I love miracles. If you ask anyone who knows me well, they would agree that I am a miracle-fanatic, and I love talking about them. In spite of this, it can be so easy to discuss the miraculous so much that I miss the big picture entirely. After all, miracles truly are exciting! However, I will paint a picture of where I believe God’s end-goal is in regards to his plans for mankind. To understand the plan going forward we have to understand that the plan at the beginning never actually changed, although the method to arrive there may have changed along the way. In Genesis 1:28a it says “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’” Nowhere in the rest of the Bible does God suggest that He plans to do anything different. While some might say that in Revelation, the last book of the Bible, that God plans to replace Heaven and Earth, I have a slightly different perspective on what God’s plan might be when it says that a new heaven and earth come down, but to get there we have to understand the original plan.
In the beginning of creation there was a problem. Lucifer and other angels rebelled against God. They waged war in the heavens (read that as Universe) and caused great destruction, of which I might imagine that Mars and the asteroid belt are just a few of the products of that great destruction. Anyway, God created city in the east of the landmass on earth at that time, in a land called Eden, which means pleasure. In it, he placed a garden, and while this is not the commonly taught version, the Bible states quite clearly that the garden was in the east in Eden. In other words, it is quite likely that Adam and Eve had a home in the city of Eden, population of two. If you look at Revelation 21 it actually makes much more sense that God begins and ends the story in a city, whereas we have long believed that God began in a garden and ended in a city.
Adam took daily walks with God in the garden, but that was where God shared his plan for the restoration of all things with Adam and they planned together how to restore creation. After all, Paul laid it out somewhat plainly in Romans 8:14-32. It’s a bit long but hang with me:
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
In short, through Jesus we have literally become God’s children–not theoretical children but literally God-spawn. We are no longer humans but a brand new creation! The process isn’t complete yet–we are waiting for the redemption of our bodies so that we can live in the newness of life that God promised us. That, however, wasn’t the original plan, as Adam’s body didn’t need redemption when it was created. The plan was to restore creation!
All of creation, the entire cosmos of the universe, has been subjected to this slavery to decay and corruption. It is our job as the sons of God to seek and save that which was lost — all things! In other words, God isn’t going to destroy the earth as has previously been thought. No, Jesus came to restore all things, first with us humans to reconcile us to God, then, as Romans 8 says, that God will graciously give us all things! He has given us dominion and authority, but we are the ones who have to subdue it then remove the decay that is intertwined within the fabric of this universe. Ephesians 1:8b-10 says “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” There will be a day when we permanently alter the energetic matrix of this existence and correct all that which was corrupted by Satan and other spirits long before we came to the earth, and in doing so we will bring unity to all things!
Revelation 21:1-4 says “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’’”
This passage doesn’t say that the earth has been destroyed, as some have thought, but something else. In v1 where it says “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” the greek word translated as “passed away” is parerchomai. This word means that an era of time has passed or that something has gone by or carried past and is no longer present. In other words, an old order or era is over. Then in that verse and the next, a new order is being established, one where God and man no longer have any separation. Interestingly enough though, in v4 where it says “the old order of things has passed away” the word for “passed away” is aperchomai, which means for old and evil things to leave or vanish like a vapor.
In other words, much like the old testament order of living and doing things was set aside after Jesus completed the requirements of that law, God has declared that even the old order of things on earth and in heaven will be set aside for a new order and new way of doing things in our future experience–one where there is no longer death, mourning, crying, or pain. It does not say, however, that the earth is going to be obliterated and we will all die and go to heaven. No, when our bodies are redeemed we will continue to live on and inhabit the cosmos, continuing to preach the good news to ALL creation, even to far away planets in distant galaxies. While I know this sounds crazy to some, God’s view is far higher than ours, and His ways far more expansive than ours. We have set our sights far too long on this tiny little planet called Earth as somehow being the be-all and end-all of God’s plan when He has forever in His word been saying “Come up here,” beckoning us to take a higher view and understand his grand plan for the entire cosmos. I encourage and welcome everyone who reads this to not just take my word for it, but to search this out on your own and discover and uncover the great mysteries that God is revealing to us in these last days!