Overcoming the Kingdoms of this World

War, hunger, poverty, ignorance, ethnic cleansing, age-old hatreds and prejudices, suicide bombings, terrorism, AIDS and other afflictions, economic instability with wide fluctuations in the stock market – all of these show clearly that our world is a frightening and unreliable place. Because the kingdom of this world is temporary and will one day pass away, it has nothing of enduring quality in which we can trust with any confidence.

Millions die every day from disease, starvation or violence. The stock market collapses and people who were millionaires one day are paupers the next. Corporations downsize and thousand are suddenly jobless. Extended joblessness creates financial distress resulting in evictions, which increases homelessness and the welfare burden of the state. Religious hatred between Christians, Muslims and Jews fuels daily conflict in many parts of the world, particularly the Middle East.

Is there any good news in the midst of all of this? Yes, indeed there is. For those who live and walk in the Kingdom of God, every day can be a good day, regardless of circumstances in the world. No matter how much unrest and turmoil swirls around us in the physical world, the Kingdom of God is stable. It cannot be moved. Unlike the kingdom of this world, God’s Kingdom is founded on eternal principles that will never fade or pass away.

Religion-a Human Invention: Mankind has tried in so many ways to relieve the fear, pain, and suffering that characterize so much of human life on earth. One way is through religion, which has not been any more successful than anything else because it too is a product of human invention and design. Religion is man’s attempt to discover God and find the solution to his own problem.

This is why God did not send us a religion. Instead, He sent us His Kingdom, eternal and unshakable. God’s Kingdom came to earth through the person of His Son Jesus Christ, who was its herald as well as its gateway. Christ did not come to Earth to start a religion or a religious organization or club. Jesus preached the Kingdom, but the Church preaches so many other things rather than the Kingdom.

Jesus’ overarching mission on earth was to reintroduce the Kingdom of God on Earth to mankind. When we say that Jesus came to reintroduce the Kingdom of God on Earth, this implies that at one time it was here before. Christ did not bring a new Kingdom to Earth, but an old, original Kingdom that had been lost. At one time, Adam and Eve were the Kingdom of God on Earth, ruling from the Garden of Eden. When they rebelled against God and fell into sin, the Kingdom departed.

Living In Perfect Harmony: Here is how the Kingdom was supposed to work. God the Father and Creator is in heaven, where He has always been. Remember that Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven.” Heaven is the domain of the Father, a spiritual realm that is invisible, yet greater and more real than the visible, physical realm that was created from it. God is the King of heaven, the Lord of all, the Creator, and the manufacturer of all things.

Man, the creature, is on the earth. Created in God’s own image and formed from the dust of the ground, man was placed in administrative authority over the Earth and all its other creatures. Since God is Spirit this means that man was created first as a spirit with the ability to communicate with the spiritual realm.

As the breath of God was breathed into man he became a living soul, endowed with self-awareness, personality and free will. In order to fulfill His design and intention of ruling the Earth through a physical representative, God then placed the spirit man He had created into a physical shell, a body fashioned from the dust (“dark earth” or adam) of the ground.

So here we have two realms: a spiritual realm capable of touching the realm of God, and a physical realm able to communicate in the earth regions. God’s purpose was for man to rule the Earth in His name and under His authority. This meant that God’s thoughts and desires were to be manifested in the mind of man so that God’s will could be done on Earth. The only way that God’s will can be accomplished on Earth is through the man He had created. There had to be a spiritual connection linking the two realms. For this reason, God created man with the capacity of receiving His Spirit.

When God came into the garden to fellowship with Adam, he heard the Lord’s voice and tried to hide among the trees. God called out to Adam, asking “Where art thou?” Adam replied, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 2:8-10). Of course, God knew where Adam was all along. God is all knowing. He didn’t ask because He didn’t know. God knew where Adam was physically but He couldn’t find Adam in His Spirit. For the first time Adam was not connected to God through his spirit.

The Spirit of God was the vital link between man’s dominion on Earth and God’s dominion in heaven. He revealed the will of God to man and provided wisdom and guidance so that man could carry out God’s will on Earth. In this original order of things, perfect harmony existed between God and man. There was unity between heaven and Earth. Everything operated as it was supposed to. It did not stay that way.

The key to dominion: The key to man’s being able to manifest the Kingdom of God here on Earth is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Man cannot know God’s will except through the Holy Spirit living within him, and the Holy Spirit can live only in a holy vessel. Not only did Jesus come to reintroduce the Kingdom, but He came also to restore righteousness and holiness to mankind, both of which we lost in the Garden of Eden.

Jesus restored us to righteousness – to right standing with the Father – through His death for our sins. He made us righteous again, and when He did so, He also restored our holiness. To be holy means to be pure, without spot or blemish, set apart exclusively for God. When Adam and Eve sinned, they showed contempt for their holy state and took that which was meant for God and used it for profane and common purposes. That would be like taking a beautiful, solid gold goblet and using it to hold bacon grease.

How does Jesus make us righteous and holy again? Nothing less than the blood of Jesus was required. The Word of God says, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Only the blood of Jesus could cleanse our sin and remove the shame of our actions. That is why He had to die.

Just like the old hymn declares, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was Spirit, with no body or blood; Jesus, the man, had both. Jesus Christ was both 100 percent flesh-and-blood man and 100 percent divine Son of God. We cannot separate the two; to do so would be to deny the work that He did on the cross.

The Holy Spirit connection: We cannot worship Christ and forget about Jesus because without Jesus we cannot have Christ. The blood of Jesus cleansed our sin and created the basis for our forgiveness, making it possible for Christ to restore us to righteousness and holiness and bring us the Holy Spirit.

