As Jesus walked the earth, He ruled in the midst of His enemies. Exactly what does that mean?
We know He never sinned and although there is no recording of it, I would bet He was also never sick. He had miraculous escapes from death as a baby as God protected Him and His family. He demonstrated the Kingdom of God to the people of that day by healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, multiplying food, calming storms, and other supernatural acts. He showed them there was a spiritual world. These were the signs that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He experienced miraculous escapes also after His ministry began, until the time that He gave Himself into the hands of evil men in order to fulfill the plan of God to save the world from sin. He taught the disciples how to demonstrate the power of Heaven and we are commissioned to go and do likewise.
“And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will be no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17.
If we desire to be like Him, we will do the same. The gospel is one of victory, not passivity and a “hang on until Jesus comes back” attitude. No, that is not what I read in the New or Old Testaments. In the Old Testament, I read of men moved by faith to do great and overcoming feats against the evil of that time. In the New Testament, I see Jesus demonstrating spiritual reality and then the victory over it that the Kingdom of God represents. After that, we see His own sacrifice of Himself to pay the price for sin forever and His victory over the grave, hell and death as He arose and was seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenlies. He is Lord and judge of the whole earth at this moment. That is victory and that is what He purchased for us, His bride, His people. It is up to us to respond, to believe, and to occupy by faith. Man was given dominion from the beginning. Adam then gave that dominion to the evil one. Jesus has now conquered the devil and returned rulership of the earth to man. It is now up to us to accept rulership under Jesus’s authority. Our enemy is spiritual, unseen, but his works are plainly seen. Jesus put our enemies under His feet, demonstrating the greater power of the Kingdom of God over the powers of darkness. We also have this position over the powers of darkness. (Ephesians 2:4-6)
The problem is that much of the existing church today has refused to believe and to accept the position and the commission that we were left with. Much like Israel after crossing the Red Sea, was told they could take the Promised Land; it was theirs. God was giving it to them. They refused to do it, choosing to believe a lie. (You can read about what happened to them in Hebrews 3:16–19.)
Numbers 13:32, 33 describes what happened: “And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giant); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sights, and so we were in their sight.’” Out of the 12 spies sent, only Caleb and Joshua believed the word that God spoke and said “we are well able to take it. They are bread for us.”
Like Israel going into the Promised Land, the church is to rule and to occupy. Why is our society in such a corrupt and compromised state in our current times? Has the church lost its savor? I don’t mean this to sound harsh, but the scripture says in Matt. 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Has the church abdicated the command to be the salt, to permeate and “flavor” our world with truth and righteousness and the true Kingdom of God?
I have heard that in the middle of the last century, pastors were telling their churches to stay out of politics, that it was too dirty. Following that instruction to its logical conclusion, any area of society that is abandoned by the salt and light people brings us to our current condition: one of overwhelming wickedness in all areas. It only makes sense that would be the outcome.
The people of Israel experienced these things also, of living amongst intense wickedness and evil that influenced even their own people and appeared to take over for a time. The Old Testament is full of the history of it. But when the people of God could stand it no longer and cried out to Him, He would rescue them.
Our country is in need of a rescue and I believe we will have it. There is revival and stirring in the land as people are awakening to their need. Come, let us rule in the midst of our enemies! With God’s power, we are well able.