What, Where and When?
"The gospel according to Mark begins the story of Jesus' ministry with these significant words: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel" (1:14-15). Mark thus makes it plain that the burden of Jesus' preaching was to announce the Kingdom of God; that was the central thing with which he was concerned. A reading of the teachings of Jesus as they are found in the gospels only serves to bear this statement out. Everywhere the Kingdom of God was on his lips, and it is always a matter of desperate importance. What is it like? It is like a sower who goes forth to sow; it is like a costly pearl; it is a mustard seed. How does one enter? One sells all that he has and gives to the poor; one becomes as a little child. Is it a matter of importance? Indeed it is! It would be better to mutilate yourself and enter maimed than not to get it at all. So paramount, in fact, was the notion of the Kingdom of God in the mind of Jesus that one can scarcely grasp his meaning at all without some understanding of it.
"But for all his repeated mention of the Kingdom of God, Jesus never once paused to define it. Nor did any hearer ever interrupt him to ask, 'Master, what do these words 'Kingdom of God', which you use so often mean? On the contrary, Jesus used the term as if assured it would be understood, and indeed it was..." (John Bright, The Kingdom of God, Revised Edition, p.17).
Was it Jesus Christ's intention that the bulk of His hearers would understand His good news? Was it also Christ's intention that the readers of the Gospels, down through the ages to today, would understand it?
It appears that the answer to these two questions is NO. The good news of the 'Kingdom of God' is little understood today as it was during Christ's ministry.
A misunderstanding of the good news may be illustrated in what is the reward of those who 'repent and believe in the gospel':
"Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;... From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:12,17, AV).
"... seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33, AV).
Christ instructed his disciples to seek the "kingdom of God". Christ also taught that those who followed his instructions would be rewarded for so doing:
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5, AV).
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven..." (Matthew 5:12, AV).
It appears that the saints are going to inherit the earth and also be rewarded in heaven. If they are to inherit the earth will they dwell on the earth? Or, if they are to be rewarded in heaven will they dwell in heaven?
Alternatively, will they be at times on the earth and at times in heaven? Or can you dwell on the earth and in heaven at the same time?
The Kingdom of God is such a multifaceted and encompassing subject that the answers to all these question is yes.
"After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"" (Mark 1:14-15, NIV).
Jesus Christ came preaching the good news of the "kingdom of God". But what is the "kingdom of God"? The "kingdom of God" involves a number of concepts that include present and future aspects. Therefore the term "kingdom of God" may mean different things in different places. It is up to the hearer or reader to determine what is being referred to by the term "kingdom of God" from the context in which it used. More on this principle later.
The Kingdom of God, as mentioned, is a complex subject which requires some terms of reference:
Looking at the Merriam-Wester's Collegiate Dictionary definition of three components of a kingdom, we have:
king ... a male monarch of a major territorial unit
domain... defined as a territory over which dominion is exercised
subject... one subject to a monarch and governed by the monarch's law
A kingdom implies a king, law, territory and subjects.
Looking at the Biblical definition of "kingdom" (Gk. basileia) we have:
"BASILEIA ... is primarily an abstract noun, denoting sovereignty, royal power, dominion, e.g., Rev 17:18... then, by metonymy, a concrete noun, denoting the territory or people over whom a king rules eg., Matt 4:8..." (W.E.Vine, Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, p.294).
Before looking at basileia by metonymy, heaven by metonymy will be looked as an introduction to it.
"Metonymy is a figure of speech which refers to someone or something via an associated term". An example from the United Kingdom: The prime minister said - or by metonymy - Downing Street said. (See Gordon Jarvie, Grammar Guide, p.269).
"... until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men" (Daniel 4:32, AV).
"... after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule" (Daniel 4:26, AV).
"Heavens" is used by metonymy for God. Therefore the "kingdom of God" and the "kingdom of Heaven" may be used interchangeably:
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:23-24, AV).
"And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:23-25, AV).
The expression "kingdom of heaven" is exclusive to the book of Matthew. The term would appear to be primarily employed "in keeping with the special character, design and scope of his gospel..." (E.W. Bullinger, Companion Bible, Appendix 114, p.115).
Bullinger defines the theme of this Gospel as follows:
"Matthew. The Lord presented as Jehovah's KING. "Behold THY KING" (Zech 9:9). "Behold ... I will raise unto David a Righteous BRANCH, and a KING shall reign and prosper" (Jer 23:5-6; 33:15). Hence the royal genealogy is required from Abraham and David downward... and He is presented as what He is - before Man (relatively) - the highest earthly position, the KING" (Companion Bible, p.1304).
God, heaven, rule and kingdom are major motifs of the Book of Daniel. It is the "God of heaven" who will set up the coming kingdom (Daniel 2:44). In this book the expression "God of heaven" is used four times, with "Lord of Heaven" and "King of Heaven" both used once. It is this association of themes that provide a backdrop for Matthew's "kingdom of God".
By employing this expression Matthew indirectly, or by default, points to greater realities, as alluded to in this comment:
"The most common explanation is that Matthew avoided "kingdom of God" to remove unnecessary offence to the Jews who often used circumlocutions like "heaven" to refer to God... the suggestion has some merit. [While "kingdom of Heaven" is employed 33 times in Matthew, "Kingdom of God" is also used 5 times]. Yet Matthew is a subtle and allusive writer, and ... other factors may be involved" (D.A. Carson, Matthew, EBC, Vol.8, p.100).
These factors will become clearer as the article progresses.
The Biblical writers employed the abstract sense of the noun "basileia" by metonymy for the concrete sense of "kingdom":
"Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms [basileias] of the world, and the glory of them" (Matthew 4:8, AV).
In the abstract sense this would be literally "showeth him all the reigns [basileias] of the world".
With "basileia" having an abstract sense and a concrete sense there are contrasting translations:
"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth"
(Revelation 17:18, NIV).
"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which hath a kingdom over the kings of the earth"
(Revelation 17:18, AV); or "hath a reign over".
"... you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you" (Daniel 4:31, NIV).
"... saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee" (Daniel 4:31, AV).
THE KINGDOM OF THE LORD
"For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations" (Psalm 22:28, AV).
"The kingdom is the Lord's - though for a time Satan, on account of man's sin, usurps it as "prince of this world." What God really is, he must of necessity soon be acknowledged to be. That consummation shall be when Christ shall be manifested as "King of kings" and "Lord of lords" (Rev 19:11-16)" (A.R. Fausset, Psalms, JFB, Vol.2, p.151).
Looking at a definition of the "kingdom of God" we have:
"The Kingdom of God is (a) the sphere of God's rule... [and] ... (b) the sphere in which, at any given time, His rule is acknowledged" (Vine, ibid.).
These two spheres of God's rule were demonstrated in the Old Testament:
"... they shall drive thee from men ... till thou know that the most High ruleth [shalet] in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will" (Daniel 4:25, AV).
"And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel" (1 Chronicles 28:5, AV).
In this dispensation it may be said that God's rule is indirectly in the world and was directly in His nation.
Looking at the second sphere of the "kingdom of God" we have:
"Thus, speaking generally, references to the kingdom fall into two classes, the first, in which it is viewed as present and involving suffering for those who enter it... and second, in which it is viewed as future and associated with reward" (Vine, ibid.).
In the time of the present dispensation God is still indirectly ruling in the kingdom of men, that is, His sovereignty/power is being exercised without "men" generally being aware of it. A counterpart to Nebuchadnezzer experience is in the work of Christ at His first coming:
"But if I cast out devils ["demons", NIV] by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matthew 12:28, AV).
"Jesus unambiguously affirms that the kingdom "has come" [NIV]. ...[This] passage makes it clear that it is the exercise of God's saving sovereignty or reign that has dawned. The ambiguous "is near" (3:2); 4:17), coupled with the dynamic sense of "kingdom," prepares us for a constant theme: The kingdom came with Jesus and his preaching and miracles ... and it will come at the end of the age" (Carson, Matthew, p.101).
But God is also directly ruling in the Church - the "Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16). The sovereignty of God is being exercised in the Church which is seeking his righteousness. The Church acknowledges God as God and King and obeys His laws.
In the abstract and spiritual sense, the Church, the "Israel of God", is the "kingdom of God" to keep the parallel with the Old Testament experience. (Christ was King during his first coming, but without a kingdom - "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36)).
In the concrete sense, then, the Church does not as yet have a 'territorial' home, but it looks forward to one:
"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:16).
Closely associated with the hope of the Church, the "Israel of God", is the hope of the people of the nation of Israel:
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6, AV).
The kingdom that was removed was: "the kingdom of the LORD over Israel" (1 Chron 28:5), or as C.F. Kiel puts it "the Old Testament Kingdom of God" (Daniel, KD, p.525).
The time is coming, when Christ will restore to Israel her rightful position as a "kingdom of God". But that "kingdom of God" will establish the wider "kingdom of God":
"... a stone was cut out without hands... and ... became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Daniel 2:34-35, AV).
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isaiah 2:2, AV).
Israel is a "kingdom of God". God is "king" over and will Have his throne in Israel. But the whole world, is also to become the "kingdom of God". In that day the nation of Israel will be the throne of God over the worldwide "kingdom of God":
"At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart" (Jeremiah 3:17, AV).
The "kingdom of God" in relation to the earth is what we have termed a "set-subset" relationship. There is one "kingdom of God", but that one kingdom comprises two distinct entities - or two subset kingdoms - Israel and non-Israel.
In the "kingdom of God", Israel will perform the role that God intended for her:
"And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Exodus 19:6, AV).
"and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee" (Deuteronomy 15:6, AV).
In the time of the future dispensation "the kingdom of men" will continue to be a sphere of God's rule, but because all will come to know God, "the kingdom of men" will also be the sphere where God's rule is acknowledged.
The reign of Solomon, when he sat on "the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel" (1 Chronicles 28:5), is a type for the future "kingdom of God" over Israel:
... He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever... But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore" (1 Chronicles 17:12, 14).
"... 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).
In Jerusalem there are two thrones: God's throne in the Temple-complex and Christ's throne, the throne of David, in the Palace-complex. These two thrones are over the kingdom of the LORD in Israel. But the thrones of God and Christ in Israel are only types of greater realities.
The kingdom of God that Christ will restore to Israel is not the same kingdom of God that he came preaching about and which he urged His disciples to seek. But these two distinct kingdoms make up the one kingdom of God.
The Old Testament "kingdom of God", from the Exodus to the Babylonian captivity, was one kingdom but comprised two distinct subsequent phases. These two stages foreshadowed the two distinct subset kingdoms of God, or subset covenants, in the New Dispensation. These phases may be referred to as the "tabernacle" and "temple" subsets.
"A. Alt is probably correct in maintaining that the crowning of David as king over 'all Israel' (2 Sam 5:1-5) made him king of a dual kingdom in which Judah kept its separate identity" (H.L. Ellison,"Judah", NBD, p.628).
In a "set-subset" relationship the set and the subsets may have the same title. In the article The House(s) of Israel: An introduction to the Set-subset Concept of the Bible it was pointed out that the twelve tribes of Jacob make up the "house of Israel". But this house of Israel is divided into two kingdoms (cp. Isaiah 8:14). The northern ten-tribe national unit is also called the "house of Israel". The southern two-tribe national unit, "the house of Judah", is also called the "house of Israel". So the "house of Israel" may refer to three distinct entities - the set or either of the subsets. The context, generally, provides the means in determining which "house of Israel" is being referred to.
So far this article has looked at the "kingdom of God" as it relates to the earth. But the "kingdom of God" has another "set-subset" relationship which interacts with the earthly.
ANOTHER KINGDOM OF GOD
In the "set-subset" relationship a single word or expression may describe all three entities. The Bible employs a similar principle in its use of words. A word or expression may have one or more meanings, in different contexts. This is consistent in both Hebrew and Greek. For example:
"The wind [pneuma] bloweth where it listeth ["pleases", NIV], and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit [pneuma]" (John 3:8, AV).
"Jesus illustrates his point by a play on words applicable both in Hebrew and Greek. The word for "spirit" (Heb., ruah; Gr., pneum.) is the word for "wind" in both languages and can be translated either way, depending on context. Verse 8 could be translated "The Spirit breathes where he wills." NIV and other translations are undoubtedly correct, for the allusion to sound in the second sentence would not make much sense in sequence with "spirit"..." (Merrill C. Tenney, John, EBC, Vol.9, p.48).
With the Biblical writers employing these conventions it may, if one is not aware, or even if he is, lead to wrong conclusions being drawn on a certain subject, especially the reward of the saints. Typology may help in coming to the right conclusions.
The physical temple and throne of David in Israel are types of greater realities. The writer of Hebrews provides an example:
"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of bulls and goats]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:23-24).
The "physical" often provides a template of "heavenly" realities; (More on this later). The structure of God's heavenly domain appears to be pictured by the physical heavens.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1, AV).
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished..." (Genesis 2:1, AV).
The word "heaven" also has different meanings in different contexts. The Hebrew word translated heaven/heavens above is shamayim - in essence a plural word. But see below.
"The use of shamayim fall into two broad categories, 1) the physical heavens, and 2) the heavens as the abode of God.
"Under the first category, heaven includes all that is above the earth, and any given passage may include all or merely a part of the whole. Heaven and earth together constitute the universe (Gen 1:1). They [i.e., the heaven(s) - the earth's atmosphere] yield rain (Gen 8:2), snow (Isa 55:10), frost (Job 38:29), fire (2Kgs 1:10), dew (Deut 33:13), and thunder (1Sam 2:10). They [i.e. the heaven(s) - outer space] hold the sun, moon, planets, and stars (Gen 1:14; 15:5; Isa 14:12; Amos 5:26)...
"Heaven is, secondly, the abode of God (Deuteronomy 26:15; 1 Kings 8:30)" (Herman J. Austel, "Heaven", TWOT, Vol.2, p.935).
[The physical heaven(s) is our primary and immediate interpretation of shamayim in Genesis 1:1. In Genesis 1 shamayim is used for the earth's atmosphere (Gen 1:8) and for outerspace (Gen 1:14-17)].
But heaven(s)/shamayim is a "dual noun". Page H. Kelly explains:
"...There are three categories of number to be considered in connection with nouns. They are singular, plural, and dual... dual ... is used to designate things that occur in pairs, especially the organs of the body... ears (a pair of), hands (a pair of)... For reasons that are no longer clear, some nouns appear to have a dual ending but with out dual meaning. Included here are the following: water; sky, heavens; Jerusalem; Egypt" (Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar, p.37-40).
It is highly likely that the dual meaning implies that the subject may be divided into two parts. The physical heaven(s) comprise two distinct spheres - the earth's atmosphere and outer space. The physical heaven(s) may therefore be considered a "set-subset" relationship. Heaven(s) then would describe the set or any one of the subsets. This would agree with Austel's note on "heaven" that: "any given passage may include all or merely a part of the whole". In the same way as the term "house of Israel" in "any given passage may include all or merely a part of the whole".
The concept of Egypt adds extra weight to this argument:
"In form, the Hebrew name for Egypt is in the dual, indicating her two basic constituent divisions: Upper Egypt (Southern Egypt) and Lower Egypt (the Delta area)... The Egyptians themselves referred to their land as t3wy "two lands"..." (Victor P. Hamilton, "Egypt", TWOT, Vol.1, p.522).
In the NT the Greek word ouranos is translated heaven. We see the two spheres of this one heaven in these verses:
"the fowls of the heaven" (Matthew 6:26, RV) - the earth's atmosphere
"the stars of the heaven" (Hebrews 11:12, RV) - outer space.
We may refer to "the gaseous envelope that surrounds the earth" (Chambers English Dictionary) as the earth's atmosphere or, from the Biblical point of view, the earth's heaven. (But we don't usually say the earth's outer space). So we may say that in the physical "heavens" one sphere of heaven is closely related to the earth.
When a spaceship re-enters the earth's atmosphere, according to the Biblical definition, it has gone from one heaven to another. To say that a spaceship has left heaven does not necessarily imply that it is on the physical earth. If it has left heaven (outer space) it may still be in heaven (the earth's atmosphere).
In looking at the "set-subset" relationships one subset may be said to be "greater" than the other. In the example of the "house of Israel" as a set, the "house of Judah" may be considered the sceptre-subset and is therefore greater, as it contains the royal house of Israel (cp. Genesis 49:10), while the northern "house of Israel" may be considered the birthright-subset (cp. Jeremiah 31:9 - the firstborn son, usually, receives the birthright. The sceptre and birthright houses of Israel, as does the "set-subset" relationship of Jerusalem, which we will look at later, also pictures God and Christ.
If the physical-spiritual relationship is maintained, the spiritual heavens, "the abode of God", may also be a "set-subset" relationship, which the dual ending would seem to indicate. And that the lower-subset of the heavenly abode would be closely related to the earth; and if the lower-subset it would be the birthright realm.
The principle that may be drawn from the "set-subset" relationship is that though there are two distinct spheres they are considered as one.
It would then follow from the above that the earth is also involved in another "set-subset" relationship, with the earth being a set comprising a terrestrial and a heavenly subset realms. (The celestial realm of the earth is also a subset of the celestial or heavenly realm of heaven).
In providing a framework for this premise there are two interesting quotes to consider:
"Now, if you'll only attend, Kitty, and not talk so much, I'll tell you all my ideas about Looking-glass House. First, there's the room that you can see through the glass [i.e. mirror] - that's just the same as our drawing-room, only the things go the other way. I can see all of it when I get upon a chair - all but the bit just behind the fireplace. Oh! I do so wish I could see that bit! I want so much to know whether they've a fire in the winter: You never can tell, you know, unless our fire smokes, and then smoke comes up in that room too - but that may be only pretence, just to make it look as if they had a fire. Well then, the books are something like our books, only the words go the wrong way; I know that, because I've held up one of our books to the glass, and then they hold up one in the other room.
"How would you like to live in Looking-glass House, Kitty? ... Oh, Kitty! How nice it would be if we could only get through into Looking-glass House! I'm sure it's got, oh! such beautiful things in it! Let's pretend there's a way of getting through into it somehow, Kitty. Let's pretend the glass has got soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it's turning into a sort of mist now, I declare! It'll be easy enough to get through..." She was up on the chimneypiece while she said this, though she hardly knew how she had got there. And certainly the glass was beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist.
"In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room..." (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, p.98).
"When Alice stepped through the looking-glass in Lewis Carroll's classic children's story, she found a world populated by talking chess pieces and bread-and-butter-flies. The "standard model" of particle physics is hardly less strange. It says that there is indeed a looking-glass world, which is a near-perfect mirror image of this one.
"The standard model explains how the fundamental building-blocks of the universe fit together. Among other things, it says that, for every sort of particle that matter is made of, there is an antiparticle, which is like a mirror image of its this-world counterpart, with the same mass but opposite in all other respects...
"If the looking-glass world were a pure one, matter and antimatter would always be perfect opposites of one another... [But] ... there must have been an asymmetry that made more matter than antimatter...
"The standard model is not that clear... the amount of symmetry-breaking that it allows underestimated the amount of matter in the universe - by a factor of 100 billion..." (The Economist, Why matter exists, August 5, 2000, p.81).
Using the concept of "the world of matter and the looking-glass world of antimatter" it will be argued from the Bible that the earth comprises two distinct spheres - the visible and invisible - though they are considered as one; that it is possible, and desirable, to enter the invisible realm but it will require a different body to do so and that this world may be smaller, in a sense, than the visible earth.
With the physical lower-heaven [the earth's atmosphere] closely linked to the earth then the spiritual lower-heaven should also be closely linked to the earth. This would result in an overlap of the subsets of heaven and the earth. Therefore the lower-subset of heaven is the invisible upper-subset of the earth - that is, the invisible realm of the earth is the lower-realm of heaven.
"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:16, AV).
A modern analogy below helps to explain the interaction of the distinct terrestrial and heavenly subsets of the one "kingdom of God" in its relation to Israel.
"For since the creation of the world His [God's] invisible attributes are clearly seem, being clearly understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." (Romans 1:20, AV).
An extension of this principle is seen in human relationships. For instance, in the marriage relationship of husband and wife there is the "greater" reality of the relationship of 'Christ and the church' (Ephesians 5:30-31).
So in the form of organisation whether business, political, ecclesiastical, race (Genesis 9:27), family (Ephesians 5:22-6:4) or whatever, we may see a three tier structure, which also appears to be a mystery of a greater reality.
Therefore, to explain the structure of and the relationship between the spiritual heavens and earth we will use the structure and relationship of the three major levels of the federal legislative process of the Government of the United States of America - the Executive, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Looking at these levels of government we will include ancillary information that will also help in explaining this hidden reality.
"The second article of the [American] Constitution vests the executive power in the President. It also provides for the office of Vice President, who succeeds to the Presidency in case of death, resignation or incapacity of the President" (Richard C. Schroeder, An Outline of American Government, p.25).
"The office of President of the United States is one of the most powerful in the world. The President, says the Constitution, must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." To carry out this responsibility, he presides over the executive branch of the federal government - a vast organization numbering several million people - and in addition has important powers in legislative and judicial matters" (Schroeder, p.27).
"The day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws is in the hands of the various executive departments... The heads of the departments chosen by the President ... form a council of advisors generally known as the President's Cabinet.
"The Secretary of State is the highest ranking executive officer next to the President and Vice President... In general, the objectives of the State Department are:... To help promote the security interest of the United States and its allies;... To protect American citizens and their property abroad. The State Department supervises the Foreign Service of the United States, which includes the ambassadors..." (Schroeder, pp.35-36).
"The Defense Department is responsible for all matters relating to the nation's security providing unified direction of the armed forces under civilian control" (Schroeder, p.37).
"Despite the Constitutional provision that "all legislative powers" shall be vested in the Congress, [that is, in the Senate and House of Representatives], the President, as chief formulator of public policy, has a major legislative role" (Schroeder, p.27).
"... the presidential election ... is held every four years (in years divisible by four) on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November... The presidential term of four years begins on January 20 (it was changed from March by the 20th Amendment, ratified in 1933) following the November election. The President starts his official duties with an inauguration ceremony..." (Schroeder, pp.26-27).
"Article I of the Constitution grants all legislative powers of the federal government to a Congress composed of two chambers, a Senate and a House of Representatives" (Schroeder, p.51).
"The Constitution provides that the Vice President shall be President of the Senate... The Senate chooses a President pro tempore to preside when the Vice President is absent" (Schroeder, p.61).
"The Senate shares with the House of Representatives responsibility for all lawmaking within the United States. For any act of Congress to be valid, both houses must approve an identical document.
"The role of the Senate was conceived by the Founding Fathers as a check on the popularly elected House of Representatives" (EB, article 'Senate').
"The Senate may disapprove a House ...bill... or add amendments which change its nature. In that event, a Conference Committee made up of members from both houses must work out a compromise acceptable to both sides before the bill becomes law" (Schroeder, pp.53,60).
THE TWO CHAMBERS OF THE EARTH
The United States 'congress' is one entity made up two parts. The 'earth' is also one entity made up of two parts. The visible realm of the earth may be compared to the House of Representatives with the invisible to the Senate. The realm of heaven which incorporates God's throne parallels the Executive. The President in this analogy is God the Father, the Vice President is Jesus Christ, and the President pro tempore, as we will see, is Satan the devil.
The analogy breaks down in that the executive and senate is not considered as one entity. To help explain the relationship of heaven and earth we have the diagram below:
House of Representatives
We have taken the liberty of calling this middle-realm the "Heavenly-Earth" following cautiously in the footsteps of the apostle Paul who coined the name "heavenlies" to describe this realm in his letter to the Ephesians, which we will look at later.
Earlier we contended that the upper-subset of the "house of Israel" was the "sceptre" realm of the United Kingdom of Israel with the lower-house being the birthright realm. In the "set-subset" of God it may be said that God the Father is the "sceptre" God-being with Jesus Christ the "birthright" God-being. Jesus Christ, as God the Father's firstborn son, receives the birthright.
From this we will consider that
H = the sceptre realm of heaven
H-E = the birthright realm of heaven
H-E = the sceptre realm of the earth
E = the birthright realm of the earth
The physical nation of Israel, God's firstborn son/nation (Exodus 4:22), because of the intrinsic relationship of king/kingdom, will inherit the birthright realm of the earth in the millennium.
[An example of this type of intrinsic relationship is seen in Daniel 2. The head of gold of the dream-image was both the neo-Babylonian kingdom and Nebuchadnezzar, its antitypical king].
SATAN - PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed" (Luke 2:1, NIV).
"And the devil, taking him [Jesus Christ] up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it" (Luke 4:5-6, AV).
"... we have been led to believe that "all the world" was under the charge of the Roman emperor (2:1; 3:1). Now, however, in a way clearly parallel to the scenario painted in Revelation 13, we discover that the world of humanity is actually ruled by the devil..." (Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, NICNT, Vol. 9, p.194).
"The devil ... claims both authority over the kingdoms and the prerogative to give that authority to whomever he chooses" (R. Alan Culpepper, The Gospel of Luke, NIB, Vol.9, p.99).
"The temptation is for Jesus to rule the kingdoms of the world - i.e., to assume the role presently played by the Roman emperor, and to do it capitulating to the devil's kingship" (M. Eugene Boring, The Gospel of Matthew, NIB, Vol.8, p.164).
"Whatever rule the devil exercises is that allowed him by God; he can only delegate to Jesus what has already been delegated to him" (Green, The Gospel of Luke, p.195).
From the New Testament we also learn that the devil is:
"the prince of this world" (John 14:30, AV & NIV).
"the god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4. NIV).
"the ruler of the kingdom ["power", AV] of the air" (Ephesians 2:2, NIV).
"... the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9, AV).
"The NT enlarges upon the intertestamental literature's understanding of Satan as ruling over a kingdom of demons" (D.P. Fuller, "Satan", ISBE, Vol.4, p.342).
"But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils ["demons", NIV]" (Matthew 12:24, AV).
"And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?... But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house" (Matthew 12:25-29, AV).
"Jesus pictures Satan as a heavily armed prince dwelling with the demonic subjects in a fortified palace... "Satan, along with his demons, exercises so much power over the nations that he is termed the "ruler of this world"..." (Fuller, "Satan", p.342).
"There is a "kingdom of Satan" as well as a "kingdom of God", and this passage reveals the two locked in mortal conflict in the ministry of Jesus" (F.T. France, Matthew, TNTC, p.208).
From the above we can draw the conclusion that Satan, the ruler of demons, has a kingdom that rules over "all the kingdoms of this word". But this kingdom is invisible to the human eye.
THE DOMAIN OF THE KINGDOM OF SATAN
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient" (Ephesians 2:1-2, NIV).
"...the devil ... is here named the prince of the power of the air or (AG) 'the ruler of the kingdom of the air'. The word for 'air' could be translated 'foggy atmosphere', indicating the darkness which the devil prefers to light. But the whole phrase need mean no more than that he has command of those 'principalities and powers' ... who operate in the unseen world..." (John R.W. Stott, Ephesians, BST, p.73).
This unseen world is connected to the visible world:
"The much disputed "prince of the power of the air" ... probably refers to demonic activity in the region inhabited by man... In other words, Satan is active in the region where man is active" (J.T. Dennison, Jr., "Air", ISBE, Vol.1, p.85).
"Paul was not necessarily accepting the current notion of the air being the abode and realm of evil spirits. Basically his thought was of an evil power with control in the world (see on 6:12), but whose existence was not material, but spiritual" (Francis Foulkes, Ephesians, TNTC, p.69).
"The "domain of the air," in fact, is another way of indicating the "heavenly" realm, which, according to Eph. 6:12, is the abode of those principalities and powers ... against which the people of Christ wage war" (F.F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Ephesians, NICNT, p.282).
The 'air' then refers to its spiritual counterpart - the heavenly-earth, the invisible realm of the earth.
EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY COUNTERPARTS
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers [exousiai]. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. For rulers [archoi] are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same" (Romans 13:1,3, AV).
"The first word (exousia) is not a specific or technical term; it simply means those who are over others... Beyond v.1... [Paul] ...shifts from the plural to the singular, which suggest that the plural is meant to refer to the emperor and subordinate rulers, whereas the singular indicates any official of the government which whom a believer might become involved... With respect to the second word (archon v.3), we find Josephus using it, as Paul does, with reference to Roman rulers, but specifically those who ruled in the name of Rome over the Jews in Palestine (Jewish War II, 350)..." (Everett F. Harrison, Romans, EBC, Vol.10, pp.137,140).
"It is striking that the terms in Romans 13:1,3 for the governmental rulers instituted by God for the good of society (Gk. archon and exousia) are used in Ephesian 6:12 for the satanic powers against whom the Christian must wage spiritual warfare..." (Fuller, "Satan", p.342).
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities [archoi], against powers [exousias], against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places ["heavenly realms", NIV]" (Ephesians 6:12, AV).
"Paul ... introduces us to the devil ... and to certain 'principalities and powers' at his command..." (Stott, Ephesians, p.261). Their realm of operation is in the "high places". The Greek of "high places" is elsewhere translated "heavenly places" in the AV.
"The phrase ... en tois epouraniois, "in the heavenly realms" ... is peculiar to this Epistle... As R. Martin Pope has argued, it is used uniformly in Ephesians with reference to the unseen world..." (A. Skevington Wood, Ephesians, EBC, Notes, p.27).
(en tois epouranios is literally "in the heavenlies").
"The Greek, en tois epouraniois, means literally 'ln the heavenly things', but the other uses of the phrase show that it is much more than a synonym for spiritual, and that our translators are justified in their rendering..." (Foulkes, Ephesians, p.45).
"In some NT passages archai and exousiai refer to human political rulers (e.g. "rulers and authorities," Lk 12:11; Titus 3:1, following the normal Greek usage... Most frequently, however, archai and exousiai refer to personal, superhuman powers belonging to the angelic order... The NT writers do not distinguish between the archai, exousiai... the hymn in Col 1:16 states that the "principalities and authorities" (archai and exousiai), along with "thrones" (thronoi), "dominions" (kyriotetes), and all things visible and invisible in heaven and on earth, were created "through" (dia) and "unto" (eis) Christ. Originally, therefore, they were a part of God's good creation" (A.J. Bandstra, "Principalities and Powers", ISBE, Vol.3, pp.971-972).
D. Emmond Hiebert argues that in Titus 3:1 that "rulers and authorities" are "two abstract nouns, [which] signifies not the individual rulers but the various forms of human government" (Titus, EBC, Vol.11, p.443).
(It would appear that "rulers and authorities" have an abstract and concrete sense similar in principle to the use of the term "kingdom of God").
"The import of Ephesians 6:12 is that "our struggle is not with human beings but with cosmic intelligences; our enemies are not human but demonic... Whether 'principalities' and 'powers' refer to different ranks of evil spirits ... both titles draw attention to the power and authority they wield" (Stott, Ephesians, pp.263-264).
"In his commentary on Ephesians ... Dr Caird seems to concede that Paul was referring to 'spiritual beings who preside over all the forms and structures of power operative in the corporate life of men'. Indeed, 'The real enemies are the spiritual forces that stand behind all institutions of government, and control the lives of men and nations'" (Stott, Ephesians, p.270).
"...That they were given the names and titles as human rulers need not surprise us, since they 'were thought of as having a political organization' and are 'rulers and functionaries of the spirit world'" (Stott, Ehesians, p.272).
There appears to be two levels of government that are required to make this world function. The positions of authority in the physical world have their counterpart in the spiritual world. It would appear that this spirit-kingdom is a kingdom of demon-rulers. (More on Ephesians later).
The Old Testament supports this position:
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously" (Isaiah 24:21-23, AV).
"...host of the high ones - the heavenly host ... the invisible rulers of the darkness of this world (Eph. vi. 12), as the antithesis to the kings of the earth upon the earth shows. Angels, good and bad, preside as it were over the kingdoms of the world (Dan 10:13, 20- 21)" (Fausset, Isaiah, JFB, Vol.2, p.639).
"..."the host on high" signifies here the angelic army... Both the context and the parallelism show that the reference must be to a penal visitation in the spiritual world, which stands in the closest connection with the history of man, and in fact with the history of the nations. Consequently the host on high will refer to the angels of the nations and kingdoms; and the prophecy presupposes what is affirmed in Deut. 32:8 (LXX), and sustained in the Book of Daniel, when it speaks of a sar of Persia, Javan [Greece], and even the people of Israel. In accordance with this exposition, there is a rabbinical saying, to the effect that "God never destroys a nation without having first of all destroyed its prince," i.e., the angel who, by whatever means he first obtained possession of the nation, whether by the will of God or against His will, [who] has exerted an ungodly influence upon it. Just as, according to the scriptural view, both good and evil angels attach themselves to particular men, and an elevated state of mind may sometimes afford a glimpse of this enforcing company and this conflict of spirits; so do angels contend for the rule over nations and kingdoms, either to guide them in the way of God or to lead them astray from God; and therefore the judgment upon the nations which the prophet here foretells will be a judgment upon angels also. The kingdom of spirits has its own history running parallel to the destinies of men..." (F. Delitzsch, Isaiah, KD, pp.282-83).
"In that day" refers to the end-time, when two uprising take place, one in the terrestrial realm of the earth, with its focus on the future temple of Jerusalem and one in the executive realm of heaven with its focus on the heavenly temple.
"... Since the first day that you [Daniel] set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia" (Daniel 10:1, 12-13, NIV).
"There is a spiritual world unseen, which is closely connected with the world of sense that meets our eyes. This chapter draws aside the veil, and gives us a glimpse into the spirit world..." (Fausset, Daniel, JFB, Vol.2, p.443).
"... the Bible tells us that ... [demons] ... are organized into various provinces or domains, which are referred to in the NT as archai ("governments," "rulers"), exousiai ("authorities"), and enjoy the status of kosmokratores ("world rulers," "powers of this world"). Without flesh and blood, they are evil spirit-beings who occupy assigned superterrestrial regions (cp. Eph 6:12: "the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm")" (Gleason L. Archer, Jr., Daniel, EBC, Vol.7, pp.126-127).
"The prince of the kingdom of Persia... a representative of Persia in the heavenlies is intended; Greece also has an angelic counterpart (20)..." (Joyce G. Baldwin, Daniel, TOTC, p.181).
(This article, as mentioned above, also refers to "the heavenlies" as the heavenly-earthly).
The prince of Persia is "the angel of darkness that represented the Persian world-power, to which Israel was then subject..." (Fausset, Daniel, p.441).
[This demon-prince] "apparently the satanic agent assigned to the sponsorship and control of the Persian realm - put up a determined opposition to the actual delivery of the divine answer.
"While God, can of course, override the united resistance of all the forces of hell if he chooses to do so, he accords to demons certain limited powers of obstruction and rebellion somewhat like those he allows humans. In both cases the exercise of free will of opposition to the Lord of heaven is permitted by him when he sees fit... Verse 13 shows that the angels of God have power to counteract and thwart the agents of the Devil" (Archer, Jr., Daniel, p.441).
"... Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come... No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince" (Daniel 10:20-21, NIV).
"... the interpreting angel indicated that he was still in combat for the Lord and would soon have to return to the battlefield and fight against renewed attacks from the demon assigned to Persia by the prince of hell ... This antagonist would be succeeded and perhaps aided by another satanic champion called the "prince of Greece" (sar-yawan)..." (Archer, Jr., Daniel, p.126).
