This is post number four in the Kingdom of God Series. I hope you have read my previous posts in this series. I believe you would find it helpful, if you are new to the series, to read the first three posts (links below) before continuing on with this post. This post takes a look at the government of Kings and Kingdoms setting the stage for future posts to compare what we have learned in comparison to God’s government.
In recent times, it’s a popular idea to attempt to overthrow kingdom monarchies. Done in the name of the pursuit of democracy, of course. It is a fact that there is abuse, oppression, social extremes, and dictatorial administrations, in many kingdoms. Monarchies that care only for themselves and not the citizens are a disgrace.
However, these same defects and shortcomings are part of democracies also. So we must conclude, in essence, the problem is not the king, the kingdoms, or even the form of government, but the defects in the human nature (sinfulness) that functions in any of these governments.
A Simple Definition of a Kingdom
A kingdom is a government ruled by one person, the sovereign king. The king rules over all his lands called territories or domain. The king is the heart of the kingdom government. Therefore, this one person decides the laws and conditions of those who live in the territories of his kingdom. The end result is a society that reflects the king’s nature.
Kings personally own the physical domain over which they reign. Consequently, this is what makes them not only kings but also lords. You can’t be a king if you don’t have territory to rule over. It’s where we get the idea of landlords.
I enjoyed the show Downton Abbey. It gave me a glimpse into a time period of Kings, Queens, Dukes and Duchess‘ along with how a titled landowner looked out for the prosperity of those living and working on his land.
The word lord defines the king’s identity as “owner” of his domain. It’s easier for me to think of it this way:
Kingship = Authority and Lordship = Ownership.
Moreover, this also means the king literally and legally is lord over EVERYTHING on his land:
- Forests and meadows
- mountains and valleys
- rivers and streams
- the minerals in the ground
- the people and the houses they live in
Everything in a king’s domain belongs to him. Subsequently, a king has absolute and unquestionable control over his domain.
A Royal Contract
A royal contract replaces our constitution in a kingdom. It is a contract the king has with his subjects, his citizens. A royal contract originates completely and exclusively in the heart, mind, and will of the king. His citizens have no input concerning the terms or conditions of the contract. The source of the royal contract is the king, not the citizens. Moreover, citizens cannot change the royal contract. Only the king has the authority.
The king obligates himself to the tenets of the royal contract. A king and his word are the same. Consequently, when he speaks, his word becomes the royal contract. So, when a king’s word is spoken (or written down), the king is obligated to carry it out.
The royal contract is the reference for life in the kingdom. It contains the benefits, rights, and privileges of the citizens. As well as, the values, ethics, standards, and the moral code of behavior for the citizens of the Kingdom. Moreover, it spells out the advantages that come with being a kingdom citizen as well as, everything the citizens can expect from the king.
The Kingdoms’ Will and Testament
The royal contract in a kingdom expresses the king’s will in tangible, written form making its terms and conditions clear to everyone. It is the king’s will and testament.
Sometime during our life, we begin to plan what we want to happen upon our death. We leave a “Will” specifying our intentions. Yet the physical written documentation of what we had in our minds to accomplish is actually called our testament.
This is why lawyers always ask, “Do you have a will and testament?” The written testament clarifies to all parties your desire and intent and makes them verifiable in a courtroom. (hopefully)
Laws of a Kingdom
Oftentimes many think of laws as restrictions to our freedom and limit our options. Admittedly, there are some wild laws out there. However, to provide a safe environment where we can live in peace, security, and confidence, we need righteous laws. Laws are to ensure that the provisions of the constitution are carried out consistently, equitably, and without favoritism for all citizens.
Any nation is only as good as the laws it enacts. Laws produce society, therefore, whatever kind of society we want is determined by the laws we make. In a previous post titled the Kingdom of God, I shared that it’s possible for people, to legitimize immoral values, desires, and beliefs as the law of the land.
Consider Same-sex marriage in the United States that started in one state in 2004 spread to all fifty states by 2015. How did this tragedy happen? Through various state court rulings, state legislation, direct popular votes, federal court rulings, and the silence of Christ’s Ambassadors.
Bad laws do not cause a nation’s social, moral, and spiritual decline. They merely reflect a decline that is already underway. Laws mirror the condition of the nation. Whatever becomes accepted as a norm in our society, eventually becomes a law of our society. Consequently, any nation is only as good as the laws it enacts.
Laws of a Righteous King protect and preserve His Kingdom. Likewise, the benefits and privileges of its kingdom citizens.
We have such a King, Almighty God. Soon, His Son Jesus Christ is returning to set up His Righteous Kingdom in Jerusalem. In my next post, we will begin to compare what we have learned concerning kings and kingdoms, as it relates to our Creator God.
For more on this subject, I recommend the following Resources: