The title is perhaps the most popular words on religious cards of the season.
Let’s review where the history of these words began.
Approximately 1,000 years before Christ was born, a revelation was given to King David introducing the child.
“When your days are fulfilled…I will set up your seed after you…and I will establish his kingdom…and the throne of his kingdom forever…” 2 Samuel 7:12-13
David’s son Solomon fulfilled that prophecy in the short term; however, the offspring of Solomon would fulfill that prophecy in the long term.
Approximately 250 years after David’s death, the prophet Isaiah provided more details on the promise God had made to David.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government will be upon His shoulder…” Isaiah 9:6a
The word ‘government’ in that statement implies there would not be a separation between church and state. Could that be?
Let’s read on further.
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever…” Isaiah 9:7
The words government, throne, and kingdom are closely related. Those three words refer to dominion, sovereignty, royal rule, and reign.
About the same time that Isaiah wrote, the prophet Micah provided more specific details.
“But you, Bethlehem…though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel…” Micah 5:2
Thus Micah revealed where the future Ruler (government leader) of Israel would be born, i.e. Bethlehem.
And then approximately 150 years after Micah, the prophet Ezekiel also spoke about David’s offspring. Ezekiel prophesied at the beginning of Judah’s 70 year deportation to Babylon.
“Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations…and I will make them one nation in the land…David My servant shall be king over them…they, their children, and their children’s children, forever…’” Ezekiel 37:21-22, 24-25
Ezekiel proclaimed that the divided nation of Israel would some day be reunited into a single nation and ruled by a descendant of David, who had died approximately 400 years earlier.
The Psalmist, however, said that the future Ruler would reign not only over Israel, but over all the nations of the world.
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession…You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalm 2:8-9
The Psalmist proclaimed that God would give His anointed (David’s Offspring) all nations on earth for His own. He would govern them severely without compromise.
The date of the above psalm or its author is not known; however, it is known that approximately 600 years after Ezekiel spoke, the Angel Gabriel spoke to the Virgin Mary, confirming Ezekiel’s prophecy.
“…and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 3:31-33
Thus Gabriel proclaimed that Mary’s Son would be the Son of God and would be named Jesus. He would be given the throne of His father David and rule over Israel forever.
Thus Jesus was born to be King as prophesied by Isaiah, Micah, and Ezekiel and confirmed by Gabriel.
Jesus was subsequently crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended to His Father. After His resurrection and ascension, He was proclaimed to be the head of the church.
“…as also Christ is head of the church…therefore…the church is subject to Christ.” Ephesians 5:23-24
Several questions remain at this point.
Is it possible that Christ could be head of the church and also be the government leader of the whole earth? That isn’t consistent with contemporary thinking.
And also, where is the kingdom?
For more, see my latest book “Looking Backward from the Future: …Until Messiah the Prince”