Juan de Flandes: The Temptation of Christ, c. 1500/1504
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1967.7.1
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

By Ed Tarkowski

Part 1: "Kingdom? What kingdom? I don't have a kingdom"

I remember in the "old days" learning about the evil one's simple spiritual deceptions. One example was that the greatest lie of the adversary is that he doesn't exist. Now we are hearing another one that is equally important, that the devil does not have a kingdom, that there is only one kingdom and that it is God's. Someone said that Satan's kingdom is only a vapor, the darkness in which he resides. If these things were so, then the soon-coming outward manifestation of a spiritual kingdom on this earth would have to be the Kingdom of God, wouldn't it? It seems to me that if anyone would favor such a view, it would be those in the "revival." The very core of their Manifest Sons teaching on the Manchild or Joel's Army (or any of the variety of names they use) is that the "realm of darkness" will be utterly destroyed SO Christ can THEN come back to reign over the Kingdom of God that they've brought in. But we know from Scripture that the kingdom they help to manifest will not be the Kingdom of God. In reality, they will be killing off those who carry the true Kingdom of God within them. Just as the New Age speaks of "The Cleansing" and Marian theology of "The Great Chastisement," the apostate church speaks of "God's judgment" executed through the Manchild against all who won't submit to His ways BEFORE CHRIST RETURNS.

Does such a doctrine - that the devil does not have a kingdom - play into the hands of those in the "revival" and the AD2000 agenda? I believe it very well could, that at some time in the near future we will hear the announcement that the kingdom of God has triumphed over all the forces of that evil realm, that dark vapor, and that the kingdom and reign of God has now arrived. This new "doctrine" seems to line right up with the latest fantasies rampant in apostate Christendom. Will this idea that the devil has no kingdom catch on? If it does, the revivalists would love it. Their "final harvest" would be an overwhelming success, and their "kingdom of God" could storm in to take the rule of the world into its grip.


We hear a lot today about the war between Satan's forces and God's, but this war is spoken of as though the victor is yet to be determined. Those now entrenched in the "revival" and the apostasy speak daily of taking back what the devil stole from Adam in the garden, of establishing the "kingdom of God," and of preparing it for the coming of "Jesus" a second time. How often we hear the new terminology (or old spiritual terms re-defined) such as men being "empowered," "gifted," or "anointed," and the Church "furthering" or "advancing" the kingdom. But what kingdom? Is this global movement really advancing the true Kingdom of God - or the hidden kingdom of darkness?

What is happening out there is surely not the bringing about of a visible manifestation of the true Kingdom of God. WHAT IT IS REALLY BRINGING IS THE MANIFESTATION OF THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS. That manifestation is occurring through what is called "transition" or "transformation." And it's not just happening in the world of religion. Government, economics, education, and society in general are being affected by this transformation. The process is being carried out through mind-changing, a change in peoples' thinking from a selfish lifestyle to one of group think - caring and sharing, tolerance, and helping your neighbor - "good things" designed to bring the world together as one. It is through this evolutionary process that the invisible kingdom of darkness has been slowly rising up into a soon-to-be-visible manifestation of a devilish "unity" of all things. This altering of the mind is undergirded by an evil and insidious spiritual system, and is carried on by ungodly spiritual powers in every area of life. One has only to turn on the television nowadays, or go to the movies, or listen to music, or go to church, to hear or see this process working on the minds of men on a massive scale.

Why is this transition being so successful at the moment? Because "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor 4:4), and "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thess 2:10). The transformation of men's minds is escalating the process of preparing men to accept a "Christ" who will usher them into "the kingdom of God." What a time for this new lie of the adversary to arise: "Satan does not have a kingdom." Soon the process and the lie will bring forth a world leader, a counterfeit "Christ" empowered by "the dragon [who gives] him his power, and his seat, and great authority" and they'll be calling it "the kingdom of God" (Rev. 13:2.) Then, as Robert Mueller said, the earth will become what it was intended to be, "the Planet of God."


