The War of the Kingdoms
Message by:
Leroy Surface (reprinted by permission)

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  Matthew 24:7

The entire world is in turmoil.  It is preparing for battle.  In Matthew 24:7, Jesus, giving signs of the end, said, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”  The only warfare we as a nation can understand is that which is called “nation against nation.”  This present conflict is not such.  For perhaps the first time in modern history we are seeing “kingdom warfare,” and it has thrown the nations into perplexity.  America prepares to do war against a nation.  We have the military might to conquer any nation on the planet.  Our military superiority is unchallenged among the nations of the world, but we must understand that our warfare is not against a “nation,” but against a “kingdom.”  America is not prepared to do warfare against these kingdoms because they are spiritual, and not carnal.  While I will rejoice to see Saddam Hussein removed from power in Iraq, I also understand that Saddam is only a flesh and blood manifestation of the one who has risen against us.  Our warfare is with the one called “Apollyon” in Revelation 9:11.  He is the “angel” of the bottomless pit.  He is the “king” of the “locusts” that are swarming out of the pit.  The nation we are preparing war against is the site of ancient “Babylon.”  The river Euphrates runs through that nation.  According to Revelation 9:14, there are four “angels” that have been bound in that river for thousands of years.  I do not believe these “angels” represent earthly kings or nations.  Rather, it is most likely they are spiritual “principalities” after the order of, and serving under “Apollyon,” the locust king.  Probably the next prophetic event is the “loosening” of these four “angels” with their armies of two hundred million.  These armies represent no nation, but are men and women who are “possessed” with the spirit of the locust king, Apollyon.  They are led to battle by the four “angels” out of the river Euphrates.  According to Revelation 9:15, these have been prepared “for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year,” to slay the third part of men.  If America’s warfare were only with a nation, it would be an “easy in, easy out” affair with little loss of life, but in fact, we are potentially facing the greatest slaughter of human life the world has ever seen. 

The Locust Kingdom

Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:  Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. Joel 2:6-8

If the locust army has been prepared for this hour, so the church of Jesus Christ must also be prepared for this same hour.  Certainly, the provision has been made for the children of God.  Paul tells in II Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God…”  The “locust army” comes with knives, guns, bombs, nerve gases, and bacterial plagues.  Their secret weapon has been the suicide bomber.  The prophet Joel prophesied concerning these “suicide bombers” twenty five hundred years ago when he said “…when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.”  To “fall upon the sword” has forever been a term used for taking your own life.  The phrase “they shall not be wounded” should be translated “they shall not be stopped.”  God made it clear in Joel 2:25 that this great army is the “locust army.”  It will continue and increase until there is weeping and repentance in the altars of God.  None of America’s carnal weapons of war can stop them.  If we kill a million of them, they are commanded to kill a million of us.  Nothing will deter them from their purpose for they are possessed with the spirit of Apollyon, and prepared for this hour. 

The children of God have no bombs, missiles, or rifles to do battle with.  All these are carnal weapons and are of no value against a spiritual enemy.  The use of them can only magnify the problem.  When David faced Goliath, he said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”  It is only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that is of power to conquer the locust army.  It is wonderful to see in Revelation 9:4, that when the locust swarm out of the pit, they have power to hurt “…only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”  It is a promise of God to His people such as is given in Psalms 91:4-10: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.  Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” 

The “Kingdom of Priests”

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Exodus 19:5-6

There were three things God promised to Israel if they would obey His voice and keep His covenant.  They would be, number one, a “peculiar treasure,” above all people; Number two, they would be a “kingdom of Priests;” and, number three, they would be a “holy nation.”  All of Israel heard the voice of God speaking from Mount Sinai, but they drew back, saying, “let not God speak with us lest we die.”  They refused His voice and broke His covenant, and never, in all the thousands of years of their existence, did they receive the promise of God concerning them.  If they had simply obeyed God’s voice and kept His covenant, they would have been everything God said they would be.  Instead, the “Law of Moses” was added until the “seed (Christ) should come to whom the promise was made (Galatians 3:16-19).”  Instead of being a “Kingdom of Priests,” where each individual dwelt in the presence of God, they received the Levitical “priesthood” where only a very few could approach to God, and that only after many ceremonial washings and offerings.  Animal sacrifices were incorporated into Moses’ Law, but the prophet Jeremiah tells us in Jeremiah 7:21-23 that they were never God’s purpose for His people.  Had they obeyed God’s voice at Sinia they would have been the “Kingdom of Priests.”

