The Kingdom of God: Final
Apr 21, 2006
It is a political axiom, based upon human nature, that nations act in their own self-interest. The Bible, however, labels "human nature" to be the carnal man or the soulish man (psuchikos). And so, though we all live with human nature, it is neither the ideal nor the goal of Christianity. Rather, it is the reality of the Adamic condition since sin was introduced into the world.
And so the Bible sets out to show the way to overcome "human nature," which is the product of death (mortality), and to regain the Divine Nature, which is the product of immortal life. Romans 5:12 says (literally) that when Adam sinned, "death passed into all men, ON WHICH all sin."
In the interim, the believer lives with both, called the "old man" and the "new man." Such believers are admonished to follow the dictates of this new nature and to put to death the old nature.
In this light we see the promise of blessing given to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, saying, "In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." In other words, Abraham and his descendants were called to bless the whole earth. They were given an equal measure of authority and responsibility. Without authority, they would be incapable of administering those blessings, but without an equal level of responsibility (accountability before God), they might degenerate into the old "self-interest" mode.
This shows one of the root differences between the kingdoms of men and the Kingdom of God. The kingdoms of men operate on self-interest and thereby justify all sorts of human vices that lead to oppression, injustice, and war. To assuage the consciences of their religious citizens, they justify oppression by appealing to "national security" and justify war by appealing to patriotism. But beneath the fluff and perfume, it is nothing less than the old death-ridden Adamic nature dressed up to look nice in public.
God has given us about 6,000 years in which to try to bring about human utopias. During this time, men have been incited, harangued, and inspired to fight and even kill others in order to establish their kingdoms of men. Thus far, no one has succeeded in establishing a utopia, and the kingdoms of men are all transitory. But God has given man time to prove himself to be an utter failure. Each new leader promises a bright new future just over the hill--but when they reach the other side, they find themselves still dominated by this thing called "human nature." Disillusionment sets in, and the stage is set for the next revolution.
Though it is not "patriotic" to say so, the United States is no exception to the laws of human nature. I have heard members of the current administration say in public that we and all nations operate on self-interest. Such men are simply admitting that we are NOT the Kingdom of God. Worse yet, if government administrators operate on the principle of national self-interest, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will operate in their own personal self-interest as well. The first is to the detriment of other nations; the last is to the detriment of the citizens as a whole.
In the biblical book of Judges, the tribes of Israel had only God as their King. They were a loose confederation of states with no centralized government at all. The primary function of leadership--Judges raised up by God--was to defend the nation and to administer justice by the divine law. The early American founders took that as their basic model of government, creating a federation of states with no king but Jesus. But instead of being ruled by men that had been appointed and called (anointed) by God, they left it to the people to decide who were to be their leaders. The people acted on behalf of God and were responsible to discern the will of God.
Such a system might work, if the citizens were all sincere believers and had the ability to hear God's voice as good Pentecostals. It might work if no immigrants would be allowed into the nation unless they professed Jesus Christ to be their King and (as good Pentecostals) began to hear His voice to have the law of God written on their hearts. But this did not happen. Instead, men valued the democratic principle of religious freedom and soon allowed all religions to come into the country--even witchcraft and satanism.
Frankly, I do not see how it could have been done much differently. It is hard for most men to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart, and so it would not be difficult for a satanist to pretend to profess Jesus Christ in order to infiltrate the nation. They do this all the time in the Churches today in order to corrupt them from within. Most Christian Churches have lost the spiritual gift of discerning of spirits, and so these corrupting influences remain and work their way toward leadership positions in the denominations.
Democracy in government is one of the best forms of government among the kingdoms of men. The concept of the separation of powers among three branches of government was a great idea to keep in place a system of checks and balances. But it was done simply because they knew that they still had to deal with human nature. It was an admission in itself that men were imperfect and that the citizens themselves had little discernment that might prevent wicked men from attaining power.
In my view, a democratic Republic, such as what our founders gave us, is the best form of government ever devised among men during the present age. But I look for something better. My focus is on the Kingdom of God. In the New Testament, John the Baptist--that great forerunner of Jesus--preached that the Kingdom of God was "at hand." It was at hand, because the Messiah was coming. What he could not see at the time was that the Messiah was to come twice. And so his message would have to be repeated later.
While I do not consider myself to be either "Elijah" or "John the Baptist," I do believe that it is time for John's message to be preached again. I do believe that the Kingdom of God is at hand. And even if I am wrong in this, the Gospel of the Kingdom should be studied so that when it comes, at least some people will know what it is and how it ought to be set up. The hope of the Kingdom should not die in any generation.
Yet there is no credible hope to see this Kingdom established upon the earth apart from a perfect group of administrators who are irreversibly submitted to Jesus Christ as the King of that Kingdom. The only way to see such an incorruptible Kingdom established permanently, is to have an administration that has gone beyond Pentecost. They must be immortal, beyond the reach of the physical and moral corruption of death.
Therefore, until the "first resurrection" occurrs (as per Rev. 20:4-6), we must learn to live in a corruptible world. We should strive to be examples to all men of what the Kingdom of God would be like. The Pentecostal Age is our training ground in the wilderness prior to our entry into the Promised Land. We are learning to hear, and thereby increasing our faith, which comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17).
We must learn to grow out of our childish self-interest and live our lives for God first and for our neighbors second. This is true love.
This is the final part of a series titled "The Kingdom of God." To view all parts, click the link below.