Thoughts on Realms
Find a comfortable chair, relax and look out your window. Gaze upon your realm, the REALM OF _________ [insert your name], and contemplate the subject of "realms". The first thought it may bring to mind is grandeur. It makes one think of something expansive. However, after looking up the official meaning in the dictionary, you will find that it doesn't necessarily have to do with the quantity or size of something, but rather the existence of a dominating force within that something. Here are the definitions from the Random House Dictionary.
realm /relm/ -noun
1. a royal domain; kingdom: (the realm of England).
2. the region, sphere, or domain within which anything occurs, prevails, or dominates: (the realm of dreams).
3. the special province or field of something or someone: (the realm of physics; facts within the realm of political scientists).
In other words, a realm is a domain or sphere of influence, tangible or intangible, in which something is dominant. Examples include the Realm of Physics, Judicial Realm, Public Realm, Realm of Medicine and the Realm of France.
Of course, there are physical realms, or kingdoms, that are obvious in their scope, boundaries and controlling force. They are ruled by a king and are contained within the borders of their country. The country of Brazil is a realm, with borders and a leader. As the Brazilian government dominates, or the way of Brazilians prevails, it is the realm of Brazil.
Realms of thoughts are perhaps more difficult to define as precisely as the physical realms. These may be the realm of reason or the realm of humor.
It is apparent that you can belong to more than one realm. A leader of the realm of a certain country, may also be considered to be the leader of the far reaching realm of terrorism. That same leader also exists within the realm of physics, in which he becomes subject to another dominate force.
When Realms Collide:
What happens when two realms, both in which you exist, conflict? For example, what happens if the realm of medicine tells you that it is unsafe to use your computer? You have to choose if you want to put the realm of technology above the realm of medicine. Or, in some cases it wouldn't even be your choice, because one realm is simply superior to the other and forces its will. Consider the realm of Washington State, which is superior to Whitman County, and thus the will of the state may override the county. It would seem as though all realms have an order to them... a "pecking order" or hierarchical system. Some realms can fight their way up, and work towards dominance over a different realm. Other realms, will simply be subject to higher realms no matter what they do, because their realm, by its definition, is limited. If it were to rise up, than it would cease to exist, because it would become a different realm or actually be assimilated into an existing realm.
Is there one realm that is more superior than any other? Can a realm be superior at all times to all other realms, or does it depend on which realm you are in and your particular perspective? Can there be an end-point for the hierarchical system of realms? According to the Bible, yes. Let's look at some of the realms that are prevalent to the message of the Bible.
Realm of Planet Earth:
We learn in the book of Genesis, that the realm of planet earth was initially given to humans (Gen. 1:28). However, humanity lost its dominion to an angel, originally named Lucifer, who had rebelled against God and became known as Satan. We also learn that Satan is in the process of losing dominion of it to Jesus, who will soon give it back to humans.
Realm of the Universe
"O Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion" (Micah 4:8).
"The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therin for ever" (Psalm 37:29).
"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" (Dan. 7:27).
Until that time, humans have to deal with the unpleasant reality that they are living in a realm that has Satan as its leader, the realm of planet earth. He is currently the ruler of this world.
"In whom 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).
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickeness in high places" (Ephes. 6:12).
Christ triumphed over Satan at the cross. However the transfer of the realm of planet earth doesn't happen until just before the second coming.
"And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:11-13).
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11:15).
At this time, the concept of overlapping realms and realm hierarchies really become important. Even though we are in the realm of planet earth ruled by Satan, we also belong to the realm of the universe ruled by God, which is of a superior level. How much higher can a realm be? The Bible points to the highest realm being that of God himself, which is the realm above all realms. Thus, any realm can only exist and any ruler can only rule a realm, as God allows it.
Realm of Grace
"And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding" (Daniel 2:21).
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or prinipalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him" (Col. 1:16).
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38).
How is it possible for God to be the "realm above all realms"? He alone can have this status because he created all things, and thus knows all things and has ultimate power.
In the meantime, until the transferring of the realm of this earth, God has made another realm available to us, which is the realm of grace. Belonging to this kingdom of grace is also a superior realm to that of the realm of planet earth. So, we can live in the realm of grace (ruled by God) without threat of another realm overpowering it, including the realm of planet earth (ruled by Satan). Thus, we are safely secure until the realm of planet earth transfers to Jesus and we share the dominion with Him.
The Everlasting Realm
"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Heb. 12:28).
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).
"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" Romans 6:14).
In conclusion, we encounter the "realms within", like the realm of sin and the realm of grace, which are internal or thought realms. Then, we also encounter the "realms without", like the realm of planet earth and the realm of the universe, which are more visible, such as our surroundings and environment. Of the inferior realms, some will cease to exist and some will be transformed (due to new leadership). The realm of planet earth will be transformed and then continue throughout eternity.
"For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:11).
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Dan. 2:44).
The Bible teaching regarding an absolute superior realm may not be popular and it may be tempting to write it off as an unacceptable choice. Yet, each individual gets to weigh the evidence and choose what to believe (which is only possible because they reside in the Realm of the Universe, in which God ensures freedom of choice). As you contemplate your choice, consider not only the realms in which you currently reside, but whether you wish to secure your citizenship in the Everlasting Realm.