Saturday, February 18, 2012

Over Whom does Jesus NOW Rule?

                                   PART A

Rev.19:16 tells us of Jesus Christ;
"On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords."

What does it mean to be "king of kings"?
Rev.1:5 tells us;
"and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood".

Jesus Christ rules over the "kings of the earth". He is "king" over these.
Christ's entire present kingdom, is a dominion over these kings.
These "kings of the earth" are central figures in the drama of Revelation.
If we are to understand the end-time prophecies contained within that scroll,
we need to know who the "kings of the earth" are, over whom Jesus presently rules.
These kings comprise Christ's kingdom, over which he rules.

FACT # 1.
Jesus is ruler of the kings of the earth.
Over each dominion of each of those kings of the earth, Jesus is Overlord, Master, and Judge of them all.

This is our first clue to who these kings are.
How so?

There are many kinds of kings, and many kingdom dominions.
You may have been taught that the kind of kings over which Jesus rules, are the leaders of Satan's world dominion (1John5:19; Luke4:6). Is this true?
How did Jesus feel about ruling over Satan's world leaders?
We get an indication of his thoughts on this, if we consider two scriptures.

The first is at Matt.4:8-10:
"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."

Satan attained full world dominion in Eden, and he will retain it until he is conquered (Luke4:6; Rev.11:15; 12:10,11) (Gen.3:15; Rev.12:17,7-12; 20:7-8; 17:14).
Satan rules over all the kings of his world dominion (Luke4:5,6).
From Christ's response to this temptation (Matt.4:10), we plainly see that Jesus had no interest in ruling concurrently with, or in association with, Satan's corrupt world dominion (John6:15; Luke4:6). That worldly rule over world political powers, would require subjection to this world's still-reigning king (1John5:19; Rev.9:11; Isa.33:1), just as Satan freely admitted to Jesus. Jesus claimed to be "no part" of Satan's "world" (John18:36; 8:23; 17:16).

But then we may reason that Jesus declined this offer, because he had not yet received all authority from his Father to accept it, which authority he might received upon his resurrection (Matt.28:18). Would he then rule over this world's kings?
Jesus spoke of having authority, even before his ransom sacrifice (Luke10:22; John3:35; 18:37).
What kind of "rule" did Jesus exert while a man? (Matt.21:5)
At John17:2 Jesus prayed:
"For you granted him authority over all people, that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him."
Jesus' authority was to save people from death, and therefore, rescue them from Satan's dominion of darkness and death (Heb.2:14; John12:31; 1John5:18; Gal.1:4)... not to take over as it's leader. The kings of Satan's world, are not vassals or agents of "eternal life" sourced in Christ. They do not answer to, yield to, nor serve, Christ's authority. They are not therefore, the "kings" over which Jesus is King.
Rev.3:14 tells us over whom, Jesus rules... "God's creation".
Who is that? [Eph.2:10,15; Gal.3:28; 6:15; Col.2:10; Rev.21:2 (Isa.57:20); Isa.66:22; 2Pet.3:13].
Jesus Christ is not king over the wicked, but over the righteous. The righteous accept his royal authority, and come under his kingdom.
Those who prove faithful, share in that kingdom (Rev.3:21; 2:26-27), thereby becoming, the kings over which Christ rules.
Jesus is not the ruler over Satan's wicked and rebellious world, nor over Satan's under-kings (Matt.4:8-9).

Yet some day, Jesus would assume even greater power than that expressed at John17:2 and Eph.1:22.
(Dan.7:14; 1Cor.15:27; Ps.110:1-2,5-6; Luke23:42; Rev.11:15).
Would that future kingdom include assuming Kingship over a permanent existence of Satan's under-rulers of this world? (Dan.7:14,18; 2:44)
No. Satan's system and the corrupt powers he has installed, are to be destroyed (Dan.2:44; 1Cor.15:24-25).
These of Christ's enemies will be conquered, destroyed, and replaced by a Kingdom, not sourced with Satan (Job 14:4; Dan.7:18; 2Tim.2:12; Rev.5:9-10).

The second scripture, is at John18:36:
"Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."

If Christ's kingdom is not of the world, then is his kingdom over the kings of this world?
Of that kingdom of Christ we read;
"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins... and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light." Col.1:13,12

Satan's world dominion, is here referred to as a dominion of "darkness" (Acts26:18; Eph.6:12) with which sons of light have no part (Eph.5:11; 2Cor.6:14; 1Thess.5:5; Matt.5:14).
If this is true of Christ's footstep followers (1Pet.2:21; Rev.14:4), would it not be true of Christ?
(John17:14,15,16; 8:12; 12:46). Jesus calls men out of the darkness of Satan's dominion (1Pet.2:9; Acts.26:18).
Will Jesus then become king over Satan's dark world or it's corrupt rulers?

The future of the rulers of this age is defined, at 1Cor.2:6
"the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing."
(1Cor.15:24,25; 7:31; 1John2:17)
Jesus will be king of kings forever (Dan.2:44; Luke1:33; Rev.11:15)
That would not be possible if the kings over which his kingdom rules, are temporary.

So when Jesus tells us that his kingdom is not associated with the kingdoms (or kings) of Satan's dark world (John18:36; 1John5:19), does he become the ruler and king of these dark elements while they are yet still ruling kings? (Rev.19:16)
It would not seem that the king of light and life, would eternally rule over kings of darkness which are passing away (1John2:15,17; 1Cor.2:6; 15:24).

Fact # 2:
Jesus does not eternally rule over the governments and powers ("worldly" kings) of this world,
but rather, "brings them to nothing" (1Cor.2:6; 15:24,25). This world's kings are of Satan's kingdom, who is the god of his own "system of things"/"age" (2Cor.4:4) to which his own "kings" belong. That whole "age"/"system", is passing away (1John2:17).
The "kings" of the present world, are not the kings over which Christ is king, at Rev.1:5 and 19:16.


                              PART B

Rev.1:5 reads:
"and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. (Rev.5:9,10). To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood".

Our second clue as to the kings over whom Christ rules, is where they themselves rule.
At Rev.1:5; we read that they rule "the earth".
We cannot be hasty in concluding what "the earth" means.
Our first natural conclusion may be that this is speaking of our world (or, of the physical planet).
As we have examined by means of the foregoing scriptures, we see that it is not likely that these kings are of the world.
What other "earth" could there be?

The Bible speaks of more than one earth. If we read about these two earths (neither of which are Satan's secular world), we gain more understanding of the kings who rule over them.
                                     ---------------------

TO BE CONTINUED


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