~1000 BC onward: Dynasty of King David of the tribe of Judah
Key precept: David and his heirs inherited the position of Melchizedek.
Stepping stone on the path to eternal life: Accept a heart transplant.
“the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people…man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (I Samuel 13:14, 16:7)
“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:41-43)
Doesn’t every epic story consist of heroic deeds during which the fighter lays his/her life on the line? I put it to you that David is a man after God’s own heart because he was willing to suffer, to fight, and to lay down his life to fulfill God’s will to have humans retake dominion over wickedness in every domain.
God doesn’t treat us as passive, entitled, spoiled children. He allows us to develop, through experience, into great heroes of faith whose names are memorialized forever and whose courage and actions inspire others to emulate us.
“Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh…and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel. And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David. And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain.
- So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel…
- Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time. And after him was
- Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties. He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines. And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord saved them by a great deliverance. Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim. And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison was then at Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord. And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest. And
- Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three. Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
- Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties. Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard. (I Chron 11:11-47)
Besides Shem, King David has the only other Old Testament explicit declaration of filling the position of Melchizedek, in a psalm written by and about himself. This is quoted in application to Jesus Christ by the author of the letter to the Hebrews, but the context of David’s psalm is the blessing God conferred on David himself.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts / armies, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be
- ruler over my people, over Israel:
- And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest,
- and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight,
- and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
- Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime…
- Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom….and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
- I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
- And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand,
- until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
- The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of (Mount) Zion:
- rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
- The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
- The LORD at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
- He shall judge among the heathen,
- he shall fill the places with the dead bodies;
- he shall wound the heads over many countries.” (Psalm 110)
Note particular that King David’s description of Melchizedek, supported by his way of life, is that the King of Righteousness is no wuss. He brings peace for sure, like the white-hatted heroes of the American Wild West, one way or another – surrender, or die.
David’s proclamation of “Death to the enemies of God’s people!” is consistent with the first documented mention of Melchizedek by name honoring Abram for the “slaughter of the kings”.
The same statements that apply to the son of David as prophesy for the future King Jesus originally applied to David himself. They are both in the Order of Melchizedek.
“I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him…my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted…
He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant there will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.” (Psalm 89:20-37)
“He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father…I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth” must be referring to David since the passage continues to discuss the disposition of his grant to his children who forsake God’s law. These are sinful, human children.
The following excerpt from James M. Gibbs, Ph.D.’s doctoral dissertation on the meaning of “son of God” is very enlightening.
…the concept of sonship in Hebrew family life, which underlies all OT and Jewish thought on the subject, is that a son is one designated or acknowledged as such by a father…the father-son relationship is not primarily physical but rather an interpersonal one created by a sovereign act of the father. The son is to be obedient to, submissive to and dependent upon his father. The perfect son then is the incarnation and extension of his father’s will and character, and he points to his father, not to himself. If he is the Son of God in the unique sense that the NT claims for Jesus, then he will incarnate the demands of God’s righteousness, and he will present the demand for discipleship, the demand for obedience, obedience however not to the Son as such but to God the Father, that is, to the Father’s will as made manifest by the Son. Thus the concept of Son of God on OT-Jewish lines is basically moral, interpersonal and theocentric.
When the king is spoken of as Yahweh’s son (as in Ps 2.7, a favourite text with NT writers), it is in terms of adoption by God for obedient service rather than in terms of divinization…it has its own distinctive emphasis on the obedient subordination of the king as son...we never find in Israel any expression of a ‘metaphysical’ conception of the king’s divinity and his relation to Yahweh. It is clear that the king is regarded as Yahweh’s son by adoption, When, in Ps. 2.7, Yahweh says to the king on the day of his anointing and installation, ‘You are My son; I have begotten you today’, He is using the ordinary formula of adoption, indicating that the sonship rests on Yahweh’s adoption of the king…. Yahweh has ‘called’ and ‘chosen’ the king, made him His son, anointed and endowed him with His spirit…The king performs the will of Yahweh, and through him Yahweh’s blessing to land and people is transmitted; he represents Yahweh before the people...This is consistent with the notion of ‘son’ as basically designating a role or function rather than being an ascription of honor…But gradually the main emphasis came to be placed upon him as the representative of Israel before God, as a representative man from the chosen people. In this he was seen as the chief priest of the people...”
