For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion (kingdom) of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
Paul shared Jesus words on the road to Damacus with King Agrippa at his defense
Acts 26:15-18 “And I (Paul) said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion (Kingdom) of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
There are two kingdoms a Kingdom of darkness and a kingdom of light…a kingdom of Satan and a kingdom of God (heaven)
God is love, 1 John 4 tells us that….God created mankind because a natural outgrowth of love is to give itself and share itself so God created man and created a Kingdom for mankind to rule over a reflection of His domain and kingdom
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Before we go any further allow me to point out a couple of things man both male and female is created in the image of God
That word “image” here is not referring to a physical likeness, but is translated from the Hebrew words tselem and demut, both meaning essential nature, copy, characteristics, and essence. This denotes that man as a spirit being is an expression of God’s moral and spiritual nature and his attributes make him “god-like,” and place Him above and beyond all earthly creation. In essence, man was created by God in the god-class and was given the responsibility to exercise that quality as God’s agent, ambassador, and emissary on earth.
We were created to rule in a kingdom that God had established here on earth, giving us an essence like his, through the Holy Spirit. Notice God says, “let them have dominion…” Mankind was given dominion over the earth, under God’s dominion
But mankind fell and walked away from the Kingdom and his dominion (inherent authority given by God) they turned over to the adversary.
Satan was then given His own dominion for the first time and it became the kingdom of darkness
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “kingdom of darkness?”
Visions of demons, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, utter evil?
While the demon and evil may be partial, it is because of what the word really means as used in these context
“ignorance” – it is a lack of knowledge, it is being blind, not knowing the truth, bondage…Those in the Kingdom of darkness are controlled by their ignorance, their lies, their blindness, their bondage by all kinds of things
Hosea prophesied this
Hosea 4:1, 6
Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Let’s contrast the two Kingdoms very simply
King of Light, and realm (heaven) – Jesus
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
King of darkness and realm (earth) – Satan
Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Power – Jesus – real power
1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
Power – Satan – Illusion
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Destiny of those – in the kingdom of light
Romans 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Destiny of those in the kingdom of darkness
while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
That is why Jesus said the end would not come until this Gospel of the Kingdom is preached to the whole world
Ignorance keeps people in
– the brokenness in this world
– trapped in lies and far away from the freedom of the truth
– if they remain in that kingdom they will spend eternity alone, with their regret, in hell
But…..Jesus came to bring the Kingdom of heaven for now and the future and here is his plan
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon
By himself he did all of this because he did only what the F
In the kingdom of darkness people are in bondage because of their ignorance and Jesus proclamation here is freedom, the launching of the Kingdom of heaven by the Spirit of God being upon Him…
How does the Spirit bring you to freedom out of ignorance?
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
Truth overcomes ignorance, truth is light and life ignorance is the Kingdom of darkness
Ladies and Gentlemen that should empower you to know, no matter how intelligent, powerful, wealthy, influential a person is, they are in darkness apart from the Spirit of Truth and you have the Spirit of truth in you
By now you may be thinking, this kingdom of heaven thing is only for the pastors, elders, missionaries and other special people,
Remember Romans 8: 14-17 from earlier Paul says
– All who are led by the spirit of God are His children (in the Kingdom of God/heaven)
– Not slaves but children of God
– Heirs of the inheritance, the Kingdom of God
If you are a child of God through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord then you are in the Kingdom….what did Jesus say about those who were in the Kingdom?
Jesus was answering a concern about who John the Baptist really was
Matthew 11:9 – 11
But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’ 11 Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Jesus was saying John the Baptist was the greatest of all of the prophets, greater than Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, greater than them all but the least in the Kingdom of heaven (God) will be greater than He was. To destroy the ignorance that kept men and women in darkness
The Kingdom is what Jesus preached, it is what he released it is made up of Children of the King which is everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is the Lord and savior, so most of you in this room can be greater, have more power, advance God’s Kingdom more so than John
Jesus through the establishment of the Kingdom of heaven (light, God) launched the fulfilled prophecy of Isaiah 9:2
The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.
Why is the understanding of the Kingdom so important? Last verse
Matthew 24:3, 14 “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”………. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
It is the Kingdom, the power that sets men and women free, the way of overcoming life we should be living the truth we need to walk in, believe and not be afraid to share with others…you are an ambassador of the Kingdom and can move in power if you understand one thing…which we will begin to talk about next week