“All About Me—the Big #1” series
Lesson 3: The Kingdom of Light
In order to win back all who are willing, God has established the Kingdom of Light in the world. We could call it the Kingdom of Righteousness. Just as we have Satan leading the Kingdom of Darkness, we have God the Holy Spirit leading the Kingdom of Light. The Holy Spirit has in His name His key characteristic: that is Holy or pure, righteous, just as the Devil has in his name his character.
The Holy Spirit has been likened to:
"The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8
"You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions with the oil of rejoicing." Hebrews 1:9
"After Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up out of the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming on him." Matthew 3:16
"And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." Acts 2:3
"Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate [Comforter] to be with you forever...But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you." John 14:16, 26
"And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit..." Ephesians 1:13
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30
Jesus said the Spirit would speak to us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). He wants us to live godly. The Holy Spirit doesn't exalt Himself. In order for us to live right, He knows we need a Saviour. His chief purpose for the non-Christian is to draw him to Jesus Christ as Saviour who likewise was selfless in that He gave up heaven to live as a servant and die on the cross for us. The Holy Spirit's chief purpose for those of us who are Christians is to cause us to make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives. In the first instance, it is to prepare us for eternal life; and in the second, to give us the saving life of Christ on earth.
We must always remember that evil always leads to bondage, and righteousness leads to freedom. The Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of Righteousness are totally opposite to each other in their objectives.
God the Holy Spirit needed a visual, and thus we have the Word of God to show us why Jesus came and how to practise His Lordship. It is a wonderful Book showing us how many lived for God, allowing Christ to be their Saviour and Lord. It is the example Book.
The Devil's Objectives
What Satan wants us to do in this world is shown in the triangle below. Look with us at the story of Satan visiting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3.
First, we find the serpent spoke to Eve with a question...
Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more shrewd than any of the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, 'Is it really true that God said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the garden'?'"
...suggesting that God was denying them that which was good (casting doubt on His goodness).
Secondly, he told her a lie:
Genesis 3:4 "The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die..."
And thirdly, he appealed to the Flesh (self-will) in Genesis 3:5—
"for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil."
In this story of Satan's dealings with man, we see his methods. He was able to get Eve to listen to him; secondly, he encouraged her to walk in self-will (which she did), and thus he established a worldly way of living and got them to follow it. The result was disobedience and sin.
This has not only happened to Adam and Eve but also the whole human race. Just this week we had basements flooded in our city through a flash flood—some people threw furniture into the water to get them paid for through the insurance company. A car body shop man told me that some people are scratching their own cars so that they can blame someone else for it and get the insurance company to give their cars a new paint job. What sinful things are going on in our world! It is well we don't know all that is going on.
The Holy Spirit's Objectives
We know that God sees and knows everything that goes on in this world. He also knows what needs to be done to cause us to live in the Kingdom of Light. Because of this He sent Jesus Christ to be our Saviour and the Holy Spirit to guide us. We should be listening to the Holy Spirit instead of Satan. He will talk to us about righteousness, sin and even judgment. Sin always leads to unhappiness in the end, and righteousness leads to happiness; although many times sin offers immediate pleasure while righteousness seems to deny immediate pleasure. Do we want short-term gain and long-term pain (like Adam and Eve), or short-term pain and long-term gain (like Joseph, Daniel, and others)?
The Holy Spirit speaks to us about our sin and self-will in order to show us our need for the Saviour, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sin and to save us from self-will by letting Him (Jesus Christ) be King. The Word of God shows us what we need to do in order to make Jesus Christ our Saviour, so we should follow it. The Word also shows us how to make Jesus Christ King in our lives and what the Lord will do for us if He is our Saviour and Lord. This is why we need to follow it carefully. Let's listen to the Holy Spirit, raise up Jesus Christ and give Him the place He should have in our lives. We should also read and follow the Word of God.
The Devil's Warfare Against God
While the Holy Spirit is at work seeking to draw us to Christ, you can be sure that the Evil One is not sleeping. In this diagram you can see the warfare or struggle that is going on. Satan will be resisting the working of the Holy Spirit.
Have you ever heard anyone say, "I'm not a sinner. You do what is right for you and I'll do what is right for me. (I'll be my own judge.)"?
Or, "I don't believe in God, Jesus, the Word of God, etc."? These people are resisting the Holy Spirit's work and have become spokesmen for Satan.
"And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head, and you will attack her offspring’s heel."
...speaks of the warfare between Jesus Christ and Satan. Satan wanted to get rid of Jesus and that is why he put into the heart of Herod, when Jesus was a baby, to put all the Israelite baby boys to death. If Satan had his way, he would crucify Jesus every day. You see, Satan knows that God plans to make Jesus Christ the King of kings and Lord of lords in the universe; and he, Satan, will be banished from going to and fro in the universe. Satan is full of hatred to all that oppose him.
