Summary: Written and Published February, 2020: For some, this article may seem a bit technical. God’s counsels are the endpoints and destinies of all people and things as purposed by God, according to His own good pleasure (Eph. 1:9-10). From this verse in Ephesians, we know that the glory of God will be centered on Jesus Christ, the glorified Man. In comparison to the first man, Adam, Jesus is known as the second Man or last Adam. The counsels of God heavily involve the last Adam instead of the first. The article lays out from Scripture one way in understanding this principle.
Jesus Christ is the second Man, the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45-47). The counsels of God concerning the last Adam were formed before time began and before the foundations of the world. We know this because there are names written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world (Rev. 13:8).
For clarity, allow me to state about Revelation 13:8 what may already be obvious to you. What was actually before the foundations of the world was the writing of the names in the book, not the Lamb being put to death at that time. But we certainly have the evidence from the mind of God that in His counsels formed before time began, His purpose was for Jesus to eventually become the sacrifice for our sins; His death the reason why those names were written in the book. And this is significant. God had formed a complete plan involving the work and obedience of the second Man before He ever created the first man, placing him in the garden. The names written include all the saints – Old Testament, New Testament, and millennial – all those chosen by God to be given eternal life based on the work of the slain Lamb.
Titus 1:1-3 (NKJV)
Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
Hopefully, we see the difference between God promising in His counsels to give eternal life to His elect, and His revealing by His Spirit to the church what His counsels are. Although God had formed His counsels concerning the last Adam before time began, He waited until after the last Adam had come to reveal them. God waited until the redemptive work on which His counsels were based was fully accomplished, and the Holy Spirit sent down, to reveal them to the church.
What really makes an impression on me is the understanding that God already had the solution for mankind’s sinful state planned in His counsels well before He ever created Adam and placed him in paradise in the state of innocence. Although His counsels couldn’t be revealed to man until after the day of Pentecost, still it shows that the principle of God’s sovereign grace and the promise of eternal life preceded the principle of responsibility being given to the first man (the conscious obligation Adam had to obey the will of his Creator (Gen. 2:16-17). And please never forget, it is the Lamb slain, the work of redemption, on which the bringing all God’s counsels into effect was founded.