A Prayer of Jesus I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
The Essential Visitation
In Chapter I we defined a problem and proposed a solution. The problem grows out of the fact that the Bible reveals God's purpose in creation as the procreation of children for himself. God desires to be the Father of many children. That is his will. Further, He desires that these children inhabit his heavenly Glory, there to share in the inheritance of his kingdom as is fitting for children of a king.
The problem pops up when we realize that the state of heavenly Glory is a state of perfect peace, happiness, and joy, and that this must not be disturbed in any way. But children have a way of disturbing the peace. Being children, they must be in the likeness of the Father, who has free will and desire, and who governs his heavenly kingdom for the preservation of its peace and tranquility in all things and ways. They, in possession of free will, must have minds of their own and desires of their own that are not imposed by anyone or anything external to themselves. This being the case, they must not be introduced into the heavenly Glory with any inclination other that that of pleasing the Father and doing his will. How to do this yet preserve their free will and the peace of the heavenly Glory? That is the problem.
Then we saw that the problem does have a solution. It is to give being to the potential children in an alternate, or interim habitat, where they can come to know the Father and his desire for them. Then, having come to know the Father and learned that the Father desires that they come to him as his dear children, loving him completely and submissive to his will as children to a father, they have the high privilege of choosing to go to Him of their own free will. Or, alternatively, they may remain in the interim habitat for so long as the laws that regulate that habitat will permit them.
In Chapter III, we defined the minimum requirements for the interim habitat that would render it suitable for the Father's purpose of birthing children for himself. It must be so constituted as to promote the spontaneous generation within it of the candidates. It must also be such as to protect and preserve their free will above all things. Then we discovered that the cosmos, in which we dwell on planet earth, is perfect for the task. Its characteristics have been investigated by modern science and are such as to fill the bill.
We have seen that the earth, our habitat, must also have very desirable features, otherwise it would not qualify as one of the options. Who is going to choose to live in this world if it is an utterly terrible place to live? So, to protect and preserve free will by providing valid options for the candidates for the divine estate, the habitat must have its own glory, that will cater to the thirst for glory in the inhabitants. Furthermore, for those who choose to seek their fulfillment in the life of this world, it must be such as to make them happy that they have lived, and to seek to live longer. It would hardly be appropriate for the Father of all love and mercy to place potential children in a miserable condition. If they never choose to go to him according to his will, they will have been doubly damned -- to a miserable existence on earth, and to an eternal death hereafter.
Then, in Chapter IV, we investigated the nature of the inhabitants of this planet, human beings, and determined that they also are such as to fill the bill for candidates for the divine Glory and the divine childhood. But now another problem arises out of the need to shield them from direct knowledge of the heavenly Glory so as to protect their free will, yet to provide them with enough insight to realize its general nature. They must also come to know of the Father and his desires for them if they are to understand their options. How are they to learn all that they must know to frame intelligent and real choices between the options? How are they to come to know God as loving Father? How are they to discover that his one desire for them is that they turn away from the world and to him?
The Essential Messenger
We see now how the stakes will pan out for each individual. God wants each one to say, like the Prodigal Son, "I will arise and go to my Father." But we will not do that until, like the Prodigal Son, we have learned to hate the life that this world provides and earnestly desire to leave it so as to enter the Father's Glory. The love for life in this world is, therefore, directly counter to the will of the Father and is the essence of all sin. But I wouldn't know this unless someone had come from heaven to inform me in a way that does not drown my free will. Therefore the continuing problem from the very beginning is how the Father can educate us to his will and purpose.
There was but one way to rectify this need: The Father must at some point (let us call it the fullness of time when our evolutionary development renders us competent to know God and to fully choose Him) visit us himself, witness to us of his Glory, and suffer with us and for us to the utmost. Not only must he testify to his Glory as one who has been there, but he must show us the way. And He must do it in a manner that will leave his testimony and example so firmly established in the world that it can never be silenced!
