Part 11 of 15
God’s Eternal Purpose “In Christ”
The Lord delegated Adam to “subdue” and have “dominion… over every living thing… upon the earth.” From the beginning man was intended to be the Lord’s agent on earth, as he will ultimately be.
Genesis 1:28 … God said unto them (Adam and Eve), Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it (Heb., kabash, bring it into subjection): and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Psalms 115:16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but THE EARTH HATH HE GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN. Psalms 8:6 THOU (The Lord) MADEST HIM (man) TO HAVE DOMINION OVER THE WORKS OF THY HANDS; THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET:”
Obviously, Adam fell to the wiles of the Serpent. Yet, God gave Adam the promises of a “seed” who would bruise the head of the Serpent (Gen 3:15). The Lord has yet to gain “dominion” over the earth through man as intended. This will not occur during the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2) in which we as “the church, which is His body” dwell today. God will ultimately achieve His original plan of man’s dominion on earth through all the Messianic believers of all ages, after the Tribulation.
In keeping with His promises, when man’s heart was seen as collectively evil, the Lord called out one man, Abram, whose name the Lord changed to Abraham. The Lord said He would bless “all the families of the earth” through Abraham’s “seed.” He promised to establish a kingdom, over which Abraham’s seed would reign (Gen 12:1-3, Gen 28:14, Exo 18:6). These are kingdom-related promises that pertain only to believing
, which are to be fulfilled in the Messianic kingdom that will be established on earth in the Millennium. No such earthly kingdom is promised to the members of “the church, which is His body”; rather, heaven is the ultimate home of “the body of Christ” (Philip 3:20). Israel
The promises of kingdom power and authority were demonstrated in part during the ministry of “the twelve” for a short time after Pentecost, in the early Acts period while the offer of the Messiah/King and His kingdom was still open (Act 3:19-20). That is, until
’s religious leaders stoned Stephen to death. This was Israel ’s “fall,” for which they were “blinded” (2Cor 3:13, Rom 11:11, 25), putting “the kingdom” in abeyance; setting the kingdom aside during “the dispensation of the grace of God.” Israel
Nevertheless, the Lord’s dominion on earth, reigning through
, will yet occur in the “age to come,” in the Millennium. The “first resurrection” includes all the Messianic believers of Israel (pre and post the grace church age) including the Tribulation martyrs. They will then take there rightful place, co-reigning over the earth with Christ by His power and His authority vested in them. Israel
Now I need clarify a common error in the church at large today that confuses the understanding of many with regard to God’s plan for
in “the ages to come.” The church at large today is largely deceived, untaught, weak, and confused for these two reasons. Israel
1) Mainly their approach to the Bible is flawed. They misappropriate and misapply the Scripture and God’s promises to
Israel, which apply only to . They then pilfer the kingdom on earth promises that belong to Israel alone in “the age to come.” (See or request the authors’ study series, “How to Approach the Bible.”) The callings, miraculous gifts, and promises of God that some claim for today pertain only to Israel in the kingdom “age to come,” that is the Millennium and in the eternal kingdom on the new earth. Israel
2) The core problem is that the church at large marginalizes Paul, by whom we learn to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2Tim 2:15) as our proper means of Bible interpretation. We must righty divide that which is in the Bible, specifically applying what is said to and concerning Israel to Israel only. Most don’t recognize or acknowledge Paul’s unique calling, ministry and unique gospel for the Gentile “body of Christ.” They don’t distinguish Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” (Act 20:24) from the message and the “gospel of the kingdom” that was preached by Jesus and “the twelve” to “the lost sheep of the house of
” (Matt 15:25, 10:5-6). Paul was commissioned by the ascended Lord to bring the unique pure grace gospel (Rom 6:14, Eph 2:8-9) to the Gentile “body of Christ” for this age. Israel
is destined to reign on earth, the members of “the church which is His body” have a different ultimate calling that is “eternal in the heavens.” Israel
2 Corinthians 5:1-2 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, WE HAVE A BUILDING (GK., oikodomeo, structure) OF GOD, an house (a Gk., oikia, residence) not made with hands, ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS.
