VII.C.2 The Rule of the Saints

Part VII – Transactional Aspects of the Lamp-Stand Model

Subpart C – Glorification

Article 2  –  THE RULE OF THE SAINTS

By Daniel Irving

a.  The Promise of God’s Rule through Humanity 

b.  The Scepter of Christ’s Authority within the Believer

c.  The Rod Wielded by the Believer

d.  The Reign of the Saints Upon the Earth

e.  The Manifestation of the Rule of Christ in This Present Age

f.  God’s Rule in the Dispensation of this Present Age

 scepter 03

Article 2

The Rulership of the Saints

a.  The Promise of God’s Rule through Humanity 

To the overcomer is promised authority over the nations.  We understand this rule to have the nature of being in Christ, in the Father.  This rule is therefore Divine and spiritual.  We have the example of the overcomers in Laodicea, who are promised they will be given to sit with Christ on His throne with His Father.  And Christ tells the angel of the church of Thyatira:

“And he that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:”                                  Rev. 2:26

The English word “nations” is the Greek-word; eth’-nos,[1] which is universally and interchangeably translated as both “Gentiles” and “nations” in the NT.  Although nearly synonymous, it is arguable that this should have been rendered “Gentiles” rather than “nations” as the Gentiles stand in allegory for the unregenerate of humanity. On the other hand, both the mystical and the literal meanings may certainly be what is intended.

This “authority” bestowed upon the overcomer seems to have as its primary fulfillment, the authority granted a spiritual “Jew”[2] over the spiritual “Gentile” which arises in the law and in prophecy.  In fact, this principle begins in the story of creation, extends through the patriarchs, through the law, and continues into the books of prophecy.  In the story of creation, we read the oracle of God that man was to rule over creation.[3]  When the man transgressed and was consigned to death, this did not annul God’s expressed will that man rule.  However, it became rather the “seed of the woman” who succeeded to the promise.  It was the seed of the woman who was foretold would bruise the serpent’s head.[4]

God called out Abraham and promised him that “kings would come out of him;”[5] a continuation upon the oracle that Divine rulership was the purpose of man’s creation.  Hundreds of years later,  the Law given to Moses promised Israel:

And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath;  if that  thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God,  which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.    Deut. 28:13

By adherence to God’s covenant, Israel would stand above the nations.  Israel held the promise of an eternal dominion.  Thus when its first king (Saul) sinned against God, it was prophesied as follows:

And Samuel said to Saul, “Thou hast done foolishly:   thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which He commanded thee:    for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever.        I Sam. 13:13

Thus David succeeded Saul in the continuation of the promise of an eternal dominion intrinsic to the creation of man.  Thus God says of David:

And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.                                              II Sam. 7:16 

From thereon out, it was the lineage of David through which the prophets foretold an eternal dominion which was destined for the Jews:Sunset Behind Jerusalem

  Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes  sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses,  they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.                 Jer 17:25

Jeremiah seemed to be prophesying against himself, when he foretold the destruction and captivity of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon, but restored seventy years later for the purposes of bringing forth that King over all things which God had promised that nation.  Upon the birth of this great king, wise men traveled from the east to inquire: Abraham Journeys

Saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?   for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.                                        Matt. 2:2

These wise men would not have sought to “worship” a mere earthly king.

In the first century A.D., when the Hebrew nation rejected the promised king born (after He was born unto them from heaven) the nation of Israel was overthrown entirely.

The meaning of man’s creation was, of course, fulfilled in the appearing of Jesus Christ – whose station as the “Last Adam”[6] fulfilled the prophecies of an eternal kingdom having boundless membership.  Even as Adam was the progenitor of flesh and blood, Christ became the progenitor of the spiritual-man, and so, the firstborn of those given to rule over all things as sons of God.