Notice in Revelation 13:2 that the devil (the dragon) has power: "the dragon gave him his power." Strong's (G1410) says the word "power" means "miraculous power." He has "a seat", meaning "a throne" (Strong's G2362). He has "great authority," meaning "exceeding authority" (Strong's G1849 G3173). And the devil, the head of "the rulers of the darkness of this world, . . . spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12), will give all of this to one man, who will manifest the adversary's miraculous power and great authority from the throne he receives from Satan. This, too, is an evolutionary process and we are now seeing it grow before our very eyes. We are seeing miraculous power manifested, e.g., the meetings held by Benny Hinn. We are seeing great authority manifested through the rise of the global church while the faithful remnant seems to have less of a voice than ever. Good pastors have been thrown out of their churches, radio programs shut down for opposing facets of this move, researchers threatened - the stories go one and on.

We are not yet seeing the throne that will rule over this pseudo-kingdom of God that will soon be manifested. But the power and authority of the evil one is being manifested in men and through men to bring the world and the Church to a point where that throne can be set in place in the visible world. In other words, we are seeing the kingdom of darkness becoming manifest in this physical world. Who is allowing the adversary to do such things? We need to look at the full picture. God has allowed Satan to retain a degree of authority to deceive the nations and to give a man his POWER, THRONE AND AUTHORITY. But it is man who has given him THE RIGHT to do it. How is that? Because Satan rules the darkness of this world, his realm (kingdom) of operation, and that darkness is found in the hearts of men who refuse to love the truth.


Daniel spoke of the endtime manifested kingdom of darkness ruled over by the antichrist, the horn that makes war with the saints and prevails against them:

Daniel 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth KINGDOM upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

The fourth and final beast is a kingdom. It is the kingdom of the antichrist, but also a manifestation of the kingdom of darkness, because Satan is really ruling and working through him (Revelation 13:2 "the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.")

Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter.

Verses 24-26 speak of the kingdom of the antichrist, the puppet of Satan who will rule with the adversary's miraculous power, sit on his throne, and enforce his authority. This kingdom will be a kingdom ruled by one man as a servant of Satan and subject to Satan's authority. But it's a petty kingdom in the light of "the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom" (v. 27.) Notice: God's Kingdom is an EVERLASTING KINGDOM, while Satan's is not. And though God's kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, existent and prepared by God before He created anything, it won't be visibly established in the whole earth until Jesus returns:

Daniel 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

This is speaking of two kingdoms set up visibly in the last of days: first the kingdom of darkness, then the Kingdom of God. The stone, of course, is Jesus' future return to put all enemies under His feet and rule visibly on the earth. Daniel 7:22 says, "and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." And Matthew wrote about this time:

Matt 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

But what we need to ask is where is the kingdom of darkness NOW and where is the Kingdom of God NOW?


Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

In other words, the Kingdom of God is within each of us now, because of God's mercy and grace and our faith in Him and His word. In the present, the Kingdom of God can be "seen" in His people, who know that they are righteous before Him by His grace, that they are at peace with Him by His mercy, and that they rejoice in Him as the only one who could accomplish something we could not. In other words, the kingdom of God in His people is the character of Christ formed in them by the Holy Spirit, and that righteousness, peace and joy will be the standard in the kingdom of God when Christ makes it visible on the earth. This Kingdom will one day be manifested in visible form. Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings, now in the hearts of God's people by faith, will return in the sky to the earth, visibly and bodily, and by His presence and His rule, the world will see that Kingdom of God manifested openly:

As W. E. Vine says,

"Thus at the present time and so far as this earth is concerned, where the King is and where His rule is acknowledged, is, first, in the heart of the individual believer, Acts 4:19; Eph. 3:17; 1 Pet. 3:15; and then in the churches of God, 1 Cor. 12:3,5,11; 14:37; cp. Col. 1:27, where for 'in' read 'among.'

