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Chapter 19
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THE PURPOSES OF GOD


God is eternal and has eternal plans and purposes:

Ephesians 3:11

"According to the eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:"

Eternity existed before God created time which is related to the universe.

In this eternal past God created Heaven and all its glorious Creatures.

He created:

Seraphim's and Cherubim's.

Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer the three Archangels.

Myriads of Angels divided in three groups, each under an Archangel..

It was during this time that lucifer instigated a rebellion against God.

He persuaded the third of the Angels under his authority to rebel with him against God.

Because of their rebellion God cast them out of Heaven.

Ezekiel 28:13-15

"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."

Isaiah 14:12-15

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.


Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."

The rebellion of lucifer brought contamination to the Heavens and the Earth.

The two Archangels Michael and Gabriel together with two thirds of the Angelic hosts remained loyal to God until this day.

There was a need for restoration.

God planned and decreed by His purposes to bring about total restoration to the Heavens and the Earth. This included the destiny and the habitation boundaries of mankind.

Acts 17:26

"And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;"

Ephesians 1:9-10

"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:"

In Gods program everything is timed with perfect precision.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"

Job 24:1

"Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty."

Time was created by God with a beginning and an end.

The Bible mentions the beginning and the end of time.

Genesis 1:1

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Revelation 10:6

"That there should be time no longer:"

The Bible teaches that time consisted of numerous ages.

Ephesians 3:21

"Throughout all age's world without end."

There are three periods of ages in time:

1. Past Age's:

These past ages existed before the Garden of Eden.

2. The present Age:

This present age exists from Eden to the end of the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

3. Future Age's:

The future age's are after the Millennium without end.

Ephesians 2:7

"That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace."

Now let us look at these ages in more detail.

The Past Ages:

These are the pre-edenic ages that existed before the creation of the Garden of Eden.

During this past age at the beginning of time, God created the Heavens and the Earth.

Genesis 1

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Very little information is given in the Bible of the past ages.

This Present Age.

The Bible refers to this age as sundry times. (Different times.)

Hebrews 1:1

"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake unto the fathers by the prophets."

This present Age covers a period of seven thousand years, from Adam to the end of the Millennium.

The seven creation days of Genesis chapter one are symbolical of the seven thousand years of this present age. The six days symbolize the six thousand years of man on earth. The seventh day of rest (the Sabbath) symbolizes the Millennium, the one thousand years of the Messiahs' Kingdom on earth.

One day, prophetically spoken, is symbolical of a thousand years in scripture.

2 Peter 3:8

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

These seven thousand years are made up of dispensations.

A Dispensation is a period of time during which God deals with man in a specific way.

Each of these dispensations introduces and completes Gods purposes of man for that specific time.

Ephesians 1:10

"That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ."

Each time God changes His global way of dealing with man a new Dispensation begins.

This present Age is made up of seven dispensations:

1.  The Dispensation of Innocence.

2.  The Dispensation of Conscience.

3.  The Dispensation of Nations.

4.  The Dispensation of Patriarchs.

5.  The Dispensation of Law.

6.  The Dispensation of Grace.

7.  The Messianic Dispensation.

Let us look at each of these dispensations:

1.  The Dispensation of Innocence.

In Genesis chapters one and two we read that God created everything in an atmosphere of innocence. There was a total absence of sin and man had no knowledge or experience of sin. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden in absolute innocence of sin. This dispensation of innocence ended when they sinned. 

God had to change His dealings with man because of mans knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:6

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

Verses 22-23

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden."

2. The Dispensation of Conscience.

Adam, Eve and their offspring were now directed by their conscience.

They and their descendents had the choice of serving God or the devil.

Abel pleased God and his offering was accepted.

In his bloodline people like Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah chose to serve God.

Cain displeased God and his offering was rejected. His descendents multiplied and were exceedingly ungodly.

Genesis 6:11-13

"The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."

Noah found grace in the eyes of God. God commanded him to build an ark and prepare for the great flood that would destroy the whole earth. After the flood subsided the only survivors were Noah and his family.

This brought about the end of the dispensation of conscience and the beginning of the new dispensation of Nations.

3. The Dispensation of Nations.

Noah, his three sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth and their families went out from the Ark. As they had children their descendents filled the earth. Initially, God dealt with all mankind as one people. They became united in a rebellion against God. They built the Tower of Babel and God had to change His dealings with them. God caused them to speak different languages, separated them from one another and they became different nations.

Genesis 11:1-9

"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel:"

It was in this dispensation that God scattered men and defined the boundaries of the nations.

Kingdoms and Governments were established and God began to deal with individual nations separately. From the lineage of Shem, we have the Semitic nations that are Syrian, Asiatic and Jewish. From Hams lineage we have the Hametic Nations that are Arabic and African. From Japheth's lineage, we have the Japhetic Nations that are European.

All nations take their lineage from these roots.

4. The Dispensation of Patriarchs.

This dispensation is from the call of Abraham to the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai.

It includes the four hundred years of captivity of the Israelites in Egypt.

This dispensation relates to Gods dealings with the three Patriarchs:

1. Abraham.

2. Isaac.

3. Jacob.

In this dispensation God called and established the nation of Israel and called Abraham to be its progenitor.

