Introduction to the Lessons God’s Plan…(Seeing the Big Picture)
Part 1: The Three Parts of God’s Plan
Part 2: First Part of God’s Plan
Part 3: Second Part of God’s Plan
Part 4: Third Part of God’s Plan
Part 5: Summary of Each Lesson
Understanding concepts helps us to see the big picture. They enable us to get our bearings. These lessons present Bible concepts using simple diagrams supported by scripture. Once the concepts are laid out correctly from the Word and the Spirit, then the hidden patterns emerge. From this framework understanding floods in and the detail becomes easy to see. The “Frame of Reference” for all of these concepts is God’s Plan. This is the main concept upon which the others hinge.
If you don’t get the concepts right, it is like building a strong, good-looking ladder, but having it lean against the wrong building. No matter how well supported you are by group thinking or religious traditions in climbing to further understanding, you will not get to the right place. Be sure to get the concepts right…and how they fit into God’s Plan.
The patterns overlap & interweave & repeat in different ways throughout the Lessons. Read all of these lessons, before rejecting any concept. Search the Word by the Spirit to see if what we share is true. God wants to lead us into further understanding. Later lessons build upon the previous lessons. This is why it is helpful to read them in sequence.
These Bible studies are meant to be a simple, straightforward presentation of Bible truths as a tool to help us gain understanding. And yet we know that it is only by the Holy Spirit (who leads us into truth), that we will be able to see the extent of what is here. Beware of religious traditions, for they make the word of God ineffective, (see Mark 7:13). You will find that these lessons focus on Bible verses to support a concept, regardless of how that may vary from standard religious thought. For example, lesson four presents eight major feasts of the Lord. I was always taught that there were seven. When I searched the Word I found not only that there were eight, but one of the seven is not even one of the eight!
Each lesson builds upon previous concepts & patterns, and they all interrelate, but notice Isaiah 28:9,10. It is a warning which says that only those willing to be weaned from the milk of the Word will get it. As in life, when we grow we have to change into bigger clothes that fit our stage of growth until we grow some more.
As we meditate upon the Lessons we notice that these lessons have a common undercurrent of encouraging us on into a deeper relationship with God. Why?…to instill the desire to press beyond the milk of the Word upward into the meat that lies hidden there…to shift our ideas to those that better line up with more mature insights.
We write these lessons as the Lord directs. They tend to vary in timing & in length, but they all have diagrams. References are included. When quoting scripture, note that [Bracketed] inserts within the verses are our own comments. Also note that capitalization within verses is typically done for emphasis.
Part 1: The Three Parts of God’s Plan:
Understanding God’s Plan lends insight into where we are and what’s ahead. With the context of God’s Plan we can see where we are in the big picture, both in the natural & in the spiritual realms.
So where are we in God’s timetable? We are at the conclusion of the Age of Grace & Truth, also called the Age of Pentecost, (the “Church Age”). In it’s place the new Millennium Kingdom Age of the Son is starting to replace what we have known & recognized. It is not that the existing age will be forever gone, but rather that it will be raised up into a higher level. It will be as a teen becomes an adult. This is because with each new age, there is a progression of God’s Plan. This trend will continue until His glory fills the entire earth. So let’s review His Plan to get our foundation for all of the Lessons.
We can summarize God’s Plan from Genesis to Revelation as:
- To make a man in His image, a Son, (Genesis 1:26-28).
- To have that man multiply upon the earth, (Genesis 1:26-28)
- To rule the earth through this Son & his Sons, all in God’s image, (Genesis 1:26-28)
Genesis begins with God creating the heavens & the earth, (Genesis 1:1).
Revelation ends with God creating a new heaven & a new earth, (Revelation 21:1).
“ Nevertheless we, according to His promise [found in Isaiah 65:17], look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
2 Peter 3:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
With spiritual insight we see that the creation of the heavens & the earth in Genesis describes the first man Adam. He was formed of dust (earth), but received his life from the spirit, (heavens). He is a combination of the earth & heavens. After his fall, the spiritual realm of Adam became darkness, but with the potential for light…two spirits. One is a seed within of light & truth, his connection with God, however slight that may be. The other is darkness, the carnal mind with its Satanic source. The “heavens & earth” also include the world systems of Adam.
This new heaven & earth is not a new planet & sky.
It is a new system of dominion over creation…Christ Head & Body.
It represents a new man established throughout the planet…a new people.
