KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
TO BE THE LORDíS PRAYER
THE KINGDOM, THE POWER, AND THE GLORY
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father...Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" (Mat. 6:13).
The Lordís Prayer comes to a close in a great burst of exultation and exaltation with the words, "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever." In these words we proclaim that the world belongs not to earthly rulers, but to God. The world does not belong to kings, presidents, and prime ministers, or even to the people who inhabit it. It belongs to God. The world does not belong to those who have wealth and luxury and power. It belongs to God. The world does not belong to those who have become famous, those who have achieved success and received the acclaim of men. It belongs to God. The world does not belong to the strong, to the tyrants and despots who rule over men with an iron hand, nor to military men with vast armaments and powerful bombs at their command. It belongs to God. The kingdom, and the power, and the glory belong to God ó forever. Empires, kingdoms, governments, and armies perish. Wealth and luxury and riches pass away. Fame, position, and the acclaim of men ó none of these will last. They are all like the wind that blows for a little while and then vanishes. In the world, we look at the things that are seen, and we say these are the realities. That is the premise of all modern science. But it is the things which are not seen that are the realities. The things that are seen are temporal. The things that are not seen are eternal. Only the Lord God and that which is begotten of His Spirit endures forever.
This doxology is rooted in Davidís doxology in I Chronicles chapter twenty-nine. David had grown old, God had forbidden him to build the temple ó this was to be Solomonís high privilege. David declared his spiritual revelation of the kingdom and the temple and asked for willing people to follow his generous example to donate of their means in preparation for the erection. We read the result: "Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be Thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name."
Let us remember that in this magnificent Old Testament prayer, David had in mind the kingdom which God had promised to him. That from his line there would come One who would be the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ, and He would sit upon the throne of David and rule over this earth. As David lifted his heart to God in prayer he saw a kingdom lying in the future; he saw that kingdom as a mighty focal point, and he saw the great rays of Godís revelation converging upon that focal point. In due time the Father said to His Son, "Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies my footstool." After His rejection, Christ was brought to death through crucifixion, was buried and rose from the dead, ascended up to heaven, and took His place on the throne at the right hand of the Majesty on high. God says, "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion" and He is bringing many sons home to glory ó thus He is moving world events toward the focal point when this kingdom shall be triumphant upon the earth, when He shall reign from shore to shore, when righteousness shall cover this earth as the waters cover the sea, and righteousness and peace shall kiss each other in all realms forevermore.
Also we must remember that the kingdom does not come by human manipulation. It does not come by ecumenical movements. The World Council of Churches cannot establish this kingdom, neither can the united notions of the United Nations establish it. It does not come by any man-made program, nor be any human force, but is established in one way and that is by the catastrophic and cataclysmic manifestation of God in His sons to put down all unrighteousness and establish His kingdom here in power and glory. And that is what you express when you say, "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever."
Now, at the end of the Lordís Prayer, Jesus acknowledges the Source of the power every son of God needs to carry out the truth expressed in this Prayer ó the One who makes possible all the revelation and the glory we have received. "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory." In modern English it says, "For the kingdom and the power and the glory belong to You!" Through these words we are expressing something like this: "Father, I know you can do it, because youíve got it all! Yours is the kingdom. Yours is the authority. Yours is the power. Yours is the ability. Yours is the advice, the counsel, the wisdom. Yours is the glory; the magnificence and majesty are yours! You have what it takes to bring us to sonship. You have what it takes to establish your kingdom in every heart and life. You have what it takes to change the world." When our children come to us and ask for things, they ask because they know all the resources are in our hands and we will do our best to provide their needs. This is what we acknowledge when we ascribe to our heavenly Father the kingdom, the power, and the glory!
If our whole spirit, soul and body are in tune with this chord, not only has the Lordís Prayer found its proper ending but Jesus Himself has reached His goal. Indeed, if we can conceive the end of the evolution and history of the world to be a majestic hymn of praise resounding through all the breadth and height of space, not a concert of instruments, but the joyful expression of thousands of millions of redeemed and transformed spirits, then no psalm or poem has approached this paean so nearly as these immortal words: "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory!"
