Archive for the 'Waiting For the Kingdom' Category

The Eternal State

FRIDAY

Colossians 1:20 And through Him to reconcile all things into Himself, the one making peace through the blood of His cross, whether the things upon the earth or the things in the heavens.

The work of Messiah was to reconcile the creation with the Creator. He did this by making peace between these two parties. The Greek word for reconciliation means to change from one condition to another by removing every enmity in order to leave no hindrance for unity and peace. Another way of stating this would be to say to restore that which was lost. There was peace between Creator and creation in the Garden. It was destroyed when Man, the pinnacle of God’s creation violated His (God’s) will. Man has been seeking reconciliation ever since. But it was not until Messiah did His promised work that reconciliation was accomplished and it resulted in peace (literally the absence of strife) with the Creator for those who believe.

Messiah’s work initially produced a localized peace within the hearts of believers (Luke 17:20) and, as we saw yesterday, a more universal peace will come for those surviving the tribulation during the millennial kingdom. But the eternal peace for the redeemed of all ages will not be established until God allows all who are opposed to His rule one final attempt to dethrone Messiah. They will fail miserably because of the power of God (Revelation 20:9). This will usher in the Eternal State, the time when the absence of strife in creation will be re-established.

NAU Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband…. 5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost…. 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God…. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; …22:5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

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The MILLENNIAL Kingdom

THURSDAY

Yesterday we saw that the KOG is the sphere of influence where God rules. It existed in the Garden of Eden until the Fall of Man and his expulsion from the Garden. God promised, though, that it would be re-established on earth and the Jews eagerly awaited its inception. When Messiah appeared the first time and entered Jerusalem on the very day prophesied in Daniel 9:26, they thought the KOG was here at last. But His refusal to take the throne at that time left everyone disillusioned (especially Judas) and continuing to look for the KOG. Jesus, the Messiah, had taught with His coming, however, that the KOG would for a time be within man (Luke 17:20) and from Pentecost to the present, the KOG has been in the hearts of believers (Romans 14:17). However, before His ascension into heaven, Jesus assured His followers that the promised, earthly KOG was yet to come (Acts 1:6, 7).

There are two manifestations of the KOG yet to be seen – the one thousand year earthly rule of Messiah (the millennial kingdom described in Revelation 20:1-6) after the tribulation (Revelation 6:1-19:6), and the final Eternal State (Revelation 21:-22:5). Today we will look at one of the descriptions of the millennial kingdom from Micah 4.

NIV Micah 4:1 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. 2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 4 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. 5 All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. 6 “In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. 7 I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever.

Kingdom Transition

WEDNESDAY

NAU Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

NIV Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

NKJ Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

In its broadest sense, the Kingdom of God is that sphere of influence where God rules. At the present time Luke 17:20 and Romans 14:17 affirm a more localized sphere of influence within the hearts of those who have experienced His salvation as the Kingdom of God (KOG). However, while the KOG is being established in the hearts of some men through salvation (i.e. confidence in the Messiah’s work on the cross), Acts 1:6, 7 tell us that the localized KOG will one day expand to its prophetically promised earthly proportions (NAU Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority). This is later confirmed most prominently in the Book of Revelation when the beast and the false prophet (Rev 19:20) are seized along with Satan (Rev 20:2) and thrown into the abyss for one thousand years (Rev 20:3). At that time the Messiah and King will be the ruler over all the earth:

NAU Zechariah 14:9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.

NIV Zechariah 14:9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

NKJ Zechariah 14:9 And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be — “The LORD is one,” And His name one.

Kingdom Conundrum??

TUESDAY

NAU Matthew 6:10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

NAU Luke 11:20 “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

NAU Luke 17:20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Yesterday we were presented with a problem. Jesus taught us to pray for the coming of the Messianic Kingdom of God in Matthew 6:10 (ca AD 28). One year later He said that it had a present, demonstrable existence through His ability to exorcize demons (Luke 11:20), and then, one year later at His Ascension, He spoke about the future coming kingdom! How can we pray for something to come into existence if it is already in existence? And then, why should we look forward to something that is already present?

Here is a humble explanation of the kingdom from these verses. Matthew 6 is indeed a prayer requesting the establishing of the earthly kingdom foretold by the prophets. However, Luke 11 emphasizes that the King of that kingdom is in their midst (although His earthly Kingdom is yet to be established). Finally, Luke 17 shows us that while the earthly kingdom is yet to be established, it is for the moment being established in the hearts of men (until the earthly kingdom is established). Luke 17 could not have been a spiritual replacement of the earthly kingdom foretold by the prophets – the Apostles in Acts 1:6 (just before Jesus’ Ascension) asked the ‘King’ if the EARTHLY kingdom was at that time being restored. Jesus’ response to such a question is:

NAU Acts 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

NIV Acts 1:7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

NKJ Acts 1:7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.

If the earthly kingdom had been replaced by a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of men, why did Jesus answer in such a nebulous way – affirming that the earthly kingdom was yet to come?

The Kingdom of God

MONDAY

As a follow up to waiting for Messiah, I thought it appropriate to examine the Coming Kingdom of God. The promise of the Kingdom was attached to the Coming of Messiah. However, when Messiah arrived, the Kingdom (in the manner the Jews were expecting) did not! It is interesting to see how the Kingdom is dealt with in the New Testament.

Jesus asked for us to pray for it:

NAU Matthew 6:10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

NIV Matthew 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

NKJ Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus said it had arrived:

NAU Luke 11:20 “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

NIV Luke 11:20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

NKJ Luke 11:20 “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

and will dwell within the hearts of believers:

NAU Luke 17:20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

NIV Luke 17:20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

NKJ Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 “nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Finally, Jesus taught after His resurrection that the Kingdom was yet to come!

NAU Acts 1:3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

NIV Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

NKJ Acts 1:3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

So what is the kingdom of God and where is it? That will be our topic this week!