Theology Summary Bible Class Pt. 39: Kingdom of Glory

The subjects of the kingdom of glory are the same as that for the kingdom of grace–believers and holy angels.  The kingdom of grace is governed by means of the Word and sacraments administered by the pastoral office.  The subjects of the kingdom of grace are translated into the kingdom of glory either at death or on the last day.  The kingdom of glory is ruled by the Triune God directly. There is a difference in the mode of knowledge and conditions of their members.  In the kingdom of grace, believers receive by faith through the Word the revealed knowledge of God, while in the kingdom of glory believers experience the beatific vision of the glory of God. While in the kingdom of grace believers experience cross and tribulation, but in the heavenly kingdom will share in Christ’s glory.

Handout 1: The-Third-Genus-King-p25-26-only.pdf
Handout 2: Kingdoms-Definitions.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 38: Kingdom of the devil

The kingdom of the devil is a kingdom of unbelief governed by the devil himself, who is a liar and murderer. The devil has not created anything, but only seeks by deception to get people to deny and/or misuse God’s gracious gifts. Revelation 12:9 says that he is “called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” According to Ephesians 2:1-3, even those later came to believe “were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

The Lutheran Confessions explain that “the punishment and penalty of original sin, which God has imposed upon the children of Adam and upon original sin…” includes not only “death, eternal damnation, and also other bodily and spiritual, temporal and eternal miseries…” but also “the tyranny and dominion of the devil, so that human nature is subject to the kingdom of the devil and has been surrendered to the power of the devil, and is held captive under his away, who stupefies [fascinates] and leads astray many a great, learned man in the world by means of dreadful error, heresy, and other blindness, and otherwise rushes men into all sorts of crime” (FC, Ep. I. Original Sin 13).

Thankfully, “… Christ was given to us to remove both these sins and these punishments, and to destroy the kingdom of the devil, sin and death…” (Apology, II 50). “For human nature is far too weak to be able by its own powers to resist the devil, who holds as captives all who have not been freed through faith. There is need of the power of Christ against the devil, namely, that, inasmuch as we know that for Christ’s sake we are heard, and have the promise, we may pray for the governance and defense of the Holy Ghost, that we may neither be deceived and err, nor be impelled to undertake anything contrary to God’s will. [Otherwise we should, every hour, fall into error and abominable vices.] Just as Ps. 68, 18 teaches: Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for man. For Christ has overcome the devil, and has given to us the promise and the Holy Ghost, in order that, by divine aid, we ourselves also may overcome. And 1 John 3, 8: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (Ap IV, III, 17-18).

Handout 1: The-Third-Genus-King-p21-24.pdf
Handout 2: Kingdoms-Definitions.pdf
Handout 3: King-Chart-Throughout-Time.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 37: The Two Kingdoms (Grace and State)

In the kingdom of power, the Triune God rules without means according to His omnipotence and omnipresence. God has always been and will always be the King of heaven and earth.  At the incarnation of the Son of God, the human nature of Christ was given authority in heaven and on earth.  Although all things have been put in subjection to Him, not all things are subject to Him.  “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet” (1 Cor 15:25).

This class examined the two kingdoms: this world(the state) and grace (the church).  In the kingdom of this world, God rules the subjects of this kingdom, both believers and unbelievers, by means of law and the governing authorities.  Human reason is the guide for governance in this world.  In the kingdom of grace, God rule the subjects of this kingdom, only believers, by means of the Word (both the law and the promise of the Gospel) and sacraments and the apostolic/pastoral office. Although these two kingdoms are distinct they are not mutually exclusive.  The church is IN the world, but not OF the world (John 17:11-15).

Handout: Kingdoms-Definitions.pdf
Handout 2: King-Chart-Throughout-Time.pdf
Handout 3: Kingdom of Power, This World, and Grace, p.17-20

Overhead 1: One Page Overview of “Kingdom” in Scripture
Overhead 2: Walkthrough-of-Individuals-in-Two-Kingdoms.pdf
Overhead 3: Page 3 has Pope’s Three-fold Tiara

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 36: Intertestamental to Christ; Kingdom of Power

In the first part of this study we conclude a historical walk-through of “king” and “kingdom” found in the Old Testament up to the coming of the true Davidic King, Jesus Christ. Each kingdom is distinguished based upon the subjects of the kingdom and the governance of the kingdom.

In the second part of this study we examine the kingdom of power.  The subjects of the kingdom of power include all things: believers and unbelievers, good and evil angels, and irrational creature and the inanimate creation. The Triune God governs this kingdom of power by His omnipotence and omnipresence. At the incarnation, “all authority in heaven and earth” was given to the human nature of Jesus, while His divine nature always possessed it.

