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Reigning Upon the Earth - The Book of Revelation
Week 13, 2017
Returning to the scene John witnessed before the throne of God, the seven seals released the unfolding events. As John also witnessed, Jesus alone is worthy to open this book and release the seals because He purchased the earth by His sacrifice on the cross. The following verses explain:
And I saw between the throne with the four living beings and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
When He had taken the book, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
"You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth" (Revelation 5:6-10).
John was caught up into this vision to witness Jesus being introduced to heaven as the One who has overcome. The Lamb has the seven horns, the seven eyes, and the seven Spirits of God that are sent out into the earth. We know this because it says in Colossians 2:9, “For in Him (Christ Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
As the Lamb enters, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fall before Him in worship. They begin to sing the new song that declares His worthiness. The song’s discourse declares that He purchased from every tribe, language, people, and nation to be a “kingdom and priests” who will also “reign upon the earth.”
The verse following the one quoted in Colossians above states that we are “complete in Him.” Just as the Godhead dwelt fully in Jesus so that if we see Him we see the Father, Jesus now dwells fully in His people, those who are the “kingdom and priests who will “reign upon the earth.”
Because Christ is in us, there is more authority in a single believer than in all the kings, presidents, dictators, or authorities on the earth. God’s people have reigned on the earth, but not very well. Few have grasped the power entrusted to us, much less walked in it. We have the authority to do the things that He did, and even greater things. Yet for most of the age, we have lived like slaves to ungodliness rather than as His kingdom of priests. Even so, in this weakened state, the church has been the most powerful entity dictating the course of nations.
The authority of the Godhead dwelt in One Man, the “man Christ Jesus,” and He now dwells in the many. This is why the Apostle Paul did not write that he had the mind of Christ, but that “we have the mind of Christ” (see I Corinthians 2:16) (plural). No one man can contain His mind, but we have each been given a part. As we come together in the koinonia He has called His church to, we have His mind.
This story unfolds throughout Revelation, and now most of it has unfolded in history. At the end of this story, the bride of Christ, the church, wakes up to her purpose and authority. She becomes what she is called to be. History really is His-story in His people, and it is the most remarkable story ever told. This revelation is a telling of that story in advance through prophetic metaphors. It calls to those who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand.
Just as John was given this vision so that he could intercede, it was also given to convey to us the authority of Christ that we are called to carry in this life. This is the One we have joined to, and we are called to abide in and to sit on His throne with Him.
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