Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Authority (13) - Jesus

Jesus last words before he ascended into heaven were amazing.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matt 28:18).
This was true because he had defeated the devil on the cross (Heb 2:14). He was also referring back to the visions of Daniel. He saw some great empires trampling the earth, with the last being the worst. He then saw a vision of God on the throne. He came upon the clouds and was lead into the presence of God. This was a vision of the ascension.
He was given authority, glory and sovereign power;
all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away,
and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed (Dan 7:14).
As he stood before his disciples, Jesus was saying, “This prophecy is being fulfilled in me. All authority and sovereign power over all peoples and nations has been given to me. I am about to go into heaven and sit at the right hand of the father. My dominion will never pass away and my kingdom will never be destroyed.”

The most important aspect of Daniel’s vision is that he explains to us what Jesus did with this enormous authority.
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High (Dan 7:27).
Jesus did not wield his authority vigorously. He did not give it to empires, nation states and local kings. He did not give his authority to democracies. He did not give it to bishops or pasts. Jesus gave his authority to his people. He gained all the sovereignty and power under heaven will be handed over to the saints, as they repent and believe and receive the Holy Spirit.

This is how his Kingdom works. The saints have the Holy Spirit living within them, so they can hear his voice. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will teach us everything that he taught.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14:26).
When Christians obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, they are submitting to Jesus will. When his will is done, his kingdom has come. The Kingdom comes as people obey the voice of the Holy Spirit.

This is why the great commission is so important. Jesus told the disciples,
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.. (Matt 28:18a).
They must reach the people of all nations. Those who have repented and believed should be baptised. Baptism is important, because they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Once they have received the Holy Spirit they can be taught to obey Jesus.
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matt 28:18b).
New disciples can be taught to listen to the Holy Spirit. If disciples follow the leading of the Spirit, they will be obeying the commands of Jesus. The Kingdom of God will be coming, because Jesus will is being done on earth as it is in heaven.

When Jesus spoke with the disciples, he was not saying:
I am the boss.
You are now under my authority.
Everyone on earth must do exactly what I say.
Force them to do my will.
He was actually saying something more like this.
I have taken back the authority that Satan stole from us.
I have restored authority over the earth back to us humans.
You are now free the power of sin and evil, and political powers.
You now have authority over your own lives; be careful not to lose it
Go and teach the nations that they can have authority over their own lives. If they repent and believe, I will send them the Holy Spirit to live in them. He will reveal my commands to them. If they follow his voice, they will be doing my will on earth, so that peace and blessing can come to earth as it exists in heaven.
Jesus authority is restrained authority. He exercises authority in heaven, but limits himself on earth to giving advice through the Holy Spirit.

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