"When the difficulties arising from Satanic influence acting through the Persian court against Israel had been counteracted by the ministry of angels sent from God, a new enemy started up in the person of the prince of Grecia, who also was a weapon in Satan's hand, wielded against the people of God" (Fausset, Daniel, p.443). (Cp. The role of the Departments of State and Defense).
"The heavenly warfare is to be directed against first Persia and then Greece, because each of these in turn will have power over God's people" (Baldwin, Daniel, p.182).
This "ministry of angels" was from and sent from the executive sphere of heaven. For the messenger to reach Daniel he had to come through the "heavenly-earth" which then involved a confrontation with the spiritual forces in this heavenly realm. God rules in the kingdom of men and this was demonstrated with respect to Nebuchadnezzer. Though Nebuchadnezzar was "checked" for a time he was not displaced from office. God also rules in the kingdom of Satan. Satan and his demons are "checked" from time to time, but they are not as yet displaced from their office.
Though they have not as yet been cast from office, they have been disqualified from it:
"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:31-32, AV).
"It was because of disobedience that man was driven by God out of the garden of Eden for having submitted to the prince of this world (31); now by the perfect obedience of Jesus on the cross the prince of this world will be deposed from his present ascendancy" (R.V.G. Tasker, John, TNTC, p.150).
"The verb lifted up (hypsoo) is used in John exclusively to refer to Jesus' death (John 3:14; 8:28; 12:32,34), while elsewhere in the NT it means "exalt." It lends well to the double meaning of the method of death as specifically stated here (v.33) and the exaltation to spiritual sovereignty described in apostolic preaching (Acts 2:33; 5:31; Phil 2:9)" (Tenney, John, p.131).
Through the death of Jesus Christ, Satan and his demons have in effect been cast out, but they have not as yet left office.
This is similar to the election and inauguration of a new president. A new administration may be elected on the first Tuesday, after the first Monday, in November but it does not take office until January 20 of the following year.
Christ has qualified to replace Satan but has not yet taken office so that Satan is still the President pro tempore of this unseen world.
"The 'coming' kingdom of God, like the establishment of human kingdoms, implies the displacement of other kingdoms. It comes with the violence of conflict and triumph over an enemy" (General Editors: Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhot, Tremper Longman III, "Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven", DBI, p.480).
"For we wrestle ... against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
"... There is one word in the Greek (kosmokratoras) for the whole phrase rulers...of this world" (Foulkes, Ephesians, pp.172-173).
"KOSMOKRATOR ... denotes a ruler of this world... In Greek literature, in Orphic hymns ... and in Rabbinic writings ['of Nebuchadnezzar and pagan monarchs' (Stott, Ephesians, p.264)], it signifies a ruler of the whole world, a world-lord. In the N.T it is used in Eph 6:12... The context ("not against flesh and blood") shows that not earthly potentates are indicated, but spirit powers, who ... exercise Satanic and therefore antagonistic authority over the world in its present condition of darkness and alienation from God" (Vine, "Ruler", p.307).
"... All these usages exemplify the notion of a worldwide rule. When applied to the powers of evil they are reminiscent of the devil's claim to be able to give Jesus 'all the kingdoms of the world'..." (Stott, Ephesians, p.264).
It is, in a sense, fitting that the saints should have to wrestle with these rulers. Christ wrestled with Satan as Satan tried to thwart Him from qualifying to take over his position. So now these world rulers are trying to thwart the saints from qualifying to take over their positions.
"Paul shares with other New Testament writers, and with Jesus himself, the belief in the existence of a dark power to whom the human race, and the world, is subject because of sin - and the belief that, in Jesus Christ, God had defeated this power and is establishing his own kingdom in its place" (N.T. Wright, Colossians and Philemon, TNTC, p.62).
The "kingdom of the God", comprising Christ and the saints, is to replace the "kingdom of Satan", comprising Satan and the demons, in the 'heavenlies'. This is the "Good News" of the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of light is to replace the kingdom of darkness in the "heavenly places".
"The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there... David captured the fortress of Zion... David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David..." (2 Samuel 5:6-7, 9, NIV).
Just as the "fortress" city of the Jebusites became the "city of David" so the "high places" inhabited by the demons becomes the "city of Christ".
(Note: The city of David is centred on Mount Zion, but Solomon built the Temple centred on Mount Moriah).
"... the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory ... according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ ... 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" (Ephesians 1:17, 19-20, AV).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3, AV).
"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6. AV).
(As was seen earlier the Greek term for "heavenly places" is also translated as "high places").
"By virtue of their union with Christ .... [the saints] ... have shared in his resurrection, ascension and session. In the 'heavenly places', the unseen world of spiritual reality, in which the principalities and powers operate (3:10; 6:12) and in which Christ reigns supreme (1:20), there God has blessed his people in Christ (1:3), and there he has seated them with Christ (2:6). For if we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies, there can be no doubt what we are seated on: thrones!..." (Stott, Ephesians, p.81).
"In 1:20 we read of the declaration of the Father's power, not only in raising Christ from the dead, but also in the fact that he 'set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places'. So, as this chapter speaks of his quickening us together with Christ, it goes on to say that He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. In 1:3 the apostles has said that God has 'blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ'. Now he says more specifically that our life has come to be there, enthroned with Christ. If this is not explicitly stated elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles, the meaning is implicit is such passages as Colossians 3:1-3. Man, by virtue of Christ's conquest of sin and death and by His exaltation, is lifted 'from the deepest hell to heaven itself' (Calvin). His citizenship is now in heaven (Phil 3:20)..." (Foulkes, Ephesians, p.73).
"... there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him" (Hebrew 2:6-8, NIV).
"Prolepsis (Ampliatio); or Anticipation (Heb. 2:8). Anticipating what is going to be, and speaking of future things as present" (E.W. Bullinger, Companion Bible, Appendix 6: "Figures of Speech", p.12).
HEAVEN AS A CITY- KINGDOM
"[Abraham] looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God... These all died in faith, not having received the promises... But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:10,13,16, AV).
"The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2 Timothy 4:18, NIV).
"But our citizenship is in heaven [lit., "in the heavens"]. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20, NIV).
" ... Paul opens his discussion of the future coming with a present tense: Our commonwealth is in heaven. The word is really 'citizenship' (as RV), the noun corresponding to the verb discussed at 1:27. Christians are, even now, citizens of the commonwealth of heaven, and this is our status as we await our Saviour. We belong to a far-off homeland and wait for the King of that land to come and fetch us. Our names are on the citizenship rolls there and our place is secure, but while we wait here we must live as if we were there" (Alec Motyer, Philippians, BST, p.198).
"A Roman 'colony' was like a little piece of Rome abroad. The Latin language was used; Roman law controlled local administration and taxes; many aspects of public life went on as in Rome... the Philippians; as citizens of a Roman colony ... looked to Rome constantly" (Foulkes, Philippians, NBC, pp.1137,1125).
"...Dibelius paraphrases, 'We have our home in heaven, and here on earth we are a colony of heaven's citizens.' E. Stauffer [New Testament Theology, pp.296-297], moreover, has shown that the only satisfactory sense of Paul's words here must be a translation of politeuma as a 'capital or native city, which keeps the citizens on its registers'. The background of the word, in this context, is the situation of the readers who lived in a city which was a Roman military colony directly related to the capital city of Rome... The apostle here indicates the double allegiance of the Philippian Christians. As Roman subjects they are citizens of the far distant, capital city of Rome, where the emperor has his residence. As servants of 'another king, one called Jesus' (Acts 17:7), they are citizens of that capital city, where the King of kings has his domicile, and whose advent to establish his reign on this earth and to rescue his people (1 Thes 1:10) is awaited. Here on earth, meanwhile, they are resident aliens who dwell temporarily in a foreign country, but have their citizenship elsewhere (cp. Heb 11:13; Jas 1:1, 1 Pet 1:1; 2:11)" (Ralph P. Martin, Philippians, TNTC, p.163).
HEAVEN AS A TWO-PART CITY
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels" (Hebrews 12:22, AV).
"Mount Zion ... is described as the city of the living God in addition to the heavenly Jerusalem... The heavenly Jerusalem seems to foreshadow the idea of the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21... There may be significance in the linking of the Mount with the city, a not unfamiliar combination in ancient times, especially in the Greek environment, when the city centre (or 'agora') was dominated by the near-by mount (on which stood the acropolis)" (Donald Guthrie, Hebrews, TNTC, p.261).
Mount Zion is technically the city of David, but by the figure of speech synecdoche, where the part is put for the whole, the term was extended to include the entire city and the Temple-area.
This implies that Mount Zion is also a "set-subset" relationship. Mount Zion may apply to either the Temple-area and the city, or to the Temple and city as a unit:
"Mount Zion may refer to the hilly area in southeast Jerusalem, the temple mount, the whole city of Jerusalem, or, as in postexilic days, the whole land of Judah and the whole Israelite nation (ZPEB, 5:1063-65)" (Alan F. Johnson, Revelation, EBC, Vol.12, p.537).
"At the time of Solomon's marriage alliance with Pharoah's daughter, there was a distinction between "the city of David" and "Jerusalem" (cp. 1 Kings 3:1). A similar distinction between "Zion" and "Jerusalem" is reflected in a number of poetic passages in the Prophets" (W.S. Lasor, "Jerusalem", ISBE, Vol.2, p.1007).
UPPER AND LOWER CITIES
"Acropolis (Greek: "city at the top"), central, defensively orientated district in ancient Greek cities, located on the highest ground and containing the chief municipal and religious buildings. Because the founding of a city was a religious act, the establishment of a local home for the gods was a basic factor in Greek city planning. From both a religious and a military point of view, a hilltop site was highly desirable: military, because an acropolis had to be a citadel; religiously, because a hill was imbued with natural mysteries - caves, springs, copses, and glens - that denoted the presence of the gods. Athens has the best-known acropolis... The Athenian acropolis, located on a craggy, walled hill, was built as a home of Athena, the patron goddess of the city. The structures that survive consist of the Propylawa, the gateway to the sacred precinct; the Parthenon, the chief shrine to Athena and also the treasury of the Delian League; the Erechtheum, a shrine to the agricultural deities... and the Temple of Athena Nike..." (EB, Acropolis).
"...David took the fortress of Zion... [and] ... then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David" (2 Sam 5:7-9, NIV).
Chambers English Dictionary defines "Acropolis" as:
"a citadel, esp. that of Athens". [Gr. Akropolis - akros, highest, polis, a city.]; and
"a fortress in or near a city".
In the days of the Jebusites, it appears that Jerusalem was a two-part city. Joshua conquered the lower-part of the city but did not capture the fortress of Zion. It was David who eventually dislodge the Jebusites from the upper-city.
"This stronghold was lower than the temple and palace complex built by Solomon, since it was necessary to "bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion" (1 Kings 8:1 par. 2 Chronicles 5:2)..." (A.F. Ramsay, "Zion", ISBE, Vol.4, p.1198).
In the time of the Jebusites and David, the city of Zion was the upper city. David brought the ark of the covenant into his city "and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it" (2 Sam 6:17). But when Solomon built the temple on Mount Moriah, Moriah became the upper-part of the city.
Joshua and David, in this instance, picture the work of Christ. When Christ returns he first defeats the beast and captures "earthly" Jerusalem - this being the parallel to Joshua. It appears that shortly after this He defeats and ousts Satan from the "heavenly" Zion and then this "city" becomes Christ's city just as the stronghold of Zion became the city of David.
THE HOUSE OF GOD MORE THAN A TEMPLE
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2-3, AV).
Looking at the synonymous parallelisms we have:
Come let us go up to: the mountain of the Lord
The house of the God of Jacob;
and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem
If we combine the parallelisms we have "Jerusalem" referred to as "Zion", "the mountain of the Lord", and "the house of the God of Jacob".
"House" may refer to the "abode of God" or His "temple". House therefore is a "set-subset" relationship. The two subsets of the "house" are the temple and the city.
