17. GOD KNEW US BEFORE WE WERE FORMED
By Felix Ngunjiri Gichuri
No One is Born by Mistake
The Bible says that we did not come to this world by mistake. We are not in this world by accident. We were brought into this world by design. Those born out of wedlock, out of rape, born out of sex trade, born out of a mistake or experiment were not born behind God’s back. God knows everything that happens in heaven, on earth and under the earth. He knows the end from the beginning. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isa 46:9-10 [KJV]) The point I am driving home is that everyone who has walked on the face of this earth was brought down here by God Himself for a divine purpose.
God Knew us Before we Were Born
In the book of Ephesians 1:3-5, the word of God says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” (Eph 1:3-5 [KJV])
God knew us and chose us even before He founded the world. Before God created the heavens and the earth, before time existed, He knew us. “Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
The Bible says that God the Heavenly Father and His Son were living in perfect love full of glory. When Jesus was praying to the Father, He told Him “Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24 [KJV]) The One Who was loved before the foundation of the world speaks to the One Who loved Him then, and addresses Him as Father. Jesus prayed to the Father that “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:4-5) The truth is that there were and are two divine Beings who existed “in the beginning.” John calls one of them “God” and the other “the Word”—although “the Word was God” also. God and the Son were actually existing before this age in form of the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4 [KJV])
“That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto his own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:9-14 [KJV])
God and the Word Were there Before Time Existed
God and the Word, both uncreated, existed in eternity in a loving, unified relationship. Between them was complete unity of purpose. Such words as love, harmony, unity, cooperation, concern, care and mutually benefiting applied to these two Beings in this realm of prehistory outside of and before time as we know it. They existed before time, before they had created time. Time was created when God and Son created seasons and days and years. It is interesting to know that they created time with the Word “Let there be light.” “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” (Gen 1:14 [KJV])
This is the glorious state within which they existed—spirit, uncreated, with splendor, majesty and eternal life inherent within themselves. This is the essence of the existence God and the Word shared. To put it in one word, it is love that was their seamless bond. “God is love,” we are told in 1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16. It is who and what They are and share in a glorious spirit existence apart from us.
Because God is love, Him and the Son Decided to Share that Love with Others
They decided to create man in their image so that they would share the love they had with the man they would create. Genesis 1:26 says that, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness …”
“[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, . . .” (2 Tim 1:8-10)
The lamb of God “was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake.” (1 Pet 1:20)
God Knows Our Days Even Before a Single One of Them Began
The Bible says that God knows our days even before they were formed and that He knows our days here on earth before a single one of them began and has written all our days in His book. Note that our days were planned before a single one of them began. “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (Psalm 139:16 HCSB]) God has a timeline for each one of us and our days here on earth oure recorded in His Book before a single one of them began. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart and appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5) Before each one of us was formed in our mother’s womb, God knew us and set us apart and appointed us as prophets to the nations. As He was creating us before we were conceived in our mother’s womb, He set us apart as prophets to the nations “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1Pet 2:9 [KJV]) Meaning that God spread our calling through the timeline He has set for each one of us and that calling is being prophets unto God and being a royal priesthood, holy unto God.
We can now see how Adam fell by not remaining as the image of God here on earth, not remaining as prophet unto God, holy before Him and loving Him continually. Instead of fixing his eyes on the one who created them, Adam and his wife Eve forgot the joy that was set before them of being with God eternally. We are commanded in Hebrews 12:2 to be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Eve Found Herself Admiring the Forbidden Tree
Adam and Eve strayed from the presence of God and looked elsewhere, saw a world more beautiful than the beauty of His holiness. At the centre of the garden were two trees. “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen 2:9 [KJV]) The serpent who was relaxing near or under the tree of knowledge of good and evil started a conversation with Eve to test whether she could be misled into disobeying God. “Now the serpent was more subtil (crafty/cunning/shrewd) than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:1-5 [KJV])
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Gen 3:6 [ESV2011])
They forgot the command they had been given by God not to eat the tree of knowledge of good and evil. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17 [ESV2011])
Originally, it was God’s intention that man should have free and eternal access to and communion with his Maker. This was the plan He attempted to carry out in the Garden of Eden. But the devil introduced sin which thwarted the original design of God. Man sinned, and God sent him forth from the garden. “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1John 3:4 [KJV]) Adam and Eve transgressed the law, broke the law, disobeyed God’s command which forbid them to eat the tree of knowledge of good and evil and that is how they sinned against God.