When Jesus Christ came, He “came unto His own, and His own received Him not (John 1:11).”  Just as their forefathers had refused the “Word” of God spoken from Sinai, these refused the “Word made flesh (John 1:14),” who came from Heaven.  “But as many as received Him,” John said, “to them gave He power to become the sons of God (John 1:12)…”  Peter speaks to those who “received Him,” saying, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God (I Peter 2:9-10).” 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:9-10

Jesus sits at the right hand of God, and reigns on earth as our great “High Priest.”  His church is a “Royal Priesthood,” or, a “Kingdom of Priests.”  In Revelation 1:5, John begins his Revelation with a salutation, saying, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father…”  Notice the words “…hath made us kings and priests…”  This phrase should read, “…hath made us a kingdom of priests…”  We, the children of God, are not “kings,” but we are “priests,” and as the “new song” of the redeemed says in Revelation 5:9-10, “we shall reign on the earth.”  It is the purpose of God that His people should reign with Him in this present age with a priestly reign.  Ours is not a “political” authority, but a “spiritual” authority.  If we only knew the nature of the authority God has given us under Christ we would quickly see our nation visited with revival once more.  We would see America become truly “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”  It is not a battle we would win at the “polls,” but at the “altar.” 

Reigning With Christ

The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.  The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.  Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.  The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.  He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.  He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head. Psalms 110:1-7

The hundred and tenth chapter of Psalms is to me the most intriguing of all the Psalms.  It is prophetic; it is fulfilled in a particular time frame; it pinpoints its beginning and its ending; and, it speaks a special message to the people of God for our day.  We are the generation that the ends of the world are come upon.  We have been called to a purpose that no other generation has been called to.  If we are “willing,” we will see the hand of God extended in greater power than any generation since Adam.  We will not only see, but will also be “members in particular” of that glorious church of prophecy, which is the “fullness of Him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:23).” 

This prophecy spans one “day” of time.  It is called “…the day of thy (our Lords) power.”  The church described in the book of Acts was in the “…womb of the morning…” of this day.  We of this generation are at the “dusk” of day, with the sun lowering in the sky.  This “day” of prophecy began when Jesus ascended to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of His Father.  It will end when He leaves that throne and bodily returns to this earth in His “second coming.”  The fullness of this prophecy is in that interim period between the ascension and the second coming of Jesus Christ.  If we can believe the words of the prophecy, we will understand God’s purpose for His church on this earth.

“The LORD said unto my Lord…” 

According to “Strong’s” lexicon, the Hebrew word for “LORD” is “Yehovah,” the “self existent, the eternal.”  It is the “name” of the only living and true God.  The word “Lord” is from the Hebrew word “’adown (aw-done’),” which means “sovereign.”  David, was seeing His Messiah, the man “Christ Jesus,” the Son of God.  The Father, God almighty was speaking to His only begotten Son, Jesus.  The entire one hundred tenth Psalm is revealing the relationship between the Father and the Son as they sit on the throne in Heaven.  It will also reveal the nature of our Lord’s reign at the right hand of God.

“…sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” 

Jesus was caught up to the throne of God Himself.  According to Philippians 2:9 He was “highly exalted, and given a name above every name…”  He would continue to sit in His Father’s throne, at the right hand, until His enemies were made His footstool.  In Philippians 2:10, He is given the promise that, at His name, “…every knee (would) bow…and every tongue (would) confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  In Acts 2:33-36, Peter explained the “meaning (Acts 2:12)” of the “Holy Ghost baptism” with these words, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool.  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 

“The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” 

