Tag: The Rule of God

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 342

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

March 7

Jesus came to restore the legacy of mankind’s dual purpose

Jesus came not only to reveal the Living God, and to defeat the dominion of the rule of darkness, He also came to restore humanity back to God’s original design. He came to impart what He had accomplished into His people. It was not enough for Jesus merely to do what He did, in revealing God and confronting darkness… the end goal was always to bring humanity back to our assigned state in “the Garden” (before sin!). The final objective was to enable human beings to take up the mantle of their divine purpose once again!

The work of Jesus on the cross is a work that fully enables us to live as restored souls (as we will discuss, in depth, in the next chapters). Jesus came to enable us to live just as He lived, to walk just as He walked, and to impact this world just as He impacted this world. This truth is verified through the apostle John:

In His steps

This is exactly what it means to be a disciple of Jesus!

The really exciting news is that, because Jesus has redeemed and restored us, we are already enabled to live life (walk) in this manner. This is the fullness of the message of the gospel of the Kingdom.

As Jesus lived in unbroken relationship with the Father, and acted in the rightful rule and authority of the True King, so we, who willingly embrace Him, are all enabled to live. Jesus’ blood, shed for us, restored our relationship with God. And in that relationship, the King desires to live and act, in and through us, just as He demonstrated through His Son. The King’s desire is to bring His rule to wherever it is lacking on this earth.

Healing

But there is one more aspect of Jesus’ work that we will discuss. This one aspect is often neglected in all our talk about the work of Jesus – but it essential for us to understand. This one aspect is centered in the reign of God in, and through, our lives. It is the “nuts and bolts” of how God will rule (through human beings) on this earth once again…

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 341

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

March 6

Jesus came to confront and conquer the kingdom of darkness (cont.)

In Acts 10:38, Peter summarized Jesus’ ministry by pointing out:

Acts 10 38

It is rather obvious, that everywhere Jesus went, He found the residue of all things that were not representative of the rule of God – and He confronted those things, with loving authority, to bring them back in line with what characterizes the rule of God. This is the simplest, and most profound, understanding of the life and ministry of Jesus. He came to confront the dominion of darkness and defeat it through His words, and through His work.

Coupled with Jesus’ life, Jesus’ death brought the battle to the usurper in the spiritual, and eternal, arena. All this is the focus of the cross. Jesus went to the cross, not only to set humanity free from sin, but also to completely liberate humanity from the reign and rule of the usurper. The results of Jesus’ atoning work is summarized in this way:

public spectacle

What Jesus secured at the cross is secured for all eternity. The work of the devil has been destroyed (Hebr. 2:14).

But wherever men’s souls are still subjugated to the devil’s rule, the usurper’s reign still presides. Jesus’ work, in His death, only applies to those who receive it by faith. It requires a submission to God’s rule in order to experience the defeat of the rule of the enemy of God.

As James was inspired to remind us of the principle at work: 

Colorful clouds on the dramatic sunset sky

Because of Jesus’ work, the devil has no legal right to rule or reign over human lives any longer. Through the liberating work of Jesus, we can be completely submitted again to the rule of our Creator-King, and restored back to our original design and purpose. Jesus came to confront the dominion of darkness and to restore the rule of God once again. He came to confront and defeat it through His life… and His death.

When our Savior came, He came to take back what was stolen, to restore what had been damaged, decimated, or destroyed. He came to reclaim life from death. All of Jesus’ work is centered in the rule of God. Jesus came to confront the kingdom of darkness and to defeat and destroy it forever. In His life, and in His death, He accomplished this purpose.

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 340

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

March 5

Jesus came to confront and conquer the kingdom of darkness.

Recorded in John, the apostle’s, first letter is this summation: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8) As was John’s inspired conclusion, we could make the case that the very essence of Jesus’ ministry was one singular pursuit: He was Light confronting, and conquering, darkness. Jesus came to initiate a new order in this world – and to defeat and destroy the existing tyranny. He came to reclaim what rightfully belonged to the One True King – and to forever liberate those who had suffered under the usurper’s rule.

casting out demons

Jesus’ life-ministry was the embodiment, and fulfillment, of Isaiah’s prophecy (61:1-3; quoted by Jesus, Himself, in Luke 4:18-19!). The central concern of Isaiah’s prophetic word was the installment of the Kingdom of God – where God rules and humanity flourishes.

