Anchors Aweigh! Setting Sail on the Ship of the Kingdom

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The natural, spontaneous, unconscious (NSU) nature of the pursuit of our commission to rule over the earth has taken center stage in our discussions. However, it is important to realize that the result of that spontaneity will, ultimately and ironically, very naturally result in visible, definable structures.

Periodically over the years, I have explored in these postings what I believe the Bible teaches those ruling structures to be. The following diagram of the concept of “sphere sovereignty” is a beautiful explanation of them that I have used before. However, this concept and these structures are so important and so little taught that I want to review it periodically to remind us of these ideas. 

“Sphere sovereignty” did not originate with me, but from the famous Dutch reformed theologian/politician, Abraham Kyper, in the late 1800’s. I, however, plead guilty to turning the diagram into the likeness of a sailboat and naming it “the Ship of the Kingdom.”

This diagram reflects, in one concise, visual aid, all the distinctive, big-picture information necessary to understand man’s divine commission to rule over the earth. 

In the prophetic reference to Jesus’ Ascension to Heaven in Daniel 7:13, 14, Jesus Christ returned to Heaven where He was escorted into the presence of “the Ancient of Days.” He snapped off a salute: “Mission Accomplished!”. 

This was 40 days after Jesus’ death and resurrection, where He accomplished His mission of dying for the sins of the whole world. At this time, God the Father then gave rule over the Kingdom of God to Jesus, represented by the first vertical line at the top of the diagram, and seated Him at His right hand to rule over that Kingdom. God, 40 days earlier at the cross, had taken it back from Satan in a divine sting operation. 

Then Jesus, in Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:18), gave His Kingdom to us: “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” 

In a parallel passage, written several hundred years earlier, David prophetically corroborated Daniel’s prophecy: “The LORD (God the Father) says to my Lord (Jesus): ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ The LORD (God the Father) sends forth from Zion (the people of God – believers) your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power…” (Psalm 110:1-3).

Some Bible interpreters see this throne room scene as here on the earth, at sometime in the future. My perspective is that when Daniel 7:13 says that Jesus was “… Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him,” He had not “come down” to earth at that point, but had “come up” to God the Father, in His throne room in Heaven, at the Ascension.  This is not Jesus’ 2nd. coming when He will return to earth, as the angels told the disciples, “in like manner as you saw Him go,” (Acts 1:11) i.e., “on the clouds.”

So, Jesus is currently ruling over the earth, from His seat at His Father’s right hand in Heaven. He is ruling through us, His Body, here on the earth, “in the midst of Your enemies” (Psalm 110:2).

Moving vertically down the diagram, we see that God’s authority, responsibility, and accountability, which Jesus will exercise through us by His Spirit, is divided among three institutions—the family, the church and the civil government. Next week we will see what that means practically for us as members of His body.

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