Dispensationalism and David's Kingdom
May 18, 2007
The Kingdom of God is one Kingdom from the beginning, but there are differing manifestations of it throughout history. Or perhaps a better way of looking at it would be to say that there are varying DEGREES of manifestation in the earth. As the crust and crud is removed, the perfect Kingdom is seen more and more.
It has always been the plan from the beginning that the Kingdom which originates in Heaven would manifest itself fully in the earth. For this cause were all things created, and if the divine plan were to fail, it would reflect upon God's own ability as Creator. When Moses suggested that the nations would think God was UNABLE to bring one little nation into one little land, God told him forcefully that "all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord" (Num. 14:21).
Israel's inheritance in the land of Canaan was only a small piece of the plan, a mere type of a much bigger plan that the meek would inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).
Thus, the heavenly Kingdom is coming to earth and has an earthly manifestation. The Restoration of All Things includes all that God created (Col. 1:16-20). A few verses earlier, in Col. 1:13, we read, "For He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son."
This verse shows us that believers are currently in the Kingdom. We do not need to wait for the coming Age to be in the Kingdom. And not just us, but also the Old Testament believers were in the Kingdom of God in its earlier manifestation as the House of Israel--and even further back to Adam.
The types in Saul and David show that for the past 2000 years we have been in an imperfect, leaven-ridden Pentecostal Age under the rulership of King Saul. During this time, "Saul" has persecuted "David," for God has used Saul as part of David's training for a future time.
The difference between Saul and David is not in the location of the Kingdom, but in their manner of administration. Both Saul and David ruled in the earth, and this will not change when the types are fulfilled by the antitypes. What WILL change will be the administrators. Whereas the Church under Pentecost has been ruling in the past 2000 years, the Overcomers under Tabernacles will rule in the Age to come. Hence, the overcomers of past ages must be raised from the dead in the first resurrection in order to fulfill the calling for which they have been trained (Rev. 20:6).
To some extent, these have been trained by "doing"--so it is not that they lack some experience in past ages. This has caused some to take the view that everything is NOW. They say the Kingdom is all NOW, and that the overcomers rule NOW. This is a partial truth, for we could set forth many examples of how even the wind and the seas obey our word.
But keep in mind that King David was overcoming Israel's enemies even while Saul was pursuing him like a wanted criminal. David was doing Saul's job for him. Even so throughout the Pentecostal Age, the overcomers have been doing the job that the Church failed to do. Yet in all of this, as seen in the type of David, the overcomers did not have the full authority needed to bring the manifestation of the Kingdom to the next level.
Saul was a legitimate king, and God did not allow David to kill him or to replace him ahead of schedule. Even so, the overcomers were unable to override Saul's decisions--at least until the death of "Saul" in 1993.
When God gave Adam the Dominion Mandate in Gen. 1:26, it meant that he was called to be "king" in the earth. This Mandate was passed down to his sons, and, along with the Fruitfulness Mandate, came to be known as the Birthright. Jacob later gave the Dominion Mandate to Judah and the Fruitfulness Mandate to Joseph.
But Judah's sin with Tamar in Genesis 38 tainted the lineage spiritually, and by the law in Deut. 23:2 prevented his children from taking the throne until the tenth generation. David was the tenth generation from Judah. The people did not understand, however, and they became impatient, demanding a king ahead of time. So God chose a man of Benjamin to rule them. This was Saul.
Saul became king ten years before David was born. After Saul reigned 40 years, he died, and David began to rule Judah at the age of 30 (2 Sam. 5:4).
For this reason also, Jesus ministered in Galilee and chose disciples from there. Galilee was the inheritance of the tribe of Benjamin after the Babylonian captivity. The people of Judah settled south of Jerusalem (Neh. 11:25-30), while the people of Benjamin settled north of Jerusalem (Neh. 11:31-35). The Levites were divided between them (Neh. 11:36).
The disciples were mostly of the tribe of Benjamin, but He did call "Levi the son of Alphaeus" (Mark 2:14), who is known to us as Matthew. He also called Judas Iscariot, the man from Kerioth Arba (Hebron), a town in Judah, in order that the type of Absalom's revolt might be fulfilled. But Judas was replaced (Acts 1:20), first by Matthias, but ultimately by Saul (Paul), the Benjamite.
All of this shows us that the Church under Pentecost was the antitype to King Saul. The Church started with Benjamites from Galilee and find their highest expression in Saul, whose name was changed to Paul. Paul also serves as an example to us how to move from Pentecost (Saul) to Tabernacles (Paul). King Saul stood head and shoulders above the people (1 Sam. 9:2), while the Apostle's name, "Paul," means LITTLE. It speaks prophetically of humility in the overcomers.
Thus, everything points to an Age in which King Saul reigned in a leavened manifestation of the Kingdom. Those who believe that we have already been in the Kingdom of God are absolutely correct. Yet the Dispensationalists are equally correct in saying that there is yet a future Kingdom Age. The problem is that both sides represent half of the truth, but they fight with each other over which truth is greater.
Our primary focus, however, is on Dispensationalism. This view is correct in seeing a future Age in which "David" (i.e., Christ) would rule. Their view breaks down, however, when they say that He will appoint "Jews" to rule in the Kingdom, many of whom (in that view) HATED Jesus Christ until the last minute when they were supposedly converted as soon as they saw Him coming in the clouds. They incorrectly assume that a simple repentance and belief in Christ at the last minute will qualify them to rule the Kingdom.
As I have said before, this view does not recognize the prophetic type in the story of Absalom's revolt. Dispensationalism was ignorant of how Absalom's revolt played out in the New Testament struggle for the throne. It is ignorant today of how the same story is being played out again in the struggle for the Birthright of Joseph (the Fruitfulness Mandate). In other words, the view does not understand how they have usurped the name Israel that was given to Joseph, even as they earlier usurped the throne of Judah.
This ignorance causes Dispensationalism to help play the role of Ahithophel (who assisted Absalom) and Judas (who assisted the chief priests).
So just how important is it to know the Scriptures? How important is it to know the types and shadows in the Old Testament? In my view, it can make the difference between playing the role of Judas or the role of the other disciples who remained faithful to Jesus. Fortunately, there is still time for Christians to change and play the role of the faithful disciples. The last Act of this play is still on-going, and it is not over until it's over.
Once the curtain falls, everyone will be rewarded for the parts that each played. At that moment, it will be too late to switch parts, for history will already have been written. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Dr. Stephen Jones