| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 33 - Page 224 of 253 Index | Zoom | |
The balance of the scriptural record of the outworking of the purpose of the ages is not
only seen in the wonderful correspondence of Genesis and Revelation, but also in the
equally wonderful balancing steps that intervene. Let us attempt to show something of
the way in which this mighty subject is unfolded in the Word.
The opening words of Gen. 1: strike a note that is never quite silenced throughout the
ages, but awaits its full harmony at the end;
"In the beginning God . . . . ." (Gen. 1: 1).
"Then cometh the end . . . . . that God might be all in all" (I Cor. 15: 24, 28).
From what we understand of the nature of God, He is entirely self-sufficient. He
needs nothing that anything external to Himself could supply. But God is love, and love
demands objects that will be both recipients of love and lovers in return. And so we
realize the purpose of the ages, with its "valley of the shadow"; with its moral creatures
that can say NO, when God is longing that they should say YES; with its bitter cross,
triumphant resurrection, glorious coming, and blessed "end".
There are three great corresponding truths revealed at the beginning and at the end of
this purpose. Christ is set forth as the Firstborn of all creation; Satan is seen as the
Anointed Cherub, and this opening period of the purpose ends with the overthrow of the
world. At the other end, in perfect balance, Christ is set forth as the Head of all things.
Satan is destroyed, and the Church is found in heavenly places, whilst the reconciliation
of all things round off the overthrow of the world.
Immediately following this three-fold beginning of the purpose of the ages is a section
which we denominate: "THE AGES BEGIN: PARADISE LOST." This section is
divided into four by the sub-headings: Earth; Man; Usurper; Hope. The Earth is
made for man and blessed. Man is created in the image of God, and made, for a little,
lower than the angels, with dominion over the work of God's hands. The Usurper (the
Serpent), by a false hope of immortality, robs man of his life and peace, and the only
Hope left is in the promised "Seed".
The corresponding section is denominated: "THE CONSUMMATION OF THE
AGES: PARADISE RESTORED." This, too, has four sub-headings: Earth; Man;
True Heir; Hope. Earth is restored and blessed (Hos. 2: 18-23). The curse removed
(Isa. 55: 13). The man, Christ Jesus, the last Adam, the express Image of God, has
dominion in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:). He is the Heir of all things, and the Hope
of Creation itself; the Seed of the woman, of Abraham, and of David.
We retrace our steps to see the way this great purpose is unfolded, and must be
satisfied with the exhibition of the succeeding pairs in the Structure which are ranged on
either side of the central number, the "MYSTERY".