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Kingdom Counterfeit Article
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By: Jaclyn Mansfield
When we are reborn to God through repenting of our sin and confessing Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become members of a glorious Kingdom. Many people both saved and unsaved do not live their lives in the full knowledge that there are two kingdoms in which we can take part. The kingdom that most of us become acquainted with when we are born again is the Kingdom of Heaven in which God the Father is the ruler of. He is on His throne and his Son is seated at His right hand, and by His spoken Word all things came into existence. As servants of the Most High, we work to see His Kingdom come and for His Will to be done here on Earth, just as it is in Heaven. (See Matthew 6: 9-10)
It is very important however that we also acquaint ourselves with the knowledge of the kingdom that opposes God and that works to exalt itself above God. Satan is said to be the Prince of this kingdom. Several places throughout scripture, Satan is referenced as the Price of the world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11 NIV). He desired to exalt his throne above God, and make himself like the Most High. He along with one third of the angels was cast out of Heaven. If any thing is considered to be righteous or holy, Satan will work to produce a counterfeit and then deceive us into thinking that this is the plan we should be pursuing. If we aren’t careful to discern the Devil’s strategies, than we can get caught up into thinking that we are immune to his deceitful actions against us. Or sometimes even worse, that we shouldn’t waste our time on things such as spiritual warfare, demons, or Satan because we should focus on the positive things of God. These are dangerous ideologies that may end up being very harmful.
Many of us have a sincere desire to serve God but often times we risk becoming religious when we make our good deeds or ministries more important than the principle that we operate strictly because of the grace that God has given to us. Our own successes become our idols, and suddenly the character of Christ is no longer our focus. We look the part, but don’t always act it out. We have T-shirts, key chains, and doormats that scream Christian, and despite our decorations we become desensitized to the Word when we don’t act on it. James understood this, for he wrote, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (See James 2: 26). Have you ever known somebody, or maybe even yourself to just recite a verse to someone in need out of habit or memorization? We’ve all done it. I know I have. Sometimes it is easier to try and just defer to the Bible, rather than extend your hand of help and specifically act on that person’s behalf. We have the power to change lives, not just by covering up the issue with a scripture, but to use the Word as a template for how we can intervene. In Joshua 24:15, a challenge was proposed:
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of your forefathers served beyond the River, or
the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my house, we
will serve the Lord.”
We as Christians need to realize that everyday we have to make a choice as to what god we will serve. We are surrounded by such an unprecedented amount of gods and idols that are in our face daily. They might not be so defined, such as a god of a specific religion, but rather various indulgences or activities as well. Such things as Feng Shui, which to most American’s is just a method of interior decorating, Yoga which is simply a way to exercise, and reading our daily horoscope just to see how are day is “supposed” to go. In reality these are practices that can spiritually prohibit us from knowing God’s Will for our lives. We give power to our enemy when believe that it is acceptable to do our spiritual activities which do not glorify God, and be a Christian as well. God is a lot more black and white than we sometimes think. If we take time to get to know the Character of our Savior, we’d find that He is indeed a jealous God that seeks to be glorified. We must choose one way or the other.
It is not good enough to be uncomfortable with a situation that goes against what we believe, and yet not be willing to remove ourselves from that situation. Sometimes my husband and I enjoy watching a good crime drama every once in awhile. After a few episodes we start to enjoy seeing how the characters are developing and how the overall story line of the show is progressing. We become attached. But with the amount of sexuality that is being portrayed, especially the degrading way that women are being portrayed, and even plots with homosexuality that is pouring into our homes through our televisions, we often have to make a decision. Not to mention the profanity and intense violence. It’s not enough to sit back and say, “I can’t believe all the stuff they are allowed to get away with putting into these shows.” We have to decide that we aren’t going to watch it, and that doesn’t mean just turning our heads for a few seconds either or fast forwarding. We have the power to stand against sin. We have the power to turn our television off and demand holiness. And yet so many times we decide to tolerate it and give God excuses like, “I didn’t know that was in there”, or “my purpose wasn’t to watch the half-naked women, I really like the show.” Suddenly the activity we enjoy doing doesn’t seem worth giving up, even though there are a few things we disagree with. Why? Because we have invested our time in it. We will always be slaves to what we invest our time in. If we give God our time, it would not be such a battle to actually serve Him. It would be second nature. But when we overload our lives with time fillers, we will find that actually committing to serving God and giving Him our time is a struggle. We have to make a choice. We have to be willing to give up those things if it gets between us and God. Allow Him to purge us of the worldly things that dwell in our hearts. What was acceptable for you last year shouldn’t be acceptable for you this year. We can’t use the excuse, “my parents allowed me to do this, so I’m going to allow my children to do it.” We need to be more sanctified than our parents were at our age, and our children should be more sanctified than us when they grow up. As the return of Christ draws nearer and nearer He is looking for a Bride that is ready and pleasing. Not a bride that accepts the status quo because that is how it’s been for generations and generations. Our lives should be a continuously sanctified until the day we join Christ in Heaven.
There is a very real spirit that is known as the spirit of Jezebel. It represents only one fraction of the Kingdom of darkness, but is destructive nevertheless. This is a spirit that focuses on control. Also just as the woman in the Bible who used her beauty to attract others into deception, this spirit works to allure people into a path that is misleading and destructive. There are many people, and even entire ministries who knowingly or not operate with this spirit and deceive many people. To be more specific, this spirit targets leadership and can sway an entire church by operating at the highest ranks. It is essential that we pray for discernment to be able to detect the counterfeit, and prevent ourselves from being led into spiritual bondage. Do not be surprised when the name of Jesus is being used to deceive. Remember that Satan comes posed as an angel of light. (See 1 Corinthians 11:14 NIV). People will try and use the name of Jesus to their benefit as a means to give their shady actions credibility. Sometimes it can be hard to question whether or not something is legitimate if they associate themselves with Jesus Christ, since we do not want to doubt our Savior Himself, or the work that He is doing in and through people. We willingly give our money, time and faith into these operations. But in 1 John 4: 1 NIV, it says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Also it is important to note that Christ himself warned that there would be people that would use His name believing that they were doing important work for Him and yet God considers them to be workers of iniquity. (See Matthew 7: 21-23 KJV)
It’s imperative that we maintain a holy fear of the Lord and a great respect for His name since we are His representatives here on Earth. If we commit to living a Christ-like life, than we should always be conscious of what comes out of our mouth, what our actions are, and what things we choose to invest our time and commitment in. By understanding that there are two opposing Kingdoms and knowing that our decisions can advance the initiatives of either one, we can then with great boldness declare that our purpose will be to see His Kingdom come and His Will be done. With that purpose in mind, it should be every believer’s goal to hear those wonderful words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”! (Matthew 25:21 KJV)
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