With these words the Prayer returns full cycle. We began with the Father; we end with the Father. Just as the Prayer opened in an attitude of reverence and honor, with the statement, "Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name," so now it closes with the affirmation of the greatness of our God, "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever!" We have stood with the disciples watching our Lord and listening to His gracious words as He taught the sons of God how to pray to the Father in heaven. We have felt the awesome wonder of His simple commanding majesty. Our hearts have burned within us as the blessed spirit of truth has taken of Christís teaching and unfolded the expansive potential we sons have through prayer. As I muse within my spirit about the wonder of my sonship to God, there seems to be an intensified yet inexpressible cry for the Father in heaven to become more fiercely real, and all things earthly to become a fainter shadow.
THINE IS THE KINGDOM
We began with the thought of the Father, who in the secret place of His presence rules and reigns in love among glorified saints who are His willing and loyal subjects; and we prayed that His kingdom might come experientially within us upon this earth and in the whole world of mankind. Now we remind ourselves that that kingdom is already here, brought by the spirit and power of Jesus Christ into our very own lives and hearts. "Thine is the kingdom!" My prayer is that the spirit of wisdom and revelation from God may enlighten the eyes of all of Godís elect to see that only Godís right is right; only Godís good is goodness; only Godís power is power; only Godís glory is glorious; only Godís law is law; only Godís love is love. All this has been perfectly revealed to us in the person of the firstborn Son of God, Jesus Christ.
The kingdom is Godís just because all things were created and made by Him and therefore belong to Him. In the light of this truth I would like to reaffirm something that the world at large, and many Christians, seem to have forgotten: THIS IS GODíS WORLD! Long before time began, long before a single heavenly body inhabited the vast regions of space ó GOD WAS. When He told Moses to tell Pharoah that the "I AM" had sent him, God was talking about His eternal, present-tense existence, before anything else had been "framed by the Word of God." I cannot ó try though I may ó picture a time when there was nothing but God in all the vast expanse we call space...not one star, planet, solar system or galaxy. I cannot imagine what it could have been like not to have a world with its towering mountains, its vast canyons, and its majestic waterfalls thundering down from the awesome heights in indescribable power, then sweeping on to the fathomless seas. The total absence of all these things is beyond my poor, limited comprehension. But the truth remains, as stated in the first four words of scripture: "In the beginning God..."
Long before the worlds were made, long before the billows rolled across the boundless seas, long before the mountains thrust their towering, snow-capped peaks up through the clouds, long before there was one flower, or the song of any bird, or the roar of any beast, long before there was any light, or the glory of daybreak, or the beauty of the sunset...yes, long before there was anything at all...THERE WAS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. Then the blessed Word of God rolls back the curtain of antiquity and shows us God at work, creating all that is, and all that ever was. This passage of scripture goes a mighty step further and establishes for all time and eternity the ownership of this world and the heavens above: "In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth." He made it, and it is His. No one can take it from Him. It was then that God wrote His signature of ownership ó a signature that reaches from the earth to the farthest outposts of the cosmos.
There is an understanding that is developing in the consciousness of the "called out ones," those who are going beyond the static creeds and empty traditions of the church systems and pressing on into the purposes of God, to know that ALL the earth ó is the Lordís. Not just a tree or two, not just a mountain or two, not just a nation or two, not just the church, not just those apprehended to sonship, but all the earth is the Lordís and the very fullness thereof. We are His whether we know it or not, we are His whether we like it or not, whether we desire to serve Him, or whether we are presently in rebellion against His will. It is both heartening and assuring to read such scriptures as these: "The earth is the Lordís, and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein" (Ps. 24:1). God has everything in the palm of His almighty hand. He is sovereign. Jesus is King! Jesus is Lord! Job said, "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath (spirit) of all mankind" (Job 12:10). The current population of planet earth is more than six billion people. And GOD GIVES BREATH AND LIFE TO THEM ALL AND THE EARTH IS THE LORDíS AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF.
In the Convention for Forming a Constitution for the United States of America, in 1787, Benjamin Franklin, the oldest member, then eighty-one years of age, arose and spoke as follows: "In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in that struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived for a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His encouraging aid we shall proceed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: we shall be divided by our little, practical, local interests; our prospects will be confounded: and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by-word down to future ages. And what is worse mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by...wisdom, and leave it to chance, war or conquest. I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers, imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business..." While the government of our United States is not a perfect government by any means, and certainly is not itself the Kingdom of God, nevertheless our founding fathers did recognize HE WHOSE RIGHT IT IS TO RULE IN THE KINGDOMS OF MEN, for the earth is the Lordís, and the fullness thereof!
