HOUSMAIL HM#070                                                                                                                             7 January, 2001

DEFINING THE KINGDOM OF GOD - PART 2 - GETTING THE EMPHASIS RIGHT


Q. What is meant by the term "Kingdom of God"?

A. The Name "KINGDOM OF GOD" is first and foremost, a DECLARATION OF OWNERSHIP.

- THE KING, TO WHOM GOD HAS DELEGATED ALL POWER AND AUTHORITY TO
   RULE, IS GOD'S OWN SON ..... JESUS.

- THE TERRITORY WHICH IT OCCUPIES IS HIS.

- THE PEOPLE WHO INHABIT THE KINGDOM ARE HIS.

Of its REAL "ownership", there is no doubt! It is the LORDís! God claims it as HIS!

1 Chron 17:14
"But I will settle him (the son of David who is also Son of God) in mine house and in MY KINGDOM for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore."

Psalm 22:27-28
"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the KINGDOM IS THE LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations."

Zech 14:8-9
"It shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. AND THE LORD SHALL BE KING OVER ALL THE EARTH: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one."


Q. Where is the Kingdom located?

A. The full territory of the Kingdom of God, is as limitless in time and space, as the infinite
     God who rules over it.

Isaiah 66:1-2
"The HEAVEN is my throne, and the EARTH is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made."

The specific territory which is the subject of the Old Testament promises, is THE EARTH. "The meek shall inherit the earth". (Psalm 37:11)

However it would be a great mistake to concentrate only on that aspect. NO KINGDOM CAN BE DEFINED ONLY BY ITS GEOGRAPHIC TERRITORY!

A Kingdom cannot exist without the PEOPLE who inhabit the Kingdom.

The FUTURE Kingdom about which Jesus preached, is eternal. It can only be inherited and entered by those people who have the necessary qualifications for immortality. That is why Jesus says little about the "territorial" and "environmental" details of the Kingdom, and ever so much more about HOW TO QUALIFY for a place amongst the immortal people of the Kingdom!

Jesus drew His teaching about that emphasis, from the Old Testament. (Which He said He came to fulfil)

Exod 19:5-6
"IF YE WILL OBEY MY VOICE indeed, and keep my covenant, THEN ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation."


However, that most important emphasis by Jesus, doesn't mean at all, that we can ignore the Old Testament descriptions of the "territory" and "environment" of the Kingdom, which are largely lacking from the four Gospels! Jesus did point us to them. (Luke 24:25-26,44; John 5:39,46) Paul used them to validate his preaching to the Jews in Rome. (Acts 28:23) And WE also need to check them out, both to validate the claim of Jesus to the throne, and to appreciate the full attraction of the Kingdom He offers to us.

Indeed, the Good News about the Kingdom of God cannot be properly heard, understood, or believed, apart from an adequate grasp of its Old Testament background!

"Moses and the Prophets" are certainly NOT ALL we need. But they are, equally certainly, an ESSENTIAL element in MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION of the "living faith" which demonstrates itself in the righteous works of the saints. (James 2:17-26)

With that emphasis firmly in mind, we are now ready to describe some of the highly attractive "Territorial", and "Environmental", and "Political", details of the Kingdom of God.

God willing, we shall attempt to do that next time. Watch this space!

Allon
_______________________________________________________________________