We must always remember: The Creator never intended for this earthly life to be characterized by chaos, pain, loss, brokenness, suffering and death. That is the work of the usurper, who has passionately sought to enslave, debilitate, and frustrate humanity ever since humanity’s fateful fall into sin. The King seeks to heal, to restore, and to bring wholeness to life – these things are the essence of His character and the characteristics of His Kingdom (and the very definition of “salvation!”). Jesus came as the living and active demonstration of the King’s will and desire for all of humanity.

But to dethrone the usurper, a human man had to do it. A man had to come, and a man had to show us the way – He had to make a stand against the usurper and overpower his kingdom by the authority and dominion of Almighty God. Then, that man had to lay down His life – for only a death of the innocent for the guilty could bring the needed eternal restoration. This was the inspired writer’s point:

Hebr 2 14

In life and in death, Jesus’ purpose was to confront, defeat, and destroy the devil’s work.

In Jesus’ time of earthly ministry, He regularly liberated lives who were ravaged by the usurper’s reign – and He “undid” the devastation done by the devil’s dominion. When Jesus healed, He was restoring wholeness back to those who had been robbed of their health. When Jesus cast out demons, He was restoring sanity and freedom back to those who had been tormented and enslaved by the devil’s clutches upon their souls. When He brought back life to the dead, He was restoring what had been snuffed out prematurely. In summary:

Mt 4 23-24

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 323

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

February 6

Of kingdoms and kings (cont.)

The driving force behind any kingdom is the desire and will of the king.

Now, the king’s desire and will is formed and determined by the nature and character of the king himself. Those attributes which abide within the king, are going to be revealed through the will and desires of the king, and will be the foundation of what defines and describes his kingdom. All kingdoms are established to be the reflection of their king.

If, for example, we observe an evil, self-serving king, we will note that he is consumed only evil-king.pngwith his own pleasure and power. He will undoubtedly desire only to exercise his sovereign authority to satisfy his own pleasures and extend his own power – without any real regard for those under his rule. He will do whatever he wants, take whatever he wants, kill whomever he wants, decree whatever he wants – all in line with whatever satisfies the requirements of his own desire to meet his own ends.

Scripture affirms this: “For (the king) will do whatever he pleases…” (Ecclesiastes 8:3) A king with a self-serving character and nature will care little or nothing for his subjects – and will see them only as property to be used and utilized for his own pleasure and power.

The resulting devastation upon the king’s subjects, in this manner of kingdom, is immense. There will be only hardship, sacrifice, and helplessness for those who are subjugated to this type of ruler and rule. A selfish ruler will make life, for those beneath his rule, a life of adversity, tyranny, slavery and discord – all to satisfy his own self-serving interests. Life, for the subjects under the sovereign rule of a selfish king, is mostly characterized by hardship, loss, “legal” theft, destruction, and death.

If, on the other hand, we observe a good, conscientious king, we discover that the results will king-davidbe entirely different. A good king will also seek to shape his kingdom to his own wishes and desires. But because he is mindful and considerate of his subjects, and of his responsibility for their care and protection, he will seek to build a kingdom that affirms all the qualities that he finds virtuous and edifying for his people. He will promote peace, justice, and a sense of opportunity and hope that will permeate throughout his kingdom.

The people will have an inclination of affection for their king, because they have a real sense of his concern for their care and welfare. They will desire to please the king, because pleasing the king actually means something of value in their own lives. The subjects of this manner of kingdom are not seen as property, but as significant pieces that supply the necessary framework for a vital and growing kingdom.

A good ruler will make life, for those beneath his rule, a life of vibrancy and vitality – a life mostly filled with meaning, purpose, possibilities, and security. A good king will seek to make the character of his kingdom a place of abundant living…

Nine – Our Purpose; pt. 2, p. 322

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

February 5

Gen 1 28

In our previous chapter we discovered that the King of all creation desires to rule over all that He has created – to reign over everything (and everyone) that He has brought into existence. As we have seen, this reign of the Creator-King may be simply defined as the Kingdom of God. As Creator of all things and all beings, God alone is worthy, and deserves, to rule.

But we must ask ourselves: what would this Creator’s rule actually look like? What would be the characteristics of this Creator-King’s rule? What would His rule produce on this planet, and what would His rule produce in our lives? And how does this rule come about?

To understand the answers to these questions we need to grasp some basic concepts…

Kingdoms

Of kingdoms and kings

When it comes to their kingdoms, the fundamental focus of kings, is to shape all things according to the king’s own sovereign will and purpose. All things are intended to become conformed to the king’s intent, according to the way he desires things to be. Whatever the king wants, the king decrees, and actions are taken to ensure that the king gets whatever he wants. The driving force behind any kingdom is the desire and will of the king…