The commission to rule over the earth was delegated directly to us by Jesus Christ, from His seat at God’s right hand in Heaven, at the Ascension. So what? A casual Christian may think that this is just a grandiose, pie-in-the-sky, theological idea without a practical, divine strategy to actually implement it.
So, for many of us “to rule in Jesus’ kingdom on the earth” really means nothing more than the old catch-all mind-set, “I should try to be good.” However, a careful Bible student will eventually discover that God has brilliantly given us a very detailed battle plan and the necessary weapons to exercise our rule, in great detail. We Christians are simply in the process of recognizing it is important enough to search for it in the Scriptures.
When we do, we will discover that God has created three physical institutions with specific instructions in the Bible, our Father’s words, directly to us, as to how this rule we have been given will be carried out.
If you are a regular reader of my postings, you are familiar with these institutions, as about half of my postings refer to them, as they are the physical, here-and-now, expressions of “the kingdom.” They are 1.) the family (Genesis 1:24-26; 2:18, 21-25); 2.) the civil government (Genesis 9:5-7); 3.) the church (Acts 2:40-47).
These are each divine weapons God is actively using in our lives to make our reign right now a reality. The most important issue for us to examine first in each one is “Who is in charge here?” The very word “kingdom” implies a “domain over which a sovereign king rules.” While we are not sovereign kings, God and Jesus are, and they have delegated their earthly sovereignty to us to exercise.
Before we look specifically at this leadership—this rule—in each of these three institutions (all similar but different), I want to share again a diagram I have shared before over the years. It is very relevant here, and nothing is more basic and important than keeping these ideas firmly in mind during our investigation. I call the diagram “The Ship of the Kingdom,” because it looks like a sailboat.
This is a picture of the Father rewarding the Son with the right to rule over the earth at the Ascension in Daniel 7:13-14, as we discussed last week. The Son then delegated that rule to us, His people, the “saints of the most high” (vs. 18). Those authority transfers are represented by the vertical lines in the diagram. The formal, institutional vehicles through which our rule is expressed are the family, church, and the civil government, as we have discussed at great length in these postings and which are shown in the diagram.
As you can see, that rule carries responsibility for doing so properly, according to God’s law, and the authority from Jesus to fulfill those responsibilities. The one arrow pointing upward signifies our ultimate accountability to Jesus for how we have ruled over the portion of His kingdom responsibility He has given to each of us.
When we take these responsibilities seriously in each institution, we will face serious opposition. Make no mistake—we are at war in our culture today, as Satan desperately fights to hold on to the rule (as “the god of this world”) He stole from Adam at the Fall.
However, he was permanently stripped at the cross of all that authority and power. Today, as a completely defeated enemy, he fights a delaying, guerrilla war, using his only remaining weapons—lying and deception—against those he has found he can deceive.
There are many, even many Christians, who are totally asleep and unaware of what is occurring. Others know that we are under attack but are discouraged and depressed at the current state of our nation and our ability to respond. They may not know what the Bible tells us about the war and our weapons. Therefore, the ignorance and passivity of many churches who don’t seem to even realize we are at war makes the situation appear hopeless.
That is exactly what Satan is after. A depressed, despondent army is much easier to conquer than a positive, joyous army that knows we are in a fierce battle but victory is certain!
Defeat is neither in the future of the church nor the culture. When we finally get the vision I am outlining in these postings, the enemy cannot stop our attack (Matthew 16:18); Jesus will rule from where He sits now in heaven, through us here on the earth, until “all His enemies are made a footstool for His feet” (Psalm 110:1), and this will happen in this life before Jesus leaves His place of authority at His Father’s right hand (Matthew 6:10)! Hallelujah!
Next week we will look at the leadership of each institution; how they are similar, but different. We must set aside what we have learned from today’s fallen culture and remember: our standard of faith and practice is always the Bible. What does it say about the leadership of these three different spheres of rule? That must be our plumb-line.