Part 3: The Government of Kings and Priests

God has a form of government planned for mankind that will be stable enough to last forever in order to administer endless growth. It is called a "royal priesthood" and the good news is that everyone is invited to participate.

I want to contrast what I believe to be the real plans of God for His government on earth with two ideas of government that are not going to work.  The one is the current best that mankind has come up with which we call "liberal democracy" and the other is what most evangelicals believe is coming which is a return of a physical Jesus restoring a Jewish kingdom and ruling the world from Jerusalem for a thousand years.

This obviously requires an extensive book length treatment which I in fact am busy doing but let me give you the main ideas to think about.

Please keep in mind the real and staggering reality of what needs governing and administrating:
- the scriptures make clear that dynamics of the kingdom of God is that it grows forever...there is no end to the growth of the His Kingdom. You are dealing here with compound growth that stretches as the Bible says "unto thousands of generations" and with a generation say of 40 years we are dealing with millions of years of compound growth.
- keep in mind that man is to take dominion over all the works of God's hands and for the last 60 years of cosmology discoveries that means the physical extent of that human dominion extends to more than a trillion galaxies.
- keep in mind that the Lord said that mankind is to be fruitful and multiply and that both the earth and the heavens were not made to be void but to be filled with life (Isaiah 45:18).
- keep in mind that the scripture says that the earth is forever (Eccl. 1:3) and therefore so is the universe we inhabit and modern cosmology confirms in latest data that the universe is indeed expanding forever.

So....we have endless time and endless energy and endless resources and endless real estate....so try to wrap your mind around the problems of administering endless growth of quadrillions of human beings?

Here is my proposition to this problem:

The Lord God has already laid the foundations for the solution to the administration challenges of His vast domains. It is hinted at throughout the Bible both Old and New Testament and is explicitly stated right in the beginning of Revelation 1:6 "For He has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father..."

God has always had a plan from the days of Eden and Adam right through the incarnation of Christ and the restoration of Eden to create a royal priesthood, children of the Most High to be His image bearers on earth and act on His behalf to administer His dominions in the heavens and on earth.

I will explain more of that in a moment but let me deal with two alternate ideas that are competing with my presentation of God's government of Priest/Kings.

Lets go back to Plato and our current international forms of government...liberal democracy (that are failing visibly!)

Plato when he wrote The Republic was doing so in a direct rejection of Athenian democracy...or rule of the people as opposed to rule of law. Athenian democracy while held up today as a marvel of statecraft was a short lived (about 60 years) disaster that not only embroiled Athens in useless wars (e.g. the disaster at Syracuse and the ensuing Peloponnesian wars) but was also responsible for unfair execution of his beloved mentor Socrates.

So his answer was the idea of the Republic administered not by the will of the mob but by a supposed wise oligarchy of "philosopher kings".  This idea was carried forward in history with Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia" and Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis". 

This political ideology was the guiding light for the American Revolution of 1776 and the subsequent American Constitution. The founding fathers of America explicitly rejected the idea of democracy as they rejected the ideals of the Puritan settlers that America was founded to glorify God and establish His Kingdom on earth.

It was "government of the people, by the people for the people" and certainly not government by the law of God for the Kingdom of God and it explicitly stated "We the people in order to form a more perfect union..." the purpose of which was to ensure "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

This form of government has swept the world with only the makeup of the governing elite who are to be the guiding "philosopher kings" under each administration in contention. Political parties mean nothing.

But this utopian vision of a New Atlantis is crumbling everywhere.  There are many reasons why this vision of human administration is not delivering on its promises but one reason I find very compelling.  Last year an Australian psychologist Nathan Brooks (as reported by the Telegraph newspaper) published findings of a study he made of the senior leaders in business and politics and found that 21% of them are certifiable psychopaths.  Now in the general population the incidence of psychopathy is only 1%.  But it seems the utter ruthlessness of psychopaths in their lust for power and dominance are drawn to the power realms of money and politics. 

So the Platonic ideal of a wonderful wise elite that care for the masses is in fact just fantasy that is turning into an international nightmare as it becomes evident everywhere that both the business and political elite care nothing for the masses but are there to use the levers of power for their own enrichment. Are we surprised?

The second governing fantasy is the current favourite among evangelical Christians which has several variations:

- Among the more liberal theologians is the idea of the "post millennial consummation of the ages".  That is at some point soon it just all ends. Jesus comes to end it all and that is it....don't worry about the future because God destroys the earth and the heavens and Rev. 21 and 22 describe a new heavens and earth and we all are in a resurrection state and live in paradise.

- The more conservative evangelicals generally agree with the above statement except that before the "consummation of the ages" Jesus will come back to restore a Jewish kingdom and rule for a thousand years from Jerusalem....and then it all ends.

The second view was of course the view of the Jerusalem church under James. They were in keen expectation that Jesus would soon return and punish the enemies of Israel and restore the kingdom of David and all the earth would come to Jerusalem to worship the Messiah.  So popular became these this exciting news that thousands of Jews converted to what was then called the "Nazoreans" and all across the Roman empire in Jewish colonies this exciting news was spread.  Paul fought these "Judaizers" vehemently wherever he preached in the churches and in his letters.

The Jerusalem church and the Nazoreans had a policy of converting lukewarm secular Jews and making them go to the Temple and renew their vows to keep the laws of God ...and thereby they were called Nazoreans (from "nazir" taking the nazirite vow). James was very strict about this. The elders of the Jerusalem church were appalled to hear that Peter was eating in the same room as gentile Christians in Antioch. Paul was made to go to the Temple to purify himself of contamination from his association with gentiles (how's that for a doctrine of sanctification folks?)

Here is the unpalatable truth that modern day evangelicals will not admit. They constantly call upon us to "stand with Israel", "pray for Jerusalem" etc. Why? Because they are in total agreement with James and the Jerusalem church that Jesus is coming back to set up a Jewish kingdom and a restored Jewish temple.

Why was James and the Jerusalem church such sticklers that the Law must be obeyed? Because the Torah clearly promised that if Israel would keep the law then the Lord would restore the nation again and fight for them against their enemies.  So that was why James was so fanatical about mixing with gentiles. That is why the Jewish zealots started a war with Rome in 64 BC.  That is why more than a million Jews from all over the Roman empire gathered in Jerusalem in 70 AD expecting the Messiah to come back and destroy the advancing Roman army.

And they were all slaughtered.  Because Jesus did indeed return just as He said He would.  Except that He came back to Jerusalem in the clouds to do what He said He would....he destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple to say it is finished with the Old Covenant.  There is no going back.  But today's prophecy preachers have not learned the lesson. They still want a Jewish kingdom. They want Jesus in Jerusalem running the world administration.

But what did Jesus say?  He corrected the Samarian woman at the well.  She thought that "you say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. But Jesus answered her woman believe me the hour comes when you shall neither in this mountain not yet at Jerusalem worship the Father..." (John 4:20)

You see God is building a New Jerusalem.  Have a close read of Rev. 21 & 22 again.  This is not a picture of heaven. This is a picture of the future earth. Outside this city of God there are sinners and bad people. But there is a river and fruit trees for the healing of the nations.  Is this is a real city? No.

Peter describes it thus....(1 Peter 2:5,9)

"But you also as living stones are built up as a spiritual house a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices....for you are a chosen generation a royal priesthood a holy nation a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into the light."

The government of God on earth is a company of priest/kings.  A royal priesthood.  They are royal because they are children of the King of kings.  They are a priesthood because they have direct access to God and to His throne in the heavens.

Now here is the important implications:

Why do you need to have a physical Jesus in Jerusalem when there is a royal priesthood on earth that has direct access to Jesus seated on the throne of heaven directing all the affairs of heaven and earth?

Do you want to find out Lord what is your guidance and what is your policy in this situation that we are confronted with here? That is what government does.  It is administrators that make decisions about allocating resources, defining policy, arbitrating disputes.  You say we need Jesus to do that and we need Him on earth to make those decisions and enforce order.

Really? You see this is why the Lord is creating king/priests of all His family members. Everyone that joins His kingdom is part of His family and therefore part of his administration.  Everyone participates in the deliberations of the administration of His Kingdom. everyone has duties and responsibilities. 

Do you want to know what Jesus wants in a particular situation? Well just ask Him! No that does not mean you take a trip to Israel and make an appointment to see Jesus in Jerusalem.  You simply step into the New Jerusalem, the city of God and the throne room of the Lord God and make your case.

You have a right to be there.  Jesus said in Revelation that He writes on your forehead the name of God and the name of the city of God. That means the moment you have God's name written on you, you have His surname! It means you are His child...that means instant access to the Father. If you have the name of the City of God on you it mean you have instant access to the throne room and central administration of the Kingdom of God.

As both a king and a priest you have not only access to God your Father for guidance but you have a contingency of warrior angels to accompany you to make sure the rule of God is obeyed.

Now here is the clincher.  When does this rule of the king/priests take place? Because I don't see it you say. I see failing world governments and collapsing social order. I see the "end times" around us. You are right.

We are at the end of an era. It is time for the Kingdom of God to come forth in the earth...Lets take that up next week as we look at the real signs of the times.

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