“And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, a host with horses and chariots was round about the city. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do? And he answered, Fear not; for they that are with us are more than they that are with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Jehovah, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And Jehovah opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15-17)
Q: What are the three spiritual kingdoms? Explain 2 Kings Chapter 6.
A: Well, as far as 2 Kings 6 goes, there is of course the story of the heavenly chariots of fire surrounding Elisha and Gehazi (not mentioned by name but he was the servant of Elisha) in that chapter (the assumption is that there are angels driving these chariots, although the word “angel” doesn’t actually appear in that passage). Of course, there are clearly two kingdoms revealed in that passage; the kingdom of the earthly realm as well as that of the heavenly realm. Now a third kingdom, of course, could be said to be the kingdom of darkness; also represented by the actions of the king of Syria who attempts to “capture” Elisha on account of the fact that because of him, the king of Syria is not able to win the war against Israel (verses 11 and onward).
These kingdoms, then, are very much intertwined together in this passage. But, of course, that is the way it always is. We are spiritual beings by our very nature. We are meant to belong to God’s kingdom, but were cut off because of sin and rebellion dating back to the garden of Eden. So while we recognize that there are three kingdoms (the kingdom of the earth, the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of darkness) we need to recognize that everything, ultimately, falls under the rule of God. We must not make the mistake of separating these kingdoms to the point where there is no reliance or subjection to God of both man’s kingdom as well as the kingdom of darkness. That is the mistake made by those who separate “state and church”.
In fact, as their top story, Americans United for Separation of Church and State have posted on their website (http://www.au.org) the following caption to their lead story: “AU has warned a Colorado public school district that any effort to introduce creationism into its science classes will meet with stiff resistance, including possible legal action.” These word are truly tragic and are really a by-product of the theology that God’s kingdom is separate from man’s kingdom. The truth is that man’s kingdom is subject to God’s kingdom and where man’s kingdom fails to subject itself to God’s laws, chaos results. This, in fact, is why, in the end, the earth will be burned with fire — because man simply rebelled against God and polluted his earth to such an extent that the only logical choice that God will have will be to first “cleanse it with fire” and then recreate it! Thank God that he is a redemptive God. He will not destroy it without recreating it as well. But rather, he will recreate it for all of us to enjoy. I just hope those people at AU get the message before it’s too late … for them.
Psalm 2:2 says, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed”. Here we see a picture of earthly kingdoms at war with God. What is motivating such rulers? It is, of course, the kingdom of darkness. So there you have there kingdoms represented in that one verse of Scripture. “The kings of the earth” representing man’s kingdom; “the Lord” and “his anointed” representing God’s kingdom; and the actions being taken by these rulers which is motivated by the kingdom of darkness. John says sin is of the devil; and James confers when he says that strife is of the devil (1 John 3:8, James 3:15). That is the same thing that is motivating the war in the middle east against the Israelites today. This is a spiritual war which no ruler of the earth has the ability to quench apart from preaching Christ, who died that mankind might be brought to peace with God — Arab, Israelite, and every other person alike. God will one day come to the rescue of the Israelites, when things get so bad that they have no place else to turn.
In closing, we are living in a world surrounded by two unseen kingdoms; one ruled by God and his forces, and the other ruled by the devil and his forces. These sides are not equal; indeed as John has said, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Our best defence against the attacks of the evil one is, first, submission to God, so that God will grant us freedom from our enemies, for as it says, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) Secondly, we are to “resist” the devil, as we read in James (notice how James stresses submission to God before resisting the devil): “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
We resist the devil, first and foremost, by knowing God’s word and not allowing the lies of the devil to have any hold on us. It is essential to spend quality time before God in prayer and in the word, allowing the word to penetrate our hearts. I heartily recommend the Gospels as a very good source of “truth nourishment” concerning the power of God over the works of darkness; as well, of course, as the rest of the Scriptures. But don’t stray far from the Gospels because they are a continual reminder of the incredible power that God has, and is willing to demonstrate, in order to set us free.