There is a Proverb in another translation of Scripture (I've forgotten which) that says, "As the king is, so goes the city." So it is with Christ in the hearts of God's people. The Lord of lords and King of kings is now in His people, and therefore the Kingdom of God is internally present in us, though it is not visible to the rest of the world. When He returns bodily, He will put down all other kingdoms as preparation for His rule over the nations. The Kingdom of God will be visibly manifested because He has been visibly manifested.

W. E. Vine's notes on the word "kingdom" are as follows:

1, basileia, [932] is primarily an abstract noun, denoting "sovereignty, royal power, dominion," e.g., Rev. 17:18, translated "(which) reigneth," lit., "hath a kingdom" (RV marg.); then, by metonymy, a concrete noun, denoting the territory or people over whom a king rules, e.g., Matt. 4:8; Mark 3:24. It is used especially of the "kingdom" of God and of Christ.

"The Kingdom of God is (a) the sphere of God's rule, Ps. 22:28; 145:13; Dan. 4:25; Luke 1:52; Rom. 13:1,2. Since, however, this earth is the scene of universal rebellion against God, e.g., Luke 4:5,6; 1 John 5:19; Rev. 11:15-18, the "kingdom" of God is (b) the sphere in which, at any given time, His rule is acknowledged. God has not relinquished His sovereignty in the face of rebellion, demoniac and human, but has declared His purpose to establish it, Dan. 2:44; 7:14; 1 Cor. 15:24,25. Meantime, seeking willing obedience, He gave His law to a nation and appointed kings to administer His "kingdom" over it, 1 Chron. 28:5. Israel, however, though declaring still a nominal allegiance shared in the common rebellion, Isa. 1:2-4, and, after they had rejected the Son of God, John 1:11 (cp. Matt. 21:33-43), were "cast away," Rom. 11:15,20,25. Henceforth God calls upon men everywhere, without distinction of race or nationality, to submit voluntarily to His rule. Thus the "kingdom" is said to be "in mystery" now, Mark 4:11, that is, it does not come within the range of the natural powers of observation, Luke 17:20, but is spiritually discerned, John 3:3 (cp. 1 Cor. 2:14). When, hereafter, God asserts His rule universally, then the "kingdom" will be in glory, that is, it will be manifest to all; cp. Matt. 25:31-34; Phil. 2:9-11; 2 Tim. 4:1,18.

"Thus, speaking generally, references to the Kingdom fall into two classes, the first, in which it is viewed as present and involving suffering for those who enter it, 2 Thess. 1:5; the second, in which it is viewed as future and is associated with reward, Matt. 25:34, and glory, Matt. 13:43. See also Acts 14:22.

"The fundamental principle of the Kingdom is declared in the words of the Lord spoken in the midst of a company of Pharisees, "the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you," Luke 17:21, marg., that is, where the King is, there is the Kingdom. Thus at the present time and so far as this earth is concerned, where the King is and where His rule is acknowledged, is, first, in the heart of the individual believer, Acts 4:19; Eph. 3:17; 1 Pet. 3:15; and then in the churches of God, 1 Cor. 12:3,5,11; 14:37; cp. Col. 1:27, where for "in" read "among."

"Now, the King and His rule being refused, those who enter the Kingdom of God are brought into conflict with all who disown its allegiance, as well as with the desire for ease, and the dislike of suffering and unpopularity, natural to all. On the other hand, subjects of the Kingdom are the objects of the care of God, Matt. 6:33, and of the rejected King, Heb. 13:5.

"Entrance into the Kingdom of God is by the new birth, Matt. 18:3; John 3:5, for nothing that a man may be by nature, or can attain to by any form of self-culture, avails in the spiritual realm. And as the new nature, received in the new birth, is made evident by obedience, it is further said that only such as do the will of God shall enter into His Kingdom, Matt. 7:21, where, however, the context shows that the reference is to the future, as in 2 Pet. 1:10,11. Cp. also 1 Cor. 6:9,10; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5.

