Light on the Christian Gospel: The Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Defined by Daniel 7 and a Standard Lexicon
The term "Kingdom of YEHOVAH God" is perhaps the most important word in the Bible. As someone has said, the whole genius of the Christian faith is concentrated in the words "Kingdom of YEHOVAH God." Yeshua said that the whole point of his mission was to proclaim the Gospel about the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God (Luke 4:43; cp. Acts 8:12).
This means that Bible readers should make every effort to define the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God accurately. The saving Gospel, according to Yeshua and Paul (Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:43; Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:23, 31, etc.), has a descriptive title. It contains information requiring a response of faith. That label is "the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God." In the parable of the sower it is "the Message about the Kingdom" (Matt. 13:19) which a potential convert must embrace, so that the saving process can begin. The devil knows this well. That is why Luke reports Yeshua as saying: "Whenever anyone hears the Message [about the Kingdom, Matt. 13:19] the Devil comes and snatches away the Message sown in his heart, so that he may not believe [the Message about the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God] and be saved" (Luke 8:12).
So what is this Kingdom of YEHOVAH God? What, in fact, is the Gospel which Yeshua commands us to believe (Mark 1:14, 15)?
Sometimes Christians would do well to go back to a standard Bible lexicon to find a proper definition. Consulting the famous lexicon by Thayer under the entry "Kingdom of God," we read:
"Relying principally on the prophecies of Daniel, the Jews were expecting a kingdom of the greatest felicity, which God through the Messiah would set up, raising the dead to life again and renovating earth and heaven; and that in this kingdom they would bear sway over all the nations of the world. This Kingdom was called the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of the Messiah; and in this sense these terms must be understood in the utterances of the Jews and of the disciples of Jesus when conversing with him, as Matt. 18:1; 20:21; Mark 11:10; Luke 17:20; 19:11."
The lexicon then provides the important Gospel-defining information from Daniel:
"Daniel had declared it to be God's purpose that after four vast and mighty kingdoms had succeeded one another and the last of them shown itself hostile to the people of God, at length its despotism would be broken and the empire of the world would pass over forever to the people of God (Dan. 2:44; 7:14, 18, 22, 27)."
Thayer then speaks of the foundation of the Kingdom which has already been laid in the preaching and miracles of Yeshua in his ministry on earth. Then he refers to the primary meaning of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God:
"But far more frequently the kingdom of heaven/God is spoken of as a future blessing, since its establishment is to be looked for at Christ's solemn return from the skies, the dead being called to life again and the ills and wrongs which burden the present state of things being done away, the powers being hostile to God being vanquished (Matt. 6:10, "Thy Kingdom come," 8:11, Luke 13:26: "When you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom," "until the day when I drink the wine new with you in the Kingdom of God," Luke 22:28: "I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom shall come," Mark 9:1: a reference to the second coming. See 9:2-9 and Peter's interpretation of the transfiguration as a vision of the Second Coming, II Pet. 1:16-18; Mark 15:43: Joseph was waiting for the Kingdom of God, just as Jesus is still now waiting for his enemies to be put under his feet, Heb. 10:13; Luke 9:27 with its fulfillment in the transfiguration in vv. 28-35; Luke 14:15; II Peter 1:11: "everlasting Kingdom"; also in the phrase "enter the Kingdom of God," Matt. 5:20; 7:21; 18:3; 19:23, 24; Mark 9:47; 10:23, 24, 25; Luke 18:24, 25; John 3:5; Acts 14:22; James 2:5: "heirs [not yet inheritors] of the Kingdom"; "Inherit the Kingdom of God," Matt. 25:34; t Cor. 6:9; 15:50; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5)."
Thayer speaks of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God as occasionally a description of persons (Christians) preparing now for admission into the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God when it comes (Rev. 1:6). But it should be noted that the first and dominant meaning of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God is the one given us by Daniel 7, from which the whole idea of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, and thus of the Gospel, is derived.
This essential background in Daniel enables us to understand that the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God is, as Thayer says, "far more often spoken of as a future blessing."
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