Charles H. Dodd, The Parables of the Kingdom (Glasgow: Collins, 1978). In the New Testament in the lineage of Christ as recorded in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, it seems to be made evident that Joseph descended from Solomon, which line was cut off, while Mary descended from Nathan, another son of David, rather than from Solomon. This, of course, does not mean that Christians have no influence in the world, but that our faith is measured by our relationship with Jesus, not by the standards of the world. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), 118. (3) Both David and Solomon apparently understood it to be literal (II Samuel 7:18-29; II Chronicles 6:14-16). And the King, our Lord Jesus, will not be denied the crown rights of the Son of God nor the ultimate gathering in of His subjects, His children, His family. The prophet Zechariah noted that Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives, a mountain ridge adjacent to and east of Jerusalem’s Old City. There is no analog to His Kingdom authority. Jeremiah writes: “But they shall serve Jehovah their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Jeremiah writes: “Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will perform that good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah. The difficulties in interpretation come in examining the exact meaning of the term house as it pertains to David’s posterity and the words throne and kingdom. First, the unusual phrase, 'throne of the kingdom', indicating that the term 'throne' is a fixed symbol of a kingdom, and secondly, that God's kingdom is 'over Israel'. (6) The throne and kingdom as a promise and inheritance belong to the humanity of Christ as the seed of David rather than belong to His deity. Between the Testaments _____ GOSPELS; Kingdom in Gospels; Matthew Study Guide; Matthew Keys; Matthew outline & notes; Matthew 5–7; Matthew 7:24-27; Matthew 11:12; Matthew 13ff. It is also promised in Amos 9:11 that the tabernacle of David would be restored in the latter days, apparently another reference to the revival of the political kingdom of Israel over which David was king. This point of view is quite unacceptable to the amillenarian and therefore for them some interpretation of the Davidic covenant must be found other than that of a literal fulfillment. Professor of Old Testament The Master’s Seminary God’s kingdom program is a major theme of both the Old Testament and New Testament. In the settlement of this problem it is recorded that James made the following address: “Brethren, hearken unto me: Symeon hath rehearsed how first God visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. When thy days are fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, that shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. This is not a contradiction, but simply the nature of the kingdom. In verses 24 and 25 Ezekiel writes: “And my servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in mine ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them. Certainly it fits in beautifully with the idea that the Abrahamic covenant anticipates Israel continuing eternally as a nation and possessing the land forever. This literal interpretation and expected fulfillment of the Davidic covenant is of course in keeping with the other covenants previously studied. Despite the spurious denial of some (perhaps, well-meaning) liberal Biblical scholars, the Old Testament is replete with the truth of the Kingdom of God. The coming of our Lord Jesus fulfilled this primordial promise and ushered in a reversal of the effects of the Fall. I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God was near to the People with His appearance (Mark 1:15). Dr. George Eldon Ladd of Fuller Theological Seminary wrote convincingly about the two natures of the Kingdom of God: its presence and its future state. This point of view not only confirms the necessity of the virgin birth, that is, that Joseph could not be the father of Christ, but also supports the idea that God intended the prophecy embodied in the covenant with David to be taken literally even to such a fine distinction. It has been demonstrated that the Old Testament clearly predicts a future kingdom in which David and his posterity would rule over the children of Israel regathered and dwelling in their ancient land. However, it seems that “after these things I will return” refers to the return of Christ after the period of Gentile .prominence which began in 606 B.C. The matter of literal fulfillment of the promises is confirmed also by the fact that certain portions of it have been literally fulfilled. God's kingly rule or sovereignty. Such an idea of course is not contained in the Davidic covenant as it is recorded in II Samuel 7, but it is asserted that later Scriptures give this interpretation. The possession of the land is limited by the continuance of the earth itself and terminates with the destruction of the heavens and the earth at the end of the millennium. The Old Testament contains no references to the kingdom of God. G. E. Ladd, The Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 221. Mike and his wife, Mae, reside in North Carolina. However, in the Old Testament God is spoken of as ruling (for example, Psalm 47:2; Psalm 103:19; Daniel 4:17,Daniel 4:17, 4:25-37).The Old Testament emphasis on God's sovereign power over