Here is a summary of the history (in the first part): The Prophet Daniel (Chapters 2, 7 and 8) foretold of four world powers: Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece(including the Ptolemies and the Seleucids, Maccabees and Hasmoneans), and Rome. Last week we concluded with the Jewish return to Jerusalem under Cyrus the Persian.  When the Old Testament draws to a close (apx. 400 B.C.), Judea had been province of Persia for 138 years. Although the exiles were allowed to return to Canaan in order to rebuild the Temple, only a small number of Jews actually returned. The exiled Jews had set down roots and were scattered over 128 provinces.

The religious practices of Judaism began to change, as they lived apart from the Jerusalem temple, and without the nation of Israel or a Davidic king. Scribes grew in importance, as the Jews retained their identity by clinging to the Word. Emphasis was placed on personal prayer, Sabbath observance, and justice(morality). As the people adopted Imperial Aramaic for their language instead of Hebrew, there was the need for a Methurgeman (interpreter) to paraphrase the readings for the people.

Even those Jews who returned were not free.  They were a vassal state of one country and then another.  Sometimes they enjoyed a mild rule and were allowed to practice their faith.  Other times they were severely persecuted.  The Jewish reactions were varied, as seen by Pharisees, Sadducees, and zealots. Alexander the Great conquered the world and spread Greek language and culture wherever he went.  After the death of Alexander, the kingdom split into four parts and fighting for power ensued.  In 320 B.C. Ptolemy took over Egypt and Jerusalem without resistance.  The Hebrew Scriptures were translated into the Greek language in the 3rd century B.C. Although many rulers were kind to the Jews, Antiochus IV Epiphanes sought to make all people devotees of Greek culture.  The Jews objected to this Hellenization program on religious grounds and were severely persecuted.  This persecution caused the Hasmodian period of Independence with the Maccabean revolt by Mattathias and his five sons.  Though they had some success, the Jews always returned to a vassal state.  In 63 B.C. Pompey conquered the city of Jerusalem with the killing 12,000 Jews. When Jesus arrives, Herod The Great had been ruling since 37 B.C.  Although he ruled with an iron fist, it was during his reign that the Temple had been restored.  This concludes the history of “king” and “kingdom” until the coming of Jesus Christ.

Handout: Kingdoms-Definitions.pdf
Handout 2: King-Chart-Throughout-Time.pdf
Overhead 1: Persian.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 35: Babylonian Exile and Return

After Solomon’s death both the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel fell.  The Prophet Amos (apx. 760-750 B.C.) foretold that God would rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David and bring back the captives (Amos 9:11-15). The Assyrian Empire conquers Israel in 721 B.C. The great tree of God’s people was cut down (Isaiah 11:1,10) because the people had sinned. Though they had not kept the Word of God, the Prophet Isaiah (apx. 701 – 681 B.C.) announces that the merciful God was still keeping His promise to King David.  God said, “And I will make an everlasting covenant with you–the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3-5).  Jesus is that shoot or branch that will come from the stump of Jesse.  The southern kingdom was taken into Babylonian exile in 586 B.C and Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied about their 70 year exile (apx. 605 B.C. – 537 B.C.) and God’s promise to raise up a Davidic King, a Priest, and a new Temple.

After the exile, the priest Ezra returns to lay the foundation and begin the work of rebuilding, what would later be called Zerubbabel’s Temple (539 B.C. to Mar 12, 516 B.C.).  The governor Nehemiah rebuilds the city wall around Jerusalem. The old men who saw this new temple foundation wept (Ezra 3:12-13), as it paled in comparison to Solomon’s temple. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who lived at the time of the rebuilding, spoke of that future coming day.  The return of God’s people to Canaan was a wonderful thing, but it was not the promised day of the Messianic King!  Haggai 2:9, “‘The glory of this later temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace.'”  When the Old Testament closes, the Prophet Malachi leaves the faithful longing for the hope of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ .

Handout: Exile-to-Intertestamental.pdf
Overhead 1: Divided-Kingdom-Overheads.pdf
Overhead 2: Kings-Overheads.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 34: Solomon and Divided Kingdom

God appeared to Solomon a second time saying, “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statues and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised to David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel'” (1 Kings 9:4-5).

Despite God’s efforts, Solomon did not continue in faithfulness to the Word of God.  In his old age, “his wives turned his heart after other gods…” (v.4).  “Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David” (v.6).  “So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice…” (v.9).

Solomon’s reign extended the boundaries of Israel farther, had more peace, and was more prosperous than David’s.  Nevertheless, David’s reign was more pleasing in God’s sight.  And it was for the sake of David that God waited until after Solomon’s death to divide the kingdom.  The  southern kingdom of Judah outlasted the northern kingdom, but in time both were dispersed or taken into exile.  There was no longer a reigning son of David and the temple was destroyed in 586 B.C.  The prophets of that time began to foretell of a rebuilding of David’s tabernacle (Isaiah 11:1-16).

