I am now in Bulgaria after a wonderful weekend in Utrecht, Netherlands. Thank you so much for the hungry hearts with Pastor Niels. Tonight God was good again as I have arrived in Bulgaria. Jesus is surely here. It is a good trip so far and it was a blessing being with the family in Blagoevgrad tonight. It is going to be a good week.
Today I am going to begin several postings in light of events concerning the elections in the U.S. and for sure elections and changes of governmental administrations in various places of the world. Today is the first of thoughts intended to challenge your thinking in the plans of God in the earth. I have held this word since December of last year, but have resisted writing it until now. I realize that we all hear what we hear and not necessarily what is said. I also realize that some will not understand what I am presenting; some will think they understand, and some will understand in some measure. I am not writing this blog to promote any candidate for governmental office, but to challenge those in the body of Christ to keep a right attitude and perspective concerning worldly governments and the kingdom of God. We are in the world and I do believe that we should exercise our voting rights as citizens of the nations we live in. I also believe that we are children of God and that we must be careful not to confuse the kingdom of God with the kingdoms of the world. In times of elections, it is not our responsibility to judge one another for how we each vote. It is not our responsibility to judge leaders of the world by measuring them according to the standards of the values of the kingdom of God either.
If you study the history of God’s work among the nations of the world you will discover that God has always determined the future of the kingdoms of the world by the altar of heaven in the earth. He has never determined the future of the church by the kingdoms of the world. For ten righteous people He would not have destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The presence of a small measure of the righteous is more powerful than multitudes of the unrighteous. A little light is more powerful than darkness. A little light is light and it cannot be overpowered by darkness. The kingdom of God is an internal kingdom that changes the hearts and minds of men and women from within and is not a kingdom appointed to rule over the will of those who do not know God. The governments of the kingdoms of the world rule over men, but the government of God rules from within the human heart. We are not called to impose the government of the kingdom of God upon the lives of others as an externally administrated form of right. This is law and it does not change the hearts and minds of men. This is the mode of operation in the kingdoms of the world, however. It is the testimony of all systems governed by the knowledge of good and evil. The true hope of the world is for each one to find the administration of life and peace in Christ Jesus through the internal kingdom of God and the Tree of Life. Even though we have the internal kingdom of God in our hearts, we find ourselves in the midst of the operation of worldly kingdoms and we are called to be an influence of salt and light in the midst of the kingdoms of the world as those whose hearts are motived by the kingdom of God, a kingdom of life and peace in Christ. Though we know the power of the kingdom of God within our hearts, God uses kings of the worldly kingdoms of men to bring to pass things that serve His purposes in the earth.
Daniel 2:37 You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all —you are this head of gold. 39 But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
The dream of a secular king revealed God’s plan for the people of the nations of the world. Within that dream was a statue that revealed four kings of the secular societies of the earth. The king to follow king Nebuchadnezzar would be the ruler of the Mede/Persian Empire – King Cyrus. He was portrayed in the dream as the part of the statue represented in the arms and chest of silver, symbols that represent an ability to take or to give with redemptive purposed in the earth. Would you have voted for the leader with the chest and arms of silver? This king was also represented in a vision of Daniel as a fleshly kingdom with the attributes of a bear. Would you have voted for the leader of an empire represented in the bear? The description of King Cyrus in the Scripture is not one of covenant character in all of his dealings. We often think that he sounds nice when Isaiah the prophet described him as the shepherd of God’s people, but there are other verses that reveal the mystery of this God-appointed king.
Daniel 6:5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it:‘ Arise, devour much flesh!”
King Cyrus was described as a bear and he was also described as a ram. A bear is relentless it its ability to hold on to its task and it is the testimony of one who walks according to the flesh. A ram is a symbol of one who is determined in the authority given to it. It is willing to but heads with whatever may oppose its rule. Would you have voted for the ram that conquered kingdoms of men for the purpose of a Persian kingdom and the will of a Persian king?
Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.
King Cyrus was the ram of the two horned kingdom of Mede and Persia. His empire went from the east to push toward the west, the north, and the south. He proved to be stronger than the other strengths of flesh even as the prophet declared that no animal (strength of flesh) could prevail against him. King Cyrus did not seek to do the will of God. He sought to do the will of his own heart, but God moved upon his heart to see to it that God’s will was done in the earth.
Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. 2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.
The future of the church is not determined by the world, but the altar of heaven in the earth determines the future of the world. What God does in the altar of heaven upon the earth determines what moves in the nations of the world among men. The altar of heaven is an internal altar of the heart that can be seen with outward expressions, but it is a hidden mystery of heaven within a place of intimacy with God. That altar is one inspired by the Tree of Life and it is grassroots by nature, not a government that comes through the overt actions of nations governed by the information of good and evil. We must be careful not to measure the kingdoms of the world by the internal kingdom of our own hearts. We cannot expect the kings of the world to understand the principles, patterns, and values of the kingdom of God in our hearts, but we can expect that God will use the kings of the world to partner with the plans of God in the earth. It may not look the way we think and it may challenge the values of our own hearts, but God uses the men who do not even think as He does or understand the ways of His heart.
I will continue these thoughts in my next week’s blog. For now, pray that God will guide our hearts in the selection of His appointed servants in the earth, even if we do not understand what looks different than the kingdom of God. Please continue to read the next couple of week’s postings as I present my complete thought and challenge on this matter. I ask that you hold your opinions on this matter to the full presentation of my thoughts on this subject. I could have posted this in its entirety, but I felt that pieces at a time might help each of you grasp hold of what I am presenting.
Ted J. Hanson