Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 1, Part 2
The Kingdom is Prophesied Through David

     Since God created mankind, He has expectations upon us.  We ought to dive right in and take control!  But how come we cannot rule over anything?  Not only do thunder, lightning, winds, clouds, lions and tigers not obey us, even little flies and mosquitoes would take advantage of us!  Sometimes, I rebuke the mosquitoes and say, "How dare you suck the blood of the children of God!" but they just ignore me and carry on!  This does not mean that God has forgotten His promise. On the contrary, He has affirmed His promise through David in Psalm 8.  Let us go over it.

A. God did not Forget the "Crown of Glory"

     Ever since our ancestor Adam fell in Satan's trap, Satan usurped our rightful ruling power; "the whole world lies in the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19).  Satan used the law of sin and death to control mankind and put man in the sphere of death!  ln other words, the temporary king of this world is not the lord Jesus but Satan!  No wonder that when he came to tempt our lord, he said that the kingdoms of the world and the glory thereof had been handed over to him!  At that time, our Lord silently agreed. And later He said explicitly that Satan is the "ruler of this world" (John 14:30). Satan is the ruler of the dominion of darkness (Acts 26:18; Col.1:13). Thus, when Adam fell, he not only lost the privilege of eating from the fruit of the tree of life, but also lost the authority given by God - the authority to rule over everything on earth. From Satan's perspective at that time, he thought all was settled and he did not have to worry anymore! Little did he realize that unless God has not spoken, if He has, whatever He said will come to pass in its most minute detail!

     On May 14, 1948, Israel became a nation overnight after it has been destroyed for two thousand years.  This is a miracle in history and a living testimony of God's faithfulness!  In the last two thousand years, because the Israelis did not have a country, they suffered bitterly. They organized a movement to reestablish their nation. The plan was to buy a piece of land as their homeland. They reasoned that since Palestine has been occupied by the Arabs for almost two thousand years, it would be impossible to take it back from their hands. They forgot (or we could say that they just could not believe) that God had promised their ancestors only the land of Palestine and not any other piece of land! So when God's time is fulfilled, His promise to Abraham and David became instantly a historical fact! Praise the Lord!  In the same manner, although the "authority to reign" promised by God at the creation was usurped by Satan temporarily, it will one day be restored to us! Unfortunately, most believers do not know about this, so how can they even begin to believe?  Furthermore, while some may know about it, they are unwilling to believe it.  How tragic!

     This wicked unbelief becomes more obvious as the last days approach. Even though God's desire and promise in creating man are so plainly recorded in the Scriptures, people just do not care about it. Instead of seeking to understand the revelation of the Kingdom, they intentionally forget this glorious hope, so that it would not interfere with them when they pursue after their own lust and commit all forms of impurity! But God never forgets (lsa. 49:15). In order to strengthen the faith of His own people and to kindle the hope in the believers, He declared once again through David, His desire when He created man. This is how Psalm 8 came about.

B. God Prophesied the "Crown of Glory" Through David

     Psalm 8, as far as most Bible scholars understand, is one of the five Psalms on nature.  They do not realize that it is also a discourse on the Kingdom. In this psalm, God declares once again through David His desire for man to rule over all things, giving great hope to the hopeless mankind.  It is just as the Scriptures say: "Now may the God of hope...that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Rom.15:13)

     We know from the subtitle of Psalm 8 that it is a psalm of rejoicing because the name of the tune means "Grape Treader". (The Chinese Bible translates it as "Gittite musical instrument', which is not accurate. The reason is that "Gittith" was a city of the Philistines. The Jews regarded Gentile musical instruments as unclean and it is unlikely that David would use an unclean instrument to perform his Psalm. The Chinese translates it as "Gittite" because the pronunciation in the original language is quite close to that of Gittite.) This was a joyful melody sung by the Israelites when they treaded grapes in the presses (see lsa. 16:10; Jer. 48:33). The grapes are first treaded in order to get new wine.  So treading grapes is the prelude to getting new wine and this was the most popular melody sung by the Israelites.

     When David remembered the majesty of God's name, His splendor, His power, the heavens made by His fingers and all that they displayed, he could not help but rejoice.  He used the words "how majestic" (verses 1, 9) to express his worship to God. But when he compared man with God, man's pitiful situation immediately appeared before his eyes.  In the two phrases ''what is man" and "the son of man", he used two different words for "man". The first "man" is identical to the name of the son of Seth, "Enosh" (Gen.5:6). Enosh is derived from the root which means "mortal, weak, sick:, incurable". "Incurable" in Jeremiah 15:18, "desperately sick" in Jeremiah 17:9 and "very sick'' in 2 Samuel 12:15, all translate verbs from the same root.  It speaks of the pitiful, tragic and regrettable life of man.  As seen from the name Seth chose for his son, we know that at that time mankind has begun to encounter this type of degradation in human nature. (According to the custom of the day, the father often names his son by the condition of the environment.) The destructive power of sin is unmanageable once it has been released! The latter "man" used in "son of man" is "son of Adam" in the original language. The root of the word "Adam" is the same as that for "ground" as found in "return to the ground" in Genesis 3:19 and "cultivate the ground" in Genesis 3:23. This refers to the substance of man from which he was made. So, man is called man, not because of other reasons, but because of the material from which he was made --- 'ground".  The human body consists of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, iron, iodine, and copper. But because the quantities are so small, they worth nothing! In other words, man is of no value to God. As for the body, it gets sick easily!  As for the psyche, it is weak!  As for morality, it's incurable!  It is just as the Scripture says, "All flesh is grass" {lsa. 40:6) and "In the balances. they go up. They (men) are together lighter than breath." (Pss.62:9)

     Nevertheless, even though man is worthless, good for nothing and is made from the dust of the earth, amazing things happened! Man is still being "take thought or' and "care for" by the "majestic God". Hallelujah! "Oh the love that sought me, oh the blood that washed me, oh the grace that brought me to the fold.  Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!"

     "Take thought" can be translated as "remember'' (Job 21 :6, 7:7; Pss. 105:8). It is just as the Scriptures say, "What is man (enosh) that Thou dost magnify him!" (Job 7:17) "Care for" can be translated as "sought" (lsa. 26:16), or "visit" as in Job 5:24b {"For you will visit your abode and fear no loss"). Through these words, we can know how God takes thought of and cares for us. He often remembers our weaknesses, our needs and examines our situation. He takes thought and cares for our final destination in order that we can enjoy the "crown of glory and honor'' - to reign and rule over what His hand has made. "Crowned with glory and honor'' became the technical phrase for reigning with Christ (see Heb.2:7, 9). Therefore the Scriptures clearly show that "crown Him with glory and honor" is equivalent to "...put all things in subjection under His feet'.  Praise the Lord! Oh Jehovah our Lord, "Great is Thy Faithfulness!"

Chapter 1, Part 2
Shepherd His Sheep