Kingdom and Empires

What is the difference between a Kingdom and an Empire, and why does it matter? In these dark days of uncertainty I believe it is important for those seeking insight with understanding to recognize the difference between the empire Satan is working feverishly to build and control, and the Kingdom of our Lord that actually rules and has authority.  Because Satan is crafty and is capable of deceiving even the elect (Matthew 24:24), having an understanding of this could save you from embracing a lie clothed in truth.

In Deuteronomy chapter 2 we find the Lord instructing the Israelites not to meddle with the children of Esau, nor to harass Moab or the children of Ammon as they wandered through the wilderness.  The temptation to conquer a land and settle it rather than continuously roam must have been great, but the Lord knew what He had in store for them was even greater, and that was the land He had given them in covenant through Abraham.  Speaking to Moses and then later to Joshua, He tells them that everywhere the sole of their foot treads, He will give them, and then proceeds to outline the boundaries of this territory.  It was to be theirs if they possessed it.

The state of a single nation that is united, self-governing, and uninterested in bringing its neighbors under its rule was a new concept being introduced in scripture.  Not one governed by foreigners from a distant land, but from those within its own ranks.  Foreigners were welcome to stay as long as they were willing to accept Israel’s God, laws, and understanding of history.  The purpose of this was because the well-being of the nation depended upon it.

Interestingly enough, even after the Israelites were taken into captivity, the Lord instructs them in similar manner to seek the peace of the place (city, area, nation) where they were taken, and pray to the Lord for it; for “in its peace you will have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7).  Again He emphasizes that the well-being of the individual relies upon the well-being of the nation.

Why does our great God care about nation states? I believe one reason is because, as we discover in Psalms 2, our Father has given His son, Jesus, nations as an inheritance, and I personally believe that He takes delight in the sovereignty, beauty, and uniqueness of each and every one. And because He does care, Satan hates anything and everything having to do with a sovereign nation state.

A second reason is because there is a vital difference between a nation state, or kingdom, and an empire state.  If you think about it, Jesus always emphasized the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom. A kingdom has one sovereign, who is the King. 

In the physical there are good kings and bad kings.  In God’s kingdom, He reigns through love, allowing for individual autonomy, creativity and partnership with Him in accomplishing His goals. Kingdom allows you to make the choice to be part of the Kingdom or not. The King grants to His subjects His authority, with the understanding that many parts make the body whole.  America at its founding was radical, and at the time resembled more closely to the Kingdom of God than any other nation had previously.

Empire, on the other hand, is fear based, imperialistic, and controlling.  God is not an imperialist. We want to be careful not to label Him as a controller lest we inadvertently put Him into the category of Empire. The following can all be said of Empires:

  • Empires are exceeding and constantly expanding.  Never satisfied with their current status, they are  constantly absorbing the nation states.
  • Empires are based on a centralized form of government that is ran by one or a select few.  Most people think of Rome or possibly Great Britain when they think of Empire.  If you think about it, corporations like Comcast are also good examples of an empire, acquiring and dissolving the small mom & pop shops who can no longer compete with bulk pricing.  Mega churches, too, can be empires when the pastor sees himself as more of a CEO or head rather than Christ Himself.
  • Empires are known for their domination, reign through hierarchy and fear, lack of autonomy, and utopian promises that end in restriction of freedoms. Often in the name of diversity and inclusion, everything becomes about conformity to a message or brand that is designed to replace all other forms of religion.
  • Empire is always more concerned with what those at the top can gain, with a goal of total population control.
  • Empire convinces its subjects that the immediate is more valuable than the eternal
  • Empire always sacrifices the needs of the individual on behalf of the “greater good”, or “masses”.  In reality, any government that does not recognize the individual (and individual rights) is not capable of providing for the good of the masses, simply because masses are made of individuals.  If you disrespect the individual, you disrespect the masses that are made up on those individuals.

Since the tower of Babel there has always been a move for globalist empire, one world control being driven by a so-called class of elites.  The current move appears in part to be driven through global corporations that have all embraced the Marxist strategy, a strategy which has not changed in 150 years.  What has changed are their tactics.  Before the last quarter of a century, Marxist tactics always focused on the working class.  Today, the working class has been set aside and their tactics have switched to race and identity politics that are once again designed to divide, confuse, insight fear, and isolate in order to move towards a great global “reset”.

