David makes a revealing declaration: “Jehovah has established his throne in the heavens. His kingdom rules over all” (Ps. 103:19). We understand by this declaration that the kingdom of Jehovah is in the heavens. The prophet Isaiah makes another revelation: “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what kind of house will you build to me? and what place shall be my rest?’” (Is. 66:1). Footstool is a low bench used as a footrest. The king returns from his journey, sits on his throne, and rests his feet on the footstool, on the bench. David, though, makes another revelation, saying: “For Jehovah has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his habitation. This is my resting place forever. Here I will live, for I have desired it” (Ps. 132:13-14). We understand that Zion, in other words, the kingdom of Israel, is the footstool of Jehovah in Canaan, the Promised Land. Jeremiah made it very clear, when he said: “How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, and hasn’t remembered his footstool in the day of his anger” (Lam. 2:1). Jeremiah, the prophet, is saying that Jehovah tore his footrest, or his footstool, to pieces.
The question is: Why has Jehovah placed a footstool on earth to use as a footrest? If he was really god, he should have known that the footstool was not made of good wood and that he himself was going to destroy the low bench, and that he would never rest his feet on it. Here is how Jehovah destroyed the footstool he had made: “Jehovah said, ‘I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, “My name shall be there”’” (2 Kings 23:27). Owing to Solomon’s corruption, Jehovah divided the kingdom in two. Ten tribes stayed with Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and two tribes with Rehoboam, son of Solomon (1 Kings 11:29-36). I said, two tribes for Rehoboam, because Judah got the tribe of Levi, which was chosen by Jehovah to minister in his temple in Jerusalem. They were two kingdoms, then: the kingdom of the north, with Jeroboam, and the kingdom of the south, with Rehoboam.
Jehovah destroyed the kingdom of Israel in the heat of his fury (2 Kings 17:20-23). And then he declares that he was also going to destroy the kingdom of Judah with the very same hateful fury, and the temple, the city, and everything else, as we have shown above (2 Kings 23:27).
Let us verify whether the footstool that Jehovah built was made of good material. The kingdom of Jehovah, which was established on earth, was inaugurated on Mount Sinai when he established the covenant of the law, soon after the people were delivered from Egypt. He said, before giving the law: “‘and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel” (Ex. 19:6). And soon after that, in the midst of gloom and whirlwind, and the blasting of trumpets, he dictated his dark law (Heb. 12:18-21; Ex. 20). Why darkness? Why fire and gloom? Why the storm?
- With the law comes knowledge of sin (1 Cor. 15:56). “As knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” (1 Tim. 1:9-11). This declaration of Paul reveals what kind of people formed the kingdom of Jehovah from the beginning, and what kind of wood Jehovah used to make his footstool. In the letter to the Hebrews we read that the law did not make anything perfect, because of its weakness and futility (Heb. 7:18-19). On the contrary, Paul affirms that the law awakens sinful passions on the flesh: “For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death” (Rom. 7:5). From the beginning to the end of the kingdom of Jehovah, the people that formed it were sinners, and so he said: “Behold, the eyes of the Lord JEHOVAH are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the surface of the earth” (Amos 9:8). Did Jehovah choose the wrong kind of wood to make his footstool, or was the project intentional? The psalmist said: “Jehovah, how many are your works! In wisdom have you made them all. The earth is full of your riches” (Ps. 104:24).
- 2. As we have read above, the passions of sins, which are by the law, operate works that kill (Rom. 7:5). Now, the law was given by Jehovah not to perfect men (Heb. 7:18-19), but to impute sins. Paul says: “For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law” (Rom. 5:13). Jehovah declared that there is no righteous man who never sins (Eccl. 7:20). Sin kills the soul (Ezek. 18:4). As everyone sins, all are dead in sin. Paul declares that all souls were dead until the resurrection of Christ (Col. 2:13). From the beginning the kingdom of Jehovah was composed of the spiritual dead. A Jew was converted to Christ and said: “Another of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead’” (Matt. 8:21-22). Jesus knew that the kingdom of Jehovah was composed of dead people, contrary to the kingdom of Christ, which was composed of living people. Jesus said: “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24). Now, if the kingdom of Jehovah was composed of living people, Jehovah has nothing to do with the Father or with Jesus, but it has lots to do with Satan, who also has a kingdom of dead people (Heb. 2:14-15).
- Thirdly, the kingdom of Jehovah was ruled by the law, and the law includes the terrible curses of Jehovah, which are in Deut. 28:15-68. Paul said: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them’” (Gal. 3:10). Therefore, from the beginning, the kingdom of Jehovah is composed of the cursed, on Mount Sinai. This is such disgrace! A people formed by sinners, cursed, and dead men. The curses of Jehovah have always had such strength, that Christians forget that Christ has redeemed us from the curses, making himself a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). They also forget that Jesus Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). The apostle John declares that, whoever sins has never seen or known Christ (1 John 3:5-6).
Differently from Jehovah, those that belong to Christ and compose his kingdom have passed to life since their conversion and were ransomed from the curses. And Paul declares: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Finally, Jesus sets us free from sin by the action of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (Rom. 6:18).
The kingdom of Jesus is different from the kingdom of Jehovah, and for this reason Luke says: “The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it ” (Luke 16:16).
By Olavo Silveira Pereira