CHRIST THE DELIVERER: SEVEN
CHRIST THE DELIVERER: SEVENCopyright Š 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
("Christ the Deliverer: Seven" is taken from Behold My Servant!, copyright Š 2011 Trumpet Ministries, found in the Kindle Library)
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matthew 28:18)
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; even in him: (Ephesians 1:10)
Christ is the Servant of the Lord. As representative Man He has inherited all things. He possesses all authority and all power in the heavens and He possesses all authority and all power in the earth, and in the realms under the earth's surface. Jesus Christ sits on the highest throne of all, and we are there in Him and with Him.
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (Ephesians 1:20,21)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 2:6)
In the first chapter of the Book of Hebrews the Holy Spirit describes the glorious inheritance of the Son of God, Christ.
Then, in the last verse of the first chapter the Spirit suddenly changes from the Heir of all things to the "heirs" of salvation; for we too, in Christ, possess the authority to become sons of God. Wherever the promises of God appear in Scripture there is an interplay between the singular and the plural, between the Seed and the multiplying of that one Seed, between the Vine and the branches, between Christ and His saints.
Christ always is supreme, always is the Seed , always is the One to whom all the promises of God are directed. Christ is singular. Because we are one in Him the promises of God are directed toward us also. The single Christ becomes as the stars of the heaven and as the grains of sand in number. Christ is multiplied in and through us (Galatians 2:20).
The Spirit of God, in the Book of Hebrews, interprets the eighth Psalm for us.
But one in a certain place [the eighth Psalm] testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Hebrews 2:6)
What is man? Man is a new creation. No doubt the other creatures of God were astounded when God announced He was creating an order of beings in His own image. It is likely this never had occurred previously.
There are heavenly orders of angels and cherubim. Many of them are of such holiness, such size, such strength, such intelligence, such energy, such glory, were we to behold them we would faint.
But of all the heavenly orders, none of them has been assigned the status given to man. Man is destined to rule the creation of God.
No creature other than man possesses the inheritance of a son of God. No creature other than man has been created in the image of God. No creature other than man is an heir of salvation. No creature other than man is the dwelling place of Almighty God. All things have been placed in subjection to Christ-filled man.
Man is the supreme creation of God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the Members of the Divine Godhead. The members of the Body of Christ are being made one in Christ in God. Oneness in God never can be true of any creature of God other than man, so far as we know.
If we were to ascend into the heavens we would behold orders of personages that would overpower us by their glory and beauty to such an extent we would not be able to continue in contemplation of them without receiving a special impartation of strength from the Lord. Their number is so great and the heights of the heavens to which they attain is so far beyond our ability to grasp that we are the merest specks of dust in comparison.
But high above all such creatures and personages there is a supreme throne. There is no throne above that throne and no other throne on the same level as that throne. It is preeminent. It is over all. It has been established forever by the Lord God Almighty.
On that throne there sits a Man, not an angel, not a cherub, not a seraph, a Man! A Man who has nail prints in His hands and feet. A Man who at one time made His way through the pains and problems of the world.
We are on that throne--high above all other personages--in Him and with Him.
Christ is very God of very God. But His exalted position on the highest throne of the universe is not because He is the Son of God but because He is the Son of Man .
For the Word of God has assigned the rulership of the creation to man--not to man apart from Christ but to man nevertheless.
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: (Hebrews 2:7)
Man's inferiority to the angels is temporary, for the angels are ministering spirits to the actual heirs of salvation.
Man is crowned with glory--the very Glory of the Father. Man is crowned with honor. God has created mankind to be the ruler of His creation.
Today the Church is struggling against the lords of darkness who have left their first estate; who have taken it upon themselves to govern the earth. But God has given to mankind, and only to mankind, the authority to exercise dominion over all the works of God's hands. Every other creature that attempts to exercise dominion over the works of God's hands is a usurper, a thief, a liar. It is man--the image of the Father--who is crowned with glory and honor in the sight of God.
Yet we must keep firmly in our mind and heart that the Seed of Abraham is Christ, and only Christ, and all the promises of God without exception have been assigned and always will be assigned to Christ.
