The Place of the Abrahamic Covenant in the Salvation of Mankind


Chapter 10 - THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE DAVIDIC COVENANT

There are several words used in the Bible which carry a connotation of royalty: king; kingdom; reign; crown; majesty, etc.

The things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ constitute an epitome of the ingredients of the Gospel which must be believed prior to baptism. (Acts 3:12) The Kingdom of God is the terminal event portrayed in the fundamental prophecy connected with Nebuchadnezzar's Image:

"In the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. (Daniel 2:44)

The Abrahamic Covenant and its extension - the Davidic Covenant - both contain essential information concerning the Kingdom of God. Only a hint was given to Abraham when the Lord said, "Kings shall come out of thee" (Gen. 17:6) It remained for a much more detailed explanation of the Kingdom of God to be covenanted to David.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN HISTORY

The Kingdom of God in its initiatory form, was established as a Theocracy (Deut 5 etc.) at Sinai with the children of Israel as its subjects. It was a form of government under the sole Headship of God himself. In brief, the legislative, executive and judicial power was vested in the Almighty. In their civil, religious, social and family relations, they were to acknowledge and be obedient to His expressed will. In short, according to the Mosaic constitution, the Children of Israel were constituted a kind of republic under the immediate dominion of God, forming a strict theocracy.

This form of government exited for over 500 years and was changed when the Israelites demanded a visible King like the nations round about. The first king was Saul and the last king was Zedekiah - 587 B.C. The kingdom reached its zenith under David and Solomon. The Davidic throne and kingdom was called the Lord's. Thus, in I Chron. 28:5, it is "the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord over Israel"; in II Chron. 13:8, "the Kingom of the Lord"; and in I Chron 28:5, the king is placed by God "on his throne to be King for the Lord thy God". The King was expressly designated, "The Lord's Anointed" (I Sam 24:6; II Sam 19:21 etc.) Of Solomon it is said, "Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him". (I Chron. 29:23)

It was during the reign of David that the Davidic Covenant was contracted between God and King David. The covenant spelled out the following facts concerning the Kingdom:

  1. The Kingdom of God was destined to be "established" by a future descendant of David.

  2. The throne of this restored Kingdom was to be "for ever".

  3. The future King was to have God as his father as well as being a seed of David.

  4. The future throne and Kingdom were to be established for ever "before thee" that is, in David's presence. This promise necessitates the resurrection of David from the dead because David was informed that these future events would take place after his days were fulfilled and he slept with his fathers. (II Sam. 7:12)

TIME STUDY OF THE KINGDOM

From this information we can set down a time diagram of the Kingdom of God:

PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE THEOCRACY

The prophets of God consistently and constantly warned the kings of Israel and Judah that their wickedness and disobedience would bring an end to the Kingdom of God in its incipient stage. Perhaps the best-known warning is that given by Ezekiel to King Zedekiah:

"Thou profane wicked Prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown, this shall not be the same; 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 21:25-26)

From this warning we are informed that "it" (the Kingdom of God) was to terminate - not in perpetuity but until he come whose right it is.

There is no question about whose "right" it is because in the Angel's announcement to Mary he said,

"Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus, he shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end". (Luke 1:32-33)

The Restoration of the Kingdom

After the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples asked him a very cogent question: "Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6) From this question and Jesus' answer we draw the following facts:

  1. By use of the word thou it is evident that Jesus is the central figure in the question.

  2. By use of the phrase at this time, we ascertain the certainty of the matter. It was only a question of timing - not a question of reality.

  3. By use of the word restore, we know that the kingdom existed at a period in the past and that its restoration was anticipated by the apostles. (The word again is not in the original Greek text.)

  4. By use of the phrase to Israel, we are informed concerning the exact national entity under discussion.

A paraphrase of the question would read something like this:

"Now that you, Jesus Christ, have been raised from the dead and are alive for evermore, has the time arrived when you will re-establish the throne of David, bring back a theocratic monarchy to the Nation of Israel and assume your rightful office as King of the Jews?"

Notice that Jesus, in his reply to the question, did not contradict a single concept posed by the question. The only uncertainty contained in Jesus' reply was the matter of timing. All the other elements in the question remained intact and certain.

Both the Old and New Testaments consistently predict the re-establishment of the throne of David and the world-wide dominion of the Kingdom of Israel.

Often Isaiah 9:6 is quoted: "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace".

But read on!

"Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever."

The Psalms are eloquent on the fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant:

"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". (Psa. 89:3-4)

"The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David, he will not turn from it: of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne". (Psa 132:11)

The climax is described in Revelation 11:15:

"The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ and he shall reign for ever and ever".

THE SONG OF THE REDEEMED

"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth" (Rev 5:9-10)

"To participate in the honour and glory of this kingdom,it is necessary to be adopted into the family of Abraham, by believing the things which concern the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, and immersion into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

(The Revealed Mystery. John Thomas. Part III. His italics).