Genesis 12:1

"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:"

God promised to bless Abraham, making his descendents a great nation and giving them a land for their eternal possession. He made a Covenant with Abraham and instituted the circumcision of all the newborn eight-day-old males of Israel.

When Abraham died, God called his son Isaac to continue with his father's legacy.

He continued Gods covenant, circumcision and sacrificial worship.

When Isaac died God continued His covenant with Jacob. Jacob wrestled with an Angel and received a special blessing from God. His name was changed to Israel and it became the name of Gods chosen Nation. The twelve sons of Jacob became the progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Exodus 1:1-5

"Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,

Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already."

In Egypt, Israel multiplied from seventy souls to over two million souls within four hundred years.

It was a time of waiting for the next dispensation.

It was during this dispensation of Patriarchs that Israel was severely tested in Egypt, to prepare her for the next dispensation. She experienced a mighty demonstration of Gods power in defeating Pharaoh and delivering Israel.

5. The Dispensation of the Law.

This dispensation begins at Mt Sinai and ends at the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God used Moses as His instrument to give His moral, civil and health laws to Israel and ultimately to the world. He anointed and empowered Moses to lead Israel to their promised land and commanded him to build a Tabernacle. It was here at this Tabernacle that God manifested His presence and shekinah glory. Animals were sacrificed by a High Priests and Priests. The shedding of animal blood covered the sins of the people.

Other deliverers followed Moses, like Joshua, Gideon, Deborah and Samson.

Then God gave Israel a Prophet called Samuel and his ministry paved the way for many other Prophets to follow. These were prophets like Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.

Then God made Israel a kingdom and gave her Kings.

Saul, David and Solomon each reigned for forty years.

Israel was then divided into a Northern and Southern Kingdom under many different Kings.

The northern kingdom was taken captive by Assyria and the southern kingdom by Babylon.

Under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah the Israelites returned from captivity to the land of Israel.

For four hundred years under Maccabean rule, Israel awaited the coming of their Messiah.

Jesus Christ made His appearance toward the end of this dispensation. He was the only begotten Son of God and Gods gift to mankind.

He was the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the sin of mankind.

John 1:29

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

Jesus lived a perfect sinless life and fulfilled all the prescriptions of the Torah.

He is the perfect Prophet, Priest and King.

When He was sacrificed on the Cross of Calvary, He shed his precious Blood to pay the price, procuring redemption, salvation, cleansing and healing for all who believed in Him.

Matthew 27:31

"And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him."

Isaiah 53:5

"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."

6. The Dispensation of Grace.

This dispensation brought about salvation in a new way. It was by Gods grace.

Ephesians 2:8

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"

This dispensation begins at the resurrection of Jesus Christ and continues to His Second Coming.

It introduces salvation and remission of sin, by faith in God.

It dispels all fears of failing to keep the law and introduces new hope of forgiveness of sin.

1 Corinthians 15:14-17

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins."

In this new dispensation Believers experience three basic things:

Salvation.

Water baptism.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The dispensation of Grace covers a period of approximately two thousand years and is divided into seven Church periods.

Revelation 1:13, 20

"And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man.

The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."

John the Apostle saw Jesus standing in the midst of the Seven Churches. They are symbolical of the seven church periods or the seven kinds of churches during the dispensation of Grace.

These seven churches or church periods, found in Revelation chapters two and three are:

Ephesus.

2. Smyrna.

3. Pergamos.

4. Thyatira.

5. Sardis.

6. Philadelphia.

7. Laodicea.

There were many churches in Asia when John wrote the book of Revelation.

It is clear that the Lord chose the seven churches to represent seven church periods or seven kinds of churches > in this dispensation.

- Each church is assigned an Angel to help the church.

Revelation 1:20

"The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches:"

- Each church is receives a portion of the Holy Spirits power and blessing.

Revelation 5:6

"The seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."

Revelation 2:7

"Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;"

- The spiritual condition of each of these seven churches is revealed.

Revelation 2 & 3.

The Seven Church periods:

1. The Ephesus Church. (From the time of the Apostles to the Church Fathers)

Revelation 2:1-7

This was the first dynamic Apostolic Church of the book of Acts.

They experienced and continued in the power of God and holiness.

False leaders arose and the church began to backslide, losing her first love.

Paul warned the church of this.

Acts 20:29-30

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

2. The Smyrna Church . (From the Church Fathers to the Dark Ages)

Revelation 2:8-11

Great spiritual leaders arose to continue contending for the faith delivered to them by the Apostles.

In Church History they were referred to as Church Fathers.

These were men like Polycarp, a spiritual son of the Apostle John.

Justin Martyr whose writings defended Christianity.

Ignatius who encouraged and gave counsel to the elders of the Church.

The church of this period experienced much tribulation and persecution.

3. The Pergamos Church. (From the Dark Ages to Martin Luther)

Revelation 2:12-17

This church continued to experience persecution. It was a church misled by false prophets being subjected to many heresies and false teachings. It encountered a dark spiritual period. The priests had Bibles but the people did not. During this time the church lost most of the basic teachings of the Apostles.

