Thursday, July 07, 2005

Areas of Dominion

.... When God created mankind, He said: "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." (Gen 1:26). In other words, mankind was given a dominion over the physical world. Yet our world exists in more than one dimension, and other dominions exist in those other areas:
.... Beyond our own realm of the physical earth, the Scriptures speak of ruling principalities and powers who exist in the heavenly places, or the spirit realm; rulers such as the Princes of Persia, Greece, Tyre, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal (Ezek 28:2; 38:2; Dan 10:13,20). While there is no definitive Scripture to explain this arrangement, here is a scenario that seems to basically account for it:

1. God created the heavens on the first day, including the host of angels– who rejoiced together at the creation of the world, which took place later on the same day (Job 38:4-7).

2. In a revealing Scripture, we see that God created the heavens, and then the earth, with the overall intention of having the earth inhabited (Is 45:18). So at that time, from the very first day, a large part of the angelic host was given pro-rex spiritual dominion over the nations that would eventually form. They received a charge from God concerning the spiritual life of the nations they would one day represent (as in Heb 1:14).
.... This also provides an opportunity to examine the spiritual status-quo. We know that all principalities were created through Christ and for Him, so this is their original status in the heavenlies (Col 1:15-16; Eph 6:12). Because Jesus is the head of all principality and power, and there was never a sinful fall in His own reign (see Col 2:10), it also means that this status quo remains unchanged. In other words, the reign of those princes could only have been a pro-rex arrangement.
3. Lucifer’s dominion was an overall controlling function that encompassed a good portion of the other, regional principalities (Job 2:1,2). He was their chief yet clearly subordinate to Christ Himself (Col 2:10).

4. When Lucifer rebelled, sometime after the creation of man, he drew many of the other princes into rebellion with him, as well as many of the lesser angels. But at least some of the chief princes, such as Michael the archangel, remained true to God (Dan 10:13,21).

5. Just as man’s dominion remained with man after his fall, Lucifer’s dominion remained with him after his fall. In each case, sin did not revoke their pro-rex authority, it only meant that they now reigned over a fallen realm (Job 15:15; 2 Pet 3:13).

6. Because of the pro-rex arrangement, Satan’s reign in his realm was never absolute, for he was always constrained to respect God’s higher authority. For example, Michael had not joined in his rebellion, and he was the Prince over the children of Israel. So either God exercised His pro-rex option to maintain Michael in that role, or Satan was bound to respect and honor God’s appointments in the first place, and was unable to change them (probaby the latter).

7. When Lucifer drew a third of the angels into rebellion with him (Rev 12:4), hell was created as a place for their eventual punishment (Matt 25:41).

8. Very quickly after his fall, probably immediately, Lucifer tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden so that mankind, too, would fall.

.... As a result of this split in physical and spiritual dominions, we sometimes see a ‘disconnect’ between the earthly government and their ruling principality. For example, Michael has always been the Prince of Israel, but sometimes the king has been righteous David, Hezekiah or Josiah, and sometimes it has been wicked Ahab or Manasseh. Conversely, the Prince of Persia is obviously a wicked prince (Dan 10:20). And yet at one point God chose Cyrus, king of Persia, to be His shepherd who would perform all His pleasure (Is 44:28).
.... So to resolve Satan’s claim (from the previous section) here is what we must understand. He is the Prince of the power of air, and controls virtually all of the spiritual principalities or realms of dominion, and that is what he was offering Jesus in tempting Him. But he does not control their earthly counterparts, the earthly governments, which God Himself appoints:

.... "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."

(Rom 13:1)

.... So when Satan told Jesus, ‘for this has been delivered to me.’ he was correct in the sense that he rules in the spiritual part of this realm – because God gave that to him after the creation of the world, and the arrangement still stands. But Satan does not appoint whom he pleases in the earthy governance of this realm – that part was the lie. And when Jesus answers, ‘Him only you shall serve’, He seems to include a reference to this fact.

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