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 STUDY 12: THE CHART OF THE DIVINE PLAN

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

A chart representing the plan of God for the world’s salvation is shown above. It is an aid in

understanding the progressive character and steps taken by all who attained the “change” from

the human to the divine nature.

 

We have an outline of the three great dispensations: The first, A, lasting from man’s creation to

the flood; the second, B, from the flood to the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ; and

the third, C, lasting from the beginning of Christ’s reign and continuing for “ages to

come” (Ephesians 1: 10) (Ephesians 2: 7). In the Scriptures, A is called “the world that was”; B

is called “this world” by our Lord Jesus, “this present evil world” by Saint Paul, and “the world

that now is” by Saint Peter. C is called “the world to come, wherein dwelleth righteousness” in

contrast with the present evil world. Now evil rules and the righteous suffer, but in the world to

come, righteousness will rule and evil-doers will suffer, and eventually all evil will be destroyed.

 

Each of the three dispensations has a separate program, yet each is a part of one great plan.

Because the first dispensation passed away at the time of the flood, it must have been a different

order from “this present evil world” of which our Lord said that Satan is the prince. Although he

had some influence, he was not the prince of the world before the flood. The Scriptures suggest

that the first dispensation was under the supervision and special ministration of the angels, who

were permitted to try to recover the fallen race, although they were unsuccessful in their attempt.

In fact, man’s wickedness became so great that God destroyed the whole race with a flood,

except for eight persons (Genesis 7: 13). The future dispensation will be under the control of the

Lord Jesus and His joint-heirs, and will not only be a more righteous administration than “the

present evil world,” but also more successful than that of the first dispensation.

 

This “Present Evil World”

 

During this “present evil world” man is permitted to try governing himself, but being fallen, he

is under the control of Satan, whom he has in vain striven against. This present order will end in

a great time of trouble, proving that neither angelic power nor man’s efforts can save the race.

 

The second great dispensation, B, consists of three distinct ages, each being a progressive step in

God’s plan.

 

In age D, God dealt with the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

Age E, the Jewish Age, followed the death of Jacob. His posterity was treated by God as “his

people,” Whom He showed special favor (Amos 3: 2). As a nation, it was typical of the Christian

Church. Their promises, journey through the wilderness and sacrifices were typical of the “better

promises,” journey and the “better sacrifices” of the Gospel Church (Hebrews 10: 4)

(Hebrews 3: 1) (Hebrews 10: 1).

 

Age, F, the Gospel Age, is the period during which the body of Christ is called out of the world,

and shown by faith the exceeding great and precious promises whereby (through obedience) they

may become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4). Their trial is amidst evil conditions, to

prove their worthiness of attaining the great reward offered.

 

The third great dispensation, C, will be composed of many ages, the first being the Millennial

Age, G. It is the thousand years during which Christ and the Church will reign over and bless all

the families of the earth with restitution (Acts 3: 19-21), and sin and death shall be forever

blotted out (1 Corinthians 15: 25, 26).

 

The “Ages to Come” H, will be ages of perfection, blessedness and happiness, the work of

which the Scriptures are silent.

 

Jewish and Gospel Age Harvests

 

The Jewish and Gospel Ages have harvests at their end, manifesting their fruits. The Jewish Age

harvest was forty years long, lasting from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in 29 A.D., until the

destruction of Jerusalem in 69 A.D. During this time the Jewish Age ended and the Gospel Age

began. The chart shows the lapping of these ages.

 

The Jewish Age measurably ended when our Lord rejected that nation at the close of His

ministry (Matthew 23: 38), yet favor continued to individuals of the nation for another three and

one-half years by confining the Gospel call to them alone.

 

That became a fuller closing of the Jewish Age, after which the Gospel was then preached to the

Gentiles, beginning with Cornelius (Acts 10: 45). Their national existence ended in a great time

of trouble which followed.

 

The Gospel Age began at the time of Jesus’ baptism and anointing with the holy spirit

(Acts 10: 38) (Luke 3: 22) (Luke 4: 1, 18). With the Church, it commenced three and one-half

years later.

 

The Gospel Age harvest is also a lapping of two ages – the Gospel Age ending and the

Millennial Age beginning. This also saw seven years of favor, followed by a period of trouble

upon the world.

 

The Path to Glory

 

K, L, M, N, P and R each represents a different plane. N is the plane of perfect human nature.

Adam occupied this plane before sinning, but his disobedience dropped him to the depraved, or

sinful plane, R, on which all his posterity are born.  P represents the plane of typical justification,

as effected by the sacrifices of the Law, though the Law could make nothing perfect

(Hebrews 7: 19).

 

N represents the plane of actual, or reckoned human perfection – Adam had actual human

perfection, but all accepting Christ as their Redeemer are justified by faith, so are reckoned by

God as though perfect, and therefore have fellowship with God.

 

During the Gospel Age God has made a special offer to justified human beings, that by

consecrating their lives to Him and remaining faithful, they may experience a change of nature

from human to spiritual beings, like Christ (Romans 12: 1).

 

On the chart the pyramid figure represents perfection. Adam was a perfect being, pyramid a (on

plane N, which represents human perfection). On R’s plane of sin and imperfection the topless

pyramid, b, an imperfect figure, represents fallen Adam and his posterity.

 

Abraham and others of that day were born on plane R, but their faith justified them to fellowship

with God, represented by pyramid c on plane N.

The world of mankind after the flood is represented by figure d on plane R, being enemies of

God until the Millennial Age begins.

 

“Israel after the flesh,” during the Jewish Age, when the typical sacrifices of bulls and goats

cleansed them (not really, but typically – Hebrews 7: 19) are figure e on plane P, between the

giving of the Law at Mount Sinai until Jesus made an end of the Law at His crucifixion.

 

Figure f represents fleshly Israel when Jesus was present, when He took the wheat, “Israelites

indeed,” out of their nominal church, after which He “burned up the chaff [the refuse part of that

system] with unquenchable fire” during their time of trouble.

 

Jesus – From a Perfect Man to the Divine Nature

 

Jesus, at age thirty, was a perfect man g, having left the spiritual condition to become a man in

order to die for Adam and his race as a ransom (corresponding price) to redeem mankind. Had he

been imperfect, He could have done no more than any member of the fallen race to pay the price.

 

At that time Jesus presented Himself to God in consecration, symbolizing it by water baptism.

God showed His acceptance by filling Him with His spirit and power, thus anointing Him.

 

This filling of the spirit was the begetting to a new nature – the divine – for which He was

eventually born on the spiritual, divine plane, after accomplishing the sacrifice of His human

nature. This begetting was a step up from human conditions, and is shown by pyramid h on

plane M, the plane of spirit begetting. Jesus spent three and one-half years on this plane until His

death on the cross. On the third day He was raised to life, to the perfection of spirit being, i, on

plane L.

 

After His resurrection, He appeared as a man, to teach, and to prove to His disciples that He was

no longer dead; but He was not a man, for He could go and come as the wind, even with the

doors shut (John 3: 8) (John 20: 19, 26).

 

Forty days later, Jesus ascended to heaven – the plane of divine glory, K (pyramid k). During the

Gospel age He has been in glory (l), “set down with the Father on His throne,” and Head over

His Church on earth. During this time, the Church has been developed, disciplined and tested, in

order to become His bride and joint-heir at the end of the age. Eventually she will be glorified

together with Him on plane K.

 

The Church’s Steps to Glory

 

The steps of the Church have been the same as her Lord, except that she started out on a lower

plane, R – the plane of sin, whereas He started out on plane N, the plane of human perfection.

The first thing necessary for the Church was to become justified on plane N, “through faith in his

blood” (Romans 5: 1).

 

Justification saves one from sin and alienation from God, but does not change one’s nature.

Instead of being a human sinner, one becomes a human son. During the Gospel Age, God called

justified believers to consecrate their lives to Him, saying, “My son, give me thine heart” – give

your earthly powers, your will, your talents, your all, to me, and I will make you a spiritual son

on a higher plane than the human.

 

One might ask, How is consecration carried out? The instructions in God’s Word are to do good

unto all men as one has the opportunity, especially to the household of faith – serving them with

spiritual or with natural food, clothing them in Christ’s righteousness or with earthly clothes, as

one may have ability, or as they may need. Those having taken that step reached plane M. The

final step was the faithful carrying out of one’s consecration until death.

 

Those of the overcoming class were raised spirit beings, plane L, in the first resurrection –

heavenly, spiritual, incorruptible, immortal beings (1 Corinthians 15: 44, 52).

It is unknown how long before they, as a full and complete company, will be glorified on plane K

with the Lord, united with him in power and great glory.

 

The Christian Church’s Four Classes

 

Looking at the chart again – n, m, p, q are four distinct classes representing the nominal Gospel

Church as a whole. Both the n and m classes have been on the spirit-begotten plane, M, during

the Gospel Age. The difference is that n represents those who fulfilled their covenant of

sacrifice, while m represents the larger company who have shrunk back from the performance of

their covenant. The n class is the Bride of Christ, who will sit with the Lord in His throne – plane

K. Those of the m class have had to suffer adversity and trouble, eventually attaining unto plane

L, but have lost the privilege to plane K.

 

The majority of the nominal Church is represented by p on plane N. They are justified but not

fully consecrated to God, not spirit-begotten. They are higher than the world, however, because

they accept Jesus as their ransom from sin. If they continue in faith and fully submit to the

righteous laws of Christ’s Kingdom, in the Times of Restitution, they will attain the same human

perfection, mental, moral and physical, and will again be in the image and likeness of God, as

Adam was. But they failed to use their faith justification to make the acceptable sacrifice, and to

become the n class as members of “the body of Christ,” though they are still called “brethren” by

the Apostle (Romans 12: 1).

 

A fourth class associated with the nominal Church, which never did believe in Jesus as the

sacrifice for its sins, and therefore not justified, is represented below plane N, by section q. They

belong to plane R, as a part of the world. Throughout the Gospel Age these four classes, n, m, p

and q have mingled together, all calling themselves Christians. Our Lord foretold this condition,

likening it to a field sown with wheat and tares, which were not to be separated until the harvest

(Matthew 13: 38, 41, 49).

 

The harvest of the Gospel Age, like that of the Jewish Age, was under the supervision of the

chief reaper, our Lord Jesus, who must have been present (Revelation 14: 14). His first work was

the separation of the different classes in the nominal Church, and for ripening and perfecting the

n class, who become Christ’s Bride.

 

The separation of this little flock from Babylon is shown by figure s. She is on the way to

become one with the Lord, to bear His name and share His glory. The glorified Christ, Head and

body, is shown by figure w. Figures t, u and v represent Babylon – the nominal Church – falling,

going to pieces during “the time of trouble.”

 

Perfect Creatures on many Planes

 

Those who possess the approved character are represented by figure s, while t represents the

“great company,” begotten of the Spirit, who lose the prize of the throne and the divine nature,

but reach birth as spirit beings of a nature lower than the divine. These fail to sacrifice their

lives, and though disappointed at their great loss, eventually rejoice at being invited to the

marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19: 9). This company, through the Lord’s

chastisements, come fully into harmony with Him and His plan, and after washing their robes,

ultimately reach a position next to the Bride – y, on the spiritual plane L (Revelation 7: 14, 15).

 

During the time of trouble, fleshly Israel, e, which was cast off until the fullness of the Gentiles

be come in, are restored to God’s favor. During the Millennial Age Israel will be the chief nation

of earth.

 

Israel and the world in general will gradually be restored to perfect human nature, requiring the

entire Millennial Age for its accomplishment. During that reign of Christ, the Adamic death –

sickness, pain, weakness and the tomb – will give way to the Great Restorer’s power. The great

pyramid of our chart will be complete. The Christ, x, will be the head of all things next to the

Father. Next in rank will be the great company, y, and next, angels; then Israel after the flesh, z,

then the world of men, w, restored to perfection. Some, however, will be destroyed from among

the people: First, all who fail to make any progress toward righteousness and perfection for one

hundred years (Isaiah 65: 20); and second, those who, having reached perfection, prove

unfaithful in a final testing at the end of the Millennial Age (Revelation 20: 9).

 

The figure of a pyramid beautifully illustrates perfect beings and the oneness of the whole

creation when God’s plan has reached fulfillment, under the headship of Christ

(Ephesians 1: 10).

 

Christ Jesus is “the topstone” of this grand structure, and every understone must come into

harmony with the lines and angles of the topstone. No matter how many distinct natures there

may be among God’s sons, earthly and heavenly, they all must be conformed to the image of His

Son.

 

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