Last month we investigated the existence of Jesus before He came to Earth. This month we will investigate His work in Heaven before and after He came to Earth.
Jesus Speaks for the Godhead
Before the universe was created, the Father and the Holy Spirit agreed that Jesus would be the “voice” for the Trinity. There would be one spokesman which explains why Jesus is called “the Word.” (Revelation 19:13; John 1:1–14) John describes this arrangement in John 1: “In the beginning [before anything was made] was [Jesus] the Word, and the Word was with God [Jesus was with the Father and the Holy Spirit], and the Word was [also] God [the same in substance as the Father and the Holy Spirit]. He [Jesus] was with God [the Father and Holy Spirit] in the beginning. Through Him [Jesus] all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1–3, insertions mine)
When Jesus was on Earth, He did not speak on His own. He spoke the words which the Father gave to Him: “These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. . . . For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives [Him] the Spirit without limit.” (John 14:24, 3:34, insertion mine)
Shortly before Jesus returned to Heaven, He told His disciples that in His absence, the Holy Spirit would deliver His words to them: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own [even though the Holy Spirit is a separate and distinct God who can speak for Himself, He does not speak on His own, just as Jesus does not speak on His own]; He will speak only what He hears [me say], and He will tell you what [I have said and what] is yet to come. [As I have brought glory to the Father by speaking only the words He gave me,] He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” (John 16:13–14, insertions mine)
Many people do not realize that Jesus is the Creator of everything that exists. “For by Him all things were created: Things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God [the Father] was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on Earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:16–20, insertion mine)
Because Jesus is God and He speaks for the Godhead, His words have incredible power! “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” (Psalm 33:9) At the Second Coming, Jesus will speak and the remaining wicked people will die at His command! “The rest of them [the wicked] were killed with the sword [a command] that came out of the mouth of [Jesus] the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” (Revelation 19:21, insertions mine)
Jesus and the Father are not omnipresent because they surrendered this prerogative to the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Holy Spirit do not create because they surrendered this prerogative to Jesus. The Father and the Holy Spirit do not speak for the Godhead because they surrendered this prerogative to Jesus and yet, everything Jesus creates belongs to the Father.
There are many more points of surrender within the Godhead, but you get the idea. The union and oneness of the Godhead is incredible! Their perfect union (in purpose, plan, and action) is bound by infinite love. I like to compare the union of the Godhead to the construction of an atom where all of the parts (the electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.) make up one atom, held together by incredible force.
Notice the ownership arrangement which Jesus mentioned to the Father just before He went to the cross. Jesus prayed: “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours [your property]; [but] you gave them to me [if I would come and redeem them] and they have obeyed your word.
Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me [to speak] and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.” (John 17:6–8, insertion mine, italics mine)
Before Coming to Earth
Before Jesus came to Earth, He created the universe and the angels with His delegated creative function. As their Creator, Jesus walked among the angels and spent much time with them. He spoke to them on behalf of the Godhead. He taught the angels many things and explained the wonder of His creations.
Jesus was also busy with the administration of the angels. It surprises some people to learn that the angels called Him Michael before humans called Him Jesus. Before coming to Earth, Jesus was called Michael, the archangel. (For a discussion on the identity of Michael, please see Chapters 1-3, “Who is Jesus?” in Jesus: The Alpha and The Omega.
It was after Lucifer and his followers were expelled from Heaven that Jesus created Earth. Jesus warned Adam and Eve about God’s wily foe, and Jesus also instructed Adam and Eve that they must not eat the fruit from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If they did, Jesus warned them that they would suffer the penalty for sin (death by execution) on the very day they sinned. (Genesis 2:17)
Eventually, Lucifer caused Eve to sin and she in turn, led Adam into sin. However, I understand that instead of executing the guilty pair, Jesus immediately went to the Father to see if they could be rescued. Jesus loved Adam and Eve more than He loved His own life and He willingly offered to do whatever was necessary to save them from the penalty for sin. The Father presented a plan to redeem Adam and Eve and Jesus accepted the terms and conditions of this plan.
The plan required the Creator of life to give up His life so that sinners could have the eternal life that belonged to Him. The plan also required Jesus to humble Himself to three “whatevers.” First, whatever the Father wanted Jesus to become, He would become. Jesus agreed to live on Earth after the curse of sin had 4,000 years to mature.
