Brainwashing Day 17
Prepare ye the way of the Lord…..prepare ye the way of the Lord!
Now, in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!”
If the Kingdom of God is not for here and now, why was John preaching it? If it is for here and now, why was he saying that it was only at hand?
I believe that the reason is due to a transference of authority that was about to take place that would rock the Kingdom and return it to its rightful caretaker. Let’s back up again to Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
At the time that the Lord placed Adam on the earth, He gave Adam authority over all that had been created. His own little realm to rule. I say little, only because at that point, the extent of Adam’s reach was the Garden. God’s intention, obviously, was that Adam would reign and rule over the entire planet. (The command to rule – and it IS a command, not just a thought that God had rolling around in His head – included the whole earth and every living thing.)
Once God placed that authority to rule into the hands of man, He committed Himself to allowing man to rule – for good or bad – on earth. (It’s kind of like men are the heads of their households – it’s a positional authority – but whether they do it well or not is a choice that they each make) By His words He placed the authority to rule on the earth into the hands of man.
Please make certain you grasp that concept. Man was in charge of earth. He was God’s steward here on earth. Now, God didn’t just leave man alone to flounder, He came and walked with Adam in the cool of the day.
I don’t think that walk was just a chat about what Adam had done all day. Because honestly, just how many times do you want to tell about separating the chimps because they were throwing body waste at one another?!!! YIKES!!! I think, instead, that those walks included managerial discussions about reigning and ruling.
I believe it is because Man was in charge – and KNEW he was in charge – that God was so explicit in telling him the consequences of his sin. Scripture says that Eve was deceived, on the contrary it says that Adam was NOT deceived. (1 Timothy 2:14) He knew what he was doing – not that he understood the depth of what he was doing, but that he knew that what he was doing was wrong.
In that one act, Adam committed treason. He sold the Kingdom to another for the bite of a piece of fruit. Just like Esau, his future relative, for the desire of food, he sold his birthright. Only, in the case of Adam, he didn’t sell it to his brother, he sold it to his enemy. To the enemy of his King.
From the minute that bite was down Adam’s throat, there was a major authority shift – and the “stewardship” of the Kingdom passed into satan’s hands.
I suspect that all the earth felt this shift, as Romans says, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:19 – 22)
Please understand, this didn’t diminish God’s power, it didn’t diminish His authority – He doled out consequences to the serpent, as well. But, because placing the authority of the earth into the hands of a man was a legal transaction, He honored that agreement and had to allow the enemy to take dominion over the earth.
Once I saw Scripture talking about how this authority transfer had taken place, suddenly God’s words to Job held a whole new meaning, “Then the Lord said to satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” Job 1: 12.
All this time, I thought God was giving satan permission to do something to Job, but that isn’t the case. God didn’t say, “Behold, I will put all that he has in your power.” He said, “Behold, all that he has is in your power.” He ALREADY had the authority to do something to Job, because of his treachery in the Garden. Instead, God was restricting the enemy.
Fast forward 4000 years – Jesus, the Son of God. The Son of Man. Earlier this year, the Lord began to impress upon us the importance of the fact that Jesus came to earth as a man. As a man gave away the authority over the earth, a man therefore had to take it back.
We know that satan was firmly understanding his position because he offers it to Jesus. Let’s look at it.
Follow along in Matthew 4, if you’d like.
“Again the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give to You, if You will but bow down and worship me.”
If the kingdoms and their glories were not the devil’s to offer Jesus, then it wouldn’t be a temptation. Instead of responding to him, Jesus would have laughed in his face and come down from the mountain. End of story. But that isn’t what happened.
Because Jesus willingly operated as a man, it legally allowed Him to stand in Adam’s stead – hence He is called the last Adam in 1 Corinthians 15: 45. Romans 5: 14 says that Adam was the type of the One to come.
Now, here is where it gets frustrating – at least it did for me, as the Holy Spirit was teaching me: TECHNICALLY – for Jesus to do what He did, He had to be NO DIFFERENT FROM YOU OR I. Jesus could not have taken back what Adam gave away, if He were imbued with any more power or Holy Spirit of God than we are.
TECHNICALLY you or I could live a sinless life. It ain’t gonna happen, but it could. IF IT COULD NOT, then the transaction would have been null and void and satan could demand the authority of the Kingdom be returned to him, and he would have charged God with dealing with him from a position of authority outside of what had been given upon the earth. (In other words, satan would have stomped his feet and cried out, “Not fair, not fair! You said You were giving MAN the authority over the earth, now You’re coming as God to take it back.”)
One of the things that I was taught – or that I just thought, I don’t know which – is that Jesus died and because He was God, He raised Himself. This can’t be true. In order for Jesus to get the keys to death and Hades, He had to go into hell and take them. (Revelation 1: 18) This meant He was dead. (also in Revelation 1:18)
More than that, because He was a man, this meant that He had to have faith in God to raise Him up. If God wasn’t faithful, if His Word couldn’t be trusted, Jesus would have been left in hell. When I realized that, I about flipped. This meant that there was nothing – absolutely, positively nothing that God was asking me to trust Him in that Jesus hadn’t already gone before me and made the way.
When Jesus was raised from the dead, He declared, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus death and resurrection allowed Him to take back the authority that Adam gave up. The Kingdom of Heaven that was at hand was the return of Kingdom Authority into the hands of a Man, who would steward it for the King!
What Adam willingly gave up in the Garden, Jesus took back, starting in a Garden. But, it was more than “just” forgiveness of sin, it was a position of authority and dominion in the Kingdom of God.
Now, this may sound very nebulous and pontifical until this part: Luke 10:19. That authority that Jesus has been given – all the authority in heaven and on earth – He has given to us. “Behold, I have given to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy.” ALL. THE. POWER. OF. THE. ENEMY. Ponder on that. Ask the Holy Spirit to let it soak into the very core of your being. It will change you.
For your own enjoyment, read Hebrews 1. Especially verses 8 – 13.
But of the Son He says,
“YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER,
AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.
“YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS;
THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU
WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.”
And, “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS;
THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT, AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP;
LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED BUT YOU ARE THE SAME,
AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.”
But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”?
When we understand that Jesus became a Man, not just for His time on earth, but for ALL OF ETERNITY, does it not make His sacrifice on the Cross all the more breathtaking and amazing? Doesn’t it make you want to love Him with even more of yourself? Doesn’t it make Romans 12:1 all the more poignant – present yourself a living sacrifice – when you realize what He did for us?
If you, like me have believed that Jesus was anything less than wholly and completely man when He entered into hell, it’s time to change your thinking. Because when you do, first of all, you will love Him more. Secondly, you will ACHE to do all that you can to advance the Kingdom that He died for.
(This is so very, very important that if my words lack clarity, I am beseeching you to ask me to make it crystal clear, because understanding of this concept is vital to you taking your rightful place in the Kingdom. DO NOT let anything keep you from asking for more, if you need it.)