RPM, Volume 13, Number 3, January 16 to January 22, 2011

Two Kingdoms

By Scott Schuleit

There are two kingdoms. The whole world can be divided into two classes. There is no third alternative. There are those who are members of the kingdom of darkness, and those who are citizens of the kingdom of light. Those who are unregenerate belong to the kingdom of darkness, and those who are regenerate to the kingdom of light. Those who are in an unregenerate state have souls that are dead to the things of God and therefore cannot please God, and are actually at war with Him. Those who are in a regenerate state have been made alive to God through Christ and are at peace with Him. In-between these two classes lay a great chasm of separation. Members of the kingdom of light are unable to cross over into the kingdom of darkness, while members of the kingdom of darkness may, during their time on earth, by the sole grace of God, be carried over into the kingdom of light. On the natural level, this epic divide between mankind may not always seem apparent. At the spiritual level, this divide, if we could peer intently within the spiritual realm, would be manifestly obvious.

One constant refrain within our culture, particularly within the new age community, is the notion that we are all one. By this I take it that they mean every single human being on the planet is essentially the same in their humanity and that all our varied belief systems, though different, are essentially the same and that we are all moving towards the same spiritual direction, namely, their view of heaven. In short, they believe that all belief systems are equally valid, except, of course, by way of implication, any system that claims to be exclusively true. You'll notice the contradiction in their thinking. They proclaim inclusiveness (which implicitly denies any worldview claiming exclusivity) with what is, in reality, an exclusive worldview.

Beyond the essential difference (as previously stated) between the soul of the regenerate and that of the unregenerate, I would agree that we are all essentially the same in our humanity, though the new age understanding regarding the nature of man would differ from a Christian perspective. I would also agree that the world, in one sense, with the exception of Christians, is moving in the same spiritual direction. In general, what the new age community means by this, is that mankind is evolving towards perfection and will soon take the next evolutionary leap into godhood—towards the transformation into literal gods and goddesses. From a Christian perspective, we would, first of all, declare that the theory of evolution is false, and assert that in reality there is only one means of redemption—that is, only by grace can we be saved through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God—rather than through a multiplicity of equally valid means. We would also declare that non-Christians are not evolving into gods, but are actually, tragically, moving towards eternal damnation, and that Christians are moving, by the sole grace of God, towards glorification and endless pleasures throughout an eternity in heaven with our Lord—the triune God—the rightful Sovereign over all creation.

The kingdom of darkness is primarily invisible, (to earthly eyes) and the kingdom of light is primarily invisible as well, yet each kingdom also manifests their particular dominions in physical ways. The kingdom of darkness spiritually and physically manifests itself primarily through those human beings belonging to it, and likewise, the kingdom of light spiritually and physically manifests itself primarily through the citizens of its city. Much of what occurs on the earth is a result from the works of darkness and some from works rendered by the kingdom of light. There is coming a time when these kingdoms and the sharp division between them, and the reality regarding which kingdom each separate person belongs, will be made more clearly manifest before all.

You will know a tree by its fruit, and by way of extension, you can sometimes discern which kingdom various individuals, households and organizations belong to through their fruit. The kingdom of darkness denies and despises God and the things of God to the exaltation and glory of the human self, while the kingdom of light despises and denies the human self and the things of the self to the exaltation and glory of God. Ultimately, those who exalt the self will become something less than human, and thus, less themselves, and those who deny the self more deeply human, and thus, more themselves.

Some of the manifestations of the kingdom of darkness include: rage, jealousy, envy, sexual immorality, sensuality, impurity, sorcery and idolatry. Some of the manifestations of the kingdom of light include: kindness, goodness, faithfulness, love, joy, peace and patience. The strict division between these manifestations can help one to discern which kingdom the individual or organization is operating under. By way of qualification, while on earth, every Christian will, at times, display behavior (also known as sin) antithetical to the kingdom they belong to, and the non-Christian will, at times, display behavior (good deeds) antithetical towards the kingdom they belong to. Only Christians—by the grace of God, can perform a work that is truly good before God. It is impossible for non-Christians to perform works that could be accounted as something righteous before God. Only Christians have the ability to be compelled by underlying motivations that are, in part, good before God, but the underlying motivations of non-Christians are always thoroughly evil before God. The motivations of Christians can also be thoroughly wicked, and even their righteous desires are always partially—if not primarily, corrupted by the pervasive wickedness of the old sin nature.

With regards to the surface works of man, whether these works are philosophical, artistic, or one of many other manifestations, they can contain more light than darkness, though more often than not, they will contain more aspects congruent to the kingdom of darkness than the kingdom of light. There is coming a time when all will be separated and made known: the gold, silver and precious stones from the wood, hay and straw, the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the chaff and the light from the dark, for ultimately, only God knows all things, including the good works from the bad and all those individuals who are His as well as those who are not.

In light of all these things, let us be encouraged to diligently study and meditate on the Word of God that we might become far more incisive observers into the complex shades and subtleties of good and evil, acquiring a keenness in discernment between the two, a honed faculty at delineating between which aspects of reality reside within the kingdom of darkness—the realm of fading illusions, and those within the kingdom of light—the realm of unchanging truth.

This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor.

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