The shuttling back and forth between the Heir and the heirs, the singular Seed and the multiplied Seed, is resolved by the fact that we are married to Christ and therefore are one with Him and identified completely with Him. We are nothing apart from the Vine.
Man was created male and female. Christ, the Head of the Servant of the Lord, is the Male. We, the Body of the Servant of the Lord, are the "female," in this context, and the glory of the Lord.
. . . but the woman is the glory of the man. (I Corinthians 11:7)
We are one with our Lord. Because of our oneness with Christ, all that has been given to Him by the Lord God Almighty is our inheritance also.
Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:8)
To mankind has been given dominion over all things--things in Heaven and things on the earth. Man, being the offspring of God and the image of God, is destined by inheritance to rule the creation of God.
When the Spirit of God says "all things" He does not mean almost all things. All created works have been placed under subjection to man. Nothing is excepted. The Scriptures cannot be changed.
But we find that in many instances God's people are not ruling in Christ. Rather they are being ruled by evil spirits, by circumstances, by other people, by their own lusts, and by many other things and influences in their environment.
A considerable portion of our Christian experience consists of God gently but firmly removing our bondages and giving us dominion in Christ over things, relationships, and circumstances.
Sometimes the process of giving us dominion is painful. But God's salvation finally brings peace to us if we receive the instructions of the Holy Spirit in an attitude of meekness and obedience. We do not have lasting peace when any thing, person, or situation other than Christ is governing us.
God Almighty is the supreme Ruler of the universe. Directly under God, and part of God, is His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Directly under Christ, and part of Christ, is His Body, the Church, There is no power or personage between Christ and His Church.
God does not want His sons to be ruled by any creature or thing but only by His Son, Christ. God's sons are called to rule, not to be ruled. They are the sons of the highest King of all.
Throughout the entire heavens and earth there is no name, no title, no authority, no lordship, no power equal to that of Christ and His Body. The saints, having been born of God and created an integral, eternally indivisible part of Christ, have inherited the fullness of God.
The angels will be judged by the Church. The world will be judged by the Church. Judges possess great authority. The execution of sentence is determined by their decisions.
Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. (I Corinthians 3:21-23)
All things are in subjection to man when man is one with Christ. "He left nothing that is not put under him."
In the present hour the saints are under tutors and governors as is fitting for the royal sons of the Greatest of all emperors.
"But we see Jesus, . . . ." (Hebrews 2:9).
The only man (not to detract in any manner from His perfect Deity as the Word, Son, and Heir of God) who has received the dominion, glory, and honor promised to man, to the heirs of salvation, is Christ.
Christ is the perfect image of the invisible God. To Christ, the Father has assigned total fruitfulness in the heavens and on the earth. Christ has been given unlimited authority and dominion. Christ is the Judge of all. He possesses all power. He has been crowned with all glory. He has been crowned with all honor.
Christ alone has received the inheritance promised to "man," in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis.
The Lord Jesus, the perfect Son of God, is perfect Man.
In Jesus, man reigns on the highest throne of the universe.
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)
Jesus is our Redeemer, our Kinsman who redeems us (Leviticus, Chapter 25). If it were not for Him, people never could come into their inheritance as sons of God. Through Christ's obedience and atoning blood it has been made possible for us to enter the plan of salvation and to receive the Holy Spirit of God.
Because of our sin we are not able to overcome the power of death. Christ, being without sin, overcame death for us. In Him we too can overcome sin and death and attain eternal life as heirs of God.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)
God the Father is the One for whom are all things and by whom are all things. He is bringing "many sons" to the glory, honor, and dominion promised to mankind.
God brought Jesus along the pathway of suffering because to Jesus has been assigned the rule, under God, of the entire creation in accordance with that which God has promised concerning "man." Jesus learned obedience at the deepest level of His Personality through means of the pains and problems He suffered on the earth.
We also have to learn obedience; and obedience can be learned perfectly and completely only through suffering. It is not possible to attain our inheritance as "man" until God brings us through much suffering. We learn obedience to God in the school of suffering.
We must learn perfect obedience at the deepest levels of our nature if we are to be able to rule successfully under Christ, not seeking our own advancement but always responding to the will of the Father.
