The permissive and active will of God
This question may also enter the realm of the Sovereignty of God. God always reigns and has never not reigned, "I The Lord Omnipotent Reigneth." For God to be God He must reign and be in control of all things. As we see in the Book of Job, Satan must ask the permission of God.
The notes on Job 2 from the 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV) state:
Satan hath permission to afflict Job. His wife tempteth him to forsake God. His
three friends visit him. to afflict the sons of men.! in Jobs case the Lord permitted Satan to severely afflict Job. If this is an example of Gods relationship to creation in general, then we must consider the permissive will of God to the extent that scripture reveals everywhere that God is always in control, despite appearances.
The relationship between God and Satan is depicted as a war. Yet the scripture reveals a greater truth, when one looks deeper. Our conception of war, considers two parties opposed. Yet God clearly reveals that He is in control of His enemy, the Devil, to such an extent that "He works all things together for good".
"I form the light and create darkness, I make peace
and I create evil(calamity); I am the Lord,
Who does all these things."
Now we know that God can not sin, nor even look upon sin:
(NKJV) You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on
wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold
Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?
Yet He declares His rule over all things. We must understand therefore that God permits sin and evil according to His eternal purpose. "The creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but of because of the will of Him who subjected it" (Romans 8:20).
1 Corinthians 15:24-28
"Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and
Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.
For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all
things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are
put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all
things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him,
then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected
all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
Notice the certainty of Gods word. He reigns and will abolish all His enemies.
If it can be established that nothing happens without either the active or passive will of God then we can conclude that GOD IS always ruling in His creation. We would in fact expect nothing less of God. For God to be God He must be in control at all times. An earthly king we can understand has conflicts which are out of his control, but to consider the Unborn Eternal God, on a level with Earthly Kings, is to misunderstand the scriptures and the very nature of the Almighty and all powerful One.
When we read that God has taken His great power and begun to rule, we should only take this in the sense that God is revealing the true nature of His person, in that He extends to us a clear and visible form of His rule. In other words, what is true of God, i.e that He always rules, will be seen to be true. Now "Truly you are a God who hides Himself, Oh God of Israel Savior" (Isaiah 45:15).
"Begun to rule" indicates a revealing of the will and power of God. He will in effect show creation His power. Their will be no doubt any longer, it will be plain to see! Gods rule will be revealed for all to see. It will not be hidden any longer but plain to see, He will be seen to begin to rule, but the truth is, He always has ruled and nothing is out of His control. Likewise to say that, God comes, is for our benefit so we can understand, as He is always here and only the eye of faith perceives His true power. He will come, but He is here now. The issue, is the question of our perception, not of God's position (For I the Lord do not change) and there will come a time when we will see all things clearly, not because God has changed but because we have. "He has taken His great power and begun to rule" must leave the emphasis on the creatures perception of the Creator, not on the power or rule of God. For His rule is constant and over all things, "for of him and through Him and to him are all things"! It is our perception of Him that changes and not His power. He will be seen to rule and therefore our eyes will be opened.
The change is not in Gods position of power, but in ours and our view of Him. "For I the LORD do not change" (Malachi 3:6).
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude,
and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty
thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Romans 13:1 (NASB)
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
The question is does He reign now fully and completely, or not? If you say 'not fully', how do you explain the verse above? Is God omnipotent? What does omnipotent mean?