“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Tale of Two Kings, by Randall D. Kittle

“Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty — He is the King of glory.”

— Psalm 24:10

There is an old story from England of a great king who battled to bring unity and freedom to their land. He was so brave and courageous that his loyal subjects called him “the Lion-hearted.” He was an honest king who ruled justly and served not only his kingdom but God. After a time, the king felt that he was supposed to leave behind the power and prestige of his kingdom to serve the Lord on a great crusade. And so, he set off upon this quest leaving his brother to govern in his absence until he could return.

His brother’s heart, however, was not lion-hearted, but lying-hearted. His heart was filled with greed, deceit, and lust for power. He loved the prominence of ruling and how his every word became law. Soon, however, he no longer found pleasure in this and desired to make a name for himself. To this end, he raised taxes and oppressed the weak to build a vast treasury. He gathered and trained a strong army loyal to himself. (All of this, of course, he did in the name of his brother the true king.) At first, he was delighted with the acquisition of each piece of land and found pleasure in his ever-increasing wealth, but after a time these too grew tiresome in his eyes. He was weary of acting like the king and decided that only if he really became the king would he be satisfied. Many were appalled when they heard of his plans to usurp the true king’s crown, but they were dealt with harshly for questioning their “kings” authority.

Just as it seemed all hope was lost, the good king heard of his brother’s tyranny and returned with his army. Under the cover of night, the lion-hearted king landed his troops and marched to the castle. Surprising his unfaithful brother, he defeated him, took back his rightful throne, and set free those held in prison.

Strategy of Self-Service
To serve the king by caring for his subjects in his absence is a great honor. To take this honor and
employ it for personal pleasures and private gain reveals an impure heart. To take the position one
has been entrusted with and use it to try to seize the king’s own throne is rebellion and treason.

Yet this is what many leaders in the Church have done. They have taken the gifts and callings the Lord has given them and used these to attain positions. From these positions, some have gained six-figure incomes and amassed many of the amenities and luxuries of the world. Some leaders have espoused a doctrine much like the divine right of kings, which says they are not subject to any earthly authority, for they have derived the right to rule directly from the will of God. In the name of serving the Lord, they have compelled, manipulated, and used others to fulfill their own dreams and desires. These leaders have taken the joy of giving and fashioned it into a burdensome law to increase their treasuries.

Still not satisfied nor secure, they have strengthened their positions by undermining the credibility of any who threaten the kingdom they are building. To justify their position, they teach with self-assured boldness on the authority structure of the church. They share all the scriptural reasons why one must not touch “God’s anointed” … which they have proclaimed themselves to be. They grant favor to those who honor them and oppress any who do not fully support them.

Behold the Little Kings
In a vision, the Lord revealed a warning for those who have dared to ascend to His throne. In this vision, I saw a city divided up into little sections. In each section, there was a large, ornately decorated chair, which looked like a throne. Sitting in most of the chairs were small children wearing royal robes and crowns that were
much too large for them.

The Lord said,
“Behold the little kings who sit upon their thrones. They rule and reign in their little kingdoms, but the thrones they sit upon belong to Me. They call Me ‘King and Lord’ and yet they act as the king — lording over their brothers and oppressing any who remain bold enough to question their absolute authority. Repent and remove yourselves from the lofty place that you have taken. Humble yourselves and repent, for I come to take My throne. Any unwilling to yield shall be crushed as I take My rightful place.”

I Will Sit Enthroned
Satan, in his rebellion, said:
“I will ascend to heaven: I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain” (Isaiah 14:13). It was this same enticement of taking God’s place, “you shall be as gods,” that Satan used in the garden of Eden to bring temptation to man, causing him to eat of the forbidden tree and fall from grace. Satan’s beguiling offer was “You shall be as God himself. No longer will you be the subjects — you will be the kings.” This snare is still entrapping those who listen to the enemy’s scheming ways.

All across the world, there are believers who are followers of a man instead of simply following God. In many churches, there is one man who hears from God, speaks for God, and teaches of God. In these churches, God is being formed in the image of this one man. When they have compassion, God is compassionate. When they are enraged, God is angered. They have placed themselves as mediators between the people and God, allowing God to speak only what is filtered through them. For those they “serve,” they have become greater, and the Lord has become less. They rule and reign in the Lord’s place in their services. Their gatherings remain within the parameters they have set … otherwise, these little kings might lose control. They cover up their totalitarianism by insisting that they are merely being the vessel of the Lord.

Others who sit upon God’s throne hide their treason in a crowd with declarations of team leadership. But in truth, they still rule as kings. Everyone looks to them … and they love it that way. If they are confronted, they quickly justify their position with assertions of accountability and mutual submission. Despite their protests, they have all the power and do not earnestly look to others (or the Lord) for direction — simply dictating their own desires.

One Kingdom, One King
The King of the saints rules a kingdom, not a confederation of small kingdoms. Jesus is not interested in being emperor over
our kingdoms, but simply being king of His. Just as you cannot serve two masters, you cannot serve two kings. Our eternal, immortal, invisible King will not share His glory with another. “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another” (Isaiah 42:8).

“the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” is coming to His Church to take His rightful place and rescue those who have been oppressed. Only the Lord is worthy to ascend to His throne. Those who serve Him must be willing to decrease in the eyes of others that He might increase. Those who will humble themselves and repent will be forgiven. Those unwilling to give to the Lord what is rightfully His will suffer defeat and loss as the Lord retakes His throne and brings freedom to those held captive. “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty — He is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:8-10).

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