Study Guide, October 2, 2022
Pastor Clay Olsen
There is a continual anticipation that exists in both Heaven and Earth. The Apostle Paul revealed it to us in Rom 8:19-22- “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” NLT
Creation is certainly groaning… like the groaning of storms, the unraveling weather, and just the overall wearing out of the Earth. And both the animal kingdom and the human kingdom, at least God’s kingdom family, are all eagerly awaiting the full redemption of all creation. Again, from the Angels in Heaven and all the saved in Heaven, throughout all the Ages, to God’s children and God’s creatures here on Earth, all live with this anticipation of God’s Kingdom that is soon to be revealed. And of course, one of the keys that triggers the Rapture of the Church is the completion of the Church for the Church Age. Rom 11:25- “I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ.” NLT This will complete the Church Age, and then God’s plan will continue for Israel and the countdown of the return of the King with the fulfillment of the Tribulation Age.
Which, by the way, is another powerful motivation for witnessing, since the next person to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior could be the last one that completes the Church Age and sets off the Rapture of the Church! That’s a great picture to keep in mind in our witnessing commission. Another thing is that we know that the reason this dark and sinful world has been allowed to continue is because of this: 2 Peter 3:9- “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” NASU
Yes, we have pointed this out many times, but it is imperative that we understand that the reason that God is tarrying as long as He is and is permitting this ungodly world to go on as long as it has, is because God is building the family that will spend all eternity with Him and each other. And so it is to be with us; we are to also be patient with the problems of this world because we, too, are not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance…just like we came to repentance and are now saved and destined for Heaven where we will share eternity with our Creator and our Savior.
And even as we prepare to share this Communion together in just a little while, it is remarkable to remember that this anticipation for God’s Kingdom to come, and for all of God’s people to finally be living the life that God intended for His children, was clearly evident even in what Jesus said at the Last Supper. Notice: Matt 26:29- “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” NASU Jesus put the Disciples on alert that the Kingdom of God was not only coming, but that they were to think and to live with this anticipation about it even as Jesus lived with anticipation for it!
Remember, the world is on the verge of it being restored to what God originally planned for all that He created. We talked about the fact that the Animal Kingdom is on the verge of being restored to its original order of peace and harmony for all creatures. We pointed out that the Human Kingdom is on the verge of being restored to its original nature that was without sin, and just how unimaginably joyful that will be to live in complete cooperation, service, and love toward one another. And that is so hard to imagine because all that mankind has known since the Fall on Man into sin has been strife and slander and envy and pride and wars. All this mess within the nature of man is about to be changed for good and forever.
But there is something else that God planned for His children to do in His created Universe that was terribly damaged and distorted in the Fall. But this, too, will soon be restored in the Kingdom, and that is, the ‘dominion’ that God planned for Man is about to be restored as well. Gen 1:27-28- “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” KJV
Even the understanding of this ‘dominion’ needs to be restored because sin has so damaged the mind of man that through the ages people have lost most of the understanding of what this ‘dominion’ concept means because people tend to think by extremes. Man’s history with the Earth has swung on the pendulum of destroying the Earth on one side to worshipping the Earth on the other side. Since so few understand man’s role as ‘Stewards’ of the Earth, they stumble in the darkness and swing from abusing the Earth to bowing before it. Mark it down: A person must understand Who owns the Earth in order to understand what the Owner intended for the Earth. Then you must understand what the Owner intended for the people of the Earth to be…His ‘Stewards’ of the Earth in order to then understand that as Stewards of the Earth mankind was intended to manage, care for, develop, and do all that the Owner planned for them to do in their ‘dominion’ service with their Creator of the Earth. Remember: Rightful ‘dominion’ of the Earth is directly related to rightful ‘service’ to its Creator in the ‘stewardship’ of the Earth.
All right…now watch what happens, because included in this concept of ‘dominion’ is something else, which God reveals will also be a part of God’s redeemed children’s destiny on the Earth.