"...historically, the Lord chose Mount Zion (Pss. 78:68; 87:1-2); eschatologically, the whole earth will be the Lord's mountain home (11:9). This is why Isaiah speaks here of the Lord's 'house' (not temple). A 'temple' is primarily a place for worship; a 'house' is primarily where the Lord has come to live among his people (cf. Ex. 29:42-46)" (Alec Motyer, Isaiah, TOTC, p.50).
We see the NT equivalent:
"And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house (oikos: G3624) an house of merchandise" (John 2:16, AV).
"In my Father's house (oikia: G3614) are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2, NIV).
Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words defines the Greek words above as:
"1. OIKOS ... denotes ... a house, a dwelling ... it is used of the Tabernacle, as the House of God ... and the Temple similarly ... called by the Lord "your house" in Matthew 23:38 and Luke 13:35 (some take this as the city of Jerusalem)...
"2. OIKIA ... is a akin to No.1 [OIKOS] ... it denotes (a) a house, a dwelling ... it is not used of the Tabernacle or the Temple, as in the case of No.1; (b) metaphorically, the heavenly abode, spoken of the Lord as "My Father's house"..." (p.236).
The "house" of John 14:2 is the heavenly city of Jerusalem. Christ is preparing offices for the saints in His kingdom that was given to him by His Father.
EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY KINGDOMS
"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15, NIV).
"There is a verbal parallel elsewhere in the NT only in Matt 4:8 (in the temptation of Jesus), where the plural phrase ... "the kingdoms of the world," occurs and refers to the many individual kingdoms, each with its particular ruler, which makes up the world" (David E. Aune, Revelation 6-16, WBC, p.638).
"This great eschatology event that establishes once and for all the universal sovereignty is a recurring theme in OT prophecy. Daniel predicted the day when the kingdom of God would utterly destroy the kingdoms of this world (Dan 2:31-35), esp. v.44)... During his earthly ministry Jesus had resisted the tempting offer of Satan to hand over the kingdoms of this world in exchange fo worship (Matt 4:8-9). Now this sovereignty passes to him as a rightful possession in view of the successful completion of his messianic ministry..." (Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, NICNT, p.226).
"The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2 Timothy 4:18, NIV).
"The glorified Son of man shall rule mankind by His transfigured Church in heaven, and by His people Israel on earth: Israel shall be the priestly mediator of blessings to the whole world..." (Fausset, Revelation, JFB, Vol.3, p.692).
Earlier it was stated, in regard to the apostles question about the kingdom (Acts 1:6), that:
The kingdom of God that Christ will restore to Israel is not the same kingdom of God that he came preaching about and which he urged His disciples to seek. But these two distinct kingdoms make up the one kingdom of God.
It is the argument of this article that the "kingdom of God" that was the primary focus of Christ's preaching will be both in heaven and on the earth. That is the regular domain of the saints will be on the earth in its heavenly realm which is the lower-city, or kingdom, of heaven.
With this premise we will look in more detail at the kingdoms of God in the Millennium. To distinguish between the two "kingdoms of God", the one in the heavenly realm of the earth will be referred to as the upper kingdom with the one in the terrestrial realm as the lower kingdom.
THE UPPER KINGDOM OF GOD
"... the Father ... has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves" (Colossians 1:12-13, NIV).
ENTRY INTO THE KINGDOM
As Alice desired to enter "Looking-glass house" so it is desirable to enter the "kingdom of God". As a body in the near-perfect mirror image world of anti-matter is different to a human body so a heavenly body is required to inhabit the heavenly realms:
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:50-53, AV).
"... Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:5-6, AV).
"... since it is a kingdom of which one becomes a citizens not by natural birth but by new birth, it is something that needs to be entered... Once a person has entered the kingdom, it is something that they "possess"...
"... entry into the kingdom of God requires conscious decision. Rich people can scarcely enter it all (Mt 19:23-24; Mk 10:23-24; Lk 18:24-25). It is open only to those who repent (Mt 21:28-32) and who produce the fruits of the kingdom (Mt 21:43). To enter the kingdom one must abandon other allegiances in single-minded devotion to the kingdom (Lk 9:59-62). People enter the kingdom "through many persecutions" (Acts 14:22), which implies opposition to the kingdom and a willingness to pay the price of suffering for the immeasurable higher value of the kingdom" ("Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven", DBI, Ryken, Wilhot, Longman III, General Editors, p.480).).
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:21, AV).
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations" (Revelation 2:26, AV).
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4, AV).
"Two thrones are mentioned: (1) His Father's, upon which He has sat since His ascension, after victory over death, sin, world: upon this none can sit save God, and God-man Christ Jesus, for it is the incommunicable prerogative of God; (2) the throne peculiarly His as the one humbled and then glorified Son of man, to be set up over the whole earth (heretofore usurped by Satan) at His coming again: in this the victorious saints shall share (1 Cor 6:2). The transfigured elect shall with Christ judge and reign over the nations in the flesh, and Israel foremost of them" (Fausset, Revelation, p.671).
"As Jehovah employed angels to ordain the law, when on Sinai He established His throne in Israel, so at His coming the saints with transfigured bodies shall administer the kingdom for and under Him. The nations of the earth and Israel, the foremost in the flesh, shall be the subjects of the Lord and His saints. The mistake of the Chiliasts was, they restricted the kingdom to the terrestrial part. Besides this earthly glory, there shall be the heavenly glory of the saints reigning above" (Fausset, 1 Corinthians, JFB, Vol.3, p.298).
In the kingdom of God, as in any government, there are various positions and levels of authority. The apostles will be ruling over Israel:
"And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28, AV).
With the demon-princes over the nations cast out some of the saints will be over nations. According to the parable of the talents (Luke19:12-26) and the pounds (Matthew 25:14-29) some of the saints will be over cities and others will be "rulers over many things".
To sit with someone on their throne is to share in their rule as subordinate-rulers.
THE LOWER KINGDOM OF GOD
""The king asked Daniel ... "Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?"... "You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue... The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay... You, O king, are the king of kings... You are that head of gold. After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom... Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom... In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever" (Daniel 2:26, 31-33, 37-41, 44, NIV).
In the Future Watch booklet Who and What is the Beast of Revelation? the requirements listed for a kingdom to be a part of the dream-image of Nebuchadnezzar were:
(1) it was the leading gentile empire of the world;
(2) the people of Judah were a vassal people of that empire;
(3) the empire had possession of the city of Jerusalem; and
(4) the Jewish sacrificial system was in operation, with a temple, during a part of each gentile overlordship.
In the earthly-kingdom that Christ, ("a" stone of Israel, cp. Gen 49:24; Eph 2:20), will set up - after the above requirements have been fulfilled one more time in the coming kingdom of iron and clay - Israel will:
(1) be the leading nation of the world
(2) be over the nations
(3) will have possession of Jerusalem; and
(4) have a sacrificial system, with a temple, in operation.
Ezekiel 40-48 describes the religious and civil set-up for the "kingdom of God" over Israel in some detail. This kingdom, as the throne of God, will be over the "worldwide kingdom of God". In this sense Israel will have a worldwide empire.
"'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.' For this is what the LORD says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices... I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore'" (Jeremiah, 33:15-18, 22, NIV).
This article will now look briefly at three aspects - the Levitical priesthood, the Davidic "prince of Israel" and the "glory of the Lord" - of the 'Lower' Kingdom of God - "the kingdom of the LORD over Israel".
"But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok ... they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge" (Ezekiel 44:15-16, AV).
"... almost all aspects of the Ezekiel system are identical with Mosaic procedure. It is primarily the omissions, with some modifications in keeping with the purpose of Ezekiel's worship that compose the differences..." (Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, EBC, Vol.6, p.947).
"The priesthood in Ezekiel is composed of the Levites as helpers in the maintenance, administration, and function of temple worship; but those of the Zadok line will be the only ones permitted to minister before the Lord with the most holy things (44:5-16)..." (Alexander, Ezekiel, p.948).
"And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths" (Ezekiel 44:23-24, AV).
"... the focus shifts from the priests' cultic service before Yahweh to their function in Israelite society, referred to by Yahweh affectionately as "my people." Three dimensions of their public role are specified" (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT p.642).
"Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the heaps; and Azariah the chief priest, from the family of Zadok, answered, "Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over"" (2 Chronicles 31:9-10, NIV).
The sons of Zadok ministered in Solomon's Temple and they will minister in Ezekiel's Temple - the Millennial Temple.
(Map adapted from John B. Taylor, Ezekiel, TOTC, p.273). (Unit of measurement either "cubits" or "rods").
THE PRINCE OF ISRAEL
"And upon that day shall the prince [nasi'] prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin offering" (Ezekiel 45:22, AV).
"The prince is to enter from the outside through the portico of the gateway and stand by the gatepost. The priests are to sacrifice his burnt offering and his fellowship offerings. He is to worship at the threshold of the gateway and then go out, but the gate will not be shut until evening" (Ezekiel 46:2, NIV).
"Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance" (Ezekiel 46:16, AV).
"The English word "prince" connotes royalty. However, the word nasi' would best be translated "leader"" (Alexander, Ezekiel, p.974).
The prince was "allowed to enter the east gateway of the inner court and to go as far as its innermost threshold (46:2). There he would have a full view of what was going on at the central altar, but he was not permitted to set foot within the inner court, which was reserved exclusively for priests and Levites" (Taylor, Ezekiel, p.276).
"This leader was not the Messiah, because the leader made a sin offering for himself (cp.45:22)... In addition, this leader had natural children (46:16)..." (Alexander, Ezekiel, p.974)
"Charles Feinberg believes that he is a "future scion of David's dynasty who will represent the Messiah governmentally in the affairs of the earth"" (Walter C. Kaiser, nasi' [prince], TWOT, Vol.2, p.601).
"The LORD said to me, "This gate is to remain shut... It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it. The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD..." (Ezekiel 44:2-3, NIV).
"The prince must mean the civil ruler under MESSIAH. His connection with the east gate (by which the Lord had returned to His temple) implies that, as ruling under God, he is to stand in a place of peculiar nearness to God. He represents Messiah, who entered heaven, the true sanctuary by a way that none could... he holding the place of God in political concerns, as the priests do in spiritual..." (Fausset, Jeremiah - Malachi, JFB, Vol.2, Pt.2, p.368).
The "prince of Israel" will be the leading human-being on the earth during the Millennium.
"'... I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them..." (Exodus 29:46, NIV). "... and be your God, and you will be my people" (Leviticus 26:12, NIV).
"... Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God" (Revelation 21:3, NIV).
God desires to live with His people - mankind. Because God is a 'spirit-being' without sin and His people are 'human-beings' with sin this cannot happen at once. God has implemented a plan to enable 'human-beings' to become 'spirit-beings' without sin so that God can literally 'dwell' with them.
But in His plan God provides a prototype and foretaste of His dwelling with His people. The prototype is the "Glory of the Lord".
THE GLORY OF THE LORD
"Now it came to pass ... as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God... Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD..." (Ezekiel 1:1, 26-28, NIV).
"These were the living creatures I had seen beneath the God of Israel by the Kebar River, and I realized that they were cherubim" (Ezekiel 10:20, NIV).
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14, NIV).
"... made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory. The Greek for "made his dwelling" is connected with the word for "tent/tabernacle"; the verse would have reminded John's Jewish readers of the Tent of Meeting, which was filled by the glory of God (Ex 40:34-35)" (The NIV Study Bible, note on John 1:14, Kenneth Barker, Gen. Editor, p.1593).
Jesus Christ is "the glory of the Lord", (cp. also Hebrews 1:3, 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6), in the same way he is "the word of God". John said the "the Word" was also God. By comparing the two quotes from Ezekiel above it is seen that "the glory of God" is also God.
"Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'" (John 20:17, NIV).
While God the Father is both Lord and God so is Jesus Christ:
"And Thomas answered and said unto him [Christ], My Lord and my God" (John 20:28, AV).
"And he [Jacob] blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil..." (Genesis 48:15-16, AV).