Handout: The-Third-Genus-King-p12-14.pdf
Handout 2: The-Third-Genus-King-p11.pdf
Overhead 1: Divided-Kingdom-Overheads.pdf
Overhead 2: Kings-Overheads.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 33: 2 Samuel 7:11-16 and Solomon

We return to 2 Samuel 7:11-16 in order to examine God’s promise to build a house for David, to set one of David’s descendants upon the throne and to establish his kingdom. Jesus is that promised son of David, who has established the kingdom of His church, which will stand forever.  The second part of verse 14 is a difficult passage to see fulfilled in the sinless Son of God.  Nevertheless, Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors” (Is 53:12) and “he was made to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21). He was, indeed, chastened by the rods and blows of men.

Second, we saw that despite David’s sins, he continued to hold to the Word of God.  He confessed his sin and trusted in the words of forgiveness.  He showed forth the fruits of repentance as he bore up under the consequences of his actions (2 Samuel chapters 20-24).  The Scriptures continue to hold up David as the ideal king, the one “after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14, Acts 13:22).

This study also examines the beginning of Solomon’s reign (1 Kings chapters 1-8).  With the exception “that he offered  sacrifices and burned incense on the high places,” (1 Kings 3;3), Solomon’s reign began quite well.  God’s exhortation to Solomon is to emulate his father, David.  “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statues and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised to David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel'” (1 Kings 9:4-5).

Handout: The-Third-Genus-King-p12-14.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 32: David, Israel’s Second King

King Saul did not keep the word of the Lord at Gilgal. Thus, “The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:13-14).  When the LORD finally sends Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, it says, “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). Acts 13:22 says, “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’”  Like “blameless” Noah(Gen 6:9) or “faithful” Moses (Num 12:7), King David is the faithful replacement for King Saul.

King David was not without sin.  We are quite aware of David’s sins of “despising God’s command,” adultery, and murder in 2 Samuel 12.  We know this because the Prophet Nathan was sent by God to reveal David’s sin.  The law worked in David heart-felt contrition and confession. The immediate response from Nathan is the absolution, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”  David bears up under the consequence of his sin by continuing to trust in God.  Despite this sinful personal indiscretion, David is held up as an exemplary King of Israel (1 Kings 3:14, 9:4-5).

This study walks through 1 Samuel 16:1 – 2 Samuel 24.

Handout: The-Third-Genus-King-p12-14.pdf

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 31: Saul, Israel’s First King

God’s people requested the Prophet Samuel to provide an earthly king to rule over their nation.  There is nothing inherently wrong with having a king, but their motive was sinful(1 Sam 8:6-9).  They didn’t want to trust in God to provide for them.  Nevertheless, God did provide a king for them.  Today’s study begins an overview of the kings of Israel. This week we examine the life of King Saul.

God chose Saul–an impressive man, a head taller than the rest.  He changed Saul’s heart.  The Spirit of God came upon him in power (1 Samuel 10).  Despite God’s best effort, Saul was foolish and did not keep the commandments of the Lord (1 Samuel 13).  Saul’s kingdom would not be the “forever” kingdom through whom would come the Savior.  In Samuel 15, King Saul disregards the Lord’s command to completely wipe out the Amalekites.  Saul did not kill King Agag and spared the best of the livestock.  Despite Samuel’s all night vigil for Saul’ repentance (v. 10-11), God tells Samuel that He rejects Saul.  When confronted, Saul minimized his sin and did not confess {despite Saul’s good sounding words, “I have sinned….” v.24).  The Prophet Samuel does not forgive Saul, and announces the end of Saul’s reign (v.26-29).

This study walks through 1 Samuel 9 – 15:35.

Handout: The-Third-Genus-King-p12-14.pdf


Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 30: Israel’s Request for a King

When the Priest and Judge Samuel had grown old , the nation Israel requested a king to rule over them (1 Samuel 8:4-22). The Scriptures tell us that God Himself had been functioning as their king(Num 23:21, Dt 33:5) by His gracious ruling(Judges 8:23) and protection. After Israel entered into the Promised Land of Canaan, God would raise up judges(Judges 6:14) to rescue God’s people.  Samuel was disappointed in their request. He knew that the people wanted a king like the other nations in order that they wouldn’t have to trust in God to provide for them. Nevertheless, God granted their request and provided them with a king. In his foreknowledge, God foretold their request(Deut. 17:14-20). He even planned on sending them a Messianic King(Gen 49:10). This study walks through 1 Samuel 7:2 through 12:15.

Handout: The-Third-Genus-King-p11.pdf