Scriptural Insights from Biblical Overlooks, Pt. 9
Study Guide, November 5, 2023
Pastor Clay Olsen
In some of our stops on our Biblical Overlooks we have clearly seen that much of life on Earth is not how it was supposed to be, as in the spiritual warfare going on, the hardships and turmoil, tragedies and sickness and suffering…essentially, everything that has transpired because of the Fall of mankind in sin and its consequential curse. But, praise God, because of God’s great redemption…especially the redemption of God redeeming us from the consequences of sin through the substitutionary life and death of our Savior Jesus Christ, and also the redemption of many other things in our lives, like the redeeming of our service and our works for God’s use in His plans for our lives, to His also redeeming good things to come from even bad things that happen in our lives, and on into God’s plan to redeem His creation, including the animal kingdom and even the planets and stars themselves in His plans for the renovation and the resurrection of the Earth and Heavens…because of all of this we need to rejoice in the fact that our future will be lived in a New Earth and New Heavens where everything will finally be exactly as they are supposed to be!
Can you imagine living in a world where everything is exactly as it is supposed to be according to God’s will…perfect health, perfect relationships, perfect satisfaction from our works and service, perfect weather, and on and on? Well, hold on Brothers and Sisters, because since we are Born Again children of God, every day of our eternal future will be an experience of the fullness of joy and happiness because we will be living with our Creator and Redeemer in an eternal kingdom where everything will be exactly as it was and is supposed to be! So it’s time that we pull over and look out over a world where everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.
How about this: Sometime when you are outside looking up at the sky, realize that one day you are going to see what the Apostle John saw in his prophetic vision of what all of God’s people are one day going to see. Let’s look: Rev 21:1-5- “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” NASU
Now, whenever we read this passage, we always have to remember that just because John said he didn’t see a ‘sea’, he was not saying that he didn’t see any water. In the next chapter he said he saw water. In fact, the original earth had lots of water with lots of fish and aquatic life, of which the New Earth will also have lots of fish and aquatic life. What he didn’t see was the kind of seas that made great divisions of the land on Earth which happened after the world-wide flood split great land masses apart from each other. And we know that left the Earth with most of it consisting of mostly seas and a lot less land. Whereas, in the New Earth it will be mostly land, but with plenty of rivers and bodies of water to contain the aquatic life that God intends to live there. So we can relax and even bask in the assurance that there will be plenty of water on the New Earth.
As we have pointed out before, if you want to better understand what the New Earth is going to be like, we get that preview from Genesis from what the Original Earth was like…that is, before the Fall and the subsequent effects of the curse. But God’s plans are eternal, and although sin and the curse of sin damaged God’s creation, sin didn’t defeat His plans, it simply delayed them until it becomes time for all creation to be re-created in order to continue God’s plans for His redeemed people.
Now, one surprising thing is that even with the effects of the curse, the Earth is still remarkable beautiful. So now just imagine what the Earth is going to look like when God reworks His works in the re-creation of the New Earth and the New Heavens.
But one of the things we need to include in this ‘Overlook’ at our life in our eternal Home, where things will be as exactly as they are supposed to be is this: Often Believers ask what we’re going to be doing in Heaven. And part of the answer to that is that what we are going to be doing in Heaven is what God created His human family to do on Earth. Let’s look again: Gen 1:26-28- “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” NKJV
So in the eternal plans of God, God intended His created human family to have dominion over the Earth. And we are to understand just what that ‘dominion mandate’ encompassed, and not from any distorted cultural ideas about dominion, but from how ‘dominion’ is described and portrayed throughout the Bible. For in the Bible we find various other words that are used to describe just what this ‘dominion mandate’ is all about. We find words such as ‘rule’… ‘reign’… ‘steward’…and ‘manage’ to describe what our ‘dominion’ over the Earth involves. Plus, there are even other descriptions of ‘dominion’ like ‘caring’ and ‘tending’…and even ‘growing and building’. Now then, also factor in that not only did God intend for His human family to manage and rule, to build upon and develop and care for and tend everything that He had created for His human family, but He then gave His human family talents and skills, gifts and abilities with which to carry out His dominion mandate. And, Friends, that fact opens up unimaginable opportunities of what God has in mind for His human family to do, especially in our service and works, which of course, will continue on in the New Earth and New Heavens.
However, we know that these plans of God for God’s people were interrupted and distorted and damaged by sin and the cursed effects of sin on the Earth and the people of Earth. But when God has finished His redemptive works in completing His redeemed eternal family, then His eternal plans for His people to have dominion…to have stewardship and management and development over His creation will resume. And oh, how they will resume! And not only will God’s people have dominion over the Earth, they will ‘rule and reign’ over ‘all the works of God’s hands’, which includes all creation.
Let’s return to that wonderful passage in Psalms that speaks about God’s amazing concern for His people. But this time we want to also consider what is often overlooked. Or, we want to stop at this ‘Overlook’ to look over what is often overlooked! Ps 8:3-6- “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet…” NASU
God plans to have His people one day ‘rule’ over all the works of His hands…as in, not only the Earth, but also the Heavens? We know from the Beatitudes that Jesus said His children will inherit the Earth. But here He includes ‘all the works of His hands’.
