Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not of this world: “Jesus answered: ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm’” (John 18:36).
According to the words of Jesus, God’s kingdom will only be established after the final Judgment. “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then, the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ ” (Matt. 25:31-34).
The kingdom of God will not mingle with the kingdoms of this world, for this world is in total darkness and is also under another government, which is an evil government. Therefore, those that Jesus bought from this world are transferred to another place: “…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and TRANSFERRED US TO THE KINGDOM OF HIS BELOVED SON” (Col. 1:12-13).
Up to the final judgment, the devil declares himself to Jesus as the lord and king of this world: “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours. And Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Luke 4:5-8).
Another occasion, Jesus declared that the devil has his kingdom filled with demons, in this dark world. “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?” (Matt. 12:25-26).
Jesus reveals in the Gospels that this world is a pit full of wicked demons; and that He Himself came to teach that there is a kingdom of light, which is not here on earth. “…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:12-13).
Paul makes it very clear that this world is Satan’s domain of death: “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil: and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Heb. 2:14-15).
Jesus in his sinless death on the cross, destroyed the power of death by His resurrection, and now has the keys of hell to set free the ones that are captive to death. “I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades” (Rev. 1:18). TILL CHRIST’S CROSS, THIS WORLD WAS SATAN’S DOMAIN OF DEATH. “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).
The Old Testament, then, was buried deep in Satan’s domain of death. The covenant of the Law, given at Sinai, could only be a covenant of death, for death reigned. Let us hear the apostle saying: “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; FOR THE LETTER KILLS, BUT THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE. But the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, etc” (2 Cor. 3:5-7). We may ask: If the Old Testament was given while death reigned, and if the tablets of the testimony, given by Jehovah at mount Sinai, are the ministry of death, Jehovah worked for the devil; or did the devil work for Jehovah?
If the devil pronounces himself king of this world, how could Jehovah also call himself king of this same world, while death still reigned? “For the Jehovah Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth” (Ps. 47:2). “For Jehovah is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a skillful psalm. Jehovah reigns over the nations” (Ps. 47:7-8). “Jehovah reigns, let the peoples tremble” (Ps. 99:1). “Who would not fear Thee, O King of the nations?” (Jer. 10:7)
In order to be known as the king of this world, Jehovah founded a kingdom… of the dead: “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6). Are there two thrones in this world? Are there two kings in the abyss? Has God descended from His glory to reign in this dark kingdom together with the devil?
To complicate this kingdom of the dead of Jehovah even further, Jesus says: “And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man” (John 3:13). If Jesus was the only one to come down and also to go up to heaven, where has Jehovah come from? Jehovah affirmed that he had come down, and would kill everybody in order to increase the domain of the devil. In Heb. 2:14-15 we find that the domain of death is of Satan; and if Jehovah kills, he, then, feeds into this domain. Jesus came down to snatch men from death and from the evil one.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24).
The Father has never descended from heaven, but He has sent His Son.
By Pastor Olavo S. Pereira