The great global reset requires the leveling and destruction of family, history, morality and religion, individuality, and equal opportunity.  Once the economy has been bankrupted, culture has been destroyed, currency has moved into the digital space, and all are demoralized and scattered – no longer knowing who they are or where they came from, then and only then can they step in as a savior of sorts and begin to rebuild a global empire to their satisfaction.  If you study the history of Germany prior to the rise of Hitler, you will see a picture of this.

In its quest to absorb whole nation states and bring them under one world government control, the lure for the common person is to trade your freedoms for the promises of a government big enough to take care of your every need “for free”.  You’ve heard it said that any government big enough to provide you with free things is also big enough to take it all away. 

You cannot trade what is eternal for what is immediate.  It is the kiss of death not only for you, for all of us now, but is the gateway to future generations being enslaved for decades or longer.  In Malachi 1:3 the Bible tells us that God hated Esau.  This is really strong language! What could cause God to turn away like that?  It is because Esau was willing to trade his birthright for a bowl of stew.  As Esau sadly found out, his choice didn’t impact just him but all of those around him, and for generations.

Once freedom is lost and the people have given away their right of self-determination they can easily be controlled through the goods necessary for their very subsistence, mostly physically but often spiritually as well.  Everything you depend upon Empire to provide becomes a means of control.  Empire does not give you a choice to belong to it, you must conform or face consequences.

Why does Satan pursue Empire?  Because he is finite, not omniscient and omnipresent like God, the only way he can control is through a single point.  Because he is a created being operating within the confines of time, the more centralized his control becomes the more he is able to unfold his plots.  It is amusing to me to know that he is playing chess with One who knows all of his moves, and yet he still thinks he can win. 

In letters to both the church of Ephesus as well as Pergamum within the book of Revelation, John writes about a group of people called the Nicolaitans, whose works he mentions God hates. Most generally assume that these works are the same as the teachings of Balaam, but a closer look at the word Nicolaitans reveals even more. Broken into two words, “nico” means to overcome/rule/dominate; and “laos” means people, so it is plausible that the practice of the Nicolaitans was to dominate, standing in between God and His people.  In particular prior to Martin Luther, the structure of the traditional Catholic church could be an example of this, as well as the overrule of the pharisees. 

Consider the story in scripture of the Tower of Babel in Genesis chapter 11, when a united human race speaking a single language in the generations following the great flood, desired to build a tower reaching into the heavens, to make a name for themselves, lest they be “scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth”.   When the Triune God came to have a look, He notes something interesting.  Verse six says:

“And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them’”. 

What I found interesting is the phrase “this is what they begin to do”, which in Hebrew is the single word חָלַל, translated “chalal”, which means “to bore” or “to pierce”, indicating that even then we find Satan devising how to replace Kingdom with Empire for the purpose of destroying everything that belongs to God.

It’s also interesting in the last portion of this verse that we learn God does not intend to withhold the peoples from accomplishing their ultimate purpose, but He does purposefully slow down the timeline by scattering the people and the languages in a direct blow to Satan that thwarts and frustrates his plans for millennia to come.

Acts 17:26 affirms for us that this is the time when God determined the times and boundaries of every nation.  Psalm 2:1 asks the question “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing”? Noting in the verses that follow that the kings of the earth are taking their stand and the rulers are taking counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed.  The Psalmist is given a vision of the direct fulfillment of the goal that was initially set forth at the building of the tower, and Psalm 2 is written like a stage play where we see our King victorious in the end.

Be blessed.

2 thoughts on “Kingdom and Empires

  1. Excellent review of the differences between kingdoms and empires. However, one caveat I would add: Matthew 24:24 states, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” The key phrase in this sentence is “IF possible.” He does not intend to lose even one that Father has placed in His hands. “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” John 18:9
    And Paul told Timothy in 2:19, “But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.'” We are sealed with the Holy Spirit and Jesus will not release us to satan’s empire. We can only go there if we choose to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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