8. Comparing the Two Kingdoms
Before we move on I think it would be helpful to summarize the two separate and distinct kingdoms that currently exist in the world. God’s eternal kingdom and Satan’s kingdom that was presented to Adam and Eve at in the garden of Eden. If we think for a moment what defines a kingdom, there are three attributes that we need to consider:
1. GOVERNMENT. A system by which the kingdom is ruled. For example, democracy or dictatorship
2. CURRENCY. A value system by which the citizens of a kingdom can exchange their goods
3. CITIZENSHIP. A way of determining how someone can be a member of that kingdom.
We can contrast the two kingdoms in the following way.
|God's Kingdom||Satan's/Worldly Kingdom|
|Citizenship||Children of God||Performance and achievement
as successfully rated
by yourself and others
God’s government is based on the family system. The head of the government is the Father. The relationship between the leader and its citizens is close and intimate. On the other hand Satan’s kingdom is about being the strongest. Those who are the strongest are those who rule. Even in a democracy, those who are the strongest in advertising their message and strongest in persuading voters will ascend to power.
God’s kingdom trades on the strength of its relationships. Love is the currency of heaven. Each citizen is secure in the love of their Father and have no need to prove their worth or value. They can enjoy one another’s company innocently without any hidden agendas. Learning to know God is the highest joy and ambition and because God’s knowledge and wisdom and character are limitless, this joyful occupation will never end. There will always be something to learn about Him. Its citizens learn about Him directly or through the things that He has made. Therefore observing one another and studying nature and the universe is also a joyful part of being in this kingdom. Since it is clearly acknowledged that everything comes from Him, all creation worships God with joyful gratitude and thanks giving.
In contrast to this Satan’s kingdom trades in assets. Worth comes from what we achieve, so accumulation of assets is vital to being valuable. These assets can be material or mental or relational. The bigger the house, the more toys you own the more worth you have. The higher the level of education, the higher the position of the job you have the more worth you possess. The people you associate with are very important because a person can be a great asset to your cause. Satan’s kingdom believes that people have power within, so possessing other people can make you more powerful. Relationships with people become tools by which we gain more. This makes the need to control other people very important. There are many ways to control other people. Being nice and friendly is a common one. It is used by sales people all the time. Performing great deeds can impress people to follow you and when these fail you can use force, blackmail and intimidation to control people and secure their allegiance. This is why so many relationships are filled with pain and sorrow today, because often people have joined together to increase their worth and their value.
The other contrast we have noted is that of citizenship. In God’s kingdom you are accounted a citizen by being – a child of God. Regardless of the circumstances or difficulties of life, this fact never changes. Your citizenship is secure in your relationship to God as your Father. In Satan’s kingdom you are accounted a citizen by doing or not doing. Both achievement and laziness will grant you citizenship as long as you are focused on performing and doing. In this kingdom you wake every morning and think about what must be achieved that day for you to feel good about yourself. If people hinder your efforts to achieve, you get frustrated and angry. If you reach the end of the day and feel that you have not achieved much, you feel empty and either become depressed or more determined. Life is a cycle revolving around pride and worthlessness. When you achieve you become proud and when you fail you feel worthless. Life between success and failure is either agitated determination to achieve or conversely fear that what you have attained will be lost. It is a never ending cycle until you die or change kingdoms.
Emotional Cycle in Satan’s Kingdom
This cycle is the simple result of believing we have power in ourselves. If we are self powered then we are dependent on no-one and obtain value from no-one. We must cultivate and produce our own value. Every success validates us and every failure drives us closer to nothingness.
I remember conflict in my heart when I first began to give sermons. I felt so blessed when I pointed people to Bible truths but when I stood at the door to greet people as they filed out, I would find myself wanting them to tell me I did well, to validate what I had done. The better I preached the more approval my heart wanted. I know this was wrong to think this way, so for a while when people told me I preached well, I would say “thank God, don’t thank me” but it often seemed awkward and sometimes people felt I was pushing them away. When we recognize that all good things come from God and we are valued by Him apart from anything we do then we are free to succeed and fail without any concern about feeling worthless and feel the need for validation from others.
It is important to remember that while members of God’s kingdom do not obtain their value from their achievements they still achieve. In fact they have the capacity to achieve much more because if they fail they do not have to face the fear of worthlessness. They are stilled loved, still children of God regardless of whether they succeed or fail. The kingdom of God offers you the best way to achieve your full potential without leaving your relationships in tatters and your value destroyed.We have briefly outlined the nature of these two kingdoms. In the rest of the book we will trace how these kingdoms have developed within the scope of human history and the struggles that we often face living between the two. Both kingdoms offer freedom, both kingdoms promise much but which kingdom with leave you with a deep sense of significance and worth that is unshakable?
 Phil 3:9,10
 Revelation 14:6,7; Rev 4:1-9
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