IN THE BEGINNING: The Counsel of Peace
In the beginning of the Bible, our minds are taken back to the creation of God.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
Yet God was not alone in His work of creation. He had a Helper at His side. Of this, the Scripture tells us:
“The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.” (Proverbs 8:22-26)
The Word of God tells us that Jehovah brought forth, and possessed One in the beginning of His way.Alluding to exactly who this was who was with God before the creation of the world is further alluded to in the same book of Proverbs:
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4)
The Bible says that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, so therefore it is He that “hath established all the ends of the earth.” Then it presents another question, “what is His Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Therefore, the one who was brought forth, who was “set up from everlasting, from the beginning” was the Son of God. He declares it was “before His works of old”, His creation, that Jehovah had set Him up. Speaking further of this close Companion of Jehovah, from the beginning of the creation of God, the Word declares:
“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 any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)
It says that the Son of God that was brought forth was the Word of God, God made “all things…by Him”. So it was the Word of God, Jesus, His only-begotten Son who was at His side, making all things in the beginning with Him.
“God… Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Col. 1:15-16)
The Bible abundantly testifies that in the beginning, God, the Father, had worked through His Son in the creation of all things. Therefore confirming that He was not alone in His work.
God shares His throne with His Son, “who He hath appointed heir of all things,” including His throne.
“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Hebrews 1:8-12)
“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)
“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
So we see that the Scripture declares that there were two in the beginning of God’s creation:
1) God the Father
2) Jesus Christ, the only-begotten (brought forth) Son of the Father
Thus concluding that God was by no means alone in the creation. The creation of the whole kingdom of heaven, and the throne over it, was given Him, inasmuch as He partook in the creation of it by the Father.
The Bible gives us this glimpse of the Throne of God, showing the Son as seated down at the right hand of the Father:
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1)
“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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrew 12:2)
“A Psalm of David. JEHOVAH said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool…” (Psalm 110:1)
Of that Throne which the Father shares with His Son, the Psalmist continues in verse 4,
“JEHOVAH hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)
Thus we see that the Son of God, who shared in the creative work of God, and His throne, is also a Priest, as well as a King (the Order of Melchizedek) by divine institution of the heavenly Father. Thus the heavenly throne, is also a priestly throne. A priestly throne however, requires a Sanctuary. The prophet beheld in vision, a throne “from the beginning” that was exactly this:
“A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” Jeremiah 17:12
So the glorious high throne from the beginning, before JEHOVAH’s “works of old”, the Son of God was established as a Priest & King. And why a Priest? He was the Priest of the Sanctuary. And why a Sanctuary? That is the most vital part of understanding these points, because without the other points to bring us to this place, there would be no gospel. Yet there is the gospel. In holy vision, Zechariah saw the glory of the Son of God:
“Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zecharian 6:13)
We are told that “the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” Not merely affirming two, but it says the counsel of peace is between them. The Hebrew word for “shall be” is especially interesting, of the tense it is in. This means “I AM”, or “to exist”, “be/was/is”. It is the Hebrew word “HawYah”, from which comes the name JEHOVAH, and means “eternal”. It is the same words that our God employed when speaking to Moses:
“And God said unto Moses, I AM [HawYah] THAT I AM [HawYah]: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM [HawYah] hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)
Therefore, an accurate rendering of Zechariah 6:13 may also read: “Even He builds the temple of the LORD; and bears the glory, and sits and rules upon His throne; and He is a priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace IS between them both.”
What is this counsel of peace between our Heavenly Father and our Great High Priest? It is that which was from the beginning, and what the throne was established upon. It is the most sacred of counsels, because in it, was established both the Son, the Sanctuary, and the Throne over all creation. What is that eternal counsel which was from the beginning between them both? It was the formulation of the plan of the gospel. The Word of God declares:
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” (1 Peter 1:18-20)
Of this counsel of peace that existed between the Father and the Son, it is called “the hidden wisdom”:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” (1 Corinthians 2:7)
“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest (revealed) unto his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery… which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colossians 1:26-27)
Therefore, we see that this was hidden since creation. The plan of redemption was formed between God and His Son beforehand, in the event that man would choose to ruin himself by disobeying the command of His Creator, and eat the fruit of sin. Yet, at the fall, the counsel of peace, the everlasting covenant, at the very first sin went into effect. The Voice of God visited them at their fall, and promised that He would crush the dominion of the serpent, Satan. That promise was sufficient to break his dominion in their hearts if they would believe the counsel of peace. There, He covered their nakedness with a slain lamb, and declared to them:
“…the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.” (Isaiah 54:10)
So what is the counsel of peace? It is “the covenant of My peace” says the Word of JEHOVAH. It declares that the way of His mercy has already been established from the beginning, before His “works of old”, having “foreordained” His Son to be the Lamb of sacrifice, “before the foundation of the world“. Hallelujah! That peace of this counsel is none other than peace foremost with God through His Son:
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” (Ephesians 2:13-14)
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:18-20)
The plan established in the heart of God and His Son before the creation of the world was to, in the event of sin, “reconcile all things” to God through the One that God made all things through! And not only so, but in the heart of God therefore, when this plan was formed, it declares something of the greatest importance. This counsel was fixed in place before the creation was entered into by God and His Christ, but it was not for Themselves that they formed this plan. The Scriptures declare that it was for us, declaring that He has even “chosen us…before the foundation of the world”: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Ephesians 1:4)
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling… according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Timothy 1:9)
God has saved us from the beginning if we will choose to rest in His love. He has saved us, and called us, and chosen us, and even given us grace BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN; before we were born, He saw the mercy, and grace and glory He would crown us with in His love. He sees the covenant of peace, and He declares, “I have saved you, return unto Me.” Salvation has already been in place, so none need be lost. He who upholds the worlds fixed something in place even greater than the world, and He saw us in that very thing.
This is “the love of the truth” that we should purify our souls in obeying. It declares heaven is our home. It declares that our abiding place is in the Lamb of God before the foundation of the world. That He established His Sanctuary and Priesthood for our sakes, in the love wherewith He has loved us.
Why then should any be lost? Because they “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 1:8). The very same gospel which was ordained to their glory, they have refused. And why have they refused? Because of Satan.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them….” (2 Corinthians 3:3-4)
Declaring that he works “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2Th 2:10)
Therefore, we read:
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)
Jesus is called the Lamb slain from the Foundation of the world, another reference to the counsel of peace that existed. He was slain from the foundation of the world, being that Lamb that was a ready sacrifice “foreordained” for fallen man, to be the Lamb promising mercy and life. Here is the promise God gave:
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2)
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;). That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3)
In the above passage, John calls Jesus “the Word of life”, “which was from the beginning”, and “was manifested”, even calling Him “that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested”; in the same letter, declaring this eternal life which was with the Father, he says: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Therefore, if the life was manifested to John, and that eternal life is in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being the Lamb bringing mercy to Adam, and all who sinned before He was manifested, then He is also the Life from the foundation of the world, giving eternal life to all who believe from the foundation of the world. Even before His Resurrection, Christ said:
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25)
Therefore, Christ is the Resurrection from the foundation of the world, and He is our Life. This is the peace, this is the life, this is the hope that you have been given in the gospel, declaring the love God has had toward you. Therefore, the question that remains, that Jesus asks of you, is this:
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:26)