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Our Choice: The Kingdom of God or the Kingdoms of This World

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Our Choice

The Kingdom of God or the Kingdoms of this World

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Our Choice: The Kingdom of God or the Kingdoms of This World

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Our times compel Christians to examine the depth of commitment to the Kingdom of God. The Kingdoms of this world will come to an end at Christ's return. The liberty God give us is grounded in His coming kingdom.

Transcript

[Darris McNeely] Well, as Mr. Clore was saying, we definitely are living in interesting times. I want to draw your attention to part of this recent activities. A lot of statues have been torn down. Probably a few more will go defaced. I've watched those with interest and have my own opinion about the whole issue. There was one defacing of a statue though that I wanted to mention here this afternoon as an introduction to what I wanted to talk about here because when I heard that in London, they were defacing or wanted to tear down the statue of Winston Churchill in London, I thought, "Oh, man…" You know, full disclosure, I'm a Winston Churchill buff or aficionado. I've read dozens of books about him through the years and admire his role in world history, British history. And he's a fascinating individual. When I heard that they wanted to tear down and replace him and deface his statue, I thought, "That's a shame." You know, Winston Churchill was a very interesting figure in English history and in world history. He came to his own in 1940, when he became prime minister in May of 1940, became Prime Minister of Great Britain, the one job that he wanted all of his political career. And because of the crisis at the time, he finally was called to be the Prime Minister. And as one commentator recently said, as he was commenting on this defacing, he said, "In 1940, there were only two choices, two choices, either team Hitler or team Churchill." That's essentially it.

And he kind of summarized where the world was in May of 1940, team Churchill or team Hitler. Which team would you have chosen? Which team would you want to be on? Team Churchill or team Hitler? And I thought the way the commentator put it, that that's pretty good because one was standing for freedom, while the other was standing for tyranny. It was that simple. To put it biblically, as we would look at it, it was a choice between the way of the promises that God had made to Abraham or the way of the promises that Satan makes to this world, or what is described in Scripture as the beast. What was rising in Europe in 1940, was literally exactly the beast of Daniel in Revelation, one of those horns. That's what it was, with the tyranny of the Nazi tyranny that was there.

Winston Churchill, not knowing and believing in a sense of the Bible, with that understanding that we have in the Church about God's blessings to Abraham, at least, Churchill chose to follow and to stand for freedom at that point because he understood at least and he believed in the history of the English speaking peoples. He had actually written a set of books, this multi-volume history of the English speaking people. But the initial weeks and months of his time as prime minister, saw the full weight of the Nazi onslaught launched against Great Britain, what was called the Blitz. Night after night after night, the Luftwaffe of the German Air Force rained bombs down on London and England, especially.

And it was incessant. People would have to go down into the undergrounds when the sirens would sound, as most nights spend the nights down there. And you can imagine with thousands of people in an underground tube, sanitation conditions weren't very pleasant. But this was a night after night after night for many, many months in what is called the Battle of Britain, during that time, as Hitler sought to just pound by bombs written into submission and erase their presence there. That story has been told in a lot of books. Most recent movie was called The Finest Hour that got into that as well. But they didn't give in. And Hitler or Churchill's speeches are famous from that period as well. But Churchill saw something. He saw that the tyranny that was reigning, it was unopposed. He saw that tyranny would turn back all of his culture and everything that he believed in and that he stood for.

He did understand that Hitler had no love for Jews, for blacks, for gypsies, for the sick, for the challenged, basically, for anyone who was not of their area and stock. And he had a plan. He had a solution for all of those peoples. Churchill understood that and he chose to take a stand. I can summarize what it was that he was standing for in just a very brief passage here. Let me put it into what Churchill felt it was worth standing up for. It's real simple. Churchill understood that what his culture, his nation, the English speaking peoples of Great Britain and even America at that time, what it stood for was the advancement of mankind in a positive way.

He understood that for about the last 300 years, the advances in human civilization, at many levels, was something worth fighting for. Before let's say 300 years ago, let's just pick a date roughly before 1700, Churchill understood that the basic minimum wage of just about every working person, for thousands of years of human history, the basic minimum wage was about $3 a day, $3 a day on average, for thousands of years. Go all the way back to Egypt, go through the Roman period, come down through the Middle Ages, $3 a day was about the average wage. Somewhere after about 1700, that began to change, history turned around, and it changed forever.