all kings and kingdoms sets the stage for the New Testament teaching. Rather, it is linked to the earth and to the seed of Israel, and to the land. However, even such a simple interpretation presents some immediate problems, as David himself seems to anticipate when he notes that the prophecy concerns a long time to come. Why Does Matthew Use “Kingdom of Heaven” Instead of “Kingdom of God”? It was assured that a future king over Israel would come from David’s line. In understanding the promises of a future kingdom given to Israel, one of the major Scriptures is that containing the Davidic covenant recorded in II Samuel 7 and I Chronicles 17. He understood the promise meant that his house would continue forever. Luke 10:11 Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off as a testimony against you. In a real sense, each time we pray, we are hastening the coming of the Lord. In any case, Christ did not tell her that her request was out of bounds because there was to be no earthly rule. See Galatians 1:4. Matthew 4:17 ESV / 32 helpful votes. The Definition of the word Kingdom of God. In this covenant the promise of a king and a kingdom is narrowed to David’s seed. .” is that part of the Lord’s Prayer that catapults the realm of Jesus into the hearts of people all over the world. (3) The throne of his kingdom would be continued forever and would not be taken away from David’s son even if he committed iniquity. It would seem hardly necessary to cite all the additional passages that might be available, but, inasmuch as this subject has been controverted, the mass of Old Testament prophecies that deal with the subject certainly give added stature to the literal interpretation of the Davidic covenant. By way of preliminary definition, it would seem only natural to assume that by the term throne was meant the political rule of David over Israel. Here the meticulous accuracy of the promises given to David and Solomon is illustrated. He taught about “the relationship between Jesus’ ethical teaching and his preaching about the Kingdom of God,” as Ladd expressed in A Theology of the New Testament. One of the important passages in the New Testament bearing on this subject is found in Acts 15:14-18. Since the New Testament builds upon the literal meaning of the Old Testament message, a thorough study of both testaments is necessary to understand the kingdom. The new heaven and the new earth will be created. “He says: ‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’” (Isaiah 49:6). Further light will be cast upon this passage in the study of the New Testament confirmation. These arguments, usually ignored by amillenarians, have great weight and seem to provide a reasonable approach to the Davidic covenant and the promise of the kingdom. The Kingdom of God is mentioned in the Old Testament as the Kingdom of Jehovah (Jehovah being the English expression of the tetragrammaton – YHWH – the four consonant letters that make up the holy name of God in Hebrew). George N. H. Peters in his Theocratic Kingdom provides a masterly summary of the arguments in favor of literal interpretation. In short, we cannot separate Kingdom from Christ. Through this son of man, God will establish his dominion over all nations, a dominion that will never pass away or … . The Kingdom is coming in fullness. Donald A. Hagner, Rev. It was rather that it was improper to obtain such an honor as a requested privilege. (1) Paul uses the phrase “this present evil age” to describe the kingdom of this world. When Our Savior taught that the Kingdom of God was like leaven that leavens the whole lump of dough, He used a daily experience of every person listening to demonstrate an incomparable dynamic. During the first half of this seven years Israel will enjoy prosperity. According to Hosea 3:4, 5, written long before the Babylonian captivity, it was predicted: “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without pillar, and without ephod or teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek Jehovah their God, and David their king, and shall come with fear unto Jehovah and to his goodness in the latter days.” According to this passage, therefore, it can be assumed that God, while permitting the throne to be empty, nevertheless assured it to David and his seed prophesying Israel would return to the Lord, i.e., in the future millennial kingdom and resurrected David would be their king. Rather He replied: “It is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the Father hath set within his own authority.” By so much, He was affirming that the kingdom would be fulfilled, but that the time was not for them to know. This is further confirmed by the final verse of Amos 9: “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them, saith Jehovah thy God.” In other words, the kingdom is related to the time when Israel will be regathered and be established in their ancient land. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically, Bible Teaching Ideas: The Ten Commandments And Ten Fingers. (7) There is no ground for identifying David’s throne and the Father’s throne. From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the … Premillenarians do not find the amillennial charge—that the premillennial position is untenable, self-contradictory, and hopelessly confused—is sustained. This is happening that God might become “all in all” and that Christ may fulfill the eternal Covenant; handing over the Kingdom to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). This anticipates that the regathering of Israel, begun in the twentieth century, will be continued. Samuel H. Wilkinson, in his book, The Israel Promises and Their Fulfillment, pp. The consummating Scripture of course in the New Testament which puts the capstone on all these indications is found in Revelation 20 where it is stated plainly that Christ will rule for 1000 years. Amillenarians, however, have countered this evidence by their assertion that the New Testament interprets these predictions as being fulfilled in the present age. (10) Literal fulfillment is necessary to preserve the Divine unity of purpose” (cf., Millennial Kingdom, by the writer, p. 199). The Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism, Paul and the Rhetoric of Reversal in 1 Corinthians: The Impact of Paul’s Gospel on His Macro-Rhetoric, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. How Is the Kingdom of God “Already but Not Yet”? Such an interpretation not only provides a literal fulfillment of many prophecies pertaining to it, but is fully honoring to the Word of God as that which is inspired infallibly by the Holy Spirit. The divine order therefore is judgment on Israel and blessing upon Gentile first, to be followed by judgment on Gentile and blessing on Israel. If indeed the Old Testament prophecies were not intended to teach a rule of God from heaven over saints on earth, the language of this prediction would be misleading. It was difficult for the Jews to understand that for the time being the Gentiles should have a place of equality with Israel, in view of the many prophecies in the Old Testament which anticipated Israel’s pre-eminence and glory. The sign of entrance into the Kingdom, baptism, and the sign of spiritual nourishment in the Kingdom, the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, signify not only God in you, but Christ in the world. His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. This is another strong confirmation that the literal interpretation of the Davidic covenant was intended. Great judgments will take place including warfare, earthquakes, famines, and stars falling from heaven. The force of the Hebrew, however, is that Israel will continue to possess the land perpetually, that is, until eternity begins. Therefore fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith Jehovah; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be quiet and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.” As in other passages, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant is linked with the return of Israel to the land following their time of Jacob’s trouble, as indicated in the preceding context. For the mustard plant was a great, tree-like biosphere in their gardens, making a home for birds and other creatures. Most of these references occur in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Inasmuch as Israel has not only a prominent place in the plan of God for the past, but also in the future, a proper understanding of the eschatology of Israel does much to open up a proper understanding of God’s purpose as a whole and is seemingly indispensable to any detailed exegesis of the eschatology unfolded in the Old and New Testaments. This is not only the order of the Old Testament, but it is the order of this portion in Acts and is further confirmed by the order indicated in Romans chapter 11 where Israel is to be grafted back into the place of blessing which Gentiles now enjoy. Though this can be done only briefly within the limits of our present discussion, some important facts can be cited which decisively determine the ultimate interpretation of the Davidic covenant. For God’s rule, which apparently had been reduced by the Fall (when our first parents sinned) and its all-pervasive evil influence in every sphere of life on earth, would eventually be recovered completely. Quite often the attempt is made to deny that anything in the Old Testament construes a premillennial eschatology and statements are made such as that of Louis Berkhof: “The only Scriptural basis for this theory [i.e., premillennialism] is Revelation 20:1-6, after an Old Testament content has been poured into it” (Systematic Theology, p. 715). Gone is the frosty winter, replaced by a world of cities of spring, where spring lasts all year. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.” Again the throne of David is mentioned specifically and the promise indicates that the fulfillment will go on forever. Mention again is made that righteousness and justice will exist in the land and that Judah will be in the land and Jerusalem will be in safety. The consummation of the prophecies regarding the kingdom therefore was postponed, but not cancelled. Jesus Christ was declaring the unparalleled rule and reign of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit had appeared unto Man through the promised Messiah. 2.21; 4.31). Though there are distinctions depending on their backgrounds, all alike enjoy the presence of the King of kings and the countless blessings that belong to the eternal state. The Kingdom has come. He used the phrase “already and not yet” in A Theology of the New Testament to describe his position on the Kingdom of God and then immediately explains his words: “The early church found itself living in a tension between realization and expectation—between “already” and “not yet.” The age of fulfillment has come; the day of consummation stands yet in the future.”