"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

My Kingdom In this World but not Of this World - Calm Confidence in the 2016 Presidential Election


"My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36). 

In the current political climate of the United States, it is worth reflecting on the actions and words of the only Leader who really matters. In John 18 we read that Jesus is taken captive by the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans for prosecution. Pilate, the Roman governor, stands before a bound and captive Jesus and asks, "Your own people have handed You over to me. What have you done?" 

Pilate hated Jews, particularly Galilean Jews, the Jews from the region where Jesus lived. Pilate deemed Galilean Jews seditious and rebellious toward Roman rule. Just a few months earlier Pilate killed dozens of them in Jerusalem and "mingled their blood with their sacrifices" (Luke 13:1). 

Pilate feared anyone who sought to subvert his political authority. Could it be that the Jewish religious leaders, desiring to curry Pilate's favor, had brought to Pilate a seditious Galilean who was rumored to be establishing His own kingdom? Could it be that this Jesus, whom the Jews had delivered to Pilate, wanted to rule the Jews in the place of Pilate? Is this why the Jews handed Jesus over to Pilate? The Roman rulers asks our Lord ...

"What have you done, Jesus of Galilee?"

Jesus responds with an answer that so convinces Pilate that Jesus is a harmless Galilean with no political ambitions,  that after hearing Jesus' answer, Pilate washes his hands of the matter and says to the Jews, "I find no basis for a charge (of sedition) against this man?" (Luke 23:4). Look again at what Jesus said to Pilate. Here is Jesus' statement in full. 
 "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this world."(John 18:36)
Pilate was convinced.

Jesus was no political threat. Pilate saw a calm, relaxed Man who did not fight His arrest or the loss of His personal liberties, much less cower in fear at the threat of imprisonment or death at the hands of a Roman imperialist. Pilate knew after hearing Him, that Jesus posed no threat to the political establishment.

It is through what Jesus said to Pilate that we discover what caused Jesus to be so calm during personal persecution. It is through the principle Jesus articulated to Pilate that we can learn how He was so relaxed before a powerful Roman ruler who had already killed hundreds of Galileans.

If you are a Christian - that is, if you follow Christ's example (e.g. "Christian" means "little Christ") - you can learn from Christ's words how to stay calm during a time when the country you love seems to be falling under imperial power.  You can discover in Christ's words the secret to help you stay relaxed even when threatened with the loss of personal liberties. 

"My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). 

What does that mean? 

Contrary to what some think, Jesus did NOT say "My kingdom is not IN this world." He couldn't say that, because His kingdom is in this world. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not OF this world." 

What's the difference?

Have you ever been on a plane when the oxygen masks fall? Probably not. However, if you've paid attention, you know that if the masks ever do fall, you are instructed to put it over your mouth and nose first before you ever help anyone with their mask. 

Suppose you are in a plane when the oxygen masks fall. You immediately put yours on, but everyone else is shocked and surprised by the suddenness of it all, and they aren't as fast as you. In the four or five seconds between the time you get your mask on and everybody else is without it, the air in the plane is filled with a poison that instantly kills everyone else. You alone are the survivor. 

You are IN a plane full of dead people, but you are not OF the dead people in the plane.

That's the difference between IN and OF.

The grace from God that enables us to be part of His Kingdom means that we live in a world full of people dead on the inside, but we ourselves are alive.  

We have faith. We have hope. We have love.

We have these things when everybody else in this world is without faith, without hope, without love.

Our source of life and happiness is not found in who wins the election, or who is able through politics and power to protect our personal liberties. Our source is found in the Father who has given us His Son, and through faith in Him, we find our full and free forgiveness and our personal purpose in this world (I Corinthians 2:2 and II Corinthians 5:20). Our source of life and happiness comes from the Father who rules over all nations and kings, and from Him we find our hope no matter how dark things might seem, for He is always good and is able "to work all things for our good" (Romans 8:28). Our source only increases in its power as we come to know more fully His love for us, for from this deeper understanding of His love, we "are filled with all the fullness of God" and are in need of nothing else (Ephesians 3:14-21).  

We "little Christs" ought to possess the relaxed attitude and calm confidence Christ had before Pilate during our own Presidential election process - regardless of the outcome - because "our kingdom is not of this world."

We are in it, but we are not of it.

44 comments:

Aussie John said...

Wade,

How I wish all of God's people understood this! Well said!

Bill said...

Makes me feel better already.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I believe comparing “Jesus---Pilate” and who is our president is not relevant because it’s like saying it doesn’t matter what happens because we Christians are going to heaven.