The relationship of God and Jesus Christ in the NT is practically the same as God and the "Angel of God" in the Old Testament. The Angel of God, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ was also God in the OT.
"And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night" (Exodus 13:21, AV).
"And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them" (Exodus 14:19, AV).
"... I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them..." (Exodus 29:46, NIV).
God dwelt in the Old Testament "kingdom of God" in both the 'tabernacle' and 'temple':
"... the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle" (Exodus 40:34, NIV).
"When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven... and the glory of the LORD filled the temple" (2 Chronicles 7:1, NIV).
"In Old Testament times, God's glory was the visible manifestation of his presence in the midst of his people. Thus Isaiah's vision of the glory of God filling the temple (Isa. 6) forms the basis for his assertion in the following chapter of "God with us" ("Immanuel," Isa. 7:14; 8:8)" (Iain M. Duguid, Ezekiel, NIVAC, pp. 492-493).
"I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people" (Leviticus 26:11-12, NIV).
"God promised to dwell among his people (v.11) in the tabernacle spiritually, not materially. From the word for "dwelling" (miskan) and its root, the later Israelites developed a name for the presence of God in the Most Holy Place - the Shekinah. The expression "I will walk among them" (v.12) is not to be literalized... It refers to life fellowship, and behaviour. Enoch, Abraham, and many others were said to "walk with God"... God would continually fellowship with his people if they obeyed his word; he would live among them..." (R. Laird Harris, Leviticus, EBC, Vol.2, pp.643-45).
There are four stages to the "kingdom of God" in the earthly realm - two under the Old Covenant and two under the New Covenant.
The pattern of God's presence and dwelling in the Old Covenant is similar to the New Covenant.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23, AV).
"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 2:1-4, NIV).
"... a lambent flame, in the form of a cloven tongue, became stationary on the head of each disciple; a proof that the Spirit of God had made each his temple or residence. That unusual appearances of fire were considered emblems of the presence and influence of God, both the Scriptures and the Jewish writings amply prove" (Adam Clarke, Acts, ACCB).
"... the Son is the glory of the Father, shining forth with a truly divine splendour... Jesus Christ in his person is God manifest in the flesh, he is light of light, the true Shechinah" (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hebrews).
"Although the word "Shekinah" does not occur in the Bible, the root skn occurs not only in the verb ("dwell"), but also in the noun miskan ("dwelling place," "tabernacle" and the name Shecaniah ("Yahweh dwells"; e.g. 1 Ch. 3:21f.)...
"The association of Jesus with the Shekinah is ... apparent ... in the NT. Paul saw the resurrected Jesus and was blinded by His brightness (Acts 9:3-9...
"The presence of the Holy Spirit is also a representation of the Shekinah... At Pentecost the Spirit came down and rested on the 120 disciples...
"The NT is clearly set against the Jewish background. The NT authors attributed to the Spirit and to the Son the glory associated with the Shekinah..." (W.A. Vangemeren, "Shekinah", ISBE, Vol.4, pp. 466-468).
In the two stages of the Old Covenant and the first stage of the New Covenant Christ is not present - in person - micro-managing His kingdom. This is also the pattern of the second stage of the New Covenant.
THE DEPARTURE AND RETURN OF THE GLORY OF THE LORD
The Old Covenant Kingdom of God came to an end when God could no longer dwell with His people.
"... and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel... And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing - the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary?..." (Ezekiel 8:3-4, 6, NIV).
"Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them" (Ezekiel 10:18-19, NIV).
"The glory of the LORD went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it" (Ezekiel 11:23, NIV).
But all was not lost, God promised to return.
"... 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries ... I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God'" (Ezekiel 11:16-17,19-20, NIV).
"This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain" (Zechariah 8:3, NIV).
God is going to return and renew His covenant and resume dwelling with His people.
"And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory... And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house... And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile..." (Ezekiel 43:2-7, AV).
In the future kingdom of God "... the temple will provide a throne for God among his people (43:6-7), [and] the residency of his glory (43:1-2) from which he will rule over his people" (Alexander, Ezekiel, p.947).
"... and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there" (Ezekiel 48:35, AV).
"... there is something remarkable about this city bearing this new name. The center of gravity in Ezekiel's cartography of power is obviously the temple, the place where Yahweh resides in the midst of the most sacred teruma several miles north of the city. In comparison the city is for human habitation... the city reflects the presence of Yahweh!" (Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, p.741).
In the future the "prince", a descendant of David, will represent God and Christ in Jerusalem, exercising godly rule; and "good" will be "present in a particular potent way", so reflecting God, that it may be said 'God is there'.
SAINTS AS PRIESTS
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus" (Hebrews 3:1, AV).
"... who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man" (Hebrews 8:1-2, AV).
"Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises..." (Hebrews 8:3-5, NIV).
Christ, as high priest, "exercises His priesthood IN HEAVEN, not in the earthly 'holiest place'..." (Fausset, Hebrews, JFB, Vol.3, p.550).
With Christ a high priest it implies there are other priests:
"Therefore are they [the saints] before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them" (Revelation 7:15, AV).
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6, AV).
"This transformation simultaneously involves the induction of blood-freed sinners into Christ's "kingdom" and priesthood. Of Israel it was said that they would be a "kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exod 19:6; cp. Isa 61:6). The OT references as well as John's probably refer to both a "kingdom" and "priests" rather than a kingdom of priests" (Johnson, Revelation, p.422).
"The saints shall constitute a kingdom of God (ch.5:10) ... kings in relation to man, priests in relation to God, serving day and night in His temple (ch. 5:10; 7:15)" (Fausset, Revelation, p.656).
[After the wars at the return of Christ] "there will remain Israel and the heathen... These will be subjects of a general conversion (11:15). "The veil" shall be taken off Israel first, then from off "all people" (Isa 25:7). The glories attending Christ's appearing, the destruction of antichrist, transfiguration of the Church, and binding of Satan, will prepare the nations for embracing the gospel... As the Church begins at Christ's ascension, so the kingdom at His second advent... If revelation is to recommence in the millennial kingdom, converted Israel must head humanity. Jews and Gentiles stand on an equal footing, as both alike needing mercy; but as regards God's instrumentalities for establishing His kingdom on earth, Israel is His chosen people. The Israelite priest-kings on earth are what the transfigured priest-kings are in heaven... A new time of revelation will begin by the outpouring of the Spirit (Zech 12:10). Ezekiel, son of a priest, sets forth Israel's priestly character; Daniel, the statesman, its kingly; Jeremiah ... both its priestly and kingly... The Mosaic ceremonial corresponds to Israel's priestly office; the civil law to its kingly office... in the millennium both Jews and Gentiles united, under the first-born brother, Israel, walk in the light of God, realizing the full life of humanity. The human race is not an aggregate of individuals and nationalities, but an organic whole, laid down once for all (Gen 9:25-27; 10:1,5,18,25,32; Deut 32:8, declares that from the first the division of nations was made with relation to Israel)... The flower of Shem, the representative of spiritual life, is Israel: as the flower of Israel is He in whom all mankind is summed up, the second Adam (Gen 12:1-3), Israel is mediator of Divine revelations for all times... Earthly and heavenly glories shall be united in the twofold election. Elect Israel in the flesh shall stand at the head of the earthly; the elect spiritual church, the Bride, in the heavenly. These elections are not merely for the good of the elect, but for whom they minister. The heavenly Church is elected, not merely to salvation, but to rule in love, and minister blessings over the earth, as king-priests" (Fausset, Revelation, p.722).
"Now a priest speaks to God on behalf of men and to men on behalf of God..." (Leon Morris, Revelation, TNTC, pp.49-50).
"The transfigured elect shall with Christ judge and reign over the nations in the flesh, and Israel foremost of them: ministering blessings to them, as angels were the Lord's mediators of blessings and administrators of government in setting up His throne in Israel at Sinai" (Fausset, Revelation, p.671).
"You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;... But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God..." (Hebrews 12:18, 22, NIV).
"... Christians have come to no sacred mountain that can be touched physically but to the heavenly dwelling-place of God, the true and eternal Mount Zion...
"As the earthly Zion was the meeting point for the tribes of the old Israel, so the heavenly Zion is the meeting point for the new Israel. Their heritage, the place of their solemnities, is "the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem." If the moveable tabernacle in the wilderness was constructed according to the pattern of the sanctuary on high, so the temple and the city of Jerusalem were material copies of eternal archetypes (Cf. 1 Chron. 28:11-19, where the plan of the temple given by David to Solomon is made clear "by the writing from the hand of Yahweh concerning it"" (FF. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Revised, NICNT, pp.355-356).
"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads" (Revelation 14:1, AV).
"...it is the heavenly Zion which is here referred to. The Temple on Earth was close to Mount Zion; so the Temple in heaven is correspondingly near to the heavenly Zion" (E.W. Bullinger, Revelation, p.443).
"Therefore are they [the saints] before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them" (Revelation 7:15, AV).
The inheritance of the saints is the 'heavenly' Zion - the 'heavenlies'. The saints reward also includes access and responsibilities in the 'heavenly' temple on the 'heavenly' Mount Moriah. How may this work?
David, in his conquest of the 'earthly' Zion, provides a type of Christ, in his conquest of the 'heavenly' Zion. David in his preparations for the building of the 'earthly' temple may also provide a type for Christ and the 'heavenly' temple.
"These were the divisions of the sons of Aaron... With the help of Zadok a descendant of Eleazar and Ahimelech a descendant of Ithamar, David separated them into divisions for their appointed order of ministering" (1 Chron 24:1 & 3, NIV).
"In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah (NIV)... And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord (AV)... When his time of service was completed, he returned home (NIV)" (Luke 1:5, 8-9, 23).
"Luke ... tells of Zechariah, a priest from the country (39f.), who took his turn in ministering in the Temple. There were many priests, but only one Temple. So the served on a roster (1 Ch.24:1-6). The priests were divided into twenty-four divisions... Each division was on duty twice in the year, for a week on each occasion... Zechariah evidently remained at the Temple until the end of his week of service, then went home" (Morris, Luke, TNTC, pp.75 & 79).
"Home" for the saints, in this typology, is the 'heavenlies'.
It has been argued that the earth comprises two chambers - a terrestrial and a heavenly realm. It has also been argued that heaven comprises two chambers - heaven and the 'heavenlies'. The earthly and heavenly Temples also comprised two chambers - the "Most Holy Place" and the "Holy Place". The "Most Holy Place" pictures heaven and Eden, and the "Holy Place" pictures the 'heavenlies' and the 'garden of Eden' as argued in what follows.
GARDEN IN EDEN A TYPE OF THE 'HEAVENLIES'
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7, AV).
"The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side... He asked me, Son of man, do you see this? Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me... Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing" (Ezekiel 47:1-2, 6-8,12, NIV).
"This river is similar to the rivers in the Garden of Eden and the eternal state. In Genesis 2:8-10 God provided a river that gave life to the land in that perfect environment..." (Alexander, Ezekiel, p.990).
"Because the garden in Genesis was planted in a well-watered place (Eden), it took Eden as its name. But technically speaking, the garden should be understood as adjoining Eden because the waters flows from Eden and waters the garden (see Gen. 2:10)" (John H. Walton, Genesis, NIVAC, p.168).
In Genesis, Eden is a place that contains, and adjoins, a garden - a set-subset relationship. A river, with its source in Eden, then flows into the garden to water it, which then flows out of Eden. In Ezekiel the river emanates from the temple then flows eastward and then southward into the Dead Sea. In Revelation the river emanates from the throne of God and the Lamb and flows down the middle of the street of the New Jerusalem.
"On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold. For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood with five-sided jambs. And on the two olive wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with beaten gold. In the same way he made four-sided jambs of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall. He also made two pine doors, each having two leaves that turned in sockets. He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings" (1 Kings 6:29-35, NIV).