It represents a new-man system that rules over creation…a city built by God.
It represents the reign of Adam being replaced with the reign of Christ.
It is a new Government…a new Kingdom that will always increase.
The one source of this new-man is the mind of Christ. It is a new covering in the spiritual realm in and through man…the covering of Christ. And the spiritual authority will be from the throne of the Father. That is where Christ the Head sits (Hebrews 8:1), and that is where we (His Body), are caught up to when we are in Christ.
“ To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne [rule in my authority], as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
Revelation 3:21 (NKJV)
As with the progression of God’s Plan, there is further Light. His general trend is to move from glory to glory, until His glory fills the earth. With each new age there is more of His presence. There is more truth revealed. And as the Light grows upon the earth, there is a convergence of the Light. Those who love the truth and are flowing with His plan start to shine more in His Life. As they shine they start to recognize each other. As they do, He knits them together. They have an immediate bond that goes beyond culture, age, gender, family, denominations, and religious groups of all types with their doctrines & traditions. This convergence of Light occurs as His Life grows in His people. The common bond of love for Christ is found among those who are hungry for truth. They love righteousness & hate iniquity. They are assembling together up into Christ. They are the true church of the firstborn.
This is how unity comes to the Body of Christ. It is the type of unity that Joshua & Caleb must have felt with each other. It is the love between Ruth & Naomi. It is the bond of Jonathan & David. This type of unity cannot be contrived, programmed, forced, or otherwise organized by man. This type of unity is not the goal; it is rather a wonderful by-product of a personal walk with the Lord; it is a natural flowing of love between those who walk in the Light of His Life.
“ But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
“ Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.”
Psalm 89:15 New International Version (NIV)
This unity runs very deep and real, for it is in the realm of His Spirit. This unity happens in the Spirit by those who are led of His Spirit.
“ For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Romans 8:14 (NKJV)
Part 2: The First Part of God’s Plan
Now let’s see what has already happened in God’s Plan. First we’ll begin with Adam & Eve. They were not the man created (entirely) in the image of God. This point is fundamental to grasp before moving on. But doesn’t Genesis say that they were?
“ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Genesis 1:27 (NKJV)
This is how it appears at a surface reading, but the more accurate translation is found in Young’s Literal Translation as shown here:
“ And God PREPARETH the man in His image; in the image of God He PREPARED him, a male and a female He PREPARED them.”
Genesis 1:27 (YLT)
Here we see that God did not make Adam & Eve in His image, but that He PREPARED them in a way to bring forth that man in His image. And how did He prepare them? By splitting Adam into male & female. In that sense Adam was originally in His image, for in Him are found both male & female, (Galatians 3:28). The Word clearly states above that in that specific sense Adam was in the image of God. He prepared them however by causing the male & female to be separate. And why did God form them separately as male & female? It was so that they would reproduce in the earth realm and multiply upon the earth. This was all part of the preparation to bring forth the man in God’s image who would come by God’s Spirit through the female.
Right away God explains to Adam & Eve that this promised man in His image will not be formed of the earth but instead will some day be birthed through a woman. This promised child is called, “the seed of the woman”…the Promised Seed..a male child..a son. As more light comes forth, then there is more understanding of who this Promised Seed would be. Other titles that come along are “Messiah”, “Lamb of God”, “Light of the World”, “Deliverer”, “King”, “Priest”, “Prophet”, “Son of God”, “Son of Man”, “Christ”, and many other titles & descriptions as well.
And who is this Promised Seed, the one to be the first man in the full image of God?
“ The Son [Christ Jesus] is the radiance of God’s glory and THE EXACT REPRESENTATION of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
Hebrews 1:3 (NIV)
“ For in Christ [Jesus] lives all the fullness of God in a human body.”
Colossians 2:9 New Living Translation (NLT)
These and other verses point out that the first man to be in His image is His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the first man to be resurrected, the completion of a man being made into the image of his Father. So that fulfills Part 1 of God’s Plan. A man has been made in the image of God.
Part 3: Second Part of God’s Plan
But how does Christ Jesus multiply upon the earth so that Part 2 of His Plan can be completed? He does it by sending His Spirit as a seed of His Life into a remnant of all those people that have multiplied all over the earth. This has been going on for about 2,000 years. This is the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel 2:28 that Peter quotes (shown next), on the day of the first Feast of Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus.
“ And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.”
