Bible Teaching About God’s Kingdom Part 1

The Bible teaches that there has been a Kingdom of God in the past.
This provides an important basis for teaching about the Future Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God on the earth in the past was the kingdom of Israel: 

“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 19:6)

 “And the LORD said unto Samuel, hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them”   (1 Samuel 8:7)

God was seen as Israel's King.

“And of all my sons (for the LORD hath given me many sons) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel”                       (1 Chronicles 28:5)

Great King David considered that he was God's King ruling on God's throne, and that his son Soloman was to inherit this throne

The Kingdom Overturned

The right of Israel to be called the kingdom of God depended upon their obedience to God’s commandments: 

If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant...then...ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests…”   (Exodus 19:5,6) 

DEUTERONOMY 28 is a very important chapter. It teaches that:

  • If  Israel  were  to  remain  the people of God and receive His blessing OBEDIENCE was essential (verses 1-14). 

  • Disobedience  would  result  in  Israel being punished according to the curses  listed  in  verses  15-68 (Note especially verses 25, 32, 33, 36, 37, 41, 49-55, 63-68) Also see LEVITICUS 26 which is a similar prophecy.

The warning of these two chapters may be summarised. If Israel were unfaithful to God then:

  • The nation would be overturned by a foreign power by siege warfare (Deuteronomy 28:58)

  • The people (i.e. the Jews) would be scattered worldwide (Leviticus 26:33).

  • The  land of Israel would become desolate, and remain so for as long as the Jews remained scattered (Leviticus 26:33,34).

Israel chose to disobey God and because of it was punished as predicted. The main points of Israel’s history demonstrating this are as follows: 

  1. After the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua conquered the land of Canaan which then became the land of Israel. Then followed the period of the Judges. 

  2. After the Judges, Saul was the first human king, followed by David, Solomon (David’s son) and then Rehoboam (Solomon’s son).

  3. In the reign of Rehoboam the kingdom was divided into two separate kingdoms:

THE NORTHERN TEN TRIBES  —  Capital city Samaria

THE SOUTHERN TWO TRIBES —  Capital city  Jerusalem 

  1. The  Northern Kingdom came to an end during the reign of  Hoshea when the Assyrians besieged Samaria for three years. The ten tribes were taken into captivity into Assyria in BC 720. See 2 Kings 18:9-12.

  2.  The Southern Kingdom continued for a further 140 years. It too was overturned because of disobedience. During the reign of the last king of this southern kingdom God sent Ezekiel the prophet to warn them of the coming judgment. This happened in the reign of King Zedekiah who is described below as the profane wicked prince.

 “And thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low; and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it and it shall be no more UNTIL he come whose right it is; and I will give it him (Ezekiel 21:25-27) 

  1. This overturning of the two tribe kingdom (also known as Judah) was brought about by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in 587 BC. (See 2 Kings chapters 24 & 25). There was a restoration 70 years later led by Zerubbabel as recorded in the book of Ezra. Many of the Jews from the 10 tribes returned with their brethren of the two tribes and Israel came into existence again as a nation (but not as a KINGDOM).

  2.  It was to this restored nation that Jesus came. The Jews rejected him, filling up “the cup of their iniquity” and because of this were overturned again in AD 70 by the Romans. Jesus predicted this overturning in Luke chapters 19 & 21. 

“The days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another.......And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles UNTIL the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 19:43,44; 21:24) 

Israel to be Restored

Ezekiel in the verse quoted above said that Israel would be “overturned UNTIL....”. Jesus in Luke 21 said that the Jews would be scattered “UNTIL...”. One day there is to be an end to the scattering and repression of Israel. This is one of the plainest teachings in the Bible:

“Therefore say, thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 11:17)  

“Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock”      (Jeremiah 31:10) 

When Israel is thus gathered and restored it will once again become the Kingdom of God on the earth: 

“And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem”  (Micah 4:7-8)  

This is why the disciples eagerly asked Jesus after his resurrection: 

“LORD, WILT THOU AT THIS TIME RESTORE AGAIN THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL?  (Acts 1:6)

 

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