Interpretation: Top of the World

By Lee Y. Martin, Ph.D.,© 2004

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Prologue

An accumulation of certain passages in the Bible will disclose that God created this earth to be the abode of a family He desired to have. It would be too lengthy and cumbersome in this interpretation to expound on the Scriptures proving this point. However, we know that saved people are called sons of God indicating that they are His creative progeny.

John 1:12
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Therefore, we can presume that God wanted a family of sons and daughters. Moreover, through a study of God’s actions toward His people throughout the ages, we can easily infer that God desired a family. The Word indicates that He wanted a people upon whom He could shower His tender loving kindnesses and show the inscrutable riches of His graciousness in providing for their every need and want. Is not this the desire of any good parent?

In the creation, God determined to let human beings, starting with Adam and Eve, be the progenitors of this family He wanted. We know from Genesis chapter three, however, that Adam and Eve disobeyed God and did not live up to His expectations. Given that God is all knowing, He was not surprised when it happened. And, for reasons known only to Himself, He decided not to discard this creation even though He could have scrapped it and started over. He was determined that Satan, His archenemy who caused the fall of mankind, would not destroy His original plans. Therefore, He devised a plan to save the human race in such a manner that His integrity would not be compromised when He fellowshipped with sinful creatures. This plan centered in the cross and was satan’s nemesis.

Love cannot exist where there is no freedom to choose. Love requires the option to walk away if one desires not to serve or have a relationship with another. Forced relationships are servitude. God ordained that family relationships would be covenant bonds freely entered into by men and women, and marriage was ordained as a support to counterbalance their weaknesses. This is noted by the fact that in olden days, and even in some cultures today, marriages were not based upon love but were arranged in order to meet the needs of people.

The way it is supposed to work is simple. The weakness of one would be filled by the strength of the other. In the case of God covenanting with man, each party had a weakness that the other fulfilled. Any weakness on God’s part is merely apparent. Nevertheless, God did have a legitimate need and Abraham filled it by covenant bonding with Him. Abraham needed protection and provision in a hostile world, and God needed a way to get back into the earth after Adam turned it over to satan who is called the god of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4. This is where our vision begins because it is the basis upon which the image in the vision is being destroyed.

Background
Who Really Possesses Earth?

Psalms 24:1
The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Psalms 115:16
16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Has God made a mistake in one of the verses above? From these two Scriptures it appears like God and man both have authority over the earth. If God gave the earth to the children of men, how is it that the Psalmist says that it belongs to the Lord? And why does David say that.

Psalms 8:6
6 (t)hou madest him (mankind) to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet(?)

Keep in mind that we are establishing the reason Jeannette saw a statue sitting on top of the world.

Free Will Has Rresponsibility

Fellowshipping with God is a matter of choice [Deuteronomy 30:19,20]. There has to be choice for fellowship to obtain because it is the state of sharing things by mutual consent. Therefore, God gave man as part of his humanity the opportunity to disobey. If we want to fellowship with God, we cannot sin because God has made it clear that He will not do so. He told Adam directly and up front that if he disobeyed he would die. God’s purity will not be contaminated nor compromised for any being. We know from Scripture that Lucifer, alias satan, was kicked out of heaven because of sin [Ezekiel 28:18; Luke 10:18]. In addition, we can readily see the consequences of Adam’s disobedience.

When God told Adam to subdue the earth and have dominion over it in Genesis 1:28, He gave Adam full rights to do whatever He wanted in ruling it as Psalm 8:6 above implies. However, because God established a requirement by which Adam’s fidelity would be tested, we know that God never did release total ownership of earth which is why we have a seeming discrepancy in Psalms 24:1 and 115:16. Jesus explained how the two Scriptures are reconciled in one of His parables.

Luke 20:9
9 Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.

The term ‘let it forth’ means that he leased it out to someone. It is obvious to those with ears to hear that the vineyard in the parable is not only referring to the Jewish nation but is also a veiled reference to the Garden of Eden, which God planted and which He leased out to Adam. This is in keeping with the Law of Double Reference in biblical interpretation. God leased it out to Adam and his progeny and expected him to subdue it, have dominion over it, and rule it with integrity. Then, in due time, God would come back and hopefully find a large family with whom He could fellowship.

