PART I: HEAVEN'S CITIZEN IN WORLD
PART II: SEPARATION THROUGHOUT BIBLE
Another verse in connection with "My kingdom is not of this world" is:
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.22
There is a contrast here between this light and the darkness. "Delivered us from the power of darkness." That is not simply the power that darkness exerts upon us, but deliverance from the dominion, rulership and government of darkness. He brought us out from under the jurisdiction of the power of darkness, and "hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."
Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.23
Here is defined the dominion, the rulership and the authority that rules the darkness of this world. That is what we contend against. The only ones who can contend successfully are those who have been delivered from the power of that darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son.
The "rulers of the darkness" are the spiritual powers of darkness. But the text says that these spiritual powers are the rulers of the darkness of this world. It therefore shows that this world is in that darkness, and of that darkness. Therefore, kingdoms and governments, being of this world only, are in and of the darkness.
"Ye were sometimes darkness."24 Ephesians 5:8 When? When we were subject to "the rulers of the darkness of this world," when we were in sin.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light; proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Governments, nations, political organizations are of this world only; they belong to this world only. And the world is under the dominion of darkness. "Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people."25 Isaiah 60:2 Are governments and municipalities of the kingdom of God or of this world? - They belong to this world, and to this world alone. They belong to the side of darkness.
But he who is translated out of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son, is of another world. He belongs to the heavenly world. The city to which he belongs is the heavenly city. His citizenship is in the dominion and world of light.
Then what connection has that kingdom of light with the kingdoms of darkness? Why are these church leaders, who profess to be of the light, participating in the affairs of darkness? "What fellowship hath light with darkness?" That question belongs here. And the same thought is expressed in connection with the text we are studying:
Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.26
How much of the world is to be embraced under the dominion of the beast and his image? All the world. What is our message?
If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.27
That is our message to the world. It applies to all the world. Will that message of "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" be a reproving message to everyone that is engaged in the work of the beast and his image? It will. Thus participating in the work of the beast and his image is violative of the principle of heavenly citizenship. It is violative of the principle of ambassadorship. It is violative of the principles Jesus Christ laid down for seeking lordship; violative of His principle of separating the government of God from the governments of this earth. It is simply an attempt to blend light and darkness. It is the spirit of darkness that seeks to blend the government of light with the governments of darkness.
There are several other texts that are pertinent, such as Christ's prayer for His disciples:
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them.28
In another place He says to them:
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord.29
These verses also show who the world hates:
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before you.30
The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.31
When the beast and his image govern the world, and a people testify against it, that people will be hated. But if one does not testify to the world that its works are evil, is the world going to hate him? Oh no; the world will love its own.
And the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.32
There is a standard that tests our relationship to this world. That standard is Jesus Christ. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.33
Here are these church leaders, professing to be not of this world. If that profession be true, they will act as Jesus Christ did when He was in this world. They will act the same with respect to governmental affairs on the earth. That is what we are talking about now. The beast and his image are of the world. If these church leaders are right, if they are of the truth, then they will not be of the world. They will not interfere or take part with the affairs of this world. They will not seek to control political affairs. They will follow the example of Jesus Christ.
And to what extent did Christ do it? He never touched it. Were there not evils in His day that ought to have been corrected? evils in city government? evils in colonial government? evils in imperial government? Why in the world did He not set about to redeem Jerusalem and Rome by political wire-working? Why didn't he? - Because He was not of this world. When these church leaders participate in worldly governments, they demonstrate that they are not of Christ, but are of this world.