The Whole Earth
The Kingdom of God is no longer limited to the old land of Canaan, or Palestine. That was an Old Covenant kingdom that was meant to fail, and yet it provided the pattern for the Kingdom of God that was later to cover the whole earth.
When Israel had its first opportunity to enter the Promised Land, the people did not have sufficient faith to enter Canaan. The twelve spies returned, and ten of them gave an evil report, and the people believed that evil report. God then suggested to Moses that He would start over with Moses himself and fulfill the promises through him. Moses objected, saying that the nations would think that God was not able to fulfill His promise to Israel.
At the mere suggestion that God might not be able to do this, He responded in Num. 14:21,
21 but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Here God revealed the Master Plan for the earth. Canaan was only a small portion of the divine plan. Canaan was a mere type and shadow of the greater plan to cover the whole earth with the glory of the Lord.
The phrase, “as I live,” makes it one of God’s VOWS. Since He could swear by nothing greater, He swore by His own life. This promise is repeated in various ways later in Scripture. Psalm 72:19 is the first to quote this:
19 And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.
The second time this is mentioned is in Isaiah 6:3, where the cherubim in Isaiah’s vision speak those words:
3 And one called out to another and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.
The third quotation is also by the same prophet. Isaiah 11:9 says,
9 . . . For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
The final quotation is found in Hab. 2:14, which says,
14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
It is well known that the waters cover a full 100 percent of the sea. The knowledge of the glory of the Lord, then, will cover the entire earth—100 percent of the earth. There will be no part of the earth where the glory of the Lord is not known or manifested.
In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream in which he saw a huge image with a head of gold, arms of silver, belly of bronze, and legs of iron. He then saw a stone hit the image on its feet, crumbling the entire image into dust. He then saw the stone grow until it filled the whole earth (Dan. 2:35). Daniel interpreted this dream for him. We read in Dan. 2:44,
44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
This is the meaning of the stone that grows until it fills the whole earth (vs. 35). It is a reference to the Kingdom of God. The day is coming when God’s Kingdom will replace the Babylonian succession of empires (Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome). It is the fifth and final kingdom in earth’s prophetic history.
God’s Kingdom will abolish all oppressive forms of men’s governments and set all men free to enjoy the glorious freedom of the children of God. I believe that we are now at the time when the “stone” is beginning to crush the image on its feet. We do not know how long this will take, but the most important event will be the manifestation of the Sons of God, who are called to reign with Christ during the Age to come.
The seventh chapter of Daniel speaks in more detail about this. Daniel himself had a dream which was similar to that which the king of Babylon had received earlier. Daniel saw four beasts: a lion representing Babylon, a bear representing Persia, a leopard repre-senting Greece, and a fourth beast with iron teeth representing the Roman Empire.
He also saw a “little horn” coming out of the Roman beast, which represented Papal Rome, an extension of the fourth beast of Rome. This “little horn” made war on the saints and overcame them (took authority over them) until the time of the end, when the jurisdiction was given to the saints of the Most High—that is, the overcomers, or Sons of God.
13 I kept looking in the night visions, and behold with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14 And to Him was given dominion, glory, and a Kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away, and His Kingdom will not be destroyed.
This compares with the stone kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar had seen in his dream. It is the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ Himself is the King of this Kingdom, but we are told in Dan. 7:22 that “the saints took possession of the kingdom.”
This agrees with Rev. 20:6, where we read that those brought to life in the first resurrection “will reign with Him for a thousand years.” The Sons of God, then, are called to be the administrators of this Kingdom under Jesus Christ the King. Dan. 7:27 concludes,
27 Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.
This is the prophecy of the Kingdom of God in the Bible. It contemplates a time when all the people of the earth will come to know Jesus Christ as their King, and they will be governed with love and equity by the overcomers, the Sons of God.
Psalm 67 memorializes this time in a song, saying,
1 God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, 2 that Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for Thou wilt judge the people with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth. 5 Let the peoples praise Thee, O God; let all the peoples praise Thee. 6 The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. 7 God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear [respect, reverence] Him.
The prophet Haggai 2:7 speaks of Jesus and His Kingdom as “the desire of all nations.” The Kingdom of God is not a time of oppression, but of setting the nations free from the oppression of human governments and the rule of imperfect men.
The primary event which will signal the transfer of jurisdiction and authority to the saints of the Most High God will be the manifestation of the Sons of God. Paul says in Rom. 8:19-21,
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing [manifestation] of the Sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
The whole earth awaits this event, because it will prove that the law of Jubilee will set the entire creation free of its slavery to sin. The earth will thus fulfill its purpose for creation.