The Clash of the Kingdoms - The Kingdom of Self and the Kingdom of God
11.10.2019, Jeff Beacham
(Note: The article was already published on CRAZYCHRISTIANS in February 2007. Due to its importance for today's time it is inspiring to read this article again.)
From God's view, there are only two kingdoms. In one, you “follow Him” and obey His will and ways. In the other, there is only “worship of self”, which is always in competition against God's ways, which are selfless. In this season, we need to align ourselves to the culture of His Kingdom and not make the mistake of thinking that western “Christian” culture and Kingdom culture are necessarily the same!
As we progress in these times, there is a monumental clash coming between these two Kingdoms as they compete for the souls of humanity. Competition first originated in Heaven as Lucifer decided to strive against God to become number one. The same powerful spirit is alive in the world today, motivating people or groups to compete with one another to try to become number one.
Competition is an integral part of life in Western cultures. It has been accepted and celebrated as a very necessary ingredient for a successful life. However, competition ultimately is self-seeking and involves covetousness, which leads to envy, which results in all kinds of strife and war.
The first earthly competition was between Cain and Abel. Cain had had his own ideas on how to do offerings. However, when Abel's offerings were acceptable to God and Cain's were not, Cain become very angry and murdered his brother. Cain's competition with Abel was really his competition with God over who would be number one in his life (see Genesis 4:3-8).
3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.
4 And Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”4 While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
King Nimrod, who built the original city and tower of Babylon, was the great-grandson of Noah. He discarded the faith of his fathers and tapped into the occult. He was the first to put competition to work within his army to train and toughen his troops. He enticed and controlled men by using immorality, competition, and sorcery.
The Babylonian culture gave rise to the Greek civilization, which gave rise to the Roman empire, which in turn laid the foundations for Western civilization today. Competition can serve a valuable purpose in our culture. It balances greed and encourages quality service because businesses must compete with one another to survive. In a similar way, it can motivate individuals to greater performance. Competition is also generally believed by many to increase production, and for the short term, it can stimulate production between individuals and groups. However, over the long-term and in the bigger picture, competition decreases production and efficiency, due to the inevitability of strife and war as a result.
“Cooperation and collaboration are the ways of His Kingdom.“
In the end, cooperation and collaboration will always prove to be more productive than competition. Competition is not a Kingdom of God principle. Cooperation and collaboration are the ways of His Kingdom. Competition in Babylonian-style cultures is like the law of the jungle! Only the strong survive.
The Kingdom of God is not a competition-oriented economy based on greed. The Kingdom of God is a service-oriented economy based on love. Jesus said in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He told the disciples to love one another as He had loved them, and that men would know they were His disciples by their love (see John 13:34-35).
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Competition leads to unnecessary strife between individuals, families, tribes, and nations. It has its root in a fear of not having enough. Whether it is not enough land, food, jobs or business, or whether it is not enough praise, acceptance, affection, love or some other need, the fear is “I will not have enough unless I strive against you to get more.”
A belief that there is not enough for everyone leads to wars and strife of every kind. I must strive to get mine before you get it or from you if you already have it (see James 4:1-2).
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
Faith is the fertilizer of the Kingdom of God that brings increase!
Competition is striving against God and against others to be in control. In the Kingdom of God lifestyle there is no striving (see 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
2 Timothy 2:24-26:
24 And a servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, 26 so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
There is no strife or competition between individuals or groups in the Kingdom of God. Everyone desires to take care of himself and others on an equal footing.
In the Kingdom of God, there are no losers. Play is for fun, and work is for serving, meeting the needs of others. No one must be made a mockery or ridiculed for someone else to win. The only competition in the Kingdom of God is with the devil! Every person on earth is involved, whether they know it or not, in the great conflict between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness! The only strife in the Kingdom of God is directly, or indirectly, against Satan and his kingdom of darkness.
There is never strife against any person. There is never competition with any person for any reason. God is no respecter of persons (see 1 Samuel 16:7b-c).
1 Samuel 16:7b-c:
… 7b-c The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Everybody has the opportunity to acknowledge God and seek the Kingdom of God. The way is open for everyone to come to Christ, and God is not willing that any should perish (see 2 Peter 3:9).
2 Peter 3:9:
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Any person seeking the Kingdom of God must turn away from the kingdom of darkness, and let go of it.
Repentance is not an apology; it is turning from one kingdom to another. The real sin is that we are still in love with the kingdom that crucified our Lord.
“We can forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” – Plato
THE CULTURE OF THE KINGDOM
As the Kingdom of God is coming forth into our world, more and more people are seeing the value of living according to God's Kingdom principles. More and more are seeking the Kingdom of God, who is the true number one, rather than seeking to be number one.
“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm, but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” – T. S. Eliot
God's Kingdom only knows one direction – forward (see Daniel 4,34b).
… 34b For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His Kingdom is from generation to generation.
Jeff Beacham ♱ 2013, Founder and Director
Firepower Ministries International