"... palm trees and open flowers... The depiction of cherubim and beautiful trees and flowers is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden, from which man had been driven as a result of sin (Ge 3:24). In a symbolic sense, readmission to the paradise of God is now to be found only by means of atonement for sin at the sanctuary" (The NIV Study Bible, note on 1Kings 6:29, Kenneth Barker, Gen. Editor, p.482).
"... ancient near Eastern temples ... normally encompassed a large enclosure with a garden, not just a building" (Alexander, Ezekiel, p.883).
"... the holy place ... was also intended to mimic the Garden of Eden... the 'holy place' in the first primeval temple (e.g. the lampstand with seven lamps representing luminaries also alluded to the 'tree of life' in Eden)...
"The Garden should be viewed as not itself the source of water but adjoining Eden because Genesis 2:10 says 'a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden'.... 'Eden is the source of the waters and [is the palatial] residence of God, and the garden adjoins God's residence'" ... the areas where the source of water is located, may be comparable to the inner sanctuary of Israel's later temple and the adjoining garden to the holy place..." (G.K Beale, The Temple and the Church's Mission, pp.56 & 74).
"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it" (Genesis 2:15, NIV).
"They are to take care of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle" (Numbers 3:8, NIV).
"... (1) since there are a couple of contexts in which smr ["take care of"] is used for Levitical service along with bd ["work"] (e.g., Num. 3:8-9), (2) since the context used of smr here favors sacred space, (3) since bd is as likely to refer to sacred service as to agricultural tasks, and (4) since there are other indications that the garden is being portrayed as sacred space, it is likely that the tasks given to Adam are of a priestly nature - that is caring for sacred space. In ancient thinking, caring for sacred space was a way of upholding creation. By preserving order, chaos was held at bay" (Walton, Genesis, p.173).
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God... Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezekiel 28: 13-15, AV).
"The second half of v. 14 locates this cherub on the holy mountain of God... The expression "mountain of God" is familiar from the Sinai and Zion traditions... The statement bears a closer resemblance to Isa. 14:13... But here our prophet seems again to be mixing his metaphors. How can the cherub be in the garden of God and on the mountain of God at the same time. Two possibilities exist. Either the garden is on the mountain, or the former highlights the paradisiacal aspect of his home while the latter reflects his status, viz., he had access to God, the head of the divine assembly. This privilege was necessitated by his role as anointed agent of God, guarding the garden.
"The final line depicts the cherub walking back and forth among stones of fire... Unlike the carved stationary cherubim that decorated ancient hallways or guarded entrances of buildings and grounds, this figure walks back and forth, expressing his freedom and especially his supervisory role within this environment..." (Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapter 25-48, p.114).
The synonymous parallelism below would suggest that the 'garden of Eden' and the 'holy mount' are the one and same place.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God
thou wast upon the holy mountain of God
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!... For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:12-14, AV).
"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground..." (Ezekiel 28:16-17, AV).
ABSALOM A TYPE OF ANTICHRIST AND SATAN
"But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him" (2 Samuel 14:25, AV).
"Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision ... Absalom would say to him, "Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you." And Absalom would add, "If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that he gets justice." Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (1 Sam 15:2-6, NIV).
"A messenger came and told David, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom." Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, "Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin upon us and put the city to the sword"...The king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom..." (2 Sam 16:13-14, 19, NIV).
(Isaiah and Ezekiel are telescopic prophecies where the antitype is superimposed over the type. The former-type is the OT prince of Tyrus, the latter-type is the end-time Assyrian prince with Satan being the antitype of the two).
Running through the Bible is this theme of a younger son prevailing over the older son. The elder son disqualifies himself by committing iniquity. The argument here, based on angels also being counted as sons of God (cp. Job 38:6-7) is that Lucifer and most likely, Christ's angel, mentioned in Revelation, were the two foremost angels, with Satan being first of these two. It would then follow that these two angels were the covering cherubs over the throne of God and the Word. When God created the heavens and the earth Lucifer, who became Satan, was God's anointed in the heavenly realm over the earth. Lucifer, the "first-born" angel, ruled from the "birthright" kingdom of heaven over the pre-Adamic world.
Comparing Ezekiel and 2 Samuel Absalom is a type of Satan and the Antichrist. Lucifer stole the hearts of the angels he was over, and not content to sit on the throne of his kingdom led his angels into the upper-realm of heaven to overthrow God. He was cast from the upper-realm of heaven back to the lower-heaven, where he is still today.
The two stage theme that runs through the "kingdom of God" has its parallel in Satan's kingdom. Satan ruled the pre-Adamic age and rules the present age. As Satan appears to have rebelled at the end of his first stage he also rebels at the end of his second. Rebellion seems to be a pattern at the end of human and (evil) spirit kingdoms.
Satan as the ruler of this world offered Christ all the kingdoms of the world, but Christ refused. In the end-time the Antichrist accepts and he then becomes Satan's delegated ruler of the terrestrial world. In the end-time Satan once more attempts to take over the heavenly Moriah, but fails, while his delegated king succeeds in taking over the earthly Zion/Moriah - (Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4)).
"You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold;... You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones" (Ezekiel 28:13-14, NIV).
"And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God...The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst" (Revelation 21:10-11, 19-20, NIV).
Terrestrial Eden and Jerusalem appear to be types of heaven. On the coming of the New Jerusalem Leon Morris comments that "heaven will, so to speak, come down to earth" (Revelation, p.237).
A.R. Fausset points out that "Havilah, connected with Eden by the river Pison, contained (Gen 2:12) "gold, bdellium, and the onyx stone" ... [and that] the nine precious stones here mentioned answer to nine of the twelve (representing the twelve tribes) in the high priest's breastplate (Exodus 34:10-13; compare also the twelve precious stones which formed the twelve foundations of the new Jerusalem, Rev 21:14,19-21)..." (Ezekiel, p.310).
"The word ... "adorned" ... if it is derived from the verbal root ... "to fence or hedge" ... then the noun would mean "hedge" or "fence" as in Mic 7:14. If this is correct, then perhaps the passage is speaking about some fence of precious stones that surrounded "Eden, the garden of God" (Alexander, Revelation, p.885).
(It may be that Lucifer was also high-priest in the temple of God before he sinned and that the adornment has a dual import - one, to his priestly role, and second, to his kingly city-realm).
C.F. Kiel defines Eden as "delight" and garden as literally "a place hedged round" (Pentateuch, p.50).
"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43, AV).
"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Corinthians 12:2,4, AV).
"Paradeisos ... is of Persian origin ... akin to [the] Greek peri, around, and teicho, a wall whence it passed into Greek... The Septuagint translators used it of the garden of Eden, Gen 2:8" (Vine, "Paradise", Vol.3, p.158).
"And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever"" (Genesis 3:22, NIV).
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever..." (John 6:51 NIV).
"The tree of life symbolized Adam and Eve's continued relationship with God in maintaining obedience... the tree of life stood in the paradise of God as the symbol of blissful eternal life in the presence of God. If the Garden of Eden is a type of heaven, then the tree of life is a type of Christ through whom eternal life may be gained" (Elmer B. Smick, "Tree of Knowledge; Tree of Life", ISBE, Vol.4, pp.901-3).
"... the objects kept in the antechamber of the Old Testament sanctuary are intended to evoke the garden. The menorah is a symbol of the tree of life, and the table for the bread of the Presence provided food for the priests" (Walton, Genesis, p.182).
The physical "garden in Eden", "Mount Zion", and/or "non-temple Jerusalem" are all types of the heavenly-earth, the lower-realm of heaven - the 'heavenlies'.
POURING OUT OF THE SPIRIT
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy... And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:17-18, 21, AV).
"The last days" refer, primarily, to the time just prior to, at, and after Christ's second coming. The literal fulfilment of Joel's prophecy occurs at that time. "The last days" primarily refer to the time of the temple new covenant with the "house of Israel and Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31) in the flesh. The dawn of the "last days" begins the temple new covenant.
But superimposed on the nation of Israel is the "Israel of God". So that the literal events of the last days have their type in the tabernacle "kingdom of God" in the flesh. So that the events prior to, at after Christ's first coming are the "last days" for the church in that respect. The dawn of the "last days", for the church, begins the tabernacle phase of their new covenant.
So that the pouring out of the spirit at Pentecost is only a type of the great pouring out of the Spirit in the days of the temple new covenant. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is only the first-fruits of the great spiritual harvest.
This great pouring out of the Spirit occurs when the great demon spirit is bound.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THE SPIRIT OF SATAN
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others" (Ephesians 2:2-3, AV).
"the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2, AV).
"God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil 2:13, AV).
"... to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts 26:18, AV).
"A further phrase is the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience... 'the ruler of the kingdom of the air' is also 'the ruler of the spirit which works in disobedient people'. 'Spirit' then becomes an impersonal force or mood which is actively at work in non-Christian people. Since Scripture identifies the devil not only as the source of temptations to sin, but also as a 'lion' and a 'murderer', we may safely trace all evil, error and violence back to him in the end. When he and the mood he inspires are said to be at work in human beings, the verb (energeo) is the same as that used of God's power (1:20) which raised Jesus from the dead" (Stott, Ephesians, p.74).
"Which he wrought [energeo] in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:20).
"... Paul speaks of the authority of the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. In this phrase there is another grammatical difficulty, but whether spirit depends as a genitive on prince or power, the essential meaning is clear. The old life, without the energizing of God (see 1:11 and 20) is subject to the energizing of (Gk. energountos) the powers of evil, controlled by the spirit which has the evil one as its source. For man's inner life must be surrendered to the working of God or to that of the powers of evil (cp. Lk 22:3; Jn 13:2,27; Acts 5:4; and especially Lk 11:24-26). And if men are surrendered to the power of evil, they become those whose habit of life is contrary to the living God, and so there rightly called the children of disobedience (cp. 5:8)" (Foulkes, Ephesians, pp.69-70).
(There is no grammatical difficulty in intent. It appears to be a typical Biblical construct that requires a dual interpretation).
"Satan is the unholy spirit ... who apes the operations of his divine counterpart by being constantly at work. The verb (energountos, "operating"; NIV, "at work") is deliberately chosen to imply rivalry with the Holy Spirit (cp. Eph 1:19, 20)" (Wood, Ephesians, p.34).
We see this in operation in the OT:
"... the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing..." (Ezra 1:1, AV).
"And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel" (1 Chronicles 21:1, AV).
With the heavenly-earth being over the terrestrial-earth Satan, who is spirit, projects his own spirit to influence or govern the earth. When he sinned his spirit power became an unholy force. Still in office he wields his evil-spirit exerting his ungodly influence over life on the earth. This spirit is symbolised by "the tree of knowledge of good and evil".
With Satan being bound during the Millennium the firstfruits "kingdom of God" will flourish over the earth. When Satan is destroyed the "kingdom of God", when God comes to this earth, will flourish over the universe. Satan sin was a postponement to the realization.
"He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape... It held two thousand baths... He then made ten bronze basins, each holding forty baths... one basin to go on each of the ten stands. He placed five of the stands on the south side of the temple and five on the north. He placed the Sea on the south side, at the southeast corner of the temple" (1 Kings 7:23, 26, 38-39, NIV).
"The great tank represents either the cosmic waters or the "waters of life" that emanate from the Garden of Eden. Divine forces subdue the waters of chaos ("sea") so that they provide life-giving nourishment for plant, animal and human life..." (August H. Konkel, 1 & 2 Kings, NIVAC, p.142).
"The large reservoir that constituted the Sea then supplied the "ten" smaller "basins"..." (J. Barton Payne, 1,2 Chronicles, EBC, Vol.4, p.453).
"In the pride of your heart you say, "I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas"" (Ezekiel 28:2, NIV).
The operating harmony of the two realms of heaven for the blessing of the earth is also typed in Genesis.
"A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters" (Genesis 2:10).
"The picture presented is of a mighty spring that gushes out from Eden and is channelled through the garden for irrigation purposes. All of these channels thus serve as headwaters, for the four rivers flow out in various directions as the waters exit the garden.
