The Covenant Promise Series 2001
The Contest for the Kingdom
By Ed Corley
THAT MORNING as the sun rose, a light was burning in my soul. Something had laid hold on me, even though there were some things I could not yet understand in the Revelation passage to which I felt directed. I could see for certain the Word in Ps 2:7-9 was Gods promise to the Lord Jesus. Rev 2:26,27 confirmed this. I could also see the Lord Jesus was giving to those who overcome the same authority His Father gave Him. What was beyond my grasp was how the people who inherit the Kingdom with Him will be made ready for their high calling.
I soon saw Rev 5:9,10. It begins laying out the answer. It tells of a company who will reign on the earth with the Lord. They have been redeemed by His blood. This matter is so important, well come back to it. There is no person who has any hope of attaining that position of overcomer, or of ruling with the Lord Jesus, who has not come by the blood of His Redemption. And how often we have made mention of it! -- they will come out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nationRev 5:9.
When the Lord began sending us anew to the nations, we went to some remote places where candidates for Gods Government Service seemed little likely to be found. I remember teaching Pastors and workers from two of the most troubled and deprived nations on earth. The Holy Spirit anointed me to tell them of the Kingdom of God. We used mainly what Jesus taught in Mt 13, but with the foundation for the teaching reaching into Ps 2.
We noted Mt 13:19 where we find Jesus teaching that the Word of the Kingdom is to be planted in the hearts of believers and cared for as a tender plant prone to perish. We then took note in Mt 13:38 that other seeds are to be planted, thrown to the wind, as it were. They are the children of the Kingdom, sown in the field which is the world, with a fierce stamina worked in them to overcome in tribulation. A Spirit of Revelation came on that group gathered for teaching. We dared tell them the Kingdom of Christ is coming in all the earth and is ready to begin its work nowin us. It became clear that before the Kingdom spreads through all nations, its rule will have begun in the hearts of Gods people everywhere.
SOMETHING CAME TO BIRTH in those dear people. One young Pastor came to me saying, "When you spoke of the Word of the Kingdom, something entered me right here." He pointed to his heart. He wrote time and again asking us to come back. Three years later, he met me at a small airport in his country. Again, he pointed to his heart and said the same thing, adding, "I am your son."
Being with those people was necessary for me to see that the Holy Spirit
is readypowerfully readyto extend the Government of Christ
even into the dark and lowly places of the earth.
In an instant the Book of Ephesians opened. I saw how the secret of the POWER of Gods Kingdom is revealed in Eph 1:1-3:21. It lies in the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. I saw that the secret of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of His Kingdom is revealed in Eph 4:1-6:9. It is in the new man we put on in Christ Jesus. And I saw how the secret of the AUTHORITY of His Kingdom is laid out in Eph 6:10-24. It is a spiritual authority, greater than all the authority of all earths rulers combined with the powers behind them. An unveiling of truth began pouring over us. Just this hour I received a letter from one of the Pastors who was there. He told how what happened then, nearly two decades ago, changed his life.
The release of the power, the righteousness and the authority of Gods Kingdom has already come for even the most remoteand in some ways, the most deprivedpeople to know. Before the end, the Gospel of the Kingdom, that is the "good news" of the Kingdom, will go everywhere (Mt 24:14). Nothing will be so important as its proclamation.
WE WILL LOOK FURTHER at our New Testament connections as we proceed. But now we go to the beginning of Ps 2 to take it verse by verse as it appears in the King James Version of the Scriptures.
The first verse is a question David asked when a scene of rebellion flashed before him. He was a Seer, a kind of Prophet who could see things the natural eye could not see, and then speak of them. He could see from heavens point of view to bring into the earth the Word of what he saw. A Word brought from heaven may carry with it a ruling power to release the will of God in the earth. From the heavens, not bound to limitations of time as we are, may be revealed what is a future thing for us "earthlings."
What David saw and laid out began with an angry movement among the nations. The outrage came because something was taking command of governments everywhere. It called for a summit meeting to end all summit meetings. Three words in the first verse need close attention. They are: heathen, rage and imagine.
Who are the heathen? We are accustomed to calling them the uncivilized people living in all kinds of darkness. The word in the Original is goyím. It is a Hebrew word quite clearly meaning "nations"all the nations outside of Israel. This is amazing. Were going to find in this Psalm, based on the Covenant God made with David, that this One Whom God declares is His Own begotten Son will receive the heathen, apparently all of them, for His inheritance.
The earths six-billion-plus population is divided into over 230 nations, ranging in size from huge China with one-fifth of the worlds people to tiny Liechtenstein, with a population about the size of a small town. In a widespread movement described in this Psalm, they join in an end-of-the-age movement to put down the rule of Christs Kingdom on earth.
The Word of Ps 2 reaches into the New Testament at this point. There the Greek word for nation is éthnos from which comes our English word "ethnic," terribly used nowadays in the term "ethnic cleansing." The word basically means "a number of people living together who share a common culture and heritage." It is sometimes translated Gentiles when the reference is to people other than Israel, although Israel is itself part of the total of the nations.
The word éthnos occurs in the New Testament 164 times. This would make it a Book for the Nations. It offers hope for them no government under man can offer. We find the word 15 times in Matthew, 44 times in Acts, 29 times in Romans, 10 times in Galatians, 22 times in Revelationto list a few. We will look at this last Book to see the amazing last-days unfolding of Gods plan for the nations.
The desire of the Lord Jesus was toward the nations. His last Word, recorded in Mt 28:18,19, was, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach ALL NATIONS.... The word teach here is from the Greek matheteúo. It means "to train as a disciple." The impact of what He said was, "Go and bring on the nations the same disciplines I brought on you." What a charge!
THE BOOK OF REVELATION UNFOLDS how the promise of Ps
2 will find fulfillment. In this final Book are twelve statements
pertaining to the triumph of Gods Kingdom set over against the rebellion
of the evil one as he competes for governing power among the nations.
Seeing these statements, we learn how the Government of the Lord
and His Anointed (Ps 2:2) will prevail over the forces
that have sought to impose their rule against Christs rule.
1) The Lord Jesus gives the overcomers the same
promise His Father gave Him regarding THE NATIONS.
2) A company of people redeemed out of EVERY NATION will reign with Christ.
3) A celebration of praise from the company redeemed out of the peoples of ALL NATIONS will arise to God and to the Lamb.
4) At the last trump the Lord Jesus Himself will descend to take His place openly among THE NATIONS. They will greet Him with anger.
5) The govermnent of ALL NATIONS belongs to one called a Man Child.
6) Before the Lord takes His final dominion, the government of THE NATIONSfor a limited timewill come under the dominion of one called the beast.
7) In the mercy of God, as the beast takes up his limited authority in the earth, the Everlasting Gospel will go to EVERY NATION.
Rev 14:6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the Everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to EVERY NATION, and kindred, and tongue, and people...
A powerful Word follows in verse 7 laying out the content of the Everlasting Gospel. It is
(1) fear God, and
In content, this is similar to the last part of Ps 2. Apparently, the coming of the heavenly messenger brings the release of a new and powerful ministry out among the nations. With it comes the extension of Gods grace in a final offer. But, it will come in a day when opposition to the Gospel is fierce.
Let us yield to this grace now, lest we be found in company with them who oppose the rule of Christ. For in the great day of the wrath of the Lamb, none shall be able to standRev 6:17but for His grace.
It is a vain thing to imagine any way of escape from Him. Take note of the word every in Isa 45:23 and Rom 14:11.
© Berean Publications
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