Friday, December 12, 2003

The Great Commission and Psalms 110:1

When Does Christ's rule begin? The Scriptures tell us when Christ's reign over the earth begins. We read in Matt. 28 beginning with verse eighteen: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Christ now has all authority “in heaven AND in the earth.” He received this from the Father nearly 2,000 years ago. It is not something future to us it is something that took place in the past, still exits in the present and will continue until the Second Coming.

We see this as well in Ps. 110:1 which says "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Psalm 110:1 is fulfilled at Christ Ascension. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father now and he is to remain there UNTIL His enemies are a footstool.

Lets look at I Peter 3:22. Peter affirms what I just said of Christ. "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father as David prophesied in Ps. 110.

How about Eph. 1:20-23? "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all."

Again here we see Psalm 110:1 alluded to. He NOW has ALL authority including "in this world." Notice again that it is not something that we are waiting for, His authority is now. Christ Church is not only His bride, in another sense; the Church is Christ's body (and members of His Kingdom).

Christ's Church, His body, is extending His kingdom, by doing as He commands and a big part of that command involves preaching the Gospel, baptising the nations, and discipling them to DO all that Christ commands.

I mentioned above how Peter referred to this Psalm in one of his epistles, but he also used it before on Pentecost. In Acts 2 Peter interprets this important verse for us and again notice it is not future. Jesus Christ's rule at the right hand of God is already begun. Let's look at it "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself: The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:29-36)

Peter said that David saw the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and then quotes Ps.110: 1. Christ in accordance with David's prophecy is raised from the dead and IS NOW seated at the right hand of the Father, where He is to remain UNTIL His enemies are made His footstool. In other words He is to remain at the right hand of the Father until his enemies are conquered.

Notice again what Peter says. We said that Jesus is NOW Lord and Christ. Lord is a term for authority and power, and as we have already seen His authority is in heaven and earth. Not will be, but is and He is to remain at the Father’s tight hand until His enemies are conquered.

Let's now look at I Cor. 15. Hear what Paul writes to the Corinthians. “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (I Cor. 15:23-28)

Here again we have an Apostle alluding to Ps. 110:1. Christ has already been given all authority in heaven and earth and He is now reigning conquering His and our enemies. Remember Christ is to remain at the right hand of the Father until all enemies are defeated (death will be the last enemy). Then Jesus turns the Kingdom over to the Father. That is the end of history.

I don't believe that Ps. 110:1 allow for a premillennial view of end times, especially when we see how the Apostles in the New Testament interpret it. Their interpretation of Psalm 110:1 is the correct one.

In Gen. 3:15 (the beginning of the Bible is a good starting point for the study of nearly any doctrine) Here we read what is known as the proto-evangelium. It’s here that we see the first prophecy of the Saviour to come. It is in this verse that we read of the serpent bruising the heel of the woman's seed (Jesus) and that the seed of the women (Jesus) would bruise the serpent’s

We know that this verse is pointing to Christ, who is the seed of the woman, It is Christ who, at the Cross, defeated Satan (bruised his head), but look at what Paul says in Romans 16:19, 20 "For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." Here Paul says that it is the Church, remember we are the body of Christ, which will bruise Satan under our feet. Paul applies to the Church what was prophesied and accomplished in and by Jesus Christ.

What did Jesus tell Peter in Matthew 16:18-19? Let's see “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

It is amazing how folks get this wrong. Jesus promised that He would build His Church and "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." What does this mean? It's military language. The idea is Christ's Church, that He builds will storm the very gates of Hell. The Church is the attacker, and not the one under siege. Because it is Christ's and the Holy Spirit’s work, and not our own, we can be confident that the church is going to be victorious in history. Not because we are great, but because the one in us is GREAT. It is all His doing. The Great Commission will be realised, and the Church will, in time, accomplish what Christ has ordained for it to do (i.e. baptise and disciple the nations).

It is Christ working in His Church, that He built and has filled with His Holy Spirit, which will do this.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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