Over the past 6,000 years, it has not been God's purpose to reveal Himself to the world, however, throughout the next 1,000 years, God's purpose is to reveal Himself mightily to all mankind. This process is beginning, even now, through the pages of this book.
In the beginning, God revealed Himself to Adam and Eve. They rejected the knowledge of God, and thereby rejected God by deciding for themselves what was good and evil. They rejected the authority of God and established themselves as the authority to judge what was the best way of life to live. As we have already covered, everyone has chosen this same course by deciding for themselves what is best. This is the way of pride. Everyone is filled with the same spirit as Adam and Eve, judging for themselves what they will believe, yet always rejecting the truth from God.
God knew what Adam and Eve would do, just as He knew that all mankind would do the same. From the beginning until now, God began calling people out of the world (out from the ways of man) in order to reveal Himself and His only true way to them. God did this on an individual by individual basis. If you have not read the previous chapters, you will not be able to grasp all that is being revealed in this chapter.
Again, it must be understood as the most basic knowledge of God that God has a very specific plan for mankind, whereby He will offer eternal salvation to everyone—but in His own perfect time. Part of this basic knowledge is that God's plan includes letting man follow his own ways for the first 6,000 years on earth. Man was to rule himself by being allowed to choose his own ways, and because of man's selfish nature, he would always reject God's true ways. The only exception to this over the past six millennia is those whom God would call out of the world. God called these in order to train them to become part of His ruling government in the one thousand year reign of His Kingdom on earth.
This knowledge is basic and focal to God's overall plan and purpose for mankind's existence. This is why the seventh-day Sabbath of God is so very important to man. The seven-day week is a constant sign of God's complete plan for man. The first six days (first 6,000 years) were allotted to man to work and pursue his own ways, but the seventh day is God's. It is His time to teach man His ways and to reveal Himself to man. The seventh-day Sabbath pictures the next 1,000 years of God's reign that will come to this earth when Jesus Christ returns as King of kings. The loss of this basic knowledge and man's disobedience to observing the Sabbaths as God commands are the reasons man does not know the times in which we now live. This is the very reason why man is ignorant of the fact that God's Kingdom is about to be established on earth.
God knew that Adam and Eve, as well as all of mankind, would reject His true ways. During the first four thousand years, man continued to remain in ignorance of who God truly is.
God did reveal Himself to those whom He called out of the world, but even to those whom God called, He only revealed Himself in a progressive manner. Abel, Noah and other early prophets of God did not know God as well as Abraham knew God. God revealed Himself more fully to Abraham than he did to those righteous men who lived before him. Then, when God called Moses, He revealed Himself even more fully than He had to Abraham. As time passed, God continued to reveal more and more about Himself and His plan and purpose through the prophets. The farther into the 6,000 years allotted to man, the more God continued to reveal. However, the world did not understand or receive this truth. Only those whom God called could understand. The world has remained cut off from God since the time of Adam and Eve. The 144,000 have been called out of this world and have been able to come into a true relationship with God, as well as come to know Him and His ways.
Then, after four thousand years passed, Jesus Christ came to this earth to reveal His Father to all mankind. The world did not receive this revelation, just as God knew it would not. God did not send Jesus Christ into all the world, but only to those of the tribe of Judah—the Jewish people. There were ten other tribes of Israel that had been scattered into parts of Europe several hundred years earlier. They were not of Judah. This will be important to understand later in this story.
Judah rejected the words of Jesus Christ. They would not believe the truth about who God is. They believed they already knew God through their own interpretations of the Old Testament scriptures. Year by year, these Jewish people kept the Passover because they remembered how God led them out of Egypt and into a promised land of their own. They did not understand that the Passover pictured something far greater than deliverance out of a physical nation where they had been held captive. The Passover pictured the Lamb of God who would have to be sacrificed as man's Passover in order for man to be delivered out of a spiritual bondage—out of sin. Judah could only grasp the meaning of Passover on a physical plane as part of their history, but they could not see the Passover on a spiritual plane as part of God's greater plan for all mankind.
Judah rejected the true knowledge of God that they had lost long before Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah. It is a most incredible paradox that the Jews rejected the very one God sent to them—His own Son, who was their Passover.
After the death of Jesus Christ, one of the greatest deceptions that Satan ever foisted upon mankind began to be revealed. Satan has always worked to fight against God. He has worked to keep mankind deceived. One of his greatest deceptions began to take shape in the middle of the first century, A.D.
Throughout Judea, the apostles began to teach people about God the Father and Jesus Christ. Everyone rejected this message except for a few that God began to call out of the world in order to train them for His future government. The apostle Paul was called by God to go to non-Jewish peoples. He traveled north and northwest into Europe, and these people also refused his message, except for those few whom God began to call out of the world.
It was at this same time that a man known as Simon Magus came into the picture:
There was a certain man named Simon who previously had been in the same city practicing magical crafts and astounding the people of Samaria, giving the impression that he was some great person. (Acts 8:9)
Simon Magus was an intellectually-talented individual who fancied himself as a kind of priest and prophet who practiced the arts of astrology and mysticism. He was received by many as a wise man, a prophet and a priest. Many people held Simon Magus in high regard and followed what he said because they believed he was from God.
In Samaria, some of these same people heard Phillip teaching about Jesus Christ and they believed what he preached concerning the Kingdom of God, so they were baptized. Simon believed much of what Phillip was preaching and he followed him, witnessing many of the signs and miracles that were done through him. All this fascinated Simon Magus. When Simon saw Peter and John laying hands upon those who had been baptized, he witnessed these people receiving the power of the Holy Spirit from God. Simon wanted this same power, and he offered the disciples money if they would lay hands upon him; but Peter chastised him, knowing that Simon Magus did not grasp what he had witnessed concerning what God was doing in His Church. Simon simply wanted the same power in order to be like Peter and John, but he did not want the truth the disciples were teaching.
After this, Simon Magus gave up his quest to become great among the disciples. Instead, he set out to reestablish his own influence over people by using mysticism and cunning deception, just as he had been doing before. He did this in order to be accepted as some great teacher who had received special powers from God, just like the disciples.
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