“Saviors shall come upon Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (Oba. 1:21)
We have been considering the wonderful truths of the manifestation of sons. The time for the corporate expression of God’s Christ is drawing near. Indeed, the plan is already in motion. God, the orchestrator of all things, has lowered the Seed into the earth. He has made His abode in man. And He is now preparing to birth Christ in a people. The ultimate purpose of this corporate manifestation is to liberate creation from the bondage of its corruption (Rom. 8:21).
Paul describes this glorious expression of God’s kingdom in a people as the hope for which creation yearns. On this hope hangs the plan of God ordained from the foundation of world. “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Rom. 8:19-22).
Today, the world finds itself in futility and under the bondage of corruption. We are confronted with a multitude of complex problems. It is a time of radical moral and ideological instability. In the west, the struggles between left and right-wing ideologies are not only becoming increasingly divisive but they have exposed the foundation and conviction of the church. Throughout the world, wickedness in all its forms finds expression in families, communities, organizations, nations and every other social domain. Man has been a witness, victim and/or participant in selfishness, anger, prejudice, revenge, deceitfulness, pride, abuse, murders, adultery, rape, racism, homosexuality, drug abuse, violence, and many others too numerous to list. There is no escaping it, every man born into this world has been born into the bondage of corruption. And the more civilized and sophisticated our society has become the more it has pursued an aimless course in dealing with these problems.
The answer to these issues lies not with man but with God. God is Himself the solution. In Him is power the world does not possess – the power to transform man unto salvation. This power of God unto salvation is Christ. But Christ will only be effectual to the degree that He finds His being and expression in and through man. Only when Christ becomes the indwelling and controlling factor of life in all man will the evils that confront our world cease. It is for this hope that the creation groans and labors in eager expectation (Rom. 8:22).
One needs to only listen to the evening news to hear the groan of creation. There is a groan from the millions who have lost loved ones due to civil unrest, war, terrorim, or genocide. There is a groan from the estimated 1.5 billion living in extreme poverty. From the 153 million orphans around the world without a family to call their own, there is a groan. From the 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide seperated from loved ones and a place to call home, there is a groan. From the sick, the destitute, the abandoned, the addicted, the marginalized, the wrongfully convicted, the exploited, the abducted, the unloved, the abased, there is a groan. From the animals and plants that are experiencing the man’s destructive exploitation, there is a groan. Yet this is also a groan that every son of God expresses in faith. For “we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves” (Rom. 8:23).
What is this groan for? It is a travail for the liberty and freedom of God’s salvation! The groan for salvation is in effect a groan for a Savior, because salvation is merely a by-product of a Savior. Many in the world want the fruits of salvation but they want nothing to do with the Savior. But salvation is impossible without a Savior. A Savior is one who saves, delivers and preserves. Thus, the Psalmist writes: “The Lord is become my salvation” (Ps. 118:14) and “the Lord is our light and our salvation” (Psal. 27:1). Jesus Christ is the Son whom the Father sent to be the Savior of the world (1 Joh. 4:14).
I would put forth to you that anyone who wishes to minister salvation to creation effectively has to become a savior in the image of the Son. The ministry of the church for the past few centuries has made some strides in ministering salvation, yet it has not ministered a salvation that has scratched the surface of the issues I’ve raised above. Nor has it ministered a salvation that has brought forth the new man in the stature of Christ. One who has not come to the stature of the fullness of the Savior can only minister in an in-part capacity. That is why the Church has not seen a harvest that is all-embracing.
Those in the church system will argue that this is not God’s plan. This simply demonstrates that the church system does not yet have a revelation of the all-encompassing nature of God’s redemptive plan. No wonder then that creation is not waiting in eager expectation for more missions, more evangelism, more crusades, more televangelists, more church outreach etc. Rather it is waiting in eager expectation for the manifestation of sons. This is an altogether different dimension of ministry. It is a ministry that is all-inclusive for we read that: “the creation itself also WILL BE DELIVERED from the bondage of corruption” (Rom. 8:21). Praise God, CREATION WILL BE DELIVERED!