"The expression 'Kingdom of God' occurs four times in Matthew, 'Kingdom of the Heavens' usually taking its place. The latter (cp. Dan. 4:26) does not occur elsewhere in NT, but see 2 Tim. 4:18, "His heavenly Kingdom." ... This Kingdom is identical with the Kingdom of the Father (cp. Matt. 26:29 with Mark 14:25), and with the Kingdom of the Son (cp. Luke 22:30). Thus there is but one Kingdom, variously described: of the Son of Man, Matt. 13:41; of Jesus, Rev. 1:9; of Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. 4:1; "of Christ and God," Eph. 5:5; "of our Lord, and of His Christ," Rev. 11:15; "of our Lord, and of His Christ," Rev. 11:15; "of our God, and the authority of His Christ," 12:10; "of the Son of His love," Col. 1:13.

"Concerning the future, the Lord taught His disciples to pray, "Thy Kingdom come," Matt. 6:10, where the verb is in the point tense, precluding the notion of gradual progress and development, and implying a sudden catastrophe as declared in 2 Thess. 2:8.

"Concerning the present, that a man is of the Kingdom of God is not shown in the punctilious observance of ordinances, which are external and material, but in the deeper matters of the heart, which are spiritual and essential, viz., 'righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit,' Rom. 14:17." * [* From Notes on Thessalonians by Hogg and Vine, pp. 68-70.] (An Extract).

Furthermore, so it is not misunderstood, the kingdom of God in us is not reaching sinless pefection so we can manifest immortality and visible glory BEFORE Christ returns. We do not become a corporate "Christ" or "little christs" who "bring in the kingdom" and manifest "the glory" BEFORE Chrhist's visible, personal return. He brings in the kingdom and he alone is the Christ of God. We are only sinenrs saved by God's wonderful grace.

THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS: Only A Metaphor or Idiom?

If the Kingdom of God is presently in the hearts of men, where then is the kingdom of darkness? Scripture says that it, too, is in the hearts of men, and I will get into that reality in the next part or parts of this series. Right now, the kingdom of darkness is not a kingdom openly seen, though it is progressively coming forth and is more noticeable almost daily. One day, the darkness of sin and death and hatred for the truth in the hearts of men will be manifested in one man as the epitome of all men. This kingdom of darkness, and its "christ" (though he is no Christ at all,) will be manifested upon the earth BEFORE Jesus Christ returns to set up God's Kingdom.

The lie we are hearing today is that the devil does not have a kingdom. Yet Jesus said,

Luke 11:18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. 19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

One of the two emails I received saying Satan does not have a kingdom also referred to these verses and said this:

"I believe that all of the scriptures you quoted are idiomatic or metaphoric and that God is in control of all satan does. Satan's kingdom is only in his own mind."

Spiritual realities cannot be equated with figures of speech. The one is truth, whether seen or unseen, and the other is an abstract way of expressing a thought. Jesus used one figure of speech, "the finger of God," in the above verses. But God's Kingdom and Satan's kingdom are reality. Here's the definition of "idiom":

IDIOM: 1, the language or tongue of a people or country; also, a dialect, expression, or construction peculiar to a group or section.

In Jesus' words above, He wasn't using an expression peculiar to the Jews, something only they would understand. He had just cast a real devil out of a real man and was now disputing their accusation that He'd done this real work through "Beelzebub the chief of the devils." If what Jesus said about Satan having a kingdom was idiomatic, then the rest of what He said was idiomatic, too. But in verse 20, Jesus identifies Himself with the Kingdom of God that is our future inheritance as well as a present reality in our hearts. This is not an idiom, but spiritual reality.

Likewise, is God's kingdom and Jesus' manifestation of the Sovereignty of God's Kingdom over Satan's kingdom a metaphor? A metaphor for what? Jesus is speaking of realities in these verses. The phrase "Kingdom of God" is not a metaphor, nor are Jesus' words, "But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you." Here's the definition of a metaphor:

METAPHOR 1 : a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money); broadly : figurative language -- compare SIMILE 2 : an object, activity, or idea treated as a metaphor : SYMBOL 2

What could God's Kingdom and Satan's kingdom be metaphors for? Is there anything beyond actual spiritual kingdoms that these terms symbolize? Jesus was not speaking in figures or symbols, but about realities. Those in the "revival" constantly symbolize the realities of God's word, and their doing so opens the door for John Wimber's "God is bigger than His word" deal, which in turn allows them to put Scripture aside and accept virtually any action or teaching as from God.

