“Very clear guidelines govern the inner workings and operations of the Kingdom of God. Because we can’t physically see God’s Kingdom it would be easy to think of it in an abstract sense, having no set order or conditions. Even though our Heavenly Father is sovereign in His dealing with individuals, His realm of rule has very purposeful and well-established laws.” James Saunders, Entrepreneur/Marketplace Leader
A. Situational Analysis
In his book Wealth Transfer, Provisioning The Harvest, James Saunders points out that “Very clear guidelines govern the inner workings and operations of the Kingdom of God. Because we can’t physically see God’s Kingdom it would be easy to think of it in an abstract sense, having no set order or conditions. Even though our Heavenly Father is sovereign in His dealing with individuals, His realm of rule has very purposeful and well-established laws.” James, a successful entrepreneur/businessman also directed and helped launch three world-wide Christian mission organizations: Friend Ships Unlimited, Living Word Missions and International Missionary Center.
Like all nations, governments, businesses, organizations and families, The Kingdom of God has a power structure and a culture that says, in so many words, “This is the way we do things around here, if you do it our way you will succeed here, if you don’t, you will not succeed here.” God says it this way:
- “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).
- “However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deuteronomy 28:15).
All who are “born again” Christians become members of God’s family and citizens of the Kingdom of God: “In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again’” (John 3:3). In Part I of our new series of articles on Citizenship in the Kingdom of God, which you can read at http:// www.abadvisors.com, I summarized some characteristics of the kingdom form of government and their relationship to the Kingdom of God. Following is a summary of key lessons from Part I:
- In the kingdom form of government your welfare is the personal responsibility of the king. It is much superior if it is led by a righteous person (Jesus Christ, the only one that qualifies).
- The Bible says that God’s children on earth are citizens of “a holy nation” operating and functioning under the kingdom form of government.
- As a citizen of God’s Kingdom you have covenant rights (a constitution of sort) and you are subject to the statutes and laws of His kingdom government (a monarchy). The book of Deuteronomy contains those covenant rights, given to you by God Himself.
- As a citizen of God’s Kingdom, you are expected to learn how to live on earth in a manner consistent with your royal status.
- In a kingdom government your rewards are tied to being obedient to the king. In a kingdom government your protection is tied to being obedient to the king.
- Christ made it clear that all Kingdom citizens are called to build His church.
- The Bible says that in the end His Kingdom will rule on earth.
In this article I will be discussing the power principle of the Kingdom, “Power submits to Power.” It is an imperative principle for all Christians to understand, and accordingly, very critical for Christian business owners/leaders to understand, because all of God’s promises are conditional on being obedient to Him!
B. All of Creation has a Power Structure
“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:28
Power structures are the method by which all of creation is governed. God is very intentional about the way He does things. As you can see in Genesis 1:28, God created the earth with a power structure to govern it. At the time that God created “man”, Adam and Eve were part of God’s Kingdom and living under its power structure; including His care, provision and protection. God gave man dominion over the earth to populate, develop and take care of. God gave them complete freedom to accomplish this mission and instructed them how to sustain life and continue to live under the care, provision and protection of His Kingdom, i.e. obey Him. He also instructed them in the consequences of disobeying Him – “you will surely die.” That is, you will be disconnected from the tree of life (Read Genesis 1&2).
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instructions in Genesis 3, evil entered them and they became a threat to the Kingdom culture. Therefore, God had to disallow them access to the tree of life and banished them from the Garden of Eden. The result was spiritual death (separation from God and therefore the loss of eternal life), physical death (the loss of life on earth), and they were no longer under the care and protection of the Kingdom of God and its King – the Lord Jesus Christ.
The power structure of the Kingdom of God is a monarchy. That is, it is ruled from the top down by a servant leader. In God’s creation there is no such thing as a “bottom up organizational structure,” a democracy, socialism, communism or the like. All of those are dysfunctional forms of governments trying to serve (meet) the needs of humans. See Part I of this series. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom form of government and it functions on the principle of power submits to power. All of the leaders who are given this power by the King are instructed to be servant leaders as He has demonstrated to us. Under the New Covenant, living in the Kingdom still carries the promise of “blessings” and “curses” set forth by God in Deuteronomy 28.
What does “power submits to power” mean? It means that in the Kingdom, there is a hierarchy of power (delegated authority and power to lead and serve those who God has placed under beings or individuals in authority). That power is given by God, who has absolute power to bless you or reprimand you. It means God has absolute power to protect you or not protect you. It means God has absolute power to give you “life” or take your “life.” You’re not sure you like that? Then I advise you to spend the time to understand the full implications of ignoring the principle of “power submits to power.” Why, because the Bible says the experience of “life,” God’s “blessings” and His “shelter” (protection) are 100% dependent on obeying Him. And obeying God includes respecting His power structure of “power submits to power.” In other words, when you obey those God has given authority over you, you are obeying God! That is, unless that person instructs you to do something that makes you disobey God’s values, statutes and laws.