The prophet Daniel penned these inspired words: "The Most High...liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth ACCORDING TO HIS WILL in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?" (Dan. 4:34-35). God is saying to us that HE IS SOVEREIGN. Another way to express that truth is: God owns the earth and everything in it ó He does what He wants to do and nobody can stop Him from doing it. In particular He is sovereign with what He does with the earth. God does not have to ask anybody's permission to do anything He wants with any part of the earth ó and none can hinder or resist Him!
Now, I was raised with the mentality that somehow the devil got the whole thing and that the earth belongs to "the prince of the power of the air" who is "the god of this world." NO, IT DOESNíT! God owns it all and He gives it to whom He wills. He has the right to appoint stewards over creation based on His purpose and their faithfulness, regardless of moral, religious, or other considerations. All who have ruled over the earth and the kingdoms of men were given a temporary lease from the Lord God Almighty and when their lease expired it was given into the hands of others and none could change it or do anything about it.
If the earth is the Lordís and the fullness thereof, then we need to somehow come to understand that God has never at any time dealt with satan on a percentage basis. God never did tell satan that he could have ninety percent and God be satisfied with ten percent. Neither did God ever say that satan could have ten percent and He, God, would settle for ninety percent. WITH GOD IT IS ALL. ALL belongs to Him. First, because He created it, and second, because He redeemed it. Just as you may temporarily leave a valuable watch at the pawn shop and later return to redeem it, so God assigned to satan a temporary and limited sphere of influence over the creation, for the outworking of His wise and wonderful plan, but HE HAS NOT CEDED OR TRANSFERRED OWNERSHIP OR EVEN ONE INCH OF IT TO SATAN FOR A POSSESSION. The reality is, after giving the adversary a limited lease and sphere of operation, God came down in the Person of His Son and redeemed the world and everything and everyone in it. In the same way that you get your watch back from the pawn shop when you redeem it, so God gained full control of the whole world when He redeemed it. To say that there is any part of Godís creation that satan now controls or that he will possess forever is a horrible blasphemy against God.
Ah, yes, even though the world has been redeemed, there are still men in open rebellion against God. But this, too, shall end. As one has written, "Not always, however, shall men be in opposition to our Creator, for after all present travail is ended, and man has run his course of self-will and rebellion, there shall be an inflow of the love of God into every heart which shall draw the creature back to his Creator, to serve Him with a whole heart, and worship before Him in complete obedience to His will. So great a transforming power is the operation of His grace in man, that we shall come to Him in love, and serve Him because we want to serve Him, freely and joyfully." Truly, the earth is the Lordís, and the fullness thereof!
But we must turn the words we are considering upon ourselves. To say, "Thine is the kingdom," is not simply an acknowledgment of Godís rule, but renunciation of our own. If the kingdom is the Lordís, then it is not ours. But how feverishly we build little kingdoms of our own ó kingdoms of possession, kingdoms of power, kingdoms of accomplishment, even religious kingdoms of control over other menís lives in the name of the Lord. Then like Nebuchadnezzar of old, we look upon them with great pride and satisfaction, thinking that by our own might and for the honor of our own majesty they have been built (Dan. 4:30). And it is a wonder that the Lord does not cut us down and drive us into the fields even as He did that proud and boastful monarch. But He is longsuffering and would teach us by this Prayer to voluntarily forsake our silly thrones and yield our all to Him. Some years ago the Duke of Windsor abdicated the throne of England for the sake of the woman he loved. When we pray, "Thine is the kingdom," we must do the same. It is an act of total abdication, prompted by our overwhelming love for our heavenly Father and His great and eternal purposes.
"For Thine is the kingdom." It is the Fatherís kingdom. It doesnít belong to anyone else. It doesnít even belong to Jesus. Paul tells us that Jesus will turn the kingdom back over to the Father so that all things would be understood as coming from the Father who is All and in all (I Cor. 15:24-28). "Yours," says our Lord, "is not the kingdom, though you be called to sit down in it, and occupy honorable places in it; though each of you has some place in it, from the least to the greatest, some work and office assigned you by the Great King, to rule over a portion of the works of His hands. Yours is not the kingdom; nor, as so many of you come to think, when all of your efforts have failed, and you have despaired of overcoming, is it the devilís kingdom. We are indeed the channel and supply of the kingdom unto creation, but our Father is the source, so therefore we exult as obedient sons ought to exult, "Thine is the kingdom!"
THINE IS THE POWER
Now we pass on to the next phrase, "Thine is the power." This is not only a recognition of the power of God, but a confession of our own powerlessness. We must be careful even in this walk of sonship lest we suppose that we have something to contribute, that we can add something of importance to the great purpose of God. You may have heard of the fable of the elephant crossing a crude, rickety bridge with a mouse riding upon his back. When the elephant stepped on to the firm ground on the other side of the bridge the mouse crawled into the elephantís ear and exclaimed with elation, "Man, we sure made that bridge shake, didnít we!" We are so tempted to think that it is our own power that counts. We think that our works, our dedication, our faith, our perseverance, our fasting, our prayers, our holiness, our love, our gift, our ministry, our anointing, or our influence count for something and contribute something to the power of God and His kingdom.
Indeed, we can even deceive ourselves into thinking that we are quite indispensible to God and that without us He would have little power. The Pharisees held that opinion too, but Jesus pointed out to them that God is able of the stones to raise up children to Abraham! Sometimes we are concerned about our manifestation ó the manifestation of the sons of God. But I am not so concerned today about the manifestation of the sons ó I am more concerned about the manifestation of GOD in His sons! May we recall the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel wherein He said, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6). Although the Lord works through us, and creation waits eagerly for the manifestation of Godís sons, it is HIS POWER and NOT OURS that accomplishes the task. The words of the old hymn are still wonderfully true: "Nothing in my hand I bring, Only to the cross I cling."
There is sometimes a disparity between a piece of machinery and the power that runs it. In such cases one has a choice ó reduce the size of the machine or increase the volume of power. A brother once related, "I can remember the time when the threshing machine was run by hand in my home community. Several shifts were necessary, and the work was very strenuous because the machine had to be driven as fast as possible. Now it is being done differently. By means of modern motive power a hundred times as much is threshed each day. And the men need not work as much now as they did before. It is the power that makes the difference. It threshes, sifts and cleans the grain all in one operation, and saves the work of many men."
I often think of this when I observe the feverish activity of the church world. We live in a world of aggressive and high-powered leadership. Men are enamored, even in the religious world, of big organization. Human leaders occupy the stage. God disappears from the common view. The churches are infected with a virus of manís greatness, manís personality, and of manís great organization. Promotion is the order of the day. We sing the praises of our leaders, and men claim to be the great power of God. Their program, their ministry is going to save the nation, change the world, and bring in the kingdom! We magnify their statistical claims; exalt the masses who throng to their crusades, advertise the great attendance, the membership, the size of their buildings, the magnitude of their budgets, the coverage of their television shows, the effectiveness of their outreaches. Yet, when one walks the streets of our great cities there is little indication that these ministries even exist! Crime continues to increase, public morals are in the gutter, the divorce rate escalates, humanity is drowning in a flood of drugs, violence, sex and godlessness. While we have unprecedented religious activity we also have sin abounding and evil men and seducers waxing worse and worse.
That the machinery has become too heavy is due to the fact that men are operating it with human labor, fleshly strength and carnal means instead of running it with power from above. They are filled with doctrine and program, tradition and church activity, ceremonies, rituals, entertainment, soulish excitement, sensational hype, and lying signs and wonders, and though they profess it to be Christís work, they would not know Christ if they met Him on the street. Oh, let us awake and turn from such vanities and come to know HIM in the power of His resurrection! The powers of heaven are at our disposal for they are our Fatherís powers and we are the sons of His love. And God does have a plan for the salvation and deliverance of all humanity!