Jesus is “commanded” to “rule” in the midst of His enemies even while He sits in the throne at His Father’s right hand.  He has the promise that His Father will “send the rod of thy strength out of Zion.”  “Zion” is prophetic of the “church.”  In Hebrews 12:18-23, the writer makes this fact very clear, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched…But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn…  Do not confuse this “reign” of Christ with His millennial reign, which is “after” His bodily return to earth.  Jesus sits on the throne of Heaven today, possessor of “all power in Heaven and in Earth (Matthew 28:18).”  He sits on the throne of Heaven to rule in the midst of His enemies on earth.  The “rod” of His strength must be sent out of His church.  He told His church to “Go ye therefore…” based upon, and under, His power and authority (Matthew 28:18-19).  Every knee, in Heaven, in Earth, and under the earth (Philippians 2:10), must bow “at His name.”  This speaks of Angels, principalities, powers, circumstances, sickness, disease, and every unclean spirit, must bow at His name, and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.


“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power…”
 

The Hebrew word translated “willing” in this verse is taken from a Hebrew term meaning a “freewill offering.”  It also speaks of the “spontaneity” of those who become the freewill offering.  Remember the plea of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1 to, “…present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  Our “service” to God is our flesh and blood bodies offered to God on the altar of sacrifice, a “living sacrifice” that is “holy” and “acceptable” to Him.  If God is to send forth the rod of His strength out of His people, He must have our “members (Romans 6:13) and our “bodies (I Corinthians 6:15) to make up His “members (I Corinthians 12:12-27) and His “body (Ephesians 1:22-23).” 

God has never forced anyone to serve Him.  We must be “freewill offerings.”  It is not a sacrifice that we “bring;” it is the sacrifice that we “are.”  The promise of His Father to Jesus is that His people would be such “…in the day of thy power.”

“…in the beauties of holiness…”

This phrase is yet speaking of “thy people… in the day of thy power.”  They will not only be “freewill offerings” on the altar to God, but they will be offered in all the “beauties of holiness.”  The Hebrew word translated “beauties” is a “plural” word, which primary meaning is “magnificence.”  Being a plural word, it speaks of many “magnificences” of holiness.  Certainly, the many “beauties” of holiness is a proper translation. 

Let’s consider for a minute the “holiness” mentioned in this verse.  In Acts 3:12, Peter speaks of “our own power or holiness.”  The great miracle of the healing of the man at the gate beautiful had just taken place.  All the people ran to Peter and John simply to “look” upon them.  Peter said, “why look you so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?”  Peter had power and holiness of his own, but neither could bring or do the works of God.  Every child of God has, of necessity, a personal holiness.  Our holiness will be manifest in modesty of appearances.  In truth, personal holiness is expressed in what we “are not” and what we “do not.”  Hebrews 12:10, however, speaks of our being made partakers of “His holiness.”  The best way I know of to explain “His holiness,” is that which causes the Seraphims around the throne of God to cry day and night, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts (Isaiah 6:3)...”  Thousands of years later, in Revelation 4:8, they are still crying without rest, night and day, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.”  They worship Him, and give honor to Him, not because they must, but because of “His holiness.”  The “beauties of holiness” is “all that He is” and that, we are made partakers of, when we are “…willing, in the day of His power.”

“…from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” 

I researched several of the old bible scholars on this phrase.  They all agreed on one thing, it is an obscure phrase.  Each of them had a different paraphrase, some of them comparing the children of God to the qualities of dew, along with several other opinions.  A personal search of each of the Hebrew words used in this phrase brought me to a conclusion that is, admittedly, not shared by the scholars.  The proper translation of this phrase is the following; “…from the womb of the morning until the dew of youth.”  We remember that the entire prophecy is of one “day.”  The “womb of the morning” was the “dawn” of that day, beginning with the ascension of Jesus and the pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon His people.  The Apostles of our Lord “presented their bodies” as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.  In turn, God sent forth the rod of His strength through them, and the world was “turned upside down” in their generation.  Jesus “reigned in the midst of His enemies,” and His people reigned with Him.  They raised no armies, had no weapons of destruction, and sought no political power, yet they shook the world.  Their authority over sin, sickness, and Satan was as they were under authority to our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord stretched forth His hand from the throne of Heaven, and it was manifest through His people on earth through miracles of salvation, healing, and deliverance.  This continued until the time spoken of in the prophecy as “the dew of youth.”  The morning “dew” lasts until about ten o’clock AM, while the “day” is still young.  It is a matter of record that the “church” lost her glory and power within a century of her birth.  Within three centuries the world was entering into the period that history would call “the dark ages,” which lasted for over a thousand years.  

