Lesson Five – Jesus Our Divine King

Jesus, Our Divine King

Lesson Aim:  To reveal the enthroned Messiah as He actively reigns from heaven and His strategy to recover God’s children from Satan and the Law.


Now to the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.  I Tim.1:17

…which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  Eph. 1:20-23

A disciple of Christ should know the enthroning of Jesus Christ, as His position is described in the foregoing scriptures, happened in the week just prior to the day of Pentecost spoken of in Acts, chapter two.  As we study this series of lessons on the Kingdom of God we will attempt to maintain an awareness of the chronology of divine history.  The last historical event was how physical Israel fulfilled their last role as God’s nation by pressuring the Gentiles into crucifying Jesus.  Please see Part Four, Lesson Seven.  Thus far in Part Five, we have witnessed the establishment of the “in Christ” realm in which Jesus separates His subjects from the world for His rule.  We are now ready to move with the Biblical story into His actual reign as king over God’s kingdom.  We will be concerned with the man dimension of God’s kingdom, or the church, where Jesus is developing fruit for the eternal kingdom.

A Christian’s faith in the doctrines discussed in the preceding lessons of Part Five is what “gives substance” to the “in Christ” realm with Jesus as Lord.  In our next lesson we will see how these doctrines require Jesus’ service as high priest to God for His subjects.  In this lesson we will see Jesus functioning as an active king; therefore, we will consider the strategies He used to regain God’s children from Satan in his kingdom in the world.


In order to historically connect this lesson with all of the previous lessons in this series, let us briefly review what God has done to attain His goals in the creation of mankind.  Life in the Garden of Eden depicted the perfect role of man with God in His kingdom.  God was the Father, Adam and Eve were His children.  For a time they accepted His will “because they wanted to.”  After some time they became “over achievers” and obtained the knowledge of good and evil.  But, since they could not properly handle this knowledge and since they had disobeyed God, they were now sinners.  The man dimension of God’s kingdom would now require a sin offering for mankind to make fellowship with God possible.  It was necessary for God to lower the spiritual level of this dimension of His kingdom to the highest spiritual plateau of man.  God prefers to work with the “faith element” in His people after we (people) became aware of what is sin.  The lowest level of fellowship He has been willing to adjust to was the Law of Moses.

God continued to maintain His kingdom through the heads of the families of “whosoever would accept His will.”  At one point Noah was the only head of a family who was under the control of God’s will.  God was the Father and Noah and his family were the children.  God was the king.  They were the subjects.  It was God’s way of carrying on His plan on earth.  God wanted to add children to His eternal kingdom and everything the Bible reveals supports this great truth.

There came a time in history when God moved to establish a nation on earth that would function as His kingdom in a very unique way.  Abraham was called from Ur of the Chaldea into Canaan.  This was the land area God had decided to use.  Israel, the nation, had God as their king and the citizens were His children (Ex. 4:22; I Sam. 8:7).  Later God put His family under Law.  It happened because their faith was too weak for God to maintain the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek and the accompanying law (Gen. 14:18; 26:5).

The Law God gave to Moses was unacceptable for sonship; therefore, it was a temporary arrangement.  Things went from bad to worse and finally Israel asked for, and got, a non-divine king.  The kingdom split under the non-divine kings and God arranged for both segments to be carried into captivity.  The ten tribes, known as Israel, dropped from historical site after the split.  The Old Testament story ends with Judah’s return to Jerusalem.  More than four hundred years passed before God determined the time was right to send His Son to finalize His plan for the man dimension of His kingdom (Gal. 4:4).  Jesus lived over thirty three years on earth under the Law of Moses before He was crucified.  Please read Acts chapter seven for a summation of Jewish history by Stephen.

Now we are ready to study the Christian period of history with Jesus as king.  We are ready to see how God made right many wrongs in these “last days” and moved to attain His goal in the creation of mankind.  Since His goal is to have children for His eternal kingdom, we find God’s kingdom on earth functioning as a family.  This is the type of governmental arrangement He desires.  However, even with Jesus as king, we do not see the situation quite as close to what God wants as we found in the Garden of Eden.  God is not the king and Christians still have several distractions hindering us from letting Him completely rule our lives.  Christians still need a sin offering.