Now economists will say that a more enlightened liberal economic system began to develop in Europe and in the world that led to innovation, the Industrial Revolution. And that's true, it did. It did. Scientists will say that rational thinking triumphed over religious myth, and it led to better societies, advances in science, and medicine and health. And it did. It did, with a lot of advances there.

Political scientists would say that their representative democratic forms of government led to better societies, better education, a lot of other advances, and it did. We would say, from our perspective, that the English speaking peoples began to come into their own in England, and then later, after 1776, the United States of America, and a biblical understanding that gives us the fulfillment of the promises that God made to Abraham began to be fulfilled. We would add that because of the biblical worldview that we have, that enhanced all the others, but was based upon liberty, freedom, and especially freedom of choice to choose life over death.

Now, since January of this year, as I said, at the beginning, we've gone through a lot. We've witnessed what I call a satanic attack on the world order. That's how I distill it down. I think that there has been an effort to roll back the time of the Abrahamic blessings upon all the nations because the biblical understanding that God leads us to, to me, that's an inevitable conclusion, based on that understanding of what sprung at one point out of the British Isles into America, that we celebrate today on July 4th, and the physical advances for all of the human families of the world, can be understood by that biblical truth during this roughly 300-year period that we look back on. That's how I see history and began to understand as a young man coming into the Church of God, I studied from that perspective with that biblical worldview in mind. I teach it that way when I teach Daniel and Revelation at our Ambassador Bible College. I teach that God is at the boundaries of the nations. And there are times that God directs human history according to His purpose. I don't think right now, this period we're in, I don't think this is the end of human history. I think that there is time yet for the church to preach the gospel, to make disciples, and to prepare a people for the coming Kingdom of God. What I do is, is I've chosen this scene of team Churchill, team Hitler. I've chosen this to illustrate something that I want us all to think about here today, for a few minutes.

We're in danger right now in America of being polarized. In fact, we're already polarized but I'm speaking to the church audience here right now. We're in danger of getting sucked into the vortex of this polarization if we're not careful to discern exactly what is happening in this world and work very hard to keep our feet firmly planted in a relationship with God and the truth of His living Word, the Bible. God has given to us ultimate liberty and freedom to choose life over death, to choose good over evil. And everything about this present distress is designed to separate us from everything about God, His promises, and His truth. And we in the Church have to be especially vigilant about this, that we don't get caught up in the differing sides, ideas, issues, and ideologies. And this example, brought this to mind of the distress that we are in because as I survey the scene right now, the choice before us right now, is not team Churchill or team Hitler, but we do have a choice. Our choice before us is this, our choice is to choose from the Kingdom of God or the kingdoms of this world. The Kingdom of God or the kingdoms of this world. That's our choice in the Church of God, as we live our lives, as we worship God, and as we work our way around and through the minefield, and the swamps of the culture in the society, a cultural shifts, and upheavals, and cultural war that is taking place right now. It's very simple. The Kingdom of God or the kingdoms of this world. That's our choice. And for the most part, we've chosen the Kingdom of God.

Let's be very careful, we don't let the kingdoms of this world come in and rip apart the choice that we have made, the values, the teachings, the laws, and the commandments, and the way of life of the Kingdom of God, and blur the lines and muddy that. That's our responsibility.

What I'd like to do for a few minutes of this afternoon is take us through an example from Scripture that I thought would be, you know, how would I take this and develop it into a two-hour sermon here in the afternoon? So let's take a passage and let's look for a few moments at how Jesus taught us to make that choice for the Kingdom of God over the kingdoms of this world. Let's look at how Jesus did it and some things that we can learn ourselves.

Let's turn over to Matthew 4. We're going to go through what is called the Temptation of Christ. I'm going to use Matthew's account. And Luke has a similar account, a little bit different, but we'll just stay with Matthew here and go through these verses here, as we look at the very beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Mark doesn't cover the temptation but he references it and then he quickly moves into the preaching of Christ at the beginning of His ministry. But this was something that Jesus had to go through before He began His public ministry. Verse 1 of chapter 4 of Matthew, it says that "Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." The Judean wilderness, that most would feel this was the location is even today quite a desolate place. It's not a very pleasant place you want to spend any time in at all. Jesus went there. “He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterward was hungry.”