Yes, only if he loves us enough to leave his Glory and experience the worst of our realm of futility can our very existence be justified. Only after the Father has suffered all things with us can we be Glorified with Him. We cannot know the way to Glory if He does not lead us. we must have a trail to follow, a well marked trail that cannot be mistaken or erased. And we must understand the full nature of the choice set before us, otherwise it is no choice.
This means that the Father can only suffer for us if he suffers as one of us; he can only lead us in the Way if he leads as one of us. Should he present his glorious visage to us, rather than follow we would recoil in astonishment and fright. And while it would be a simple thing for the Father in his Glory to move out of our futile realm into his glorious eternity, we could by no means follow, shackled as we are by the bonds of our futile existence.
The Father must become one of us to the fullest, differing only in his firsthand knowledge of the glorious estate. He must be born into our midst as we are born; he must grow up in the world as we grow up; he must be fully one of us, in order that we may become fully His children in Glory. He must be subject to our futility, subject to all the restraints of space and time and energy until he has planted his testimony in our midst so that it can never be erased. Then, as one of us, He can exit our realm and return to Glory, thus blazing a trail all can follow if only we will.
The plan is good – and yet it cannot be put into effect. There is something else that even the Almighty cannot do: abandon the state of Eternal Glory, for then he would not be God, who, by his essential nature, is both Eternal and Eternally Glorious. Without God, Glory would no more be Glory! And without Glory, God would no more be the Almighty God and Father. It is not possible, not even for Him, to put on the bonds of the realm of futility.
No, he cannot come to us in this way as required to provide the necessary exemplar and way shower. Furthermore, it would be impossible, even for God, to be an example unto us because He cannot become His own child! And, since it is as children that we are to enter the domain of Glory, only a child of God can be a proper example of childhood in every respect, and there is only one candidate: the eternally faithful divine son.
And thus it is written:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Jesus, John 3:16)
The Biblical Solution
The Old Testament and the Gospels reveal that the Father planned to send his messenger from a very early time. He first chose one man, Abram, or Abraham, to whom to reveal himself in a limited way, for Abraham was yet incapable of full comprehension. Then the Father proceeded, progressively, to reveal himself to Abraham's descendents. Afterwards he choose another servant, Moses, through whom to reveal his laws to a chosen people consisting of the descendents of Abraham. Next he constituted them a kingdom and gave them kings, beginning with Saul, then David, then Solomon. So things proceeded through hundreds of years.
Remember that these human beings all had minds of their own, and were not easily prodded. Their free will was precious, as it remains to us who have succeeded them. They were sometimes rebellious, but the Father was merciful and sent prophets to urge them to return to his will and way. They further hardened their hearts, even slaying the prophets sent by the Father to call them to repentance. The Father never forsook them, but he permitted them to lose their independence as a nation and subjected them to other peoples. Still, they did not repent. They refused to hear. There is no better description of the sad conditions that preveiled under their last king than this:11 Zedeki'ah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem."Till there was no remedy." (v.16) So we come to the last of the Kingdom of Judah as its national leaders are carried away captive into Babylon. It seems that this should have been the end of the story, but still God did not give them up completely, as the words of the prophet, Ezekiel suggest when he addressed King Zedekiah:
12 He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD his God. He did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD.
13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnez'zar, who had made him swear by God; he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD, the God of Israel.
14 All the leading priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
15 The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place;
16 but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, till the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, till there was no remedy.
17 Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chalde'ans, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or aged; he gave them all into his hand.(II Chronicles 36:11-17)25 And you, O unhallowed wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment,"Until he comes whose right it is: and to him I will give it." (v.27) What is this? A promise of yet one more opportunity for Isreal to realize its intended destiny as the kingdom of God? And where have we read something like this before?
26 thus says the Lord GOD: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; things shall not remain as they are; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high.
27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it; there shall not be even a trace of it until he comes whose right it is; and to him I will give it. (Ezekiel 21:25-27)8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall bow down before you."Until he comes to whom it belongs;" (v.10) There it is. Way back, the aging patriarch, Jacob, blessed his twelve sons and from his mouth came these astonishing words. " The scepter (kingdom) should not depart from Judah until he comes to whom it belongs."
