Welcome to ...Latter Day Revival
Kings have existed for a long time. The idea of a king is in relation to rulership and leadership. The world has drastically changed its views on rulership and most of these changes have gone unchallenged by the church. These changes define the fabric of our current society. Obviously, some changes have been good and others not.
The difficulty I guess is defining which ones are good and which are not, and who is to provide a framework for these. In particular to rulership, we have presidents now instead of monarchs. Is the change good? This entirely depends on your world view. Debates will occur on this area but the intention is not to focus on this but addressing the order of meeting or being under the governance of a king.
Truth be told. The bible is no democracy or Christianity is not democracy. Its dictatorship. Democracy does not exist anyways – it’s another term having laws without people feeling bad about them. People have an issue with dictators and rightly so because worldly dictators have proven to be evil and oblivious to the desires of the people. This is unlike our God – who is perfect in all His ways. It’s not the will of the people that define the laws in which to conduct or to live out worship even though this is the actual reality in the church.
There were good things about olden times that could positively influence the church in the current distress it faces in relation to being subservient. There are many scriptures that the church dismisses today as irrelevant, and these are the ones that particularly speak of adornment, dress codes etc. The difficulty with most people in relation to obedience is that they haven’t been under a felt authority in their lives and hence there’s a natural inclination to retaliate to authority as it is foreign to them.
Despite this, the Lord won’t change to accommodate us; he requires obedience from His children as every father would. It seems always the case that worldly changes have great influence over the church in any generation. It is countless to mention them up to this very generation.
The first church was Adam and Eve; they played the harlot with the Word of God and fell to the demise of men. Israel longed for Egypt in the wilderness and all its pleasures while they were with the true God. Moses was gone only for forty days, to find a new church under the leadership of Aaron (his own brother), with the people bowing to a golden calf. How easily can men move away from God? It is as easy as drinking water. Worst of all; they removed God from leading them by requesting a king “…such as all the other nations have” (1 Sam. 8:5).
But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king
Without laboring the point, it is clear; worldliness in the church removed God from His rightful place in our lives as king, had Him crucified as though He was somehow a notorious gangster, a serial killer etc.
Savior to King
The problem with most Christians is that they have not moved away from the position of Jesus being their savior to Him being their king. They have stayed on the cross and kneeled there but the bible says Jesus moved on and was resurrected to be received to His throne, ruling the nations with an iron rod from there (Rev. 12:5). Even our idea of Him being a savior is flawed and without biblical substance. It seeks to promote man and supplant Christ. Christ is seeing as a means to an end than the means and the end in itself. If one fails to correctly understand Jesus as savior, one will fail to see Him as king and submit to His divine will.
If one can’t appreciate that the judgment of his sins was put on Jesus, was nailed with Him on the cross. That God; who is holy, the most perfect being and without sin, was made sin on our behalf. If we can’t see the cross with the lens of unworthiness, sinners condemned to death but yet brought to life, criminals set loose, murderers forgiven, slaves set free, sexually immoral people set on the go, drunkards liberated, prisoners unchained, idolaters turned to the true God, darkness beholding the light.
If we can’t see what He has done, our Christian walk is in vain, our preaching is in vain. Jesus came to set the captives free but if the captives can’t see that they are free and the one who set them free, they remain bound. His Kingship will not be established while we are bound by worldliness and sin. We will never harness His Lordship if we fail to come to a spiritual enlightenment of the work of the cross on our lives; instead we remain bound while we think we are free.
A proper understanding of the cross will lead to proper worship, and worship is to a king or ruler. Since the bible speaks of the kingdom of God or heaven, we need to understand the king because he establishes the kingdom. We stress to much the kingdom and not the king. The king is reduced to less value and the kingdom of God is illuminated more. This distinction should not be because it does not exist biblically. It is strange though that we have such because there’s no kingdom without the king.