I've never been on a 40-day fast. I've never been on a four-day fast. All right. Most of us probably haven't either. So I'm not recommending or saying that's what we should do. This is what Jesus did. And it prepared Him physically for the ordeal that He was going to go through. As it says in verse 3 that "The tempter then came to Him, and he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’" The tempter, Satan came to Him. Now he's later identified so we know who it is. And he throws three challenges down to Jesus here after 40 days of fasting. Now, you know how weak you and I are after one day of fasting, and how we feel, thick heads, thick tongues, kind of muddled minds and very hungry. Forty days I can't even begin to imagine it, physically weakened, Christ would have been. His ability to deal with this, humanly speaking, could be on the edge. And we know and you know that He passed through this time, but it's what He did and He chose to go through it. And He chose to stand firm. And in the process, we can learn some lessons about standing and choosing for righteousness or, if you will, the kingdom of God. I'll look at the first temptation here. He went right for… Satan went right for the jugular of what was taking place here. He said, "Make these stones bread." Christ was hungry. And, you know, after a Day of Atonement, you know, you want a cracker, you want a piece of bread with some butter on it. You want a cold glass of water or whatever it might be, and some food. And that's immediately what we want to fill our needs. And Jesus would have been tempted by this as well.

But here's what His answer was in verse 4. It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Now, He said it is written. And it was written back in Deuteronomy. If you look at your marginal notation, it'll take you back to Deuteronomy 8. Actually, for these first two temptations, He goes back and He quotes Scripture. And He quotes Deuteronomy 8. Now back in Deuteronomy 8, where this citation comes from, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God," it's in the context back there of the 40-day… or the 40 years of manna that was given by God to the children of Israel during their wandering. We all know that story. And we know that quite well, I think, when each day, the Israelites went out, and they have gathered the manna that appeared and God miraculously fed them. We see how that happened for six days out of every seventh day or the sixth day, there was double portion. They didn't go out and gathered on the Sabbath day.

So God used this to teach them a number of matters of faith and teaching dependence. But as we know, and as Deuteronomy 8 even mentions, they didn't learn the lesson. And you know the story of Israel. You know, think about that, an Israelite going out every day to gather manna. You think they thought every day that, "I'm sure glad God gave this to us today" or did it become a drudge? Did it become just kind of routine? Did it become something they just expected and they neglected to give thanks to the source of that manna? What did they think about it? They were hungry, certainly. Do you think they worried? Did they worry that "Well, I wonder if this will be here next week? There'll be enough in two days." You know, “It's been coming down for 15 years, will it be there next week?" Humanly speaking, I think they probably thought that and they worried, they didn't build the faith that they had. They probably wondered if there'd be enough to go around. They probably just wondered, "Hey, will this be here tomorrow?"

Probably the thoughts that they had crowded out the thoughts of gratitude, in many cases, thanksgiving, and the lessons that God wanted them to learn because that was what God said happened there. Well, Jesus said we are to live by our bread, “Give us this day our daily bread" would later be part of the way He taught His disciples to pray. You know, our bread gathering, when we look at this today, we don't go out and buy bread every day. You know, some parts of the world, they bake bread fresh every day or they go to the market and get it every day. We don't necessarily. We buy it and it'll keep for, you know, a year in some cases. Some doesn't. You know, some of the better breads without all the preservative in it, a few days and it will turn moldy. You have to watch some of them that you buy, but we buy it. We don't think about that. And we go about our business in our life. But I think the bread gathering that we're involved with every day that teaches us, that's our daily life, that's our activities, our work, our life.

