The Clash Of Two Kingdoms
“Jesus answered, My kingdom isnot of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36
For many Christians today it may seem as though the world is becoming more and more ungodly. But the reality is the world, since the fall of Adam, has been the dominion of the one to whom we in Adam surrendered it. The devil has had free reign in the lives of men for thousands for years before the birth of Christ. At His birth a new kingdom began on the earth.
His kingdom of righteousness, of light and truth, came to be in direct contrast to the kingdom of sin, of darkness and lies.
The two kingdoms began to clash on the earth from the day Jesus began His ministry when He went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. …And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way,” Luke 4:16-30
From the moment He declared the purpose and intent of His ministry on earth, He was at odds with the kingdoms of this world. But He was light to those who walked in darkness. He was Good News to the poor, healing to the brokenhearted, deliverance to the captives, recovered sight to the blind, liberty for the bruised and the Acceptable Year of the Lord to the world.
The Acceptable Year of the Lord was a reference to the fiftieth year, or Year of Jubilee for the Jews, when all debts were forgiven and all property held as security on loans was restored to its original owners. [Leviticus 25:10-11]
By all rational thought you would think everyone would be welcoming and joyful to hear such Good News. But, the rulers of this world only saw it as a threat to their power and control over the people.
From that day until He was crucified, dead and buried, Jesus clashed with this world. The ancient governments of Rome and of the religious leaders of Israel opposed the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. And still today that same opposition exists in the world, in the hearts and minds of all those who reject the grace of God and the blood of Christ.
So, we should no be surprised when we are buffeted for our faith or when we hear of sin legislated as legal and acceptable in the present culture. We should not be shaken or discouraged when we hear of long held moral and ethical standards of living giving way to deeper levels of sin and unrestrained depravity among men and women both at home and in many parts of the previously identified Christian world.
This is why we are warned as Christians, as believers in Jesus Christ, not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
Lies, deceptions and false witness are the tactics of the devil against the kingdom of God, but Truth, Righteousness, Grace, Mercy and Justice are the gifts of God unto eternal life to everyone who will believe.
Though it may often seem in these last days that sin is winning the fight and gaining ground against the people of God, fear not, and be not dismayed.
“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:6-8
All the kingdoms of this world shall bow before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. God has declared it so.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:8-11
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15
It matters not what the world may think of God or His people, God is not moved by it and neither should we be.
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” Psalm 2:2-4
The body of our Lord Jesus Christ suffered mocking, scourging, cruel torture and death on the cross for us, but that body is now raised from the dead and ascended to God the Father, glorified and free from death and destruction forever. He has overcome the world.
We, the church, are His body now on earth and we share in His glorious resurrection. By the power of the Holy Spirit in us we are empowered also to overcome the world.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
So, then the Scriptures tell us that we have been raised up to sit together with Him in Heavenly places.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:4-8
Therefore, as He is now seated in Heaven, high above all things, so are we in this world.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: becauseas he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:16-18
Love is our gateway into salvation, and it is our reward for eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord in the Kingdom of God.