We know from Genesis chapter three that Adam and Eve failed the test of love and loyalty before they had even one child for God. They disobeyed their maker and were free to do so; they ate of the tree of blessing and misfortune; and they chose to follow the leading of a serpent. As a result, they both died spiritually. Through Adam’s spiritual death, humanity was now living in a kingdom of darkness without any spiritual light. The lights being put out, men were at the mercy of their physical senses which are highly subjective and given to distortions.

We know that Eve sinned through deception, but Adam deliberately disobeyed [1 Timothy 2:13]. God had given Adam instructions before Eve was formed to take …dominion over the fish… fowl… and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth [Genesis 1:28]. Thus, Adam should have cast that ‘creeping’ serpent out of the garden when the snake spoke words contrary to what God had said. But, he didn’t. Taking the advice of a inferior creature over whom he had full control, Adam deliberately sinned against His creator by believing what the snake said instead of what God said, and he acted accordingly. In accordance with what God had said, Adam died spiritually having received a just recompense of reward. Hence, God’s point man Adam who was to progeny a family for Him, committed treason and turned over dominion of earth to a snake named Lucifer.

Romans 6:16
16 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?

MICHELANGELO di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, The Fall and Expulsion from Garden of Eden , 1509-10 Fresco Cappella Sistina, Vatican
Adam obeyed the voice of an intruder in the garden and lost his right of rulership. Now that he was spiritually dead and cut off from God, he had no ability to overcome the power of evil spirit beings. Satan possessed this golden opportunity to govern earth because God’s Word was out. The lease God had given to Adam now belonged to satan who could enforce rulership by virtue of spirit might having power over human might. From a state of having been created in God’s class of beings, humanity had now fallen to a state lower than angels. Alas, the father of humanity was subservient to an outlaw trespasser into the earth.

God's Word Stands Forever

Would God’s Word still be good? If God broke His lease of governance of the earth, which He had already spoken forth for Adam’s control, He would become a liar like the devil. So, God was temporarily in a bind. What should He do? Should He take back control of earth? Or, could He work His way into the earth through covenant bonding with men in order to legally take dominion back away from satan and save mankind?

Men have often wondered why God did not step in and just put everything back under His control. The reason lies in His spoken Word. He is bound by His own Words. If He spoke it, it must come to pass for He cannot lie. Yes, God has an overall control of all things, but God had to find a way to legally take back control of earth because until the spoken lease on earth runs out, He does not have direct control of things on earth.

You often hear people say, “God is in control of things, so don’t worry.” There are even bumpers stickers that say ‘God Is In Control.’ Unfortunately, if God is in control, He has things in a terrible mess. The world is about to self-destruct because of violence, tyranny, and terrorism, so what kind of a picture does that paint God into if He is in control? No, dear reader, God is not in control now. Satan is. And, he has produced nothing over the years but confusion and chaos. Kingdom after kingdom has arisen only to be replaced by another one. None could weather the ravages of sinful men under the guidance of a malevolent god. It got so bad at one point that God had to step in and wipe everything off the earth with a flood in order to preserve His original intention of men begetting Him a family.

Thus, we see that God lost control of earth to satan until the lease that He gave to Adam runs out. Just as in the natural, whoever has a lease on a piece of property has the right to do with it whatever is spelled out in that lease. In Adam’s lease, he had the right of ruling over everything on earth. This means that the devil is now in control of earth as we note in the wilderness temptation when he offered the kingdoms to Jesus if He would bow down and worship the devil [Matthew 4:8.9].

The Statue Was Sitting On Earth

Satan Has Been There and Done That

Scripture only hints at what went on in the Spirit world when Lucifer fell from God’s favor. We know that sin had to be the reason he was kicked out of heaven. God’s holiness and purity would not permit contamination of His heavenly dominion to go without redress.

One thing we do know from Scripture is that angels, of which Lucifer is one, were created to be ministers of God to do His will. Servants do not have the right of choice. They obey. Therefore, when satan exercised his ability to choose, he overstepped his estate as a minister to God and tried to usurp some of God’s sovereignty.