Jesus had no concern for what Pilate did because he knew his Father had given Him the bitter cup to drink; Pilate was just an instrument in God’s hands.

Has our Nation suffered from our Muslim president with an attitude of ‘payback’? As Apollo is know for putting man in space, one thing Obama is known for is putting man in women’s restrooms.

How will it be if Hillary gets elected and puts him on the Supreme Court?

“Evil will reign as long as good men do nothing.”

I respect “Truth or Fiction”. The link below tells of 31 deaths ‘around’ the Clintons.

https://www.truthorfiction.com/clintonfriends/

Besides the 31 deaths, I thought it interesting that Truth or Fiction listed names of 12 Clinton bodyguards but made no comment how they died. (That must be an occupational hazard.)

It’s been said if the candidates for president were people in the Bible; the choice would be ‘wayward’ Samson or Jezebel.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

One of these days the truth will come out - either in our lifetimes or the next.

I do agree with you - lies and crimes from the highest levels of governments in all nations are the norm.

Bill said...

Excuse me Rex but you only show your stupidity when you refer to the current president as being a Muslim.As most,but not all,reasonable people have concluded, Obama is no more Muslim than you are.This lie has just about run its course and you should not Insult your own intelligence by repeating it.There is not a shread of evidence to back up this lie that anyone can produce.

Rex Ray said...

Bill, I don’t know if I’ll excuse you or not. :)

I believe Jesus saying, “It is not what enters the stomach that defiles a man but what comes out of his mouth.”

Do Obama’s words convict him of being a Muslim?
1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” (Christians don’t have a future?)
2. “America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”
3. “The sweetest sound is the Muslim call to prayer.”
4. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism.”(He can’t say “Islamic Terrorism.)
5. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith.” (Would he try to convert a Muslim?)
6. “I have known Islam on three continents.” (Bragging or complaining?)
7. “I know civilization’s debt to Islam.”
8. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.” (Thieves have their hands cut off.)
9. “Islam has always been part of America.” (In his dreams!)
11. “My responsibility as President is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam.” (Spoken like a true Muslim.)
12. “The Holy Koran tells us,..” (What Christian believes or states the Koran is “Holy”?)

Bill, I won’t take the time to state the links for all his words but the last one.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.religion/gIAuQ96Huts

President Obama in Cairo: “As the Holy Koran tells us, be conscious of God and speak always the truth.”

Bill said...

You asked for it so I will give it to you.You sir are full of it.

Christiane said...

As a parent with a son in the military, and a nephew and niece also in active service, I am not at complete ease as I do fear the outcome of this election with a thought for their sakes, yes.

I was thinking about our country’s need for honorable leadership. And this afternoon, I watched again the famous speech by Colonel Joshua Chamberlain enacted in a civil war film scene, and was moved to realize how far we wandered from that kind of example. But in our DNA we have something that longs for what has been set aside. For this I am grateful. I am hopeful still.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d2_zeJTJcw

Rex Ray said...

Bill,

You started making comments on Wade’s blog on September 24, 2016. I believe your comments have added enlightenment. I hope you don’t quit. Sometimes I learn more from comments than what the post is about.

I have saved those comments in my present document that has 731 pages. I have an older one that has 1260 pages.


http://irfi.org/articles/articles_1801_1850/letter%20from%20barack%20obama%20on%20his%20muslim%20heritagehtml.htm

The above link is written by Obama telling his experiences with Muslims. The last sentence: “This is what I will bring to the office of the Presidency of the United States. I will deal with Muslims from a position of familiarity and respect and at this time in the history of our nation that is something sorely needed.”

Bill, will you tell me how many Muslims has Obama chosen for jobs in the government? He was upset with the Senate for not approving his latest Muslim to be a federal judge.

Bill said...

Rex,if you chose to believe that Obama is a Muslim,that is perfectly alright with me.I take the position that he isn't.

Rex Ray said...

Bill,

Thanks, but I would still like to change your position.

I’m sure you know the Scripture that says “…every knee shall bow…”, and the reason for doing so is from reverence.

Who would bow to a Muslim King other than another Muslim?

Bill said...

Rex,I like to think of myself as being open minded and willing to look at two sides of an issue.As far as I am concerned the issue of Obamas religion has been settled and I have not seen any credible evidence to change that position. This argument closely resembles the argument about Obamas place of birth.Again as far as I am concerned the president has proven that he was born exactly where he said. There are some that will never accept this and there's nothing that can be done to change their minds.

Wanda Martin said...

it appears Hillary Clinton believes President Obama is a Muslim based on a remark she made at the Al Smith dinner. Many a serious thing is said in jest.

Bill said...

What she said was meant as a joke.could you not detect that? Good grief.

Lee said...

Well said. The Christian church is in danger of losing its prophetic voice because of the highly public support of some of its spokespersons for a partisan political candidate whose lifestyle doesn't indicate shared values. It survived, and grew to thrive in its infancy under a government that was far worse than ours is, even with the grim prospect we have after 2016, following this election, no matter who wins it. We should not sell our proverbial birthright for a bowl of soup, in this case, selling our integrity for a remote and unlikely chance that a guy who exhibits nothing close to Christian moral character will actually appoint supreme court justices that will rule the way we think they should.

If you observe the church in this country, and the construction projects it builds, mostly on borrowed money, for facilities that sit empty six days a week, you can see that it has the resources to put ministries in place that could put a severe dent in the number of women seeking to abort a pregnancy.

Rex Ray said...

Wanda Martin,

Good observation!

It’s been proved LBJ stole an election by a few votes; but at the time he made a joke referring to his winning as “Landslide Johnson”.

Bill,

You did not reply if you would bow to a Muslim King; or defend Obama for doing so.

You remind me of those who say, “My mind is made up; stop confusing me with facts.”

Lee,

You said “…selling our integrity for…a guy who exhibits nothing close to Christian moral character…”

Are you suggesting we can keep our integrity by electing a woman who will probably be justly put in prison if she looses the election?

I see a resemblance in this election as one 63 years ago where if a certain person was elected president, a politician would be facing criminal indictments.

I hope the murder that prevented that indictment won’t happen in this election.

“In youth we learn; with age we understand.”

Rex Ray said...

Correction: "63" should be "53" (When JFK was killed)

Bill said...

Rex,I remember seeing the photo.Obama was merely following one of the customs prevailing in that particular country.He certainly was not worshiping the guy.Sorta like when we meet someone we might nod out head while shaking their hand.Does that mean we are worshiping someone?You have got to be kidding.Ever see how the Russian men greet each other? Usually with a big hug and a couple of good kisses.Its just a custom and nothing else.

Bill said...

Remember the video of president Bush in Saudi Arabia visiting with the king there?The two of them walking together holding hands?I guess we can assume from that video that Bush was maybe gay couldn't we? We could but most of us know the practice of men friends holding hands is nothing but custom in that country.

Rex Ray said...

Bill,

You’re right about customs in different nations, but why did the King NOT return the courtesy bow to the President of the United States?

I believe it was because Obama has caused America to loose respect. Teddy Roosevelt held respect: “Walk softly, but carry a big stick.”

Obama tippy-toes with a toothpick.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/11/politics/obama-kerry-paris/

This link tells the absence of Obama at the Pairs march of the world’s leaders after their Muslim terrorist attack. By not attending, Obama missed the opportunity to apologize to all of them like he did in Japan.

http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/06/02/john-bolton-trumans-decision-bomb-hiroshima-wasnt-good-enough-mr-high-minded-barack-obama/

His speech omitted the thousands of lives saved on both sides, but concentrated on how we must have higher morals in the future.

I think he would like to become leader of The United Nations.

On my first of 13 mission trips to Japan, we attended a church that showed a Christian movie how a Japanese soldier disobey orders in helping a Christian girl find her family during the aftermath of the atomic bomb.

Christiane said...

"“I know civilization’s debt to Islam.” (attributed to Pres. Obama)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wj4ncIEDxw

Christiane said...

All that is good comes from God. And we will know that the Light of day has arrived when we can look into the eyes of another human person and see a brother.

https://vimeo.com/181770871

ScottShaver said...

Hey Bill:

You said referring to the sitting U.S. president as a "Muslim" is "stupidity".

Now that your definition of "stupidity" is established...Would it also be classified as "stupidity" should the thought cross one's mind, "if he ain't, he sure ought to be."?

ScottShaver said...

Christiane:

Would the light of day still shine if the you likewise saw a brother in the eyes of a rich white guy like Donald Trump?

Christiane said...

https://vimeo.com/129487840

I think it is time to understand that what makes us 'human persons' goes into that place where God has written on the hearts of ALL humankind His laws, which ask us to do good instead of evil. It is there, in our consciences, that we meet with God and we choose to follow Him or not.

" God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him."
(1 John 4)

Christiane said...

Mr. Shaver,
I see Mr. Trump as a flawed human being, like all of us are on this Earth. It is not my place to judge his soul, only his capacity to occupy the office of President of the United States, where he would be, if elected, the Commander-in-Chief of our military forces.

I will vote on this soon, in accordance with what Donald Trump himself has shown to all of us as evidence of his ability in that regard.

