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Worldly power never lasts. We lose it the moment we die. After our death, our power empire burns to the ground and is forgotten. Knowing that, we know it’s never worth it to sin against God and disobey His Word for the sake of gaining power on earth, which won’t last.


Previous End Times Post

Part 50 Recap Post


Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another End Times post.

As I said in the previous post, I love books. Though I mostly read Christian books, I make sure to get some variety. So I end up reading books on many topics.

I recently finished The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. It was published in 2000. I had been looking forward to reading this book, because it’s famous and many people talk about it. But once I started reading through the book, I was saddened by what I was reading.

The 48 Laws of Power teaches how to gain power at all costs, even if that means sociopathic or amoral actions. Almost all the strategies taught in this book are dishonest; some are downright evil. I can’t recommend this book to Christians, as its completely against the Spirit of the Gospels.

As Christians we’re focused on everlasting power and Glory in the next world. We’re not focused on temporary power here on earth, where we will one day die and lose all our power. Chasing after power here on earth is a pointless exercise, and the New Testament shows why.

In the last post I said “I’ll leave that topic for another day.” Well, today is the day.

Seek the True Power

Power. Everyone wants it, right? When we don’t have any, we wish we had it. It doesn’t feel good to be under the power of others, to have to take orders from them. Most people fantasize about being the boss, the one who gives the orders and calls the shots. It seems like life is better if we have power than if we don’t, right?

It’s only natural that things would seem that way. But the truth of the matter is: Power is pointless. Meaningless. Whether we have it or not doesn’t matter, in the end. And how’s that? Think about it ….

We all know our life here on earth is temporary. Every one of us will physically die, and everyone knows that. Any power we build here on earth will be lost the moment we die. And then what? What will it matter then? To us it will feel like our power never even existed, or we won’t even care about it anymore.
The most powerful person on earth will be brought down to the same level as anybody else the moment they die. And whatever power this person had on earth won’t matter one bit to God, who judges all.

So why pursue worldly power here on earth? Our lives here are temporary. Our power won’t last, because we’ll lose it the moment we die. The power we have/had here won’t matter to us once we’re gone from here. Our power becomes meaningless the very moment we die.

But there’s another kind of power available to us, one that lasts forever. We will never lose it, for it’s given to us by God Himself. The Bible teaches us to ignore the quest for temporary, short-lived worldly power on earth and seek this true power instead. This true power is Spiritual power, the power and Glory we will enjoy in our everlasting life with Jesus in Heaven.

Our lives here on earth are so short. But our true life with Jesus is eternal. And the power we will enjoy in our true, eternal life, is power no one can ever take from us, and that will never be lost. This is the only kind of power we should ever care about or pursue.

In Revelation 2, Jesus tells us of the true power we will enjoy in eternity if we obey His practices until the end.

(26) To those who emerge victorious, keeping my practices until the end, I will give authority over the nations— (27) to rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like pottery— (28) just as I received authority from my Father. I will also give them the morning star.

Revelation 2:26-28 (CEB)

If we stay loyal to Jesus, and follow His practices until the end—to our physical death here on earth—we will be given the ultimate power. The power to rule the nations, to smash them like pottery. And this power and authority will come straight from God (verse 28). That means no rivals can ever take it from us, and we can never lose it. This is true power, Spiritual power. Everlasting and ultimate power.

Why would we ever want earthly power when we can have this Spiritual power? Earthly power fades, or rivals take it from us, but Spiritual power is eternal. It’s better to ignore the meaningless quest for pointless, temporary power and focus on our Spiritual growth instead. Following Jesus gives us the greatest power we could ever imagine, in the end. And “in the end” is all that matters.

You might remember my book review on The Wisdom of Solomon scholarly edition with commentary by J.A.F. Gregg. In Chapter 3 of The Wisdom of Solomon, the writer talks about this true, eternal, Spiritual power. This is a pre-New Testament (circa 100 BC) mention of Spiritual power. The Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-8 says Spiritual power is a reward from God for being Righteous. This reward is given after death. The power God gives to those who love and obey Him in our life on earth is the ultimate power, the power to judge nations and hold dominion over peoples.

(1) But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
(2) In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died;
And their departure was accounted to be their hurt,
(3) And their journeying away from us to be their ruin:
But they are in peace.
(4) For even if in the sight of men they be punished,
Their hope is full of immortality;
[… Verses 5-6: God tries the Righteous and forges them through suffering, and they are found worthy … ]
(7) And in the time of their visitation they shall shine forth,
And as sparks among stubble they shall run to and fro.
(8) They shall judge nations, and have dominion over peoples;
And the Lord shall reign over them for evermore.

The Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-4, 7-8

This passage makes contrasts between the foolish and the Righteous. The Righteous are concerned with following God; they’re focused on the things of heaven rather than the things of this world (Colossians 3:2). So the Righteous don’t conform to the ways of this world (Romans 12:2), they don’t do what everyone else does. As a result, the Righteous may very well have little or no power here in this life, on earth. But they know it doesn’t matter.

What the foolish (non-Righteous) don’t understand is that what they have here on earth doesn’t last forever. Whatever we have only lasts as long as our short lives do. We can’t take our possessions or power with us when we die, so they’ll either be grabbed by others or simply lie forgotten until they turn to dust. It all comes to nothing.

If it won’t last forever, it doesn’t matter. We need to keep our hearts focused on all that really matters—Our relationship with Jesus and our Spiritual health. The things of Heaven, not earth (Colossians 3:2).

The Wisdom of Solomon 3:10-11 warns us what happens if we get this wrong, and focus on the things of earth instead. It all comes to nothing; all our works will be useless. And this includes any earthly power we’ve built up.

(10) But the ungodly shall be requited even as they reasoned,
They which lightly regarded the righteous man, and revolted from the Lord;
(11) (For he that setteth at nought wisdom and discipline is miserable;)
And void is their hope and their toils unprofitable,
And useless are their works:

The Wisdom of Solomon 3:10-11

Verse 10 says the ungodly (the foolish) will be repaid for their works. They will reap what they sow. And in the end, all their work and toil means nothing (verse 11).

This is the price of chasing after worldly power that won’t last. When it’s too late, what we had put all our hope in will fail us and come to nothing. What a shame, when true power was available to us the whole time. We must keep our hearts focused on Heaven and seek the true, Spiritual power from God that comes from following Jesus. This is the only power that matters.

The Manual of how to Be an Evil Sociopath

Since everything fades and dies, the pursuit of power is futile. Empires rise and fall; there has never been one empire on earth that lasted forever. Power comes and goes. The kingdoms built by the powerful people of history have all crumbled after their death. Seeking power, fame, and glory here on earth is seeking things that don’t last.

If power doesn’t last, and the empires we build are bound to crumble, it’s not worth it to be evil here on earth to gain power. It’s not worth it to disobey God’s Commandments or harm others to gain power. It’s not worth it to lie, cheat, and steal to get something we lose the moment we die. All our evil will have achieved nothing when our empire crumbles after our death. Then God will judge us for our evil actions—and we will pay. What a terrible price to pay for something we know won’t last.

When faced with the choice of being amoral and evil to win a temporary prize versus accepting a lack of power on earth in exchange for eternal power reigning in Glory with Jesus in Heaven, the choice is clear. Think long-term (eternal-term) and pick the smarter choice: Pick Jesus.

Anyway, what kinds of amoral actions for the sake of power am I talking about? Let me now turn to The 48 Laws of Power book and show you what I mean.

The book is made of forty-eight chapters, each one on a “universal law” of how power works on earth. If you follow the law, you’ll gain power. If you disobey the law, you’ll lose it.

Right from the start, the descriptions of the laws themselves reveal the amoral, un-Christian content of this book. For example, here’s the description for Law 7: “Get Others to Do the Work for You, but always Take the Credit.”

Law 7: Get Others to Do the Work for You, but always Take the Credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page x

In other words, Law 7 teaches us to steal the work of others and take credit for it! It should go without saying that this is not in the Spirit of Christ, and goes against the Gospels. This is not compatible with New Testament teachings on work and living in harmony with others.

But this world operates by different, non-Christian rules. True Christians would never choose power if it meant stealing the work of others and taking the credit. But if short-lived worldly power is what a person wants, then dishonest tactics like Law 7 will get them very far in their quest. It’s sad, but true.

Moving on, Law 12 encourages readers to be dishonest and deceptive by using fake generosity to make people drop their guard.

Law 12: Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm Your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift—a Trojan horse—will serve the same purpose.

Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page x

In other words, Law 12 teaches readers to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Law 12 teaches us not to be genuine, to hide our true intentions, to deceive people so we can take advantage of them. This more or less teaches us to be like the false teachers Jesus and the New Testament warn about so often.

No true Christian should ever be deceptive like this, for they know it’s wrong. If this is what it takes to gain short-lived power in this temporary world, then power isn’t worth it.

