Many are familiar with the term "mesmerize." Although it is a word commonly used, few know its derivation. There was a theory that a magnetic balance pervaded the universe and acted upon both the mind and body. It was believed that upsetting this balance caused all illnesses. Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer (born in 1734) treated his patients with great success using magnets and other alternative techniques, such as placing a patient into a large wooden tub filled with water and metal filings. His success rate was remarkable and multitudes sought out him out in search of a cure. Later, others concluded that the success of the "treatment" was completely due to belief and will, and not Mesmer's treatments per se.
What individuals believe has a strong influence on their experience in life. Many have a pessimistic outlook that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; they begin to live out that hopelessness in their lives. Likewise, many look at life expecting success in life and, in spite of pitfalls, they keep their eyes on the goal and often succeed. Many Christians have been mesmerized by worldly and watered down Christianity into believing a pessimistic view of life. The scriptural doctrine of Christ's enthronement and the victorious nature of His kingdom have been forgotten. The consequences have been nothing short of a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeat for the church.
The Prophesies of Christ's Enthronement
Since Genesis 3:15, the people of God have looked forward to the day that the Seed would come Who would crush the head of the serpent. The promises of the Lord clearly taught that the King would come. In Numbers 24:17 the Lord says that a scepter shall rise from Israel. In Psalm 2:6, God speaking about the Messiah says, "I have installed my King." Zechariah 9:9-10 says:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; and His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Similarly, the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah speak of the coming of the King:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders…There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.
The teaching in the Scriptures about the coming of the King is explicit. The Father promised that in the fullness of time the King would be installed and His dominion would be to the very ends of the earth.
The Scriptural Testimony to the Historical Fact of Christ's Enthronement
Acts 1:9-11 records an account of the historical ascension of Jesus by eyewitnesses. This is not the only account of the ascension given in the Scriptures. Those present on the day of Christ's ascension gave only a partial account of what occurred that day: "But the disciples see only the first stage, for a cloud hides Him from their view." The prophet Daniel declares of that day:
I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
Scripture attests to the fact of Jesus' ascension and enthronement. Even before the public declaration of Christ as King, John the Baptist proclaimed that the kingdom of God was at hand. When Jesus began His public ministry, He announced that the kingdom had come. In Matthew 12:28, Jesus makes it undeniable that the kingdom of God was a present reality saying, "If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." The testimony of the New Testament assumes that Christ is at the right hand of God enthroned in glory. For example, in Hebrews and Ephesians it says:
When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…But to which of the angels has He ever said, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?" "He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet."
"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." Jesus Christ proclaimed in Matthew 28:18-20:
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the Age.
The testimony of the Scriptures regarding the historical fact of Christ's enthronement is explicitly taught and assumed in the New Testament.
A Brief Biblical Study of Christ's Enthronement
It is said that Jesus was exalted. "Exalted" in the Scriptures means to raise or lift up. Jesus was raised up to the highest possible position - the right hand of God. Literally, it says that Jesus was raised to "The right of God." The term "the right" is used in two ways: 1) place of honor and 2) authority and power. In the first instance, it means to be given a place of honor, as in a sense of favor. For example, when Christ returns He will separate the sheep and the goats placing His people "to the right" or to the place of honor displaying His favor. Therefore, it could be correctly said that Jesus has been exalted to the highest place of honor and favor before God "at His right." However, the primary sense in which to "the right" is used concerning Christ is authority and power. For example, in the Bible the right hand of God is portrayed as the symbol of divine power. God saves the oppressed, punishes the enemies of the righteous, helps people, gives the promised land, and creates the world by His right hand.
Jesus Christ's authority as the enthroned King spans every area of life and places Him above every authority both in heaven and on earth. Christ has authority over the entire created order, angels, and all of mankind. Jesus is also head over the church being the head of the body which He directs by His Word. These areas are the most widely acknowledged as being under Christ's rule; however, this is not the full extent of His authority because Jesus said that all authority is subject to Him. The Scriptures also teach that Christ is King over the nations. He has been given a dominion over all the nations and people of every language. Psalms 2:8,10-12 says:
Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, you shall shatter them like earthenware. Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the son, that the not become angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him.
The Scriptures boldly proclaim the position of Christ. In Revelation 1:5: "Jesus is said to be the ruler of the kings of the earth," and in 17:14 and 19:16 He is given the title "King of kings and Lord of lords."
Thus, a Christian's outlook should not be one of hopelessness and defeat, but one full of hope and great expectation of victory. Instead of being mesmerized by the latest popular book speculating about our current situation, the children of the King should join the chorus of heaven, singing the Biblical outlook, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."
- Gilbert Sanchez