and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the
two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher
pay the temple tax?"
"Yes, he does,"
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak.
"What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of
the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from
"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to
him. "But so that we may not offend
them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first
fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma
coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours." (Matt.
Who Are We, Really?
The Bible doesn't give us very much detail
about the Church in the New Jerusalem. Most of what we can read
about the Kingdom Age (Millennium) is in the Old Testament and
concerns Israel's life on Earth during that time.
But the New Testament does contain two models of the
Church. One is the
Bride of Christ and the other is the Royal Family.
Most of us are more familiar with the Bride model,
probably because it's more pertinent to our earthly
The other model, that of a Royal Family, is
actually more relevant to our life in the Millennium.
For example, I think the phrase “rule and reign with Him”
really describes the Royal Family model.
Although the Bible has more to say about the Royal Family
than it does about the Bride, most of aren't as familiar with
what it says. For
this reason I want to focus on the Royal Family model in this
This idea has been running around in my
mind since I did some additional research on Rev. 5:9-10
recently for my series on Rapture References.
There's no question that verse 9 describes the church.
At issue is whether verse 10 should be read
as “Kings and Priests” or as “a kingdom and priests”.
(I'll compare the two versions for you later.) As the Mathew
passage above shows, there's a big difference between being part
of a kingdom and being in the Royal Family.
And it's not just about paying taxes. The life of the
Royal Family is very different from that of other members of the
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in
his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
children born not of natural descent,
nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
The first time we were born we were merely
part of the vast creation.
But when we were born again we received the authority to
become members of God's own family.
Paul said it like this.
“When we were children, we were in
slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the
time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born
under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the
full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit
of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba,
Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you
are a son, God has made you also an heir” (Gal.4:3-7).
Just so you would know he was serious about
being one of God's heirs, Paul said it again.
Now if we are
children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with
Christ ... (Romans 8:17).
Think about that for a minute.
Co-heirs with Christ. What does that mean? Remember, in
the Temple Tax incident above Jesus didn't say “The Son is
exempt,”meaning Himself, but “The sons are exempt,” including
In Psalm 2:8 God said to Him,
“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the
ends of the earth your possession.”
If Planet Earth is His inheritance and
we're co-heirs with Him, then everything that comes from it will
accrue to our benefit.
Royal Families don't have to worry about supporting
support comes from the proceeds of the kingdom.
Since the Earth is our inheritance, should we expect the
people of Earth to
support us in the Millennium?
Let's ask John.
I did not see
a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb
are its temple. The city does not
need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God
gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the
earth will bring their splendor into it.
On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no
night there. The glory and honor of
the nations will be brought into it. (Rev. 21:22-26)
The splendor, glory and honor of Earth will
be brought to us in the New Jerusalem. The very best the planet
has to offer during a time when there's no more curse to inhibit
its production will be reserved for us.
It was always in God's mind that His
Church would become His Royal Family. For those God foreknew
he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans
Do You Work Here?
People often ask me, “What are we going to
do in the Millennium?” or “What kind of work does God have in
mind for us?” Here's where Americans have to read our world
history again. Did
royals ever work?
No. They always
pursued the finer things of life.
One of the reasons they're called nobility is because
their lives are devoted to more noble pursuits.
They get the best of everything and their every need is
met in a luxurious way.
Because they're fallen, sinful beings some of them have
wasted their lives and disgraced themselves, but you and I will
be divested of our sin nature.
We'll be pure and perfected, and instead of acting in a
manner that's beneath us like some earthly nobles do, we'll
aspire to be our very best.
And the prototype for the very best is King Jesus, to
whose likeness we will have been conformed.
As John wrote, Dear friends, now we are
children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made
known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
encouraged us to see ourselves that way now, like royalty in
training. He wanted
us to start living our destiny immediately by becoming worthy of
our calling now. “Only let us live up to what we have already
attained,” he said. (Phil. 3:16)
And Peter agreed.
But you are a chosen people, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you
may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
Calling us a royal priesthood is the same
as saying we'll be Kings and Priests.
And that brings
us full circle to the verse that started me thinking along these
lines in the first place.
So what do we think?
Should it read,
You have made them to be a kingdom
and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the
earth." (Rev. 5:10 NIV, etc.).
Or does this version seem to be more
consistent with the other Scriptures we've looked at,
You have made us to be kings and priests
to serve our God, and we will reign on the earth." (Rev.
5:10 KJV, YLT)
Remember, the Greek word for King and
Kingdom is the same, differing only by gender. King is the
masculine form, and according to Strong's concordance it's the
one used in Rev. 5:10.
In 118 appearances in the New Testament it's never
translated Kingdom, which is the feminine form of the word and
has a different Strong's number.
So the verse is more grammatically and theologically
correct when it's translated Kings and Priests, which defines
only the Church, rather than a kingdom and priests.
The Royal Family model gives us an another exciting
glimpse into the nature of our eternal destiny.
This Is Your Life
For a good part of the Kingdom Age life on
Earth will be a very pleasant, trouble free existence,
especially in Israel.
"The days are coming," declares the LORD,
"when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from all the hills.
I will bring back my
Israel; they will
rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant
vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit. (Amos
"Once again men and women of ripe old
age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand
because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys
and girls playing there." (Zechariah 8:4-5)
Every man will sit under his own vine
and under his own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
for the LORD Almighty has spoken. (Micah 4:4)
But life in the New Jerusalem will exceed
this by such an order of magnitude that there's no comparison.
I'm convinced that the reason the Bible doesn't say much
about what's in store for us is because it defies description.
We simply could not believe it.
As it is written: "No eye has seen, no
ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for
those who love him" - but God has
revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:8-10).
We can only imagine. 03-06-10