IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: GOD AND HIS CHRIST RULE OVER THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“For there is no authority except that which God has established.
The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
The Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Spirit is God. God rules over all things by his providential control (Ps. 103:19). Therefore it is also true that each person in the Godhead rules over all. Christ rules over all. This rule is comprehensive not only in its extent (over all of space, all of time, and all areas of human activity), but in its details—over each sparrow, each hair of the head, and each atom.
Christ is Lord over all because in his human nature he has accomplished perfect obedience, has won salvation for us, and has been given universal dominion as a reward.
As a result of his resurrection and ascension, Christ has been enthroned at the right hand of God the Father, with universal dominion:
. . . he [God the Father] worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1:20-23)
Christ is one person, and his rule over all things is a single unified rule. But he does so in two respects: because he is God, and also because he has achieved the final victory over sin and death through his resurrection and ascension. He is God and man in one person, on the throne of the universe.
Christ claims authority over both believers and unbelievers.
The difference is that believers acknowledge and submit to his rule, with joy for the salvation they have received in him.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me [Christ]. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . (Matt. 28:18)
In serving Christ we are serving the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit together, since the distinct persons indwell each other.
CHRIST IN GOD RULES OVER ALL
“There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been ordained by God.”
Many people in the world today think that the existence of civil authorities is something we determine who will rule by election or revolution.
“O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in Heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.”
God is supreme over and above the kings of the earth. God makes all the events in history. God is directing history towards the goal of His greatest glory and His people’s greatest good.
All authority is there because God put it there. All authorities: good or bad.
“God removes kings and sets up kings.”
“The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men.”
So it says here that they are all under His control. God puts them in office and he takes them out of office. Under his sovereign rule God does whatever He pleases. God establishes the civil government and determines who rules in those governments.
Does it mean it includes the tyrants and dictators of the history? Yes! They have ruled according to the sovereign will of God. That’s what the scriptures say.
“Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?”
Here is a God who can control the sunlight easier than turning a 60-watt electric bulb on and off. Here is God who can move the stars around like billiard balls. Here is a God who is the Source of all life, all creation. And “modern religious man” approaches this Almighty God as if He were a benevolent Santa Claus, or a high-level Civil Servant who likes to do little favors for the “in” people. Modern man has lost the sense of awe and wonder that is due only to God.
More accurately, modern man has slipped into idolatry. The homage due God alone has been redirected. Whether we speak of it in terms of “major preoccupation” or “value system” or “priorities,” the hard fact is that God is not Number One. God is not at the center of our lives. We’ve moved Him over. We’ve placed ourselves at the center. In our modern Society the Spirit of God is not dominant. The spirit of “What’s in it for me,” has taken over. The spirit of acquisition has taken over. While the search for fulfillment in self-gratification continues to escalate, the search for fulfillment in God seems to have been postponed.
Modern man is trying desperately to bring God down from His proper pedestal, to take the Mystery out of God. We are not speaking now of “atheists” who eliminate God, so to speak. We are speaking of the “Believers” who are trying to bring God down a peg. He is still a part of their lives, but only a part: a time for play and a time for work and a time for TV and a time for sex and a time for school, and a time for God. God is not at the center of all their life’s activities. He comes to be regarded as one more thing to be fitted into a busy schedule.
The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy which can ever engage the attention of a child of God is the name, the nature, the Person, the work, the doings and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity–so deep that our pride is drowned in its infinity.
Other subjects we can compass and grapple with–in them we feel a kind of self-content and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumb line cannot sound its depth and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thoughts that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt and with the solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. We shall be obliged to feel–
“Great God, how infinite are You,
What worthless worms are we!”
But while the subject humbles the mind it also expands it. He who often thinks of God will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe. He may be a naturalist, boasting of his ability to dissect a beetle, anatomize a fly, or arrange insects and animals in classes with well-nigh unutterable names. He may be a geologist, able to discourse of the megatherium and the plesiosaurus and all kinds of extinct animals. He may imagine that his science, whatever it is, ennobles and enlarges his mind. I dare say it does, but after all, the most excellent study for expanding the soul is the science of Christ and Him crucified and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity.
Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity. And while humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatory. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound! In musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief and in the influence of the Holy Spirit there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea–be lost in His immensity. And you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated.
Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that “the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men” (Daniel 4:32, NIV).
The lowly, humble servant of God is more than all the kings and generals and presidents and dictators of the world. No follower of the living God of Israel would fail to understand; Nebuchadnezzer, with all his worldly power and pomp, was doomed. What really mattered, what really lasted, was the faithfulness of God’s people even unto death.
Knowing the Most High God and His Christ is to see things that cannot be seen by the unaided eye. The things of God can be seen only by faith, faith in the God who revealed to Daniel that “his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom one that will never be destroyed” (7:14).
Christian believers differ radically from unbelievers in the inclination of their hearts. This radical difference gets expressed in differences all along the line in every area of life. We have motivations that differ from unbelievers. We look at the law and the world differently, because we acknowledge that law comes from God and the world is providentially governed by God. We look at ourselves differently, because we know that we are made in God’s image and we belong to him. We have different purposes from unbelievers. We serve God and his kingdom, while they serve other goals, which are like counterfeit gods.
The differences in starting point result in differences even in areas that many people consider to be “religiously neutral,” like science and mathematics. Politics, work, social relations, social institutions, finance, and art need Christian reflection, as well as areas like church, marriage, parenting, and homemaking that have more commonly received attention.
In this world, the Christian community lives and acts in the dark, defended by a power that the “the rulers of this age.” (I Cor. 2:8) is invisible and nonexistent. For those whose eyes have been opened, it is God’s invading grace that enables us to see in the dark, to become children of light (Eph. 5:8), to do battle in “this present evil age” (Gal. 1:3). To “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11).
May we bear our witness to the Son of Man in such a way that it will be said of us all, “There was a man! There was a woman!”
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