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God's Plan to Make Us and the Universe Sin-Free

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God's Plan to Make Us and the Universe Sin-Free

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The book of John begins with a time that he describes as "in the beginning." These three words also are found in the first verse of the Bible (Genesis 1:1). This beginning was a period in which sin and evil simply did not exist. Everything was sin-free.

There is no mention of how long this condition existed, but we could say it was for eternity into the past (though we can't understand what that means). No one was plotting and scheming and no one was jealous or angry. No one was in disagreement and no one felt unjustly treated. Everywhere one looked there was peace and harmony—a true paradise.

Our Creator is constantly praised for the magnitude of His creation. In Psalm 104 we read that the heavens were stretched out like a curtain (verse 2). God in His wisdom made all things (verse 4). In Job 38:4-7 we are told that the angels of God shouted for joy at the creation. What a scene of sin-free utopian conditions!

Ezekiel 28:12-14 describes the generous gifts God lavished upon His angel Lucifer. This glimpse reveals the value God placed on all of His angels. Though little is revealed, we see a scene of sin-free coexistence and productive work, filled with joy, complete unity and the total absence of sin or evil.

Enter Evil

Into paradise, the first signs of rebellion, sin and evil erupted. Ezekiel 28:15-18 points to sin and violence, pride, greed and vanity, which corrupted wisdom and brought forth the wrath of God. It is of interest to contemplate that before this moment, God Himself had not experienced the feeling of regret, sorrow, anger and wrath—but that is another subject.

Verse 16 reveals that God acted to rid His heaven of this evil. He cast Lucifer to the earth along with all who turned to sin and evil among the angels, apparently a third (Revelation 12:4). The fallen angels were not created evil, but their character must have contained the possibility of change. God does not change, but angels could and did. The fallen third would not regain their positions (Jude 6).

The Seeds of Sin Spread

When God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, that beautiful place was also a sin-free location for a short time. This condition did not last long because Satan was allowed to enter the garden. Sin appeared in this little paradise and once again, God acted. It turns out that God can use the experience of sin and evil in the process of bringing into existence children who would be like Him. They would learn to hate evil (Psalm 97:10; Zechariah 8:17).

In 1 John 3:8 it explains that Satan has been sinning since the beginning, that he causes sin and that Christ's purpose is to erase and destroy sin. Verse 9 clearly states that one who is born of God does not sin—cannot sin. God cannot sin because He is God. Once humans are fully like Him, they too cannot sin (1 John 3:2, 9). Humans need to be changed through a resurrection to spirit (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).

The earth became corrupt before God (Genesis 6:11). God set His hand to slow things down, but the complete removal of corruption, sin and violence has not yet taken place. God does control the speed of events for His good purpose. We do know that the evil angels are restrained (Jude 6), but they are not erased from the scene of mankind's existence. It seems they are not free to wander at will in the universe or in heaven, but must remain on this earth. Satan does have limited access to God's throne as shown by the first chapter of Job.

God knew what He was doing when He put humans in the domain of the fallen angels. He knew that we could not overcome the influence of evil on our own. God provided a Savior for mankind, whose sacrifice would provide forgiveness to those who repent as well as making available the awesome gift of the Holy Spirit. Along with this came an education process that would lead to humans forming God's holy and righteous character. People would begin to think like God—to think like Christ. These steps in God's plan are represented in His festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost.

The Instigator Removed

In the process of time, Jesus Christ will return to earth (as pictured by the Feast of Trumpets) and remove Satan and the demons (a time pictured by the Day of Atonement). For about 1,000 years the earth will be freed of the impulse given by these evil beings (Revelation 20:3). Still, all possibility of sin will not be removed. God's plan to develop sons and daughters will continue and that requires free choice, which carries with it the possibility of sin.

Still, a condition of peace and learning will take place on earth, as portrayed through the Feast of Tabernacles. Isaiah 2:3 tells of the law going out from Zion and people learning God's way of living. Perhaps the sin-free condition will only be partial in the beginning, but the earth will no longer be full of sin and corruption. Humans will still fight emotions, ignorance and will be developing character. If a person plans a sin, it seems a voice will remind him to act according to the teachings of God (Isaiah 30:20-21).

It will be a remarkable world for about 1,000 years—but not perfect. The sin-free conditions that existed before the angels were created will not yet be fully restored. Nevertheless in parts of the Bible like Isaiah 11 this period of time is recorded as a time of peace and happiness. This 1,000 years could be described as paradise.

At the end of the 1,000 years (the Millennium), the peaceful scene will once again be shattered. Sin will again appear in paradise. Satan will be released and allowed to do his work among mankind once again (Revelation 20:7-10). It seems hard to believe that mankind will once again fall prey to the wiles of this evil being, but that will happen. God allows these events and, though He steps in quickly, it is obvious that God's creation is not yet sin-free. As long as human beings exist, the potential for sin exists and thus sin does exist. The carnal—that is natural, fleshly—mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7).

God's work goes on as the masses who have never had a chance come up in a second resurrection, pictured by the Last Great Day. God still has work to do to complete the lists of those who receive eternal life (Revelation 20:15). It is God's desire that all men should be saved, but there will be some who will fail and will experience the second death. (For more details about the second resurrection and the meanings of all the Holy Days, read God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind.)

At last the time has come when the power behind rebellion and evil will be restrained for eternity. These evil spirit forces will be cast from God's creation forever (Jude 13). There will be no more humans to save. Fire will purify the earth and God the Father will dwell with man in His New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-4). There are no more fleshly men, only the immortal, sin-free children of God.

Restoration to a Sin-Free State

At this point, all will have been restored—that is, a completely sin-free state will once again exist. God has come full circle with His work. This plan is complete and other plans will fall into place. God states that of the growth of His government there will be no end (Isaiah 9:7).

God has given many signs to prove His involvement. Humans need to yield to His hand. He will make of each one a vessel to His glory and honor. The future is beyond our wildest dreams. It will be ours when we learn to hate sin and strive for a sin-free existence, allowing God to work in our hearts and minds. UN