Acts 2:17 (NKJV)
But even with His Spirit within, it is a long process for the shifting of our natures from Adam to Christ…from the carnal mind into the mind of Christ. Those who persevere however, overcome by grace through faith.
“ This [process of growth] will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:13 (NLT)
Once mature in Christ, these overcomers will be the ones to rule & reign with Christ in this next age. They are Christ the Body. This new Millennium Kingdom Age of the Son fully begins with the resurrection of these overcomers at the end of this current age. But the transition is already well underway. The tipping point was 2017, as pointed out in Lesson 12. The overcomers are entering into maturity in Christ. The firstfruits of the Harvest of the ages is ripening. They are His inheritance. This ripe-fruit people are beginning to be seen in the field, (the world).
The second part of God’s Plan is pretty much wrapped up as His third part has already begun to unfold. We see evidence of entering further into the Age of Tabernacles. This evidence is seen as fruit being gathered for the Father. It is seen as His Life starting to dwell in fuller measure within a people (the many Sons). It is further seen as a people who are beginning to take charge with Kingdom principles to rule with a rod of iron against the corrupt ways of Adam. There is a shifting from the systems of Adam to the ways of the Lord. The reign of Adam is being taken over by the reign of Christ. This has happened first within a people, who are now displaying His Life outwardly as they are being raised up to rule.
Part 4: The Third Part of God’s Plan
So now let’s review God’s Plan before moving on.
- To make a man in His image. (This man is “Christ Jesus, the Head-man”.)
- To have that man multiply upon the earth. (Now nearly completed.) They are called “Christ Jesus, His Generation”, (Body of the Head-man)”
- To rule all creation through the men of 1 & 2 above. (Christ Head & Body.)
We are now seeing His people starting to rule in His authority. How is this seen? It is seen in a ruling with a rod of iron. That means firm and strong and unbending…in ruling in righteousness, which is doing the right thing no matter the cost. This is what it means to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. And where does He go?…to the cross. It is a path of Adam losing his life so that the higher life of Christ comes forth. It is rulership that will not wink at darkness. They cannot be bribed, intimidated, coerced, seduced, beguiled, bewitched, blackmailed, deceived, or otherwise led into mixture or compromise with Adam’s nature.
His Body is the male-child (born of the Virgin Church Bride), the son who is caught up to the throne, into the authority of Christ. That is why the Dragon cannot devour them. They have moved on upward from the lower realm of the Devil’s territory of dust & darkness.
“She bore a male Child [son] who was TO RULE ALL NATIONS WITH A ROD OF IRON. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.”
Revelation 12:5 (NKJV)
It is the great & terrible day of the Lord. This day of the Lord is terrible for those found in Adam, but great & wonderful for those found in Christ. To those in Adam this is a day of gloom, for their deeds of darkness are being exposed by the increased light. They cannot hide any longer within the systems of Adam. They are losing control. They are being brought to accountability as tares that are being gathered to be destroyed.
What does it mean “to rule with a rod of iron”? That does not sound like the gentle Jesus as we were taught. But it is like the Jesus who is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He is both. The time has come for His fierceness to be expressed to those of the Adam nature, as He did with the religious leaders in His Father’s House…as He has been doing within us against that same Adamic nature.
Let’s look at an example today of ruling with a rod of iron. A prime example of this spiritual event seen in the earth realm is through President Donald Trump. He is nicknamed “the wrecking ball” upon the corrupt, deceptive political systems of Washington, DC. At the same time President Trump is establishing new rules, new standards. His name is no coincidence. God is sending a new trumpet sound, a new message. The old will no longer be tolerated. The new has begun.
This is no passing phase. In the card-game called “Bridge”, the winner who takes all declares it with the announcement of “Trump!” Whether it be Newsmax magazine, Fox News, conservative talk-show radio, or prophetic voices, they all speak of “the Trump effect”. President Trump’s boldness to state truth has encouraged others to join with him. In the bigger picture this is however just one example of the convergence of light. Political correctness is being replaced with truth as the Light ushers in and takes charge.
The third part of God’s Plan is God ruling creation through a people. This is now well under way. And the year 2017 was the year when it really began to become evident to many. Most know that change is in the air. The reality however will be inescapable to ALL once we witness the resurrection of those who are “called, chosen & faithful”, the overcomers, (Revelation 17:14 & 2:26) at the very end of this age.
