Two-Stage Theory and God’s Creativity
History is a vision of God’s Creation on the move.
Arnold J. Toynbee13
When does a significant event actually happen?
This is not a silly question and the answer is not at all obvious. In fact, it’s a challenging and pivotal question—our very existence remains uncertain and mysterious until we comprehend both the question and its answer:
Stage 1: – it happens in Heaven when God first decrees, designs and generates it. In fact, scripture may even use the past tense for that event because it has happened already in Heaven’s reality and timing, at the very least in the mind of God, even though not yet appearing on Earth.
Stage 2: – it happens on Earth when we experience it in our Time and space.
This two-fold comprehension of Time is fundamental to discerning how our sins can be forgiven in Christ even before we commit them on Earth, and how Jesus was himself forgiving sins and healing people in fulfilment of Isaiah 53:4 before the actual crucifixion.
2 Timothy 1:9-10 alludes to this two-stage process:
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of Time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death (right away, but applied fully in our future) and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
We see that grace to cover our sins was provided in Heaven’s Time before the making of our planet, before Time in our Universe had even begun! And that death has also been destroyed, such that we are right now immortal when accepting the gospel of salvation through Jesus!
How incredibly secure that makes us in Christ—having already been granted eternal life regardless of what happens to us in our world.
God’s grace was subsequently revealed on Earth only when Jesus came.
This was the same provision (grace) but at two different periods in two different Venues – first in Heaven, then much later on Earth.
You and I are both affected by God’s dual start of many processes.
Even simple questions like “when does life begin?” necessitate both stages for a full answer.
Stage 1: – our life begins when God decides and designs it in Heaven.
Stage 2: – our life begins when we are formed in the womb on Earth.
We see both of these stages extraordinarily clearly in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you—before you were born, I set you apart.” God knew Jeremiah before the prophet was born on our planet!! You cannot know someone who does not exist already—Jeremiah was in existence, in a way we do not yet comprehend.
Our own double beginning is seen clearly in Psalm 139: 15-16, where as you may recall my own thinking along these lines first began:
When I was woven together in the depths of the Earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Verse 16 becomes more impacting if I put in the Venues:
All the days ordained for me (to live on Earth)
were written in your book (in Heaven)
before one of them came to be (on Earth).
We do not understand in what way we pre-existed such that God knew us before we were conceived physically on Earth. But we do know from scripture that God knew Jeremiah, Esau, Jacob, Isaac, Josiah and others before they were born in our world.
Many exciting revelations await us in the afterlife!
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