But David wasn’t a priest! You protest. Not in the Levitical system, true.
That’s the point!
But he certainly represented the national God of Israel to his people, as did all the kings in that era. In the preceding posts we saw that all the pagan gods adopted their human rulers as their sons as well as appointed them their representative priest-kings.
When Ahaz rejected the God of Israel he became both the son and the priest of the pagan god.
“Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me…
And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof. And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus…
and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar. “ (II Ki 16:1-16)
What we may have missed in the history lessons is that even Christian kings claimed to be priests of the Christian God. The divine right of kings existed under the Medieval popes but became even more firmly entrenched after the Reformation with the king’s full assumption of spiritual power as head of the state church.
In England it is not without significance that the sacerdotal vestments, generally discarded by the clergy – dalmatia, alb and stole – continued to be among the insignia of the sovereign.” King James of KJV fame based his arguments for his right to absolute power in part on the biblical record that kings are “God’s lieutenants upon earth”, although he stretched the point when he claimed that “Kings are justly called Gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power upon earth.
King David’s position in the higher level Melchizedekian order is evident in the record that he, like Moses, exercised authority over the Aaronic priesthood and was the anointed ruler over not just Israel, but the whole earth.
- “And David…prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent [functioning exactly like Moses]…
- And David called for…the priests, and for the Levites…And said unto them...sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it. For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order…
- And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers:
- David also had upon him an ephod of linen…So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.
- And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings,
- he blessed the people in the name of [as the representative of] the LORD. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.
- And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel…
Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren…
- [speaking first to God’s chosen nation Israel] O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones...Be ye mindful always of his covenant…Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance. When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it [obviously referring to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons] And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, Saying, Touch not mine anointed [obviously Abraham, Isaac, Jacob...] and do my prophets no harm…
- [speaking in his role as Melchizedek to the rest of the nations of the whole earth] Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations… Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.“ (I Chronicles 15-16)
Further proof of David’s Melchizedekian role is found in other psalms. These are not just prophesying of Jesus Christ’s future perfected relationship with YHWH but also testifying of David’s personal relationship with YHWH. Take Psalm 2 for instance. There is nothing there that can’t be attributed to David’s personal experiences. Surely that is how the audience of his day understood them.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree:
the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten / permanently accepted as mine. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son [of God, the ruler], lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2)
Kissing the Son / vicar of God is a common expression of publicly acknowledging a ruler’s authority.
“Elijah?…And the LORD said unto him…I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.“ (I Ki 19:13-18)
“Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?” (I Sam 10:1)
BUT! thou HAST cast off and abhorred, thou HAST been wroth with thine anointed. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground…All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours. Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame…What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah..” (Psalm 89:38-48)
Zerubbabel / Zorobabel, civilly appointed Governor of the province of Judah within the Medo-Persian Empire and heir to the throne of David, is a well-documented example of the Son of God functioning as the proper, righteous, priest-king, i.e. Melchizedek, when he re-established YHWH’s worship at Jerusalem.
“In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah…This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.” (Zechariah 1:1, 4:6-9)
“Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.” (Ezra 3:2)
Don’t miss the context of Zerubbabel’s reported activities. He is engaged in a battle against God’s enemies.
“Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building.” (Ezra 4:1-4)
And the worst enemies are the ones who are supposed to have your back, but instead stab it.
“Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.” (Ezra 9:1-2)
“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying…
- Stand in the court of the LORD‘s house, and speak…all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word. If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way…
- If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth…” (Jeremiah 26:1-)
The reason the King List in Luke goes all the way back in time to Adam, and not just to David, is to prove that Jesus of Nazareth inherited not only
- the right to rule over Israel from David,
- but also the authority to rule over God’s Kingdom of Heaven and Earth / Creation as Melchizedek from Adam through David.
“And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat…which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” (Lu 3:23-38)
Jesus’ Melchizedekian role is also expressed in the immediate continuation of Luke’s biography.
“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: [that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet…Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:13-17)]
and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:14-21)
We recognize the royal lineage from Judah, we just don’t always appreciate the clear statement that Jesus also inherited the right to be the lawgiver, like Moses, i.e. High Priest, along with his kingship, and that’s why the corrupt religious rulers of his day were getting the shivers at the idea of acknowledging him as the Melchizedek.
