The following study is from Renald Showers’s book The Foundations of Faith. His writing gives a brilliant overview of God’s future actions as part of His program for humanity and the world. We feel this excerpt is as timely as ever and an excellent means of strengthening your faith in God and His Word. Enjoy this taste of Dr. Showers’s insightful book!
“God created man in His own image” and gave him dominion “over all the earth,” including its plant and animal life (Genesis 1:26–29). The fact that God gave mankind this dominion reveals the original form of government that He ordained for our planet—a theocracy.
The term theocracy means “God-rule” and refers to a form of government in which God’s rule is administered by a representative. God created Adam to be His earthly representative and made him responsible for administering His rule in accord with His will over this earthly province of His universal kingdom. In order to represent God, Adam had to be in God’s image.
Satan’s Quest for Power
Satan worked to persuade Adam to join him in his revolt against God because he was motivated by the desire to be “like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12–14). Because God was the ultimate Sovereign of the universe, Satan wanted to be the ultimate sovereign. But there can be only one ultimate Sovereign. Thus, Satan’s goal was to overthrow God and usurp His position. To accomplish that goal, he began to wage war against God. Because God has His sovereign rule of the earth administered by a human representative, Satan determined to usurp that rule from God by persuading His human representative to defect to him.
This continuing warfare between Satan and God is the key to discerning the ultimate purpose of world history.
This was one of Satan’s many attacks in his war against God throughout history. This continuing warfare between Satan and God is the key to discerning the ultimate purpose of world history. Satan’s purpose is to overthrow God and usurp His place as the ultimate sovereign of the universe. God’s purpose (and, therefore, the ultimate purpose) is to glorify Himself by demonstrating that He alone is the ultimate Sovereign.
God’s Agenda for Earth
The Scriptures reveal that, in order to fulfill His purpose for history, God must do three things before the history of this present earth ends. First, He must crush His enemy, Satan, by ridding the earth of him and his world-system rule. Because Satan usurped the rule of this earth’s world system away from God, God must rid the earth of Satan and his rule before its history comes to an end, or He will be defeated by His enemy within the scope of His present earth’s history.
A significant fact should be noted in light of this first thing God must do to fulfill His purpose for history. Immediately after Satan succeeded in getting God’s representative, Adam, to defect, God informed His enemy that the woman’s “seed” would “bruise” his “head” (Genesis 3:15). The word translated bruise means “crush” (Victor P. Hamilton, “shup,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. II, p. 912). God used language that fit the serpent form that Satan took when he tempted mankind to defect from God. If a human being brings his heel down hard upon a serpent’s head, the serpent’s head will be crushed. Through this language, God indicated that in the future, a human offspring of a woman would do God’s work of crushing Satan. Later God revealed that the person who would crush the forces of Satan’s world system would be God’s Son, the Messiah (“his anointed,” Psalm 2:2, 7–9; cf. Isaiah 11:4; Zechariah 14:2–3, 12–15).
Restoring God’s theocratic Kingdom as the government of this earth for its last age of history is absolutely essential to fulfill God’s purpose for world history.
Second, after God eliminates Satan and his world-system rule, He must restore His own theocratic Kingdom rule to the earth. Because the earth began with God’s theocracy as its government, God must restore that rule to the earth before its history comes to an end, or, again, He will be defeated within the scope of the present earth’s history. Restoring God’s theocratic Kingdom as the government of this earth for its last age of history is absolutely essential to fulfill God’s purpose for world history.
Thus, before the history of the present earth comes to an end, God must once again have a man, an Adam, functioning as His representative and administering His rule over this earthly province of His universal kingdom. In the Old Testament Scriptures, God revealed that He would have such a man. In addition to being God’s Son and the Messiah (Psalm 2:2, 7), God’s King—who would rule the whole earth in the future (Psalm 2:6, 8; Zechariah 14:9)—would also be a man. He would be a child born (Isaiah 9:6–7), a biological descendant of David (Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 23:5), and “the Son of Man” (Daniel 7:13–14). These facts indicated that, in order to be the future Adam, God’s Son would be incarnated in human flesh.
The third thing God must do to fulfill His purpose for history before this present earth comes to an end is remove the curse from nature and thereby restore nature to the way it was before the fall of mankind. Through the Old Testament prophets, God foretold the ways in which nature will be transformed in conjunction with the future theocratic-Kingdom rule of the Messiah. For example, God revealed that during the Messiah’s righteous reign (Isaiah 11:1–5), animal nature will be restored to its original pre-fall condition. Once again all animals will be tame and vegetarian in diet (Isaiah 11:6–9). Sheep, goats, and cows will dwell in peace with wolves, leopards, young lions, and bears. Children will play at the openings of the dens of snakes, which today are deadly poisonous, without being hurt (Isaiah 11:8–9).
Identifying the Future Adam
The New Testament Scriptures record things that identify Jesus Christ as the future Adam whom God foretold in the Old Testament. First, God, the angel Gabriel, demons, and human beings acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God (Matthew 3:17; 8:29; 16:16; Luke 1:35; 4:41). Second, a holy angel, demons, and human beings recognized that He was the Messiah, the Christ (Matthew 16:16; Luke 2:10–11; 4:41; John 1:41). Third, Jesus came into the world as a child born of a woman (Matthew 2:1–11; Luke 1:26–35; 2:1–17; Galatians 4:4). Fourth, Jesus’ genealogy, the angel Gabriel, and human beings testified that He was a biological descendant of David (Matthew 15:22; 20:30; Luke 1:31; 3:23–31; Romans 1:3). Fifth, Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man (Matthew 9:6; 16:13; 24:30). Sixth, the apostle Paul called Jesus “the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). These facts indicate that Jesus Christ was God’s Son who was incarnated in human flesh in order to be the future Adam foretold by God (cf. John 1:1, 14; Philippians 2:5–8; Hebrews 2:14).
The first Adam lost God’s theocratic kingdom on the earth by joining Satan’s revolt. In the future, Jesus Christ, the last Adam, will do several things. He will crush Satan (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8) by unleashing judgments upon Satan’s world system (Revelation 6—18), destroying the human leaders and military forces of that system (Revelation 19:11–21), removing all the human members of Satan’s kingdom (Matthew 13:36–43, 47–50), and imprisoning Satan in the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1–3). He will restore the theocratic Kingdom of God to the earth and, as God’s representative, will administer God’s rule over this earthly province of His universal kingdom for the last age of the earth’s history (Revelation 20:4–6). Finally, when Christ restores the theocracy, He will regenerate nature, thereby removing its curse, just as God foretold through the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 19:28; Acts 3:19–21).