The cross comes before the crown. If we suffer with Christ we will reign with Christ. The Christian who never has suffered in God has not as yet received in himself the power of instinctive obedience that grows in the individual who obeys God in the unpleasant trials as well as in the more joyous experiences.
The Christian pilgrimage is a satisfying, a profitable walk on the earth. But part of our journey has to do with learning obedience in fiery trials so we shall be able to reign with Christ without destroying ourselves or others with whom we come in contact. (The unsaved also suffer fiery torments, but there is no profit in their pain unless their problems turn them to Jesus for salvation.)
Suffering plays an important part in the Christian experience. We are refined in the fire. Sometimes God places a desire in us for a relationship, a thing, or a situation, and the desire burns in us with intensity. It is so difficult to refrain from reaching out and taking that which, although perhaps lawfully ours, has not been given us as yet!
While we are in the wilderness of testing and waiting our faith and obedience are being perfected and we are learning to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of Jesus.
If the reader is going through just such a season of trial, be encouraged. The test will not last forever. There is light at the end of your tunnel. Every part of your experience has significance in the purpose of God.
Do not force yourself out of the prison in which the Lord has placed you. If you do you may be captured and given a longer sentence. Commit the keeping of your soul to Him as to a faithful Creator.
After the Word of the Lord has tried you, you will come forth as pure gold. The King will send for you, not one second too late--punctually in God's time. Everything you have learned in the school of suffering will be used over and over again as you take your assigned place in the Servant of the Lord.
For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (Hebrews 2:11)
"He that sanctifieth" is Christ. "They who are sanctified" are the members of His Body. Christ and the members of His Church are all of God, having been born of the one Father in Heaven. For this reason Christ is not ashamed to call us "brethren."
Until we have been born again, Christ cannot call us brothers. Creatures of flesh and blood, of the dust of the ground, cannot be the brothers of the Divine Christ. As long as we continue to walk in our fleshly nature Christ cannot call us brothers.
As the Divine Substance, the Word of God, is implanted in us, we become of the same Substance and Nature as Christ. We are born of God. We are partakers of Christ's broken body and shed blood. We have the same Father. Christ can now call us brothers.
Before His resurrection Christ was the only begotten of the Father. After His resurrection the Lord became "the firstborn from the dead"--the first of many brothers.
We Christians are being made the new covenant, the Word of God, the Arm of the Lord.
Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. (Isaiah 40:10)
The Servant of the Lord rules the creation under God Almighty. The Servant of the Lord is Christ, the Son of God. We also, being members of the Body of Christ, are integral parts of the Servant of the Lord. We share in His inheritance because we are one with Him, having been created from His body and blood and having His Spirit abiding in us. We are the fullness of Christ who is destined to fill the heavens and the earth (Ephesians 1:22,23).
God has some purposes of His own that He is pursuing. God is not plowing aimlessly on the face of the earth. The elements of the physical universe are not flying about randomly according to chance, especially not when those elements affect the people who have been called according to the eternal purposes of the Lord God of Heaven (Romans 8:28).
The hand of God is on mankind and all of nature. Not a sparrow plunges to the ground except that God knows every detail of the circumstances surrounding the fall.
The Church, the Body of Christ, is of special concern to God. The Lord has goals, purposes, outcomes toward which He is working. We Christians must understand that God does not exist for our pleasure; rather, we exist for His pleasure.
When we begin to grasp that God has goals toward which He is working in terms of His own desires we then are able to gain a true perspective concerning all that God is accomplishing through Christ.
God has placed His Word in the mouth of His Servant. He has covered His Servant in the shadow of His almighty hand. He has done so in order that He may accomplish His purposes: that the heavens may be planted with the Person and righteousness of Christ; that the foundations of the earth may be established on Christ; and that every one of God's elect may be reconciled totally to God through Christ in the bonds of love and complete trust.
It is the responsibility and task of the Servant of the Lord to accomplish these three goals. They are being pursued as the history of the Christian Church progresses and will be brought into tremendous power and glorification when Christ returns with His saints.