. Further, the long years in which no one was on the throne of David did not hinder the angel from assuring Mary that her Son would sit on the throne. For thus saith Jehovah: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.” The context concerns itself with Israel’s restoration and specifically speaks of the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It is certainly extreme spiritualization to take the regathering of Israel as an equivalent of the outcalling of the church and the execution of “justice and righteousness in the land” as being a reference to the rule of Christ in heaven, as amillenarians would need to interpret the passage. Part of these promises were fulfilled in Solomon in that Solomon was later born and ultimately built the temple. What Else Does the Bible Say? While the exact term is not found in the Old Testament, the existence of God’s Kingdom is expressed similarly in the Old Testament. Zechariah, the Kingdom of God in _____ Kingdom Writings Index (PDF) Kingdom Writings Index (Word) Kingdom Studies Digest; New Testament. This is the meaning of the promise that David’s house would continue forever. The assertion of amillenarians that the Davidic throne is simply a reference to God’s throne in heaven is not supported by either the Old or the New Testament prophecies relating to the future of Israel. The Kingdom of God, therefore, will be a safe haven, a home for those who surrender to the rule of God in their own lives. for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Here it is stated that they will serve Jehovah and David their king. The description of the new earth given in Revelation 21:22 seems clearly to include Israel as well as Gentile saints of all ages. Before turning, therefore, to some of the theological arguments in support of an eschatology for Israel, some of the New Testament evidence should be examined. For any Jewish maiden who accepted the Old Testament prophecy concerning the future of Israel and entertained the hope of a coming Messiah, would hardly question that the prophecy given by the angel would be interpreted literally, that is, she would understand by the throne of David an earthly throne such as David enjoyed in his lifetime. In his proposition 52, he lists 21 arguments in favor of literal interpretation and includes other collateral material. The Kingdom of God, therefore, will be a safe haven, a home for those who surrender to the rule of God in their own lives. Accordingly, he called in Nathan the prophet and said to him: “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.” Nathan responded as recorded in II Samuel 7:3: “Go, do all that is in thy heart, for Jehovah is with thee.” That night the Lord corrected Nathan the prophet in reminding him that God had never commanded them to build Him a house of cedar. Such loving condescension by the Lord to use us in His Kingdom work is not only humbling but magnifies the glory of God. That Kingdom lived out through your life will begin to influence your family, other relationships, your choices, and your entire life. In this and other Old Testament references there is no allusion anywhere to the idea that these promises are to be understood in a spiritualized sense as referring to the church or to a reign of God in heaven. These two verses nicely encapsulate Daniel’s vision of an end-time “son of man” who will defeat all the enemies of God and of His people. To understand the New Testament use of the word we are indebted to the Old Testament book of Daniel. A similar confirmation is found in Jeremiah 33:14-17 where the same particulars are spelled out in detail. In this connection she is told that Christ will reign on the throne of His father David over the house of Jacob. It would seem evident, therefore, that the people of Israel were acting in good faith when they expected God to revive their kingdom, deliver them from their enemies, and restore them to their ancient land. It is a fact that the posterity of Abraham has never yet fully possessed and enjoyed the whole of the land so granted and that no son of David occupies David’s throne…The O. T. promises are all as certain of fulfillment in their O. T. sense and meaning and purpose to Israel, as are the N. T. promises certain of fulfillment to the Church.” A study of the Old and New Testament therefore seems to confirm a genuine eschatology for Israel involving their continuity as a nation, their regathering and restoration to their ancient land, and their enjoyment of a kingdom in which Christ will reign over them. 4:4-7), 3. Pentecost divides these confusing aspects of the kingdom of God into two categories, the eternal kingdom and the theocratic kingdom.4 As Pentecost and others have noted, the theme of the theocratic kingdom can be traced from the Garden of Eden through the period of human government initiated by Noah, the period of the patriarchs initiated by Abraham, the kingdom under the judges, the kingdom under the kings, and finally the kingdom … Such an inference could be established only by spiritualizing many prophecies both in the Old and New Testaments. Christianity.com is a member of the Salem Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2020, Christianity.com. The