Correspondance Course - Lesson 09

CHRISTADELPHIAN BIBLE POSTAL COURSE                                                           No. 9


Reading : 1 Chronicles 29

"Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth"

How many times have you said these words, or heard them said by others? They are part of the prayer which Jesus taught his disciples. You can read it in Luke 11:2-4. We know the words very well—but do we know just what they mean?

Look at them again. They are a prayer that God's Kingdom may come, and that His will may be done on this earth, as it is always done in heaven. So we see straight away that the Kingdom for which we are to pray is to be here on this earth. And when God's Kingdom comes, then men and women will do His will.

A land for the Kingdom

A kingdom must be somewhere, and thousands of years ago God chose the land which is to be the centre of His Kingdom. It is the land of Israel.

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and it will be the future world capital when Jesus Christ is reigning as King. Jesus himself said:

"But I say unto you. Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne; nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great king" (Matthew 5:34-35).

Jesus took these words from Psalm 48, which is a hint to us that we should read the Old Testament also. Verse 2 of Psalm 48 says:

"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King..."

Mount Zion is part of Jerusalem. Notice that it is described as "the joy of the whole earth".

Psalm 2 says:

"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion" (verse 6)

This Psalm is a prophecy of the time when Jesus will reign from Mount Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. God chose to place His name in the city of Jerusalem. We see this in 2 Chronicles 6:5-6:

"But / have chosen Jerusalem, that My Name might be there..." Here are two more passages for you to read carefully:

(a) Isaiah 62:1 -7. Here we are told to ask God to make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

(b) Isaiah 65:17-25, where God sets out His plan with Jerusalem and tells us to rejoice.

There once was a Kingdom of God on earth

Did you know that, thousands of years ago, the Kingdom of God did actually exist on earth? Turn back to 1 Chronicles, chapter 29, and read verse 1, and then verses 10-13, taking special note of verse 11, which says,

"Thine is the kingdom, 0 Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all."

The Kingdom spoken of, as you will see when you read the chapter, is the Kingdom of Israel, in the land of Israel. Now read verse 23,

"Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father."

The throne on which David sat, and on which his son Solomon sat after him, was in Jerusalem, the chief city of the land of Israel. And the kingdom over which he reigned was the Kingdom of Israel.

Why was the Kingdom of Israel called the Kingdom of God, and why was its throne called "the throne of the Lord"? It was because

* God Himself had given the Israelites that Kingdom;

* He had chosen Jerusalem for the capital city (1 Kings 11:13);

* He had given the laws by which the Kingdom was to be governed (the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy);

* The king was reigning for God.

God's Kingdom overthrown

Hundreds of years passed. King after king reigned over Israel in Jerusalem. Some were good kings, ruling in the fear of God, and some were evil.

At last there came a day when the nation of Israel had departed so far from God's ways, and the king who reigned at Jerusalem was so wicked, that God said that the kingdom should continue no longer.

Read Ezekiel 21:25-27, and especially verse 27, which says:

"/ will overturn, overturn, overturn it: (the Kingdom of Judah) and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it him."

He whose right it is

We can see from the verses in Ezekiel that someone was to come who "had a right" to the throne of the Kingdom of God—One who was the Heir—and God was going to give it to him.

From the day that the last king was removed from the throne, right up to the present day, there has never been a King of the Jews ruling in Jerusalem.

But turn in your Bible to Luke 1:31-33 and read the words spoken by an angel to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, the angel said:

"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."

Who has a right to the throne of the Kingdom of God? Jesus, God's Son, of course. He has indeed a two-fold right,

1. because he was God's Son;

2. because his mother Mary was descended from King David.

There are many misunderstandings about the reign of Jesus in the Kingdom of God. It is essential to realise that:

*    Jesus will reign on the earth

*    his throne will be the throne of David in Jerusalem

*    Jerusalem will be the capital city of the Kingdom of God on earth

That is why Jesus is coming back to the earth. God's purpose is with man on the earth and He will fulfil that purpose:

"All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord" (Numbers 14:21).

It is not according to Scripture, nor will it fit in with the teachings of Scripture, to think that man goes to heaven at death, or that the Kingdom of God is in heaven. God does of course rule in heaven, but His purpose is to send Jesus to rule over the earth and his faithful disciples from all ages will assist him in this great work.

Jesus claimed to be a King. At his trial, when Pilate asked him, "Art thou a king, then?" he replied:

"Thou sayest that I am a king" (John 18:37). That is the Jewish way of saying, "Yes, I am."

Over the cross on which he was crucified was written, "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS" (Matthew 27:37). His enemies meant to mock him, but what they said was true.

The Gospel that Jesus preached was the good news of the Kingdom of God. In Luke 8:1, we read that,

"He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God."

Now you know why Jesus is coming back. He is coming back to set up again the Kingdom of God on earth.

The Kingdom and ourselves

Perhaps you may think, "Why, then, should we pray, 'Thy Kingdom come'? If it is an Israelite Kingdom, what has it to do with us?"

You will learn, as you continue your studies, that the Kingdom over which Jesus will rule is going to extend far beyond the first Kingdom of God—indeed, it will extend over all the earth, and bring peace to all people.

And so we pray, "Thy Kingdom come". And we pray, too, that when Jesus comes back, he may say to us:

"Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).

Summary—see how each part of the Bible helps to explain the other parts

We have now learned:

1. That a Kingdom of God once existed in the land of Israel.

2. That God brought the Kingdom to an end, but promised to restore it to its rightful heir.

3. That this heir is Jesus, and he is going to sit on the throne of David at Jerusalem, ruling over both the Jews and the whole world.

4. That all the faithful will share in the blessings of the Kingdom on the earth.

Chapters to read:    Genesis 22; Galatians 3

Learn by heart:     Revelation 11:15

"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."

Christadelphian Bible Mission Box CBM, 404 Shaftmoor Lane, Birmingham B28 8SZ, England

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