Section 2
Lesson 4

Scripture4All
Biblegateway

Alignment with the Kingdoms

          We’d like to think the kingdom of God is the glorious place called Paradise where believers in Christ get to spend eternity. While this is true, you hopefully realize by this point in the program, the kingdom of God is actually here, too!
            A little recap here: The kingdom of God is a supernatural governing system of the Almighty.  Within this spiritual kingdom is a very real King, very real policies, a very real army, very real messengers, and very real divine power. Though it is invisible to us earth-bound beings, this holy kingdom came here 2000 years ago and was made available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.
            The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14:17). These aren’t just a few nice characteristics of this kingdom, they ARE the Kingdom. Just as Jesus is light, is the way, is truth, is the living Word of God, the kingdom of God "is" the tangible embodiment of absolute righteousness, unexplainable peace and incomprehensible joy. These aren’t carnal matter; they’re eternal substance. These dynamics are a realm all their own - the realm where Christ Jesus sits at the right hand of His Father. The realm we can barely comprehend except that Holy Spirit reveals it to us - if we seek to know it.
            When Jesus came and provided the way to salvation, He likewise showed us how to align with this divine, holy realm. The top two ways, of course, being through repentance and faith in Him, followed by application and demonstration of it.
     “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life (which is God’s kingdom realm), keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17.         
     “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love (which is abiding in the realm of God); even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10.
            Do we suppose the point of John 15:10 was to emphasize that Jesus merely ‘obeyed’ the commandments? Well, partially, yes. But the deeper truth conveyed here is that because Jesus operated in accordance with the policies of the invisible, holy realm, He was, therefore, one with it, and this is what enters us into or aligns us to life, to the very realm of God's kingdom.
          We might assume that Christ being God meant He was automatically aligned and one with His own kingdom the day He was born, but this wasn’t so. Jesus was born as a man so that as a man he would have to unite with His invisible kingdom the same as any other man - based on which kingdom policies He lived by. You see, Jesus wasn't to be King over a kingdom He personally did not perfectly adhere to. And He would have to demonstrate this submission to His own statutes by living a life in obedience to His Father's commandments.
          Consider how Jesus had been on earth 30 years but performed no miracles until after He and John the Baptist first revealed that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Until then, the Master of the entire universe never once took authority over the kingdom of darkness (that we know of). This is because He, too, like us, needed to be spiritually transferred into His divine kingdom.
          Though repentance is the first step for mankind to come into Christ's kingdom, Jesus being perfect did not need to repent. But He did need to submit to baptism (to both water baptism and the baptism of His crucifixion). In fact, it wasn't until Jesus humbled Himself to John's baptizing Him that the Holy Spirit and supernatural kingdom power came upon Him. This was undoubtedly the moment Jesus became an official citizen of His own kingdom - whereby He could begin to operate supernaturally from that realm. The limitations He placed upon Himself as man were now broken off. His kingdom was here and via His submission unto baptism and to His Father's will to lay His life down for us, He could now exercise invisible kingdom authority on earth.  ~This is why Jesus emphasized the point that even HE had to obey the commandments – showing that this is how to align with His kingdom. 
            Like the kingdom of God (though inferior), Satan’s kingdom is also an invisible government with a prince, an army, messengers, policies and divine power. And while we carnal beings think we are only subject to visible governments and authorities, we’re wrong. Yes, earthly kingdoms have policies that determine how things must go in the physical realm. But as we've discussed, the invisible kingdoms are very much involved with what our earth governments are up to. They’re behind it all. No exaggeration. Remember, that though man has charge over the earth and its systems, the devil and his kingdom are working avidly to take over the world. I'd be shocked to find one government on earth that the enemy hasn't infiltrated to implement his policies to one degree or another. In fact, every single policy that governments put into place is either a policy of the Kingdom of God or a policy of the kingdom of darkness. Every last one. There's no neutral policies.
            And it's the same for mankind. The policies individuals adhere to, promote, abide by, believe, honor, and follow in their personal lives determines which kingdom has authority.
            For example, when a person worries about something, cheats, manipulates, intimidates, lies, steals, and so on, they are operating in dark kingdom policies. And like I said, whether they are a follower of Christ Jesus or not, implementing dark kingdom policies grants the enemy a measure of authority.
          Again, every action we take is in agreement with and submission to either the kingdom of God or the kingdom of darkness. Fortunately, Jesus provided a “Get out of Satan’s kingdom Free” card. And it works via genuine repentance. Unfortunately, we often choose to stay in dark territory – knowingly or not. Or else we don’t realize to repent.
            Despite being invisible, both of these kingdoms are territorial. Obeying their policies, then, is stepping into their territory.  Again, this means whatever policy you adhere to concerning how you do this life, is either in compliance with the dark kingdom or in compliance with the kingdom of God and subjects you to their rulers and divine authorities. It’s the same as how things work in the physical realm. You may be a citizen of Country X but if you visit Country Y, you are subject to the laws in Country Y while you’re there. If what you’re doing while in Country Y is against that country's law regardless if it’s legal in Country X where your citizenship is, you will suffer the consequences in Country Y.