9 Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lioness; who dares rouse him up?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. (Genesis 49:8-10)
I have explained above how the Father chose not to know certain things as necessary to protect the free will of the inhabitants in this, our interim habitat. Therefore, He did not know the outcome of his long courtship with Israel. He kept hoping, punishing their rebellions, giving them yet another chance.
But God is not stupid. Not knowing the outcome, from the beginning he devised a fall back strategy for accomplishing his purpose of calling many children to Glory, should his plans for a kingdom centered around the Jewish state fail completely due to their rebellion. This promise of one yet to come, "to whom it belongs" or "whose right it is" to receive the scepter of the kingdom of God on earth reveals that as far back as Jacob He conceived an alternative strategy. We learn through Moses that this royal person would be a prophet also:15 "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren--him you shall heed--He therefore recalled them from Babylon for one more opportunity to produce the desire children for his Glory. He raised up Cyrus the Persian about 539 B.C. who restored the captives to Jerusalem with a commission to rebuild the temple and reconstitute the nation as a people of God. Then for another half millineum God withheld the hand of final judgment as he patiently endured the apostasy of Israel from century to century. Finally, the situation was no longer bearable and we have the Father's view of things from the lips of Jesus, that "prophet like unto Moses" the king "to whom it belongs":
16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, or see this great fire any more, lest I die.'
17 And the LORD said to me, 'They have rightly said all that they have spoken.
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-18)6 And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.The fig tree is Israel. The vinedresser is Jesus. He had pled with the Father in heaven for one more opportunity for the nation to produce the desired fruit: children for the Father's Glory. So it was that the Father sent the Son, the one to whom it belongs, that prophet like unto Moses who would speak to the world the words that he had heard from the Father. And plead with them he did. When he entered his ministry, even he, the Son of God, did not know the outcome. Rather he was tilling and putting on the fertilizer to the end that the nation might at last bear fruit.
7 And he said to the vinedresser, 'Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?'
8 And he answered him, 'Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure.
9 And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.' (Luke 13:6-9)
But no fruit came. The national leaders refused to hear and the people, although hearing him gladly, heard for the wrong reasons. There came a day when Jesus realized that it was time to announce the fate of the fig tree. It must be cut down. We even know what day that was, for it was surely the day that he symbolically blighted a real fig tree because it bore no fruit. The morning following the day of his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was returning to the city with his disciples:19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" And the fig tree withered at once. (Matthew 21:19)He proceeded to make the official announcement a few verses later:43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it." (Matthew 21:43)Jesus was also doing something else throughout his ministry. He was that "prophet like unto Moses" who came "speaking the words" that the Father put into his mouth. Or, as he explained it,. . . all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)This included the Great Principle according to which he lived, and according to which he died. Unless Jesus uttered his words in the world, we could never have known the purposes and will of the Father for the entire creation project.
We can draw a simple, reasonable conclusion from the foregoing presentation. Considering the world we inhabit and the inhabitants thereof, everything is in place for the birthing of the children of God. The general characteristics of the "eggs" are all present and realized daily by each of us in one way or another. The "basket", seen as the natural world we all inhabit, is also fitted with such features as to render it the perfect incubator. Amazingly, all of it, every bit, comprises the minimum requirement for the procreation by the Father of children like unto himself. We are free creatures of free will, restained only by the laws of nature until such time as we desire, of our own free will, to love the Father and to enter into his Eternal Glory. It is exactly as Jesus said:
If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:31-32)Now, everything makes perfect sense. We understand why the Great Principle of Jesus has universal application to every person. That is, why is it necessary that one hate earthly parentage as specified by Jesus? There is no other way if the Father is to realize children who are, like Him, individual persons of free will.
Finally, we now perceive clearly the limits of science and why the scientists will never discover the Father by any means other than faith.