4. The Thyatira Church. (From Martin Luther to John Wesley)

Revelation 2:18-29

It was during this time that there arose men like William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale and John Rogers.

They translated the Bible from the original languages into the language of the common people. Then God raised up a man called Martin Luther who realized the importance of faith. Against great opposition he preached that just men should live by faith. Those who were servants of God in this church could truly be described as ministers of love, service, faith, patience and good works.

5. The Sardis Church . (From John Wesley to Azusa Street)

Revelation 3:1-6

When John Wesley began to preach repentance of sin and salvation, he ushered in a new era.

Throughout the world, people began to turn to God in repentance. Great spiritual leaders arose like Charles Finney, George Whitefield, D L Moody and others, and many people were saved and baptized.

6. The Philadelphia Church. (From Azusa Street to the end time Church)

Revelation 3:7-13


During a service held at the Apostolic Faith Mission in Azusa Street, Los Angeles, people were suddenly baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. This was the beginning of a great end time Holy Spirit outpouring and it spread across the world to every continent. It was a God given open door that no person or organization could shut. This Holy Spirit experience is enjoyed today by over four hundred million Christians worldwide.


7. The Laodicea Church. (The end time Church)

Revelation 3:14-22

This describes the end time church today which is a lukewarm church. A church that thinks she is rich, spiritually clothed with righteousness and has spiritual vision. This church is ignorant of the fact that she is poor, naked and spiritually blind. The Lord Jesus Christ stands on the outside of the church knocking at the door, wanting to come in. For those who open to Him, He will come in and bring great restoration, refreshing and anointing.

At the end of this time Jesus Christ will return as a thief in the night.

Matthew 24:39-42

"So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we, which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Before Jesus returns two things will happen:

1. There will be a falling away from the faith.

2. The anti-christ, the son of perdition will be revealed.

2 Thessalonians 2:I-3

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

This man of sin the antichrist, will reign over the earth and he will sign a seven-year contract with Israel. He will force all people on earth to receive the Mark of the Beast.

Revelation 13:16-18

"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

No man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."

He will severely and cruelly persecute the Saints.

Revelation 13:7

"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:"

Daniel 8:24

"And his power shall be mighty... and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."

Revelation 20:4

"I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands;"

After three and a half years the antichrist will enter the newly built Temple in Jerusalem and demand to be worshipped as god but will be rejected by Israel. He will then break his seven-year contract with Israel and persecute her.

During these seven years there will be great tribulation in this world as never seen before. More than half of mankind will die by war, disease or catastrophe. A third of vegetation and animals will be destroyed by pestilence. The heavens will be shaken and the earth destroyed by earthquakes, disasters and meteorites. Here are some scriptures that describe this holocaust:

Luke 21:25-26

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

Revelation 16:18-21

"And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

Revelation 6:4-8

"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another:

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

Revelation 8:7

"The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up."

 The Bible declares that God will shorten this time in order to save mankind from total annihilation.

Matthew 24:22

"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:"

7. The Messianic Dispensation.

This one thousand year dispensation begins at Christ's Second Coming.

The Lords second coming is described in:

Zechariah 14:1-4

"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh.

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west."

Israel will then realize that Jesus Christ is their Messiah. They will be sorrowful and grieve for their past rejection of Him. They will accept and welcome Him.

Zechariah 12:10

"And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn ... as one mourneth for his only son."

Jesus Christ will reign over all the Earth and there will be peace.

Zechariah 14:9

"And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one."

Verse 16

"And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."

Micah 4:2-3

"And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

During this dispensation, satan will be bound and held captive in the bottomless pit.

Revelation 20:2-3

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

And cast him into the bottomless pit."

The antichrist and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.

Revelation 19:20

"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."

At the end of this dispensation satan will be loosed and will try to deceive the nations.  

He will be defeated, cast into the lake of fire and punished forever.

Revelation 20:7-10

"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

And shall go out to deceive the nations.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."

The White Throne Judgment.

At the end of the Messianic dispensation, the White Throne Judgment will take place and all of mankind that ever lived will be judged.

Revelation 20:11-15

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

The false prophet, antichrist, satan and all sinners will be removed from the heavens and the earth and cast into hell.

This present age will then come to an end and time will be no more.

All Christians will then enter into the future eternal ages with a New Heaven and Earth.

2 Peter 3:13

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

In the ages to come our future will be secure and we have great assurance in always being with the Lord:

1 Thessalonians 4:17

"And so shall we ever be with the Lord."

It will be an everlasting experience of joy and happiness.

Revelation 21:2-4

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

All the Saints are a part of Gods wonderful family.

Ephesians 2:19

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God:"

Because we are living at the very end of the Dispensation of Grace we know that Jesus Christ is about to return to the Earth.

Let me challenge you to find your place in the plans and purposes of God right now.

You have an important role to play.

Patiently and fervently complete the assignment God has given you.

Hebrews 12:1

"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us."

Romans 8:28

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Psalm 31:15

"My times are in thy hand:"

I trust that you will complete your life mission with the words of Paul:

2 Timothy 4:7

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:"

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