“And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”(Lk. 22:25-30)
In this powerful account of the last supper, we would do well to pay attention to the entire context. It’s more than just breaking bread and drinking wine. Jesus was foretelling that He was striking covenant with them, wrought in His own blood, and delivering His last will and testament (new covenant) into their stewardship. He’s explaining their attitude cannot be like the ruling benefactors of the world who lord over, control, and have strings attached. This is in contradistinction to Himself as a King who serves. He lays His life down to invite people to newness of life in Him. He was instructing them about how the kingdom of God works–there’s no room for competition, ego, or pride. The resurrected God-man, right now, is reigning as our King in the Kingdom of God. His reign began 2000 years ago and He gave the disciples opportunity to participate with Him. He, as a King, was appointing them to “a kingdom” as He is with us today. The Kingdom of God functions totally different then that of man-kings.
The Gospel of John says:
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”(John 18:36-37)
Further scriptural evidence of the Kingdom of God functioning today, not only spiritually but physically also, is found in Acts 10:39-42. First, we need to look again at the prediction in Luke 22:30 that the disciples will “eat and drink” at the King’s table in the Kingdom of God. Are we waiting for some distant or futuristic fulfillment? No. It already happened, therefore it’s ours now.
“And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.”(Acts 10:39-42)
We are of a different kingdom literally. The kings and rulers of this world, deceived by the father of lies, are given power to “lording over” their willing subjects by making themselves “benefactors.” They distribute what is taken from the people, by a tribute system based in covetousness. The people think they are receiving benefits from their master, but in reality it is from their own pocket or forced from their neighbor. The delusion of receiving benefits keep the people pacified from looking beyond the veil. This is call soft tyranny. Unfortunately this has been true of the “church” as well. In a myriad of ways we have been blinded and minimized from our full potential in Christ through these crafty demonic systems which human-resource humanity. I caution Christians to not fall for this gimmick. I call it the spirit of Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. (Gen. 25:29-34) The enemy will use unconstrained appetite for what the world offers (benefits) to snare us into a body politic that is against the nature of Christ. Does this sound familiar? Jesus said in Luke 22:26, “But ye shall not be so.” Jesus explained the fundamentals of how the Kingdom of God operates through the power of serving–the power of the towel. (John 13:4-5) It’s a Kingdom that operates by the royal law of love for our King is love.
“Beloved let us love one another… for God is love.”(I John 4:7-8)
To address those who may think the Kingdom is only in the great by and by or after we die, I will encourage you to think again. To be clear, yes, we are still waiting for the imminent return of Christ physically. I believe scripture supports a final judgment of the wicked and the righteous, which will not be fleshed out here. The passionate concern I have is what are we doing now with what He has appointed to us? “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.” I believe the full potential for our lives in the Kingdom is already established in Christ. We are becoming who we already are. Saints, to experience this Kingdom reality we need to be Believers who choose to really believe. In my assessment, until Christ’s physical appearing or our death we are to operate with the mindset of our Father’s original intent for man–“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion.”(Gen. 1:28) Subdue and take dominion over our carnality, selfishness, satan, and the influence of this world–daily.
To further unravel this truth, think of it this way, the Kingdom has come, IS NOW, and is coming. He is the great I AM. He is the Alpha and the Omega; the Beginning and the End. He is a multi-dimensional God who lives outside of the time-space continuum. By faith tap into the eternal Kingdom of God and bring Christ’s substance, power, and governance into the now. “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He is spiritually reigning now on the inside of us. He is also reigning physically by the acts of His Spirit through us. The spiritual and the natural are working in tandem. I call this the marriage of the kingdom within to the kingdom at hand.
Ambassadors carry the full weight and power of the King they represent – as if it were the King Himself. Our mission is to boldly impact this world with the full weight of Christ’s love, truth, and power. Giving people an example to witness and receive true rebirth as citizen-sons into the Kingdom of God. May we represent well. There is a battle to overcome.
Every day we are faced with the spiritual and the physical struggles of these opposing kingdoms. Jesus, knowing the opposition said “to take heart, I have overcome the world.” To be overcomers, as He has overcome, we must understand and identify what motivates the way we live. Who are we serving? May we honor King Jesus by daily surrendering our lives to His will. By His grace, “I only do what my Father does and I only say what my Father says.” Only by standing in our identity as “ambassadors for Christ,” can we prevail in the battle between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light. “There be more with us than with them!”(2 Chron. 32:7) Beloved, discern properly and walk in the Spirit. Be vigilant. Be the difference. Be the solution. Represent well. Amen.
“…Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith… (1 Pet. 5:8-9)