The spiritual Jew is that one who is brought into the new birth through the sanctification of Christ.  Jesus Christ is the prophesied “seed of the woman,” the true “son of David,” the true “king of Israel,” and the only true “overcomer.”  Therefore Jesus promises the church at Thyatira: “he that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end” shall be given authority.  Not anybody else’ works . . . but My works.  These were the works of the Father given to Jesus to perform, to the Father’s glory.  This work was His life, His death, and His resurrection.  These three vital aspects of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ stood prerequisite to His sitting down upon the throne of His Father and his accession unto the absolute dominion.  Likewise, this absolute authority over the nations is held forth the overcomer:Shattered Pottery 01

And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers:  even as I received of My Father.                            Rev 2:27

The overcomer shall be entrusted with spiritual authority of a type so absolute as to be analogized to a “rod of iron.”[7]  This conveys an authority that is; unyielding, quick, and absolute.  What is this “rod of iron?”  It is the authority of Christ working within the man as the Holy Spirit perfects the image of God within.[8]   Thence, the “perfect man” shall be “like his Master:”

The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.                                                                                 Luke 6:40 

Therefore there is a perfection of the knowledge of God which completes a man.  And what is the completion of the “perfect man?”

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:   because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.                                                I John 4:18

One attribute of this “perfect man” is that he is in control of his conduct so as to give no cause for offense:

For in many things we offend all.   If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man,    and able also to bridle the whole body.                        James 3:2

Therefore all the members of the body, are under the positive-control of the “perfect man”.  If a man is under the positive control of the Spirit of Christ, he can wield an authority placed in his hand for the purposes of Christ, as this is that authority which already commands his inner being, mortifying sin, cleansing the heart, and maintaining the “inside of the cup.”  When the power of Jesus Christ’s sanctification is turned outward, it shall act as the agency of Divine authority over the nations.  This is the rod that breaks the nations, as is foretold of Christ:  Shattered Pottery 01

Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel                 Ps. 2:9

b.  The Scepter of Christ’s Authority within the Believer 

The full verse of Psalm 2:9 reads:

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron;  thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.                                     Ps. 2:9

This word translated “rod” is shay-bet’.[9] This word can be translated either “rod,” “tribe,” or “scepter.”  In fact, in its first usage in the Bible, it is translated “scepter.”scepter 03

  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet,   until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.                 Gen. 49:10

A scepter is a symbol for the authority to rule.  The rule of Christ occurs within our hearts at such time that we are sanctified in His righteousness.

Thy throne O God, is for ever and ever;   the scepter of thy kingdom is a righteous scepter.                                  Ps. 45:6

A prophecy of Micah uses this very same word, shay-bet, in reference to the means of Christ’s rule within His flock:

Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood,  in the midst of Carmel:  let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.                                                                                       Micah 7:14

To have the rule of Christ is to have eternal life.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God.                                                       Rom 8:14

Led by the spirit of God, these abide forever, as “he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”[10]

The “scepter” by which Christ will shepherd His people is His authority wielded by His Spirit within His body; the “Righteousness One,” Who is “Christ, in you, the hope of glory.”[11]  scepter 02 That authority is experienced by all the sanctified when they perceive that a higher authority has intervened to overrule their carnal passions and their worldly ambitions.  That authority is the lordship of the Spirit of Christ which itself operates to mortify sin in the body and is the rule of the Holy Spirit within the believer.

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;  but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  Rom 8:10

Whose righteousness?  The righteousness of Jesus Christ, Who is now “in you.”  By faith, our sins are now upon the Cross where Christ bore them into death. By the same faith, we believe that Jesus Christ (the Righteous One) was raised from the dead.  Therefore what is left for believers to procure from the Spirit of life?  His righteousness.  Therefore, the Lord has a flock that are led by His righteous scepter within themselves.  The Puritan author John Bunyan writes of this principle:[12]

When Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteousness of the law, it is said it was fulfilled in us, because indeed fulfilled in our nature:  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh;Bunyan John 05 God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,”  But because none should appropriate this unto themselves that have not had passed upon them a work of conversion, therefore he adds, “Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  For there being a union between head and members, though things may be done by the head, and that for the members, as if not done only by the head.  The “righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us;” and that truly, because fulfilled in that common nature which the Son of God took of the Virgin.  Wherefore, in this sense we are said to DO what only was DONE  by him;  . . . . he doing in his common flesh what could not be done in my particular person, that so I might have the righteousness of the law fulfilled in me, my flesh assumed by Christ; though impossible to be done, because of the weakness of my person.