The email quoted above says that Satan's kingdom is only in his mind, but it originated in his heart when sin was found in him. It's true that he originated the idea - but he is progressively working what is in his heart and mind to bring it to an outward manifestation, and what is in his heart is his five "I will's," but only on a temporary, earthly level. He will never touch the throne, power, or authority of God as God. He will never be like our God:

Is 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Eventually, he'll get what he wants through lies, deceptions, miraculous signs and wonders: the worship of the nations through a false Christ, and the establishment of his counterfeit kingdom of God. Right now, he's advancing his kingdom to the point of manifestation through the process of darkening the minds of men to the gospel.

In the verses from Luke 11 above, the word "kingdom," whether used in reference to Satan or God, is the same Greek word, with this meaning:

KINGDOM 932. basileia, bas-il-i'-ah; from G935; prop. royalty, i.e. (abstr.) rule, or (concr.) a realm (lit. or fig.):--kingdom, + reign.

This word is taken from another word,

935. basileus, bas-il-yooce'; prob. from G939 (through the notion of a foundation of power); a sovereign (abs., rel. or fig.):--king.

The emphasis in this passage is on the fact that a "kingdom" is the ruling of a king over a realm of one sort or another. So says this definition from Strongs. So says the "revival" as well, always using KING for their "Christ's" coming, even though they are speaking of a different king and a different kingdom.

Satan has his realm ("kingdom" by definition) - darkness - and God has His, and God has brought and is bringing His Kingdom to earth in the person of His Son and the power of His Spirit, according to the timetable and will of the Father. There is no hope at all for the triumph of the kingdom of darkness - none at all. It is not a battle over which kingdom will rule the earth. That was settled in the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. God has assured us by the sending of His Son once and, soon, a second time that we who believe in Him will inherit His Kingdom. What the battle is over is the hearts and souls of men, and who they will be with for all eternity. They'll either be in the lake of fire with Satan and all those in his kingdom (or realm) of darkness, or with God in the Kingdom He prepared before creation for those who love Him with their whole being because of His Spirit in their hearts. What we need to know is where these spiritual kingdoms are located NOW, as the time approaches for the manifestation of each in their proper order.

As for the kingdoms of the world, the actual nations which the New Age and the "Revival" want to make into the "Kingdom of God," the devil spoke of these kingdoms in reference to himself in Luke 4:4-6, while in Revelation 11:15 we hear a voice speaking of these same kingdoms in reference to our Lord. The reigns, first of the devil through antichrist by Satan's power, authority and throne, and then of God through Jesus by God's power, authority and throne, over the kingdoms or nations of this world is yet to come. The difference is that Jesus is not subject to the power, authority and throne of the evil one, while the evil one is definitely subject to His. God is allowing Satan to do as he will within certain boundaries, and God's reason for that is the forebearabce towards sinners that all might come to love the truth and be saved. By the time we reach Armageddon, every sinful man will have made their choice who they want to rule over them, Satan through his lies and deceptions, or, God, through the gospel of the Lamb and His finished work. Satan will visibly reign first through antichrist, deceiving the nations into worshiping him. This will be followed by Christ reigning over the nations at His return, when He chains the devil in the bottomless pit for the duration of His millennial reign, and all the nations will have to come to Jerusalem to worship Him.

The nations of this world are made up of people, and as individuals, these people, no matter what nation they reside in, can be in either Satan's kingdom or God's Kingdom. The determining factor is whether or not they believe God's word as it reveals His Son. If not, they remain in darkness and are considered as part of the kingdom of darkness.

I will discuss these themes in Part Two.