Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).
God is not bound by our concept of time. Before He created all things He knew that Adam would fall, the Jews would be called out, Messiah would come and offer salvation, and the Ekklesia of Christ would be established. The Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Millennium are other events He already has seen. He knew that Adam’s fall would taint all of His creation and because of that sin He knew that it would take nothing less than His own blood, shed on Calvary to redeem this rebellious world. It is hard to understand how He is able to do this, but the best analogy I can make is to a movie.
When I watch a movie I know how plays out it from start to finish. That movie cannot be changed, but if I watch it with someone who hasn’t seen it, I know the twists and turns of the plot but the other person doesn’t. There are times I might say, “Pay attention here, it’s important” or I might tell some important parts early just so they don’t miss them. This may not be the best example, but it does give an idea of how God can see: “The end from the beginning.” To Him, it has already happened. When God gives us hints in advance of what is to come we call it prophecy. On the other hand, He also says that He has kept some things secret from the foundation of the world.
“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:35).
A study of our Bible reveals that the secret is all about Jesus and His Ekklesia (Christians).
The phrase “the foundation of the world” occurs in quite a few Scriptures. We know that a foundation must be laid before something, like a home, is built. Without a foundation to support it, a structure will fall at the first breeze that touches it. A foundation also sets the shape and plan of the structure. There was no “big bang” which started things randomly evolving to accidentally end-up where we are today. No, in the beginning God had a plan. He laid the foundation for that plan, and then built upon that foundation by speaking the world and all that is in it into existence. Scripture reveals that God knows of future things before the foundation of the world.
For instance, Jesus told a parable of the sheep and goat judgment which will occur after the Great Tribulation.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
The kingdom spoken of in this verse was prepared before the foundation of the world, yet this sheep and goat judgment is still in the future. God already knows of this judgment and He has prepared a place for the sheep.
As humans we look at Scripture from our own perspective and sometimes our human interpretation may confuse us. We need to understand that God’s perspective is very different than ours and we need to try and look at these Scriptures through His eyes. When we read the account of Eve being tempted by Satan to eat the forbidden fruit, and then Adam choosing to join in the sin, from our perspective we think that God had to come up with a quick solution. Yet, when we study all of Scripture we understand that God knew it would happen and the solution was planned before the foundation of the world.
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:18-20).
Before the foundation of the world was laid down, God knew Adam would sin. The only solution to that sin was for God Himself to become like one of us and shed His own blood for our redemption. Only acceptance of His death, burial, and resurrection can take away sin. Because God knows the end from the beginning He had the prophets tell of His sacrifice in detail long before Christ was born in that stable.
For example Isaiah writes of the coming Messiah:
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Our human minds cannot imagine the glory of heaven, but before the foundation of the world Jesus knew He would leave heaven to become one of us. He knew the suffering and rejection He would face, yet He still came to redeem us. Thank You, Jesus. Satan is so filled with pride and hatred toward mankind that he has spent thousands of years attempting to separate us from God. He still thinks that he can win this spiritual war, but he has already lost. He was defeated at the cross.
God has already seen the end times and has revealed some of the happenings a little at a time. In Daniel we read about the Great Tribulation and God’s focus on Israel at that time. Daniel is told what would take place in the end, but he was told not to reveal it.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).
Things will happen before the Tribulation and Daniel was not to make them known. God wasn’t ready yet to reveal His entire plan so He didn’t want Daniel to describe the detail of the end times. Some of those details include Christ dying on the cross and being resurrected to give the only way of salvation for a fallen world. God Himself would become our once for all sacrifice. Another detail God didn’t want made known is the fact that Christ would call out a group of people: Christians. Nor was the Rapture revealed. Yet, we are told that He chose us before the foundation of the world!
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
No, this is not Calvinistic predestination. Because God sees the end from the beginning He knows who will and who will not accept Christ’s sacrifice for salvation. That salvation is available for anyone who chooses to accept it:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
God is outside of time and He already knew before the foundation of the world just who would choose Him. The Ekklesia was known to God before the foundation of the world, but the details remained a mystery until Paul was chosen to reveal it.
“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward; how that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery…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 fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Ephesians 3:2, 3a, 5, 6).
Satan had tried to corrupt mankind from the beginning. The Jews had been a target for Satan since Abraham was called because he knew that God had chosen them as the line from which Messiah would come. The Gentiles didn’t worship the true God, so Satan wasn’t bothered by them since they were his anyway. A new group was established on the day of Pentecost. This new entity is a group of people who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This group is made up of both Jew and Gentile and are “fellow heirs” of the promises of Christ. This was a hidden truth that Paul was privileged to reveal, but was known to God before the foundation of the world.
All who have accepted Christ are indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit and cannot lose salvation, but Satan can interfere with our witness by causing us to stumble and lose our joy. This fact was on Jesus’ heart as He prayed in the garden on the night He was arrested. He first prayed for Himself and His relationship with the Father. Then He prayed for the disciples who would soon have their faith tested. Finally He prayed for us…the ones who would accept Him as our Saviour by faith. He prayed that we would be with Him.
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
There’s that phrase again, “before the foundation of the world.” Christ is eternal. He existed before time began and will continue after time ends. Even more amazing is the fact that He wants us with Him. When He told His disciples that He was about to leave them, they wanted to know where He was going.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know” (John 14:1-4).
Christ is preparing a place for us…He knew us before the foundation of the world, and is now preparing a place for all believers. He will come again and receive us. I can hardly wait!
God revealed what will take place after the Rapture during the Great Tribulation. Some was revealed by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse and more was revealed to John and recorded in the Revelation. The description of the wrath and judgments of that time are horrendous. Sometimes I wonder what other details God has left untold. If you have accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation then you will also be taken to the place He is preparing and will escape God’s wrath.
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
The Rapture will happen soon. Christ will come for us and in the twinkling of an eye we will be changed and go to the place He has prepared. If you have not accepted Him, then you need to do that now. If you wait too long you will get a close up and personal view of the Tribulation and you do not want to be on earth to be a part of that.
God bless you all,