In the book of Genesis 1:26, we read, “And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” Now, that’s why God created us. He created us so that we could rule and have dominion. God did not make us to fail. God did not make us to be intimidated. God did not make us to be stepped on and misused. God created man to rule and control over this earth. He was to be the master of this earth.
Continuing in Genesis 1:26, we read, “Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
In Psalm 8:6 we read, “Thou created him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”
We Need To Remember Kingdom Authority Was Legally Lost
When we see the news, we see that man does not have dominion. We see and hear about death, disease, hate, war, crime, lust, sorrow, disappointment, and despair. It is obvious that man does not have dominion. He is not an overcomer. He has been overcome. Rather than having dominion, he has been dominated. What has gone wrong?
Man’s dominion was lost by the first man. Man’s dominion was lost, legally lost, by the first man. In Ephesians 2:1-3, we read, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
How did we get “dead in trespasses and sins”? Paul explains it with,“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worked in the children of disobedience, among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
How did we get to be “the children of wrath?” How did we get to be “the children of disobedience”? Where did we get this “nature”? Why is the devil called “the prince of the power of the air”? How did the devil become “the prince”?
I thought man was to have dominion. What happened? Satan rebelled against God. Satan said, “…I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). But, no sooner had Satan unsheathed the sword of rebellion than the thunders of God’s wrath had rolled down the corridors of Heaven and Satan was vanquished from Heaven. He was kicked out of Heaven. Because of this, Satan has turned his attention
Now, evil people have always known that if you can’t harm someone, harm someone that that someone loves, and you’ve harmed that someone anyway. Satan could not get to God. How did he tempt Adam and Eve to disobey? He tempted them to achieve for themselves on earth what he himself had failed to do in Heaven. Adam and Eve were tempted to be gods.
Satan had said, “I will be like the Most High.” It didn’t work up there. So, he came down to earth and said to Adam and Eve, “eat thereof…and ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). It was the same temptation. He tempted them to try to be on earth what he himself had failed to do in Heaven.
Adam believes Satan’s lie. Adam took this temptation to dethrone God and to enthrone himself. Adam did not enthrone himself. Adam did not become God. Adam became a servant. And, when Adam dethroned God, Adam enthroned Satan. Satan, who failed to achieve a throne in Heaven, now has a throne in the heart of man. Satan lost the war in Heaven, but he gained a victory on earth. While Satan had no throne in Heaven, Satan now has a throne in the heart and mind of mankind.
The entire universe is ruled by divine law. What Adam lost in the Garden of Eden, he lost legally. He turned it over to the devil. The dominion and the authority that Adam had were a legal gift from God. God gave Adam dominion. When God gave it to Adam, He gave it to Adam with no strings attached. It was Adam’s, and God gave Adam that dominion. Since it belonged to Adam, Adam could legally give it to someone else if he chose to. It was legally his and he willfully gave it away. He gave it to the devil. It was legally given, it was legally lost.
Furthermore, when Adam chose to obey Satan, he became Satan’s slave. In Romans 6:16, we read, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
We Need To Recognize Kingdom Authority Was Righteously Recovered
Do you remember when the devil tempted the Lord Jesus Christ? In Luke 4: 6, we read, “And the devil said unto him, all this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me…” This power and glory were delivered by Adam to the devil.
Jesus never disputed the devil’s possessions. In fact, Jesus called the devil, “…the prince of this world…”
(John 14:30). And, Paul called the devil, “the prince of the power of the air.” Paul called him in 2 Corinthians 4:4: “…the god of this world…” He has a dominion that was delivered to him.
We need to understand this truth. The universe was lost legally. This the main reason the Apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
If the dominion is to be regained, it must be legally regained. It was legally lost by the first Adam. It is going to be righteously recovered by the second Adam. God’s mighty plan in the universe, the battle of the ages, is that God is rightfully and legally going to reestablish and recover Adam’s lost estate.
Suppose God had just stopped and said, “Now, Adam, you gave it all to the devil, but Adam, I’m God and I’m going to take it all away from the devil by force and I’m going to give it back to you. I’m going to destroy the devil. I’m just going to overlook your sin and give it all back to you.” If God had done that, God would not have been righteous. It would have made a farce of divine justice.
I want to make something very clear. God owes the devil nothing. Yet, if God is going to be true to His own righteousness and His own principles of justice, He must recover man’s fallen estate, and He must do it legally. It was legally given, it was legally lost, it will be legally recovered. If God did not do it legally, the devil would always be able to point a finger at the face of God and say, “God you are not a God of justice, you are not a God of righteousness.”
Furthermore, man’s dominion was lost by man and therefore it must be recovered by a man. It cannot be recovered by God acting as God alone. The dominion was given to a man, it was lost by a man, and it will be legally recovered by a man. A member of Adam’s race must be found, upon whom Satan has no claim, in order to recover this dominion. Now, all of us are by “nature children of wrath.” (Ephesians 2: 3)
We are also “…the children of disobedience.” We walk, “according to the course of this world,” according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” We are now Satan’s slaves before we are redeemed.
God must find a man who can go and recover what Adam lost. He must be of Adam’s race over whom Satan has no legal claim. Since Adam was a slave, all of the sons of Adam are legally slaves. Thus, God has a problem. God must have a man, but that man cannot be a son of Adam. If he’s not a man it cannot be legally recovered, but if he is a son of Adam he is already a slave. No slave can redeem a slave.
With all of this in mind, therefore, there had to be the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Corinthians 15: 21-22 we read, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
In Hebrews 2:14 we read, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood”-that is “the children of disobedience”-“he also himself likewise took part of the same”-that is, Jesus came in flesh and blood-“that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
What are these verses telling us? That Jesus became a man. The dominion was given to man. It was legally man’s. Man turned it over to the devil. It was legally given, legally lost. It must be legally regained and reclaimed by a man. Yet, that man cannot be a son of Adam. If he is a son of Adam, he is the son of a slave. All sons of slaves are slaves themselves. He must be a member of Adam’s race without being a descendant of Adam. This is why Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit.
Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness with demonic temptation. He was trying to get Jesus to sin. Satan tempted Jesus to worship him. One worship of Satan on the part of Jesus and the whole plan of redemption would collapse. One sin on the part of Jesus would give Satan the victory. Satan knew he must seduce the last Adam as he did the first one. So now he’s aiming all the artillery of Hell at the Son of God. What the devil was saying to Jesus Christ was this: “You worship me, and I will give all of this.” Had Jesus worshipped the devil, the devil knew he wouldn’t lose his dominion. Had Jesus worshipped the devil then when the devil gave dominion to Him, the devil would have gotten it right back. Jesus would have been a Satan worshipper and He would have delivered it right back to the devil.
Therefore, the Lord Jesus answers the devil here in Luke 4:8 with, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8).
The first Adam failed in a beautiful garden. The last Adam, the Lord Jesus, overcame in a wilderness. Jesus did not challenge Satan’s claim. I can imagine that Jesus might have said, “Satan, I want you to know that I am God in human flesh. As God, if I wish to, by the right and the prerogatives that are mine, I could speak a word and obliterate you right now. But, I’m not going to overcome you as God, I am going to overcome you as a man.” Jesus Christ used the same two weapons that were available to Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus used the same two weapons that were available to you and me. In Luke 4:1, we read, “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Being forty days tempted of the devil…” (Luke 4:1-2). He used the Spirit of God and, please notice that in verse 8, He used the Word of God: “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Luke 4:8).
The same Holy Spirit that was available to Jesus Christ as a man is the Holy Spirit that is available to me as a man. And, the same Word of God that Jesus used as a man is the same Word of God, we have in our lives. Jesus did not overcome the devil with anything that is not available to us. He had the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
Later, the devil met Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus fought another battle there. It appears Jesus would die of agony and of a broken heart, but the Lord Jesus again overcame the devil. The final battle was bloody Calvary. The devil pushed Jesus to Calvary thinking that Jesus would resist and rebel against the will of God. The hounds of Hell were barking at the feet of Jesus Christ for His blood. Yet, Jesus willingly submitted his life to his Father. Jesus bowed His head, perfectly innocent and died. He paid the full sin debt. He recovered the lost estate for Mankind. He bought back the redemption. He paid it in full.
We Need To Realize Kingdom Authority Was Gloriously Given
The battle is not over yet. Jesus Christ is in the grave. The devil says, “Well, perhaps I can keep Him in the grave. If I can keep there. then I can win the victory.”
In Acts 2:22-24, we read, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders, which God did by him in the midst of you”. God worked through Jesus as a man-“in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held by it.”
Now, the devil did the very best he could to hold the Lord Jesus. All the resources of the underworld were marshaled against the Lord Jesus, but Jesus overcame death by the power of God. He was raised from the dead and later said in Revelation 1:8: “I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Jesus was victorious.
Now, that brings us back to where we are in the book of Ephesians. Jesus has come to this earth. He has lived a sinless life. He was born of a virgin. He died. He paid the ransom in full. He bought back the lost estate. He paid with His own blood, for the wages of sin is death. That is what Jesus paid. He was put in the grave. The devil tried to keep Him in the grave. He was raised by the power of God.
When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead He “spoiled principalities and powers.” The word “spoiled” means “to strip” as you strip the hide from an animal, or “to disarm a defeated foe.” When Jesus Christ came out of that grave, the kingdom of evil and darkness was thrown into complete bankruptcy and Satan’s dominion had dissolved. Now, I have said that it was legally lost. I have said that it was righteously recovered. It was lost by a man. It has been recovered by a man. Now, it is available to every man and
woman on earth. Not only was it legally lost. Not only has it been righteously recovered. But, it has also been gloriously given.
In Ephesians 2:4-5: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus took our sins that we might be innocent. He became guilty that we might be acquitted. He took our despair that we might be filled with joy. He took our shame that we might have His glory. He took the flames of Hell that we might have the blessings of Heaven. His death had my name on it. His resurrection had my name on it. And, so He “hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;).”
Thus, Jesus has been raised up and we are raised up with Him. In Ephesians 4:8: “Wherefore he says, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive…” Who was captivity? The devil. The one who led us captive is now taken captive. When Jesus ascended, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men.
In Ephesians 5:30, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Now, we are a part of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church is not merely an organization with Jesus Christ as the President. The church is an organism with Jesus Christ as the head. We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
If you’re in Adam, all that belongs to Adam belongs to you. What belonged to Adam? Defeat, and failure and death. But, if you are in Christ, all that belongs to Christ belongs to you, we are members of His body, of His bones, of His flesh.
Where is Jesus? He is ascended. He is on High. All things are beneath His feet. He is lifted far above all dominion and power. That’s why Paul said, “I want you to understand this.” Paul said, “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own 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 world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet…” We are called to live life from a heavenly edge!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,