Mike Parsons –
In Daniel chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream that Jesus would come in the time of the Roman Empire to set up a kingdom which would continue to grow, and would overcome all other kingdoms. Daniel 7:18 tells us that … the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come. We are those saints, and the kingdom is ours to possess.
… 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 7:22).
We will possess it for ever, and for all ages to come. It is not going to be another group of people, it is going to be God’s people, His saints, the church, who will possess that kingdom and be involved in continuing to expand it. Even after Jesus returns, and we go into the age to come, the kingdom will go on increasing. There will be no end of the increase of His government. It will not end when Jesus returns and there are a new heavens and a new earth. There is a whole universe, multiverses maybe, into which that kingdom will expand, and ‘the saints of the Highest One’ are going to be instrumental in that.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this’(Isa 9:6-7).
If the government rests on Jesus’ shoulders, who are the shoulders? We are His body, and His shoulders are part of His body.
… He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 1:20-23).
So Jesus is above everything. This is a New Testament scripture now, saying the same things about Jesus’ rule, His kingdom. Look at the last few words there again, ‘the church … His body … fills all’. The expansion of the kingdom is going to come through Jesus’ body, the church.
The early church was made up originally of Jewish people. Then Peter had a vision which led him to preach to Cornelius and his family, who were not Jewish but got saved and became part of the church, and in Acts 15 at the Council of Jerusalem James talks about the Tabernacle of David being restored, meaning that the gospel is going out to the whole earth.
That is why Paul writes to the mostly non-Jewish believers in Ephesus, So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:19-22).
Here again we see that Stone which was ‘cut out without hands’ in Daniel 2. You can say He is the foundation stone too, because the foundation which the apostles and prophets laid was none other than Jesus (this passage is not saying that the apostles and prophets are the foundation, but that the church is built on the foundation which they laid). We are the temple now, a ‘holy temple in the Lord’, and – this is the most wonderful part – ‘a dwelling of God in the Spirit’.
We know He dwells in us individually, but this passage is saying that He dwells in us corporately. We are beginning to experience this, that when we come together we are a dwelling of God in the Spirit, and His Presence manifests among us – that is what the glory of God is all about.
Soundtrack: Dave Fitzgerald (feat Jenn Johnson) We Are An Ark live at Bethel Church via YouTube
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