Every truly born-again believer, the individual who has been forgiven and touched with eternal life, is raised to God's right hand, as we have stated previously. The task of the Christian life is to maintain that which has been declared to be true of us. If we do not press forward after our initial experience of salvation we will lose what was given to us in Christ. This is the warning of the Book of Hebrews.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
The above verse means that our being saved depends on our pursuing our discipleship throughout our lifetime. The Israelites died in the wilderness because they did not continue joyously in faith in God and His Word.
The believers of today are left with the impression that all the promises of the Scriptures belong to them by the mere fact that they have read them and assented to them as being Divinely given.
Our being established in Heaven at the right hand of God is not only a statement of Scripture but also an experience (sometimes agonizing) of new birth. The Church must travail in birth until Christ is formed in us. There is a difference between being conceived and being born.
Death and life! Death and life! Every day of our pilgrimage (if we are abiding in Jesus) a part of our adamic personality is brought down to death and in its place is produced a part of the Divine Life of Christ. It is when Christ is fully formed in us that we truly are born again in the mature sense; and as Christ is born in us He is caught up to the right hand of the Father (compare Revelation 12:2-5).
The concept that we must follow the Lord carefully in order to maintain what we have been given, that we must take care that our name is not blotted out of the Book of Life, is largely being ignored today. Perhaps the greatest error of our time is the idea that one cannot lose what is given at the time of accepting Christ.
The teachers who reject the numerous passages that warn the believers of the need to live an overcoming life are leading Christ's lambs to destruction. Such teachers and preachers will not escape the wrath of God. They are false prophets (Hebrews 2:3; Revelation 3:5).
There were two cherubim overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant. One cherub represents the goodness of God. The other cherub represents the severity of God. When the Lord's ministers do not stress the severity of God as well as the goodness of God they are misrepresenting God and are false prophets. Satan still is maintaining, "Ye shall not surely die."
Who could estimate how many people from the time of the resurrection of Christ have been elevated to the right hand of God? Doubtless it is a large number. Every one of them who has maintained his position in Christ is there, hidden with Christ in God--high above every other creature in the universe.
God is planting the heavens with Christ, including those who are of Christ and in Christ.
When Jesus appears, those who are hidden in Him will appear in glory with Him. Then the foundations of the earth will be laid, which is the second task of the Servant of the Lord. The Kingdom of God will be set up on the earth as the reigning authority and power, and all the nations of the saved will be shepherded with a rod of iron wielded by Christ and His saints.
God's will shall be performed in the earth as today it is being performed at God's right hand in Heaven, by Christ, by the elect angels, by those who are abiding in Christ and in whom He also abides.
The third assignment is to say to Zion, "Thou art my people." One of the main concerns expressed in Isaiah, and in the other Prophets, is the restoration of Israel, including those who are Israelites by physical birth as well as the Gentiles who have been grafted on the one true Vine.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit in you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28)
O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:9-11)
The above passage reveals that the Lord's elect, the Israel of God, will be ministered to when Christ returns. Notice also that part of Israel ministers to the other part: "Zion" and "Jerusalem" point "the cities of Judah" toward the Lord.
The Servant of the Lord is Israel but also ministers to Israel. The strong help the weaker come to know the Lord until all Israel has been reconciled perfectly to God through Christ (Hebrews 8:11).
The concept of a remnant of Israel bringing victory to the remainder of the nation can be observed in Gideon's three hundred, in the victory of David over Goliath, and in the mighty men of David who were more capable in battle than was true of the rest of the nation.
Jesus declared that His Apostles would judge Israel:
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)
Here we have part of the elect judging the remainder of the elect.
The Kingdom of God is arranged in levels of closeness to God as symbolized by the multitude, the seventy, the twelve, and then the three on the Mount of Transfiguration. God ranks people in His Kingdom according to His will.
It is the author's point of view that our own day is especially significant in terms of the rulers, the nobility of the Kingdom of God. We think it is time to "take" the Kingdom and that many of those who are willing to follow Jesus in the face of Antichrist and the lawlessness of the last days will be first in the Kingdom.
It may be true that even the holy priesthood of the first resurrection will be divided into the firstfruits to God and the Lamb who sit as judges on the spiritual thrones that govern the universe, and the remainder of the victorious saints who rule as kings on the earth.
