"ON EAGLES’ WINGS MINISTRIES"
“Will the saints’ rule as Daniel foretold?” June 2013. Part 2.
“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isaiah 32: 1, 2.
I have said many times in these writings that it is important to pay keen attention to the language of scripture, and under what circumstance certain statements were made. The passage of scripture featured above alludes to a king who reigns, and princes who rule with him. As we mentioned in part one of this study, Isaiah 9: 6 alluded to the fact that the government shall be upon his shoulder.
Prophecy after prophecy pertaining to the coming of Messiah carried the essence of his rule. In fact, the wise men came asking, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews?” It stands to reason that a king without a kingdom is a king in exile. If Jesus came as a king but has no kingdom, he is nothing more than a fraud or a joker. But the prophets of old and angels bearing witness of his coming to earth presented him as a king, and not only that; there was a throne awaiting his arrival. No wonder that there was joy and singing on that first Christmas Eve night.
To endorse and substantiate the kingship of Christ, an ancient prophet wrote: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy KING cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9: 9. Listen to another witness! “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” [Jehovah-Tsidkenu] Jeremiah 23:5,6.
Here is a short list from David regarding the kingship of Jesus Christ, as the embodiment of God’s rule over the earth; not upon his second coming, but pertaining to his first advent. “God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.” Psalm 67: 7. “Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.” Psalm 72: 11. “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalm 103: 19. Looking at the big picture, John wrote: “For all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15: 4b. In spite of man’s rebellion and resistance to God’s laws, the earth, indeed, shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
These scriptures speak loudly that those who are waiting for Jesus to return to Jerusalem to be crowned King, have missed a big chunk of divine truths that are spelled out in concise details in scripture. It stands to reason that the king who is to reign in righteousness refers to the person of Jesus Christ. The Church as we know it has no problem ascribing this truth to the man Christ Jesus. But do you know where they have come short and have missed a big, bright, and glorious truth? The majority of saints have fallen into the “futuristic trap” that suggests that so many wonderful events that have already transpired and are now unfolding before our very eyes are events that will occur at some time in the distant future.
The glorious event of the arrival of the King of kings was so stupendous that the writer of Hebrews offered a candid account. We will quote from a number of translations. Speaking of the exalted position of Christ above the angels we read: “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstborn into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: A septre of righteousness is the septre of thy kingdom.” Hebrews 1: 4-6, 8. [All of this pertained to when he brought forth the firstborn into the world.] It is important not to forget that all of this narrative relates to the first advent of Jesus Christ, and does not in the least allude to his return to earth to reign for a thousand years as the Church on tiptoe is earnestly waiting for.
The N.E.B. translation renders it thus! “For God never said to any angel, “Thou art my Son; today I have begotten thee, or again, “I will be a father to him, and he shall be my son.” Again, when he presents the first-born to the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God pay him homage. Of the Son he says, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, and the sceptre of justice is the sceptre of his kingdom.” That word justice is missing from the lexicon of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, in Governor’s mansions, and in State and County Houses.
There can be no difficulty or miss comprehension of the status of the Christ-child, whose coming to earth set the angels in royal formation, and all the elements of nature taking notice that the King has come to earth. His kingdom is an everlasting one, and his sceptre is one of righteousness. We do not equate or associate a sceptre with presidents, prime ministers, or military dictators. A sceptre is keenly akin to a monarch, and in the case of the coming Messiah, it was not a sham or an irrelevant issue. The place that Christ held even in the courts of heaven surpassed the angels in value and purpose, because God never said to any of them: “Thou art me Son, this day have I begotten thee; or thy throne O God is forever.”
It should not be difficult nor painful for Christians everywhere to embrace the truth that Jesus was born King of the Jews; that he was brought on the scene to sit upon the throne of his father David. We must remind ourselves from time to time so as not to let this truth slip, that Peter on the day of Pentecost alluded to the fact that David had not ascended into heaven to sit upon his throne, [but Jesus has], because David himself said, “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool.”
To advertise and preach to the world that Jesus will come one day will thousands of his saints, and will walk into Jerusalem to sit upon the throne of David and will reign on earth for a thousand years, is to miss the truth altogether. In fact, the bible does not teach that doctrine in any developed form. By putting pieces of scripture together like a patchwork quilt, experts and their students have managed to have the greater part of Christendom believing and looking earnestly for Christ to enter Jerusalem someday soon, to climb atop David’s throne, from which time forward, the world will make an annual trip to Jerusalem to worship; this is based upon the assumption that the prophet Zechariah wrote about this as an event slated to occur in the future.
David had passed away at an advanced age, and his son Solomon, born to Bathsheba, who lost the first child she bore David out of a wicked act of lust, adultery, and murder became king. In our way of thinking, we would not consider bringing forth Israel’s most illustrious king from that combination of parents. But like saying “what’s done is done, let’s move on,” God blessed the union with Solomon, whom the Lord told David would build the temple. After the death of his father David, we read: Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.” 2nd Chronicles 29:23. So as a matter of principle and facts, Solomon did not sit upon the throne of his father David. Of course not! He sat on the throne of the Lord, of which, David’s throne was only a type, and an earthly expression of a heavenly reality. Here is another example!
The Queen of Sheba was so impressed by the wisdom and great wealth of Solomon that she began to speak truth that perhaps was well beyond her own knowledge and understanding. She spoke saying: “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne [God sets Solomon on God’s own throne] to be king for the Lord thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.” 2nd Chronicles 9:8.
