“For NATION SHALL RISE AGAINST NATION AND, KINGDOM AGAINST KINGDOM (capitals mine): and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
If you are like me, after reading parts of the Bible numerous times, you may have in the past glossed over Jesus’s prophecy about one of the things we must be looking for in the Last Days. While He told His disciples what to specifically be looking to happen, He later said these were only the beginning of sorrows, or the events which will happen during the Last Days. They, along with others, must occur with increasing frequency, intensity and convergence, and then “…the end will come.”
I have written in a number of posts about each of them (Is the Convergence of Prophetic Events explained in the Bible?, Diseases ARE Increasing (as the Bible Prophesied for the Last Days), Jesus DID say we would have “…famines & pestilences.”, Jesus DID say we would have “…earthquakes”, Jesus DID say we would have “…wars and rumors of wars”? ) but it recently hit me when I was reading Matthew 24, to question what is the difference between “nations” and “kingdoms” He specifically differentiated between? When I read about “…nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”, I automatically assumed He is referring to increases in war around the world. And I still believe that is true and all the wars of the past 100 years point to it. But why did He call them out as both “nations” and “kingdoms”? What is the difference between them?
Being old school, I decided to look both words up in the dictionary like I used to do when I was a kid. Of course, today you simply need to do an internet search of those words in the dictionary. What I found were unsuspected, amazing differences between “nation” and “kingdom”!
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines NATION as “a community of people composed of one or more nationalities and possessing a more or less defined territory and government.” Think of the United States of America. We are a “nation” composed of many different people, people of different races, religions and backgrounds. Our nation ideally is one “composed” of varying types of people and the U.S. Constitution gives us a very defined Federal government with the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights under which we live. The people elect their leaders and there is a very definitive process for changing the Constitutional Law we all follow if needed.
The Merriam-Dictionary defines KINGDOM as “a politically organized community or major territorial unit having a monarchical form of government headed by a king or queen.” Here we see the definition which separates the “nation” from the “kingdom.” Take note! The definition of a kingdom is not necessarily one that ONLY resembles, for example, Great Britain but clearly states it is a POLITICALLY ORGANIZED community which has a monarchical form of government. While Great Britain has a king, it is today actually governed by Parliament. In other words, a kingdom is ruled by a leader/monarch, and it is his/her will that determines the law, not one the people adhere to through democratic choice.
“Thou (Nebuchadnezzar), O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom (Babylon), power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given unto thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.”
When Daniel interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, he referred to not only the KINGDOM of Babylon then in power but the following kingdoms to come (Medo-Persian, Greek, Roman and in the LAST DAYS, the reborn Roman kingdom) as well.
“And after thee shall arise another kingdom (Medo-Persia aka Iran) inferior to thee, and another third kingdom (Greek) of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom (Roman) shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of the potters clay, and part of the iron, the kingdom (future reborn Roman Kingdom) shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.”
Behind the Greek word for kingdom (basileia) lies the Aramaic term malkut, which Jesus may have used. Malkut refers primarily not to a geographical area or realm nor to the people inhabiting the realm but rather, to the ACTIVITY of the king himself, his exercise of sovereign power. At the very least, nation and kingdom are synonyms for national entities. However, it appears to me from the context included that there is a progression from nation (ethnos) to a confederation of nations that form a kingdom (basileia). One possibility could be the idea a kingdom might include greater nations, embraced within one political/ideological sphere various distinct nationalities. If this is the case, then the passage is saying that nations will be fighting against nations and groups of nations will also be fighting against each other. One example would be similar to the military alliance during the Cold War where NATO was aligned against the Warsaw Pact.
Upon reading these definitions I was struck with the difference today in many countries, including the U.S., where there are so many battles between people wanting to live in a “nation” and others who are intent on changing a “nation” into a perfect “kingdom”. Again, going back 50 -100 years ago, we had nations fighting against nations in wars like World War I and World War II. There were also smaller wars in our history of nations like North Vietnam fighting against a nation like South Vietnam which affected only a few other militarily involved countries. Fortunately, today, there are fewer nation against nation conflicts.
