The Kingdom of God

To begin this lesson let me first start by saying that the Kingdom of God is synonymous with the Kingdom of Heaven. We read both terms in the Brit Hadashah (New Testament). Please let me explain why.

In Yeshua's time the tetragrammaton, YHWH or YHVH, could only be pronounced inside the Temple, in the daily priestly blessing spoken over the people and in the confession of the High Priest on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). This “pronouncing” of The Name was so much prohibited that the Rabbi's included those who would have “no share in the world to come” with those who spoke the Memorial Name of Elohim. For this reason “substitute” names were used for His Name. Among these were Adonai. Eventually even Adonai became a sacred word and it was used only in Scripture reading and during prayer. When it was necessary to refer to God in everyday conversation, other substitutes were used. Some of these were HaShem (The Name), Hamakom (The Place), hagavoah (The High), SHAMAYIM (HEAVEN) and many others. Even Elohim, which can refer to YHVH or other false gods, was often avoided. The reason I have started out by sharing this is because I wanted to bring clarity that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are the same thing.

In Exodus 19:6 we read, “ 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.”

We find here that it was the Children of Israel that were called out to be a “kingdom of priests” to Yahweh. However, we know that they failed to keep the commandments of their God. So, instead of “all” of the people becoming a kingdom of priests, God had to now introduce a mediator, the priests, to facilitate their approach to a righteous God.

This same nation failed again during the time of Samuel when they asked for a king. God had wanted to be their King, and they His subjects in a righteous kingdom, but they wanted an earthly king to rule over them; like the other nations. So, God gives them an earthly king, along with warnings about what living in that kingdom will be like. The prophet Samuel declares:

“And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.” - I Samuel 8:10-20

It is also recorded that Samuel wrote in a book these warnings and gave advice for it to be preserved so that it would be a testimony against them for their desiring an earthly king:

“Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.” - I Samuel 10:25

It was not as if God did not know ahead of time that they would request an earthly king to rule over them, for in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 Moses instructs them as to the way of kings that will rule over them in the future. What was one of the warnings that God spoke through Moses concerning their future kings?

“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law (Torah) in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law (Torah) and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.” - Deuteronomy 17:18-20.

Notice that the Hebrew word for “law” in these scriptures is Torah; as added by me above. So, it appears that God is giving notice that whenever they do ask for an receive a king, that He expects that king to have a copy of the Torah and that the king is to read and study it and it is by the Torah that he is to live and govern the people. We know that didn't happen with the vast majority of their kings.

So, what happens now to this people group and their destiny? Will they ever be able to recover what was lost by disobedience?

In I Chronicles 28:2-8 we read of a promise made to King David, a man after God's own heart, that the Kingdom of YHVH would be established forever through him; from his descendants, from his tribe of Judah, and passing, at his death, to his son Solomon.

“Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel: 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 (YHVH) over Israel. And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day. Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.”

Now we know that Solomon disobeyed and the Kingdom was divided up after his death. However, that did not take away from the promise of God to King David that he would reign forever. The prophets foretold of the coming “branch” from David that would come and rule over the House of David forever and be the ruler of, not only all the tribes of Israel, but the entire world. See Zachariah 3:1-10; 6:9-15; 9:9-10:1-12.

The Hebrew prophets foretold of the coming Anointed One, the Messiah, who would be this Son of David. This Messiah would come with great power and authority and He would not only restore a Kingdom to Israel but He would indeed rule the entire world. This Messiah would be “the righteous King” who would rule and govern according to the Torah of YHVH, as instructed by Moses (see above) for earthly kings. Under His rule all inhabitants of the earth will live in peace and tranquility. The government of Israel, under this great King, will rule the entire world.

King David and the people of his time understood this concept: