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Series: The Mandate of the True Church
Sun am 2nd March 2014 – Kobus Swart
(Eph. 3:10); (Gen. 1:27-28); Matt. 16:18-19; Luke 4:1-8, 13; Dan. 7:9-14, 21-22, 27;
(John 16:11); Rom. 16:20; Rev. 11:15; (Ezek. 37:7); Matt. 28:18-19a; Luke 10:17-19;
Rom. 12:1-2; (2 Cor. 11:14-15); 2 Cor. 10:5-6; (Ps. 8:1-9 THE MESSAGE)
We are looking at what went wrong with the first commission given to Adam and Eve. God’s ultimate plan, which has not changed, is to demonstrate His manifold wisdom to principalities and powers in heavenly places through the Church (Eph. 3:10). If you are looking for the demonstration of kingdom dominion in the earth (Gen. 1:28) you will only find it where a true Church is functioning (Matt. 16:18-19). God said, “Replenish and have dominion…”. When Adam and Eve fell, satan usurped it. Here is what satan said to Jesus in the wilderness: And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish” (Luke 4:5-6). Satan offered Jesus that which came into his hands by the fall of man….!
Here is what Daniel saw in a vision from God: Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time (Dan. 7:11-12). This is something for you to think and pray about. Jesus died on the cross and He was raised from the dead after three days. Before His death He said, “It is finished” and when Jesus died and was raised from the dead, the ruler of this world (satan) was judged (John 16:11). Satan was stripped and his so-called dominion was taken from him. Then Paul reminds us, The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (Rom. 16:20). After the Cross, it seems that it has been given to him a certain extension of life for an appointed period of time.
The Son of Man approached the Ancient of Days and to Him was given dominion, everlasting, which will not pass away; His kingdom is one which will never be destroyed (Dan. 7:14). I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom (Dan. 7:21). Can you see the progression? The enemy, with the extended “life” that was given to him, was fighting and waging war with the saints, overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgement was passed in favour of the saints of the Highest one and the saints took possession of the kingdom. Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him (Dan. 7:27; see also Rev. 11:15).
What has happened to the mandate that God gave Adam and Eve in the garden? It was taken and thrown down by their disobedience and wrong choice, but in Christ Jesus things have been brought back to His original intention. Jesus said He would build His church and the gates of hell would not overpower it (Matt. 16:18-19). The Church will not be built on a chip of the rock, but on the rock that consists of living stones, together, as in Ezekiel 37, those who have come together, bone to its bone, to form this corporate body (Ezek. 37:7). That is how God is going to build His church, and in the hands of this (corporate) Church He will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you bind on earth, shall have been bound in heaven, whatever you shall loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:19).
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore… (Matt. 28:18-19a). He is saying, “If you can go in My name, you have that authority.” There is a relationship there which is confirmed in Luke 10:17-19. The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you”. Spiritual authority is greater than power. In order for us to walk in that authority there are certain principles and conditions. Whatever we bind will only be so if it has been bound in heaven. You and I must walk in the finished works of Jesus, and then we will see the great demonstration of the greatest authority. Authority is never taken, authority is given.
The renewal of our minds is fundamentally important! (Rom. 12:1-2). On this journey as you walk with God, certain mind-sets form. When we keep on hearing certain things, going through certain experiences, being within certain cultures, having grown up in certain circumstances; mind-sets and concepts form. Those mind-sets become like prisons; you cannot see beyond, you cannot see the rest of the truth. That is why it is important to be open to the constant renewal of the mind. Sitting under a proceeding living Word is part of how your mind is being renewed. See how Paul addressed this problem in 2 Cor 10:5,6!
If the Bible is truly the Word of God, then it must work. What does it mean that we have been re-created in Christ? The dominion mandate has provisionally been given back to the true believer. In Christ Jesus and being His disciples and His followers we now have been given authority over the power of the enemy. There are going to be greater challenges and pressures on those who call themselves Christians. Satan comes as an angel of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
On this journey we must re-discover our mandate, we must re-discover who we are, and we must re-discover who He is in us. Centuries of unbelief, religious traps, cultural shifts have programmed our minds.
Psalm 8 is referring to the mandate given in the Garden of Eden. God has given man a mandate to rule. The main issue cannot be overlooked: creation is in travail and this travail is going to become very intense. Lord, help us to realize our calling! Remember – in Jesus Christ all the tomorrows of the Old Testament became TODAY. He is building His Church!