And when it comes to that, our life business really is to be seen as a part of the Kingdom of God. That is our ultimate spiritual business and gathering of bread. We understand the meaning of bread can certainly transcend even into the life and the body of Jesus Christ. We take that every year over the Passover service. And Christ in John 6, shows that He is the bread of life, the bread that has come down from heaven. We understand the full meaning of that in terms of the feeding upon the bread of God. We do live on bread. We do need to eat things, but we don't do that alone. That's not all that we feed on. We must feed on the spiritual matters. And Christ was not going to turn a stone into a loaf of bread. As we feed upon the bread of life, we choose the Kingdom of God. And there's so many different aspects about the bread, you know, it's the life of Christ. That's part of its teaching. It is a daily sustenance and part of our relationship with God. The Word of God is our daily bread as well, the literal feeding upon this and reading it, thinking about it, letting His words wash over us. If we think for a moment just about the Word of God and the inviolability of this Bible, as bread, the very word of God that we have to have in our life and it's knowledge coursing through us, then it helps us to have a mindset for the Kingdom. We live by every word of this book. We are declaring by every decision that we make, by every thought that we come to that the Kingdom of God is our choice. And to declare for the Kingdom, to choose the Kingdom requires, that we develop what I have already mentioned is what I call a biblical worldview, a biblical view of the world.

We look to this Bible to teach us how to think about the issues of life and the issues of the world. How about the issues that are hot right now? Does this word that we live by, does it define how we think about those and the ideas that we come down to, if you will, our ideology? What we would be willing to, if you will, march for? In the sense of marching, not that we're going to go out into the streets, but we're going to stand up and be counted for what this word teaches and for what this is. We treat the Bible this way. I mean, really, our fundamental belief about the Word of God is that it is infallible. We can sort through the supposed inconsistencies that are thought to be in the Scripture. And we can sort all of this out. We teach it as it is word of truth, and every word is true. We have a view that this word does not fail. It will not fail us. That's our view of it. We look upon it as something that is breathed of God. That's what 2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
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means, that the Word of God is God-breathed. God has breathed every word of this. And so we look at the Bible as sufficient and that it contains a sufficient revelation about eternal life and how we are to live our life, and it is sufficient for us. In other words, it is a sufficient source of our daily spiritual needs and our spiritual understanding. It is not the repository of all knowledge. It's not a science book, although when it does speak about science, it can be demonstrated to be accurate. It is not a legal code for all nations. It's not a book of knowledge about every bit of human knowledge. Although when it does speak, and what it speaks on and from history to science, to health can be demonstrated to be true. All right?

So it is infallible. We look at it that way, that is a word for eternal life. And we look upon it to define the big issues. When we try to understand what… And we had come to an understanding about gender. You know, gender is a big issue today, isn't it? Gender issues? What does the Bible tell us? It says God made them male and female. All right? That's our starting point. That's truth. We cannot bend off of that. Society and culture can come to whatever it wants to. And it's coming to quite a bit of mind-blowing ideas that even some who are way out there, in terms of progressive and liberal or whatever, finally write… I was reading what J.K. Rowling had written. And she said, "Basically, you know, you cannot trump biology, okay? It's there." Well, she got slammed for that, right? You can't deny that. But when it comes to gender, the Bible defines that worldview for us. We go from there. How about marriage? Another big issue today, right? What does the Bible say? Marriage is between a man and a woman. Christ spoke on that in Matthew 19. He took it all the way back to Genesis. It's between a man and woman, in fidelity and in loyalty.

How about abortion? Another big issue today, obviously. Well, the Bible says that life is sacred, God-breathed. To take life from a womb of a mother is murder. That's our starting point to understand that complicated issue today. The Bible gives us the word of truth for that. We live by this Word. Race, another issue. It says God is made of one blood of every nation. Paul said that in Acts 17, and many, many other Scriptures teach us how to think about that. We're ultimately all one in Christ.

So you look at all the issues that are raging today in the world, the Bible is our guide, and to come to what we believe, think, and act right and do regarding those. It is the Word of God, and we live by that. So that's how we declare for the Kingdom, if you will. That's how we choose for the Kingdom, out of what Christ did. He said it's written. And we've got to know what the Bible has written on any particular topic. That can be a difficult one, a divisive, challenging one, in the office, in that school, in the society, so that it doesn't divide us within the Church in any way. We're able to come together and understand what God says. And the choice we make then is for the Kingdom.