Consequently, God will make one more move to bring the man dimension of His kingdom to the level He desires.  He will bring Jesus’ rule over His kingdom to an end.  This will happen at the end of time and judgment.  God will then have some people from earth in His eternal kingdom.  He will be the Father and king and faithful people will be His children and citizens of His eternal kingdom.  These are the things Paul told the Corinthian church in the following discourse.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each in his own order:  Christ, the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be abolished is death.  For He has put all things in subjection under His feet.  But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He (God) is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him (Christ).  And when all things are subjected to Him (God) then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One (God) who subjected all things to Him (Christ), that God may be all in all.  I Cor. 15:22-28

There are a couple of things we should be cognizant of as we approach a study of the Christian age.  One, the events in Acts, chapter two, ushered in this age.  So many people make the mistake of thinking the four Gospels begin with the Christian age; however, the historical events in these books are the last days of the Mosaic age.  Jesus lived and died under this period (Gal. 4:4, 5).

Secondly, the kingdom Jesus began to reign over was not a new kingdom.  Solomon was also king over God’s kingdom (I Chron. 28:5).  Some Jews were sons of the kingdom but God took it away from the nation of Israel (Matt. 8:11, 12; 21:43).  God did not have some new plan in mind, it was the same kingdom and same plan.  He gave Christians a divine king.

Let us now see how the role of Jesus Christ as king fits into divine prophecy and history of the kingdom of God.  Please familiarize yourself with the events in Acts two.  Jacob prophesied that through his son, Judah, the scepter would be maintained when he said, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, or the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes….”  Gen. 49:10.  Jesus’ earthly parents came from Judah (Matt. 1:3; Luke 3:33).  Samuel said to David, “And your house and your kingdom shall endure before me (God) forever; your throne shall be established forever.”  II Sam. 7:16.  Gabriel, the angel, revealed to Mary, Samuel was speaking about Jesus Christ (Luke 1:30-33).  Peter, while under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, agreed with Gabriel (Acts 2:29-39).  Jesus Christ, the incarnate son of God, was the son of David, Judah, Abraham (Matt. 1:1-18; Luke 3:38).

We now have the same kingdom spoken of throughout all history but with a new divine king, it is Jesus Christ and He has a much broader territory.  Solomon did not have all authority in heaven and earth; however, he still ruled over a portion of God’s kingdom on earth for forty years.  Jesus has been reigning over God’s kingdom both on earth and in heaven for 2000 years.  He began in Acts two just as He told His disciples He would.

And He was saying to them, ‘Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.’  Mark 9:1

He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem, “Until you are clothed with power from on high.”  Luke 24:49.  The power came when the Holy Spirit came and it happened on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:8; 2:1).

The question we now want to address ourselves to is this:  What were the strategies of our new divine king?  Remember the goal of God is the same; that is, more sons in His kingdom.  We should not forget the goal of God’s enemy, Satan, is also the same as always – no sons in God’s kingdom.  Jesus rules over God’s kingdom “in Christ” and Satan, as far as God allows, rules the world where most of God’s potential sons abide.  But Jesus said, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.”  John 12:31.

Before Jesus ascended to His throne, He had already won two major battles with Satan, once in the desert and the other at the cross (Matt. 4:10; Heb. 2:14).  We can understand Jesus’ strategies to beat Satan again and again during the early days of His kingship by watching Jesus in action throughout the book of Acts.  We will want to keep in mind the divine strategies in the book of Acts, happened because of the commands of our king from heaven.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to direct the preachers and teachers of the kingdom.  Even though Jesus had spent a lot of time teaching a dozen men while on earth, He did not trust the proclamation of His kingdom to their memory and wisdom.  He had already told them while on earth; He would send the Holy Spirit to guide them.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  John 14:26

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.  And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.                                John 16:7-11

Jesus told them where to wait, how long to wait, and what to expect the Holy Spirit to do when He came (Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1: 6-8).  They were to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them.  In Acts two the Holy Spirit came and the kingdom was restored to the “Israel of promise” with a divine king (Rom. 9:8).  In this we see more of Jesus’ strategies at work.  He immediately offered Israel a new covenant (Heb. 8:8).  Three thousand accepted it at once.  They were freed from the Law of Moses and added to the saved (Acts 2:47; Rom. 7:4-6).  Moses was out as lawgiver and Jesus was in (Acts 3:22).  However, we should note the promises to Abraham were not cancelled.  The promises to Abraham are permanent; they were honored then, just as they are being honored today.  They are not, as some suppose, going to begin to be honored when Jesus comes again.  These promises were being fulfilled by Jesus, our king, in the following scripture.  He did this by offering the Jews an opportunity to become Christians.