John Bunyan here speaks of Christ’s strength becoming the strength of the Believer, the effect of which is to deliver from Sin’s bondage, and to maintain the man against Sin’s intrusions.  And this is the principle of which Paul speaks in his letter to the Romans:

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;  but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.       Rom 8:10

c.  The Rod Wielded by the Believer

Christ’s rule within the believer is also expressed as an outward authority.  But that outward authority cannot be utilized in opposition to the nations until such time as the body of Christ comes into its maturity in the image of Christ.  We know the apostle Paul was given a “rod” by Christ for the purpose of maintaining Truth and order within the body of Christ.  But this was not an authority over the nations.  He writes, concerning his authority over the Church:

What will you? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?                                                            I Cor. 4:21

Paul explains this principle in more depth in his second letter to Corinth.  He intimates that ultimately the saints will be given an authority to execute even vengeance.  He says:

and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.  Do you look on things after the outward appearance?    If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again,  that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.  For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority,   which the Lord had given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:                                     II Cor. 10-:6-8

In alluding to a “readiness to revenge,” Paul uses the Greek-word; ek-dik-eh’-o,[13] which means to “avenge”.  It is used by Paul when he writes:

Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:         for it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay”, saith the Lord.

The word is used only two more times, both are in the book of Revelation in reference to the wrath of God avenging the blood of the saints.[14]  Therefore the word does not mean to merely correct or discipline; rather the word seems to connote a violent-retaliation, or to severely punish.

Paul tells the Corinthians that even though it may appear he is boasting, he will not let that prevent him from warning them concerning this authority he wields from Christ:

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority which the Lord had given us for edification, & not for your destruction,  I should not be ashamed:                                                                                      II Cor. 10:8

He explains that his purpose is not to frighten them, but to warn them, lest they presume against they operate in presumption and Paul be forced to come to them with this spiritual rod, which he loathes having to use.[15]  He continues:

That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.  For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful;  but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.    Let such a one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent,  such will we be also in deed when we are present.                                                                                      II Cor. 10:9-11

What is remarkable about this rod of Christ’s authority given to Paul is that it appears to have been an authority subject to his volitional choice to use or not to use.  There is even indication that he was in control of the subject as well as the means.  For instance, he names two Christians who could not be prevented from blaspheming, and informs Timothy concerning his actions as follows:

Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.                           I Tim. 1:20

d.   The Reign of the Saints Upon the Earth

The rule of God in the earth is commonly mistaken as belonging to the next age.  Lamps & Virgins 04However, the apostles clearly taught the rulership of Christ as a principle of the present age.  It is in this age that we are “more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”[16]  Many would suggest that our overcoming wickedness is deferred to a future dispensation.  Jesus came to us in this natural order, in a natural body, to redeem the whole man.

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.                        Rom. 5:17

Therefore when we read the book of Revelation we are to understand that it refers to this age when it says: 

And Thou hast made them [to be] a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.                                              Rev. 5:10

How is it that these have been made “kings and priests unto our God”?  We know from the preceding verse (v.9); “for Thou was slain anddidst purchase for God with Thy blood . . .”  Therefore these are the “purchased” from among mankind for God’s purposes in Christ.  As Christ is both “king” and “priest” of God, so has He purchased a nation by the means of His blood as the foundation and means of justifying and consecrating a holy priesthood and to cause them to “rule” on earth.  Andrew Murray recognized this principle as applicable to this age when he wrote:Murray - Andrew 06

