Two Kingdoms

Dark Castle

Yesterday, I attempted to demystify the kingdom of God. If you haven’t read my previous post, please do so now, as this picks up right where that left off.

Doesn’t God have dominion over everything, and does that mean that the whole world is the kingdom of God?

No, not quite.

In the grand scheme of things, yes, God is sovereign over everything. He created the world. He owns it. And he has the absolute power to step in and act whenever he chooses.

But God allows us to exercise our free will and choose whether we will serve Yahweh or serve the god of this world.

Unfortunately, the majority of humanity throughout history has chosen to reject God, and by doing so, they have chosen to serve the devil. Thus John wrote that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).

When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, I do not believe the offer to give Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world” was an idle promise (Matthew 4:8–9). Satan really did have that ability.

Even though God does have the ultimate control over the universe, he has allowed Satan to have temporary dominion over much of this world.

However, when we forsake the rule of the devil and pledge our allegiance to King Jesus, God does something amazing for us. Paul put it this way.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13, ESV)

Those of us who serve the King are a part of his kingdom.

But we need to understand that there are two kingdoms in place right now—the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness.

How does this work? A great example can be found in the life of King David.

David’s predecessor, Saul, had failed as king over Israel. Saul rejected the word of Yahweh, so Yahweh rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 15:23).

Yahweh then told Samuel that he had chosen David as king (1 Samuel 16:12–13). David became God’s anointed one (or in Hebrew, a messiah)—the rightful king over Israel, even though it was not yet time for him to rule.

For years, Saul continued as the acting king, even though David was the rightful king. During this time, many people became loyal to David and followed him instead of Saul. In a sense, these people who were loyal to David were his kingdom.

But eventually, in accordance with God’s timing, David did take his position as ruling king over all of Israel.

In similar fashion, Jesus is God’s Anointed One—the Messiah—the rightful King over everything, even though Satan is currently acting as ruler of this world.

But there is a remnant loyal to the one true King. Those of us who have submitted to Jesus as Lord make up his kingdom. He is King over us right now.

And the day is coming when Jesus will return and remove Satan from his position as acting ruler. At that point we may say, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15, NIV).

No longer will God’s kingdom be merely comprised of a loyal remnant. Jesus will take his rightful position as King over all. The entire earth will be his kingdom.

Hopefully these posts have helped to provide a basic understanding of the kingdom of God. Tomorrow, I want to talk about what it means to live in this kingdom.

The Kingdom Series