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QUESTION: From Which Kingdom Does Jesus’ Kingdom Derive?


The following question came to me via our congregation’s website, http://www.Plymouth-church.com where I answer questions from The Question Box. I hope it will be helpful to you as well.

From which kingdom does Jesus’ Kingdom derive?

After the death of Solomon, there was a general revolt against Rehoboam, Solomon’s son and ten tribes split off to form the Northern Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam the Son of Nebat. Jeroboam soon introduced the worship of the golden calves he built at Bethel and Dan, a sin followed by every one of the later kings of Israel. Because of this blatant rejection of God, the LORD brought on them the Assyrian Captivity, from which the ten tribes never returned.

The Southern Kingdom of Judah fared only a little better. Though each king of Judah in Jerusalem was from the house of David, many of them were men who also worshiped the gods of the nations around them, though there were exceptions: Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah come to mind.

The prophets went to both kingdoms, attempting to get them to return to the LORD. While some restoration took place in Judah under Hezekiah and Josiah, only a very minor restoration came in Israel under Jehu, both kingdoms drifted away from God. A little over a hundred years after Israel’s captivity in Assyria, King Nebuchadnazer took Judah into Babylonian Captivity.

Yet, God never gave up on either of these kingdoms. He promised to bring Judah back – which he did 70 years later. The temple was rebuilt and the walls of Jerusalem restored – but the temple was but a shadow of what it had been, and Jerusalem was always a pawn between the more powerful nations around them. The son of David had not yet come – until Jesus came.

Before he was born, the angel told Mary her son would receive the kingdom of his ancestor, David, as the prophets had foretold (see Luke 1:31-33). So the king of Jesus’ kingdom came from the line of David, from the line of the Kings of Judah. His genealogy in Matthew 1:1-17 is, from David to Jeconiah, a list of the kings of Judah. There were a couple of other kings of Judah at the end who were not in his lineage (though they were from David), but others put these kings on the throne in Jerusalem.

Yet, God had not forgotten Israel. Amos was one of the prophets God sent to Israel to protest the worship of the golden calves as well as the injustice to the poor rampant in that kingdom. (See Amos 7:7-11. Note: the King Jeroboam here was a later king by the same name. He did not even descend from the original Jeroboam, but was king of Israel.) At the end of Amos, in 9:11-12, Amos prophesied:

“In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the LORD who will do these things.

In Acts 15:16-17, Peter quoted this and applied it to the Lord’s opening His kingdom to the Gentiles. God restored the fallen tent (or house) of David when the Gentiles received the gospel. David’s fallen tent broke when the kingdom divided between Jeroboam and Rehoboam.

I realize this is not how we would expect this prophecy to come to pass. But God’s ways are not our ways, and Peter said this prophecy spoke of the Gentiles entering God’s kingdom. The ten tribes that fell from God come to represent the Gentile nations.

So, how does this answer your question? The King comes from Judah; those who enter the kingdom come from “whosoever will.” Jew and Gentile alike are now one in Christ, and the ten tribes stand for the Gentiles in the kingdom.

Of course, you must also understand that the Kingdom of Christ is not “of this world.” Ultimately, it comes from the Creator’s restoration of humanity and the reversing of the curse placed on the Earth itself after the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That will be the time when the Kingdom of God and His Dear Son will appear in its fullness. This will occur when the Lord returns. Until then, the Kingdom of Christ has entered into the Kingdom of Darkness as the Lord is rescuing those in darkness from their servitude to Satan and making them His new creation in Christ (see Colossians 1:13-14 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Until then, the Lord’s people work with Him to rescue those in darkness.

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