We derive this concept from the wording of Revelation 20:4; and also from the dividing of David's mighty men into the "three," and then the "thirty"; and the dividing of the twelve into the "three" of the Mount of Transfiguration, and then the remaining nine Apostles.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)
First the thrones and those who sat on them; and then the remainder of the victorious saints.
The second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation make a distinction between those who overcome and those who do not overcome. The Scriptures are clear, both in type and in direct teaching, that there are ranks in the Kingdom of God. There are the hundredfold, the sixtyfold, and the thirtyfold.
It may be possible that "his arm" that will rule for Him refers to the victorious saints, the overcomers, while the "lambs" are those who need assistance in order to grow in Christ (Isaiah 40:10,11).
We believe that God will use the victorious saints to bring His elect to glory, to the fullness of the perfection of the new Jerusalem.
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (Isaiah 54:11-13)
God yet will bless and restore His chosen people, both Jews and Gentiles, for they constitute the one Israel of God.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. (Joel 2:26,27)
It is true of each saint, as it is true of all Israel, that after he is called the Lord seeks to "slay" him, just as He sought to "slay" Moses (Exodus 4:24). But after a season of various tribulations and testings he arrives at the point where his warfare has been accomplished, his iniquity has been pardoned. Then the Lord comes and speaks words of comfort and encouragement to him. The years of sadness of his life have been completed and the Lord invites him to dwell forever in righteousness, peace, and joy with Himself.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (I Peter 5:10)
There does come an end to the Lord's controversy with us!
Paul also speaks of the restoration of Israel:
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion [out of the heavenly Zion--Hebrews 12:22] the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (Romans 11:26,27)
The Lord Jesus and His victorious saints will appear and bring spiritual victory to Israel:
. . . and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14:5)
Looking at Isaiah 51:16 on the kingdom-wide scale we could say that the present age is devoted to planting the heavens.
The thousand-year Kingdom Age is to be occupied with laying the foundations of the earth. At the present time the earth is founded on the seas and floods (Psalms 24) and as a result is unstable. But God's intention is that the earth be established on Christ (Hebrews 11:10; 12:27).
It is our understanding that the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be concerned also with building up Zion, that is, with bringing to unity and maturity, to the fullness of the expression of Christ, all of God's Israel--His elect from the creation of the world. Zion will be reconciled completely to the Lord.
The new heaven and earth reign of Christ will be characterized by the presence of the glorified Zion. The perfected Jerusalem, the holy city, the Wife of the Lamb, will descend from Heaven in order that God may dwell among the nations of peoples whom He has created. Then it will be evident to all that the members of Zion indeed are God's people.
But even today we should attend to these three areas of responsibility as the Holy Spirit enables us. As we labor in the Lord's vineyard we find that God is still planting the heavens with new souls born again in Christ.
Our task is to perform the Lord's will in our own corrupt body in today's demonized environment so that in the future we may be entrusted with a body like that of the Lord Jesus and be allowed to participate in laying the foundations of the earth on Christ.
We are to keep on saying to the members of the Church, "You are God's people" so they will not become discouraged and begin to neglect their great inheritance in Christ.
The following are six of the specific purposes of God, purposes that will be fulfilled through the Servant of the Lord:
To bring forth sons of God, brothers of Christ, a wife for the Lamb, saints--each of whom is in the image of the Lord Jesus and filled with the Life of Jesus.
To establish a godly, creative, beneficial, and joyous rulership over the creation of God.
To fill every creature and thing in the heavens and on the earth with the Person of Christ, filling all with Him and centering all upon Him.
To create a living temple for God that eternally will be the visible expression of the invisible God.
To execute the judgment of God until all unrighteousness is destroyed out of the universe.
To display the heavenly Lampstand--Christ and His Body, the shining of the radiantly beautiful Light of God so that every corner of the creation is illuminated with the knowledge of the Person, way, and will of the Lord.
These are specific objectives of God that He will accomplish through Christ. We who are members of the Body of Christ are ourselves the fulfillment of the purposes of God in Christ, a "kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (James 1:18).
Let us therefore continue in patience while God brings to pass His purposes in the heavens and on the earth. Our destiny is glorious beyond our imagination. Let us not shrink back in fear or discouragement. Let us press forward to the will of God in Christ.