            Now let’s talk about dark kingdom powers. The kingdom of darkness has specific powers and principalities in charge of seeing to it little minions lure believers into aligning with their kingdom. They very strategically organize and plot how to bring believers into dark territory so that they acquire legal access. Regardless what strategies are implemented or which demons are used, the end goal is to get the Christian to yield to lies and sin.
            Now the thing is, the enemy knows he has to entice you to willfully come over into dark kingdom territory of your own accord. They cannot pluck you out of God’s territory. They can only rouse you by pushing buttons that are sure to work on you. And believe me, they know which buttons work. They’ve been around, studying you since your birth. They know your every weakness. Sure, they know you belong to Christ. They always knew you would. But if they can get you to agree with them or yield to something false, they know they acquire legal access to you and can sabotage the breath of God in you, your destiny, or your purpose. Even if just temporarily. You may be a citizen of heaven but you’re touchable while hanging out in dark domain. That's why right after Jesus was spiritually transferred into His own kingdom upon John's baptizing Him, Satan personally followed Him into the wilderness to get Jesus to agree to something, ANYTHING, false that he had to say. Because had Jesus submitted to the devil, this would have given Satan authority over God Himself! (I'm still astonished that the devil actually thought God might submit to him. I just don't get that.) 
            But realize that when you agree with the devil in any way, shape or form… When you bow to any idol or love something more than God… When you believe and practice any type of false doctrine or teaching… When you willfully do or believe anything that is a dark kingdom policy, you are aligning with the dark kingdom. You are stepping in dark kingdom territory where they have authority and you are thereby subject to it. You have stepped out of the realm of God’s Kingdom over into the danger zone. Does this mean you belong to the devil now? No. Not unless you choose to stay there. And the longer you do, the greater the devil's authority, and the harder it is to go back to Jesus. It might take something terrible to get you out of the pit and back into Grace.
            Now, I want to give an analogy as to what it looks like stepping over into dark kingdom territory if even temporarily. Imagine if an abusive neighbor comes over to your house, enters, puts an evil movie on your television, tells Alexa to play dark, satanic music, puts a case of beer on your counter, dirty magazines on your coffee table, and he begins verbally assaulting you. You know you have every right and the authority to remove everything from the premises and tell him to leave. If he refuses, you can call for higher authorities to assist you to get him and his stuff out. To the contrary, if the same abusive neighbor invites you to come over to his domain to do drink, see his dirty magazines or movies, or listen to his satanic music, if you go and he starts verbally assaulting you, you cannot tell him to leave. YOU have to leave. You can't tell him to stop watching the bad movie. And you cannot throw his trashy magazines into the garbage. Try to call the police to have him or his property put out all you want – it won’t work.  It’s precisely the same with the invisible authorities. If you willfully step onto their domain, they have the authority. Try to cast the demons off you in Jesus' name all you want – it won’t work. You’re the one that has to leave enemy territory by repenting and stopping whatever it is you're doing or agreeing with.
            A concern I have with some deliverance ministries is many of the demons they attempt to cast out are either not going to budge because the believer is the one in their territory, or the demons will leave on command but come right back - if the believer hasn't come out of alignment with the evil policy in their heart and soul. The minister may have the full authority of God but telling demons to leave God’s domain won’t permanently work if the believer is the one in dark domain. Therefore, the believer is the one that has to do the exiting.  Ministers do often discern that the believer may have opened the door via a particular area of sin or unbelief, so they’ll work with them to repent and close the door to that spirit. This is right on, but the next question is what if deep down the believer still carries approval for it? Yes, they repented and hate their sin. But what if they don’t yet know, understand or own the truth of what God says concerning the matter? This means this area that was cleaned out remains empty and the spirits can and will come back – with seven more! This is why so many report getting prayer and deliverance, feeling better for a time, only to end up worse soon after. It is imperative believers come to understand where their allegience to darkness is, get to the root, and put an end to it. Then telling the dark powers to leave is as simple as pie. Because the combination of repentance (coming out of submission and alignment with darkness) + using Jesus' name is all that's needed to overcome.
            Sounds simple but in order to do this, we must first know where we are in alignment with darkness. I can't tell you all the ways I was in alignment with darkness for twenty years as a genuine, passionate Christian! Though I thought I was living a life of obedience to Christ (except for the seasons where I rebelled and backslid), I wasn't. When I wasn't backslidden, I was on fire for Jesus. I was even having encounters with Him at times. I did all the things Christians do. I passionately worshiped and prayed. I served, love, gave, etc., etc. Yet, the dark kingdom prevailed. I did not experience victory. I was defeated. And now I know it was because of all the ways I was unwittingly aligned with the dark kingdom. If the devil told me I was a loser, for example, I believed him. So there I was, half of me believing I was victorious through Christ with a destiny, and the other half of me believing I was a defeated loser. I had one foot in kingdom of God territory, and one foot in dark kingdom territory. 
