All forms of nature manifest the perfection, with which God’s creation was designed. There cannot be any trace of error, or cause for improvement on what God created and claimed to be very good (Genesis 1:31). However, it was later arranged that humans, created in God’s image were to dwell in a physical body, as later formed in Adam. But everything is done with precision.
Possibly, the human’s physical body was necessary, just for the purpose of developing the character of the man, created in God’s image. However, the physical body of Adam was formed later; and, therefore, could not be included in the composite structure of that which God created and declared as very good.
The incident at the Garden of Eden reveals the conception of sin’s association with the man, created in God’s image. [See “When did creation take place”]. But that man was to dwell in a physical body, subject to perishing. Man was to be exposed to the sin that came through the deception of Satan, the originator of sin. However, there is no reason to entertain any assumption that the Man’s creation had not been in perfect condition, before sin entered.
Satan had already been identified with sinfulness. God must have conveniently made use of Satan’s sinful influence, exposing the man created in God’s image to sinful behavior. That man was created with the will power to choose between good and evil. God’s wisdom is unparalleled. He is able to use what is obstinately evil and negative, for christening the value already established for good purposes.
While Satan is hated by many, he is used by God for our own Goodness. For God’s own dignity to prevail, He cannot bring anyone into His Kingdom without that person’s consent. Among the created humanity, God also allows good and bad characters to co-exist (Matthew 13:24-30). This is another opportunity that helps in developing and christening those choosing to effectively commit themselves to God’s Kingdom.
In Adam we see God deliberately allowing rebellion to take effect. There are only two principalities from where a human being can evaluate, settling for that which identifies with the person’s own will. Many people are passionate for eternal life. But not all are ready for the eternal life.
In Revelation 20, John shows a very interesting event. It starts with the binding of Satan, the deceiver, so that he will not be able to deceive anyone, during Christ’s reign. Careful reading of that scripture shows that God and His saints will rule over the nations, for a period of one thousand years.
During that time there would obviously be peace on earth, as the deceiver of humanity would not be there. The Kingdom of Jesus Christ is described as would bring peace on earth, as its principles are cut for bringing peace and order on earth, according to God’s creative wisdom:
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom, one that shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14) (ESV).
Notice, carefully, the similarity that, according to Daniel, the man referred to by John, in Revelation 20, comes to rule, exercising dominion over nations, is the “Son of Man”. The significance of the term ‘Son of Man’ is that the King would identify with humanity and be observed by all to be as human as we are. On the day of Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the following is what the two angels declared to the disciples:
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
There is a special reason why the angels did not say “this same Christ.” Jesus is the child that was born to us, while Christ is the Son that was given to us (Isaiah 9:6). The Christ was in Jesus, but could not be seen. In the first century, people saw a visible Jesus. However, they could not see the Christ who was invisible. If those who killed Jesus had seen the Christ in Jesus, they would not have done what they did to Him.
Nevertheless, Jesus is coming to reign on earth, in His visible human form. While the Jews of the first century did not see the Christ in Jesus, at His second-coming they will see the Christ, in the same Jesus, that they crucified. It is only at that time that the killers of Jesus will realize that they actually harassed the Christ, whom they could not see in Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus will come in the same way as the disciples saw Him go into Heaven. The only difference is that this time Jesus comes to literally take-over the kingdoms of the world. He will sit on the throne of David, as declared in Daniel’s prophecy. At the reign of Jesus, peace and goodness will prevail, as associated with Jesus’ righteous rule. But, here comes the most interesting passage in John’s prophecy:
“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelations 20:7-10) (ESV).
Obviously, several questions arise from this passage: Why does God release Satan to come and cause rebellion, when there would be peace and tranquility in the whole world? Who is Gog and Magog? Why is Satan being condemned now, yet having been loose in the previous dispensations?
The answer to the first question lies in that in human societies, there is nothing as appealing as rebellion. In our country, Zimbabwe, we proudly call this “Chimurenga.” Rebellion implies self-governance and therefore, doing what appeals to one’s own pleasures, without regard for others. In short, rebellion appeals to self-centredness, instead of altruism. [See another definition of sin is self-centredness].
The answer to the second question is that uprising, or rebellion, appeals to mob psychology. Any governing authority will tell you that the thing they fear most is the uprising by those governed. The principle of democratic elections is therefore designed with hope that it will address the problem of uprising. Yet democracy is laden with its own problems, as known to torment humanity. [See “A Kingdom is not a democracy”]
On the answer to the third question, according to Wikipedia, Gog and Magog is defined as follows:
“The first mention of the two names occurs in the Book of Ezekiel, where Gog is an individual and Magog is his land; in Genesis 10 Magog is a person, son of Japheth son of Noah, but no Gog is mentioned. In Revelation, Gog and Magog together represents the hostile nations of the world.”
Apparently, God allows and encourages rebellion? The only unfortunate thing is that, in accordance with the set laws, in God’s creation, rebellion leads to death, instead of life. Those who sow the seeds of rebellion, reap the fruits of rebellion. Power is vested on the one who rules. Therefore, the only way to obtain peace, even in a worldly kingdom, is to submit to the governing authority.
The aim of any human being is to obtain Kingdom. No-one wants to be ruled, but to rule over others. While Christ will exercise His righteous authority, during His reign, ordinary people will be longing for self-rule. The opportunity for rebellion will come only at the end of Satan’s prison. Satan is the prince of rebellion. Submission to authority is foreign to him. Those submitting to him find his rebellious methods appealing.
During Jesus’ reign, knowledge will be in abundance. But those submitting to Satan’s rebellion will have not bothered with the acquisition of knowledge: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children (Hosea 4:6) (ESV).
Most people just fail to appreciate how it could be possible for people to reject knowledge under the reign of Jesus. However, when one considers how people rejected Christ’s teachings, to the point of killing Him, one can easily understand the principle of rebellion.
This is why, even now, most people take comfort in negatively judging the Pharisees of Jesus’ time, yet doing the same, if not worse than those enemies of Christ. Human behavior is the same as it was in Jesus’ time. Whoever God sends with the truth, is subjected to evaluation, according to Satan’s principles, so that the physical person is seen, not the unseen Christ, using that person. [See “Crossed into an evil and adulterous generation”].
There is only one authority under the sun and that is Jesus Christ. Any other authority, even if it is a Christian denominational leadership authority, is influenced by the spirit of rebellion. It may be acceptable to those being led, but serving to lead them towards the consequences of rebellion (Isaiah 59:13).
As far as God is concerned, nothing is amiss concerning those choosing to rebel against God’s authority. He actually empowered humans with the right to make choices. Those people have rights to rebel. However, their rebellion also serves to develop the character of those chosen to apply Godly principles (Romans 8:28).
As much as Judas Iscariot entertained the idea of rebellion, God used his rebellious behavior to accomplish the mission of Jesus Christ. Also, just as, in His rebellion, supposing he could win against God, Satan’s rebellion was accessible to God, for the development of humanity who would be incorporated in God’s family. Whichever way, no-one can win against God’s authority.
Another amazing thing is that Satan and his demons know that there will come a time when they will be destroyed: “And behold, they cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?’” (Matthew 8:29) (ESV).
However, the deceived humanity continue in their sinful conduct. They are not even aware of the consequences of deliberately rejecting God’s knowledge, because of pride. Some of them, actually, condemn those they consider to be unacceptably sinful. In so-doing, they assume being the servants of God, yet being the servants of Satan the devil.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from its current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
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