In the Kingdom, the needs of all creatures, including life itself (the experience of being alive) are provided by the King. As discussed in Section A above, all who believe in Jesus Christ (make Him both Savior and Lord), become members of God’s family and citizens of the Kingdom of God, “a holy nation!” As documented in Part I of this series, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the King of God’s Kingdom. Nevertheless, even the Son of God is subject to the principle of “power submits to power.” Consider the following Scriptures:
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:7-10).
“So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him’” (John 8:28-29).
“For he ‘has put everything under his feet.’ Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ’” (1 Corinthians 15:27-28).
Every being in the Kingdom submits to Christ the King.
- “That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:19-21).
- Angels. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs” (Hebrews 1:3-4).
- The Body of Christ (The Church). “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1:22-23).
- Church Leadership. “And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers” (1 Corinthians 12:28).
- Man submits to Christ. “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’” (John 14:23).
Citizens of the Kingdom have a power structure.
- Leaders to rule over the Church. “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church” (Acts 14:23). “To the elders among you…Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:1-4).
- Wives submit to their husbands. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
- Children submit to their parents. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
- Subordinates submit to their leader. “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5-6)
- Older women are given authority to teach younger women (see Titus 2:4-5)
C. Choose Life
God’s children are His Kingdom ambassadors on earth and they have dual citizenship in both God’s Kingdom and the world (specifically, a nation(s) of the world). “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). The culture of God’s Kingdom and the world are very different:
- Christ rules over God’s Kingdom and His culture, covenants, laws and statutes never change. Following God leads to life forever, starting at the time you become a “born again” Christian, including all the blessings, position, privileges and power that come with royalty. See Deuteronomy 28-30. (I will discuss The Kingdom Culture in the next Spirit Led Business Newsletter.) Christ is a servant leader and came that “they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10b).
- At this time Satan rules over the world and it operates on Satan’s culture of lies and deception. The Bible says that Satan “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). “Buying into” Satan culture (even if you don’t realize you are), which changes from time-to-time to accomplish his “schemes,” leads to death and destruction. For a while, it gives you the appearance of providing you with blessings, position, privileges and power. Consider his temptation of Christ in Matthew 4:8-11, “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” In contrast to Christ, “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a).
Since God created earth and His belief system has been present on earth since the beginning, earthly cultures of all types are a mixture of God’s culture and Satan’s culture. Therefore, this dual citizenship creates significant confusion in the minds and hearts of a Christian, leading millions of Christians to believe that God’s power structure, culture, covenants, laws and statutes do not apply anymore or are not relevant as the world and times change, cultures change and belief systems change. Nothing is further from the truth!!!
As a follower of Christ, you are expected to learn how to live here on earth in a manner consistent with your royal status and you are expected to obey your King and His teachings. “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:31). “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching” (John 14:23). “Remain in me and I will remain in you” (John 15:4). “If you obey my command, you will remain in my love” (John 15:10).
Your King commanded all God’s children to teach and perpetuate this power principle: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20). Somewhere along the way Satan has persuaded most church and para church leaders to disregard the second half of “The Great Commission.” Do not underestimate the devil’s craftiness.
Your blessings depend on the power principle. Although God’s grace and love are unconditional, His blessings are not. His blessings are conditional under the terms of His Covenant. “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God,” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). Notice the Scripture says they will come upon on you. This is a covenant promise by God the Father and He does not lie!
“Life…to the full” depends on the power principle. “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us” (1 John 3:23-24).
Therefore, choose Life – daily. “when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you…The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live…Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 30:2-10).
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. [Note that the apostle Paul ties these blessing and curses to the new covenant in Romans 10:4-9.]
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess (Deuteronomy 30:15).
“But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land… “(Deuteronomy 30:17-18).
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life...” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
In summary, whatever gifts, talents, power and authority has been given to you by God, remember that the power and authority of King Jesus is far greater than yours, “power submits to power.” That is, God’s power and authority and that of those He has placed over you are greater. As you submit to Christ’s power and authority and respect His power structure, He will increase His blessings in your life and give you more power and authority in your domain. In the next issue of The Spirit Led Business™, we will be discussing The Kingdom Culture.
If you don’t have a Bible, you can go online to www.netbible.org. And if you want someone to talk to about the insights in this letter, call us at ABA!
Note: All Bible verses are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.
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