It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, “And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”   Acts 3:25

Israel according to promise was freed from the Law of Moses and returned to the relationship they enjoyed before the Law was added (Gal 4:20-31).  Those Jews who were faithful from the time of Abraham to Jesus were the true Israel of God.  It is as Paul said about Israel in Rom. 9:6, “...for they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.”  The true circumcision continues to exist today as the man dimension of God’s kingdom.

…for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.  Phil. 3:3

Another strategy Jesus, the king, used was to identify Himself with God’s people by connecting His name with the miracles being performed during those early days of His reign.  One example is found in Acts 3:6 – “But Peter said, ‘I do not possess silver or gold, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk!’”  After the people witnessed this lame beggar walking and praising God, they were filled with wonder and amazement.

But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered up and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.  Acts 3:12, 13

Every leader must have his subjects believe in his ability to perform, so Jesus demonstrated His power over nature.  A miracle is a very effective means of getting people to listen to your message because people generally respect the law of nature.  They believe it works for their well being.  A miracle changes the way the law of nature ordinarily works.  When a miracle is used to overrule this law the people who witness it are prone to listen to the one who performed it.  The apostles were careful to identify the miracles they performed with the name of Jesus.  This was done throughout the book of Acts as Jesus moved against Satan.    Jesus first moved to free the most faithful Jews from the Law and their sins.  Next he sent His preachers to convert the rank and file from among Israel (Acts 4:4).  Finally, He was ready to add the Gentiles to His kingdom by freeing them from their sins; therefore, death and Satan (Acts 10:1-4).  The geographical pattern for the battle was set forth by the king Himself just before He left this earth, according to the following scripture.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.  Acts 1:8

There were many directives made by our king from heaven through the Holy Spirit in those first few years.  As Christians we must be aware of the presence of Jesus as an active, rather than a passive, king.  He directed the great campaigns we read about in Acts from heaven through the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).

The aim of our king is to do the will of the Father (John 5:19).  We have seen God’s aim was always to have His kingdom on earth function as a family.  This is exactly what Jesus accomplished for God, the Father, in the first century.  The sinners were called out of the world and into Christ Jesus by preaching the kingdom and Jesus (Acts 8:12).  This is the proper concept and usage of the word “church.”  These people functioned in a family type of group and finally our king ordained elders over each church (Acts 14:23).  They were the household of God, functioning as the body of Christ the king.  The following scripture encompasses this concept.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.  Eph. 2:19-22

God, through Christ, offers Christians the best mental environment since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.  The word of God continues to direct the man dimension of God’s kingdom, but let us remember who gave us the word, “Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.’  John 6:68.  Our king lives and continues to actively direct His kingdom from heaven.  Please read again the introduction of Part Five to understand the reign and strategies of the present divine king over God’s kingdom.  The last strategy of Jesus Christ will be His second appearance in the sky for the great resurrection and judgment of mankind.  Please read Matthew 25: 31-46.  This great event will be our study in Part six.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What happened in heaven just prior to the events that were revealed in Acts chapter two?
  2. Briefly summarize the history of the man dimension of God’s kingdom before Acts two.
  3. What is the ideal type of governmental arrangement God has ordained for His people?  What still needs to be corrected at this time?
  4. How do we know Jesus did not rule over a new kingdom of God?  What is new?
  5. In what way did Gabriel and Peter agree?
  6. How old would some of the earthly co-travellers of Jesus be, if the kingdom of God has not yet come to mankind according to Mark 9:1?
  7. Who has a kingdom other than Jesus Christ?  How has Jesus won in combat over this ruler up to now?
  8. What was Jesus’ strategy as king in the use of the Holy Spirit in the first century?
  9. What was Jesus’ strategy to gain both Jews and Gentiles for His kingdom in the book of Acts?
  10. Why is Moses “out” as a lawgiver when the promises to Abraham are still “in?”
  11. Why did the apostles attach Jesus’ name to the miracles they performed?
  12. How did Jesus, as king in heaven over God’s kingdom, direct the campaign against Satan in the book of Acts?
  13. How does the word church, body and household of God, relate to the kingdom of God?
  14. How is Jesus actively reigning over God’s kingdom today?
  15. What is the goal of God, our Father, and Jesus accomplishing as king today?

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