The ministry of the manifested sons is in line with the ministry of the Son in all its power and glory. Jesus said: “whatever He (Father) does, the Son also does in like manner” (Joh. 5:19). The ministry of sons is a ministry empowered by the effectual working of the Father. The Father will be in them as they are in Him and God Himself will do the works as He did in Jesus Christ (Joh. 14:10). Like the first begotten Son, not a word will be spoken that will not produce. It will be a ministry that imparts the saving grace of God, that brings conviction, and that draws men unto the Father. Surely, this all-encompassing ministry of salvation unto creation is what Jesus was referring to when He said: “whoever believes on (Greek: into) Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works that these will He do” (Joh. 14:12).
He is the only Savior, yet He is also bringing a company of saviors upon mount Zion to do these greater works. Saviors who have entered into identification with Him, who have been conformed into His image must come forth. This corporate expression of the many-membered Christ manifested in bodily form will inaugurate a ministry that will bring to culmination the finished work of our Lord Jesus and set creation free from the bondage of its corruption. It is in light of this that Obadiah prophesies: “Saviors shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (Oba. 1:21).
The spiritual mount Zion of which Obadiah speaks is the summit of spiritual reality and attainment. It is from its heights that the ministry of salvation goes forth to draw men unto God. Mountains are symbols of kingdoms, be it of man or of God. Yet they are not merely outward, they are also established within man.
Obadiah mentions that “the mountains of Esau” shall be judged. Esau and his descendants the Edomites signify the flesh. “And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble… and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau” (Oba. 1:18). Does not the Lord say that He makes “His ministers a flame of fire” (Heb. 1:7)? The mountains of Esau (the kingdoms of this world) shall be judged and purged with fire by deliverers who have ascended up to mount Zion. This is the working of God’s salvation.
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountains of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, come, and let us go to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micha 4:1-2).
Mount Zion is the holy mountain where God dwells and reveals Himself (Psal. 2:6). The heavenly mount Zion is the realm of the throne from which salvation and deliverance extends. All peoples and nations shall flow to this mountain of the Lord. “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness” (Oba. 1:17). It was on this heavenly mount that John the revelator saw the company of God’s sons in his vison: “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Rev. 14:1-2).
The 144,000 on mount Zion are the saviors of which Obadiah prophesied. They are a people who go forth ministering salvation unto creation. Thus, we read: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘your God reigns!’”(Isa. 52:7). Some interpret the 144,000 to mean exactly 144,000 sons of God. But this is a gross misinterpretation. The Revelation is a book of symbols. Every number used in the book bears a significant spiritual meaning. First, notice that the 144,000 are identified as firstfruits (Rev. 14:4). They are first to be redeemed from the earth and from among men. They are first to be manifested, being firstfruits unto God and the Lamb. If there is a firstfruit, then there must by necessity be a following harvest – other sons to come. Secondly, the number 144,000 is twelve multiplied by itself times one thousand. Twelve signifies the number of divine government while a thousand stands for the day of the Lord. Therefore, the 144,000 indicates sons in whom the government of God finds its highest expression and who hasten the day of the Lord. Therefore, the number reveals the quality of this elect company and not their quantity.
Notice their position and excellence. They stand on Mount Zion (the heights of spiritual attainment), they have their Father’s name written on their foreheads (they possess the mind of Christ), they sing a new song (they declare a new message, a fresh word), they are not defiled with women (soulish desires and passions), they are redeemed from the earth (they are separated from the religious system of man), and they follow the Lamb wherever He goes (they know the voice of the Shepherd and the voice of another they do not follow) (Rev. 14:1, 3, 4).
The power and dominion of the Kingdom shall extend from the summits of Zion and all nations, peoples and indeed all of creation shall be gathered to the Lord. Then will the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15). Then it will be said of the systems of this world “the mountains were not found” (Rev. 16:20). Then “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Num. 14:21). Then shall the Son put all things under Him, “so that God may be all in all [be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life]” (1 Cor. 15:28). Then will creation be set free from the bondage of its corruption to declare the praises of God Almighty!