“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Messiah / Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst [dared] any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” (Matt 22:41-46)
What we post-New Testament readers get from this is that Jesus is alluding to his divine paternity. While that is true, there is also another meaning in this passage that would have come to the minds of the 1st century Jews anticipating Messiah’s arrival.
The issue that Jesus presented to the Pharisees is that their expected Christ – the Messiah, the Promised One, the Seed of the Woman / Son of God going back in time to Adam – is not just the heir to King David’s throne over Israel, but the last of a series of Lords including and preceding and succeeding David who were granted dominion over all creation, signified by sitting, i.e. co-reigning with LORD / YHWH as Messiahs / Christs / Anointed Ones.
“And the LORD said unto me…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:16-19)
With this background information, we can pick up on the unspoken exchanges between Jesus and the Pharisees, and the vociferous exchanges between Pilate and the Jewish rulers. Accepting Jesus as the King of the Jews would require not just overthrowing Herod in Judea, but Caesar in Rome, on whom the current Hellenized rulers, AKA Jews, depended for political, social and economic power.
And don’t overlook the rest of the passage from which Jesus is quoting. The obsessively literate Pharisees wouldn’t have. There’s that sticky bit about “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” As we shall see, that would require a revolution against not just the current political, but also the religious, regime. This is why they dared not engage with Jesus any longer.
Continuing in Dr. Gibb’s account of history:
Once more the emphasis shifted when the king as priest was challenged by the growing claims of the professional clergy, so that the king’s major functions became limited to those of ruler, judge, and lawgiver under Yahweh. As a result of what Aage Bentzen calls ‘a sort of “secularisation” of kingship in later pre-exilic periods’, not only did the priests deny certain cultic rights to the king, but, according to Bentzen, even the function of lawgiving became less intimately associated with the Davidic kingship; the priests (that is, the Levites in the Deuteronomic sense) increasingly rivalled the king in this association. Thus we can see that, at the least, the rich meaning of the idea of the king as the son of God tended to fade in practice as time passed, no matter what dating may be agreed upon for the various passages which refer to his sonship, and that the priests in many respects picked up the pieces.”
By Jesus’ day both the Aaronic lineage of priests and the Davidic royal dynasty had been supplanted by first the Hasmoneans then the Herodians. Throw in the Roman overlords, and the Messianic Savior Melchisedec had to win a world war to regain his kingdom.
The Hasmonean dynasty [established by a priest, the brother of Judah the Maccabee / Hammer who led the victorious revolt against foreign rule] …was a ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea. From 110 BCE, with the Seleucid Empire disintegrating, the dynasty became fully independent, expanded into the neighbouring regions of Samaria, Galilee, Iturea, Perea, and Idumea, and took the title “basileus” [Greek for “king” or “emperor]. Some modern scholars refer to this period as an independent kingdom of Israel.
The dynasty had survived for 103 years before yielding to the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE. The installation of Herod the Great (an Idumean) as king in 37 BCE made Judea a Roman client state and marked the end of the Hasmonean dynasty. Even then, Herod the Great tried to bolster the legitimacy of his reign by marrying a Hasmonean princess, Mariamne, and planning to drown the last male Hasmonean heir at his Jericho palace. In 6 CE, Rome joined Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) into the Roman province of Iudaea. In 44 CE, Rome installed the rule of a Roman procurator side by side with the rule of the Herodian kings (specifically Agrippa I 41–44 and Agrippa II 50–100).”
“Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (Joh 11:45-48)
It is extremely important that we sidebar here to impress the point that John always uses “Jews” to refer to the lawmakers / rulers, contrasting with “the people” as those who are ruled, see John 7. This class distinction, so well understood in the Roman terms patrician and pleb. was fundamental to all ancient through medieval societies. The rise of democracy in relatively recent times was supposed to eliminate a powerful oppressive class but its continued existence can be recognized in the enduring favored status and prerogatives afforded to European royalty, the foundational class struggle of Communism, and favored status and of wealthy elite everywhere. If we bear in mind that “the Jews” who clamored for Jesus’ death were a small fraction of the entire nation we can avoid making the mistake of calling the entire nation, who became known as Jews, “Christ killers.”
