This blog posting is about to explode in me before I can get it out, just as was last week’s posting! What always turns me on is when a biblical truth that I had not previously understood “sets things in order” for me.
Last week’s posting did that. According to the Greek meaning of the word for “to know,” knowing the gospel is something we can fully experience now. On the other hand, the kingdom of God is a vision that we can discover now, intellectually, in the Bible, but now only fully experience one day in the future. The different Greek words for “to know” teach us this in Ephesians 1.
What is that vision we can discover intellectually now, but must wait to experience? The vision begins in Genesis 1:26. This is our foundation verse for discovering what is the most basic of all visions of our future—our purpose in life: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion . . . over all the earth . . .’”
God created man specifically to rule (have dominion) over a KINGDOM God had created—the earth itself and all it contained—and gave it to him. Adam was made God’s vice-regent over the earth, with Eve to assist him.
Then came the Fall and its tragic consequences, as Satan, in his total rebellion against God, stole this kingdom from Adam. He became “the god (ruler) of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) for multiple millennia, as he legally worked his will over the whole earth that Adam had been tricked into giving him (Romans 6:16).
But, “In the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4), Jesus, God Himself as the second person of the Trinity, came to earth as a man. He was the only man who ever lived who was born of a virgin. Thus, he was not a descendant of Adam, and therefore, not born as a slave of Satan, as were we. Jesus lived His life in perfect submission to His Father, always resisting Satan’s attacks, as Adam had failed to do. Ultimately, Satan, in a fit of uncontrolled rage, killed Jesus, an innocent man, at the cross.
In a perfectly executed, divine sting operation, Satan finally, legally, became what he had always been in his heart—a murderer, but now he was one in the eternal court of justice as well. The death of Jesus on Golgotha was His supreme victory over Satan. There, Satan lost the KINGDOM!
Today, Satan is a defeated foe, stripped of his power, who can now only lie and deceive us. With no power or authority, he is mounting a desperate, guerilla, delaying operation, as He sees a growing force whom he knows he cannot stop. It is the church, with its members who have the Holy Spirit living through them, just as Jesus did! He knows, intellectually, “it is finished,” but, like all the human tyrants he has spawned down through history, he will not yield until he is made to!
So, the story of the rule over this earth began at creation, when God gave authority over His handiwork to Adam, who lost it to Satan, who ruled over it until the cross, where he disqualified himself by murdering an innocent man, and lost his right to rule. Who then, now, has authority from God to rule this earth? “Kingdom, kingdom, who’s got the kingdom?”
When Adam fell, God had no “plan B.” He created the earth to be ruled by man, and man will rule it! It is Daniel who lays out for us the next step in the unfolding of God’s eternal purpose for His kingdom. This is Daniel’s vision, almost 600 years before it occurred: .
“I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of Heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days (God the Father – Jesus coming UP to Heaven on the clouds at the Ascension, not coming DOWN to earth at the 2nd Coming), and they brought Him (Jesus) near before Him (God the Father). Then to Him (Jesus) was given dominion and glory and a KINGDOM, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. . .” (Daniel 7:13, 14).
The rule over the earth, as per God’s original plan, was given again to a MAN, the incarnate Jesus Christ, whom Paul calls “the second man” (1 Corinthians 15:47). Four hundred years before Daniel, David had prophesied the coming Messiah’s same kingdom-bestowing, Ascension event, with one important fact added:
“The LORD (Jehovah, God the Father) said to my Lord (The Messiah, Jesus Christ),’Sit at My right hand (Jesus will exercise His rule from His Father’s right hand!) till I make Your enemies Your footstool’“ (Psalm 110:1).
How can this be? How can Jesus rule over the earth, and even be victorious (His enemies will be as a “footstool” for His feet) without being on-site but still at His Father’s right hand in Heaven? Here’s how.
After receiving His kingdom from His Father in Daniel 7:13, 14, verse 27 tells us:
“Then the KINGDOM and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given TO THE PEOPLE, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him”
The kingdom has been given to us, right now! Our families, our churches, the civil government, our jobs, the arts, medicine, athletics—wherever we have authority, responsibility, influence, or simply contact with people—are all a part of the kingdom over which Jesus rules from Heaven—through us, on the earth, right now! Unconsciously, spontaneously and naturally, we are spreading His rule—the rule of Jesus Christ, wherever we go and with whomever we touch. Listen to Psalm 110:2, 3, just after the “footstool” verse:
The LORD (God the Father) shall send the rod of Your strength (Jesus Christ’s) out of Zion (the church). Rule in the midst of Your enemies (the unbelieving world)! Your people (the church) shall be volunteers (not conscripts!) in the day of Your power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You (Jesus Christ) have the dew of Your youth.”
Jesus, the Head of the body of Christ is RULING over the earth, right now, never leaving His seat in Heaven at his Father’s right hand, where He has been seated since the Ascension. He is doing so THROUGH US, His Body, as volunteers, in the very midst of Jesus’ enemies here on the earth. The KINGDOM is coming right here, right now, just as it has already come in Heaven. Believe it!