"... the geography used here is not a topographical geography, but a cosmic geography. Though the four rivers were real bodies of water, their description concerns their cosmic role. The river of Eden was the place of God's abode and the source of life-giving water for the earth that flowed through the rivers" (Walton, Genesis, pp. 168-169).
The 'garden of heaven' - the 'heavenlies' - is the conduit or medium by which God blesses the earth. Harmony in the heavenly and earthly temples 'gushes' out blessing for the earth and mankind.
"Genesis 2 reflects the concept of sacred space and the sacred compass, and it served as the model for the tabernacle and later the temple. Israel's sanctuary ideology can therefore be seen as a restoration of Eden... God's presence again dwelt among people. The priests and Levites were once more able to take up the mandate given to Adam and Eve, to serve and preserve sacred space as they performed their duties in the temple complex, though the presence of sin required elements not necessary in the garden..." (Walton, Genesis, p.193).
"The ministry of the Levitival priesthood was vital to the health of the community because through their instruction and ritual actions the people were led into righteousness and away from sin (Mal. 2:5-9; cf. Deut 33:10). In this way, covenant relationship with Yahweh was maintained and the community of God's people enjoyed peace and the prosperity of his blessings" (Andrew E. Hill, 1 & 2 Chronicles, NIVAC, p.421).
THE MISTAKE OF THE PREMILLENNIALISTS
"... God had sworn with an oath to him [David], that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne" (Acts 2:30, AV).
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10, AV).
Unfortunately the Premillennialists, formerly known as Chiliasts, misunderstand the import of the above scriptures and argue that in the future Christ and the saints will 'literally' be on the earth, in the physical realm, reigning over the peoples of the earth.
This booklet has argued against this interpretation and will now look in more detail at the principles behind the understanding of these Scripture.
There are two related ways of understanding Acts 2:30, Revelation 5:10 and other scriptures. These are the principles of (1) Delegated Authority and, (2) the Absolute and Dynamic Interpretation of Scripture.
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 11:15, AV).
Revelation 11:15 has this typical Biblical construct where "he" is to be a dual interpretation. He refers to God and Christ. God will reign on the earth but He won't be present in person for at least another thousand years.
God reigns on the earth through delegated authority. God will rule through Jesus Christ and the saints. Christ and the saints, in the heavenly-realm, will reign on the earth through their earthly-counterparts. For example:
Christ will reign through the "prince of Israel" and the twelve apostles will rule through the human leaders of the twelve tribes.
Christ will sit on His throne in the heavenlies and He will reign on the throne of David in Israel through the delegated Davidic leader, following the example of the OT 'temple' kingdom of God.
The 'prince' (Hebrew nasi') that oversees Ezekiel's temple follows the example of another nasi' who oversaw a temple:
"Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you [Solomon] and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God" (2 Chronicles 9:8, NIV).
God and Christ were God in the Old Covenant Kingdom of God. The throne of David was Christ's throne in Israel as He was the 'Word of God'. The throne of David will be Christ's throne in the New Covenant Kingdom of God as the 'Son of God'.
MODERN EXAMPLE OF DELEGATED AUTHORITY
"Australia is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II reigning as 'Queen of Australia'" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia).
"Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia..." (http://en.wikipedia.org).
"... the Queen does not play a day-to-day role in the [Australian] Commonwealth Government" (http://www.ags.gov.au/publications/auslegal).
"... the Executive power of the Commonwealth [of Australia] shall be vested in The Queen and exercisable by the Governor-General as The Queen's representative" (http://www.aph.gov.au).
"The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative in Australia of Australia's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, who lives in the United Kingdom. The functions and roles of the Governor-General include appointing ministers and judges, dissolving Parliament, giving Royal Assent to legislation, issuing writs for elections and bestowing honours. The Governor-General is President of the Executive Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Forces. All these things are done and all these posts are held under the authority of the Australian Constitution and carried out in the name of the Queen...
"The main official residence of the Governor-General is Government House, Canberra [the capital city of Australia]" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor-General_of_Australia).
Just as Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning 'Queen of Australia', who does not dwell in Australia, but is represented by the Governor-General who does, Jesus Christ will not be dwelling on the earth during the Millennium, though his 'glory' will dwell in the Temple (Ezekiel 43:4-7), but will be represented by the prince(s) of Israel who will dwell on the earth.
George VI would have been able to say to his daughter Elizabeth that she would "inherit" Australia, as part of her realm (cp. Matthew 5:5), and that she would "reign" as Queen of Australia (cp. Revelation 5:10), knowing that Elizabeth would not 'dwell' in Australia.
THRONES, REIGNING AND DWELLING
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10, AV).
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4, AV).
It may be argued that if you are going to be consistent in interpretation then the above scriptures should be understood in a similar sense to the below scriptures.
"I know ... where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is... where Satan dwelleth" (Revelation 2:13, AV).
"I know where you live - where Satan has his throne... where Satan lives" (Revelation 2:13, NIV).
"The risen Christ knows where they live (katoikeis suggest permanent residence): it is "where Satan sits enthroned" (Moffat, The NT: A New Translation)... It was here that Satan had established his official seat or chair of state. As Rome had become the centre of Satan's activity in the West (cf. 13:2; 16:10) [sic], so Pergamum had become his "throne" in the East.
"The verse concludes with a repeated emphasis on Pergamum as the place "where Satan lives." A contrast is intended with the first clause ("were you live") - both the believers and their ultimate adversary live in the same locality..." (Mounce, The Book of Revelation, pp.78-80).
It could be argued that if the saints are literally to reign on the 'physical' earth in the Millennium then it would follow that Satan was literally reigning and dwelling on the earth when John wrote the Book of Revelation.
The true intent is that Satan did not and Christ will not in the Millennium, reign on literal earthly thrones in earthly cities.
Revelation 13 was mentioned earlier concerning Christ's temptation by the Devil. Christ refused the devil but the Antichrist accepts him. A related principle is illustrated there.
"Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"" (Revelation 13:4, NIV).
"Deification of secular power [i.e. emperor worship] is in fact the worship of Satan" (Mounce, The Book of Revelation, p.249).
When "Men" worship the Antichrist they are in fact worshipping Satan, though they do not realise it.
This principle may be illustrated by the apostle Paul.
"... Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison... Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples... As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied" (Acts 8:3, 9:1, 3-5, NIV).
"... when the voice went on to ask the question "Why do you persecute me?" Saul was without doubt thoroughly confused. He was not persecuting God! Rather, he was defending God And his laws!...
"Saul came to realize something of the organic and indissoluble unity that exists between Christ and his own. For though he believed he was only persecuting the followers of Jesus, the heavenly interpretation of his action was that he was persecuting the risen Christ himself" (Richard N. Longenecker, Acts, EBC, Vol. 9, p.371).
"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me" (Luke 10:16, NIV).
"... but above all that in persecuting Jesus he was persecuting One who had attained a heavenly status and was shown to be vindicated and upheld by God. Paul's zeal for the cause of God had turned into an attack on the God who raised Jesus from the dead" (I. Howard Marshall, Acts, TNTC, p.170).
The 'heavenly interpretation' relates to the absolute and dynamic interpretation of scripture. In the 'dynamic' sense Paul was persecuting 'the church' but in the absolute sense he was persecuting Christ and God.
THE HEAVENLY INTERPRETATION
"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire..." (John 8:44, NIV).
"Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men"" (Matthew 16:23, NIV).
"I know ... where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is... where Satan dwelleth" (Revelation 2:13, AV).
"The phrase "where Satan dwells" means either that someone representing Satan lives in Pergamon or that evil is present in a particular potent way in Pergamon" (David E. Aune, Rev. 1-5, WBC, p.185).
Satan wasn't personally in Pergamon but the rule and conduct of the city so reflected Satan that it could be said that Satan ruled and dwelt there.
Earlier in regard to "... and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there" (Ezekiel 48:35, AV) it was noted that in the future the "prince", a descendant of David, will represent God and Christ in Jerusalem, exercising godly rule; and "good" will be "present in a particular potent way", so reflecting God, that it may be said 'God is there'.
While the saints will reign in the 'heavenly' realm of the earth it may also be said, in the heavenly sense, that they reign in the 'earthly' realm of the earth.
"Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee an house [in Jerusalem] to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever" (1 Kings 8:12-13, AV).
"And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwellingplace: and when thou hearest, forgive" (1 Kings 8:30, AV).
"... almost the first words of Solomon at the temple's dedication ceremony are to the effect that God is in this building... it is not quite as simple as it looks to explain what sense the statement is, and is not, true. The temple is intended to be a place for God 'to dwell in for ever' (6:2), and if we are ask a reason for the curious linking of this verse with the previous one, the Lord's own declaration 'that he would dwell in thick darkness', it may not be altogether frivolous - in fact it may be the truest answer - to point to the windowless room at the heart of the temple... Solomon is perfectly aware of the ambiguity about the darkness where God is. While this preface to the ceremony calls the temple God's dwelling-place, his prayer states eight times over that God actually dwells in heaven (6:21, 23, 25, 27, 33, 35, 39)" (Michael Wilcock, The Message of Chronicles, BST, p.143).
THE ABSOLUTE AND DYNAMIC INTERPRETATION
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8, AV).
"God himself speaks and, with his own signature, vouches for the faithfulness of the coming of Christ... Only the Book of Revelation refers to God as the "Alpha and the Omega". God is the absolute source of all creation and history..." (Johnson, Revelation, p.423).
"... yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live" (1 Corinthians 8:6, NIV).
"God the Father is the ultimate source of creation (Ac 4:24). God the Son is the dynamic one through whom, with the Father, all things came into existence (Jn 1:3; Col 1:16)" (New International Study Bible, p.1744, note on 1 Corinthians 8:6).
God the Father is the absolute God-being and Creator while God the Son is the dynamic God-being and Creator. God creates through Jesus Christ.
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10, AV).
Based on this principle we can say that Christ and the saints will reign on the physical earth in the absolute sense but the nation of Israel will reign in the dynamic sense.
Summary: Questions and Answers concerning the "kingdom of Heaven"
A spirit-kingdom of "kings in relation to man, priests in relation to God".
In the "heavenlies", also referred to as "high places", "heavenly places" or "heavenly-earth".
"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever" (Daniel 2:44, NIV).
That is, after the destruction of the Antichrist's kingdom of "iron and clay" and the binding of Satan.
Will the saints dwell on the earth?
Yes. In the invisible-realm of the earth.
Will the saints dwell in heaven?
Yes. In the lower-realm of heaven.
Will the saints dwell on the earth and in heaven at the same time?
Yes. In the invisible realm of the earth which is also the lower-realm of heaven.
Will the saints be at times on the earth and at times in heaven?
Yes. In relation to man they will be kings in the heavenly-earth; in relation to God they will be priests, serving in courses, in the upper-realm of heaven.
The good news of the Kingdom of God is that Christ and the saints are going to replace Satan and the demons in the 'heavenlies'.
This was the focus of the first three and a half years of Christ's seven year ministry.
The focus of the second three and a half years is the establishment of the Twelve-tribes of Jacob (Israel the Nation) as the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The Upper Kingdom of God may be smaller, in a sense, than the Lower Kingdom of God. The saints - a little flock (Luke 12:32) - as a ruling kingdom of kings will have the inhabitants of the earth as their "subjects". This would parallel the Senate, with 100 senators, which acts as a "check" on the House of Representatives, with its 435 members.
AV = Authorised Version
BST = Bible Speaks Today
DBI = Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
EB = Encyclopaedia Britannica
EBC = Expositor's Bible Commentary
ISBE = International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
JFB = Jamison, Robert; Fausset, A.R; and Brown, David
KD = Keil, C.F. and Delitzsch, F.
NBC = New Bible Commentary
NBD = New Bible Dictionary
NIB = New Interpreter's Bible
NIV = New International Version
NIVAC = NIV Application Commentary
NICNT = New International Commentary on the New Testament
RV = Revised Version
TNTC = Tyndale New Testament Commentaries
TOTC = Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries
TWOT = Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
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