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Kingdom Basics 3

KINGDOM OF GOD >>

Characteristics of Kingdoms

1. Citizenship  All kingdoms have citizens.  A country has citizens, but mans organization can also function as kingdoms and require membership. Nations and organizations are both kingdom systems.  Membership is similar to citizenship and identifies those who are submitted to the  systems involved.  Whenever membership is required it is a sure signs that some sort of kingdom is at work, and there is always power in it!  Citizens or members are always under the authority structure of that kingdom . They will be controlled by it.

2. An Oath or Pledge of Allegiance I am a citizen of Canada because  I was born here, but others became citizens by  swearing an oath. These  words have the power to bind a person to the kingdom they pledge themselves to.  We must be careful of  any system that  extracts an oath or pledge from us. It can bind our soul. Jesus said "let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Any more than this is from sin."  Sometimes church systems and membership demand oaths. This is a mixture that God hates! At a denominational meeting I attended,  the pastors were asked to declare an oath before God, to build and sustain that denominational system. At this point I discerned something had become very unclean  and I could not participate. Allegiance was being sworn to build an organization rather than to Christ.  

 Words carry spiritual power, and in times  of persecution Christians are forced to deny Christ. The devil knows the power of these words to create and destroy.  In times of peace the devil arranges false allegiance, and in our quest to serve the Lord we often participate. May God forgive us. Our allegiance belongs to Christ alone. A person enters the Kingdom of God  by pledge in the flesh and by  birth in the spirit. We first pledge our life to Jesus Christ.  But  since  "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God", we actually enter the Kingdom of God by the new birth.  There are only citizens by birth in Gods Kingdom! Christians are all royalty by birth through Christ! Angels are citizens too, but are not royal.

Gal 3:26  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

3. Temples and Priests,  Palaces and Princes. All Kingdoms have temples, priests, palaces and princes of some kind. It may not look like it at first, but when we understand that princes rule and priests mediate the authority, we get the picture.  In Israel, the Kings and priests were  always interdependent.  A priest represented the divine authority through which a King is able to rule.  For example,  a king of Israel ruled because the Lord was behind  Him. A priests or prophet represented that divine authority to that King.  Most cultures of the world have this order in place. A shaman represents the gods to the chief of a tribe and to the people.  The chief rules, but the  authority comes from the gods and the priests acts as a "broker" of sorts. All kingdoms have this relationship between princes and priests, and places where this happens. (palaces and temples) What about todays man made systems and the  kingdoms we live in?

All around us we see "princes and priests" at work.in man's systems. They are not religious, but they are kingdom systems. In corporations or governments,  lawyers are the priests  of the day. They interpret the authority to the  management, and intercede for changes with the higher powers. In the kingdom structures of education, scientists are the priests representing the higher authority of "truth". No one questions them!

How wonderful to understand that we a royal priesthood. We have no need of a priest to represent us to God, we have direct access to the throne of God, and can  represent Him to others.  Our authority is not  based on mans systems, but on knowing the living God!

  For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. 1Co 2:11,12

Priests need temples, but our bodies are the temple of the Lord, we need no special place of access.

" Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God? And you are not your own,"  1Cor.6:19 

We also have royal authority from the throne as  ambassadors of Christ  and we are sons of the most high!  

4. Holy Days and Rituals and High Places Another sure sign of a kingdom is the holy days of celebrations and ritual. In fact, the god being served is often easy to identify at these times. I remember being in a foreign city when there was suddenly a great parade rushing past us on the street.  In the middle of it they were carrying a covered throne with a statue of Mary, who they were worshiping.  This annual  parade reinforced the place of the goddess  in the life of their city. That is the purpose of Holy days and rituals in the life of every kingdom.   National days identify the root of a nation, and the allegiances behind them. This is true of every kingdom system, and we can identify them easily as we look at the special days and rituals. These often require some sort of high place, or special location as well. 

The Kingdom of God is different. The physical bodies of Christians are the 'High places" of God's presence.  As Christians we have been given very simple observances.    Physical baptism  marks becoming  a Christian by immersion of the body.  The Lords supper,  is a real meal with other Christians. These are not symbolic issues! The devil does not like these physical practices  of Christianity   and tries to remove  immersion and make communion a  mere symbol!    All the other observance, like Christmas and Easter, are mere traditions and are practiced to the full.  But the ones that point to the physical bodies of the saints as the "high places' of God's presence are frequently minimized.  

5. Power Objects - Talismans, Charms, Fetishes       In Kingdoms of all kinds there are three main purposes to these  power objects. A charm brought blessing to the user; a fetish had power over others, and  a talisman would bring protection to its owner. We see this pattern in Israel with the serpent on the pole that delivered Israel, or  Moses rod.   In the new testament  there are also objects that become filled with Gods power. But  of course, we know that it was the Lord, not the object  itself that delivered.

Acts 19: 11  And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12  so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them

What about worldly kingdoms? Where we find power-objects we find kingdoms. After all, it is the authority of that kingdom that empowers the objects.  Perhaps the greatest ones in our time are the various cards we use. Credit cards have the power of mammon! (It's not even money we have!) ID cards open doors of all kinds. Passports open nations. These are the kingdoms of the earth at work!  

6.  Gates,  Flag Poles and Totems  Every kingdom will have identifiable geographic markers. These delineate the boundaries, the focal points, and the "sign posts" of a kingdom. For example, in our area the gates of the city are clearly marked at the point where one enters and leaves it's "dominion". This is true in all kingdoms, spiritual or material.   We also have many totem poles in the region. These are not worshiped, but are more like the "flag poles" of the various  deities of the first nations people living here.  So it is with all kingdoms. Some sort of flag identifies the spirit of the people in that Kingdom, be it a logo for  company. or a flag for a nation.  What is our flag in the Kingdom of God?  " His banner over us is love"

7. Capital Cities  Capital cities were thought to be special places where the gods enabled kings to rule. To this day,  when an enemy captures a  capital city the country is considered to be taken! The capital city embodies the authority and spirit of a Kingdom. It's amazing to me that even a corporation (a man made kingdom system) has to identify the geographic address where the articles of incorporation are kept. Why? Who cares where bylaws are kept?  The government has the bylaws recorded and approved. This insistence on actual location demonstrates the reality of a kingdom system and power at work.  In other word, the location of the capital, even a corporate capital, has significance for a kingdom!    

In God's Kingdom on earth, the capital city is Jerusalem. In the kingdom of darkness the capital city was Babylon. For us as Christians the capital city is the New Jerusalem, which again, is us: the bride of Christ!  It's amazing how our Kingdom is eternal, undefiled and beautiful.

Conclusion The Lord is calling us into newness of life. Kingdom of God living!  Other kingdoms  are all around us. If we want to walk in the Kingdom of God we must learn to see how kingdoms work and  be careful of compromise.

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