During those “dark ages” a “church” rose to power that slaughtered with the sword those who would not “bow” before her and “confess” her “vicar (the Pope) to be lord.  It was the “church” that the Apostle John identified as the “mother of harlots” in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation.  This harlot “church” raised armies, built weapons of destruction and seized political power over the nations of the world.  The “spirit of anti-Christ” ruled over that church even as it ruled over the rest of the world.  Jesus still sat on the throne, but His voice was seldom heard and His works were seldom seen for over a thousand years.  During that period, all that remained of a true church was hidden high in the mountains and deep in the wildernesses of the world.  Millions of believers suffered and died for their faith during that awful time. 

“The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” 

This is the first time this phrase is found in the scriptures.  It seems prophetically to speak to the Son as He sits on the throne of Heaven during the time that darkness reigned over the whole earth.  The “glorious” church of the first century was bathed in it’s own blood by the enemies of our Lord, but the church flourished in the midst of persecution.  It was the entrance into the ranks of the church of false teachers and false doctrines that weakened and ultimately destroyed that early church.  The Father had promised that our Lord’s enemies would be made His footstool, yet it seemed the enemies of God had prevailed against the church with the possibility of eradicating the truth of the gospel from the hearts and minds of the people.  The Father reconfirms His promise to the Son in such a powerful manner: “I have sworn, and I will not change my mind!  You are a priest forever after the order of Melchezedek.”  It wasn’t over!  His “church” would revive.  Our Lord’s enemies would yet be made His footstool.

High in the mountains and deep in the wildernesses were a few people who held to the truth.  In every place they were discovered, the harlot “church” slaughtered them.  They were burned at the stake, they were slain by the sword, but they continued through the centuries, passing the truth on to their children.  There was but a very small remnant remaining, but there came a time that a few men with the knowledge of the truth began to boldly proclaim it.  These great men embraced the reproach of Christ.  They identified with Him in suffering.  They freely “offered themselves upon the sacrifice and service of the faith (Philippians 2:17),” and Jesus began, once again, to reign from the throne of Heaven.  Paul told us in II Timothy 2:11-12, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.”  These men willingly suffered for Christ and the gospel’s sake.  They “suffered”…and they “reigned” with Christ in the midst of His enemies.  A very few men of God shook the world once more, and gave a deadly wound to the beast that had held the world captive for over a thousand years.  God once again sent the rod of our Lord’s strength out of Zion, His church. 

“The Lord at thy right hand…” 

Throughout this prophecy, both “The LORD (upper case),” and, “The Lord (lower case) is spoken of.  In every place “The LORD” is used it is speaking of the Father.  When “The Lord” is used, it refers to Jesus, the Son of God.  This phrase should be translated as follows, “The Lord at the right hand…”

“…shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.” 

The day of this prophecy, called “the day of thy (the Lord’s) power,” will continue until Jesus’ literal return to earth again.  It is then that the world will see the fullness of “the day of His wrath.”  Jude tells us of the coming of the Lord in this way; “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed (Jude 1:14-15)…”  In II Thessalonians 1:7-8, Paul describes the same event in this way; “…the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The Apostle John tells us in Revelation 19:15, “…and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”  Each of these tells of the same events, which take place after the second coming of Jesus to earth.  It is not my purpose in this message to go into the events of “the day of His wrath,” or, “the day of the Lord,” or His “millennial reign.”  Our concern is rather the purpose of God for His church while Jesus yet sits at the right hand of God.

