The Deep Things of God

THE Apostle Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (I Cor. 2:9,10) The Spirit of God is the holy power of God, and its revealing power operates for the benefit of the Lord’s people of the present age largely through the written Word of God. It is referred to by Jesus as “the Spirit of truth.”—John 16:13

Only those whose hearts are surrendered to the will of God and whose lives are dedicated to knowing and doing God’s will as revealed through his Word are capable of understanding its message to them, and able to appreciate it to the extent that they are inspired by it to lay down their lives in the divine cause. These know, and as Paul says, “speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory”—or, to show us the path to glory.—I Cor. 2:7

While these hidden things of God are referred to as a mystery, they are mysterious only to those who are not dedicated to following in the Master’s footsteps, and therefore are not walking in the “path of the just [which] is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18) To these “the deep things of God” are gloriously simple, and understandable, regardless of the degree of their education. In other words, the understanding of the plans and purposes of God is attainable by all whom the Lord has called; called that is, according to his purpose, and invited to participate in his great program for the recovery of the human race from sin and death.

The Things Prepared

Paul tells us that the natural “eye” and the natural “ear” cannot appreciate the things which God “has prepared for them that love him,” and then explains that these things are revealed to us by the Spirit; that revealing power of God that “searcheth all things, yea, [even] the deep things of God.” This indicates that the deep things of God are, in a very large sense, an understanding and appreciation of the things which God has prepared for us; that is, for the footstep followers of the Master.

What has God prepared for his loved ones of this Gospel Age? The Scriptures reveal the answer to this question to the full extent it is possible for our finite minds to comprehend it, but in approaching the subject it is well to remember Paul’s statement that “now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” by the Lord.—I Cor. 13:12

In a reference to one of the things which God has prepared for those who love him, the Apostle John wrote, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”—I John 3:1-3, RSV

Here again we are reminded of the limitations of our understanding while still in the flesh. The promise is clear that as sons of God we will be made like the glorified Jesus, but it does not clearly appear what is involved in this, for the simple reason that Jesus is now a divine being and we do not understand fully what a divine being is like, so this full depth of knowledge has not yet appeared to us, and will not until we are actually made like him in the “first resurrection.”

A “Place” Prepared

Another precious promise pertaining to the things which God prepared in his plan for those who love him is found in John 14:1-3, which we quote: “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 to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Here again we are confronted with the incomprehensible so far as human perception is concerned. But Jesus does take us one step further than the Apostle John, for from his words we know that we will not only be like him but will also be “with him” in a “place” which he went away to prepare. We know that in the universe there is a “place”—“mansion”—for the angels. There is a place, or mansion, for God’s human creation. We do know a great deal about this earthly mansion; but as for the others our knowledge is very limited indeed. Especially is this true of the “place” which Jesus said he would have ready when he returned to receive his bride unto himself.

The King’s Daughter

In Psalm 45:13-15 the glorified church, which will be the “bride, the Lamb’s wife,” is referred to as the “King’s daughter,” the King being the great Jehovah, our Heavenly Father. We quote: “The King’s daughter is all-glorious within [in character, perhaps also within the palace]; her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King’s palace.”

What a glorious prospect is here symbolically described; but no words known to humans could describe in detail just how wonderful this aspect of the things “prepared” really is. We rejoice in such a hope, and praise God for the love which provided it. We are fortunate indeed if we have entered into “this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”—Rom. 5:2

The Divine Nature

The Apostle Peter wrote of the “exceeding great and precious promises” of God whereby we are made “partakers of the divine nature.” (II Pet. 1:4) Here we are reminded that the promises of God pertaining to the things which he has prepared for us are designed also to prepare us to be ready to receive that which the promises assure us will be ours if we are faithful to all the conditions associated with the promises. But what is the divine nature? It is God’s nature. It is the highest of all natures in the whole universe, and God has designed that he will share it with his sons, beginning with Jesus and including all his faithful followers.

One of the conditions associated with the promises of God pertaining to the bestowal of divine nature is the willingness to lay down one’s life in sacrificial service in the outworking of the Creator’s grand design for the recovery of the human race from sin and death. Jesus’ faithfulness in sacrifice is portrayed in Isaiah, chapter 53, and in verse 12 his personal reward is described: “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the Great.” The “Great” here referred to is his Heavenly Father, and when raised from the dead Jesus was exalted to the express image of his Father, and all power was given to him in heaven and in earth.

Continuing, this same verse adds, “And he shall divide the spoil [the reward] with the strong.” Here we are informed that the reward Jesus received from the Heavenly Father he will share with the “strong.” This is a reference to those in the Gospel Age who are “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” These are the overcoming ones, having been blessed in following Jesus’ admonition to overcome the world.

To these we find Jesus saying: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev. 3:21) This is as though Jesus had in mind the promise made to him that he would be given a portion with the Great, and that now he was carrying out the remainder of that same promise that he would share this reward with the strong, the overcomers. This is another blessed reward which the Father prepared for those who love him.