The difference between Jesus and the kings of this world is that they depend on the kingdom to survive but Jesus is the Kingdom of God revealed. He creates out of nothing, He possesses all things, by His great power the Kingdom is Him and in Him. That’s why He says the kingdom of God is within you, talking of the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Since I have established that you can’t dismiss or misunderstand the cross; and separate Jesus from the kingdom. All else will fail if we do so, and we remain but shallow waters, dry bones, man who beheld the Great light and choose darkness, dogs who return to their vomit, bound in ourselves with no sight of Jesus. Now, every king has a vision or purpose to accomplish.
With the God we serve, the vision did not come into existence as though God is somehow man or finite in His imagination but the vision, like God, is eternal in existence. The vision is God Himself. The eternal purpose of God for man is that man become like Him (Gen. 1:26). This is the heart of God and His kingdom is clustered around His vision for man; who by, beholding the glory of the Son of man are being transformed to His image.
Law and order
We can’t dismiss that every kingdom has rules or laws for its citizens. We are the citizens of heaven. Man who are not from this world, a holy people, a holy nation. We are man sent from heaven to bring the citizenship of Christ on earth. Our citizenship is not proven by words but by the conduct of Christ in us. As people of the true God; a high call of holiness is trumpeted to us who have ears to hear, a holiness that is unparalleled by any religion in the world. The standard of God will not change, it does not matter if our generation or culture changes. God is standing by Himself, the living Word of God.
The standard expected from Christians is higher than any form of worship in the world, even higher than the Old Testament. Yet you find Christians are far below most religions in the world when it comes to honoring God. What a contradiction. This is primarily due to a refusal to accept authority. At some stage in my walk with God, I asked God why do we need to obey Him and why do we have laws.
The answer is simple; laws are created to govern something that can get out of control. Since our fallen nature, we can easily be outside the control of God. Basically, laws are there to ensure our relationship with God is healthy. The same principle applies in marriage; there are certain things that are unacceptable that can ruin your marriage if they are not controlled, like your spouse coming late at night without informing you.
Most Christians hate laws or rules. I understand their concern, laws make you feel as though you are forced to do something and that it is not really out of your will that you do it. The free gift of salvation is more than enough to have us bow to the LORD over all the earth in sincere submission to His divine power and will as a motivation. For this reason the Apostle Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
It is His love demonstrated by His death that has us kneeling at His throne. Because of this very reason, Christians have a great testimony to submit to God than the Jews. More than that, Christians have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling them, which sets the bar of responsibility even higher. No wonder, the writer of Hebrews says: “For it is impossible for those….have become partakers of the Holy Spirit…..if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
In another passage he puts it out as follows, distinguishing the Law of Moses and the law of the Spirit (Rom. 8:2):
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Heb. 10)
Priests and Kings
If the New Testament calls us priests and kings, it simply means the standard is even higher than in the Old. In the Old not everyone was a priest, only the tribe of Levi but now the grace of God has made us all priests, as people fully dedicated to God and the ministry of His temple. It was known in the olden days that the priest had to live a special life, different from the rest. The veil was torn (Mt. 27:51), everyone has a right to enter His Holy Place.
We are also made kings but subject to the King of kings. In the olden days, only the descendants of David were given the right to be kings. This has stopped, Jesus made us all kings because we are born of God (John 1:12). Christians do not understand that these are not just titles to puff us up but this is God’s signature for our lives.
The same battle in Eden is still continuing, the battle for identity. God made them in His likeness (Gen. 1:26) but yet they sought to be like Him when they were actually like Him (Gen. 3:5). The devil came to steal our identity and we must be on the watch. God will not change His mind; we are kings and priests before our God. If kings, what a responsibility that stands before us. Again, the standard is higher than any religion in the world.
We fall short of the glory of God and His desire for us. This is primarily because of a lack of stewardship and reverence to God. We can’t be kings, if He is not King in us. It is the bending of the Holy Ghost directing us to His will that we are transformed as we behold His glory. To see His glory is not for everyone but for those who enter the holy of holies according to scripture.