Given the history we just reviewed, the problem the chief priests faced was very real. If there was social unrest, the Romans would indeed swoop in and, as they had done previously with the Hasmoneans, replace their ineffective quislings with more effective governors.
In fact, this is exactly what they did shortly after this. But the Jewish rulers were between a Rock and a hard place because, if they allied with Jesus they would also lose their power because they would have to hand it over to him. Don’t miss the fact that the high priest, usurper though he was, knew the scriptures well enough to know that “the Christ / Messiah / Anointed One” is AKA “the Son of YHVH God,” i.e. King.
“And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.” (Matthew 26:63-65)
Nowhere in scripture is there a law that says an individual can’t claim to be the Son of God. How else would the seed of David, legitimate heir to the Jewish throne, define himself? Like Herod’s law to slaughter the infant boys, this was a new law passed by the current lawmakers on the spot to safeguard their illicit power granted to them by the Roman god, son of god Caesar.
“Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe…
- When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
- Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
- The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
- When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid [because pagans know what that means – this is a superhuman spirit-powered individual.] And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:5-11)
The viciousness of the Jewish rulers’ power struggle with Jesus betrays their deep terror that he could win it, as he had already won the hearts and minds of the people. Their desperation is recognized by both the locally ethnic king Herod and the foreign overlord Pilate, who began to feel a mix of emotions toward the man who is causing such a stir. They express awareness that he is being treated unjustly, and they have had so many power struggles of their own with the Jewish rulers that it is only reasonable that they consider making him their new regional religious / political ally. However, Jesus wasn’t playing that game, so Rome’s men then maintained, and even strengthened, their uneasy alliance with the existing local religious figures.
“And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.” (Luke 23:8-15)
“And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews – the Jews!- cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar…We have no king but Caesar.“ (John 19:12-15)
The Jewish rulers were very serious when they publicly proclaimed their subjugation to Caesar. Given their recent bitter loss of autonomous power to Caesar and his minion Herod, this underscores just how utterly opposed they were to Jesus becoming their king, and diagnoses how truly anti- Messiah / Christ they were.
On the other hand, the Pharisees, who we often think of as Jesus’ opponents, were in fact the fundamentalist Bible-believers of the day. Many searched the scriptures in search of the truth of Jesus’ claims that he was the fulfillment of prophecy. The writer of Hebrews, unquestionably a Pharisee given his knowledge of the law, figured out what Jesus was claiming.
Hebrews is a legal defense of Jesus’s claim to be, not just the king of Israel, but the Melchi-zedek, righteous human ruler of all creation. Visualize a lawyer delivering his opening argument in a courtroom filled with biased opponents and oppressed people yearning to breathe free.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things…For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son…unto the Son [of David] he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows…But to which of the angels [i.e. ancient gods like Enki or Zeus] said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Hebrews 1:1-13)
One of the most significant issues Jesus and his followers were dealing with is that the praiseworthy revolt by devout Levitical priests against the false king Antiochus Epiphenes turned into a coup d’etat against the true king Melchizedek. This is the historical context that the writer obviously has in mind in the following passage.
- “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Messiah / Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. [Don’t miss that! The Son of God as the likeness of God, is God’s representative AKA the high priest.] As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:1-6)
- “Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. (Heb 5:10)
- “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even YHWH’s Savior / Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:10)
- “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?” (Hebrews 7:11)
- “For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb 7:17)
- “(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The LORD sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek:)” (Heb 7:21)
- “For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.“ (Hebrews 7:28)
“The oath” is the evidence that the lawyer pulls out with a flourish as the ultimate proof of the validity of Jesus’ claim. This only has legal proof in this court case because the documents in which it is found had already been accepted into evidence as being the Word of God, inspired scripture, TRUTH. Where is this oath? Originally relayed to David by the prophet Nathan in II Samuel 7, in Psalm 89 quoted above, and again in Psalm 132.
“Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.
The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.
For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it…
I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud. [David’s offspring]…His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (Psalm 132:8-18)
The evidence is piling up that the order of Melchizedek is a lineage of ruling “sons of God”, but the phrase “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” certainly seems to be a prophecy that can apply only to Jesus Christ under the New Covenant / Testament.
