How God deals with traitors in His Kingdom

It caused quite a stir when the New York Times published an anonymous letter indicating how people inside the administration work against Mr Trump.  How are leaders supposed to handle such things?  Does the Bible give us insight how the glorious eternal God, Ruler of the eternal Kingdom, will prevent something like that during His eternal reign? 

#  Jesus and the traitor in His midst

“Then of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?'” 1  It was the time of the Passover and Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims.  Therefore it was difficult for the leaders to know exactly where Jesus would be in the evening, as they did not want to draw unnecessary attention to their scheme to get rid of Him.

#  Jesus’ grace towards Judas 

Jesus identified Judas as the traitor in front of the other disciples. 2  That was to give Judas the opportunity to reconsider.  Why did Judas not repent?  There is a twofold answer: 

  • Judas loved money.  Lazarus and his sisters gave a dinner in Jesus’ honour.  Mary took some expensive perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet.  We read in John 12:1-6,  “But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray Him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?  It was worth a year’s wages?’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” 
  • Satan entered Judas.  ‘The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.’  Jesus identified Judas, “‘[The one who will betray me] is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’  Then, dipping the piece of bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.” 3 

#  God and traitors

  • God uses this age to identify the rebels, ‘independents’ and traitors who belong to the devil.  They themselves make it very clear they are not in the least interested in God and don’t want to be associated with Him.  Logically they will not be with God in the age to come.
  • Let’s compare God’s brilliance to Mr Trump’s dilemma.  He is the president, but he has no way to identify the secret traitors.  God’s advantage is that he knows all things.  Therefore He allows the traitors to expose themselves before the eternal Kingdom begins.  It is on this side of the grave that people pledge loyalty to God, through Jesus Christ. 

Conclusion

God’s called, chosen and faithful followers 4 will enjoy the privileges of the eternal reign of God.  What a precious reward for loyalty.  And Mr Trump?  As commanded in 1 Timothy 2:1-6, we are to pray for him as for other leaders.

References

  1. Matthew 26:14-15  
  2. Matthew 26:21-26  
  3. John 13:21-27  
  4. Revelation 17:14

The war against God proves He is real

God’s Kingdom is real. His enemy is real. We see the war against God and His people around us today. That should encourage and strengthen us as we continue to seek the Kingdom of God.

Wars are often fought over precious minerals.  An example is the Second Boer War (1899-1902). One of the main reasons for the war between the Transvaal (in South Africa) and Great Britain was the discovery of gold.  Other wars might be fought over freedom, a leader, or a better country.

#  The Kingdom

The war against God is about a future country, the Kingdom of God.  What exactly does ‘kingdom’ mean?  To understand it, let’s take a ‘normal’ country as an example.  It has a leader, a president or king, queen, or prime minister.  He or she governs over a nation in a specific territory, called by various names like England, America, et cetera.  A kingdom is therefore a group of people (a nation) with its leader, living in a country.

#  God is the King.

God reveals in the Bible that He will create or establish exactly such a country, but it will be different from all countries in the world.

  • The area.  It will be the new heaven and earth.
  • The King.  God is the undisputed King.  He will not be a democratic leader, voted for by the people.  We, while alive, ‘vote’ either for or against God.  If we vote against Him, we declare our intention not to become part of God’s Kingdom, but to remain in the kingdom of darknes ruled by the devil.
  • The citizens.  Those who accepted God as their Leader and their Lord.

#  God’s enemy

  • Most leaders and countries have enemies.  God also has an enemy.  God’s enemy was a high ranking angel in God’s administration who rebelled.  He chose to go his own way because of pride and ambition.
  • The devil’s defection tells us why there is a war against God and His plan for man, ‘And there was war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he [the dragon] was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.’ 1
  • The next verse explains it all, ‘But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!  He is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short.’ 2  It is not without reason that the Bible declares, ‘woe to the earth….’   The war is over man’s allegiance to God, to rob them of eternal life with Him.
  • The devil especially hates the followers of Christ, ‘Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.’ 3

Conclusion

God’s Kingdom is real.  His enemy is real.  We see the war against God and His people around us today.  That should encourage and strengthen us as we continue to seek the Kingdom of God. 4

References

  1. Revelation 12:7-9
  2. Revelation 12:12c
  3. Revelation 12:17
  4. Matthew 6:33

Can atheists be moral?

Can atheists be moral without the Bible? Of course they can!  Atheists, Moralsskeptics, Christians, Muslims and Communists can live moral lives. Nobody denies, or should deny, it. However, there is a difference between a moral lifestyle (independent of God) and a God-dependent lifestyle. The Bible is not about moral living per se, but about becoming part of God’s Kingdom, part of the family of God.

God’s Kingdom

In the Kingdom of God, there is only one Ruler (God). Obedience, which means doing what God wants, is the recipe for a successful eternal Kingdom. Those who have learned to love and obey the Lord God Almighty, is part of God’s Kingdom. This means that they adhere to a lifestyle as prescribed in the Bible. What the world calls a ‘moral lifestyle,’ the Bible calls ‘holiness,’ a life pleasing to the Lord.

The ‘moral’ unbeliever lives his good life mostly by self discipline. He does not want God in his life.  Contrary to that, the believer understands that God is the inspiration that makes it possible to live up to His standards. Nobody on earth can do what the Bible commands without God’s help. Let us look at an example in Scripture, ‘… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….’ 1   It is impossible to do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. God knows it and He proved it in the Old Testament with the failure of the Israelites to keep the Covenant. Somewhere, somehow, with the best intentions, we slip, break God’s rule, and that’s it. Yet ‘…without holiness no one will see the Lord.’ 2

Logically God wants ‘all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth,’ 3 so He provided His brilliant solution, Jesus. Jesus makes it possible for us to be in a relationship with God, and to have the Holy Spirit inside us. The Holy Spirit is our Personal Coach who teaches us for example to live according to the standards that we referred to above, ‘clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

To summarise:

  • The ‘moral’ man does it all by his own strength, with his own designed moral standard, which varies among people.
  • The believer in God has the power of the Holy Spirit who helps him to keep God’s unchangeable standards of living.
  • The moral lifestyle is commendable, but it has a limited value. When such a person dies, the morals die also.
  • Contrary to that, the Holy Spirit inspired lifestyle does not stop at death. It carries over to the eternal reign of God.

Conclusion

The lifestyle of the moral man is to be commended. It has value and benefits in this life. Nobody denies that.

Contrary to that, the person who lives a holy lifestyle has benefits not only in this life, but also in the life to come.

The one lasting difference is that only the Holy Spirit filled ‘holy’ person will be in God’s presence eternally.

References

  1. Colossians 3:12
  2. Hebrews 12:14b
  3. 1 Timothy 2:4