Part 2: The Government of Heaven....on earth.

I am going to describe to you the very radical vision presented to us in the Bible as to how the government of heaven is going to be run on earth. Just a warning, most theologians and preachers are going to disagree...but give me a hearing on this.

In my last blog Part 1 of this series I introduced you to that interesting portion of Israel's history where they rejected the way God was running their nation as king and asked for a human government with a human king like other nations, someone they could see and hear and who would fight their battles for them.

Let me describe for you what God's government was that He asked them to submit to.

If you ask anyone "What is the government of the Kingdom of God?" The natural response would be "It's a Theocracy"...which basically means "Rule by God" as opposed to say "Democracy" which means "rule by the people".  The problem is that to say "Theocracy" is true but it does not tell us how He rules only, only that He rules or is in charge.  And in answering the question, "How does He rule?" is where it becomes interesting.  And it is there where we must  turn to Israel as the template of how the Lord rules.

After examining all the scriptures I have come to the following conclusion as to the form of God's government both in heaven and on earth.  I want to describe it to you by labelling it in modern political jargon as follows:

"The government of God both in heaven and on earth is a free-enterprise, democratic republic whose citizens are made up of an extended family presided over by a family head."

Let me unpack that description for you and see what I mean.....

Let's look again at that very important verse in Hebrews 12:22 that describes the government of God in heaven.

The writer of Hebrews says that we are come to "Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem".  Now that is a description of Paul called the 3d heaven that he was caught up in which is the place of the great throne of God the seat of God's government over all the heavens and the earth.

What is there?  He says there are apart from God two types of persons there:
- an innumerable company of angels meaning you cannot count the number of heavenly beings around the throne of God
- and he says the others there are "the spirits of just men made perfect" or in other words us humans who have been saved by Christ.

This whole group he labels as:
"the general assembly and church of the first born"

Now instead of the word "church" there I am going to use the original Greek word "ekklesia" because you might have the wrong impression of what an Ekklesia is.  That is a political term understood by all people in the 1st century. 

An Ekklesia was a form of government practiced by the Greeks of a city-state like Athens or Corinth or Rome that was ruled by a general assembly of the citizens of that city who gather periodically to make decisions about the laws and affairs of the city.

So when the writer of Hebrews says the government of heaven is a City State called the New Jerusalem, the city of God and that it has a "general assembly, the Ekklesia of the first born" then everyone in the New Testament time knew what form of government God is running.  It is not a dictatorship nor even a traditional King and subject type of government. The Greeks and Romans knew all about those types of governments.

I cannot emphasize to you enough how radical this would have been to anyone then and now.  You expect of all governments that with almighty God at its head the form of government must be "King - and servants of the King".

But it is not. Now let me take you further....It is a Republic! Let me define that further...

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote his famous treatise "The Republic" sometime in the 5th century BC as the ideal form of government. Everyone knew what form of government this was. A "Republic" meant "the rule of Law".  People are ruled by laws and government leaders are there to impartially enact that law and see that the law of the community is abided by everyone.  In a Republic you are called a "citizen". In a monarchy you are called a "subject".

In the Greek Ekklesia form of government you had a "democratic republic"...that is you are ruled by law but all qualified citizens were allowed to participate in the general assembly of the Ekklesia.  And in that time a qualified citizen meant that you had to be a male and property owner.  Slaves, women and other undesirables were not part of the ruling Ekklesia.

Now let me tell what was so radical about the government that the Lord wanted to institute through Moses at Mount Sinai for Israel and which was to be a testimony to the nations of the world.

Israel's Government

A thousand years before Plato dreamed \up his idea of the Republic...God already created the vision and the outline to His people of a form of government that we would call "a free-enterprise, democratic republic"!

The Lord gave them a law to live by...what we would call a Constitution.  There was to be rule of law. He gave them judges (remember the book of "Judges" in the Bible") not a king.  They were to have magistrates to apply the law...not a king to rule over them. This was meant to be the world's first Republic.

But there is more...

Qualifications for citizen participation was open to men and women. One of the radical laws of Israel was the equality of woman as pertaining to property rights. Women were allowed to own and inherit property.

The Lord gave them an extensive array of areas of life where His law was to be applied.  I am not going to explain all of them here but the ones I find most interesting were the economic laws. The Lord made it clear that He wanted the nation to be prosperous and be the head and not the tail, to lend to others but not to borrow and to be prosperous He said the following:

- Don't have a king over you who will waste your finances and take your land and goods for himself, I am your king and you can run the nation according to my laws and prosper.
- You are to have the right to private property, unlike other nations where the land belonged to the king who parcelled it out to his favourites, I the Lord own the land and I give it to you and your families.
- You are to have equal weights and balances meaning sound money.
- You must have debt limitation by not allowing any debt to carry on more than 7 years so that nobody becomes enslaved to money lenders.
- Every 50 years you must have a Jubilee whereby those who have lost their assets are re-capitalized so that all the families of Israel are owners of productive capital.
- You must give a tithe of your income to the Levites who live in the cities and who teach, administer justice and care for the needy and the Levites were to give a tithe of their income to the Priests of the Temple for the sacrifices and upkeep of the Temple.

And it goes on with fascinating insights to a prosperous life for all.  But you get the idea...low government overhead, rule of law, property rights, debt limitation, private enterprise and voluntary low taxation.

In 1400 BC this was utterly radical. In 2017 AD this is accepted as the only workable means for creating a prosperous society.

But here is the problem today, which is the problem that the Lord had with Israel....

Today people want big government to provide for Israel wanted a king to fight their battles for the.

And that is not all...

The big government that people want is not doing what people want.  Governments all over the world are losing the trust of the people.  The financial elites are being favoured while politicians and bureaucrats enrich themselves and their favoured elite allies.

People are beginning to realize they are no longer citizens but subjects.  They no longer have a say in government regardless of the promises of this party or that politician.  It's all falling apart visibly....

What about the Government of God on earth?

Well God is willing to establish His government but He has citizenship qualifications as stated in Ephesians 3:14...
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named".

You see this is a family thing in heaven and on earth.  To be part of God's government or His Ekklesia you must be part of the family.  All family members have citizen rights in heaven and on earth.

Here is the mistake that prophecy writers make about the Kingdom of God on earth. It is not going to happen through war and conquest or through Jesus and angels of heaven slaughtering the ungodly and forcing everyone to bow the knee to Jesus as Lord.

Paul says it right...."I bow my knee to the Father" ...our "Godfather"!  And everyone else must also come to be adopted into His family and bow the knee to "our Father". That is the only way God is willing to organize His government in heaven and on earth. There is no force, no compulsion.  You come and be part of the family...

And that is how the Kingdom of God grows and grows to fill the soul at a time coming into the family and being discipled to be ruled by law of Christ in the heart and not through threats of violence from the outside.

Next week I want to take this topic further to explain to you why the Lord wants to make you into a Royal Priesthood or King/ that you can participate as a citizen in the government of God in heaven and on earth.

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