In view of these promises, how meaningful are Jesus’ words in his prayer shortly before he was crucified: “The glory which thou gayest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 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 lovest me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”—John 17:22-26

The World to Believe

In praying for the oneness of his followers with himself and with the Father, Jesus added: “That the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21) The full oneness of Christ and his followers will not be a reality until they are glorified together with him in that “place” which he went away to prepare; and we see from Jesus’ statement relative to this that there is a glorious divine purpose involved in this high exaltation of The Christ; that purpose being the enlightenment and reconciliation of the world.

In other words, the call, preparation, and exaltation of the church to heavenly glory is not an end in itself, but is a part of the divine plan for the restoration of the human race to that oneness with the Creator which existed before our first parents fell into sin and death. The church is to live and reign with Christ in his kingdom, and the purpose of this kingdom is to put down the enemies of God and to destroy death. When this is accomplished, and when all things are subdued unto the Father, “then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”—I Cor. 15:24-28

Preeminently, then, the great thing which God “prepared” for the faithful followers of Jesus is the privilege and honor of co-operating with him in the divine plan for the blessing of all the families of earth with restoration to life upon the earth. This indeed is one of the “deep things” of the Word of God, so “deep” that only very few of all the professed millions of Christians know anything about it; it is simply for those to whom God reveals the “mysteries” of the truth.

One of the means for this future blessing of mankind is the long-promised kingdom, and over and over again the assurance is given to us that if we are faithful in suffering and dying with Jesus we will have the privilege of living and reigning with him. The resurrected Jesus said, “He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I have received of my Father.”—Rev. 2:26,27

The Judgment Work

The Scriptures also abound with assurances that the faithful followers of the Master—those who lay down their lives in the service of the Lord, the truth, and the brethren —will share in the future work of judging the world in righteousness. This is one of the various aspects of the kingdom work. Paul wrote, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?”—I Cor. 6:2

The apostles had given up their all to serve the Lord, and were faithfully following in the Master’s footsteps. They went to Jesus one day, indicating their desire to know just what their reward would be. Peter served as spokesman, and said to Jesus: “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” To this Jesus replied, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”—Matt. 19:27,28

Note that this judgment scene takes place when the “Son of man” sits on the throne of his glory. This follows his coming in glory, and when he sits on the throne of his glory all his holy angels, or messengers—the entire church—are there with him. (Matt. 25:31) In the text quoted above, the judgment of the twelve tribes of Israel is mentioned, but Jesus enlarges upon this in Matthew 25:32, saying that “all nations” shall be gathered before him in judgment. The reference is of course, to the people of all nations.

Not to be judged at that time will be the Ancient Worthy class, for before they died they received the testimony that they pleased God. The church will not be on trial then, it being past, but will participate in the work of the world’s judgment. The “great multitude” class will also be exempt from that future judgment work, for in their closing experiences on earth they washed their robes and made them while in the blood of the Lamb.—Rev. 7:14

What a blessed privilege it will be to participate in that future work of judgment, and in this way join in extending the blessings of life to all who, during the testings of that time, prove worthy! How “deep” and glorious is this wonderful truth concerning the future inheritance of God’s new creation!

An Old Testament Promise

Through the Prophet Daniel the Lord assures us that the “saints”—the faithful followers of Jesus—shall share in the messianic kingdom rule. Daniel 7:18 reads, “The saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” In this same prophecy we are assured that the saints shall also participate in the work of judging the world. Verse 22 reads, “Judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

A New Testament confirmation of this wonderful promise of kingship and judgeship “prepared” for the true followers of Jesus is found in Revelation 20:4, 6. Daniel’s prophecy declares that “judgment was given to the saints of the most High,” and in Revelation 20:4 we read, “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.” Remember Jesus’ promise to the disciples that they would sit upon thrones and that they would be judges.

And who are these so highly honored? They are the ones who are “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.” These are indeed the “saints” of Daniel’s prophecy, and they “lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

But this work of judging and reigning with Christ cannot begin until these saints are made alive in what is described in verse 6 as “the first resurrection.” This verse declares that this class shall “be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. It will be at the close of this thousand years reign of Christ and his church that Satan, having been bound for the thousand years, will be “loosed out of his prison.”—vs. 7

The Melchisedec Picture

The faithful overcomers of the present age will participate with Jesus during the Millennium in a priesthood typified by Melchisedec, who was both a priest and a king. As the promise states, “They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign”—reigning priests, and also judges. As kings they will subdue all things unto the Father; as priests they will bless all who become willing and obedient at that time; and as judges, they will enlighten and discipline the people to bring them into harmony with righteousness and with God. Isaiah wrote that when God’s judgments are abroad in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.—Isa. 26:9

How wonderful indeed are the things which God has “prepared” for those who love him and who are called according to his promise! And these, as our text so clearly indicates, are among the “deep things of God.” These treasures of truth are designed by the Lord for our encouragement, that we may be able through the incentive received from them to endure the trials which the Father’s love and wisdom may permit to come upon us as we walk the narrow way that leads to glory, honor, and immortality.

While these “deep things of God” cannot be understood except by those to whom God reveals them by his Spirit, when they are revealed, as we have seen, they are found to be simple, not complex and beyond the grasp of all except the brilliant and educated. And how in keeping this is with God’s arrangements for calling mostly just the ordinary folk and giving them the opportunity and ability to understand his plan for them! Let us thank him that he has called us, and given us to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and let us be faithful to these glorious truths.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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