“Jesus said, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom was of this world, My servants would fight so that I would not be delivered to the Jews; but, My Kingdom is not from here'” (John 18:36).
“My Kingdom is not from here” is a statement that carries with it so much Truth, and the implications are so significant for every one who calls himself a believer. We must meditate on this Truth for a long time. It will change our perspective on how we live, our focus, our involvements in the affairs of men. It will end confusion on matters of State. It will differentiate between human government and the Kingdom of God.
The Apostle wrote: “the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17. This passage clearly delineates between the natural and the spiritual. Nothing is more basic to the natural man then eating and drinking. Nothing is more basic to the spiritual man than righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit. We live in the Spirit, and we walk in the Spirit (cf. Galatians 5:25). The Kingdom of God is spiritual, of the realm of heaven; not from here in the realm of earth.
The things of the realm of earth may be observed. Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God does not come with observation. Neither shall they say, lo here it is, or lo there it is; for the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). This is Jesus speaking plainly for us to understand. It is not cloaked in mystery. It is spoken in simplicity and clarity. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit Who dwells within those who believe.
Too many today have conflated the Kingdom of God with modern day politics. The focus of the Kingdom is Jesus and the Gospel. The Apostles went everywhere preaching Jesus Christ, the Lord. As much as this has nothing to do with politics, it will create conflict with those in power politics who do not like to see people live outside of their control. Their control stifles freedom of speech, conscience, assembly and religion. We have only to look as far as what our early church Fathers suffered under the Roman Empire to see the conflict manifested in the historical record. What was true then has been true down through history to our present day. It will all culminate under the rule of the Antichrist and then the end shall come. The Seventh Angel shall sound his trumpet and “the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
Freedom loving people believe in self-government. We can fight to defend our freedoms. Our forefathers fought for freedom under law, not man. Freedom is worth fighting to defend; otherwise tyrants will rule without opposition and will trample our rights and make us slaves to their control. Representative democracy under a Constitution is a blessing of liberty and justice for all. Alas, it is not the Kingdom of God. It is a Kingdom of this world that is worth fighting for and if necessary dying for.
The early disciples of Jesus were focused on establishing earthly government. After the Resurrection of Christ they asked Jesus, “Lord, will You at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). They were still looking to overthrow the Roman rule and establish independence for the nation of Israel. Jesus answered them, “It is not for you to know the times, or the seasons which the Father has put in His own power. But you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses unto Me. . .” (Acts 1:7-8a). The Kingdom of God is a witness unto Christ and we are to take our witness to the ends of the earth telling everyone, “Repent, the Kingdom of God is here” (cf. Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Always be aware, as zealous as your witness may be, though the Kingdom of God is here; it is the Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom that as our Lord declared, is not from here.