Requirements for a Kingdom - Church part 3
I have to admit, the skeleton for this lesson comes from a class my husband had in college. He gave me this idea. In a class about the Old Testament he learned that a Kingdom should have these things:
1) Property - Land
3) Precepts - a Law
4) Potentate - a Leader
We can easily see this from the Kingdom of Israel. In Genesis chapter 12 and verse 7, God shows Abraham a land and promises it to his descendants. This is the land of Canaan that became Israel later when Joshua brought the Israelites in.
Also in Genesis, we see that Abraham's descendants were to be the people. See what God told Abraham:
The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you." (Genesis 13:14-17)
Here we see, again, the land promise, but at the end God is talking about the people that would become the nation of Israel. These are the people God (through Moses) led from Egypt into the wilderness.
It was in this wilderness, on the Mount Sinai, that the law was given from God to Moses. "And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them."
(Exodus 24:12) This law was for the nation of Israel only. It is not a law we should follow today. (See Col. 2:14 and Heb. 8:8-13)
The last thing is the King or ruler. Originally, God was to be the King over Israel, but the people insisted on an earthly human king. "And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands." (1 Sam. 10:19)
But our focus today is on the Church, God's new Kingdom. Let's identify these 4 things within the church.
The land that is promised to us is heaven. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Pet. 1:3-5, see also 2 Pet. 3:12-14) The people are listed in that section as well. Those "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." (1 Peter 1:5, see also Rom. 9:22-26) Our law was brought by Jesus. "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12:24) "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25) Jesus is also the head over the church, and Lord over the Kingdom. "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:17-23, see also 1 Tim. 6:13-16)
So, the Kingdom of God has a property or land (Heaven), a people (the saved), precepts or a law (the New Testament) and a potentate or ruler (Christ). Just as the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness before being allowed into their promised land, so we are sojourners here until we can get to heaven one day. Isn't it interesting that they wandered in the Wilderness of Sin (Num. 33:11-12) and we do, too. Let us not fall as they did in that wilderness.