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14 December 2019

Jesus Reigns Over All without Exception

SYNOPSIS - Jesus received all authority to reign over the Cosmos and began to reign after his Death and Resurrection

Crown Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash
At the height of his power, the absolute monarch of the Babylonian Empire - King Nebuchadnezzar - boasted before heaven and earth - “Is not this Babylon the great and exceptional kingdom that I built by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” His presumptuous words received an immediate response from an angelic figure - [Crown Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash]:
  • O King Nebuchadnezzar the dominion has departed from you…until you come to know that it is the Most-High who has dominion over the kingdom of men, and to whomever he pleases he gives it” - (Daniel 4:28-33).
Consequently, Nebuchadnezzar lost his rational mind and was driven from society to live like an animal. After “seven seasons,” his mind restored, he lifted his eyes to heaven and declared:
  • And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, mine eyes unto the heavens did uplift, and mine understanding unto me returned, and the Most High I blessed, and to him that liveth age-abidingly I rendered praise and honour, — whose dominion is an age-abiding dominion, and his kingdom lasteth from generation to generation; And all the inhabitants of the earth as nothing are accounted, and according to his own pleasure dealeth he — with the army of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth, — and none there is who can smite upon his hand or say to him, What hast thou done?– (Daniel 4:34-35 - The Emphasized Bible).
From time immemorial, kings, emperors, dictators, and presidents have engaged in this kind of conceit. Nebuchadnezzar’s boast was nothing. By any human measurement, his empire was the greatest and most exceptional power the world had seen up till that point in time, a domain built on military conquest.  Yet, within two generations, it fell and was replaced by an even greater power – Persia - Thus has it been throughout history.

The Babylonian king ought to have known better. He had learned the same lesson previously when he received a troubling dream. In it, Nebuchadnezzar saw a “great image” with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron with feet of iron mixed with clay. A “stone cut out without hands” struck that image, pulverized it, and became a “mountain that filled the whole earth” - (Daniel 2:31-45).

Daniel interpreted the dream.  The “great image” represented four successive empires, starting with Babylon. But a final kingdom was destined by Yahweh to fill the whole earth after the demise of the four imperial powers. Thus, the end of Babylon was inevitable - Political power would pass from one regime to another until the day God “set up a kingdom unto the ages that shall not be destroyed.”

The stone that pulverized the “great image” symbolized an everlasting kingdom appointed by Yahweh to replace all existing political powers despite their (apparent) economic, political, and military might. Its victory would be total and universal.

Daniel declared that God alone “changes times and seasons, removes kings and sets up kings.” He gives dominion to even the “basest of men” according to His pleasure. Nebuchadnezzar himself declared that “Your God is God of gods and Lord of kings,” thus, acknowledging that his sovereignty was derived from a higher one.  Political authority comes from God and no regime can reign without His say so - there is no exception to the rule.

This is a central theme in the book of DanielGod gives rulership to whomever He pleases to achieve His purposes. It begins in the first paragraph of the book – Daniel declared that the capture of Jerusalem, the captivity of Judah, and the destruction of its Temple all occurred in accord with God’s purposes. The “Lord gave the king of Judah into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand with the vessels of the House of God” - (Daniel 1:1-2).

Despite that national disaster, Yahweh used Daniel to direct the policies of the Babylonian empire that had overthrown the kingdom of Judah. Yahweh enabled him to do what none of the astrologers, priests, “wise men,” or soothsayers of Babylon could do – Recount and interpret the king’s dream.  The result was the elevation of Daniel to a high position from which he influenced the course of the Babylonian Empire - (Daniel 2:1-49).

Through his visions, God revealed to Daniel the course of history for centuries to come, beginning with Babylon. Two major powers were named long before anyone could imagine their rise to global power – the “Medes and Persians,” and the Greco-Macedonian conquests of Alexander the Great. His visions even foretold the later fourfold division of Alexander’s empire after his death - (Daniel 7:1-8, 8:20-25, 11:1-4).

Map Pins - Photo by Timo Wielink on Unsplash
Photo by Timo Wielink on Unsplash

God uses His sovereign power to accomplish His purposes regardless of human intentions and machinations. Yahweh cannot be surprised by the plans of men.  Kingdoms last only as long as He allows. Rulers who presume too much and trespass on His prerogatives risk their removal from power.
History confirms that all kingdoms, empires, and regimes WITHOUT EXCEPTION fall.  Greece, Rome, Byzantium - All rose to great heights only to collapse, often under their own weight.
None of today’s nations are an exception to the rule - Not one is indispensable to God and His kingdom. His redemptive goal is to fill the whole earth with His righteous reign under the authority of His Messiah. All other governing powers are impermanent realities; all will be supplanted by His universal rule.

Yahweh promised a day when His anointed ruler would sit at His right hand and rule until He made all his enemies his footstool. God would give His Son the “uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.” Though the nations might rage and oppose “His anointed one,” the Messiah was destined to rule them all - (Psalm 2:6-9, 110:1-4).

The New Testament is explicit and uncompromising. Not only is Jesus this very “Son” and “anointed” ruler, his messianic reign on the “throne of David” commenced after his Death and Resurrection.

As the risen Jesus declared to his disciples - “ALL authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to me.” Noteworthy is Matthew’s use of the aorist verb tense, indicating a past action – That is, not “will be given,” but “was given” - (Acts 2:34, 1 Corinthians 15:25, Ephesians 1:20-22, Heb 1:1-4, 1 Peter 3:22).

Before his ascent to reign at “the right hand of God,” Jesus commanded his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Spirit, then they would become his witnesses “unto the uttermost part of the earth,” an echo from the second Psalm - (The “uttermost parts of the earth for his possession”). As the gospel is proclaimed among the nations, so the reign of God’s anointed king is extended across the earth - (Psalm 2:7-9, Acts 1:7-9).

Having received the Spirit, Peter declared that the very man the Jews had rejected was raised from the dead and installed to rule at the “right hand of God.” It was not King David who ascended into heaven but Jesus; therefore, God had made him “both Lord and Christ” according to His promises - (Acts 2:34-36).

When Yahweh raised Jesus from the dead, He placed him “far above all rule, authority, power, dominion, and every name that is named, and he put all things in subjection under his feet.” Because of his obedience, He gave Jesus a “name with is above every name” - (Ephesians 1:20-22, Philippians 2:6-11).

By his death, the Son “despoiled the powers and principalities,” triumphing over them. By the resurrection, he became the “firstborn of the dead” and is in “all things preeminent.” Already he reigns; already all angels, powers, and authorities are subjected to him - (Colossians 1:16-18, 2:15, 1 Peter 3:22).

Just as the God of Daniel ruled over the kingdoms of men, so now His anointed Son reigns over all things.  No nation, government, political party, or ideology is beyond his reach or indispensable to his purposes. Jesus Reigns Over All!




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