From Hebrews 1:14 we know that angels are …all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. Did you notice it says ‘all?’ This means that God created them initially to become the servants of the children in His family, and as servants they do not have the right to choose because servants obey. They do not make decisions.

On the other hand, man has been given the right of choice. Both men and angels have the ability to choose, but only men have the right to make choices. An apt analogy is where children have ability to make choices, but they only have the right if their parents have given them permission. Responsibility for our choices comes with age. When you tell a child not to do something and he does it anyway, it shows he has ability, but he did not have the right to do wrong. In like manner, although servants can choose, they do not have the right of choice. Their job is to please their lord. It is similar with angels. The Bible teaches that His holy angels are forever watching over His Word to see that it is performed. That is their assignment [Psalm 103:20,21] and they hasten to do it [Jeremiah 1:12].

All the evil angels have overstepped their estate as Jude 1:6 states and are therefore doomed to be separated from God’s newly created heaven and earth forever. The important thing for you to note is that evil angels, of which satan is one, are outlaws in this world. They have already been judged by the supreme court of heaven as malefactors and are out on bond awaiting incarceration at an appointed time, a procedure no different than earthly courts adjudicate. But, how does this relate to our vision?

Adam Gave His Authority To Rule Earth To Satan

Jeannette saw the image in the vision sitting down. This indicated right of rulership. Did not God tell Jesus to sit at His right hand until His enemies were made His footstool after redeeming the world with His death and resurrection? [Psalms 110:1]. Indeed, a monarch sits while all others stand. The image is obviously ruling all earth because it was sitting upon it from edge to edge. We must understand that the image represents satan’s authority over earth and his right to it.

Given that Adam gave his authority to rule earth to satan in the garden, Lucifer is now the god of this world [2 Corinthians 4:4] but only temporarily because Jesus has paid the penalty for Adam’s treasonous act and regained authority over the earth. Immediately upon Jesus’ resurrection, He said the following:

Matthew 28:18-20
18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power [Greek is ‘exousia’ meaning authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Jesus REGAINED CONTROL of earth upon His resurrection from the dead.)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Jesus delegated His authority to all believers in Him as Lord of all.)
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Believers are now to use their Power of Attorney given to them by Jesus and CONTROL THINGS ON EARTH for Jesus as Adam was supposed to do originally for God.)

Since satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of this world if He would worship him [Matthew 4:9], satan must have a legitimate claim on the world at this time. And indeed we have seen where Adam turned over dominion of the earth to satan in the garden. Why did satan use a reptile to launch his attack to take over the world? Why did he not just appear in the form of a man? We know angels do so. They came as men to rescue Lot out of Sodom before it was judged.

The reason the devil used a snake in the garden was because he needed a ‘physical body’ in order to have legitimate contact with physical entities on this planet. There were no other people on earth at that time for him to use. We live in a physical world but satan is a spirit being. He does not have a right to operate on this planet. No spirits have authority in the material world. That is why the spirits of men depart earth when their bodies die. This is a physical world and it takes a physical body to operate in it. Even though they have tremendous power, demons and devils desire to possess people’s bodies because without one, they are limited in what they can do here. It takes a flesh and blood body to have authority in this physical world. These are God’s laws that were ordained when He established this material world.

Human beings are actually spirits living in a physical body. When this body dies, our spirit has no more legitimacy here, so at death, it departs to wherever it is connected. Those connected to hell go there, and those connected to heaven go there. The choice must be made before death and departure. Once the spirit leaves the body, it is already committed and there will be no change of mind or circumstances then. For that reason, the Bible admonishes that…now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation [2 Corinthians 6:2].

An odd circumstance is the fact that God is limited in what He can do here in His own creation. He is limited to what believers will do for Him. What an awesome thought! Because God does not have a flesh and blood physical body [Jesus’ body is a spirit flesh and bone body at this time without the blood (Luke 24:39)], He is not legally able to matriculate on earth, and because satan’s lease has not yet run out, God’s control on earth is limited to what born again Christians will allow Him to do through them. This is because of the laws He established when He created the physical world.

Please click on next for Continued 2 Interpretaion: Top of the World

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Update: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:31 PM