Scripture clearly outlines a chain of events that are dependent on God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth in 6 days. It is only because God is the all-powerful Creator that He could steer history towards the big benefits He promised, in the following way:
Creation, Fall and Promise of Restoration
- God created the garden of Eden. He put Adam and his wife there and allowed the serpent, the devil, to test their loyalty and love for God.
- Adam failed and both he and his wife, Eve, were expelled from the Garden so that they would not live forever in their fallen state.
- At the same time, the omnipotent Creator promised a Saviour to restore them, ‘…He [the coming Messiah] will crush the head [of that ancient serpent, called the devil, or Satan].’ 1 The work of the Messiah would be to bring anyone who desires it, back to Eden. Eden is a type of the heavenly Kingdom. By the work of the promised Messiah people will once again have the blessed relationship with the Father and walk and talk with Him as they did in the garden.
The all-powerful Creator steered history to accomplish the goal of Genesis 3:15.
- God called Abraham (to be the father of the eventual Jewish nation) and promised him that he will be a blessing to the whole world (it happened through his offspring, Jesus). 2
- God promised king David that He will establish one of his offspring to rule eternally (it would be Jesus). 3
The momentous event to fulfil Genesis 3:15 arrived.
- The angel Gabriel went to Nazareth and announced to a virgin called Mary, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; His Kingdom will never end.’ 4
- Only because God is the Creator, could the angel tell Mary, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.’ 5
- Through the ages people scoffed at the idea of a virginal conception. They forget that the Most High showed His omnipotence in the six days creation of the universe.
- The resurrection of Jesus was only possible because God is the omnipotent Creator of Genesis 1.
- There was a titanic clash between God and the ancient serpent to prevent the resurrection of Jesus, but Scripture shows God’s superior strength, ‘That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.’ 6
The arrival of the Holy Spirit empowers believers
- John the Baptist promised, ‘He [Jesus] will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.’ 7 The authority God the Father gave to God the Son, Jesus, after His accession, is the reason we can be baptised with God the Holy Spirit. He enables us to learn to live in victory over the serpent’s lies and accusations.
Jesus’ omnipotence as Creator and Saviour finishes God’s plan.
- Jesus not only forgives our sins when we repent. The New Testament tells us of His omnipotence as Creator. 8
- The book of Revelation shows how Jesus wraps up this present creation on our behalf. It begins with a magnificent scene in Revelation 5. A mighty angel asks in a loud voice, ‘who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ The scroll sets the end of this creation in motion and therefore represents our future inheritance, the new heavens and earth.
- Apparently there is nobody worthy to open the scroll. The tragedy of it struck the disciple John and he cried his heart out. Then, “…one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’ 9
The promise of Genesis 3:15 is finally fulfilled.
- In Revelation 6-8 Jesus opens the seals, the trumpets and the bowls that are necessary to establish God’s Kingdom on earth. Only then can the glorious New heavens and earth, the New Jerusalem, the Bridegroom and the Bride’s banquet, and the eternal reign of peace, finally come. At last Satan is completely crushed and banished to the lake of burning sulphur where he will be tortured for ever.
- Just imagine this glorious scene! ‘Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants [we, the faithful followers of Jesus, resurrected and renewed] will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.’ 10
All this is only possible because the message from Genesis 1 rings loud and clear: God is powerful, He promises (speaks) and He fulfils. Cut Genesis 1 out of the Bible, and you lose the rest of the revelation of Scripture. Without God, the Omnipotent Creator, there is no power to do what needs to be done. Only God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit who were all involved in the six days creation event, have the power to see that what God promised, will come to pass.
- Genesis 3:15, Revelation 12:9
- Genesis 12:2-3
- 2 Samuel 7:12-16
- Luke 1:30-33
- Luke 1:35
- Ephesians 1:19-21
- Luke 3:16
- John 1:1; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2
- Revelation 5:5
- Revelation 22:1,3,4
In previous blogs we discussed some aspects of the vexing evil issue, ‘Why did God allow evil?’ ‘What about evil, part 1?’ ‘What about evil, part 2?’ ‘The talking serpent never stopped talking.’ We touched on the appearance of the evil one, ‘the great dragon… that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan who leads the whole world astray.’ 1 In this blog we want to discuss or repeat something very important: the devil has an essential role to play in God’s Kingdom. To say it clearly, without the devil, God cannot successfully complete His Kingdom Project.
