The Four Elements of a Kingdom--Part 2
May 09, 2008
There are four essential elements that make up a kingdom: a king, citizens, laws, and territory. The Kingdom of God, too, is a real kingdom. Its King is Jesus; its citizens are those who believe in Him and the work He did on the cross; its laws are written in Scripture; and its territory is everything that God created in the heavens and in the earth.
Even so, sin and death have invaded the territory of the Kingdom. And so rebellion broke out among the citizens, who joined forces with usurpers of the Kingdom. History is the path by which those citizens recognize that they were created and therefore are owned by their Creator. They are not independent, nor have they the lawful right to exercise their "free will" outside of God's will. History is the path by which they return as citizens and then mature into Sons of God.
In Part 1 we focused upon the King, showing the origin of the Dominion Mandate and its progression until Jesus received the throne. Since He is immortal, He will always be the King of the Kingdom of God. Even so, His kingdom is not without opposition. There was opposition against His predecessors since the earliest times, most notably when Nimrod revolted against the rightful kings, Noah and Shem, who possessed the Dominion Mandate from Adam. Years later, Absalom revolted against King David, who possessed the Dominion Mandate.
Jesus, too, had opposition from the religious leaders of His day, and this story re-played the story of Absalom's revolt against David with the help of Ahithophel, David's friend who betrayed him.
But Jesus' death on the cross proved His righteous character, and it proved that He was possessed by the love of God--a love that is willing to die even for those who hated Him (Rom. 5:7, 8). Not only was Jesus the lawful King through lineage from Adam and through Judah and David, but He also had the righteous character proving His ability to rule with true justice and mercy. Furthermore, His resurrection to life and His ascension to the throne in heaven gave Him the ability to rule without possibility of dying again.
The story of Absalom and David prophesied that Absalom would indeed usurp the throne for a season, but that David would return and take the throne once again. So also the throne of Jesus Christ was usurped for a season, but He too will return to take His throne. We are now close to that day, and those who have supported the right side of this dispute will be given responsibilities as rulers in the Kingdom.
The second essential element that is needed to have a kingdom is a citizenry. The Kingdom of God has citizens who are those who serve God and the King that He has appointed to rule the earth. Today they are called "Christians," though not everyone who calls himself a Christian is actually a citizen of the Kingdom as far as God is concerned. God looks at the heart, not at the label.
Keep in mind that in the time of David, the majority of the tribe of Judah joined with Absalom and either supported or acquiesced in the overthrow of David. The same occurred in Jesus' day. The same has occurred in our day as well, for as I showed in my book, Who is a Jew?, what we call the "Church" is actually the continuation of the tribe of Judah after the "fig tree" had been pruned of most of its branches. This "fig tree" of Judah began with the 120 disciples in the upper room in Acts 2, and to them were added 3,000 and later 5,000, and so on. Still later, people of other nations were engrafted to this "fig tree" in such quantities that it appeared to be something other than a fig tree. This tree came to be known as "the Church." Few recognize it today as the fig tree of Judah, but it has always been so.
Unfortunately, many in this Judah-Church have been told that they ought to join with Absalom, on the grounds that Absalom is "chosen" to rule with the Dominion Mandate. I am speaking of Christian Zionism, with John Hagee as the chief representative of Ahithophel and Judas, whose calling it was to betray the true King. There is yet time today for Christians to join with David's company, the overcomers, instead of working as public relations employees for Absalom.
Nonetheless, when Christ returns, most of the Judah-Church will change their allegiance and will follow Him. We see this in the story of David's second coming. Even those most vocal against David, such as Shimei, will apologize and receive grace and forgiveness (2 Sam. 19:16-23). Yet such people will not be made rulers in the Kingdom, for they proved themselves to be unworthy.
There are, then, two categories of citizens in the Kingdom of God. There are the rulers and the ruled. For our purposes, we may call them the overcomers and the ordinary citizens. In a Kingdom, not everyone can be a ruler. There must be rulers, but there must also be people to be ruled. Rulers are only necessary because there are many who do not yet have the laws of God written in their hearts. Such people must be trained and brought to maturity. That is the job of the rulers.
In Luke 12:42-49, Jesus told a parable about faithful servants who are made ruler over all that He has. The same parable speaks of those who oppressed others, saying that they will be judged accordingly and will not be given positions of responsibility in the Kingdom. The implication is that such unfaithful servants had enjoyed authority in the Church prior to Christ's second coming, but that they would be stripped of those leadership roles in the Age to come.
So how does one become a citizen of the Kingdom? The simple answer is that it is by having faith in the King and that which He accomplished by His death and resurrection. Jesus died on the cross at the time when all the people were killing the lambs for the feast of Passover. John the Baptist had pronounced Him to be "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). He was the true Sacrifice for sin, which was prophesied every year by the lambs killed at the feast of Passover.
There were three primary feasts in Israel, which I have explained in greater detail in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming. These three feasts prophesied of the journey of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land, and they also prophesied of our individual "journey" out from the dominion of men's kingdoms into the Kingdom of God.
The three feasts represent three stages of development in our journey. Because Passover was the day that Israel left Egypt, it represents the time when an unbeliever becomes a believer and, in effect, "leaves Egypt." This is the feast day that makes one a citizen of the Kingdom of God, and it is by faith in the true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
The second feast day is Pentecost, which commemorates the day that God came down upon Mount Sinai and gave the Ten Commandments to Israel. Pentecost is the feast that represents the training of citizens to become rulers in the Kingdom. This training is designed to bring spiritual maturity to the believer and to instill in his heart the principles of biblical law by which he may govern and judge the people wisely, justly, and mercifully.
The third feast day is Tabernacles, which was the day that Israel was supposed to enter the Promised Land. Israel was not ready to enter Canaan at that time, for it prophesied of a later day, after God had trained many rulers over the centuries to rule in the Tabernacles Age to come. The feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled by the manifestation of the Sons of God, who are destined to rule under Christ's headship.
Citizenship in the Kingdom of God requires only faith in Christ. Rulership requires maturity.
This is the second part of a series titled "The Four Elements of a Kingdom." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones