World Domination or Dominion?
Now we are able to understand the times and world-happenings. Steadily the world is coming under the domination of a handful of dictators. The probability is that they will suffer one another until other forms of world-government re weakened. But in time they will have to eliminate one another until one is left supreme. Leaving prophecy aside as not being our present subject, there are however two or three things that need to be said in summarizing the whole matter.
Firstly, may it not be a significant thing that in the realm of what speaks of God there are no outstanding giants in spiritual leadership today? Some of us came into our ministry just at the tail-end of a generation of such. We will not mention names, but Bible teachers, missionary leaders and mighty preachers were in the earth in no sparsity for a generation or more. There was a galaxy of them, and their works stand today. But we have seen the last of them pass off this scene, and there are few, if any, successors. Sometimes we almost cry that God would raise up men adequate to the present spiritual need. Why are things as they are? May it not be that as satan is bringing his antichrist in so manifestly along the lines of the power and glory of man, God, in His things, is keeping mas as such hidden and largely at a discount because He is going to bring in His man with heavenly glory? May not dictatorship then be one of the most powerful signs of the times?
But then what of the phenomena? We cannot wholly account for this power, influence and domination on human grounds. There are greater forces at work which operate in spite of the will of the people. It is uncanny. And yet is it not perfectly true that the connecting link between the instrument and the supernatural powers is an intense and terrific soul strength? A will is asserted which will brook no resistance. A mind is projected which is agile, subtle and tireless in the extreme. An emotional force is poured forth like a tidal wave carrying all before it, and working people up to uncontrollable frenzy. Yes, it is the consummate demonstration of that selfhood, that "ego", which first drew things away from God and cast His Son out of His world. All this is with the accompaniment of pageantry which makes man its object of glory and almost worship. Is this not enough to make Christian men shun everything and anything which would make them appear something before men?
But, 'behold "the" Man!" How has world-dominion been secured in Him? - for it has been secured. The answer is in the Scriptures:
" ... this mind ... which was ... in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped (margin) to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant (margin) being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the Cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave unto Him the name which is above every name; that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:5-11).
So that what counts before Him and in His work is not man's attainments, achievements or abilities, but just the measure of Christ. What an infinitely higher level of spiritual life would be represented by God's people if the only consideration in the matter of their leadership, and the ministry, were that of the measure of Christ!
We have moved into a new phase of things. 'Revival' is being sought earnestly, and certain great names in revival history are in mind, on lip, and much used to stimulate revival-mindedness or mentality. But it may be that God is not going now to allow a great work of His to be related to men's names. Try as we will and may, we shall not produce anything adequate and living if God is not doing it. It has got to be HIS work, and manifestly HIS alone. Pentecost in its meaning and value for any time stands over against the background of the Cross - the Cross in which Christian disciples and apostles lost everything of this world.
They lost their Christ after the flesh; they lost their kingdom of God after the flesh. They lost their own lives, reputations, hopes, expectations and faith so far as anything of God being bound up with this earth was concerned. They recovered all only in a heavenly and spiritual way. Their own souls were crucified when Christ died. But what a mighty recompense in the spirit!
There may be too much soulishness about for God to commit Himself, and He will not until there is more emptiness and despair.
There is one other thing which is apropos of what we have been saying. This introduces another set of Scriptures, such as:
"And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, THE FULLNESS OF HIM that filleth all in all." (Eph. 1:22, 23).
"Having abolished in His flesh the enmity ... that He might create in Himself ...ONE NEW MAN ... and might reconcile them both in one body..." (Eph. 2:15, 16).
"Unto Him be the GLORY IN THE CHURCH and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever." (Eph. 3:21).
These, and other suchlike Scriptures, make it clear that "the church, which is His body" is the "one new man" which is destined to be the instrument of Christ's world-dominion.
This "man" is the fruit of His Cross. This Church was born of His travail. This is a crucified, buried, and risen Church in union and identification with Christ. What glory can it know save the glory of its Head? In this Church there is no place for antichrist in principle. It is in and by the Church which is His Body that the fullness of Christ will be displayed, and God will come into His rights. "Unto Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever."
(continued with # 22)