The Kingdom and the King
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words; Kingdom of God? Do you think of God as a King? Where did the idea or concept of Kingdom come from? What does it take to be a King and what make a Kingdom?
Most who live in the western world get their understanding of a King and Kingdom from the movies. Their perception of Kings and Kingdom is generally found in movies or on TV. For the most part their perception is of a King who is evil and greedy and rules his Kingdom with an iron fist. The citizens within the kingdom seems to always pay far more than their fair share of tax and barely make ends meet. These movie Kings most often seem to enjoy watching or knowing his citizens are going through much suffering for the sake of the King. It is most likely that Kingdoms of the past were very much like what is seen in movies.
There are still Kingdoms that exist today. Although there are few, we in the western world do not hear a lot about them. And the few Kings who still exist today are far more civilized and treat it's citizen better compared to those of the distant past. This article is not about earthly Kingdoms. But what should be understood is the earth we live and work on of which we all call home is owned by a King.
In order to understand how God's Kingdom works, we must first understand what the requirement are for a Kingdom in order for it to exist. There are four basic needs or requirement that must exist to establish a Kingdom
First, There must be a King. Without a King there is no Kingdom. A King's rulership is absolute. He has all power and authority. A King has the sole right to delegate some or all his authority to anyone he chooses. Once a King's word is spoken it become final. Because of a King's complete authority his word's can not be revoked or be over ruled.
Second, A King must have territory. A king must own and/or control land. Everything within the King's territory is OWNED by the King. Every tree, ever river, every road, every animal, every building, and every "person" who lives and works within the territory of the King's Kingdom is OWNED by the King..
Third, Kingdom must have Law. Law is always established by the King who always has authority to make law by his spoken words. No one else within a Kingdom has the authority to establish Law. Once the King has "spoken" whatever the word are that he spoke becomes Law and it is final. Even the King himself can not void his own law. Once the law is established it MUST be carried out. Nothing can stop it, not even the King. In all case, a King's spoken word is a "COMMAND" (Law). A command is always carried out. A Command and Law are the same when spoken by a King.
Fourth, A Kingdom must have citizens. A citizen within a Kingdom is owned by the King. When a child is born within the King's territory the child is then owned by the King. The King IS responsible for the welfare of ALL his citizens. When a command by a King is given to a citizen that command must be carried out or face death.
So, how does all of this fit into the Kingdom of God?
Hopefully, the things I have writen above will give you a diifferent perspective of how you understand Genesis (NKJV) 1:1 whch states: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
You will note in this very first verse of the Bible a King (God) created the entire "physical realm" of his Kingdom, which is the earth and all of heaven with everything in it. (This does not enclude the spiritual aspect of His Kingdom). Toward the end of the first chapter of Genesis the King (God) describes his creation of the first two human citizens on an earth which was prepared for them. The King then gives his authority of rulership (dominion) to man. However, the King (God) never gave up OWNERSHIP of the earth. Man was given a Law right from the start which is noted in Genesis (NKJV)2:16-17 which states:16 And the Lord God COMMANDED the man, saying; " Of every tree in the garden you my freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die".
You will notice the four basic needs to establish a Kingdom are revealed in these two chapters of Genesis. You have a King (God). You have a territory, creation of heaven and earth. You have Law which is the command from God with regards to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And finally you read about the first two citizens on earth. Although God (King) gave dominion (authority) of earth to man, He did not give up ownership. Everything in and on the earth still belong to or owned by God our King as it is clearly stated in Psalm (NKJV) 24:1-2 The earth is the lord's and all it's fullness, The world and those who dwelll in it. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas. And estblished it upon the waters.
This article is not about the fall of man, but it needs to be mentioned that even though the condition of man and earth is no longer in a perfect state as it once was at creation it does not mean God has turn His back on man. But, at the completion of creation man did have a direct relationship with God (King). And the King (God) had provided for all their needs. Nothing was left out for man. The Kingdom on earth was like the Kingdom in heaven. Everything was perfect.
Once man had fallen due to sin the relationship between the King and mankind changed. Man no longer communed with their King as they once did. As mankind encreased in numbers and time past we began to forget about our dominion of earth and how earth belonged to God. We began to loose our understanding that a great and wonderful King existed. And the knowledge of God as King and His Kingdom was lost and forgotten in the winds of history.
But the concept of a Kingdom itself remained. Man built it's own Kingdoms. Throughout history man's Kingdoms have come and gone. But it wasn't until the time of Moses that God established an earthly Kingdom called Israel and God rule over them as their King. However, this earthly Kingdom made up of the twelve tribes of Israel were not the Kingdom of heaven. (1) God was their King, (2) there was a defined territory in the land of Israel (3)God had given His citizen of the Kingdom of Israel Laws in the form of Covenant, (4) And His citizens were made up of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. And yet, THEY (the Kingdom of Israel) were not a heavenly Kingdom.
It wasn't until the time of Babylon when a King known a King Nebuchadnezzar first spoke of an eternal heavenly Kingdom ruled by God whom he identifies as the Most High in Daniel (NKJV)4:34-35 which states: 34 And at that time I, Nebuchadnezzar lifted my eyes to heaven, and I understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For HIS domonion is an everlasting dominion, And His Kingdom is from generation to generation. 35 ALL the inhabitants of the earth are reputedas nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven. And among the inhabitants of the earth No one can restrain His hands or say to Him, "What have you done?"
In these verses King Nebuchadezzar was the first gentile to ever mention Most High (King) (God) great Kingdom that is eternal and everlasting and most important it is in heaven.
Then, following these statement made by King Nebuchadezzar in the book of Daniel, we later find another gentile King of the Mede named King Darius who wrote these words in Daniel (NKJV) 6: 25-27 which states: 25 Then King Darius wrote: "To all peoples, nations and languages that dwell on the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make this decree that in every dominion of my Kingdom men must tremble and fear the God of Daniel For He is a living God And steadfast forever; HIS KINGDOM is the one which shall not be destroyed. And His dominion shall endure to the end. 27 He delievers and rescues. And He works signs and wonders in Heaven and on earth. Who has delievered Daniel from the powers of the lions.
It is no accident that both Nebuchadnezzar and Darius had revealed to them the Kingdom of God. Both of the Kings made decree that had gone out to all the earth informing all inhabitants of the earth of an eternal God with a Kingdom in heaven. But these messages did not last and later lost in history.
It seems that from that time on the Kingdom of heaven was not on the minds of men. It wasn't until John the Baptist and a short time later when Jesus Christ (the son of the King (God) began His ministry that the message regarding the Kingdom of heaven was finally being heard again among men. Jesus began teaching the Kingdom message. Jesus used many parables to describe what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. Jesus made a statement directly related to the Kingdom in which He was telling others of something that had remain secret for a very long time in Matthew (NKJV)13:35 which states: 35 that it might be fulfiled which was spoken by the prophet, saying " I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world."
So, what was kept secret since the foundation of the world that was later revealed in the many parables Jesus used. Many time Jesus states in His parables" The Kingdom of heaven is like."
One of the least understood verse in the bible was spoken by Jesus in Matthew (NKJV) 6:33 which states: 33" But SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." What Jesus is telling us here is our main focus should be directed at the Kingdom of God. And in order to do that we must study God's word. Study the words of Jesus. Jesus came to earth to do His Father will. Which from the very start of ministry Jesus was focus on spreading the gospel of the Kingdom as noted in Matthew (NKJV) 4:17 which states:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach and to say, " Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Since the beginning of creation, God's (King) Kingdom has existed. But many fail to see God for what He is, a King with a Kingdom in Heaven for all those who will seek after it.
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