And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. - Mark 6:30
Many are concerned with eschatology [the study of end-time things]. Men pursue particular doctrines and explanations of what will take place on the earth in our generation. Many are making predictions and interpreting 'natural' events, even the current Covid situation. However, the Bible is very clear - that all things are in Christ and Christ is the victory for the church in the nations. We are well able to 'stand and withstand' (Eph.6:12).
God has led me, Paul, to begin a series of teachings entitled 'The Reality of Victory'. The teaching is unfolding and each week I am able to share the next teaching in the series, not only locally at Shiloh Centre, but via Zoom to the nations. Already we are receiving feedback of brethren being released from defeat by demonic forces, as we all consider afresh the reality of victory in Jesus Christ.
We will be studying what to many may be 'familiar' Scriptures, but we are wanting to understand fully by the Spirit and to apprehend by the Spirit the word of God that tells us of the complete victory of Jesus the Christ through His death, burial and resurrection. We are to proclaim the victory! This is the gospel!
Paul prays for us in Ephesians 1:17-19a [but really the prayer continues until the end of the chapter]. The prayer is "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him [Lord Jesus], the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe". There are many important factors in this most awesome prayer and we are being prayed for! We are able to apprehend this prayer for ourselves today and it has been a mighty light and power in my life for many years.
i. the hope of His calling
ii. what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
iii. and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe
Each of these three things that Paul wants us to be enlightened to understand, is a study in its own right. We want to pick up on 'the exceeding greatness of His power'. God wants us to know the greatness of this power so that we can be positioned properly as members of His body.
This word 'power' is the Greek 'dunamis' referring to the supernatural power of God. Then verse 19 of Ephesians 1 goes on to say that this power is "toward us who believe". It is "according to His mighty power". This word for 'power' is 'kratos' and primarily refers to God's kingdom authority, dominion and majesty. [see the Word Wealth at 1 Timothy 6:16 in the Spirit Filled Life Bible NKJV]. It is God's intention to release His power to us. He has decided this in His authority.
God worked "His mighty power in Christ" when He raised Him from the dead (Eph.1:20). This mighty power has within it the power of resurrection. Hallelujah!
This mighty power "seated Him [Christ] at His right hand in the heavenly places". Christ from the time of His resurrection was received in the heavenly places and seated in the place of ultimate and all-pervasive authority "at His right hand".
The reference to the 'right hand' is that place of authority and power, and notice that Christ is "seated". Kings and Queens are seated when they are ruling, issuing judgements and decrees and all things that a sovereign ruler does. We can say that it is impossible to 'unseat' Christ. It is important to understand this, as we are establishing 'the reality of victory', and that victory is in Christ, knowing who He is and knowing "the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe" (v.19).
• Mark 16:19 says that Jesus "was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God." From that time the disciples "went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs".
• Psalm 110:1 says that Messiah was to "sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies Your footstool". This quote is recognised a number of times in the New Testament and is a very important Old Testament prophetic word concerning Christ [Messiah] and His rulership.
• Hebrews 10:12-13 says "But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool". This was the application and fulfillment of Psalm 110.
Christ was seated "far above all principality [SC #746 rule/rulers] and power [authority - Gk. #1849 'exousia'] and might [SC #1411 power] and dominion [SC #2963 lordship] and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come" Ephesians 1:21.
This Scripture reveals that there are realms of demonic activity ranging from a very high level of demonic authority [principalities] to that of 'every name', referring to all forms of idolatrous worship of things made of wood and stone and natural things. Some of these names are very well known and these names command worship from a large portion of the population. For example, over one billion people worship the Allah of the Muslims; just as many worship Hindu gods and Krishna is one of their main gods; and Buddha commands wide spread worship.
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus the Christ is seated in authority far above! It is necessary for all of us in His body the church, to understand and know "the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe" (Eph.1:19). This is necessary for us to know and understand the reality of victory.
God has "put all [things] under His feet, and gave Him head over all to the church" (Eph.1:22). Through His death, His descension into hell [Hades] and His resurrection, Jesus has been "made Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). He has been "Exalted [lifted up to a high place] to the right hand of God". He received "from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, [and] He poured out" the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). Jesus had already been exalted to the right hand of God by the time He poured out the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
When Christ was raised from the dead, He was "seated at His right hand" (Eph.1:20). Jesus has been made head over all things. In the context, what are the 'all things'? Verse 21 has told us: they are "principalities and powers and might and dominion and every name".
Colossians 2:15 tells us that Jesus "disarmed principalities and powers, and He made a public spectacle of them [the principalities and powers], triumphing over them in the cross". This is the good news of the gospel! The gospel is triumphal and through the preaching of the gospel of the great victory of Jesus Christ, the reality of the victory is made known and experienced by His body.
Jesus the Christ is the Lord of lords and Jesus Christ is King of kings, the Anointed King (Rev.19:16). Jesus was made Head over all through the victory of the cross before He was given to the church, which is His body, to be Head over the church. Jesus was the conquering King who had sat down at the right hand of God [on His very throne - Rev.3:21]
As the "Head over all things" and with all His enemies "under His feet", Christ was given as "head over all things to the church" (Eph.1:22). The head of the church is the victorious and reigning King who has defeated all of His enemies and who has been given universal authority in heaven and on earth (Matt.28:18).
Having been given to the church as head and recognising and understanding that the church is His body through whom Christ is going to "fill the all in all", we begin to see that the reality of victory is through having the "eyes of our understanding enlightened to know ... the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe" (Eph.1:19).
Jesus is filling, and will fully fill the universe [all things] with His fullness (Eph.1:23). He is doing this, and He will complete this through His body the church. The church is the body - many membered body (1Cor.12:12) - set in order and equipped to function, being built up through the five ministries that God has given (Eph.4:11).
This body has come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God.
This body has come to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph.4:13).
This body is no longer made up of children being influenced "with every wind of doctrine" but is firmly established in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God.
This is the church that is growing up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ (Eph.4:15b).
This is the church that will function in full maturity with "every joint supplying ... every part doing its share".
This is the church that is filled with, and functioning in, 'agape' love.