We need not argue or question the “kingship and sceptre” of Christ’s kingdom. So as Isaiah foretold, indeed, a king shall reign in righteousness, and Jesus Christ came on time with the right credentials to reign upon the correct throne, and he continues to do so to this very day.
But the next layer of truth that will serve to complete the prophecy is that princes shall rule in judgment. Jesus said that the Father does not judge any man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, which in truth does not mean the single person of Jesus Christ himself; because “SAVIORS” [countless numbers] shall come upon Mt. Zion to judge the mount of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. Paul indicated that the saints shall judge the world and shall judge angels also. But let us not miss this important point, as a matter of fact or truth.
To judge does not mean to condemn and to punish. Whenever preachers echo the judgments of God we are primed and pressured to expect severe punishments, such as natural disasters, fires, and outbreaks of diseases for which there is no cure. But God’s judgments are righteous judgments, meant to be corrective measures of his love. Instead of destroying lives, God’s judgments are meant to enhance our lives; to make them more productive, and for those who have lost their way, his judgment lightens the path. It brings balance, reason, and sense to what we should be occupied with in the first place.
But to judge angels also, as Paul indicated, certainly brings a new dimension to what our ministry is all about. We do not hear very much about this, but listen to Paul: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and in heavenly places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Ephesians 3: 10. It is so very difficult to judge among ourselves as human beings, that Paul had to pose this question: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” 1st Corinthians 6: 2,3. But God’s ultimate intention is for the church to minister his manifold wisdom to principalities and powers in heavenly places. When last have we heard a sermon on this aspect of the ministry of the saints of God?
Although this is rather a stout order on the human level, the task and the question it generates is: “How equipped are we to judge angels?” Angels in this case do not mean the pastors and preachers in our local Assemblies. The common practice among members of the clergy is to water-down, dilute, or change the meaning of words so as to bring the issue down to our own rational. It is like saying that prophecy is to “tell forth” which means preaching the gospel. But they fail to add that it also means “to fore-tell.” Since some of us do not believe in angels, or are not advanced enough in the operation of the Spirit to reach or function on that high level of spiritual realities, we simply bring the issue down to human level. To simplify the issue of angels, in many cases, we simply say that an angel is a messenger, and the messenger to the church is the pastor. Simple solution! Isn’t it? But is it the whole truth? Or is that a version of what I call “half-truths?” It seems to be an easy operation to bring spiritual matters down to our own human level of thinking and understanding. But in doing so, spiritual matters simply lose their potency and intended effect upon the human heart and in the human life.
It is important to bear in mind that the order and style in which the saints shall rule, as foretold by Daniel cannot be put in perspective at the moment. There has never been a time in human history when a body of people [like the redeemed saints] upon earth assumed rulership over the earth. God spoke with man in person in the Garden, and angels came as ministers to man’s various needs. Prophets came on the scene after a long succession of judges ruled Israel. Prophets were used to install kings, wherein a few did well, while some who started out doing good, swerved off the straight and narrow, and failed God in the end.
Because there is no historical data from which to glean truths and construct a definite pattern of human life under God’s direct rule over the earth through a people, we cannot produce an exact sample of what will be. The scripture is clear in recording what shall be, when it shall be, and who shall be involved; but we are not told in bold concise terms what the result will be like.
Daniel was not the only one who spoke of the saints ruling the earth. Jesus left no doubt in our mind as to what will happen at the consummation of the ages, when to Son of man returns in power and majesty, and shall reward his faithful servants. In the king’s dream in Babylon, a stone cut out without hands smote the image on its feet, destroying the entire image. Then the stone grew and filled the whole earth! Many experts and commentators of scripture believe that the stone bespeaks of the literal kingdom of Christ, because all the other parts of the image were literal kingdoms. See Daniel 2.
Paul also alluded to the fact of the church filling the earth. “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things [throughout the whole world] to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:22, 23. Without listing all the dynamics involved, and what the finished product will look like or how it will function, Daniel wrote in plain language: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7: 27.
Friends, there is hardly any way we can read these dynamic truths and walk away dismayed and frustrated with the world as we see it today. Don’t worry! The saints possessing the kingdom and the dominion under the whole heaven is a foregone conclusion. Listen to Jesus as he pulls the curtains back and tell us how it shall be! “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” Matthew 24: 45-47. Jesus, featuring himself as the nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, said that he gave his servants ten pounds for them to invest until he returned.
Upon his return, he called together his servants to see how each one did with his money. The first said: “Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, though good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.” Luke 19: 12-19. It is evident both in Matthew and here in Luke that the Lord did not take anyone back to heaven. Rather, he rewarded them with ruling positions, and no matter how much we care to spiritualize these sentiments, the language of scripture conveys to main thrust of what God is saying to us. I say this because many in Sonship and Kingdom teach only the spiritual aspect of the kingdom as being within us. But Daniel was careful to express the kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven. Does that sound like something contained within our puny hearts that weighs an average of seven pounds? Sure the kingdom is within, but it is without more so than many have been teaching!
The truth is that one servant was given ten cities to rule over, and the other was given five cities over which to exercise authority. Listen to Jesus again! “But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keep my works unto the end, [when I come] to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 2: 25-27; 3:21. Yes indeed! The saints shall rule in power and majesty as God hath ordained before time began. We can speculate, propose, and insert conjectures all we want; the fact is that all the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. There shall be one Lord and his name one! We will visit with Daniel some more in the next issue. Be blessed in all that you do!
To be continued in chapter 3.
Thanks for remembering to make your gifts payable to: Royce Kennedy. Be blessed!