Saturday, December 22, 2018


We focus on the night that Jesus was born, but God had been planning and preparing for this moment for hundreds of years.

God had a plan to restore authority on earth, by sending his son and then the Holy Spirit to establish the kingdom. This was a good plan, but God did not have authority to implement it.

Most Christians assume that God is all-powerful and can do whatever he chooses, but if that were true, God could have put the situation right as soon as sin came into the world. He did not do that because he had freely given authority over the earth to humans. That gift was unconditional and God is faithful and true, so he could not go back on his word.

When humans sinned, God did not grab his authority back. That would turn it into Imposed Authority, and he was not interested in that. Although humans had surrendered to evil, God still recognised them as the legitimate authority on earth, so he could not intervene until he was invited by people with authority on earth. Getting that authority took thousands of years.

God was not slow to send Jesus, but sent him as soon as everything was prepared. During the thousands of years that had gone by since humans sinned, he was not sitting around twiddling his thumbs. He was waiting for people with authority on earth to give him permission to act. Because most humans had surrendered their authority to the powers of evil, this permission was quite difficult to get. He needed dozens of prophets to complete the task (Kingdom Authority, p 79).

God ultimate goal was to send Jesus to destroy the powers of evil and restore authority over the earth to humans. However, many things had to be made ready first.

  • The right governments had to be in place on earth to prevent the powers of evil killing Jesus before he had grown up. (If the spiritual powers of evil had killed Jesus while he was a baby, God’s plan would be foiled. He did not have a plan B).

  • The border with Egypt had to be open so that it would be available as a place of safety for Jesus.

  • Control of the land of Israel would need to be divided between different rulers (Herod and Pilate), so Jesus could move from place to place in safety.

  • A relatively peaceful empire must be in power, so the gospel could travel freely around the world.

  • God also had to get some key people ready to obey: Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Anna, Simeon, and the twelve disciples. Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Stephen, Timothy had to be ready to proclaim the gospel.

Before he could send Jesus, God needed permission from humans living on earth. The prophets gave God authority to send Jesus by specifying every detail of his life and ministry in written form. The declarations of human prophets gave God authority in advance to do what he wanted to do through Jesus.

Isaiah prophesied the suffering servant. Jeremiah promises the coming of the Kingdom of God. Ezekiel prophesied the season when Israel would come to faith in Jesus. Micah announced that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. This prophetic ministry reached a climax with John the Baptist. Jesus explained the prophecies about him to his disciples.

Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).
These things were written to give God authority to act on earth.

Getting the prophets to understand his plans and write them down was a difficult task. When reading the prophetic books, we assume that the Holy Spirit controlled the prophets and could make them write exactly what he wanted. That is not true. They were sinful people just like us. The Holy Spirit had to get them into a place without distractions and spiritual disturbances, so they could hear and record his words. They often got it wrong and their writings had to be discarded.

The Holy Spirit used many prophets over hundreds of years to complete this work. The enormity of the task delayed the coming of Jesus, but God could not risk sending Jesus before he had authority to do everything he needed to do to protect him from the powers of evil (Kingdom Authority p.77).

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