”No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.“ (Jonh 1:18)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
However, not just the Old Testament, but also the New Testament treats the term “begotten Son”, exactly as explained above by Dr. Gibbs, as an honor bestowed by the father, not an entitlement deriving from physical procreation. In current legalese, no person can force God to pay child support through a paternity lawsuit.
“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
- So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said [pronounced as in “I hereby declare you man and wife.”] unto him, Thou art my Son, TODAY have I begotten thee.
- As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest….” (Hebrews 5:4-6)
Notice also how the New Testament defines Isaac as Abraham’s “only begotten son”, despite the fact that Abraham physically fathered Ishmael as well. The passage explains why – because Isaac was “called”, or proclaimed, or legally pronounced, written in the will AKA covenant, The Legitimate Heir who accurately reflects the Father and does the Father’s will.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:” (Hebrews 11:17-18)
“And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived…(Gen 16:3-4) And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife…I will…give thee a son ALSO of her…And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live [after me as my heir] before thee!
- And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
- And as for Ishmael, I have heard [endorsed, agreed to] thee: Behold,
- I have blessed him,
- and will make him fruitful [in his endeavors, successful]
- and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget,
- and I will make him a great nation [dynasty, lineage, forever living on in his seed].
- BUT my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” (Genesis 17:15-21)
I propose that we are so focused on the fact that Jesus is the mono-genes, the uniquely begotten Son of God that we are overlooking that, as the example of Abraham proves, there can in fact be other, just genos, begotten offspring. Jesus’ unique status as the Seed of the Woman fathered by God is well documented in Old Testament prophecies and New Testament records. We do not discredit this truth when we acknowledge that there are also other begotten sons of God. This is, after all, how biblical salvation is achieved.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” (I Peter 1:3-4)
“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” (I John 5:18-19)
It is critical to understand exactly what the writer of Hebrews was drawing our attention to when he goes on and on about Jesus Christ being the High Priest in the order of Melchisedec. It is because Christians / Anointed-ones are called to function under him as priests in that order.
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God;
- Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
- Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
- And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” (Hebrews 8:1, 10:19-24)
“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:10-11)
“the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5)
“the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this…Ye have wearied the LORD with your words…When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” (Malachi 2:7-17)
For example, God’s promise to be a father to David’s son is the guarantee of the joining of identities for the purpose of legitimacy and empowerment. Just like a marriage sacrament in which two become one, God had done the same with David and his predecessors.
“I have found David my servant…With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him…He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” (Psalm 89:20-26)
The big deal in the commitment God made with David is not that he would be his father – that is standard practice for theocratic kings – but that David’s house(hold) / dynasty would endure forever. Those who filter this Old Testament statement through a New Testament lens of the finished work of Christ often interpret “forever” as avoiding hell and living in heaven after we die, with most of Christians going about life on earth as if nothing extraordinary happened when we accepted Jesus as our savior.
But the original Old Testament audience only had their culture and preceding scripture on which to base their understanding, passages like “the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.” And so did the New Testament writer of Hebrews, who traces Jesus’ royal lineage further back beyond David, to Judah, to prove that we believers in Jesus are empowered by the priest-king Melchizedek of the whole world to defeat death in this lifetime.
“we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Wherein in time past ye [Ephesian Gentile believers] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom ALSO [Jews including Paul] WE ALL had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together [now] with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesian 2:1-5)
The us includes Old Covenant Bible believers. Whom else did Jesus release from prison?
