The Relation of the Church to the Kingdom Part 3 -- By: Edwin C. Deibler

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 097:388 (Oct 1940)
Article: The Relation of the Church to the Kingdom Part 3
Author: Edwin C. Deibler


The Relation of the Church to the Kingdom
Part 3

Edwin C. Deibler

(Concluded from the July-September Number, 1940)

Chapter V: The Expectations of the Jews

With the background of Old Testament revelation before us, we may now come to examine the teaching of Christ and the apostles on this theme and the relation of the true church to the kingdom. But before that is undertaken we should consider something of the manner in which this kingdom truth from the Old Testament was understood by those to whom our Lord spoke. Much of His public utterance had to do with this subject and He spoke of it as if it were a theme familiar to His hearers. His words were received with at least a certain degree of acceptance, indicating that His audience had some conception of the ideas He was portraying. Since the source of those conceptions could only be found in the Old Testament, their comprehension of the meaning of our Lord would depend upon the measure of their understanding of the Old Testament covenants and prophecies.

Although the Scriptures had united their voices in presenting a complete picture of the kingdom to come, a picture in which nothing was lacking, yet we are able to detect two different elements in it. There is a temporal side to the picture and there is a spiritual side. The temporal aspect presents a king reigning in great power over a restored people, having delivered that people from the hands of their oppressors. This would involve nothing more than a restoration of the kingdom and throne of Israel to its former Davidic splendor and glory. The spiritual aspects show the Messiah-King suffering punishment for the sins of the people. It pictures His humiliation prior to His coming in power. The restoration of the nation to a position of prominence would

be preceded by a national reception of the suffering Messiah as Savior and conversion of the people, by the establishment of a new covenant with the nation wherein the spiritual element would be emphasized. Then would the Gentiles be made to share in Israel’s blessing, and Jerusalem would become a center of religious worship as well as the hub of a universal government over the earth.

The attitude of the Jewish nation at the time of Christ to these two elements of kingdom truth is best revealed in a brief statement or survey of their history. One of the finest of such statements obtainable is given by J. H. Kurtz, and it seems well to adopt it here. “Abraham was chosen and called alone (Isa 51:2). As Creator, God called the seed of promise from the dead body of Sarah; as Savior, He delivered the chosen race from the oppressive bondage of Egypt. The p...

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