The Rulership of Jesus Leads to Abundance
by: John Havir
When we hear the term holocaust, the period of history surrounding the Second World War usually comes to mind. Led by Adolph Hitler, six million Jews were put to death by Nazi Germany. But was the genocide of the Jews during World War Two the only holocaust of mankind?
Unfortunately, mankind's history can be characterized as one group of people trying to dominate another group. In fact, mankind's history is riddled with many holocausts.
During the European colonial period of Africa, twelve million Africans were sold into slavery destined for the continents of North and South America. And lets not forget the Arab merchants who bought and sold millions more destined for the shores of Asia.
Yet those sold into slavery and transported to foreign shores may have been considered the lucky ones. Many who remained in Africa also were enslaved and worked on plantations owned by Europeans. Working conditions were the same or worse than those in the Americas. King Leopold II is credited with the death of ten million Africans who remained on the continent. In fact, one source states this about King Leopold II: "After the impact of the slave trade, King Leopold's reign of terror was Africa's most severe demographic disaster."
Mankind's rulership can be characterized as one group of people dominating another group of people. Yet, Bible readers should not be surprised.
When Israel demanded a king (1 Samuel 8), God explained through the prophet Samuel what man's government would be like. Instead of government serving the people, the people would serve the government. People would serve the king by taking care of his horses and chariots. Captains would be appointed over his thousands to raise food for the king and his entourage. The king would take the best agricultural fields, tax their income, take their sons and daughters to serve him. God was telling Israel through Samuel, even in the best of times, the king's abundance would be secured first.
How would it be during the worst of times? After the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam became king over Israel (1 Kings 12).
Rehoboam consulted the elders who stood before his father seeking advice on how he should rule as king. They spoke to Rehoboam stating: "If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever" (1 Kings 12:6-7). Unfortunately, Rehobaom did not heed their advice.
King Rehobaom took the advice of his younger peers. This was the conclusion the new king told his subjects: "Then the king answered the people roughly, and rejected the advice which the elders had given him; and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke, my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges" (I Kings 12:13-14)!
Domination of people is not always political. It can be part
of the social and religious fabric of society as well. God through the prophet
Ezekiel details the selfishness of Israel's shepherds (Ezekiel 34). Instead of
shepherding the people, the shepherds took care of themselves. "Son of man,
prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, Thus says
the Lord God to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed
themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe
yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the
flock" (Ezekiel 34:2-3). The shepherds made sure they lived in abundance at
the expense of the sheep.
Jesus Is Against Domination of Others
Dominance and control of people was rampant during the time of Jesus as well. On several occasions Jesus scolded those who had this attitude.
The Pharisees were a group of people who delighted in telling others how to live their lives (Matthew 23:1-8). They loved putting heavy burdens on the people they controlled and enjoyed watching their subjects perform what they commanded to be done. "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men" (Matthew 23:4-5).
Even the disciples of Jesus wanted to know who was going to be preeminent in the kingdom (Matthew 20:20-28). Jesus was and still is against the attitude of control, preeminence, and domination. "But Jesus called them to Himself and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave -just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).
Godly Leadership Leads to Abundance
We should make a distinction between the leadership qualities of man and those of Jesus Christ. Generally, man's leadership leads to domination. Jesus' leadership leads to abundance.
The Pharisees wanted people to have burdens. But the Bible clearly states the intention of Jesus is to bring abundance ".... I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" John 10:10).
What is the end result for those who are called, chosen, and faithful? Are the promises of God abundant promises? "... by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2 Peter 1:4). Divine nature is part of the promise. That would have to be considered abundance.
The kingdom age will be a time of worldwide abundance (Micah 4:1-4). This will be a time when the tools of domination will be turned into the tools of abundance. "... They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall be afraid" (Micah 4:3-4). The thousand year reign of Jesus will be a time of abundance, not domination.
Saints Should Examine Themselves
Saints who plan to rule and reign with Jesus during the kingdom age need to examine themselves. Will Jesus want a dominating, controlling, and a preeminence-seeking individual as ruler in His kingdom? Christians need to examine themselves now as to how they relate with their spouse, children, siblings, coworkers, employees, and fellow saints. Saints should demonstrate leadership qualities which match those of Jesus Christ.
Saints should be glad the kingdoms of the this world will eventually become the kingdoms of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the world will finally experience full and total abundance!