Section 2
Lesson 3

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TWO SUPERNATURAL KINGDOMS

          When it comes to living spiritually solid and prosperous lives, half the reason we don't is because we don't consider the "whole picture".  All we concern ourselves with is what's in front of us, in the natural realm, and that's what we go by.  We also go by past experiences. We rely on our carnal senses and limited logic. And despite Proverbs 3:5 telling us not to, we "lean on our own understanding" in how we approach or respond to the matters of this life.  ​​

          If I were to paraphrase what I've always understood Proverbs 3:5-6 to mean, it would go like this: "Lean not on your own perspective of everything, but, in all that you do, acknowledge God and work with Him concerning it, acquiring and gleaning from His all-knowing perspective, and He will direct you as to how to handle things". 

          Learning to consistently deal with cirucmstances by truly leaning on God's full knowledge instead of our limited understanding is taking a significant step towards spiritual stability. But again, we'd do all the better if we'd continually consider the "whole picture".  Because we'll lean all the more on God's understanding when we appreciate that what we see via our human eyes is not all that's going on.

          Sure, we know there's more out there than what meets the eye. We know there's a God and His angels. We know there's a devil and his demons. And we know there is a spiritual realm. But, do we respect the reality that these two spiritual realms are not only here among us in the earth implementing the occasional miracle or tragedy, but that they're both actively working, either for or against us, ongoing? I mean, we know this, but, since it's out of sight, it's out of mind. We don't sit around pondering that there are at least three sets of criteria at work in most all situations. There's our personal criteria, perhaps another person's as well, the enemy's, and God's.

          All three + parties have a vested interest in what goes on in our lives. While we are plugging away at our jobs, watching television, or serving our neighbors, there are other (invisible) parties on the scene, each with their own agenda. (They are often aware of each other's agenda, and fight about it, too!)  But these two invisible parties aren't just random entities doing scattered, random acts. No, the two opposing parties are servants of two mighty, organized, methodical, vast kingdoms. Of course, you knew these supernatural kingdoms existed. But do we really comprehend it? Do we consider that angels and demons aren't just aimlessly bouncing around, flying in and out of heaven and hell, looking for random people to do something with?

           These two supernatural kingdoms are as interested in the matters of earth as humans are, if not more. Obviously, we know the kingdom of God is interested in rescuing people from the dominion of darkness while the kingdom of darkness is striving to take over the world. But see... Each kingdom can only accomplish their agenda "through" mankind by working with each person intricately and strategically.

          Now how well would you do if you wanted to rescue or take over the world by just sending out random angels or demons to accomplish your bidding - without planning, orchestrating, plotting and strategizing?  That's no way to run things. We need to comprehend and respect the profound significance these two kingdoms have in our lives, and see them for what they are. We need to stop going about our business looking at this life as though that's all there is for now because eternity comes later. No. The eternal kingdoms are here. And they're working hard to promote their opposing agendas. 
          
         We know Satan was cast out of heaven and that 1/3 of the angels followed him. And we know that when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden that, via Satan's deception, he acquired an authority in the earth. In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is referred to as, "the prince of the power (exousias G1849; authority, jurisdiction)  of the air". And though Jesus reports that ALL authority had been given unto Him prior to His ascension to Heaven (Matthew 28), Satan's kingdom continued to maintain dominion within the earth realm. Colossians 1:13 states that God rescued us (believers) from the dominion of darkness and transferred us over to the kingdom of His dear Son.  So the issue of dominion and authority in and over the earth goes three ways.

  1. Man was given charge over the earth by the Supreme Authority, God Himself.
  2. Man gave allegience to the devil granting him a position of authority/rule/dominion over mankind.
  3. Jesus has authority over all. 

          Each party has their own version and measure of authority, but note that man gave the devil authority over mankind, not over the earth like the corporate body typically says. It's often taught (and I saw it this way myself until recently) that man gave up his dominion over the earth in the Garden. But I realize now that's not correct. Man still has authority over the earth, the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, etc. It's obvious man still exercises authority/dominion over animals and the systems of this life. However, Satan does not have authority over anything in the earth, including mankind, UNLESS it is granted to him via allegiance, agreement, or submission to him BY MANKIND. 

          Consider the school systems in America, how they were under Christ's authority until 1962 when prayer and the Bible became banned - after which came academic and moral decline, greater behavioral issues, and terror. The point being Satan never had authority over American schools until it was granted to him. The dark kingdom strategically worked towards this, manipulated mankind into rebelling against the holy inclusion of the Creator's Word in the school system, and they bowed. So, I reiterate: Satan's kingdom never has authority over the earth, a person or even a system of the earth UNLESS MAN gives it to him.  Why? Because man never lost their charge over the earth. We simply granted the dark kingdom a place, too. But his power could only be exercised by getting permission from God (as was the case with Job) or by getting someone to buy into what he was selling. And this was the case even before Christ died to rescue us from the dark kingdom.

