I've started a new blog called the Tower Perilous about my writing, both fiction and non-fiction.
My writing time has been devoted to books now, and I don't know how much, if any, I will be updating this blog. For now, I'm considering it an archive.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Is there a kingdom of Satan? There are some who refuse to believe in it. Yet the kingdom of Satan exists, as Jesus said. "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" (Matthew 12:26)
There are also some who believe in Satan's kingdom, but have grossly misidentified it. For the kingdom of Satan is not at all like people have often portrayed it throughout history, whether in belief of it or in disbelief of it. For example, Hell is not his kingdom; Satan and his minions have no desire to be there! "And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep." (Luke 8:30-31)
To understand the nature of Satan's kingdom, we must consider his original sin. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15)
The essence of Satan's sin is his heart's desire to be like God, "I will be like the most High." Does that not sound like what a Christian is supposed to be- Christlike and godly? But there is a crucial difference. A Christian becomes like God through receiving the gift of God, and thus being made One with God. Satan, however, desires to imitate God on his own; that is the heart of his fraud, of his lies. That is how he tempted Eve: "...ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5b)
That, therefore, is the nature of Satan's kingdom- to be like God's kingdom, to imitate it. No one has striven harder than Satan to set up a kingdom like God's on earth! Thus those men who have striven to set up such a kingdom with force- whether they be Muslim, or Catholic, or Puritan, or John Calvin- were actually furthering Satan's kingdom.
Many violent acts have been done in the name of religion, to force religion on men; but such acts were in reality furthering Satan's kingdom. Such deeds done in the name of Christianity have given great occasion to the enemy to blaspheme; but Jesus warned us such things would come. Indeed, much of the New Testament is devoted to warning Christians about those who claim to be Christians, as it is written, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (II Corinthians 11:14-15)
Because the nature of Satan is to imitate God, religion is his domain; for imitating God is the purpose of religion. But the desire of all tyrants for power can also be traced to a desire to imitate God- as indeed is written of greatest tyrant the world will ever know, the Antichrist: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (II Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Satan's kingdom is a gross imitation of God's. Satan cannot create, he can only pervert that which is created. Satan's kingdom is established by force; and while Satan's kingdom will justly be destroyed, God's kingdom is established by promise. For God gave us His kingdom, to be received by us as little children. God's kingdom cannot be imitated- nor can it be imposed; but it can and ought to be received.
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)
Saturday, January 6, 2007
While the kingdom of God is not of this world, that does not mean that Christians have no responsibilities regarding the kingdoms of men. For the kingdoms of men were ordained by God for His purposes, which can be seen in the following passage from Romans: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Romans 13:1-4)
Rulers were meant by God to be revengers to execute judgment on evildoers. Indeed, from the beginning that was so; for God establishes the foundations of just government in Genesis: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (Genesis 9:6)
That, therefore, is the foundational authority of the kingdoms of men; it comes from God. And as Paul continues in that passage from Romans: "Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Romans 13:5-7)
Now, we indeed ought to obey God rather than men; but we also ought to continually pray for all that are in authority, so that we might never be confronted with such a situation in which we cannot obey both God and those in authority: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." (I Timothy 2:1-2)
Thus are a Christian's responsibilities, under the God-given authority of the kingdoms of men.
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:" (I Peter 2:13-15)
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
There are many who have endeavored to set up a religious kingdom on this earth; and there are many who still do make that attempt, whether it be politically or violently. But Jesus reveals that His kingdom is not such a kingdom; it cannot be built through military or political power. "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not 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)
Therefore those who have attempted to set up a religious kingdom on this earth- whether they be Muslim, or Catholic, or Puritan, or John Calvin- expose the bankruptcy of their position. Ultimately, it was not the kingdom of God for which they were fighting; for the kingdom of God is not of this world. Those who have committed violent deeds in the name of Christianity have violated the basic precept of Christ's Kingdom- it cannot be built through violence against others; and they have given great occasion to the enemy to blaspheme.
Rather, the kingdom of God is within us; and the war is fought in the hearts of men- with the word of God versus the lies of the enemy. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]." (Ephesians 6:12)
When the victory is won through the voluntary belief of the truth, how can forcible conversion be worth anything? Find a religion that promotes forced conversions, and you have found a false religion. Find one who claims Christianity promotes forced conversions, and you have found someone who contradicts Christ- and thus true Christianity. The kingdom of God is within us, and is offered to all; but it is not an imposition.
"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)
In the world today, there are many who deny God, and seek to remove all trace of Him from the public eye. Nevertheless, He that sits in the heavens shall laugh; for whether there be governments, or powers, or cultures- He is higher than they. And they too shall learn the lesson of Nebuchadnezzar- that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever He will, and sets up over it the basest of men.
This blog is dedicated to applying the principles of God to the kingdom of men.
"This matter [is] by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."