Let's go back to Matthew 4:5 Matthew 4:5Then the devil takes him up into the holy city, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple,
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, the second temptation. "Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If…’" There's that word if again. Notice that he did that the first temptation. He throws out a question if, really? "If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ’In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against the stone.’” All right? The devil can quote Scripture. James teaches us that. We see from this example here. The devil knows the Bible too. He can quote those scriptures. And he said, "Hey, the angels will pick You up. You know You don't need a bungee cord. Just throw Yourself off. Do something extreme," he dared Him. "You'll be born up. Your feet won't be dashed against the stone. Your body is not going to be broken against the rocks." What did Jesus say? Verse 7, "It is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’"

So again, He goes back to Deuteronomy 8, "You don't tempt the Lord your God." Now, that's an interesting statement. Again, Satan was acting kind of, like, you know, he was throwing that “if” out there. This is the second time he raised this doubt and he challenged Jesus to show Himself in a way that would require a miracle, "Turn the stones to bread, throw Yourself off this high point to the temple and nothing's going to happen to you." And, you know, he said, you know, "Just do that, and a miracle in this way." He wanted kind of a miracle trick to demonstrate something. You know, already, certainly Jesus Himself knew that… And one of the things we should learn from this is, God does not want our obedience and our reciprocal love to Him contingent upon a miracle trick. Sometimes we think, "Wow, I'd love to see a miracle or, you know, I'd like to see something happen, you know, just to kind of strengthen my faith or to prove God or this or that," that doesn't always happen that way.

Now, Jesus didn't obviously throw Himself off. He said, "You don't tempt the Lord your God." Now, there's multiple layers of meaning here. You know, sometimes on the human level in the family, we might tempt one another. We might push each other. One way to understand this tempting is by just kind of pushing. Had Jesus thrown Himself off, He would have, you know, been kind of pushing His luck. He might have been pushing God to test God. Frankly, Satan was acting like a kind of a jerk here, a real jerk, and also kind of like a jerk kid can do in a family. You know, in a family situation, no parent worth his or her soul wants any pushback from a kid.

We don't want to be tempted by our kids. We don't want any disrespect shown to us, something that might tempt us into a retaliation. Questions in an extreme manner over the care that we give as a parent, we don't want to do that. I remember how I learned that with my father, I think I was probably about 11 or 12. And I think we were getting ready one night to go to a Cub Scout meeting at the school. My dad was going with me and we were getting ready for it. And my dad asked me a question and I was feeling my oats that night for some reason, and I just gave him a kind of a smart-aleck answer back. And there was silence. And my dad turned to me and he gave me the look, that's how I got to look that I, you know, have given my kids. He gave me a look and then he just calmly said, "Don't you ever talk to me in that tone of voice or like that again." He didn't lay a hand on me. I tempted him, and he didn't hurt me, but he taught me a lesson. I never after that I gave him a smart-aleck reply on anything. I learned a deep lesson that night. I didn't want to tempt my dad to do something else or to push back. Jesus didn't want to tempt His Father. He wasn't going to. Why? Because He had given up His glory to become human. That's the deep lesson here, to become flesh. He'd given up His glory as part of the plan, the purpose, and He had become human to learn in the flesh, to be tempted in the flesh, not to be giving temptation. He wasn't going to tempt His Father. He didn't need to. Frankly, He could have done a levitating trick if He threw Himself off anyway if He really wanted to, but He wasn't going to do that because He had chosen to go the human route, leave His glory, and to learn through the temptations of the flesh without sin, but to learn that way.

And in that way, His commitment to the Kingdom was total to everything that the Kingdom stood for. And He was not going to violate it by giving in to Satan's enticements in any part of the human nature that He had taken on. He wasn't going to say, "Well, I'll show you, devil" or, you know, "All right, I'll push My Heavenly Father." No, He wasn't going to do any of that. He just quoted Scripture and let it go with that, and it was over. He had already committed Himself to the purpose that was worked out from before the foundation of the world, by the Godhead, by He and the Father. We commit to the same purpose. Notice, hold your place here. Go over to Ephesians 1. The first few verses of Ephesians 1 talks about this purpose, that the Father has decided.

Verse 4, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy without blame before Him in love, and predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ." This is what the Father has done. This is what the Father and the Word had agreed to as the purpose and of the plan. Jump down to verse 10, "That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one of all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on the earth— in Him." That's the purpose. All things would be gathered together. Jesus knew that. He'd committed to it. He wasn't going to upset that at all by some little cheap trick of either turning stones to bread or showing that He couldn't be hurt by throwing Himself off of a high place. He'd committed to the Kingdom. We've committed to the Kingdom as well. We've committed to that purpose that is being worked out by the Father and by Christ.

