The Thomas Pages homepage
Chapter 6 CHRISTIAN AUTHORITY Chapter 6
At His interrogation, Jesus Christ had answered the challenge of Israel's High Priest with the words –
 
  "Hereafter (απ αρτι 'ap arti', meaning 'from now onward')
you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power..."
Matthew 26:64.
This profound statement of Jesus in the Semitic idiom, that the humiliation of trial and condemnation He was now facing was actually the beginning of the revelation of Himself as exalted to the favour of God's right hand, is most significant. Jesus believed that this greatest of humiliations at the hands of the spiritual "builders" of the nation (the leaders) precipitated His exaltation:
 
  "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone" Psalm 118:22.
Therefore He uses the expression – ap arti, "from now on", to the high priest of the Jewish nation. Now His exaltation begins.
 
The prophecy in Psalm 110:1 of the Father's Ascension-words to His Son – Jesus applied to Himself (see Matt.22:44). This reads:
 
 
"Sit at My right hand until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet".
 
Here we have the end of this period of Christ seated at the right hand of God. To this the Holy Spirit adds emphasis (in Heb.10:13):
 
  "where He is now waiting until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet."  
The period of this "until" began at the "from now on" – the sacrificial work of Jesus; for from this would arise His resurrection, the spiritual regeneration of His people, His advocacy on their behalf at the Father's right hand, and His giving of the Holy Spirit to all in Him.
 
This specific empowered period of Christ's lordship stretches from Christ's first coming until His second coming in the glory of His Father.
 
It is the Church age, so-called. This "until" in Psalm 110 is paralleled in history by another "until", in Ephesians 4:13. The period of special equipping of the Church by the Spirit of God.
 
In the end of this time the Lord's pleasure in His Church is fulfilled. It is the reaping of ripened fullness. The work of the Holy Spirit which, century after century, has given gifted ministries to the Church, that have fed and nurtured her life, has now come to completion. The anticipation of holy Scripture in the final purpose of these ministries, has come at last: 
 
 
"He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
until we all attain
to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man,
to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ."
Ephesians 4:11-13.
 
Not some, but all! – ALL God's people! – Not 'they', but "WE all".
How more inclusive could the language of Holy Scripture be!
 
Consequently, the infrastructures of ministry by which the "work of service" has functioned are now redundant – not by the reduction of any spiritual ministry, but by the fulfilled purpose in the people of God – "they shall all be taught of God" (Jn.6:45 from Isa.54:13). The living saints have all, all, all attained maturity! (If we do not believe this because we do not understand how, we sin, for it is God who faithfully steers His people to this earthly destiny).
 
Denominational hierarchies, projects and programs are swallowed up into a maturity that restores His Church to its true gravitational centre in a love "for all the saints" (Col.1:4). The greatest of special ministries loses its distinction in the enlargement of God's heart within His elect. This is made possible by the Holy Spirit's commitment to fulfil the promises of God to those who do believe.
 
Now is fulfilled the Elijah-Moses witness of the Church in its final hour (Rev.10:8-11:13). Martyrdom is a gift of ministry as much as any other spiritual gift, such as prophecy, tongues, healing, etc. (1 Cor.13:3). Now this gift is at its greatest witness. In the book of Revelation, the two-olive-trees prophecy given Zerubabbel and Joshua son of Zephaniah in rebuilding the Temple of God (Zechariah 4:2-14;6:11-13) becomes an analogy of the Church's witness to complete it's testimony in the power of Elijah and Moses. 
 
New Testament examples help us to understand the action of God's people in this time. As Moses struck Egypt with plagues, so Paul struck Elymas with blindness for obstructing the gospel (Acts 13:11). As Elijah called fire down on those who obstructed his work (2 Kings 1:10,12,14), so Peter rebukes Ananias and his wife with death for deceiving their fellow believers (Acts 5:1-10). Now, as never before in its history, the witness of the Christian Church is militant with the power of God, until the time comes of its privilege in sharing the suffering of Christ's death (Revelation 11:1-13). Glory to His name!
 
The experiential apex of living-the-life-of-God in this world now contrasts vividly with unrepentant rejection by a world into which the fiery judgment of God begins to pour (Rev.8:3-5).
 


Copyright © Lloyd Thomas  1997-2015. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Feel free to copy, as long as this full copyright notice is included.

FOR A ROUGH TRANSLATION SIMPLY CHOOSE A LANGUAGE