Always remember that 1 John 4:4 says, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."
One boy asked, "Is Satan bigger than me, Dad?"
His wise father said, "Yes he is, son."
"Is Satan bigger than Jesus, Dad?"
"No he certainly is not, son; and as long as you let Jesus have His way in your life, you don't need to worry about Satan."
Isn't this Good News! We need to know our enemies but not fear them.
The third thing we see according to this chart is that our enemy wants us to flee God's Word for it contains the truth about him, self-will, worldliness, God, Jesus Christ, etc. We said that Satan was the Father of lies, and he opposes truth; therefore, you can be sure he will do all he can to keep us from becoming familiar with God's Word. The best and simplest way for this to happen is to get us to leave it alone.
God's Warfare Against the Devil
What a warfare we have been talking about! Here is what we should do in the power (control) of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says in James 4:7,
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil (with the Word of God), and he will flee from you."
If he says that God doesn't love us, or any of a thousand other lies, we must quote him what God says in His Word. The Bible says he will flee from us if we resist him in this way. Lies are always defeated by truth, and God's Word is truth.
Many Christians are defeated by Satan when they try to reason with him apart from quoting Scripture. This is why we need to hide God's Word in our hearts so that we are ready for the enemy. I hope you are doing this, or you will be unable to win battles against this great foe. For example, many people after receiving Christ as Saviour doubt their salvation because they fail to answer Satan's words of doubt with the Word of God. Look up John 5:24 and John 3:16 to see what God's Word says about salvation. So you see, we win against Satan by resisting him with the Word of God.
The next question is, "How do we win over the Flesh, or self-will?" This is a tough one, too, because it is the "I want to" that lives within each of us. Satan and the World are enemies around us, but self-will is the enemy within.
First, we must recognize that self-will is an enemy, because when we have to have our way, then Jesus doesn't have His.
Secondly, the Bible says that the remedy for the Flesh is crucifixion or death:
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Galatians 5:24
Crucifixion was an awful way to die because it was a slow death that could even take days. They took most of their clothes off, drove a nail through each hand and a nail through each foot, which didn't kill a person but made it so that they had to stay where they were nailed, and you know that eventually they would die.
Now, God certainly doesn't mean that we should be crucified physically, but having to have our own way must be done away with. God knew that crucifixion was in its simplest term "death through exposure", and this is what we should do with our self-will. The Holy Spirit is the One to expose our self-will and He does this by speaking to us about our sins. And the reason we sinned was because we wanted to have our own way.
For example, say you stole a cookie and then lied to your mother about it. The Holy Spirit would say to you, "You lied. You stole a cookie." Now you could either say, "Yes, I did" or tell a lie to the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is seeking to expose or uncover our self-will. We need to say, "Yes, You are right. I'm sorry. Jesus, will You forgive this sin? I see it was because I wanted to have my way that I stole and lied. Mother, will you forgive me?"
In this way, the Holy Spirit has shown us what is wrong. Sin and self-will have been put to death by not letting self-will rule, but rather by allowing God to show us what we have been like. There are some people (even Christian people) in whom you can see a lot of the sins of the Flesh, because they are not in a practical way allowing the Holy Spirit to crucify the Flesh in them. Instead, they sin and cover their sin and sin some more. Satan has his way and people see self-will instead of seeing Jesus. The right way is constantly saying "Yes" to the Holy Spirit, and the wrong way is saying "No" to the Holy Spirit.
So far, we have seen that it is God's Word that defeats Satan (but we must use it). And secondly, it is the Holy Spirit who crucifies the Flesh (but we must say "yes" to the Holy Spirit). Are you saying "yes" to the Holy Spirit and "no" to the Flesh (self-will) or "yes" to the Flesh and "no" to the Holy Spirit?
Thirdly, we see an enemy called the World. Each enemy is different; and therefore, God wants us to deal with each enemy in the right way.
We said the World is the devil's visual-aid book or bible. Nowadays, he uses newspapers, magazines, radio, T.V., movies and any other way he can to show us sin which is the fruit of self-will. These things can be used for good or evil, but we must be aware of what they are being used for. They could be used for good, but often they are used to teach us lying, stealing, swearing, immorality, etc. Remember, Satan wants us to follow the World, to do as they do.
The Christian, according to 2 Timothy, is to flee youthful lusts. In other words, we are to flee (turn off, remove your self-will) from this kind of teaching. God knows that if we fill our minds with worldliness, we will soon be doing what we have been taught. If we fill our minds with God's Word, we will be following God's ways. It will be one way or the other.
God made us all so that we have the opportunity to choose good or evil, but you can be sure that God is aware of our choosing.
"He who sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" (Galatians 6:8).
Right now, each one of us needs to decide, first of all which kingdom we are in, and then whether we have been practising the Lordship of Christ or the lordship of self-will. Why don't you have a talk with God about this right now?