          Consider Noah, born into the same fallen, sinful world as every other human. Though not perfect, God said he was the only righteous man on earth, and was protected from the destruction of the world. The prince of the authority of the air, through which the rain so heavily fell for 40 days and nights, had no say in God's judging the earth via the global flood. Satan couln't prevent a single raindrop from falling, nor could he impede on God's elect, to destroy the Ark and its passengers. This gives us a clear perspecitve that while Satan does have authority, it's not automatic. It must be acquired just as it was with Eve and the American school system.

          We can also look at Abraham and Moses, sinners born into the same earth wherein Satan is "prince of this world" (John 12:31),  and how God set them apart and called them into covenant with Him in teaching them that if they abide in Him, they would be protected and blessed. Again, this all being long before Jesus came to rescue mankind from sin, death, and the prince of the air. The point again being, though Satan does have authority, he must acquire it. Man still has to "grant" the devil a platform. Otherwise he has zero rights to exercise it. His power remains "in the empty air" which is ineffective (unless he illegally trespasses, but that's a whole other topic). 


          But yes, these two kingdoms are as real as (if not more real than) you and me. And they're as driven for a particular outcome as (if not more driven than) you and me. Again, it doesn't matter what you are doing, there's a lot more going on behind the scenes. Angels and demons are assigned to heirs of salvation and they all work avidly to steer believers in the direction that accomplishes their task. It's imporatant that we become and remain mindful of the "whole picture" because it completely changes our outlook. And it may even influence how careful we are to know the policies of God's kingdom so to be sure to adhere to them more faithfully. If anything, it should make us more careful to not be so inclined to grant the kingdom of darkness a platform. (We'll talk more about how this happens in the next module.)

          I want to share a story that demonstrates and hopefully drives home just how prominent the two supernatural kingdoms are among us.

          Back when my very first book was published I was formatting the layout of the manuscript using online software that went haywire. The program seemed to have a mind of its own. Words would be divided from one line to the next. Lines that were justified would become centered. Paragraphs would separate and move. And attempting to correct the mysterious changes only caused new errors to appear. After a week of working day and night fighting to undo the damage only to see the manuscript more and more botched, the software program would close out with none of my changes saved. I'd have to shut down the computer and reboot... only to find the manuscript in even greater disarray. By the end of the week, after probably 100 back to back hours of striving to fix things, I realilzed it was a losing battle. I just hung my head in despair welling up with tears when suddenly the Lord spoke clear as day, "Take authority". 
     
          My immediate response was, "Take authority? Why? You are here with me, Lord!"

          You see, though this terrible and ever increasingly problem had been going on all week, I never once doubted God was with me because I felt His presence through it all.  I saw God's hand in all that He'd accomplished in the book and felt His supernatural peace throughout the peculiar chaos. I KNEW He was there. I just had no idea why this software wasn't working or what I was going to do. 

          The problem was I had assumed that since God was there, since I felt His peace, and since the dark kingdom had no legal right to be on the premises, that this meant the enemy couldn't have been there messing things up. I was wrong. This was the moment I realized the dark kingdom will illegally trespass onto private, God-ordained property to attempt to sabotage things. Hence, the reason we need to take authority over such matters. 

          So, when God said to take authority, I asked why would I need to if He was there with me and He said, "I am there with you. But the demons are trying to prevent your book from being published and my angels have been fighting them on this all week. Now help them out by taking authority over your property in My name."

          I finally understood and right away I said something like, "Devil, take your hands off my property! This book is God's and I command you to take your hands off now in Jesus' name!" Afterwards, I rebooted the computer for the last and final time and instead of finding the manuscript even worse, it was suddenly back in order other than some minor discrepancies! I was astounded! So I fixed them and the book was ready for publication in a little more than one hour! No exaggeration! My husband is my witness.

          Gosh, I learned a lot that day. But I share this story to show that there were three parties at work all week as I presumably worked alone to format my book. The fact was, I wasn't alone and there was a major, literal battle going on right there in my midst over my book. And I was none the wiser for it.

          If I had to wrap up what it takes for every believer to succeed as a Christian who literally has Satan under their feet into one thing, I'd say it's knowing and respecting the reality of these two very powerful, supernatural kingdoms; and cooperating with the holy one. The first most significant necessity being to seek, know and abide in God's kingdom with all our hearts. And the second being to not be ignorant about Satan's agenda and tactics of the dark kingdom, so to not be played for a fool. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."  Hosea 4:6.

          And do you know something else that would help us appreciate the significance of the two invisible kingdoms here among us is if we grasp that the idea of what makes a kingdom a kingdom didn't start in the earth. In fact, nothing "started" with earth. Everything about the earth mirrors something from eternity.  The system of a kingdom didn't originate in the earth because God's kingdom existed long before earth did. And since everything on earth is God's design, I assure you, the idea of a kingdom was an eternal creature first. Therefore, the order for all things including that all kingdoms have kings, servants and armies of varying ranks, orders and assignments, etc., came from above. As such, all kingdoms have statutes, policies, and decrees that must be obeyed. All kingdoms are territorial, typically striving to expand. And all kingdoms share in the similar vision to rule over all, in so much as they succeed. Now of course, God's kingdom is the only kingdom that will succeed at this. It seems senseless that any other kingdom (natural or otherwise) would bother trying. But, such is life.

