Ephesians 6:10; Christ’s strength is dominion over the world and it makes us conquerors.
length: 66:51 - taught on Mar, 16 2022
Wednesday March 16,2022
Continue to learn knowledge and wisdom, believe the promises of God, and live a life faithful to the service of God and others and you will be strong in the Lord and in His mighty strength.
Our power is fully tied to the Lord’s power. His power made for His victory over all that usurped God and crushed the results of that rebellion, namely, sin and death.
Let us very briefly look at the history of revelation in which the need for the Messiah’s ascent to dominion over all things is shown.
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
The meaning of this opening, what one writer stated, “Here begins the book of the wars of the Lord,” is stated so well by the theologian/historian Alfred Edersheim.
“If the words mean, as the church has always understood them, that there must ever be a great conflict between Humanity and the principle of evil, as represented by the Serpent, and that in it Humanity will be ultimately victorious, in and through its Representative: crush the head of the Serpent, although in this not without damage, hurt, and the poison of death - all is changed. In that case the sentence is full of meaning. It sets forth a principle; it ennobles our human nature by representing it as moral; it bears a promise; it contains a prophecy; it introduces a Golden Age. It is the noblest saying that could be given to Humanity, or to individual men, at the birth of their history. In it the Bible sets forth at its very opening these three great ethical principles, on which rests the whole Biblical teaching concerning the Messiah and His kingdom: that man is capable of salvation; that all evil springs from sin, with which mortal combat must be waged; and that there will be a final victory over sin through the Representative of Humanity.” [Alfred Edersheim, Prophecy and History in Relation to the Messiah]
All Christians, at the start or sometime later, eventually wonder why God didn’t just cast Satan away at the start. Why not just be rid of him into the burning lake so that he can’t bother humanity any longer? But then this leads quickly to the question of why not be rid of Adam and Eve. Why let them procreate little sinners, many of whom are going to create great havoc and all sorts of evil, all of whom will have to be atoned for if they are to be saved?
By leaving us, and our sin, alongside the devil, and his rebellion, God sets the stage of the world for a moral choice. All are faced with the reality that the moral choice can alone center on God who is perfect righteousness and subsequently on God’s plan of redemption which hangs alone on Jesus Christ, the Son or God; the Son of Man. This stage can only result in great and complex conflict. Every person in every generation since has felt this conflict and in the midst of it made their decisions, and more importantly, made one grand decision concerning Christ.
As a side note, one of the schemes of the devil is to get mankind so occupied with distractions that they don’t feel a conflict. But I think he has only been successful in dulling the pain of it and has been unable to eliminate it.
Prophecy is not just predicted history. It had meaning and lesson to those who first heard it, and conveys to each generation new lessons. It is alive.
That prophecy is alive doesn’t mean we get to alter its meaning. It means that prophecy is always saying something to each generation that concerns something larger than the historical fulfilment. Take for instance the most repeated prophecy in the Bible, that the Lord would sit at the right hand of God. Does the session of Christ only have the meaning that He ascends to heaven and sits in an important chair and that’s the end of it? That would kill it. It has meaning whose tentacles reach into every human heart and for all eternity impacts both men and angels in a significant way, whether in salvation or judgment. Prophecy, therefore, is always moral.
A quick jump to Abraham to whom it was said that through him and through his seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed, which promise is repeated to Abraham three more times and renewed to Isaac (GEN 26:4) and reiterated to Jacob (GEN 28:14). The promise is universal - all the families of the earth.
Another jump of over four-hundred years and we come to the children of Abraham after captivity in Egypt, and then free and standing at the base of Mt. Sinai. God said to the nation, “You shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” This was the ideal and it was to be a kingdom of priests who serve the Lord and who are holy. They would have proclaimed the truth to the world. All of their institutions were in strict accordance with this ideal destiny.
The laws, worship, institutions, and mission of Israel were intended to express two things: acknowledgment of God and dependence upon Him.
But, as we know, they failed to do this and sold-out for other gods. This failure does not stop prophecy, but rather spurs it on and the greatest prophet of the Lord Jesus begins his long ministry, the prophet Isaiah. His work can be broken up into three books, his trilogy: the book of the King, the book of the Servant, and the book of the Anointed Conqueror.
To our point on the board, Israel’s institutions could be divided into three, the priests, the kings, and the prophets. The priest was to wholly be the servant of Yahweh. The king was not to be like the heathen kings, but a servant of Yahweh. The prophet was a servant of Yahweh in that he spoke not of himself but only God’s message. Christ Jesus our Lord holds all three offices. He is Prophet, Priest, and King.
The Messiah, as summing up in Himself the ideal Israel (He in fact takes Israel as a name for Himself) - its history, institutions, mission, and promises - was The Servant of the Lord.
He was and is the ideal Sufferer by and for the unrighteousness of man, the ideal Sacrifice and priest for his sins, the ideal Teacher of his ignorance, Comforter in his sorrow, Restorer in his decay, and Dispenser of all blessing to the world at large - the Spirit Anointed One (Isa 11), out of whose fulness all were to receive, and Who would fulfil all that Israel had meant and prepared. He is the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Second Adam, whose victory would restore what sin had lost: God manifest in the flesh.
So then, He overcame all things for us and we become overcomers.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
We fast forward a few hundred years from Isaiah to Daniel.
It was prophesied that Jesus would ascend to full dominion over an eternal kingdom.
“I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days [God the Father]
And was presented before Him.
14 And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.”
Our Lord’s dominion (strength) won by His victory is our strength.
The translators who made the Septuagint used a different word (exousia) than what we find translated dominion in the NT (kratos), but in the context of its use, we have to conclude that it is a close synonym and meaning the same thing. Exousia is used over 100 times in the NT for power or authority and kratos is more akin to the strength that secures that authority.
and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength [kratos] of His might [ischus].
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength [kratos] of His might [ischus].
strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might [kratos], for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience;
Such a rich calling does Paul give to Timothy, and as a result, to all of us. It is the ethical and moral life of Christ, which is backed by Christ’s mighty strength, and filled with joy and good work that impacts the people and world around us.
Our calling is the one and only manifestation of Christ’s dominion (power/strength) inside a believer. It is what our life should look like.
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time - [then Paul injects one of his wonderful doxologies]
He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
To Him be honor and eternal dominion [kratos]! Amen.
Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power [kratos] of death, that is, the devil; 15 and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Putting the prophecy in Dan 7 and these passages together and we find an eternal truth that is in our hands to use today. The dominion won by Christ, the victory of His strength, is ours and by faithfully following His way, that power will be used by us to accomplish His will or good pleasure.
"To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
Peter gives, what seems to be, a more simplified look at our subject.
A final reminder of how this strength is used to continue to serve others in our gifts despite the schemes and pressures of the devil, 1PE 4:11.
The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 As each one has received a special [“special” not in original] gift [charisma = gift], employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength [ischus] which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion [kratos] forever and ever. Amen.
Serving in God’s strength glorifies God to whom along belongs glory and strength (dominion) forever and ever.
Peter soon after gives us another exhortation followed by the same doxology.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion [kratos] forever and ever. Amen.