claim of the amillenarian that Revelation 20 is the only passage in the Bible which teaches an eschatology for Israel is certainly not sustained by the abundant evidence which has been cited from both the Old and New Testaments. In the verses which follow He directs their attention to the task that was immediately before them, and to the power of the Spirit which would aid them in the world-wide proclamation of the gospel. The Kingdom of God is not an actual location. The reference to the tent of David, of course, does not concern itself with any building as such but rather with the political power and sway which David enjoyed. The King James Version (KJV), also known as the King James Bible (KJB), sometimes as the English version of 1611, or simply the Authorized Version (AV), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, commissioned in 1604 and completed as well as published in 1611 under the sponsorship of James VI and I. (2) The temple which David desired to build would be constructed by this son. He is considered perhaps the world's foremost interpreter of biblical prophecy.John is perhaps best known for his bestselling work on Bible prophecy, Armageddon... More, 4. Amillenarians, generally speaking, tend to spiritualize promises which would teach a future millennium, though they interpret literally prophecies which do not interfere with their system. Rather, there are sound and good arguments to the contrary. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby she shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness. Immediately before His statement that the kingdom of God suffers violence, Jesus honors John as the greatest prophet (Matthew 11:11). Two features are immediately noteworthy. M. R. Malcolm, Paul and the Rhetoric of Reversal in 1 Corinthians: The Impact of Paul’s Gospel on His Macro-Rhetoric (Cambridge University Press, 2013). John Milton, Paradise Regained, (London: Baskerville, 1758). And thy house and thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”. The covenant with David is confirmed not only by its dual revelation in II Samuel 7 and I Chronicles 17, but by the major confirmation of Psalm 89 and by many additional prophecies in the Old Testament such as Isaiah 9:6, 7; Jeremiah 23:5-8; 30:8-10; 33:14-17; Ezekiel 37:22-25; Hosea 3:4, 5, Amos 9:11, 15, and similar Old Testament passages. The context of Jesus’ statement is a question put to Him by His Pharisee detractors who had asked when the kingdom of God would come (verse 20). Only those who pass the searching judgment of Christ are allowed to enter into the millennial period. Calling it the "Old" Testament implies to some people that it is done away with and no longer relevant. One of the three special relations in which Christ stands to his people. John F. Walvoord, long-time president of Dallas Theological Seminary, was one of the most prominent evangelical scholars of his generation. One of these is in the birth of Christ Himself who literally fulfilled many promises pertaining to David’s seed. Whatever eschatological (End Times) framework one espouses—e.g., amillennial, dispensational, or postmillennial—the kingdom of God is clearly understood as finding fulfillment in End Times. The kingdom of God is both now and not yet. According to Psalm 89:3, 4 Jehovah declares: “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant: Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.” This concept is declared again later in the same psalm beginning in verse 29 where it is promised that the seed will endure forever in spite of the specific problem of Israel’s sins and departure from God. In this aspect of prophecy converge the other principal elements of Israel’s predicted future. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. (9) The literal fulfillment is requisite to the display of God’s government in the earth, necessary to the restoration and exaltation of the Jewish nation and deliverance of the earth from the curse. The Kingdom of God began, not with Jesus’ preaching (for He was preaching what had been taught already from the earliest special revelation of God to Man, making it plain and “bringing it home”). In reply to them, Christ did not say that their hope was vain, that there was not going to be a literal fulfillment. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. This of course faces frontally the whole premillennial-amillennial argument which can only be resolved on the relative cogency of the results of the method. A major world war brings the period to a close. New Testament confirmation was found in such major passages as Luke 1:30-33; Matthew 19:28; 20:20-23; Luke 22:29, 30; Acts 1:6; 15:14-18; and the climactic prophecy of Revelation 20. It is after these things—i.e., judgment on Israel, their scattering, and discipline—that Christ will return and build again the tabernacle or tent of David. A concluding word is found in Zechariah 14 where it is predicted that after the second coming of Christ when His feet will touch the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4), and “Jehovah shall be king over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” In the light of the prominence given this same subject in the Old Testament, the question may be fairly raised: What would such a prophecy mean to Mary? 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