Conclusion

Terrible things happen and people cry, “Where is God?”  More specifically, three thousand people perish on 9-11, and many demand, “Where was Jesus?”  The answer is, He was sitting on the throne of Heaven with “all power in Heaven and in Earth” in His hands.  Hitler slaughters six million Jews while Jesus sits on the throne.  America rushes into moral depravity, and Jesus is still at the right hand of God.  Our friends and loved ones are sick and perishing, but Jesus is still on the throne.  Why doesn’t He do something?  Why does He just sit there?  He has the power to change every evil thing; where is He when He is needed so much on earth?  These are the wrong questions.  The proper question is this; “Where is the church?” …His people?”  “Why do we just sit here?”  The answer is, we can do nothing else, and He can do nothing else, unless we, His people are “one” with Him.  He sits on the throne of Heaven, the head over all things to the church, which is His body.  At least, that is what the scriptures tell us.  We can do nothing without Him, and He can do nothing without us.  God has always “limited” Himself to His people.  The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt for several generations while God did nothing.  When Israel finally began to pray and lift up their cry to God (Exodus 2:23-25), He remembered His covenant with Abraham in their behalf, and said, “I am come down to deliver them (Exodus 3:7-8).”  Everything God did to deliver Israel, He did through Moses.  Moses was totally surrendered to God.  That is the reason He was called “the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:3).”  He was like a horse, broken to His master.  God could do anything with Moses.  When God would deliver Israel from the Midianites, He came to Gideon, the least in Israel, calling him a “mighty man of valor.”  “The LORD is with thee; Go, in this thy strength and thou shalt deliver Israel (Judges 6:12-14).”  What was Gideon’s strength?  The LORD was with him.  When Israel doubted God and refused to enter Canaan, the scripture says they “…limited the Holy One of Israel (Psalms 78:41).”  God was well able to give them the land, but He can do nothing without His people.

Jesus sits on the throne at the right hand of God.  The Father has promised to send the rod of His strength out of Zion.  He has told Jesus at His right hand to “reign in the midst of your enemies.”  The “stage” is set.  God is ready to intervene in the affairs of the nations.  He is ready to subdue kingdoms and harvest the nations, but, what about Zion?  What about His people, the church?  They must be “willing” in the day of the Lord’s power.  They must be “freewill offerings” to God.  They must be “spontaneous” in the power of the Holy Ghost.  These things can only come about through our total surrender to His purposes and a complete abandonment of ourselves to Him.  His manner of working through us is not through our carnal obedience to commands and participation in programs.  Instead, He would fill us with Himself.  It would be He and not us that would do the work. 

Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…”  This is the big issue with the children of God today; “Who is going to do the living.”  When this issue is settled as Paul settled it, we will see the glory of God.  Paul said, “Not I, but Christ.”  We are grateful for this wonderful salvation.  We are free from sin by the cross of Christ, sanctified by His blood, and “grateful” that we are no longer slaves to habit.  Now we can live our lives to the fullest, we think.  This thought is “modern Christianity.”  It says “Not Christ, but I.”  With that mindset in the church, Jesus still sits on the throne, and the world around us goes to Hell, and there is nothing we can do.  But, there is something we can do.  God’s word is true.  His promises are faithful.  Jesus still sits on the throne.  God is ready to stretch forth the rod of His strength.  Jesus is ready to rule in the midst of His enemies.  He is limited only by us.

God has repeatedly told us what to do.  Humble ourselves!  Pray!  Seek His face!  Turn from our way!  Then, and only then, will He hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land (II Chronicles 7:14).  Jesus said “Pray in secret.  The Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly (Matthew 6:6).”  Joel said, “Turn to God with all your heart, with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, and rend your hearts (Joel 2:12-13)...”  As a result, God has promised to remove the locust army out of our land and cause its stink to come up (Joel 2:20).  Let the enemies of our Lord Jesus Christ come with their bullets, bombs, and desolation.  Let us come in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the only true God.  God forbid that there should ever be a bomb dropped or a rifle fired in the name of Jesus Christ.  Our weapons are not carnal, but they are mighty through God (II Corinthians 10:4).  Our protection is the “Secret Place of the Most High (Psalms 91).”  In closing this short message, Pray for America and our President, but put your trust in the Lord.  “He saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S (I Samuel 17:47).”