Remember that Satan said, "If you are the Son of God," he always puts doubt out there. Don't let any doubt come into our hearts, to cause us to doubt the purpose to which we've been called, and we have committed in our life. Have that same purpose, that same commitment that Jesus had to the whole plan of God and to the kingdom in that way. Now, let's go to verse 8. Let's look at the third temptation. Back in Matthew 4, "Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give to You if You will fall down and worship me.’" Luke's account has it that he showed it all in a moment's time. He was able to, you know, throw out in this cinemascope holographic image, the glory of the kingdoms of the world, and offer them to Jesus, "If You will fall down and worship me." That's what Satan wanted Jesus to do to acknowledge Him. Jesus said in verse 10, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, Him only you shall serve.’" Again, “it is written." All these things were written in the law, back there in Deuteronomy, that great legal code of Deuteronomy, the second giving of the law. It was written there. Jesus knew it. He could call upon it. That was His worldview. That's how He made His decisions, from what was written, from what was recorded in the Word of God. “'You will worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ And then the devil left Him.”

He said, “'Away with you, Satan!’… angels came and He ministered to them.” He did not give in to this final temptation. And some ways, this could have been the greatest one of all, because humanly speaking, I think to anyone in the flesh, to any human, and Jesus would not have been an exception, He would have been tempted by this to gain that glory, the glory of the kingdoms of the world. But Jesus knew that all of that was an illusion. And He didn't forget it. He did not let that escape His mind in that moment. When He could have chosen to worship Satan, He didn't do it. Jesus knew that Satan could have only given the deceptive sense of the essence of this world. Jesus had created the worlds. Jesus had watched history up to that point. He understood it all. But He knew that what Satan could give was only a deception, an ephemeral essence of this world, whatever wealth, whatever fame, whatever power, whatever glory of this world, he could have given, it would have been fleeting. It would have gone.

You know, in the ancient Roman world, when a Roman soldier defeated one of the enemies of Rome, that posed a great threat, that general when he returned to Rome, was afforded what they call a triumph. It was a big party, would last upwards of two days. He would have to beat… He and his legion would be outside the gates of the city, and then they would be allowed to come in and parade through the streets. Usually, the first parts of the parade would be captive, the captive peoples that they from either Gaul or Asia that represented the wealth of the people.

When they captured Jerusalem in 70 AD, Titus was given a triumph. This is something that had been going on for a long period of time in Rome. Pompey the Great had three different triumphs. And at some point, then the Emperor, or not the Emperor, but the General would come through in a chariot. And it usually be dressed up kind of in a reddish makeup to represent the god of Mars, the god of war. And he'd be getting all the platitudes and the cheers of all the crowd as he was going through the streets of Rome, but they would put behind the General in every one of the triumphs, a slave. And the slave would whisper into his ear these words, all along the parade route, all during the agitations, and the pomp, and circumstance of all that fame, the slave would be whispering throughout the parade, "Remember, you are mortal. Remember, you are mortal." Just to keep him honest, and that this parade was going to be over, life was fleeting and to remind him that he was just a man. He was not really the god of Mars. He was not really divine. And Jesus knew that. He knew the fleeting glory of the world. He understood that it was not worth worshipping Satan. Satan's one desire is to be worshipped. What we're told here is the heart and the essence of Satan's being, to be worshipped. And when we put any anything before God in our world, in our life today, we're worshiping something of Satan's world, something of Satan's design. Jesus knew all of that was just temporary and an illusion. We cannot forget that as well. Let's go read 2 Corinthians 4:16 2 Corinthians 4:16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
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, I won't turn to it but quote it very quickly.

He said, "Our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16 2 Corinthians 4:16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
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. The physical is passing by. It's the inner life of the spirit that will endure that is built to last. And Jesus knew that. So He refused the offer of the kingdoms of this world. He knew there was nothing there. He knew that one day His Kingdom would replace the kingdoms of this world. So what part of the kingdoms of this world might we be enticed by, might we want to worship and to be a part of? That's the question for us to consider or have we bowed down to? What idea of the kingdoms of this world have we brought in? What ideology might we be tempted to take and adapt as ours, and buy into?

