By Oscar M. Baker
We can never fully express the love of God. It is past finding out, as far as the fleshly nature of man is concerned. It is the same with the love of Christ (Eph. 3:19). In looking at John 17:24 we find the Sons reminding the Father that He had loved Him before the foundation of the world. The questions that arise are, When was this? and why?
This word foundation, KATABOLE, occurs 3 times in the Bible (John 17:24; Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20). It is made up of two words, KATA and BOLE. BOLE is a noun and occurs once in the Scriptures (Lu. 22:41). There it is translated "cast". Our Lord went about a "stone's cast" from the disciples to pray. KATA is variously translated as down, out, away, etc. One can readily see that there is nothing in the word foundation that would fit the idea given by the Greek. But at the same time one must note that this casting is not a striking. There was nothing done to the stone; it was flung away.
Some time the earth must have been cast or flung from its place, either in this solar system or some other, and did not always have the same orbit and place that it now does. This could account, in part at least, for the overthrow of Gen. 1:2. This may be more understandable to those who have studied the known history of Venus.
We have before connected this overthrow of the world with the downfall of Lucifer. Here is where sin and death entered the universe. Now we also have noted before that there was a promise of life in Christ before the ages began (Eph. 3:6; 2 Tim. 1:1 ; and Titus 1:2).
This life was to be made possible by a great sacrifice which was determined before age times, before the flinging away of the world (1 Pet. 1:20). Here the lamb was foreordained. Contrary to popular notions, God's wrath did not fall on the sacrifice, not ever. The sacrifice was accepted, it was a sweet-smelling savor. God did not pour out His wrath on His Son at Calvary, but accepted Him and all that believe in Him. That is why we are accepted in Him.
Because the Son was to be the sacrifice and would be obedient, the Father loved Him for the very time that this was planned, which was before age times, before the flinging away of the world. This love is in contrast to the hate a holy God must have for sin and death. God's rule had been questioned; His glory dimmed; and His creation ruined by the revolt.
Since this ruin and its effects were not confined to this little earth, but affected the heavens as well, this promise of life and this Lamb that was to be slain would have more than the earth for their sphere of influence. So that the heavens might be restored, a people was chosen from before this flinging away and disruption which followed (Eph. 1:4). That a kingdom should be established on the earth was a plan that was made later, after the failure of Adam and his race. So the things that pertain to the kingdom are since the foundation, or rather disruption of the world.