In our last installment on Zechariah 14, we established the fact that this great chapter is about the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Be sure to#1” href=”http://donkpreston.com/zechariah-14-the-resurrection-and-the-kingdom-of-god-1/” target=”_blank”> read that article here.
The Nature of the Kingdom God: “My Kingdom Is Not of This World”
There can be no question that Jesus came to restore the kingdom of God to Israel and sit on David’s throne (Luke 1:32-35; 2:25-35, 38). The restoration of Israel is the theme of Luke’s two works. Compare Acts 1:6f; 2:20-37; 3:19ff, etc. Be sure to order my MP3 series “Acts and the Restoration of Israel” for a full demonstration of this crucial fact. This is a tremendously important subject.
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Contrary to popular opinion, when one closely examines Jesus’ ministry and teaching he will soon learn that it was not the nationalistic kingdom that he came to restore. He came to restore the Sovereignty of God.
Early in his ministry the Jews would have proclaimed Jesus as their king because of his miraculous feeding of the multitude (John 6). It was Jesus that rejected this swell of nationalism: “when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king he withdrew himself” John 6:15. If Jesus’ mission was to become king and establish the kingdom of God –and it was–why did he so purposefully reject the opportunity?
The Lord answers this question for us when he was before Pilate “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from here. Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are you a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘you say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into this world, that I should bear witness to the truth’” John 18:36-37. Jesus was to be king but not over national Israel; he was to be a spiritual king.
This is confirmed in Acts 2. Peter declared Jesus resurrected from the dead (Acts 2:22) and the recipient of the promise made to David that his descendant would sit on his throne (v. 30-33). God had raised Jesus from the dead and given him the throne of David as promised to David. Note that in Acts 13, Paul emphatically states that God had– not someday by and by “would” but had given Christ “the sure mercies of David.” This is an unequivocal declaration that Christ was seated on the throne of David in the kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God– Where Is The Throne?
However, where was that throne? Peter makes his point: “David is not ascended into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, Till I make thy enemies Your footstool.’” Acts 2:34-35. The Messiah was to sit on the throne of David in heaven, not on earth.
In Zechariah 6:12-13 the prophet said the “Branch” would build the Temple of the Lord and sit on his throne as king and priest in the kingdom of God. The book of Hebrews makes it clear that if Jesus were to be on earth he could not serve as priest because of the Levitical legislation. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah and only those of Levi could serve as priests (Hebrews 8:5).
If therefore the Old Covenant System is re-established, per millennialism, Jesus cannot be a priest on his throne; but if he cannot be a priest he cannot be king! Zechariah said he would be king and priest on the throne. The incredible genealogical conflict between the tribe of Judah (the lineage of Messiah) and the priestly tribe of Levi is brought to the forefront in Zechariah. Properly considered, Zechariah demanded a radical change in the cultic world–the covenant itself– of Israel. If Messiah, of Judah, was to be a priest on the throne of God in the kingdom of God, then clearly, the Levitical legislation concerning the priesthood would have to be fundamentally altered!
The only way for Jesus to be king and priest is for him to be king and priest over the kingdom of God that is not under the mandate of the Old Covenant World.
It is difficult to overemphasize the implications of these facts for the millennial view. Any view that teaches the restoration of the theocracy of Israel is, implicitly, demanding a restoration of what God considered a rejection of His Sovereignty. The kingdom of God is spiritual.
While the monarchy of Israel was a visible symbol of man’s rejection of Jehovah’s Sovereignty, the Lord’s Messiah would come and restore God’s Sovereignty in the time of the resurrection. And we will look closer at that in the next installment, so stay tuned!