There is one body, and one Spirit, [by whom] even as ye [also] are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all…Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive…(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?…And hath raised us up together – [not only Jews and Gentiles, but Old Covenant and New Covenant participants], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:…(Ephesians 4:4-10)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, [even by Old Covenant participants] lest any man should boast…” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report…By faith Abel…Enoch…Noah…Abraham…Sarah…Isaac…Jacob…Joseph…Moses…Rahab…time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, obtained promises, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented…these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not THE promise [of restoration of eternal life]: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect [complete, whole as a body].”(Hebrews 11)
“Wherefore seeing WE also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let US lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset US, and let US run with patience the race that is set before US…consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye [unlike the preceding list] have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Hebrews 12)
What it means to be priests and kings in the order of Melchizedek is that it is our responsibility to take dominion over the territory granted to us by God. We have to win it back from Satan, who currently has control over much of the earth and its population. He is in fact:
- king of the kings of the world who submit to him – “And the devil, taking him [Jesus] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me [by his subjects; and to whomsoever I will I give it [he is a liar, does not give in return what he promised in a contract].” (Luke 4:5-6)
- ” the god of this world [who] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (II Corinthians 4:4)
Like Hitler, Satan is catapulted to the highest position of government by humans who, lured by his lies promising power and wealth, put themselves under his authority.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:15)
“…every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
These passages are all examples of spiritual law – unalterable consequences – just like the laws of physics. As described in earlier posts, Yahweh’s Appointed Savior, the man Christ Jesus, legally reversed the human action that transferred dominion to Satan, thereby transferring dominion back to himself as a human, and to all humans who identify with him. Adam disobeyed God and submitted to Satan. Christ Jesus obeyed God and refused to submit to Satan. It’s really that simple.
And this is how we mere humans get out from under Satan’s tyranny, experienced in human bondage and misery in drug addiction, emotional disorders, broken families, financial ruin and political chaos. We obey God’s Word. Don’t over-spiritualize the following passage or limit its application to the future. It applies to us now.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God [that’s exactly what we do when we make ourselves the authority of our life choices]: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and…humbled himself, and became obedient…Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him…That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth…” (Philippians 2:6-11)
When Yahweh’s Anointed Savior came to earth, he had two separate missions:
- physical restoration of the kingdom of heaven [on earth]
- and spiritual restoration of the kingdom of God.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [in earth as it is in heaven.]” (Matthew 4:17)
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
The kingdom of heaven exists from creation in physical qualities, but the spiritual kingdom of God is within a person in spiritual qualities of righteousness and eternal life.
“…behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Ro 14:17)
The real estate of heaven and earth is not the most valuable part of dominion. The humans who populate the kingdom are. Humans can escape from the kingdom of darkness and find refuge and new life in the kingdom of God.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Colossians 1:12-14)
“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:5-7)
We are born into, AKA able to survive within and interact with the resources of, the spiritual environment, AKA kingdom of God, when we put our faith in Yahweh’s Consecrated Savior’s atoning death and resurrection and spiritually merge our identity with him in a process called baptism. There is a good reason for associating baptism with birthing. People in societies where birthing occurred at home and openly with animals in fields knew that the newborn always emerged from the birth canal drenched from the breaking of the water sac.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore…we also should walk in newness of life…Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6:3-13)
Granting citizenship in the kingdom to immigrants who flock to the promise of a better life is not the same thing as restoring dominion / rule. Humans must prove themselves worthy to reign with Christ. That’s not all believers. Only those who follow their king into battle qualify to inherit a government post within God’s kingdom.
“And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest…Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. [Indicates closest, i.e. most trusted advisors.] But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.” (Mar 10:35-40)
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:16-21)
“If we suffer [prove our loyalty and commitment like every fairy tale prince and princess], we shall also reign with him:” (II Tim 2:12)
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4)
The psalms written by David as a prophet are a good source for transforming into a person, like David, after God’s own heart. Most importantly, David accepted the word of the LORD regarding his own sin, allowing God to deal with it. Denial of reality, spiritually or psychologically, prevents resolution of any problem.
“And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said…the rich man…took the poor man’s lamb…And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die…because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man...And David said unto Nathan, [unlike Saul to Samuel] I have sinned against the LORD.
[And because he repented of his sin] Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, [not just on earth, but in heaven] the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die [presaging the death of his penultimate son, Jesus, who dies for the sins of the world]…And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped:” (II Samuel 12)
Then went king David in, and sat before the LORD, and he said, Who am I, O LORD God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?.. For thy word’s sake [referencing back to the prophecy to Judah], and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things…
Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to…make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land…which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? (II Samuel 7)
Destroying the enemy is not the only thing that David and his heirs do. The point of destroying the enemy is to rescue the oppressed peoples of the world from the greatest enemy – sin and death.
“Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand [for a Greek audience] said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people...
- he raised up unto them David to be their king...Of this man’s seed hath
- God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:.. to you is the word of this salvation sent…
- God raised him from the dead:…
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things [therefore freed from the penalty of sin, which is death].” (Acts 13)