And many of the other laws are about being deceptive too. The 48 Laws of Power is full of stories of amorality and evil from the pages of history. But as we look back on how history unfolded, we easily see that none of this amorality or evil achieved anything in the long-run. What do I mean by that? Well, for example ….

It never Lasts

Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally tells the story of a woman named Wu Chao on pages 110-111. She ruled China during part of the seventh century, and held on to her power through brutal tactics. She had all her rivals killed, exiled, or imprisoned. She had lots of blood on her hands. But was it worth it? History says: “Not really.”

Wu Chao reigned in the seventh century. One day she died, same as everyone else in this world. After her death, her kingdom one day fell and a new dynasty arose in China. And then that one fell and another dynasty arose in that one’s place. China went through rebellions and warfare. Then one day the country was subjugated and humiliated by the British in the nineteenth century.

So were Wu Chao’s killings worth it? Did her evil acts mean anything in the end? The empire she ruled fell one day, same as any other empire in human history. No one reigns forever except Jesus Christ. Wu Chao killed for nothing, because she built nothing that lasted. And she is only one example of the futility of committing evil for power.

The 48 Laws of Power repeatedly studies King Louis XIV of France and his tactics for holding onto his power. It seems like Louis XIV is one of Robert Greene’s favorite subjects, because he gathered so much power and held onto it all his life. Like Wu Chao, Louis XIV was also brutal in his own way. He had his rivals imprisoned, executed, exiled, and so on, same as any other tyrant. There was plenty of blood on Louis XIV’s hands too.

Louis XIV seems to have done a good job building up France and making it a strong country. But what happened after Louis XIV’s death again shows the futility of pursuing power, and being evil to get power. Everything Louis XIV built up, burned down shortly after his death.

After Louis XIV came Louis XV. Louis XV only cared about sex and pleasure, entertainment and distraction. Louis XV let France go to ruin while he had sex and enjoyed himself. All Louis XIV had worked and killed to build was undone by his pleasure-loving, sex-obsessed successor. After Louis XV came Louis XVI. Whether Louis XVI could have fixed France or not, I don’t know, but soon enough it wouldn’t matter. The French Revolution started because of the state of decline in France, and Louis XVI was executed by the rebels who took over the country and destroyed the monarchy.

Everything Louis XIV built was gone, and the monarchy was finished. All these events happened less than one-hundred years after Louis XIV’s death.

Louis XIV was powerful and successful. But he committed evil to gain his power. After he died, his successors lost everything he built, all in less than 100 years after his death. So what did his acts of evil for the sake of power achieve in the end? His power died with him, and his institutions soon after.

Wu Chao and Louis XIV were both successful and powerful by the world’s standards. But their lives were as short as any other human being—less than one-hundred years. They killed and sinned to get where they were, and stay there. But it meant nothing in the end.

Both of these powerful figures, and many countless others, didn’t build anything eternal. They had their short-lived moment during their short-lived lives; they had their fifteen minutes of power, and then they died and that was it. Once they were gone, their empire crumbled to dust, same as any other empire.

And so it goes with all who seek power here in this temporary world instead of the true Spiritual power of Heaven.

Evil Is never Worth it

I hope by now I’ve shown why the pursuit of power is futile, and power here on earth is meaningless.

Worldly power never lasts. We lose it the moment we die. After our death, our power empire burns to the ground and is forgotten. Knowing that, we know it’s never worth it to sin against God and disobey His Word for the sake of gaining power on earth, which won’t last.

As Christians we should strive to live a good life here on earth—as in, one characterized by good deeds (not one of prosperity). We can do that with or without worldly power.

Look at Jesus’ example. He was the Son of God but made Himself humble on earth. He never tried to be a political leader or ruler. He never sought worldly power, and in fact He had none. He humbly submitted to his death sentence without resisting. But in eternity, He reigns supreme forever with the ultimate power no one can ever hope to challenge.

What Jesus promises to those who follow Him is true, Spiritual power for eternity in our true life to come. This is the only power we should ever care about, because no one can take it from us, and it will never die. God Himself will give us authority over the nations (Revelation 2:26-28). The empires we build in Heaven will never crumble to dust.

If we can have power like that for following Jesus, why would we ever want anything else?


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Until next time, be strong and do good!

Your new best friend in Christ,

99:9

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2 comments on “Do Not Fear the End Times Part 82: Power: A Pointless Pursuit

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