Tuesday, September 25, 2012
“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 KJV).
What did Jesus mean when He spoke today’s Scripture?
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Within these two realms, God also created governments: “For by him [the Lord Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
God also made creatures to occupy those offices of government: He formed the angels to rule in heaven for His glory, and mankind to rule on the earth for His glory. One of God’s chief angelic-like creatures, a cherub named Lucifer, rebelled against God by wanting to rule for his glory: Lucifer proclaimed, “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14b). This title “most High” means “possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19,22). Essentially, Lucifer (Satan) purposed to usurp all of God’s authority, in heaven and in earth.
Satan was able to recruit a portion of God’s angels to follow him in his rebellion in heaven (Ezekiel 28:18; Matthew 25:41). When God placed man on the earth, man was to rule earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26,28). Unfortunately, man (Adam) willingly chose to relinquish his God-given authority to Satan, by sinfully following Satan in his rebellion against God (Romans 5:12).
Today, the governments of heaven (Ephesians 6:12) and earth (2 Corinthians 4:4) are in rebellion. Earth’s governments are corrupt because Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). In fact, Satan tempted Christ with a proposal: if Christ would worship him, Satan would give Him the world’s governments (Matthew 4:8,9; Luke 4:5-7).
In today’s Scripture, when Christ claimed His kingdom was “not of this world,” He meant that His kingdom would not originate from the evil world system underlying today’s governments. His reign would restore earth’s governments to God (Colossians 1:20).