The scriptures clearly reveal how ownership is one of the central thoughts in both creation and redemption, the link that binds them together. Two things are always inherent in ownership ó purpose and responsibility. Do you not know that if a person makes or buys anything he surely has some PURPOSE in mind for it? And is it not also true that when a person makes or buys something he has a RESPONSIBILITY to it? The man who purchases a good hunting dog has a definite purpose in owning the dog, and if he is not a hunter he will not buy it. With ownership of the dog there comes the responsibility for the dog, to feed and care for it and treat it humanely. You have, I suppose, sometime bought something? As you have paid your money for it and it was delivered to you did you not have a plan for it? And are you not now responsible for it?
Take a simple illustration. More than thirty years ago Lorain and I bought a house in Sarasota, Florida. It was a lovely little two bedroom white frame house, entirely adequate for that time. Some years later the Lord led us to Mississippi to live and minister among a group of saints, and we were there for almost two years. During that time we rented out our house in Florida. The original tenants left, and we rented the house to a man and his wife and grown son, none of whom we had previously known. You wouldnít believe what those people did to that house within the space of a few months! If you have ever had rental property, you would believe it! Evidently, they didnít sweep those beautiful hard wood floors even once, the dirt was ground so deeply into the wood until the entire finish was ruined. Windows were broken, stuffed with plastic or rags. Water had run over the kitchen and bathroom floors, loosening the tile. The furniture was demolished, sofas and chairs propped up on bricks with great gaping holes staring insultingly at us. On and on the disaster went. The place was completely "trashed". Needless to say, because we were the owners, it didnít take us long to swing into action! The tenants were promptly given notice and evicted. Then followed the long, tedious process of RESTORATION. Ah, BECAUSE WE OWNED THE HOUSE we had PURPOSE for it and RESPONSIBILITY to it. Because of that purpose and responsibility we were willing to spend the money that had to be spent, expend the energy involved in long days and weeks of hard work until ALL WAS RESTORED to its original beauty and usefulness.
We are not in this life because we willed to come into existence. The whole human race is not here because of its own will. GOD IS RESPONSIBLE for our existence, for it was He who issued the grand fiat: "Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness." God is responsible for our existence here in the flesh, lowered into the realm of vanity, sin and corruption. The whole human race is Godís responsibility because He is both Creator and Owner. We are here because of our Fatherís plans, desires, purposes and will, and God is a God of principle. Having begun a work, He will finish it and not throw it aside because it was marred by sin and death. This, too, was part of His plan.
While men are busy blaming others for the worldís problems, and the devil for their own, God Himself as Owner of all takes His great responsibility for all and therein lies the foundation of the whole scheme of creation and redemption. Romans 11:36 says from the Diaglott, "Because out of Him, and through Him, and for Him are all things. To HIM be the glory for the ages. Amen." The Amplified Bible beautifully renders this, "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him. To Him be glory forever! Amen." To say the least, it will give us great peace of mind and heart if we can see and understand that all things came out of God and were created by Him. And it will help us greatly if we can understand that God as Creator and Owner takes responsibility for the world today. GOD IS RESPONSIBLE for every human being that has ever lived, is living, or ever will live. GOD IS RESPONSIBLE for every nation, every government, every empire that has risen and fallen, and every condition and circumstance of all mankind today and in every time and place since the foundation of the world. And because He is responsible and has great purpose for His creation HE WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
I believe that God now loves all lost men and women. There are lost men in jails and prisons and mental hospitals. They are in saloons and brothels and in sickness and death and judgment and hell, and God loves them all with an undying love. He still remembers them and remembers His Son on the tree, suffering and dying on their behalf. And in the redeemed body of this resurrected and glorified Son He now prepares a Royal Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, a SON COMPANY, a KING COMPANY, a PRIEST COMPANY, to restore mankind into the image of God again. "Because all the earth is mine, ye shall be unto me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS!" is the word of the Lord. The earth, the world, and all they that dwell therein belong to God first because He made them, and second because He redeemed them.
In Romans chapter eight Paul, moved by inspiration, states that the whole creation groans and waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:18-20). I see it. I see something stirring in the atmosphere. I see a people being taught of God, purged, purified in the refining fires, processed, perfected, taking on the mind of Christ, transformed again into the image of God, filled with divine love, grace, wisdom and power, taking their rightful places ó sons and kings and priests unto the Father.