The Consequence of Eating the Forbidden Tree was Death
Adam did not fully comprehend the seasriousness of his sin or the result of disobedience. God had told him not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and said, for “in the day that thou eats thereof, you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17. The only death Adam experienced took place after they sinned and they saw that they were naked and God killed a lamb or lambs to make clothes for them from the animal skins. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Gen 3:21 [KJV]) But Adam had not seen death before they sinned and did not clearly understand what death was all about. But when he saw the first sacrificial lamb lying still before him, its life blood oozing out, death suddenly took on a new and deeper meaning. He began to understand that his salvation was in some way connected with the death of the lamb, that if the lamb had not died, he would have been the one to die, and thus be without any hope for the future, without God; lost. He owed his life to the death of the lamb, and with the instruction given to him, by faith he saw in the lamb lying dead at his feet as a symbol of “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Great must have been the remorse of Adam as the full consequences of his sin dawned on him.
Instead of Adam and Eve Dying in Eden (Paradise), God Killed Two Animals to Die on Their Behalf
After Adam sinned “the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” (Gen 3:21 [ESV) There is something remarkable in the material out of which the coats were made. Animal skins are obtained by the death of animals; and they could not have been slain for food for Adam and Eve had been ordered to be eating plants as food. “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food;” (Gen 2:9 [KJV]) Some have been led to conjecture that they were offered in sacrifice – slain in prefiguration of that subsequent availing sacrifice which was to take away sin. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17 [ESV2011]) The evident meaning of these words is that Adam would die the day he sinned. Some accept the marginal rendering, “dying thou shall die” as meaning, not that they would die that day, but that death would then begin to work in them, and that eventually they would die. How, then, are we to explain God’s statement? By the simple fact that as soon as Adam sinned, Christ stepped into the breach (mistake or sin that Adam had committed), took Adam’s place, and promised to die for him, in his stead. We hold that Adam would have died that day had not Christ then and there become the Lamb of God ‘slain from the foundation of the world’, taken the burden of sin and its guilt upon Himself, and pledged His life for the life of the world as symbolic of how He will follow the fallen man to the world and save him from the curse of the law which said that “in the day that you shall eat the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The death of the lamb in the stead of Adam symbolized the spiritual death of man that started in the garden of Eden and physically took place out there in the world many years after Adam was kicked out of Eden, the paradise of God. This would be in harmony with the plan laid from eternity and embraced in the everlasting covenant, and would make clear the statement that Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8). And now curses and death were their lot. Adam and Eve were separated from God. The process of death for man had started for disobeying God knowing full well that God had commanded man in no uncertain terms that “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17 [ESV2011])
God Conceived a Plan to Bring Man Back to Himself
But God conceived a plan whereby He and His people might again be reunited. If they could not live in Paradise, where they could enjoy open communion with Him, why should not God go out and live with them ? And so in the fullness of time God sent Word to His people: “Let them make for Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8) Wonderful love! God could not bear to be separated from His own, and so His love devised a plan whereby He might live among them! He would go with them on their journeys to and fro in the wilderness, and at last lead them into the Promised Land. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ (the Word of God). But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (1Cor 10:1-5 [KJV])
God devised a plan where He would be with His people again. True, there was a separating wall between God and man, for God dwelt in the sanctuary, and man could not approach Him directly. But God is as near as sin will permit. He planned to dwell “among” His people.
God Sent His Begotten Son to Bring His Kingdom Down to Us Here on Earth
That is why He brought to us His Only Son to earth to dwell amongst us and introduce us on how to relate with God in the flesh and in the Spirit in what He called Kingdom of God here with us. “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near, in your midst!’ (Matt 10:7 [NET2])
He brought us His dear Son so that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection. God desires that we know Him. He wants us to know that He so much loved us that He sent His One and only Son Jesus Christ to come down from heaven to earth and redeem us from the bondage of sin and present us unto the Father in heaven so as to live with Him forever. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 [KJV]) God the Father also wants us to know that Him and His Son are one, that if you know one you know the other.