Did God plan the rebellion of the devil?
- The Bible tells us that the devil is a rebellious angel, who is in opposition to God. Did God cause the devil to rebel? God never interferes with free will. All angels have free will. God could not force the devil to rebel, since he could then complain that God set him up and that his sentence of eternal hell is not fair.
- God will never violate either the angels’ or people’s free will. That would throw the whole judicial process into a turmoil. Then most people could complain that God was unfair, since He influenced some to love Him and left others alone. God is absolutely fair and just. So He will never override free will. Therefore God did not plan the rebellion of the devil.
- However, if God is good and omnipotent, why did He allow the devil to bring evil to this world? Life would have been so much easier without the devil. Doesn’t God want us to have a good life? The answer is: the Kingdom is impossible without the devil, the evil one and his destructive influence on the world.
The devil and the Kingdom of God
- Why did God allow the devil to usurp Adam’s authority and fill the world with evil? He could have stopped the devil, limited his power, or just plain annihilated him.
- The issue has to with God’s plan for man, namely a Kingdom of Love and Peace. Therefore the devil’s work in God’s Kingdom is absolutely necessary. God uses his ‘assistance’ to successfully complete the establishment of the eternal Kingdom of Love and Peace.
- How does the devil do that? He rebelled against God, he doesn’t like Him and slanders God all the time. So in what way can he be of assistance to God?
An enemy is essential.
- Leaders of worthwhile countries have enemies. That is a fact of life. There is always someone around who wants to usurp the current leader’s position.
- With God it is no different. He is the King of a wonderful country, and He has an enemy. A future Kingdom of Peace on earth is impossible without God’s enemy who attempts to thwart His plans. To understand it better let’s compare it with the role of an opposing political party in a country:
- Country A has a leader, LA. He has an enemy, Z. Z goes around and tells everybody that LA is incompetent. They should replace him with Z. In this proses Z divides the people. He exposes those who will oppose LA.
- Let’s apply this principle to God’s Kingdom. He is the King. His Kingdom is eternal and is one of Peace and Love (to be part of His Kingdom is obviously worth trillions). But… God has an enemy. This enemy irrevocably lost his place in God’s Kingdom.
- Because this enemy was disgraced, he is full of revenge, hate and spite. He thought he assassinated God’s Son on the Cross, but it was a huge defeat for him when Jesus rose from the dead. So his next line of attack is to try and prevent people to become citizens of God’s Kingdom.
- While he will never be king of the eternal Kingdom, he is ruler of this temporary world. That means he has ways to slander God and propagate how ‘detestable’ He is.
- In our world, what does the enemy do? He divides the country’s citizens into two groups, those who accept the current leader and those who don’t. It is the same with God. Look at history as revealed in the Bible to see how the devil divides and exposes God’s enemies.
Division caused by Satan
- After the Fall, Adam and Eve had two sons. Abel was a righteous man. 2 Cain refused to listen to God’s warning. 3 That division among humanity continues to this day:
- Some people are willing to obey God. They accept the influence of God’s Spirit and choose to ‘eat from the tree of good.’
- Some people refuse to give heed to God’s warnings or advice. They accept the influence of the devil’s spirits and choose to ‘eat from the tree of evil.’
- This selection process went on right through history and continues today. It is what identifies God’s people as well as His enemies.
- Look at the final episode in the plan of God. Revelation 17:14 says, ‘…The Lamb will overcome them [the kings who gave their authority to the beast] because He is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.’
- Also in Revelation we read about people with the exact opposite disposition, ‘…and they cursed the name of God who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify Him.’ 4
- So the last book of the Bible identifies two groups of people, those who follow Jesus and those who don’t.
- Revelation 20:12 &15 describe their respective final destinies, ‘…The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books…. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.’
The devil serves God because he identifies and exposes the rebels. Then everyone at the Judgement Throne can see that they are unfit for God’s eternal Kingdom, because they will disrupt the Peace and Love. The division will make it possible that, ‘…the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God.’ 5
- Revelation 12:9
- Matthew 23:35
- 1 John 3:12
- Revelation 16:9
- Revelation 21:3