These have received a vision of their destiny in God, of what they are being prepared to do for creation. They are here by divine appointment. They have been born for this hour. They have been called and chosen and are being made faithful. They have been drawn out of and separated from all of the religious realms that they might learn the higher ways of the Kingdom of God. The message of the hope of sonship and the high calling of God in Christ Jesus is going forth in power in this day and circling the globe as thousands of the Lordís people are heeding the call to this unique walk in the Spirit. God has removed from the hearts of these the foolish desire to "fly away" to some far-off heaven somewhere, as He unfolds within their ransomed spirits the beautiful purpose He has ordained for His firstfruits company. Youíll have to pardon me, for I may seem slightly crazy, but lately Iíve wanted to rush out into creation and run up to a tree or a river or the brute creation or the sick and suffering or the vilest of sinners or into the most impossible situation and say, "Hang on ó the manifestation of the sons of God is at hand! Itís even now beginning in the earth!" There is such an urgency in my spirit. Yet I must wait, even as creation waits, for the Fatherís hour of manifestation, for "Thine is the power."
I once heard of the freshmen of a certain university, who, at its three hundredth anniversary, carried a banner with the inscription, "This university has waited three hundred years for us." I do not hesitate to tell you that the universe has waited long millenniums for us ó the manifested sons of God! This manifestation is so stupendous, so glorious, so powerful, so earth transforming, that creation can afford to wait for it, yea, is willing to wait for it, and with glad anticipation and joyful expectation does wait for it. "For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God" (Rom. 8:19).
I notice that America was discovered at the time when Christianity was waking up from the long dream, the terrible night, of the ten centuries of the Dark Ages. The church of God had gone down into deep darkness and degradation, until Truth was almost lost and liberty destroyed. I notice that the great power of the Christ reawakening the conscience of the sleeping church began to move amongst the nations at the time when Europe, Asia, and Africa became aware of the existence of the American Continent. Now there are no more continents on this planet to discover, for all the earth is known, and scarcely upon this round globe is there an island that has not been placed upon the map. The whole world now knows the extent, the height, and breadth of the land of all the area of this earth. Its highest mountains have been measured; its deepest depths have been explored, and the whole world is known. Now that we know it, the one great thought is, WHO SHALL POSSESS IT?
"Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (nations) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for THY POSSESSION," says the Messianic Psalm. Christ conquered, He is conquering, and He is to conquer. I claim this earth for God, for He made it. I claim this earth for God, for the earth is the Lordís. The sea is His, and He made it. His hands formed the dry land. I claim everything that comes out of the bowels of the earth for God, for "the earth is the Lordís, and the fullness thereof" and "all the gold and the silver is His." I claim every man in El Paso, and in Miami, and in New York, and in Moscow, and in Beijing, and in the whole wide world for God, for "it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves." I am not willing to cede even one thing or one person to the devil, as some wickedly do, for "the earth is the Lordís; the world, and they that dwell therein." The question follows: Can God bring this to pass? The answer rings loud and clear: "Thine is the power!"
Earthís power is very helpless power. Ah, yes, Jesus has real power ó "power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life" (Jn. 17:2). Other men spoke and their words died with their echo: Jesus spoke and His words shook the world. Other men died martyr deaths and were not long remembered; He died, and His cross now stands against every skyline. He is the true King, the MAN WHO CAN. He has power ó like dawnís banners, like the unseen constraint of the tides, like the fragrance of rare perfume, like great music, like buried seed, like that spirit in history which litters time with the debris of proud empires and wills that the "meek shall inherit the earth."
Because all the earth is His, and because Jesus is His King, God is raising up the body of the Christ, a Royal, Kingly Priesthood, sons of the God of heaven to reign in mighty spirit power and authority over the earth, not to be little human dictators, but with an outflow of life and light and love, touching God with one hand, and humanity with the other, bringing the two together, that God may indwell men by His spirit and live and rule in them in power and glory. The kingly nature in us is not to dominate other menís lives, but to deal with and break the power of self-hood and rebellion and sin and death and the devil that men may be quickened to God. Kings have power and authority, priests reconcile in mercy and love. Godís Royal Priesthood shall reveal to all realms the awesome POWER OF GODíS LOVE AND GOODNESS, until all men bow low before Him and with worshipful wonder and joy proclaim, "Thine is the power!"
To be continued...J. PRESTON EBY [HOME] [KINGDOM RESOURCES]