And may God have mercy on all of us.

Bill said...

Scott, I sure do consider your comment and suggestion concerning Obamas religion to belong in the stupidity category. You got it.

ScottShaver said...

Bill:

Glad to see that your public relations skills are as sharp as your intellect.

ScottShaver said...

To Bill and Christiane:

Likewise, I think Hillary Clinton is a "flawed" human being and a dangerous, ineffective and greedy politician who has no problem with babies being ripped from the wombs of living mothers in the 9th month.

Precisely the reason (among others including our Supreme Court) that I thanked God this morning for the opportunity to cast an early vote for Donald Trump.

Bill said...

From your comments concerning Obama and his religion you sir have a lot more to worry about than my intellect.

Bill said...

I think your vote for Trump and his moral values,respect for others,and Christian living closely follows your own way of living.Se you in church Sunday.

Rex Ray said...

Way to go Scott Shaver,

Hillary’s abortion rules would have killed “Isaac” and “John the Baptist”.

Bill said...

Ok folks.This discussion is over for me.If I have offended anyone I am truly sorry.

ScottShaver said...

Bill:

Doubt you'll see me in church Sunday...still believe in homogenous local church units and doubt you would fit in with us nor we with you, Hope to see you in heaven however.

ScottShaver said...

Bill:

Doubt you'll see me in church Sunday...still believe in homogenous local church units and doubt you would fit in with us nor we with you, Hope to see you however in heaven where this earthly political realm won't matter.

Christiane said...

In the Kingdom of Our Lord, may we someday understand that those who follow the way of grace will not come to a bad end
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z28Mi6mUyKo

Rex Ray said...

Difference in politics does not a corner on the market.

For instance (John 3:16 KJ) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him SHOULD NOT perish, but have everlasting life.”

I believe the NLT: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him WILL NOT perish but have eternal life.”

ScottShaver said...

"My way of living" Bill is just one more thing you have neither the information nor spiritual authority upon which to comment in an intelligent fashion. What else you got?

Rex Ray said...

To Bill,

Who has left the discussion because I believe of Bob Cleveland’s good statement: “It’s the bite dog that hollers”)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/report-tiger-woods-president-obama-golf-trip-cost-almost-4-million-155852279.html

This link is an example of Obama spending American money and where he was during Bengasi.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

On this post you said, “One of these days the truth will come out - either in our lifetimes or the next.”

Since the FBI is reopening the case about Hillary, it may be sooner than later and truth will show what is behind her smiling face.

Anonymous said...

"Since the FBI is reopening the case about Hillary, it may be sooner than later and truth will show what is behind her smiling face. "

Don't count on it. The evidence was destroyed by the FBI. The emails are showing McAuliff (remember him from the Clinton machine) gave a lot of money to the lead FBI investigators wife running for office. Hillary tried to make sure her communication was outside the FOIA. And she has gotten by with it. You or I would be in my rishon. . The establishment corruption is so deep and gone on so long that only a major house cleaning will suffice. The Clintons (Frank and Clare Underwood) are total establishment. And totally above the law. She even has insiders feeding her debate questions. Even the republicans would rather have her to continue their pieces of pork as "public servants"

She also went after her sexual predator husbands women to ruin them so no one would believe them. What an honest feminist. More like an ambitious doormat. People so soon forget names like Betsy Wright and Jack Pallidino. Or they refuse to do their homework

Public service has been especially profitable for the Clintons as they have continually sold access.

Lydia

Rex Ray said...

Lydia,

Nice to be on the same side. There is still hope.

http://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/09/23/professor-correctly-predicted-30-years-president-election-donald-trump/21478061/

Lichtman, who has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1984, says he uses a 13 question true/false method which he calls the "Keys to the White House."

Loddie R said...

After reading these comments I have more clarity in my understanding of Paul's instructions to Timothy. "But have nothing to do with foolish and ignorant speculations [useless disputes over unedifying, stupid controversies], since you know that they produce strife and give birth to quarrels. The servant of the Lord must not participate in quarrels." 2 Timothy 2:23-24

Rex Ray said...

I thought this comment was good. :)

http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/Huma-Abedin-Style-Pictures-42465090#comments

John Wayne said…[revised]
The other day, I saw a Muslim Book Store. I wondered what exactly was in it. As I wandered around taking a look, the clerk gave me an unwelcome look, but asked if he could help me.
I imagine I didn’t look like his normal clientele. I asked, “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s new book on his U.S. immigration policy regarding Muslims and illegal aliens?”
“Kiss my #$%$, get out, and stay out!”
“Yes, that’s the one. Do you have it in paperback?”