He agreed to live among a rebellious people who were members of a toxic religious system. Even more, He agreed to live among them in poverty and to accept the stigma of having no father. These two conditions insured that His peers and the religious leaders would treat Him with endless contempt. Second, whatever the Father wanted Him to do, Jesus agreed to do. He agreed to die as a sinner and cease to exist (experience the second death). Finally, whatever the Father wanted Him to say, Jesus agreed to say—no matter the situation or the consequences.
When Jesus accepted the terms and conditions required for man’s redemption, He became “the Son” of God that day. (Psalm 2:7–12; 45:7) (Note: The Hebrew word ben means “son” and ben identifies a male who is subject to a higher authority.) When Jesus agreed to the three “whatevers,” the Father made a covenant with Jesus. If Jesus perfectly carried out His plan for the redemption of mankind, the Father would:
1. Resurrect Jesus from the second death and give Him eternal life
2. Give Jesus authority over His followers (the church)
3. Give the saints and the kingdom of Earth over to Jesus as His possession
4. At the end of sin’s drama, show the universe that Jesus is His equal in substance which means that Jesus is Almighty God just as the Father is Almighty God. The only difference between the Father and Jesus is the surrender of various prerogatives.
(For more information on this matter, please see pages 54-56 and 129-169 in the book Jesus’ Final Victory.)
So, in the beginning, Jesus created the universe and the angels. From the time that sin began on Earth until Jesus was born, He oversaw the kingdoms on Earth and He continues to oversee man’s actions according to the Father’s policies.
After His Ascension
On the basis of His sinless life, selfless sacrifice, and perfect conformity to the Father’s three “whatevers,” the Father resurrected Jesus and took Him to Heaven where Jesus was promoted and positioned at the right hand of the Father as man’s priest-intercessor. (See Hebrews 5:4–5.)
Jesus also resumed His role as the Archangel. (To the angels, Jesus has always been and will forever be the Archangel, Michael. See 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Daniel 12:1; Revelation 12:7–9.) Jesus also took control of His church on Earth and He resumed His duties as the Overseer of the kingdoms of Earth, fulfilling the Father’s policies.
About two centuries ago, the final countdown to end Earth’s sin problem began. Due to a conflict of interest, the Father could not terminate Earth’s sin problem, so He conducted a search throughout the universe to find someone worthy to do the job. (See Revelation 4–6.)
The person selected had to end the sin problem with no apparent flaws or shortcomings in the intricate process of saving some sinners and destroying others, fully exonerate God’s character and government from Lucifer’s clever lies, and restore the universe to a sinless state in perfect harmony with the laws of love. Jesus was the only person found capable of fulfilling all three requirements.
In 1798, Jesus ascended the throne of God (the Father stepped aside) and has been in control of Heaven and Earth. Paul knew this event was coming. He wrote, “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:9–10)
Jesus began the process of breaking each of the seven seals on the Book of Life in 1798. He broke the third seal in 1844 and the judgment of mankind (the dead) began. The next seal to be broken is the fourth seal and when it is, people will see the sovereign authority of Jesus throughout the Earth. The censer in Revelation 8:5 will be cast down and the Great Tribulation will begin. (One of God’s purposes for the Great Tribulation is to judge the living.)
At this time, Jesus has sovereign authority. He rules from the throne of God as God, according to His infinite wisdom. He is Almighty God and He currently rules over the universe as the Father ruled over the universe prior to 1798. Jesus is man’s judge, high priest, and king, and there is no higher authority.
Jesus is exceedingly generous, but a day will come when sin’s grip on Earth must end. At that time, God’s wrath against man’s degenerate behavior will begin. Jesus is waiting for the time set by the Father. Until then, Jesus oversees and overrules as necessary, holding everything together on Earth until the time to put an end to sin has arrived. It is at this moment there is no more time. (See Revelation 10:6.) Jesus will end corporate mercy and His wrath will break out on Earth. Twenty-five percent of Earth’s population will perish.
The sovereign authority of Jesus Christ will overwhelm a world that languishes under the deadly cancer of sin. Even though the wrath of God will be painful, Jesus will extend mercy and salvation to the survivors. Many people will wake up, repent of their sins and be saved.
At the end of the 1,000 years, Jesus will terminate His sovereign authority. He will leave the throne. He will return everything to the Father so that He might live among His created beings. Paul wrote, “When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28)