The next page begins the concluding section of this Introductory Lesson with a summary of each Lesson. The summaries help us to see the Lessons from the viewpoint of God’s Plan.
Part 5: Summary of Each Lesson:
Lesson 1: The Two Adams
There are only two Adams and all men are found in one or the other, or in both until one wins out. Discover at what stage of this process you are in.
Lesson 2: The Three Steps to Resurrection
Your journey to become one in Christ as He is in the Father begins with hearing what He is saying. That builds faith to enter a walk in the Spirit which leads to a hope that changes who you are. This Lesson outlines the basic process of becoming transformed into a Son of God for Him to fully inhabit. This is God’s Plan. This journey is a walk by His grace through faith until the final transformation at the resurrection.
Lesson 3: The Four Realms
Truth may be found in each of the four realms. As we grow in the Lord our understanding will expand to see depths of truth not seen before. The two lowest realms are in the natural, the next is a mixture of natural & spiritual, while the fourth is spiritually divine…totally in Him, (fully mature in Christ). God’s Plan is to bring us into this highest realm.
Lesson 4: The Eight Feasts
There are many feasts, appointed days, times to assemble (convocations), and Sabbaths,mentioned in the Bible. Eight of these feast days however are set apart from all of the others as being extra special. These eight feast days are prophetic of God’s Plan. Once we understand these eight feasts according to the Bible, then a prophetic pattern is clearly seen. This is a vital key to unlock much of the Word to come alive as never before.
Lesson 5: The Tabernacle
There are dozens of whole chapters in the Bible on the Tabernacle because it was to be a pattern for us. This Lesson shows us why this “House of God” is so important for outlining God’s Plan. It is all about His work in us to bring us into marriage union as His Bride.
Lesson 6: The Three-Days Journey
Many Bible patterns provide clues as to what this journey is all about. See them laid out in easy to follow diagrams. We see here how the eight feasts are clustered into three major feast times. And we note here how the Tabernacle is divided into three main sections. Both the Feasts & the Tabernacle are prophetic of the three-days journey in God’s Plan to come into maturity in Christ to be His habitation.
Lesson 7: The Eight Milestones to Maturity
Once again the eight feasts and the Tabernacle (with its eight symbols), point to our growth into the full stature…the full maturity…the full perfection to be found only in Christ. The steps are plainly shown for us today on how to get there from here.
Lesson 8: The Incorruptible Seed Within
Now with some background in the Word, the first lesson is repeated in a different way with more explanation. The diagrams help to see God’s Plan from the garden to the final harvest. It is His plan once again for a new man who walks with the nature of His Son, Christ Jesus. In such a man God walks & dwells. Through such a man God will rule creation and set it free from the bondage of death.
Lesson 9: Two Goats & Two Doves
As we read through the Bible we enter into more understanding of God’s overall Plan. We see more detail of the plan. Many hidden truths become revealed by His Spirit. This is particularly seen in the sacrifice of the two goats and also the two doves. The plan first sets us free from the trap of the old Adam nature, then brings us to maturity in Christ, then works through us to set all creation free. All creation groans waiting for these sons to arise, (Romans 8:19)!
Lesson 10: The Two Works of Christ
God’s Plan involves two men. They are Adam & Christ. And there is a two-part process in the transition from Adam into Christ. This Lesson pulls from many Bible stories to show the repeating pattern of this process.
Lesson 11: The Two Pillars
First, God’s Plan was to make a son in His image & likeness. That was Christ Jesus, the Head. Part two is for that son to multiply and then the new sons to mature to be like their heavenly Father. This Part two is now progressing as Christ Jesus, the Body matures. The Two Pillars demonstrate the relationship and working together of these two parts to make one new man, Head & Body. This is like a bridegroom & bride becoming one.
Lesson 12: Natural Israel~Spiritual Israel & 2017
God has a timing for His plan. This timing is in both the natural & the spiritual realms. The natural is typically a sign of what is happening in the spiritual. And this timing came to a major transition point in the prophetic year of 2017. It was the year of fulfillment of so many patterns & cycles. And as with all of the Lessons, this one is all about a nation of Sons to rule creation.
For those of you who print the lessons, we suggest that you file these lessons in a 3-ring binder, tabbed for future reference. This Lesson may be copied & distributed in print or electronically when not for sale or profit. Your feedback is always appreciated.
Eric & Mary Elizabeth Ellis
PO Box 400
Easton, ME 04740