Kingdoms and Empires
Throughout history there have been numerous Kingdoms and Empires that have ruled the land and peoples of the world. A Kingdom is ruled by a King and is typically a single people group and territory, whereas an Empire is comprised of several separate territories and people groups each with their own governors who report to a single Emperor. in both cases the specific ruler considered it's highest authority figure. Decisions were made either independently or with advisors that set the laws binding on those under its jurisdiction. The influence of the leader was often reflected in the general moral tones that became the acceptable behaviour of the general population. In the earthly sense the Bible records various Kingdoms such as those of Israel and Babylon and the Roman Empire (1 Sam 24:20; Dan 9:1; Act 25:25). In this entry the term Kingdom is used generically.
As with any organisation its effectiveness and power is dependant on the level of compliance to diligently carry out the directives and orders from those at the top. When everyone does what they consider best in their opinion it weakens the overall impact for it becomes a kingdom divided (Jdg 17:6; Mk 3:24). Jesus said He did not follow His desires but was always about His Father's business (Lk 2:49; Jn 4:34, 5:30, 6:38). The inherent power in the chain of command where each followed through on their superiors decisions was illustrated by a Roman soldier. Being disciplined and motivated by orderly responsibility it was with utmost assurance he stated he had authority and expected compliance from those under him because he also was in submission to the authority of those over him (Mt 8:9).
In the spiritual realm there are also Kingdoms: God's based on love and truth, and Satan's domain ruled by deception and fear.
In both realms there are unseen yet powerful hierarchical chains of command, from the top down. In God's Kingdom: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit then redeemed humanity. Righteous angels under the authority of the triune God are also instrumental (Ps 103:20).Satan's line of command is from himself to evil principalities, powers and evil spirits dominating fallen humanity because of the evil nature residing within (Eph 6:10). Satan has been given temporary (and limited) control of the Kingdom of this world, until God regain full and final control (Rev 11:15).
All humanity has been born sinners because of our inherited sin nature (Ps 51:5; Eccl 7:20; Rom 3:23, 5:12). This means we are part of the rebellious spiritually dark Kingdom of Satan with the ultimate destination of eternal damnation (Mt 13:49,50; Jn 3:18; Rom 6:23; Eph 2:1-3; Col 1:13). Jn 10:10 The only way to escape is to transfer out into the Kingdom of God by repenting of that lifestyle, being born again and living according to God's ways with the destiny being eternal life (Mk 1:15; Jn 1:12, 3:3-7, 5:3,5,24; Act 26:18; Rom 6:22; 2 Pet 1:4,11).
We should be continually analysing as which Kingdom's values we are portraying and so advancing? When situations arise what is our response - are those typical of God's or Satan's domain? Will we lash out in words and actions of the old sinful life or display the fruit of the Spirit?
As often in the earthly realm one ruling power fought against another to take control of their territory and bring its people into submission to them, so it is in the spiritual realm. The original sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden surrender control of this world into the hands of Satan. While Jesus defeated him on our behalf it is our responsibility (once we have pledged allegiance to Christ through being born-again) by intercession, spiritual warfare and walking in obedience to take back territory that Satan acquired (1 Jn 3:8). Although as Christians we have been rescued out of Satan's Kingdom there remains the residue of his influence and traits in us. This is why we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin and outwork the reality of what baptism represents – death to the old sinful nature and being raised to a new life in Christ (Rom 6:4,11; 2 Cor 5:17). Aspire to this being your testimony, "I died and the life I now live, I live by the grace of Christ who lives in me" (Gal 3:20; Col 2:20, 3:3).