          To add a bit more perspective, just sit and ponder everything that goes into what makes a kingdom and then flip the switch in your mind taking it from the physical realm to the spiritual. See Satan as the father, prince or king over the vast kingdom of darkness. See how he has millions, if not billions, of various ranking officers, high powers, principalities, minions and more. Think of Michael the Archangel, or Gabriel and how they are very high ranking officials in God's kingdom. God gave us this clue for a reason. These two angels have greater abilities than lower ranking angels. This demonstrates that the supernatural kingdoms are very well orchestrated, perhaps even better than earthly kingdoms! All this to help solidify the comprehension of these two vast systems.

          And here's food for thought... Remember the tower of Babel from Genesis 11? This was a "one world order" endeavor. Now who do you suppose was behind it? The devil has been striving to rule as god over all the earth for millenia. We can see, he's made great strides. The antichrist is soon to rise.

          Also, have you ever wondered where the whole dynamic of a kingdom being majestic and royal came from, where you could be killed on the spot for daring to even approach a king without permission? I don't know how God pulled it off, but he had man implement their kingdoms in this very fashion. God deliberately wanted "kingdoms" to be sovereign, prestigious systems of royalty and honor for a reason - despite the fact that no human could ever truly be sovereign or deserved to be so renowned. I was always stumped by this as a youngster, never appreciating that earth kings had such insane reverance knowing full well they were just as fallible and wretched as anyone. But now I understand God put this system into place because Father God wanted to train the world on what it is to revere a king so that when Jesus brought His kingdom into the earth (2000 years ago), we would have no excuse for failing to revere the Almighty King, bowing to Him in all our ways, honoring and revering Him above all things, thereby granting His (now invisible) kingdom manifest presence in the earth.

          Thankfully, God's kingdom was brought into the earth through Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago, to call people out from under the rule of the dark kingdom, and into citizenship of His Holy kingdom. But THIS is what we haven't really understood or paid much mind to. Despite the so-called hundreds of millions of Christians there are in the earth, barely 1% comprehend the significance of these two invisible, rival kingdoms. Nor does  the world, even the Church, realize how much liberty and power they grant the dark kingdom. The corporate body of Christ continues to deal with this life as if that's all there is, having no idea how much their every decision either works for or against the kingdom of God and its manifest presence in the world. What's worse is our application of the reality of God's kingdom and authority is vaguly present. Though this won't remain the case for long because God's raising up an army of steadfast believers, there's been minimal manifest presence of the kingdom of God despite our numbers for the past 2000 years.

          Meanwhile, realize that despite our ignorance, there are billions of strategies plotted out and implemented on a daily basis by both of the invisible kingdoms. God has millions or even billions of angels strategizing and working to call us out of deception, calling intercessors to pray for chains to be broken off the body of Christ, calling teachers to teach real truth and what's really going on, etc.

         But keep in mind what was previously discussed, that both kingdoms, regardless which, must accomplish things through mankind, since God set things up that way. The enemy only rules over and through those who submit to him (if even unwittingly), and God's sovereign, incomprehensible power, is typically only implemented or manifested through those who submit to Him and exercise authority in His name. Therefore, the kingdoms must strategize so to get our cooperation, so that we'll operate according to their policies and via their authority. For example, God had His angels fighting off the demon's attempts to keep my book from being published all week non-stop. But I had to be the one to put the power of Christ's name into effect. When I did, boom, my angels defeated the demons and they were put out instantly!

          In closing, I'd just like to share something my husband told me years ago. We were talking about how after Jesus resurrected He was able to walk through walls. I said something to the effect that He was able to do that perhaps because He was in His glorified spiritual body which must be like a mist, which I was confused about because I had thought our glorified bodies would be solid, like our earth bodies. Right away my husband said no, Jesus wasn't like a mist walking through a concrete wall, rather, He was solid and it was as though the wall was the mist - because the eternal, glorified body is what's more real. This did not compute so he explained how the eternal realm, or Heaven, was "more real" or "more solid" than earth. He said, "We are the spoken imagination of God". So though we are real and solid here, this realm as it is currently is temporary... dust. And though we do not see the more real realm because it is presently invisible to us, that's the realm that is concrete; not us, not here.

          I shared all that to help give more perspective and respect for the eternal - simply because some of us are so locked into strictly revolving around the realm we see and understand. This is wrong. God says to, "Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal", 2 Corinthians 4:18.  Brothers and Sisters, we need to fix our eyes on the eternal and keep them there. If we'll just get to know God's unseen kingdom and operate within God's kingdom perameters, precepts and dynamics, we will rise above all the matters of earth, including over every power of the devil. And we'll begin to live spiritually solid and prosperous lives as a result. Amen.