          Now you might not be so gullible to believe such an obvious lie of the devil like that. But I assure you, if you aren't victorious in Christ, there's something in you that's out of alignment with truth somewhere. All you have to do is find out where. And be prepared to receive a lot of correction. Like I said, the number of ways I operated according to dark kingdom policies was countless. 
          The thing is, earnestly finding out where you are disaligned and believing things wrong is one of the best things you can do on this ODJ. And then buckle down and zero in on Jesus, learn His policies inside and out and live them while also rejecting all the lies. As you do this, the kingdom of darkness powers have no grounds and you can simply use the name of Jesus to put them out when they trespass. Indeed, the more you mature into the full stature of Christ, the more desperate they'll become to ensnare and stifle you. They don't just up and walk away. They'll look for ways to send troops over into your terriroty in hopes that they won’t be noticed. But they’re very nervous about doing so, though, because believers who aren’t easily deceived or manipulated by the enemy at this stage of their growth are typically well versed in the Word of God, will discern the evil spirits, and cast them out. Therefore, dark powers will only attempt what they think they’re likely to get away with because, sincerely, they're chickens. They’re terrified of Christ and His authority. That's why they’ve worked so hard to come up with new, sneaky tricks to lure us onto their turf and then blinding and deceiving as best they can to hold us down again. -Always remember that no matter how mature you become, they're looking for ways to trip you up. Never be overconfident in your growth. Always be humble so that you won't be set up for a fall.
            And finally, please understand that believers who are severely oppressed are subject to a deeper level of authority of the dark kingdom on account of which policies they’re adhering to – and these are usually ideals that we don’t realize oppose God. The evil empire has done well to bamboozle these believers, so they feel trapped in dark kingdom territory despite having the trump card in their back pockets to walk right out. For example, many people hate themselves and are clueless that this is a dark kingdom behavior. They fail to realize they are insulting God for what He created, and they are in agreement with demons. The Bible says every person is fearfully and wonderfully made. We have no right whatsoever to despise God's handiwork. Doing so is bowing to darkness and LIVING in their domain.
          Other examples of being in deep alignment with darkness would be having unresolved bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness, being insecure, feeling abandoned if even subconsciously, doubting God's love, blaming God for things, etc. Though the pain and reality behind all these syndromes is legitimate, when we're confident in the Word, secure in Christ and aligned with His reality concerning all matters, then the pain is dealable and does not drive us into deep darkness. And in all honesty, we should be able to still rejoice that our King is still wonderful and still on His throne and best yet, that we will be with Him soon despite it all. Because though stuff hurts here, it's really irrelevant to your eternal hope. We can sincerely say, “Though they slay me, yet will I trust Him,” Job 13:15. And in so doing, we are aligning ourselves with God.
          It’s the same with feeling bitter about a crappy situation, being jealous, worrying about the bills, etc. These may seem to be justifiable responses to authentically bad things going on, but these reactions are alignments with the dark kingdom and give them authority. They aren’t holy kingdom policies. God’s policies include trusting Him, focusing on the eternal, rejoicing, thanking Him despite the uncertainties of this life, and enduring through the garbage. This is where walking in the fruits of the Spirit comes into play. If when we're troubled we'd learn to cast our cares upon Him for real and let Him help us with the pain, then we'd respond in peace, joy, humility, love, kindness, self-control, etc., even while the wound is still bleeding. We won’t respond with jealousy, worry, bitterness, hatred, discord, etc.
          We think because we obey the big stuff by not cussing, smoking, drugging, drinking, fornicating, murdering, stealing, etc., that we’re in alignment with God's kingdom. But that’s not necessarily the case.  Anything we do that is contrary to what the Bible says, including worry about a bill, or feel sorry for ourselves over injustice, etc., is operating according to dark kingdom policies.
            The exciting news is Holy Spirit truly does an excellent job showing us which dark kingdom policies we abide by – if we’re open to face the truth, that is. But that’s the key. We have to be sincerely willing to find out plus diligently work with Him and His Word to gain further understanding as to where we’re going wrong.  I’ve discovered too many people, including myself, are afraid to be wrong. We have to get over that!
            Few of us, if any, rise to perfection. We all stumble to one degree or another. And yes, if we don’t repent, we’ve granted the enemy access. So, the key to victory over the wiles of every foul entity roaming about the planet, is first and foremost, to repent and secure our faith walk by knowing and owning the truth, living it, and applying it; all the while working with Holy Spirit to come out of agreement with darkness by repenting and closing the doors.  On one hand this sounds very simple. On another hand it may sound daunting. I admit, it is a process that requires diligence. But the more we align with God's truth, the more experiential victory over darkness we walk in! I know this is true because it's my testimony! Amen