Commenting on Acts 12, William Arnot (1808–1875) writes,
“The first martyrdom in the apostolic college marks for us a law of the kingdom. It illustrates the meaning of the Messiah’s word, “My kingdom is not of this world!” Not an inch of this world’s surface will Christ maintain for himself by the sword. The kingdoms of this world will one day be all his; but they will be subdued by the sword of the Spirit. It was Antichrist that gathered mercenaries from many lands to sustain the Roman bishop’s throne, and crush the liberty of the Roman people.”Studies in Acts: The Church in the House (Kregal Publications: Grand Rapids, 1978), 249.
Arnot helps us see that antichrist seeks to make a religious kingdom with a physical sword. How different is that of our Lord Jesus Christ! Who with the sword of his mouth slays the nations and brings them to himself in love.
Additionally, note how Arnot states “Not an inch of this world will one day be his.” It is important to note that though Christ does not use a physical sword, his spiritual sword shall ensure all the earth to be his to give to his people to enjoy forever. The meek shall inherit the earth (cf. Matthew 5).