Those who misappropriate Scripture often erroneously look back at the Bible’s account of the early Acts period, thinking what they see there is a pattern for us today. But they are wrong. That was the time of the “sign-gifts” intended to bear witness of the risen Lord to
only. If the nation Israel had received Peter’s words God would have then sent Jesus back (see Act 3:18-20). Israel could then have received the kingdom… but they did not. The religious leaders of Israel rejected the final witness and words of the Holy Spirit spoken through Stephen (Acts 6:5). Israel Israelhad repeatedly rejected God the Father in the Old Testament, then God the Son in the Gospels, and now God the Holy Spirit’s witness when the religious authorities of stoned Stephen to death. Israel
The initial miraculous powers and the acts of the Apostles seen in Acts were given to serve as a “sign” of the kingdom and its power being offered. Paul wrote; “…the Jews require a sign…” (1Cor 1:22a). Jesus first miracle at
Canawas “the beginning of miracles (Gk. semeion, signs,”John 2:11) to witness to His proclamation that the kingdom was at that time “at hand.” In Acts, Peter actually offered the Messianic kingdom, but it was rejected by the stoning of Stephen. So even with “signs following,” rejected the Messiah King and His Kingdom. That closed the door to Israel for a time. Israel
Now, let’s get back to the plan of God for
. Paul says Israel did “fall” and that salvation has now gone to the Gentiles. Rom 11:11b …through their ( Israel ’s) FALL salvation is come unto the Gentiles…. So, Israel Israelis fallen, “blinded” (hardened) and God’s plan for is set aside “UNTIL” the time of “THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES be come in.” Israel
Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; THAT BLINDNESS (HARDENING) IN PART IS HAPPENED TO ISRAEL, UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES BE COME IN.
God will again turn to
, but only after the catching away or rapture of “the church, which is His body,” at the end of this dispensational age of grace that is called “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2). Be sure, God will again turn to fulfill all that He promised to Israel concerning the Messianic kingdom on earth. Israel
The scope of God’s eternal plan and purpose includes recovering both the heavens and the earth. Christ is “far above ALL” and His glory will one day yet fill both the heavens and the earth. His glory will be manifested through “the body of Christ” in heaven and … through a believing
on earth for eternity. Israel
Ephesians 4:10 He (Jesus Christ) that descended is the same also that ASCENDED UP FAR ABOVE ALL HEAVENS, THAT HE (Christ) MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS.
Ephesians 1:9-10 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times HE (Christ) MIGHT GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, both which are IN HEAVEN, and which are ON EARTH; EVEN (that is) IN HIM:
God will fill and use His bride (
), and His body (the Church), to recover the two realms of “heaven and earth.” This will occur “in the fullness of time” when the glorious expression of the Lord Jesus Christ’s “Spirit of life” will fill both the heavens and earth “in” and “by” these two groups of people in whom the Lord’s Spirit will then dwell. Israel
1. Presently the “Spirit of Christ” dwells in the “body of Christ” which is already “seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 1:10). After the rapture they will physically dwell in the “heavenly places” in their glorified spirit-bodies. Our “spirit-bodies” will be as Jesus’ was following His death, resurrection, ascension, and return to earth. Recall that He could then pass through doors and yet eat; and the wounds in His hands and side could be physically touched by doubting Thomas.
Christ indwells the members of “His body” as their hope of being the glorious expression of His life and authority over the “SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES
Colossians 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY.
Ephesians 6:12 (NASB) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the RULERS, AGAINST THE POWERS, AGAINST THE WORLD FORCES OF THIS DARKNESS, AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES
2 Timothy 2:10b-12 … they may also obtain the (ultimate) SALVATION which is in Christ Jesus WITH ETERNAL GLORY. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also REIGN WITH HIM (Gk., symbasileuō, shall be co-regents with Him): if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2. Then also, “in the fullness of times,” after the rapture of “the body of Christ,” then after the Tribulation, the Messianic believers of the
will receive their Messiah at His appearing on earth, and they shall reign in “the kingdom” on earth. Israel
Zechariah 12:9-10 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against
. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and THEY SHALL LOOK UPON ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Jerusalem
Ezekiel 37:14 And SHALL PUT MY SPIRIT IN YOU, AND YE SHALL LIVE, AND I SHALL PLACE YOU IN YOUR OWN LAND: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.In the consummation of God’s eternal purpose, the present evil “principalities” will be purged from both the heavens and the earth. Then “the body of Christ” and the believing of “the house of
” will co-reign in their respective dynaspheres of the heavens and the earth. Israel