How Can A Dismantled Kingdom Still Hold Sway Over People?

 Listen to the article here 

The Dismantled Kingdom. We are still waiting.

It was April 11, 1945, and U.S. soldiers were liberating concentration camps all over Germany. Here is a quote from some of what took place, “When US forces entered Buchenwald, they found over 21,000 prisoners, each resembling skeletons due to maltreatment and many so weak or sick that they could not move. That same day, the 3rd Armored Division and the 104th Infantry Division liberated Dora-Mittelbau near Nordhausen, where few prisoners remained.”[1]

What does the fall of Nazi Germany have to do with the dismantling of Satan’s Kingdom? It is my hope that this illustration will help you comprehend how to view Satan’s defeated kingdom rightly. After the allied forces defeated Hitler and his army, it still took time for the captives to be liberated. Satan’s kingdom is completely dismantled and defeated. The Kingdom of our Lord is reigning and advancing;  just like the liberation of the Jews. God’s kingdom is moment by moment, liberating those who were held captive to Satan’s kingdom. This is why it is important as ambassadors to share. Let’s review how Satan’s Kingdom was defeated.

The kingdom of the world and its ruler’s reign brought devastation to the world. It started at the fall, and it ended at the resurrection. At the resurrection, this age was defeated, and the world’s kingdom became the kingdom of our Lord again. This is the proper exegetical understanding of the text of scripture. We are presently matriculated into the kingdom, receiving—through faith—the blessed benefits of our King- like- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. We are ambassadors of peace to this broken, fallen world under the defeated enemy of their soul.

There are many disagreements between theologians when this age ends and when the new age begins. Here is the opposite view of what I believe: “The present age is transitory and evil, its values contrary to those of God; the future age is that in which God holds undisputed sway.” [2]

I would disagree. I would say the future age is started, but we are just waiting on the culmination of the physical return of Jesus. This is the only way to be consistent with what Jesus accomplished on the cross. If not, we are prisoners of war, and we need someone to break us out of the prison camp.  

  1. How are people without Christ actively participating in this defeated kingdom and age?

Apostle John explains, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) The kingdom of this world is defeated, and this age is eclipsed with this new age for those who believe in Christ. Although, the world’s kingdom is toppled and the new age is active, and Jesus is reigning. The defeated kingdom and old age still hold those captive—the ones who love their sin and rebellion. The kingdom and this age will be completely eradicated when Christ physically returns. The gates of hell will continue to crumble in devastating defeat until the last elect soul comes from its clutches.

The Kingdom of this world has been given to the messiah Jesus now, but we are still waiting. This will only happen when Jesus physically returns.

In Revelation 11:15 we read, “He and his Christ will reign forever and ever.” The Father, the Son, and the Spirit will be reigning for eternity- that started when Christ resurrected- and it allows believers in Christ to access the benefit of that reality today when they believe. The apostle Luke states, “Who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:30) The benefit of the age that the disciples were living in was unprecedented. The benefit of learning and walking with God while he was here on earth gave them great benefits, but that was just the beginning. When Christ resurrected, he assured and confirmed that they would be given eternal life.

Matthew’s gospel account records, “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:32)  We see the Lord speaking about the two ages here, this age and the age to come. Those who credit Satan (Beelzebul) with what God the Holy Spirit is doing are condemned in both ages.

  1. The kingdom of heaven overtook the Kingdom of this world in three layers.

                We see the two ages discussed in scripture, but why do I think the new has started, and how are Christians to understand the destruction of the other age? First, why the new age has begun. Matthew’s Gospel account records, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is a declarative fact from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. The kingdom of heaven overtook the Kingdom of this world in three layers. Two are done, and we are waiting on the culmination of the last layer. The rest of this article is for our champion partners. If you want to find out more about becoming a monthly champion to receive extended videos, podcasts, and articles go to https://www.gospelgm.com/community/

 

[1] https://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org/blog/the-liberation-of-the-nazi-concentration-camps/

[2] Merrill C. Tenney etal.,The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible Volume I (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976),67.