ESTABLISHING JESUS’ LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY – How He conquered Satan’s rule on our planet and how we will do our part in bringing in His Reign as rightful King.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of a coming Child who would be born and then be given as a Son to the world, with government on his shoulders. This government would continually increase and progress until the end of time. See Isaiah chapter 9: 6-7.
Jesus conquered in the following steps:
1. He personally conquered Satan in the wilderness by refusing the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, essentially the same temptations succumbed to by our first parents. See Matthew 4: 1-11 and Luke 4: 1-13.
2. Jesus began to heal disease and take authority over death and demonic power. He showed mastery over physical elements like water and wine, food supplies, lake surface and weather. The new Reign was revealed wherever He went.
3. He transferred His authoritative proclamation of the Kingdom, and the accompanying release of peace, power, and healing to others who would be the charter members of a new movement.
4. Jesus went to the cross; the only human qualified to do so. He was able to receive the punishment we deserved while fulfilling Ultimate Justice. At the same time He defeated Satan, who had usurped authority and power from our first parents, the ones originally given authority in our world, when they succumbed to his temptations. See Hebrews 2: 14,15 and Romans 6:23.
The Resurrection of Jesus in a fully human form, (enough to have been mistaken for the groundskeeper by some disciples), and with scars visible and touchable, was ultimate vindication by God the Father of Jesus’ triumph and completely legitimate claim to authority. Counterfeit authorities in religion and politics were overturned by God Himself. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:7-11 that because of Jesus’ work He has been given a Name Above All Names, and in 1 Corinthians 15: 20-25, we see His conquest of death and the promise of resurrection for His followers as shown by His own “first fruits” resurrection
In the Great Commission, Jesus makes His own claim to Ultimate Legitimate Authority – Matthew 28:18: With this is the promise of all needed power and resource to accomplish our role in instituting His Reign.
THREE PHASES FOR THE KINGDOM COMING:
1. Jesus’ personal ministry and conquest, along with mobilizing His team of disciples.
2. The Great Commission Phase, featuring progressive work by God’s Spirit through us, His disciples. In this phase, He is gradually increasing the reality of His Son’s rule. We proclaim the NAME above All names. See Philippians 2: 5-11. God confirms the proclamation of the King and His Kingdom with signs and wonders, which are also samples of the future Kingdom with a new heaven and earth where sin, disease, and death are no more. See Mark 16: 16-20
3. The Fulfilled-Kingdom phase, which will be confirmed by the simultaneous
Resurrection of millions of Christ followers being given new human bodies in the same manner as Jesus’ himself received. See I Corinthians 15: 20- 26
Since we are currently in the Great commission phase of Kingdom establishment, we have both the authority and Holy Spirit Power to proclaim and demonstrate His reign. We have the added benefits of resources never experienced before our time, especially real-time communication and rapid travel. Jesus is still “Head over His Body” and Director of Operations, as He sits at the right hand of the Father. Powerful Kingdom work may be seen in many local areas with their people groups, in what might be called Regional Movements. These can join together in macro-movements to influence large territories. The point Is to mobilize the whole church whenever possible to fulfill the Great Commission together in unity.
We know who wins the planetary conquest in the end. In 1Corinthians 15: 22-26, Paul reminds us of Christ’s Victory over death and His ultimately handing over to His Father God the KINGDOM, which is the reward for His conquests. So the Son will see the Great Commission fulfilled and then turn it all over to His Father, completing the Divine plan. Our current role is to do the full-on effort required by the Great Commission with appropriate optimistic faith, and to do this together with the entire church in unity, by His grace. He deserves our best effort.
THE QUESTION OF THE DAY:
How far will we push forward towards Kingdom proclamation, demonstration, discipling, and transformation in the window of opportunity that has been given to our generation? Time will tell.