There's a lot of them out there today and they're driving a lot of activity in our culture and in our world. Whatever it is, whatever they are, they're not going to bring solutions. It will not endure. Human nature is not going to be changed by any philosophy of man, any ideology that is out there. There will still be problems of prejudice, of greed, of inequity by any of the ideologies that are there. No government's going to bring about that solution. It's going to take, as again Mr. Clore was saying in the quoting out of Jeremiah in terms of the New Covenant, "The writing of the law of God upon our heart." Christ said “It is written” as He quoted Scripture to refuse Satan and to make a choice for the Kingdom against the kingdoms of this world. He said, "It's written." That law, that word has to be written in our life, on our heart, to really submit the choice that we make for the Kingdom of God over the kingdoms of this world.

As we look at our world today, and we see quite a bit. I've actually begun to do what some of my friends have told me they were doing months ago. Take a news fast. I've actually taken periods where, you know, "I'm not turning it on." A few days, I tend to go right back to it. But I've said, "I'm going to take a few days off, not tonight, not tomorrow night. I'll just, you know, think about other things." It's pretty intense. It is pretty intense. And that's what we're going through. The nations have been startled. We're literally watching the winds of heaven stirring up the great sea like we read about in Daniel 7:1-2 Daniel 7:1-2 [1] In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head on his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. [2] Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove on the great sea.
American King James Version×
, there's a churn that is going on as we look at what is happening in America, in our streets, in our culture. There's a great deal of energy and power that is churning, creating upheaval.

One of our staff members asked me a few weeks ago about what is taking place of the protesting, the riots, the disruption. Was it like… Is this what happened in the 1960s? And I often talked about 1968 and that period of time, some of us have lived through that. And my comment, my reply has been, "No, it's different today. It is different today." And here's what I've come to conclude why it's different. In 1968, and a few years after that, the elite centers of the power of America were not buying into what was happening in the streets. Today they are. The elite powers of academics, academia, government, business, media, they're buying into it, either through their silence or their decisions. And that is critically different today than 50 plus years ago in another time of civil unrest and turmoil in America. That's what's different. And that can be revolutionary.

That can be significantly lead to a change to reshape society, where it will go and what speed, I'm not even going to try to predict. But that is what is different today. And whether it's FedEx, telling the Washington Redskins, basically, “You're going to change that name or something else that takes place.” We don't need to get into all the right and wrong issues of all these things. But when you begin to see the elite power centers of our country, buy into it. That will bring about our people. And that's what's different. And so, we note that and we step back because our choice is for the Kingdom of God or the kingdoms of this world.

In Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
, we read about the sounding of the seventh angel. Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
, "There were loud voices in heaven, saying, at that time, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.’" That event takes place, the kingdoms of this world will end and it will be the kingdom of our Lord. It will be the kingdom of God that will be brought to this earth. We're preparing for that Kingdom today. We're preparing for our role in that Kingdom. Jesus went from this period of temptation that Satan brought to Him, and then when it was over, as the Scripture says, "The angels that came and they ministered to Him." And then as you will see in Mark's account, He went straight into preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. And His ministry began. We must declare for the Kingdom of God. We must put that first and foremost.

We must reject, if you will, the ideologies, the ideas, the lures, the culture of the kingdoms of this world, and we must choose for the Kingdom of God. Christ resisted Satan's temptations and He showed us how to do it. We must reject those ideas and choose the ideas, the way, the teaching of the Kingdom of God. And when we do and live a life in that vein, always at every juncture of choice that we make, then we will be ready to reign with Christ and His coming Kingdom, which will be the only solution for the problems of mankind throughout all the millennia of human history, especially with what we're facing today as we see it right there in front of us in living color. Our choice, the kingdoms of this world or the Kingdom of God.

Comments

  • jclassboat
    To apply this to what is ongoing today do we stand up to evil authority that is subversive to God's scripture like Churchill did to Hitler or do we go along with it to just get along? Do we forgo Church attendance and wear masks and limit fellowship because a corrupt and Satanic government expects us to obey? Do we obey God or do we obey Satan's servants?
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