Live constantly exercising faith in the assurance that; “the blood . . cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7); yield yourself to be sanctified and brought near to God through the blood; let it be your life-giving nourishment and power.  You will thus have an unbroken experience of victory over Satan and his temptations.  He who walks with God  as a consecrated priest will rule as a conquering king of Satan.  Believers, our Lord Jesus, by His blood has made us not only priests, but kings unto God, no only so that we may draw near to God in priestly purity and ministry, but also that in kingly power, we may rule for God.  A kingly spirit must inspire us, a kingly courage to rule over our enemies.  The blood of the Lamb must increasingly be a token and seal, not only of reconciliation for all guilt but also of victory over all the power of sin. [17]

The book of Revelation declares that the saints “shall reign on the earth.”  scepter 02While this refers to the first resurrection, scholars normally mistake this for the physical resurrection.  Rather this is the resurrection of Jesus Christ appropriated by faith unto the usurpation over this body of sin. This is the Feast of First Fruits wherein the body of Christ has overcome the principles of sin and death via Him Who went before.

Keep in mind that it is the twenty-four elders that are singing a prediction of what shall occur as a result of the breaking of the seals.  The result of the word of God going forth is expressed as: “we shall reign on the earth.”  This is a declaration of the Feast of First Fruits as typifying the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which the Church partakes-in mystically through the Spirit of Christ.  Later (Ch. 20) we find the fulfillment in the church coming to life, which is not the physical-resurrection of the church (which many Bible scholars suppose it to be) but an allegorical resurrection of the soul raised in the deliverance from the authority of this world and from the service to sin’s bondage.  They now “reign on the earth”, ie. they reign over the power of sin and death even while in their mortal bodies.

Perhaps Paul is one of these 24 elders, as we find him singing this predictive-song when he tells the Romans:

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.                                           Rom. 5:17

Although Paul states it; will reign”, he is clearly speaking of the here-and-now.  For what is “reigning” is “grace unto righteousness”, as synonymous with “eternal life” (as opposed to the dominion of sin and death.)  Therefore  Paul adds:

. . that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                      Rom. 5:21

If such things as “grace,” “righteousness,” “deliverance from sin.” and “eternal life” are principles reserved exclusively for the next age (which the gospel vigorously proclaims they are not) then so is the concept of “reigning in life” relegated to the next age.  But it is not relegated to the next age. For by Paul’s words, these two principles are one-and-the-same!  The “reigning in life” refers to reigning in this mortal body in the very face of the god of this world!  And this is a fulfillment of the prophecy:Rod of Iron 01

 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:  Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.                                         Ps. 110:2

If this prophecy referred to the next age, there would be scarce “enemies” over which to “rule.”  This operates as a fulfillment of the Gospel during the time of our sojourn in this physical body, and it all began with Christ being seated in the heavenlies and His Spirit being poured upon the church.  Therefore, upon the Church receiving Pentecost, Peter made repeated reference to the first verse of Psalm 110:[18]

The LORD said unto my Lord, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”                                      Ps 110:1

For there is a consequence which shall occur in the earth as a result of Christ being seated in the heavenlies.  That consequence falls heavily upon the backs of His enemies of whom the Spirit of Christ shall assert His authority:

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:   Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.                                       Ps. 110:2

This was the Gospel preached by the apostles, ie. that the power of God would intervene on behalf of the body of Christ in order to ruin the authority of Satan over the flesh of men.

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,  in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning:   thou hast the dew of thy youth.             Ps. 110:3

When the people of God are dead in judgment, dispelled of their own efforts, only then shall they; “be willing” to concede to the only power that can conquer sin and death in the flesh.  They shall find this power in that original Gospel hope they received when they received the Holy Spirit.  They themselves are without basis in hope because of Sin, but as to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, “thou hast the dew of thy youth.”  Therefore God’s people suddenly realize an impunity over they that were once too strong for them, as the apostle writes:

  Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God,  who also makes intercession for us.     Rom. 8:34

He makes intercession, because:

The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”                   Ps. 110:4

And there is none closer to the throne of God than the Lord Jesus Christ; no one closer to the heart of God.  Throne 01Therefore the enthroned Jesus Christ is the authority that acts in disdain of the authority of this world under Sin and Death.  Principalities that once sat enthroned over the flesh are suddenly broken of their control over the man.

