The Kingdom According to the Old Testament:
God’s kingdom is synonymous with his sovereign rule (Psa. 22.28; 24.1-2; 145.10-13; Dan. 4.3). Satan challenged the rule of God at the beginning (Gen. 3.1-5), and mankind has been wont to reject God’s dominion ever since (Gen. 6.5-6; 11.4-6; Deut. 32.15-18; Is. 1.1-4). God purposed to defeat the powers of Satan and bring his own rule into the world through the Messiah (Gen. 3.15; 12.1-3; etc.; cf. Heb. 2.14-15; 1 John 3.8; Col. 2.15).
A predictive prophecy of God’s kingdom: Isaiah 2.2-4 (ca. 700 BC).* (a) Now it shall come to pass in the latter days (v. 2) = the last period of Bible history, beginning in the 1st century AD (Acts 2.16-17; Heb. 1.2; cf. Dan. 2.28, 36-44); (b) that the mountain = symbol for kingdom (Jer. 51.24-25; Amos 6.1; Dan. 2.35, 44-45), of the LORD’s house = the church (1 Tim. 3.15; Heb. 3.6; Eph. 2.19), shall be established on the top [chief] of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills = superior to all other kingdoms, large or small (cf. 2.14; 5.25; etc.; Dan. 2.44; John 18.36; Heb. 12.28); (c) And all nations shall flow to it = a universal kingdom (Matt. 28.19; Acts 1.8; 2.5); (d) Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob’ (v. 3) = an evangelistic/ growing kingdom (Acts 2.41, 47; 4.4; 5.14); (e) He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths = a teaching kingdom that calls for obedience (Matt. 28.20; 2 Tim. 2.2); (f) For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem = the church started in Jerusalem (Luke 24.47; Acts 1.8; 2.5) and is figuratively described as “Mount Zion . . . the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12.22-23); (g) He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many (v. 4) = the word of the Lord, proclaimed by the church, is the standard of judgment (John 12.48; 2 Tim. 3.16; 4.2); (h) They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore = a peaceable kingdom, not spread by force and violence (John 18.36; 14.27).
Another predictive prophecy of God’s kingdom: Daniel 2.28-45 (ca. 530 BC; dream vv. 28-35/interpretation vv. 36-45). (a) God . . . has made known . . . what will be in the latter days (v. 28) = same as above (Isa. 2.2; Acts 2.16-17; Heb. 1.2; cf. 1 Pet. 1.20; 1 John 2.18); (b) Four earthly kingdoms foretold: Babylonian (v. 38) 606-538 BC, Medo-Persian (v. 39a) 538-331 BC, Grecian (v. 39b) 331-168 BC, Roman (v. 40-43) 168 BC–AD 476; (c) And in the days of these kings (v. 44a) = during the Roman Empire; (d) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed = in contrast to the temporary kingdoms of men, God’s kingdom is invincible and everlasting (Dan. 7.14, 18, 27; Luke 1.33; Heb. 12.28; 2 Pet. 1.11); (e) and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever = God’s kingdom is for God’s people, not for disobedient outsiders (1 Pet. 2.9-10); it is superior to all other kingdoms and gains victory over them by conquering the hearts of men (Rom. 8.37-39; 1 Cor. 15.24, 57; 1 John 5.4); (f) the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands (v. 45) = this is God’s work, not man’s (Acts 7.48; 17.24; Heb. 8.2; 11.10).
--Kevin L. Moore
*Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the NKJV.