Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend With victory, triumphing through the air Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise The Serpent, Prince of Air, and drag in chains Through all his realm, and there confounded leave; Then enter into glory, and resume His seat at God's right hand, exalted high Above all names in Heav'n.
John Milton, Paradise Lost [12.451-58]
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who took upon Him to die for all, stretched forth His hands, not somewhere on the earth beneath, but in the air itself, in order that the Salvation effected by the cross might be shown to men everywhere: destroying the devil who was working in the air: and that He might consecrate our road up to Heaven, and make it free.
St. Athanasius, Letters [xxii]
THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM
Adam was created a king. He was to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. His kingship, however, was not absolute; Adam was a subordinate ruler, a king (prince) under God. He was a king only because God had created him as such and ordered him to rule. God's plan was for His image to rule the world under His law and oversight. As long as Adam was faithful to his commission, he was able to have dominion over the earth.
But Adam was unfaithful. Unsatisfied with being a subordinate ruler in God's image, applying God's law to creation, he wanted autonomy. He wanted to be his own god, making up his own law. For this crime of rebellion he was cast out of the Garden. But, as we have seen in the preceding chapters, this incident did not abort God's plan for dominion through His image. The Second Adam, Jesus Christ, came to accomplish the task which the First Adam had failed to do.
Throughout the Old Testament the prophets increasingly looked forward to a time when God's appointed King would come to sit on the throne. One of the Psalms most often quoted by New Testament authors shows God the Father telling His Son, the King:
Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Ps. 2:8-9)
The prophets made it clear that, like Adam, the coming King was to rule over the entire world (not only over Israel):
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before Him,
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him. (Ps. 72:8-11)
God showed Daniel an outline of history in which a towering statue (representing the four empires of BabyIon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome) is struck down and crushed by a stone; "and the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" (Dan. 2:35). The meaning of this vision is the restoration of Eden under the King, as Daniel explained: "In the days of those kings [i.e., during the period of the Roman Empire] the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom which will never be destroyed; and that Kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever" (Dan. 2:44). Christ, the Second Adam, will perform the task assigned to the First Adam, causing the Holy Mountain to grow and encompass the entire world.
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Preparing for Armageddon, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Strikes, the Zombie Apocalypse, and Every Other Threat to Human Life on Earth. Most of us have thought about how we would handle various types of scenarios that could signal the end of the world. There are plenty of movies on the subject, psychological papers, and even survivalists that are part of reality TV shows. Perhaps you have had dreams about being one of the few left and what you would do in order to survive.