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Chapter 1 -  The King

The kingdom in the bible is called 'the kingdom of God'. Matthew frequently calls it 'the kingdom of heaven'. In Ephesians it is also called 'the kingdom of Christ and God'. The nation of Israel had been promised a king (Messiah) for hundreds of years.

For 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. 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 zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. - Isaiah 9:6-7

The prophet Daniel had been given a time in which to expect the arrival of the Messiah.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. - Daniel 9:25

Here the English translation 'weeks' for the Hebrew word ' shâbûa‛ ' can be misleading. The word actually means 'sevened'. While frequently used to describe a seven day week, it can also mean a group of seven years. This highlights the additional need for deliberative caution when seeking to draw from the bible an understanding. Precision and thoroughness are often neglected because they can seem tedious. However, the path of truth has value worth any price.

Another difficulty in understanding the 'king' of the kingdom lies in understanding the relationship between Jesus (God the Son) and God the father. Some people are surprised to see God mentioned as a plurality at creation.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. - Genesis 1:26

This opens the difficulty in considering the doctrine of the trinity (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). It was difficult for the disciples as well.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. - John 14:10

While the trinity is united in purpose, there is distinction in function.

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: - John 5:22

There are numerous prophecies regarding a future king. Sometimes these are in reference to a local ruler. However, references to the whole earth and 'all' nations tend to limit these descriptions to a future king.

In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. - Psalm 72:7-11

That this king is Jesus seems to be firmly established in the bible.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. - Luke 1:31-33

Jesus often referred to himself as the 'Son of Man' (a title applied to the Messiah)

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. - Matthew 16:28

A glimpse of the kingdom was given to three of the disciples.

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. - Matthew 17:1-3



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