The Lord is at Thy right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.  He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses.                        Ps. 110:5-6

But as to the kings and priests born of the Spirit of God, we read God . . .

. . .  hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.                                                                                      Rev 5:10

The Greek word translated “on”[19] (KJV), “upon” (NASV), and “over” (Interlinear Version) is; epi, which is used in English as a prefix meaning (primarily); “on” or “upon.”  For instance, this Greek word stands as the prefix for such English words as:

–          the epicenter of an earthquake is the point on the earth’s surface directly on top of the focal-point of an earthquake.

–          The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, ie. the layer that is atop the rest.

–          Epigeal means on top of the ground or earth.

–          “Epitaph” means (lit.) “on the tomb”, as something written on a tombstone.

Therefore they shall reign “epi” ie. “on” or “upon” the earth.

Because the saints are to “reign upon the earth,” the teaching to the effect; “so long as we are in the body we must sin” (although orthodox to the thinking of the main Christian denominations) is utterly Satanic.  This teaching is that “covenant with death,” or (in other words) that covenant with Sin which is made by those merely religious, for whom religion is a carnal refuge.  This is the refuge referred to in Isaiah’s prophecy:

And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand;       Is. 28:18a 

The teaching that we must always sin so long as we operate in a flesh and blood body, is in opposition to Scripture.  Demon 01The teaching is nothing more than a way to accommodate the unbelieving who comprise the vast majority of Christiandom; a method of relieving the minds of men and women who have not rightly received the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  But when this lie is proffered to those that have received the Holy Spirit and the promises of the Gospel, it becomes a deception of antichrist, ie. the “lie” that contradicts the apostle’s words:

Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins, has not seen him, neither known him.                                                                                      I John 3:6

  We know that whosoever is born of God sins not;               I John 5:18

e.  The Manifestation of the Rule of Christ in This Present Age

The concept that the saints are to reign in this present dispensation is fraught with the potential for presumption.  Many Christians today have been led astray by teaching that they are to assume a literal ruling posture over the nations by failing to heed the Lord’s warning that His kingdom is not a tangible earthly kingdom like the earthly kingdoms we can see.  The Lord expressed this in no uncertain terms:

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees  when the kingdom of God should come,  He answered them & said, “The kingdom of God  cometh not with observation; Neither shall they say, ‘Lo here’, or ‘Lo there!’   For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”                        Luke 17:20-21

The rule of God is spiritual.  The rule of God is the conquering of the works of Satan within the spirit, soul, and the body of the believer.  The kingdom of God works within.  If “the kingdom of God is within you,” and there is no visible observation to occur, then how can the saints imagine the establishment of a government styled after earthly kingdoms?  And yet the saints shall somehow rule the nations.

We know that we are to walk in this world in the same way that Christ walked.

The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.                          I John 2:6

How did Christ walk?  Did Christ take tangible authority over men?  To the contrary:

  When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force,  to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone.       John 6:15

Yet (on the other hand) “to this end was [He] born, and for this cause came  [He] into the world.”  Jesus acknowledged that He was “king of the Jews” before Pilate,[20] and He was thereafter ridiculed for this acknowledgement:Mocking Christ 01

And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”                                    Matt 27:29

Thereafter Pilate identified this as being the crime for which He was crucified:

And set up over His head His accusation written, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS”.                Matt. 27:37

As He hung on the cross, He was continually mocked by this title of “King:”

He saved others; Himself He cannot save.  If he be the King of Israel let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.                                 Matt 27:42

To the unbelieving world, Jesus is no king.  Rather He is made king by faith, and through the means of faith, the Spirit of holiness makes His kingdom that kingdom which is enduring.  But why did Jesus continue to suffer the torment of the Cross and the insults of His enemies?

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this worldIf My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight,  that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.     John 18:36

God was about to establish an eternal kingdom; one unshakable; a kingdom which would shatter every other authoritative agency, whether earthly or in the heavens.  God was about to perform a work of His Spirit.  The Spirit that was in Jesus Christ, God would give to humanity – that humanity as well, might subject themselves in humility to the righteousness of God.  He was about to be king over a kingdom of those truly ruled by the Spirit of God.

Pilate therefore said unto him, “Art thou a king then?”  Jesus answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king.    To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the worldthat I should bear witness unto the truth.   Every one that is of the truth hears My voice.                             John 18:37

At some time God will take His great power and rule over all things through the agency of His Christ.[21]  But before dominion over all things is taken, there must first be a dominion that is taken over those redeemed.  This is by the power of God’s mercy exhibited at the Cross.  And so, Paul writes:

That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.                              Rom 5:21

As we were told by the evangelist,Lamb Sacrifice “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,”[22] even so, those that (through the agency of the Spirit) can see Christ with the eyes of their heart, will know His rule by the operation of the Spirit of Grace.  This is the kingdom of God and of His Christ.  Therefore (as far goes eternity) Christ is the only sovereign:

Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate,  the King of kings and Lord of lords;        I Tim. 6:15

f.  God’s Rule in the Dispensation of this Present Age

While the saints of God may not presently have the perfection of mind to reign in the authority which is coming, by faith, they nonetheless possess the rule of God over their enemies.  While Jesus Christ did not assert earthly dominion over men, the Father nonetheless ruled over His enemies even as he walked among them.  Recall His response to a death threat from Herod:

“Go ye, and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures  today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.                          Luke 13:32

Having His mind steadfast on the will of His Father, the Lord needed fear no earthly potentate.  The servants of Satan have no power to interfere with God’s work until God’s work has been accomplished.  Jesus told His Father . . .

I have glorified thee on the earth:   I have finished the work which You gave Me to do.              John 17:4 

Once Jesus “finished the work,” the agents of Satan were only then given leave to do their work to perfect the sacrifice.  But until that time, the hand of God would allow no interference:

Saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.         Ps. 105:15

While there seems no modern example of the authority of Christ being wielded by a man, there are certainly examples of the authority of Christ being wielded by God in guarding the messengers He has sent.  Over the past few hundred years, there are many accounts of mockers, hoodlums, and those who have attempted violence upon men anointed for God’s purposes being Divinely prevented and struck down.  For example, during the evangelistic-ministry of Marie Woodworth-Etter, there were numerous accounts of disorderly persons being Divinely silenced.  Some of the press accounts read as follows:Etter 02

. . . The mutterings and discontent which were heard at first have subsided, and the tongue of vituperation and calamity has been quelled and hushed since laughers, scoffers, and jesters have been stricken down in the aisles.   – Indianapolis Journal, January 27, 1885

A young man, who sat is derision and was scoffing at the scene before him, at once was struck down and lay for hours apparently dead, and when he came to, proclaimed the tidings of a separation from all sin.    – Ft. Wayne Gazette, January 23, 1885

We read in one media-account of an intoxicated man who . . .

. . .determined on breaking up the meeting, he marched within ten feet of the pulpit and began a torrent of profane abuse until, as he says, his tongue failed him.  He sat silent, annoyed at being overcome by a woman who had caused this result without making any special effort in his direction.  He seems as he says when asked what his sensations are like, not to understand what it is, but replies in the injured tone of a man who has been personally affronted; “Go up yourself and find out.”                                                                           – New York Times, January 30, 1885

Manifestations such as this are a clear indication that God will not allow his servants to suffer an interference or a violence until His purposes have been accomplished in them.