Notice: Rev 5:9-10- “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” NASU
Rev 20:6- “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” NASU
Rev 22:2- “And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.” NASU
So included in the concept of ‘dominion’ is ‘reigning’…ruling and reigning with Christ over, not only the Millennial Kingdom, as pointed out in Revelation 20, but also reigning with Christ over the Eternal Kingdom, as pointed out in Revelation 22. So Revelation 22 reveals the extent of the dominion of Genesis 2! And it also reveals why God created the physical Heavens and Earth in the first place. Here’s one reason: Rev 4:11- “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” KJV So, for one thing, God created all things for His pleasure…because He loves to create! Hey, we don’t call God ‘Creator’ for nothing! And now here’s where it gets even more fascinating…for God tells us that He created man in His image! Why do you think people love to create things, to build things…even to explore things. Where did that instinct come from? It came with ‘the image’…the ‘image’ of our Creator.
And so now back to ‘dominion’. Why else besides the fact that God created all things for His pleasure did He create all things? That’s what the Psalmist reveals to us in Ps 8:3-6- “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet.” KJV
At this point you ought to start feeling a few ‘heebie jeebies’…in a good way, because here the Psalmist just expanded the scope of God’s children’s dominion from the beginning point of being over the Earth in Genesis 2 to the expansion point of Revelation 22, which the Psalmist reveals includes all the works of God’s hands, as in ‘Thy heavens…the moon and the stars’! One renown commentary, the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, put it like this: “Thou hast put all things under his feet,” with the important difference that here, in Christ, the dominion of man is extended over “all things,” universally and without exception, not only on earth, but also in heaven.”
How about those ‘heebie jeebies’ now?! Think about it: Where did this fascination within mankind with the heavens, the moon and the stars come from in the first place? Why have people of all the ages longed to explore, not only our own beautiful planet, but also the planets above and the stars beyond? Could it be that there is something within the very creation of mankind that longs for some sense of ‘dominion’ over these works of God’s hands? Could it be that there is an innate understanding that we were meant to tend and to care for, to develop and to explore, to manage and to rule and reign with our Creator over all the works of our Creator’s hands? Of course it could be! That’s what Moses and the Psalmist and the Apostle John is trying to tell us! Our Creator created the physical creation as His gifts for His physical family to enjoy and to steward, and develop, and rule and reign over it all together with their Creator and Redeemer!
And even more, and just like our God…God Himself is even looking forward to the time when He gives His kingdom over to His redeemed children to continue and to expand the dominion that was damaged in the Fall. He sees it coming. God sees what we do not yet see. That was another reason that Jesus said what He said about us not worrying so much about these temporal things now, because of what He knows about all that He is about to grant to us. Plus, it’s one of the overlooked points about this familiar passage in Luke 12:29-32- “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” (And here is the major point in what Jesus just said to help us to not worry about the temporal things…verse 32) “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” NKJV
It’s like how children have to trust their Parents about the good things that their Parents are preparing for them. And, although it’s not even a close comparison as an illustration…it’s like children playing with their worn or broken toys just before Christmas. Their Parents have new presents awaiting them. It’s just not time yet for the new ones to be revealed and given to them. Well, we too, are to trust in our Heavenly Father with how things are now, because along with Christ in His coming, God has prepared gifts for His children. It’s like the ultimate Christmas is coming for God’s children, because God Himself is looking forward to granting His children His kingdom, which includes ‘all the works of His hands’…the New Heavens and the New Earth. Jesus even told us that He has gone to prepare a place for us. And then in Rev. 21 John sees the Capitol City of the New Jerusalem coming down to the Capitol Planet of the New Earth, which is in the midst of the New Heavens, of which all of it comprises ‘the works of God’s hands.’ Plus, and again, we are to realize that all of this brings great pleasure to God as He grants His children dominion over all the works of His hands; as we join Him in ruling and reigning and managing and exploring, and creating, and developing all of these gifts from our Heavenly Father to His redeemed family to enjoy with Him forever!
This also gives new meaning to the Christmas song, as in God singing to us: “Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see? Do you know what I know?” Do you know that your ‘dominion’ position in God’s kingdom is about to be restored to what God originally intended it to be for you? Knowing this is supposed to not only console us about the difficulties of the short days of our lives now, but it is also intended to move us to greater prepare for this ‘reigning time’ through greater faithfulness in this ‘training time’. Plus, it is intended to thrill us to know that our God is anxious to give to us His presents of His Kingdom…the works that His hands have been preparing and will continue to prepare for all that love Him and will spend eternity with Him reigning with their God over His New Heavens and New Earth.