What is the land of Christ’s kingdom?
In the sixth of his 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article, George Zeller declared that the territory of Christ’s kingdom is upon the earth. His judgment is executed on earth, at Jerusalem, he said. Zeller wrote:
“In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up UNTO DAVID; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness IN THE LAND” (Jeremiah 33:15).
“In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).
The TIME when the Messiah will assume the throne of David is here pinpointed, as well as the PLACE. The TIME: the millennial reign of Christ when righteousness will characterize the earth and when peace and safety will characterize Jerusalem. The PLACE: “in the land,” that is ON THE EARTH, in the city of Jerusalem.
Nothing in the verses quoted above proves, or even suggests, that the phrase “in those days” refers to a future millennium, rather than the present age of the church; however, the phrase “to execute judgment and righteousness in the land” does raise the question, which land is meant?
What is the land promised to the saints? What is the “better country” of Hebrews 11:16? Jeremiah’s prophecy said judgment is executed in “the land.” Until Christ was raised from the grave, prophecies about the land referred to the land of Canaan, but after Jesus sat at God’s right hand, and received the throne of David, and when the spiritual realities of the gospel replaced the types and shadows, the promised land was understood as a figure and type of the “better country” of the saints, which is the spiritual territory, to which the saints have come. Isaiah 2:2 foretold this. Isaiah said, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” This happened when Jesus ascended to heaven. So the land containing the mountain of the Lord’s house is a heavenly country. There are spiritual rivers in it, and valleys, and so forth. Isaiah said:
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
The crooked things becoming straight must mean flawed interpretations of scripture will be put right, and wrong beliefs will be corrected. Mountains were made low when the gospel was revealed; the literal mountains of the promised land were perceived as types and shadows of spiritual realities. The mountains represent promises of God.
When Jacob blessed Joseph his son, he compared his blessings to “the utmost bound of the everlasting hills,” or high mountains, as they were high and lofty, like mountains, having a spiritual meaning, and also eternal. [Genesis 49:25] So in prophecy, the blessings and promises of God are represented by mountains.
In Revelation 12, there is warfare in heaven:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Verse 8 says no place was found in heaven for Satan, or for any of his angels. They are removed from the territory or the land where the woman dwells, or her spiritual environment. In verse 1, the woman clothed with the sun is in heaven. Paul said that God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” [Ephesians 2:6] This is the “better country” that the saints look for. [Hebrews 11:16]
Heaven represents the spiritual inheritance of the saints. Jesus declared that heaven is God’s throne. [Matthew 5:34]
The inheritance of the saints is spiritual; the land in the promise to Abraham foreshadowed the spiritual inheritance of the saints. The rivers in it are spiritual streams of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, that flow from the throne of God. Jesus promised that the Spirit would guide the saints into all truth. [John 16:13]
In the Old Covenant the promised land was a type of the knowledge of God. The priests and Levites received no inheritance of land, but the Lord was their inheritance. The service of the Lord was in lieu of land. When Israel departed from the worship of God they were removed from the land, and were scattered in other lands. The promised land represents the knowledge of God, and dwelling in other lands represented their loss of blessing, and not possessing their promised inheritance.
The promised land of the saints is the truth, so there is no room there for Satan’s deceptions.
Judgments are represented by valleys. When David referred to “the valley of the shadow of death,” in Psalm 23:4, he said “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” The Spirit Jesus promised to send is called the Comforter. [John 14:16]
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Salvation, strength, and the kingdom of God come when Satan is cast out. The saints who overcome his deceptions understand that Christ is king, and reign with him.
In Jeremiah 33:16, Christ is identified with Jerusalem. He represents the righteousness of the saints, which is also pictured by the sun clothing the heavenly woman. When Jesus ascended to heaven as described in Acts 1, Jerusalem became the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem of those who are saved is the heavenly city, not the earthly one. In Revelation 21:22, John wrote: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Those who are in Christ, are included in the heavenly city.