves) of the world of mankind? (I John 4:14)
- The Logos was a spirit being. A spirit being could not ransom Adam, a perfect human being. What did the Logos have to do to become a perfect human being? (Hebrews 2:14)
- Hebrews 2:9 says Jesus was made to be a little lower than the angels. What was Jesus before he “was made a little lower than the angels”?
- What did Jesus give to buy “the life of the world”? (John 6:51)
- Jesus only had to die for the world. What kind of a human life did he live for 31/2 years from the time he was baptized until he died? (Isaiah 53:3-7)
- What scripture says that Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all”?
- All of Adam’s family died because of his sin. What scripture promises that they will all be made alive?
God’s gift of life through Christ will be given to any who believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and then the believer must obey God’s laws.
How will people know about Jesus and his saving power? Read Romans 10:14,15. It is our joy to tell others about Jesus and salvation.
Of course, today we cannot tell the Good News to those who are asleep in the grave. But in God’s due time they will be awakened from the dead, and then they will learn about Jesus who died for them. God wants all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. The Gospel (Good News) will be testified (told) to them in due time. (I Timothy 2:3-6)
“The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD,” so everyone will know how Jesus died so the world can live in happiness and perfection. (Isaiah 11:9 )
“Then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” (Zephaniah 3:9)
- Eternal life will only be given to those who believe and obey. Believe what? Obey what?
- How can people believe if they have never heard? What are we to do about that?
- How can the dead hear the Gospel?
- Is there any place on earth where the Gospel will not be told?
Besides these wonderful promises of the earthly kingdom, there will be a little flock in heaven. These are Christians who now believe on Christ and spend all their time trying to do God’s will. They have complete faith that Jesus will help them now, to sacrifice as he did, to give their lives as he did, to help others and glorify God as he did. Read Romans 4:24.
Even now, these sincere and earnest Christians are like sons of God; he directs their lives; they obey his commands. They have peace with God through Jesus. They are counted righteous because they have faith in Jesus. They are no longer enemies of God, because they try so hard to please him. (Romans 5:1; 8:1)
If these consecrated Christians are faithful unto death, they will be rewarded with immortality. They are given exceeding great and precious promises that they may receive the divine nature in heaven. (II Peter 1:4) They seek glory, honor, immortality, eternal life—not on earth, but in heaven; they give up their hopes of earthly life. (Romans 2:7) They will become immortal, in heaven, following Jesus through suffering to glory. (1 Corinthians 15:53,54)
- Most people will be blessed with eternal life on earth. Is there another part to the kingdom? Explain.
- What are Christ’s special followers doing today?
- What will be the reward of Christ’s little flock of sacrificing followers?