Bible Studies - Salvation

From The Foundation Of The World

All Bible texts are from the King James Version.

The phrase "from the foundation of the world" is mentioned in Scripture several times usually when talking about God. When was this foundation laid and what is it's significance is the theme of this study.

There are several Scriptures which clearly state that God laid the foundation of the earth:-

"Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands." Psalm 201:25.

"Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am]the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together." Isaiah 48:12, 13.

"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:" Hebrews 1:10.

In the book of Job God asks him a question of which He requires an answer:-

"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding." Job 38:4.

In fact, the whole of God's holy record begins with one very important authoritative statement -

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1.

From these quotes we can be sure that "from the foundation of the world" was indeed a specific time, the time when this earth was created by God.

What is the significance of this statement?

Well, it might not be of any significance if there were not some other Scriptures that tell of God knowing and doing specific things since this time. Let us look at five Scriptures that use this statement.

"All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." Matthew 13:34, 35.

God has kept secrets from mankind ever since he was created. A quick look at this statement may make God seem mean. However, we need to keep in mind that God is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere present. If He were to reveal to finite man who has limited knowledge and mental capacity, all that He knows mankind would not be able to cope. So it is in His mercy that God keeps secrets from us. There are times though, that God reveals some of these secrets to man.

"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 29:29.

"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: . . . He revealeth the deep and secret things: . . . As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came [into thy mind] upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass." Daniel 2:20, 22, 29.

There is also a promise found in Scripture about God's secrets being revealed:-

"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.

What a wonderful promise! God will not let anything come upon this earth that He does not warn the inhabitant thereof by His prophets. What a great comfort this should bring to all Christians.

How and when God reveals secrets is clearly seen in two of the books of prophecy in Scripture:-

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4.

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: . . . And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." Revelation 1:1; 22:10.

Daniel was told to seal his book until the time of the end, at that time it would be unsealed which means it would be understood by those who diligently studied it. The book of Revelation which means something revealed, was not to be sealed for the events in it were to shortly happen.

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:" Matthew 25:34.

When God created this world He made it perfect. It was the perfect kingdom for His perfect obedient people. This all changed when Adam and Eve sinned, and God cursed the earth. God cursed the earth a number of times due to the wickedness of mankind, but one day death, hell and sin will be destroyed. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Not only this, but because the plan of salvation makes those who choose it sons and daughter of God, then we will also have a home in heaven where God is:-

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:2, 3.

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. . . . Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:1, 2, 14.

How kind, loving, thoughtful, and merciful God must be to have made a kingdom for His people from the foundation of the world even though He knew mankind would rebel against Him, kill His beloved Son, and that many would never accept God's offer of salvation. This thought alone should make everyone stop and think about the wonderful offer that God has made to all mankind, the offer of salvation.

"For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." Hebrews 4:3.

God's work of creating the heaven and the earth were completed or finished on day six:-

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them." Genesis 2:1.

"For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:11.

"Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:" Isaiah 42:5.

"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:" Colossians 1:16.

Creation was not a work in progress evolving as time went by. Creation was a job completed in six days!

"But His energy is still exerted in upholding the objects of His creation. It is not because the mechanism that has once been set in motion continues to act by its own inherent energy that the pulse beats and breath follows breath; but every breath, every pulsation of the heart, is an evidence of the all-pervading care of Him in whom "we live, and move, and have our being." Acts 17:28." Patriarchs and Prophets by E. G. White, p. 115 par. 1.

So if we believe that the Scriptures are true, then we can with confidence say that evolution is simply a lie which originated with the father of lies, Satan, and is spread by people who are not children of God. We can know with certainty that God created this world in six literal days about 6,000 years ago (a date ascertained by adding up the lineages in Scripture).

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:8.

The Son of God is the centre of the great plan of redemption laid down before the creation of the earth, which covers all dispensations. He is the Redeemer of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam in all ages of human probation. He is the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

All of the sanctuary services that were given to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai were to point them forward in time to the coming of the Messiah who would be the Lamb of God:-

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29.

"In the work of creation Christ was with God. He was one with God, equal with Him. . . . He alone, the Creator of man, could be his Saviour. No angel of heaven could reveal the Father to the sinner, and win him back to allegiance to God. But Christ could manifest the Father's love, for God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. Christ could be the "daysman" between a holy God and lost humanity, one who could "lay his hand upon us both" (Job 9:33). . . . He proposed to take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin--sin so offensive in the sight of God that it would necessitate separation from His Father. Christ proposed to reach to the depths of man's degradation and woe, and restore the repenting, believing soul to harmony with God. Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, offered Himself as a sacrifice and substitute for the fallen sons of Adam." That I May Know Him by E. G. White, p. 18 par. 4.

"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." Revelation 17:8.

The book of life's entries commenced at the foundation of the world. Only the names of the faithful servants of the most high God are placed in this book:-

"And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life." Philippians 4:3.

"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Revelation 3:5.

"The sinner, through repentance of his sins, faith in Christ, and obedience to the perfect law of God, has the righteousness of Christ imputed to him; it becomes his righteousness, and his name is recorded in the Lamb's book of life. He becomes a child of God, a member of the royal family." Testimonies To The Church Vol 3 by E. G. White, p. 371 par. 2.

So if only faithful followers of Christ have their names in the Lamb's book of life, what happens to those whose names are not in this book:-

"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. . . . And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:12, 15.

There is also a severe warning to anyone who desires to add to or take away from the book of Revelation:-

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Revelation 22:19.

Is it no wonder then that Scripture instructs us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). No matter what happens in our life we should always ensure that we are obedient to God so that are names are found in the Lamb's book of life on judgement day.

So if we believe what Scripture tells us then we will believe that God created this world and started with a foundation, and that from the point in time -

The significance of this is that it clearly shows us that God did not just create this world and leave us to our own devices, but that He knows about and cares for us, plans things for us, and reveals things to us. Not only this but He wants all mankind to accept His offer of salvation and live for eternity with Him, and it was for this reason alone that the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world.

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© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2011. Last updated August, 2020.

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