Unfortunately, the number of “kingdom against kingdom” conflicts has dramatically been on the rise in just the past few years. Typically, but not always, these are internal conflicts over the way a nation will be ruled. One only has to think about the problems going on today in China (vs. Taiwan); Venezuela; Syria, Iran, even Israel, and yes, for sure the United States of America! It was not that long ago U.S. involvement in wars between nations united our country to ensure we as a nation survived and that we won the war. Think of the many sacrifices Americans made in WWI and WWII, regardless of their political affiliation. But we are no longer a nation! We are assuredly on the path to becoming a kingdom!
“And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”
At least in my lifetime I have never seen such a battle over governmental control as the one we are now facing. This is not just a battle/election to determine whether we will move towards being more Republican or more Democratic. This is a decision about morality, sanctity of unborn life, capitalism vs. socialism, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, support for the nation of Israel, and so many, many more issues currently being publicly debated between the two political parties. No longer are we working together and trying to build our needed infrastructure, improve education or reduce healthcare costs in a bipartisan way. No! Today the political cry is “It is my way or the highway!” Never have I seen our country more divided than it is today. And, perhaps most striking is, as recent polls show, Americans evenly divided with 50% proclaiming to be conservative/moderates supporting our existing democracy and 50% claiming to be liberal/progressive and supporting changing to a liberal, socialist “kingdom”. Our issue is no longer a “nation” issue, it is a “kingdom” issue with a monarchy waiting to tell us what to do or say based wholly on their belief of what will make this country better. No longer do the rules pertain to Constitutional governing but rather to a very few elites who demand to mandate to us their own liberal, singular vision of a socialist utopia.
“But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against an house falleth”
In my mind, there is absolutely no question the U.S. is divided, and the net result will end exactly the way the Bible prophesied. We have become a nation divided and we will not stand. Now, to be quite frank, this does not necessarily pertain only to the next election but rather it could be setting the stage for years to come of internal conflict which will destroy our country and ultimately will also have grave consequences on the rest of the world.
“Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all people; The prophets that have been before me and therefore of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.”
If you have followed this blog for very long, you may recall an article I wrote back early in 2019. This post Socialism vs. Capitalism – Which does the Bible Endorse? was designed to tell others what the Bible says about the differences we are now debating our future. As I have said on a number of occasions, my purpose in writing these articles is not to get political. But let’s face the facts. This prophecy of “nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom” is all about politics! The Bible has prophesied about the Last Days and the reign of the anti-christ. He will establish a one world, monarchial government! He will establish an economic system with the Mark of the Beast that all must adhere to in order to buy or sell. He will change calendars in a way so to eliminate established holidays like Christmas, Yom Kippur, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, etc. He will not allow the world to continue to honor our God or His son Jesus Christ. He himself will demand to be worshiped AS God while sitting in the then rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. His False Prophet will therefore create a one world religion and anyone who fails to worship the anti-christ and take his Mark of the Beast, will be martyred (killed). BUT, if you take the Mark, you will spend eternity in hell as a result. DON’T EVER TAKE THE MARK! DO NOT FORGET THIS!
When the anti-christ first appears riding the white horse with a bow but NO arrows, this indicates he will initially establish his one world government in peace. He will “confirm” the 7-year Peace Treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians allowing the Jews to rebuild their 3rd Holy Temple. All of these things are done politically. Hopefully, this proves we simply cannot ignore the direction the U.S. and the rest of the world are currently moving.
But you know what is comforting? God already knows the outcome of our decisions! Whether it goes the way each and every one of us would prefer doesn’t matter. God knows the outcome and His Plan will remain intact and work out the exact way He wants it to. When Jesus Christ Returns at Armageddon, He will throw the anti-christ and False Prophet into hell forever! He will bind up Satan for 1,000 years during His Reign of Peace and Righteousness on earth and will then finally defeat Satan and throw him into hell forever, where he will join the anti-christ and False Prophet who have been anxiously waiting for him. Yes, the results of the next election will be disappointing to 50% of the people and will make the other 50% ecstatic. But if all Christians understand what awaits them, then 100% of Believers will be excited about God’s Plan coming to fruition. Tell others it is now time to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. If they do this and repent of their sins, they will be with Jesus in Heaven FOREVER! You can do this by passing this post along and doing what He asked us all to do, and that is to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” Not my words. His Word, the Holy Bible!
May God Bless you as we await the prophesied fulfillment of His Word!