Now, it’s important to attach the rest of this revelation here to what is also revealed in the book of Hebrews about it. For not only do we have this great revelation that God intended man to rule over the created works of God, but embedded in this Psalm is the revealing of the Messiah as well…as it says, “…and the Son of Man.” We know this is a reference to the Messiah as the Son of Man because in Hebrews chapter two, as the ministry of the Messiah as the Son of Man is being explained, this passage from Psalm 8 is quoted and expounded upon. Notice: Heb 2:5-7- “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.” NKJV
In Psalm 8 David is marveling over man’s position as God’s representative and steward over God’s creation. But then Hebrews explains that because of man’s failure due to sin to carry out this exalted destiny, Jesus, the Son of Man provided for a redemption and would then reign over all God’s created works. But wait…there’s more…notice: Heb 2:8-13- “For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” NKJV
You and I are ‘the children whom God has given to Jesus’! And Jesus is going to rule and reign over all the works of Creation, which includes both the New Earth and the New Heavens. But now comes the unimaginable, yet absolutely real and astounding revelation about it all: Rev 22:3- “His bond-servants will serve Him; …5 –“… and they will reign forever and ever.” NASU Brethren…God has plans for His children to reign with Him over the Earth and over all the works of His hands…which are the New Earth and the New Heavens! Again, that’s why it is said: “Earth is training time for reigning time!” No wonder Paul said: “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Cor 2:9 NKJV
This is our eternal destiny…to rule and reign…to manage and steward…to care for and tend…to build and to further develop the works of God’s hands…His creation of the New Earth and the New Heavens! Just think: Where did the Artist’s artistic abilities and desire to create art come from? Where did the Musician’s musical abilities and desire to create music come from? Where did the Craftsman’s abilities and desire to create structures and furnishings and such come from? And now…where did the Explorer’s interests and abilities to explore the Earth and the Heavens come from? Well of course…from the Creator, our God! As the Scriptures point out – “What do you have that has not been given you?”
Again, why are there such abilities and desires to create and to craft and to build and develop and to grow and explore in the lives of people the world over? Because God intended for them to use these abilities and talents and gifts that He has given them to carry out this ‘dominion mandate’ that God has bestowed upon those who have been made in the image of God. But again, only those who have been redeemed through the salvation in Jesus Christ will have the eternal opportunities to actually use their gifts and talents and abilities to exercise dominion over the works of their Creator and Redeemer’s hands.
Still…two things: One – how foolish to neglect or reject so great a salvation in Jesus Christ and thus forfeit both a relationship with God forever and to also forfeit every opportunity to do throughout eternity what God had created humans to do and even gave them the talents and abilities to do! Think of the amazing artists, musicians, craftsmen, explorers and more throughout history, but yet, so many did not repent unto God and receive Jesus Christ in faith as their Savior. What a tragedy for their soul, and also what a waste of the talents they could have enjoyed throughout all eternity. I am constantly stunned by the foolishness of the unsaved who, for example, love exploring the stars and galaxies, but have not repented unto salvation to the Creator of the galaxies. Why only look at the stars through telescopes and satellites for a few short years when the Bible reveals that the saved will be able to personally rule and reign over…implying exploring these New Heavens in the flesh of their new resurrected body? How foolish that among those who dream of one day going to Mars, some of them are still unsaved. How foolish to dream so small, since the Bible reveals that God’s saved children will have the opportunity to personally manage and care for and rule and reign over all the works of God’s hands, which include the planets and stars and galaxies of the entire universe of the Heavens, as well as enjoying the home capital planet of Earth! How foolish and blind indeed!
And Second: We get to do what again? Isn’t that just speculation? Friends, note this: There is a great difference between human speculation and Biblical implication. Human speculation is making an assumption that is not based upon a Biblical revelation. But when you base your understanding upon Biblical revelation, you are not making a speculation at all…rather you are drawing out an implication, for the revelation itself makes the implication. For example: The Bible reveals that God’s children are going to rule and reign with Jesus over all the created works of His hands. What are the created works of His hands…everything that God has created, from the Earth to the Heavens…or for us it will be the New Earth and the New Heavens! Therefore, the implication of this revelation is that we, along with all of God’s eternal children, are going to continue God’s original ‘dominion mandate’ of stewardship, management, development, and building and tending and basically caring for all the created works of our Creator and Savior’s hands!
Did you realize that is what you’re going to be doing in your eternal future…that this is going to be your experience as you worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the Eternal Kingdom, which will be everywhere from the New Capitol city of the New Jerusalem to the new capitol planet of the New Earth to the wonders of the rest of the works of God’s hands throughout the New Heavens? And just imagine how much joy the Creator will have in watching His children managing and caring for all the physical Creation that He created for them to enjoy! Praise be to our loving Lord and Savior!
And that’s just another reason we need to be faithfully worshipping and serving our Lord in this life, because we are determining now what our service opportunities and service assignments and privileges in the New Earth and New Heavens are going to be, based upon how faithful we are serving our Savior now.
Maranatha…even so, come Lord Jesus!