What is the prerequisite for the end of the world? What events will precede the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ? The disciples asked these very questions of Jesus two thousand years ago. Matthew 24:3 records: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’”
Jesus’ response is given in the ensuing verses of Matthew chapter 24. He states that many false prophets and Christ’s would appear in an attempt to deceive (v. 3-4, 11). He further announces that there will be an increase of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes and that lawlessness would flourish resulting in a culture of intolerance towards Biblical righteousness and the true Christian Faith (v. 12).
Of all the signs, however, that will precede His return, Jesus says that there is really only one thing that will unequivocally usher in the End: the preaching of the Kingdom Gospel to all creation. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
Seeing that this is such a significant mandate, it is imperative that we understand what the true Gospel of the Kingdom really is!
The first thing we learn about the Gospel of the Kingdom is that it was the message preached by the Lord Jesus Christ. Matt 4:23 narrates that, “…Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”
The Gospel of the Kingdom is also the message that the Lord summoned His followers to preach. He said in Matthew 10:7, 8, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.’”
Please note that in both of the aforementioned references the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom was, invariably, accompanied by mighty works such as the healing of the sick, the deliverance of the oppressed, and even the raising of the dead!
The New Testament is clear: the Gospel of the Kingdom is powerful and was never intended to be communicated in word only. The testimony of the Gospel is to be made effective not only by proclamation, but also in demonstration of the power of the Holy Ghost. Paul the Apostle declares under the inspiration of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” To another church this same apostle boldly states, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance… (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
When the Lord Jesus walked the earth 2000 years ago, the Gospel He preached came not only in word, but also in works. Luke 8:1 records, “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God.”Don’t miss it! Jesus not only spoke of the Kingdom, He carried it to the people!
The term “kingdom” in English is literally, “King’s Dominion.” The dictionary describes ‘dominion’ as the “authority and power to govern and exercise control.” In the original economy of God, it was His intention that humankind would exercise His rule on the earth. We read in Genesis 1:28, “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.” Psalm 8:6 reiterates this truth, “You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet. Once again this theme is emphasized: “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men” (Psalm 115:16).
When the Lord created man, he was created in His image and glory (See 1 Cor. 11:7). Psalm 8:5 further reveals that man was …”made… a little lower than the angels” and was “…crowned…with glory and honour.” The word ‘crowned’ in Hebrew means encircled or covered. Prior to sin, while dwelling in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were naked, yet they were not embarrassed. “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). After their transgression, they immediately became conscious of their nakedness. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:7). The reason for this sense of shame is that they were no longer covered by the glory of God. Sin literally strips of the glory. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Not only did Adam and Eve experience the loss of God’s glory as a result of sin, their spiritual authority was also forfeited. Hence, Satan now became the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) as well as the prince or ruler of the world (See John 12:31).
When Jesus came to the earth, He came to restore to man the glory and authority that was lost. The devil knowing this attempted to strike a deal with Jesus at the very beginning of His ministry. “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Luke 4:5-7 Emphasis Mine).
Of course, Jesus would not negotiate with Satan. He was well aware that such a transaction would not be legal in nature as it failed to address the root cause of the forfeiture, namely, sin. There was no short cut to reclaiming the authority and glory. Christ must go the way of the Cross becoming a sacrifice for our sins and paying the price of our redemption. “For without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” (Hebrews 9:22).
After Jesus’ resurrection, a permanently binding, legal transaction occurred which resulted in the authority and glory being restored to humankind. Jesus cried out, “All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).
Paul said elsewhere, that God the Father “raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church (Ephesians 1:19-22).
What is the result of this? The person that is truly born–again and filled with the Spirit has access to both the authority and glory of God. Paul reveals this to us. He says, “God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). Jesus confirmed this: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them…” (John 17:22).
We have been created to share in His glory and know His authority. The truth is that the authority is in the glory! The Bible says, “The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD” (Psalm 97:5). The word translated “mountains” can also be used figuratively referring to anything that opposes our God’s will. For example, Zechariah 4:7 declares, ‘Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!”
Paul reminded the Ephesians that God is “…able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 Emphasis Mine). Notice, he says it is the power of the Spirit in us that is limitless! The glory of God fully manifested in and through the Church is unstoppable and will bring transformation to the nations! Consider with me the power that was at work in the Early Church:
Acts informs us that the anointing carried by Peter was so strong that the sick were brought “…out into the streets and laid…on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed” (Acts 5:14-16). Paul, likewise, was so full of the glory of God that the Lord worked “…extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them” (Acts 19:11, 12).
Let’s be honest! When was the last time you witnessed such glory and power at work in the Church? Most, Christians have never witnessed the like. Nevertheless, the fact is, it is God’s desire to manifest His glory and power through His people to the nations today! Paul shares a profound revelation about the Glory! He says that Church ”…is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself]” (Ephesians 1:23 Amplified).
The Church is the only means by which God’s glory is manifested on the earth today! We were created to exercise His dominion over all of creation. Jesus, as the Second Adam exercised dominion over devils, sickness, death and even the elements when He walked the earth.Just before He went to the Cross, Christ reminded His Church, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).
Embrace the revelation of this truth and walk in your dominion destiny!