After Christ’s ascension to the right hand of His Father, the writers of the Epistles continued to expound on God’s power revealed in Christ, both in the present age, and that which will be exhibited in the future. The Apostle John also spoke of the power that God would temporarily grant to Christ’s enemies in order to fulfill His plan for mankind from the foundation of the world.
“…the exceeding greatness of His power…which He worked in Christ when He 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.” Ephesians 1:19-21
There is no doubt that Christ has been granted the absolute, ultimate power of God over all creation. He will exercise that power during the final conflict between good and evil. His power transcends earthly bounds to include all principality and power, i.e. spiritual enemies as well.
Recall the fourth ‘horseman’ of the apocalypse as an example of God’s power temporarily given to Christ’s enemies.
“…and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power (authority) was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8
And that is just the fourth seal. There would be three more along with the trumpet and bowl judgments.
The future anti-Christ is evil personified and even he will be given power for a short time to fulfill God’s plan.
“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months…It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to over-come them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” Revelation 13:5, 7
Note the phrase ‘he was given’ is used several times. Just as Jesus reminded Pilate that he would have no power at all except it was given to him from above, so it is with all power exercised by appointed world leaders.
Many, including many Christians, have trouble dealing with the fact that God uses seemingly ‘ungodly’ methods to accomplish His purpose; however, the depth of depravity of man warrants such tactics. One needs to look past the tribulation to justify and experience the end result which is, of course, the defeat of evil.
As the tribulation period progresses the fourth bowl judgment is also accomplished with granted power.
“Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.” Revelation 16:8-9
After those to whom temporary power was given have been destroyed, the One who has the ultimate power will appear.
“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood…Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron.” Revelation 19:13a, 15
After Christ has completed His mission, His authority will once again be vested in the Father.
“Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power…Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”
1 Corinthians 15:24, 28
What a future!
The big picture tends to marginalize one of President Obama’s statements made to his Muslim audience in Cairo. Obama’s goal was to unite the varied cultures and religions of the world.
“We have the power to make the world we seek…The people of the world can live together in peace. We know this is God’s vision.”
Naive, arrogant, disengaged, misinformed, or…?