This is why any religion that denies Jesus has a problem. Everything is wrapped up in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross. If we do not have Jesus, that means our sins are still with us. Without the cleansing of our sins, we cannot become holy. Unless we become holy, we cannot become citizens of the Kingdom of God.

Why is the Holy Spirit so important? He is the link, the spiritual connection between us and the Kingdom of God. He is the one who fills us with spiritual powers, guides us, leads us into the knowledge of truth, and brings to our remembrance all the things that Jesus taught.

Jesus promised His disciples that after He left he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them forever. The Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus had completed His work on the cross, risen from the dead, and applied His blood for the cleansing of man’s sin. Once we were made cleansed and holy again, we were ready to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus took care of that, too, before he ascended into heaven.

Breaking the slave mentality: As children of God, we are part of the royal family of the Kingdom of heaven. Like any other member of royalty, we don’t just step into the role without any preparation; we must be trained. Proper and careful training is essential for rulers in the making.

We must learn how to think and act like the royal children of the heavenly King. We have spent so long in the condition and mentality of slaves in the kingdom of darkness that we automatically think and act like slaves. If we are to exercise our full status and potential in the earthly realm as ambassadors of our Father, we must be retrained in the behavior and mindset of the Kingdom. In this task, the Holy Spirit is our tutor.

When we first become believers, we receive our new spiritual birth from Jesus Christ, Who then “turns us over” in a manner of speaking, to someone else – the Holy Spirit – for our training and up brining as children of the King.

Our faith is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but since He is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father, the way He relates to us and we to Him is through the Holy Spirit. In His earthly incarnation, Jesus could not be continuously and physically present with all His followers, so He promised to send His Spirit who would abide with us forever and teach us how to think and act like the royalty we are:

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth…But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:116-17,16).

We need a tutor like the Holy Spirit because our minds and thinking are corrupt and it takes us a while to grasp and genuinely believe the truth about who we are in Christ. We are royal children of the Kingdom of God, but have spent our entire lives living in the slave quarters. Our thoughts and behavior won’t change overnight. The Holy Spirit lives in us as a continuing abiding presence, patiently and lovingly He is teaching us who we are and how to think, speak, and act accordingly.

How to handle freedom: One of the things the Holy Spirit teaches us is how to stand in authority as true sons and daughters of God no matter what troubles or difficulties come onto our circumstances, rather than being a slave to them. We can live in power and victory, rather than in weakness and defeat. All it takes is training, and the Holy Spirit is our Teacher.

In the kingdom of darkness we have been under Satan’s sway. Kicked out of heaven for rebelling against God, Satan fell to Earth as a nobody, then pretended to be a somebody by tricking Adam and Eve and usurping their earthly authority. Ever since then he has taught mankind to think of themselves as nobodies, just as he is.

After a lifetime of feeding on negativity and impossibility thinking, most of us have a certain amount of mental damage that the Holy Spirit must heal. We have been slaves for so long that we don’t know how to handle freedom. We apologize for getting ahead. We don’t believe we deserve or are entitled to the best.

That may have been true while we were sinners lost and separated from God. As believers, however, we have been restored to our place as God’s children and are entitled to all the blessing and benefits of that station. The retraining of our mind is part of what it means to give ourselves as living sacrifices to God. We cannot live effectively for the Lord until we learn to think like Him. That is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote to the Roman Believers:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).

Paul is saying that we should not allow ourselves any longer to be molded by the world we have lived in all our lives but to be transformed by renewing our minds to think and conform to the mind of Christ. Renewing our minds means returning to the original mind that we had before the fall, a mind that loves and honors God and that understands its rightful place as a voice – regent of the earthly domain under God’s sovereign Kingdom rule.

Demonstrating Kingdom rule: Whenever Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, walked on water, calmed a storm with a word, or fed a multitude with a handful of fish and bread, He demonstrated the truth that God’s Kingdom had come to earth.

Whenever He preached the Good News of the Kingdom, or taught His followers about life in that Kingdom, and whenever people responded to Him in faith, He demonstrated the power of the Kingdom to impact human life and the environment.

Despite Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden, God’s desire never changed. He still wanted to rule the Earth by manifesting His Kingdom through the Holy Spirit in the lives of people who were committed to Him and sold out to His lordship.

For 2,000 years, ever since the day of Jesus, He has been doing this in increasing degree as men, women and children in every generation have given their lives to Christ and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in and through them.

Each of us who turn to Christ becomes a “stone” in the magnificent spiritual “palace” of the Kingdom on Earth, called and equipped as kings and priests to represent that Kingdom before the rest of the world. The Apostle Peter stated it this way:

“As you come to Him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a choice and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be out to shame.’…But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:4-6; 9-10).

Restoring our kingship: Throughout human history, the religious society has generally separated priest and king into separate offices and functions, but God did not design them that way in the beginning. When God created us, He intended for us to be His repetitive rulers – His ambassadors over the rest of the created order. We were to be priests and kings in the Earth: as priests, representing God’s nature and character, and as kings, His Kingdom government.

Through Christ we are a “holy priesthood,” a “chosen people,” a “royal priesthood,” and a “holy nation.” As such, we have been restored to our priestly function of representing and reflecting God’s nature and character before the world. We are also the “people of God,” not a nation of subjects, but of sons and daughters. If God is a King, then we, His people, are also of the royal line. Therefore, we have also been restored to our kingly function of representing the government of God on the Earth.

God is not interested in having subjects in His Kingdom. He wants only children, royal heirs to the treasure of His domain.

Our mission as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God is to bring those who are enslaved in the kingdom of darkness to Christ, The Door, so that He can set them free to enter into their full citizenship in God’s Kingdom of light.

Dr. Myles Munroe
Bahamas Faith Ministries International

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