And if we walk in the Holy Spirit’s anointing, the hand of God will allow no harm to come until the proper time.  While this is not the same as what Paul describes in his second epistle to Corinth, when he refers to “a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled,” it nonetheless constitutes the rule of God within the man; sanctifying the sacrifice, and ushering the sacrifice to the proper place of sacrifice at the proper time.  Therefore Jesus said:

  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.   I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.   This commandment have I received of my Father.                                                                                      John 10:18

There was no coercive agency which committed Christ to the Cross.  The sacrifice of God is always a free and volitional choice to do God’s will.  This was made very clear by the Lord, ie. that the power to lay down His life belonged to Him alone.  But the end result was that Christ sat down on the very throne of His Father, God Almighty.  And if the saints would accept Christ’s invitation to sit down on His own throne, the kingdom of God must be established within them, and they must show themselves faithful to God’s call unto the sacrifice.  This applies to those who would follow Christ into suffering.  They must be willing.  But what is the end of such suffering?  The end of such suffering is rulership with Christ:

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:                                                                                      II Tim. 2:12

The modern signs and wonders movements emphasize this principle of rulership while underplaying (if not completely disregarding) this principle of following Christ in suffering, and thereby completing God’s will in the man.  In fact, they don’t even get as far as the issue of suffering because they deny the doctrines of sanctification which are antecedent to the principle of faithfulness to one’s personal cross.  But those who overcome the beast and his image “are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

And if it is difficult that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?  Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.                                                                                       I Peter 4:18-19

By trusting in our Creator to perform according to His promises, we demonstrate the faith of Abraham.  Abraham Counts StarsWe have the pressure and distress of His hand upon us to shape and mold us into a vessel of honor.  Therefore the process of sanctification is the path to authority over the nations; a rule that is truly the rule of God.  Patiently enduring suffering according to the will of God, is what allows God to perfect us into the image of His king.  And this is why suffering leads to sanctification, and sanctification leads to rulership.  Therefore the process of sanctification will entail difficulty, struggle, and suffering.  And when the time comes for the sacrifice to which we have been called, it will be mature and without blemish before God.


[1] G1484  ethnos  eth’-nos  Probably from G1486; a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan): – Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

[2] For discussion of the “spiritual Jew” see commentary on Isaiah 62:2  And the nations will see your righteousness,

[3] Genesis 1:26-29

[4] Genesis 3:15

[5] Genesis 17:6

[6] I Corinthians 15:45

[7] See journal entry for December 5, 2008 discussing the need to subordinate all aspects of our power to dominate men and creatures to the authority of the Spirit of Christ.

[8] See commentary on Micah 7:14   Shepherd Thy people with Thy scepter” in the part discussing (a) “Rod” as Christ’s Authority within the Believer.

[9] H7626  shay’-bet  From an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, that is, (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking, etc.) or (figuratively) a clan: –  X correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.

[10] I John 2:17

[11] Colossians 1:27

[12] See Justification by an Imputed Righteousness, John Bunyan, G.AM. Publications, pg. 9

See also commentary on Revelation 2:27  “He shall rule them with a rod of iron” discussing the inward perfection that necessarily precedes outward authority.

[13] G1556  ekdikeō  ek-dik-eh’-o   From G1558; to vindicate, retaliate, punish: – a (re-) venge.

[14] Rev 6:10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy & true, dost      thou not judge & avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 Rev 19:2  . . . for he has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her      fornication, & has avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

[15] I Corinthians 4:21

[16] Romans 8:37

[17] The Power of the Blood of Christ, by Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

[18] Acts 2:34, 5:31

[19] G1909   epi   ep-ee’   A primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], that is, over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dative case) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.: – about (the times), above, after, against, among, as long as (touching), at, beside, X have charge of, (be-, [where-]) fore, in (a place, as much as, the time of, -to), (because) of, (up-) on (behalf of) over, (by, for) the space of, through (-out), (un-) to (-ward), with. In compounds it retains essentially the same import, at, upon, etc. (literally or figuratively).

[20] Matthew 27:11

[21] I Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 11:15

[22] John 1:29

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About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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