There are two kingdoms, Christ’s kingdom and Satan’s kingdom, and they both want to have us in their kingdom. Therefore, there is a terrible war raging in our world today between Christ and Satan—the two greatest powers in the universe. The battleground is our hearts; and we will decide which side will win us.
“The True Witness says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.’ Revelation 3:20. Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 490
A sleeping Christian is not a reformer, and a lukewarm Christian is not a reformer; they are not winners in this war. Millions of professed Christians who claim to be soldiers of Christ’s army are falling into the hands of the enemy. They are prisoners caught by the enemy, and taken into captivity, into darkness, and confusion of mind, into false religion, into a lukewarm condition, into self-righteousness, into love of the world. They are in danger of losing their eternal life. This war is fought in every human being, brother fights against brother, and this is what makes this war confusing; we do not always know who is our friend or who is our enemy, whom can we trust, or who is out to deceive us. Many are confused and doubting which side is the Lord’s side, who belongs to the kingdom of God, and who belongs to the enemy. Also, there is confusion and doubts as to which are the laws of the kingdom of God and which are the false laws and doctrines of the enemy. People argue over these points, and almost four thousand Christian churches have different doctrines, so they cannot unite; they all believe that they are the only true church of God. When the principles of heaven are mixed together with the principles of the world, this makes the church Babylon. There could possibly be some members in the church of God also who are in danger of not being found faithful in every point when their names comes up in review at the judgment bar of God.
“God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. The light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God so that when the testing time shall come and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 707–708
Sister White writes in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 251, “The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place.” This was written in the year 1903, and eleven years later the Reformation Movement started, which continues still today. At the same time the Seventh-Day Adventist Church fell into greater apostasy, forcing members of the church to join the army to fight against the enemy, when Jesus had said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
We are winning if we obey Jesus, and love our enemies. When Jesus took on human form and came to this world to invite us into His kingdom, and presented the principles of His kingdom to His own church, most of the members of the church rejected His invitation and united with Satan, and joined his kingdom. Satan seemed to be winning the war. Weapons that Jesus used are the same ones that we are using as we fight against Satan, which are “It is written.” Matthew 4:4. Bible knowledge makes us victorious in this terrible war. The victory which we gain is different from the worldly victory. The victory is when you answer kindly to angry words, the victory is when you suffer quietly, without murmuring or complaining; a humble quiet spirit is the result of many victories, and patience is added to your character. In the end, we become completely different than the people of the world.
In the time of persecution a soldier was taking a Christian to prison and to death. Being in the wintertime they crossed a lake covered with ice. Suddenly the soldier fell through the ice and was drowning. The Christian now could thank God that he was saved from his enemy; but no, he turned back to save the soldier from the icy water. He practiced a principle that the soldier had never known.
In the kingdom of God there is no principle of preference or supremacy. “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” Matthew 20:26–27
Serving others is the greatest characteristic in the kingdom of God, to bring happiness to others; selfishness is completely absent from Christ’s kingdom.
If we want to overcome Satan’s kingdom and be part of Christ’s kingdom, we must also overcome our appetite. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17. In the world when there is a feast or a party, the eating and the drinking are the highlights, but in God’s kingdom it is joy in the Holy Ghost.
In the time of the First and Second World Wars some of our members were sentenced to prison for refusing to take a gun and join the army. When they finally came out of prison they said that it was the happiest time in their lives, to spend time among the criminals. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and He gives us happiness in any condition, even in sickness and death.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26
Jesus stood before Pilate and the angry Jews without speaking one word in His defense. He had no lawyer to defend Him. “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36
Our kingdom is not of this world either. Paul writes, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. This verse is one that we need to remember always. Jesus came to this world to teach us the principles of His kingdom. Instead of fighting and defending ourselves, He said, “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:39–45. The principles of the kingdom of heaven are completely different than the principles of this world.
Often it seems that the kingdom of Satan is winning when we see over 50 million martyrs in the Middle Ages who lost their lives for being members in Christ’s kingdom. But yet, the kingdom of Christ is winning. History tells us when one Christian suffered a martyr’s death, smiling and praising God, 20 took his place, and were converted into the kingdom of Christ.
It is still the kingdom of God that rules over all in this world. “The LORD hath prepared His throne in heavens,
And His kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalm 103:19
Without His permission, nothing can be done. “And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art Thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto Him, Speakest Thou not unto me? knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given Thee from above: therefore He that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:9–11
Job had a terrible misfortune, but it happened because it was allowed from above.
Sister White was in a boat during a terrible storm, and everyone was afraid that the ship would perish and they all would die. But right then Sister White had a vision, that rather every drop in the ocean would be dried up that she would not die, because her work was not finished yet.
The Jews wanted a Messiah who would drive out the Romans from their country, but Jesus did nothing like it, because He knew that His Father had allowed it, and He would not fight against His Father. The Seventh-day Adventists tried to destroy the little Reform flock by sending letters to the government, giving their names and addresses to the authorities—the ones whom they had disfellowshipped, because they did not want to join the army and fight against the enemy. But the Reformation did not die; it is living still today and going forward. In the year 1914, what happened to the church of God that year? Was it a victory or a defeat? It was both. It was victory to the faithful remnant, but a defeat to the fearful, unfaithful members.
The war continues still today, and our battle is fierce. On the right and on the left many are fallen and lost. But the faithful ones are becoming more faithful; the 144,000 will be saved. God has complete control of all the affairs of men in this world. The keys of the kingdom of God are still in the hands of the faithful, humble members of His kingdom, who say, “My kingdom is not of this world.” We are the ambassadors of the kingdom of God, and its principles and laws we are to show to the people of the world, just as Jesus did. We are to win souls from the army of Satan and bring them into the army of Christ. Then the prayer of Jesus will be fulfilled, which was, “Thy kingdom come.” And it will come. Amen.