God Wants Us to Look Unto Jesus
We can now see how Adam fell by not remaining as the image of God here on earth, prophet unto God, holy before Him and loving Him continually. Instead of fixing his eyes on the one who created them the way we are commanded to be looking unto Jesus in Hebrews 12:2, his wife forgot the joy that was set before them of being like God because they were in His image and she strayed from the presence of God and looked elsewhere, saw a world more beautiful than she was used to and she thought that it might be more exciting than looking at the glory of God all the time. Her eyes lusted after what she saw around her: beautiful trees, beautiful fruits and the tree that God had warned them not to eat. “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:6)
God Predestined us as a Kingdom of Priests and Prophets and one Holy Nation
Our destiny of being prophets is as if the word prophet is written across our individual timelines showing the many years we shall stay here on earth (70 years + commission ) as prophets of God things remaining constant with no dangers or diseases to shorten that lifespan but what happens is that the devil tries all he can to hide that knowledge from us which says that says that we were predestined to be adopted children of God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” (Ephesians 1:5), and being prophets unto God all the days of our lives here on earth. The devil fears that we an turn the whole world into a kingdom of priests and prophets and one holy nation and restore man back into God’s initial plan. He fears where he would be if the whole world would turn to God. In caves or under the sea or where? He tries all he can to steal the word of God sown in our hearts by preachers and prophets, killing as many people as possible lest we get saved as he destroys peoples’ lives, relationships, properties and dreams. God does not at any time plan misfortunes or dangers or diseases because they come from the evil one. “See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land whither you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave unto him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deut 30:15-20 [KJV])
If these manifestations of evil come upon us after we commit sin, God expects each one of us to see the light of the Gospel and look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. If we become tempted by the lusts of the flesh and the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life, Jesus warns us to pray so that we do not enter into temptation. “Jesus told Peter. ‘Watch (be alert, take care of yoursef) and pray so that you do not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Satan will tempt us as he tempted Eve so that we fall into sin and be subjected to judgement, condemnation, danger, misfortunes, the burden of sin, curses and death. In God’s timeline for each one of us, there is no provision that at a certain point, you will get sick, at another time of your life you wilI meet danger/accident/thugs, etc. We meet these misfortunes when the devil brings those temptations across our paths when we go astray. When we stray away from the way of holiness. “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.” (Isa 35:8-9 [ESV2011])
We meet misfortunes when the devil brings those temptations across our paths when we do not pray not to enter into temptation or when we lust after the desires of the flesh or we get to be among the wicked. There is a spiritual principle here, “Do not to go where you can be tempted.” “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it, turn from it, and pass away” (Proverbs 4:14-15). The Devil is “more subtle than any beast of the field” (Genesis 3:1), and if he is subtle enough to tempt perfect people like Adam and Eve into sin, then let us not be so puffed up as to think he cannot draw us away also. If Eve had not been habitually passing near the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she would not have seen that “the tree was good for food”, or that it was “pleasant to the eyes” (Genesis 3:6), and would not have fallen into sin at that time. If David had not been walking on his roof, when he should have been at war (2 Samuel 11:1), then he would not have seen Bathsheba washing herself at that time. He would then have avoided his sin of adultery with her (2 Samuel 11:4), and the murder of her husband Uriah the Hittite would not have happened (2 Samuel 11:15). So if we do everything in our power to avoid the Devil’s temptations, then we can pray to God not “to lead us into temptation” (Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4) and expect God to take care of the rest. But what point is there in asking God, “do not lead us into temptation,” if we deliberately put ourselves in the position that we are asking him to keep us from? It does not make sense to ask God not to lead you into temptation when you keep sinning. God calls it foolishness. The word of God judges such who keep returning to sin as fools and slaves of corruption. “As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.” (Prov 26:11 [KJV]) “They themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” (2Pet 2:19-22 [ESV2011])
If we are faced by sin or danger, Jesus is saying that we should pray so that we do not enter into temptation and tell God not to lead us into temptation. If we pray that prayer, He promises to deliver us from evil by providing a way out. You can escape temptation if you cry to God in Jesus name to save you from that temptation. 1 Cor 10:13 says that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9 [KJV])
Before He created us, He prepared the Kingdom of heaven so that the people He was to create would be blessed enough to occupy the kingdom. Jesus Christ said that the kingdom of heaven was created for believers before the foundation of the world. “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:” (Matt 25:34 [KJV])
You can imagine all there is in the kingdom of God the Father being made available to us if only we ask Him in the name of Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son. Jesus Christ told His disciples and by extension is now telling us that “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23 [KJV]). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt 7:7-11 [KJV]) God has given us a blank cheque to ask Him whatever is in heaven that we need and we shall be given. We belong to the royal family that is domiciled in heaven. The riches promised to us cannot be eaten by termites, nor by rust or be stolen. They are heavenly and eternal. All that generosity from the Father in heaven is courtesy of the great love He has for those who believe in Him through His Son Jesus Christ. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Eph 2:4-8 [KJV])
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col 1:27 [KJV]).
Jesus told his disciples that “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:7-13 [KJV])
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal 1:3-5 [KJV]) God plans to bring His kingdom down here on earth. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Rev 21:1-7 [KJV])
John was shown by Jesus Christ the paradise God wants all believers who shall serve Him to the end to go to so as to live forever and ever with Him there in heaven. “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. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see his face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:1-5).