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The Promise of a Coming Kingdom

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The Promise of a Coming Kingdom

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The Promise of a Coming Kingdom

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All the earth’s territory will be given over to Jesus Christ and those who are with Him. This is when the meek will inherit the earth and all people will worship and obey Jesus Christ the Son of Man. This is the encouraging message Jesus came to teach, proclaim and expand upon.

Sermon Notes

The Promise of a Coming Kingdom

When scripture uses the phrase “Kingdom of God” most people do not have the same ideas you or I do about what the Kingdom of God really is, or when and how it will happen.

Some people think the kingdom of God is getting to go to heaven after death… if you have been a good person in this life. I spent an entire sermon about a month ago showing from scripture that this was certainly not the case. I will not go over all that material right now except to remind you that God’s word clearly tells us that no person born of the flesh has ever ascended to heaven except Jesus Christ who was resurrected after 3 days and 3 nights in the grave.

Another idea many people have is that the kingdom of God is “the church” or the “age of the church”. The general idea is that Christ currently reigns using “the church” as His agents or representatives on earth. It is common to see the church’s commission as one which transforms the earth along godly principles [make disciples of all nations etc]. After that transformation has been accomplished Christ will then return.

This is [or has been] the most dominant interpretation of the Kingdom of God since probably about 300 AD. It’s the teaching of Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Anglican, Mennonite churches etc. The teaching that Christ will first return and then establish the rule of God on earth, beginning first with a period of 1,000 years followed by the unveiling of a new heaven and new earth is definitely the minority position.

Simmering under the surface and co-existing with this idea of “the church” as the kingdom of God is a nebulous vision of the kingdom of God as a state of mind, something existing in the heart of those who believe… a state of mind that represents the finest and most noble goals and ideals attainable by humanity. When this kingdom thinking reaches a critical mass, or tipping point when it rules the hearts of humanity good things will happen.

These two ways of looking at the Kingdom of God are the driving force behind positioning “the church” as the instigator of social justice, and as God’s instrument to convert humanity to the higher ideals of love, compassion, personal integrity, respect for human life, and sexual fidelity. It is an approach that has brought about some very positive changes to an otherwise vicious and bloodthirsty world.

Even applying only parts of the truth of God has had a positive influence on human society, culture, and government. But there is fatal flaw in the plan… Noble ideals may find a home in the human heart… but so do very dark, selfish and destructive ideas. “The human heart is deceitful above all things and incurably sick [wicked] who can ever understand it”

The churches of this world and their program to make the world subject to Christ are staffed by human beings who are themselves a mixture of good and evil. Because of this fatal flaw, understanding the kingdom of God to be the “reign” or “age” of a church has also put certain of these “world changing” churches in the position of themselves being the oppressor, unjust judges, and “spillers of blood”.

That’s a very simplified version of the most prevalent understanding of what the kingdom of God means. It’s a teaching that brings some good to pass but like all false doctrines has the disastrous effect of bringing disrepute upon the scriptures, and upon God.

Exodus 20:7 Exodus 20:7You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
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God does not want His name an reputation attached to false teachings or unjust causes!

The True Promise of God’s Coming Kingdom

In the new testament, the word kingdom is baselia. It’s a Greek word meaning royal power, authority, rulership, and dominion. So, the kingdom of God can be understood as a world-ruling monarchy, governing the earth, with Jesus Christ as it head.

The clearest revelations of this understanding are found in the prophets, especially Daniel.

Daniel 1:17 Daniel 1:17As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
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Daniel 2:28-45 Daniel 2:28-45 [28] But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and makes known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head on your bed, are these; [29] As for you, O king, your thoughts came into your mind on your bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that reveals secrets makes known to you what shall come to pass. [30] But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that you might know the thoughts of your heart. [31] You, O king, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form thereof was terrible. [32] This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, [33] His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. [34] You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image on his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. [35] Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. [36] This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. [37] You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. [38] And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold. [39] And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. [40] And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: for as much as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. [41] And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, for as much as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. [42] And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. [43] And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not join one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. [44] And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. [45] For as much as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
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The word kingdom here is malku… with the same meaning as baselia.

The statue or image graphically represents a succession of worldly empires. The last and final of these is the kingdom of God, established and ruled by Jesus Christ. He is the rock that is not cut out by any human hands… indicating its is of God’s doing.

Through the inspiration of God, Daniel reveals that the head of gold was Babylon [verse 2:38]. It is also generally understood by most readers of scripture that the chest and arms of silver is the Persian empire. Then the belly and thighs of brass are the Greek empire. How do we get that?

History records that God gave the land of Israel to Bablyon who ruled a vast empire for a short while and was then conquered by the Persians. Persia took the territory and ruled their vast empire for a few centuries. Persian was then over-run and conquered by the Greek armies of Alexander the Great who took what Persia had and ruled an even larger territory. Finally, Rome conquered the Greeks and took over their empire. The land that was once Israel became part of their territory.

Daniel 7 Daniel himself has a dream about the 4 successive kingdoms. This time with a slightly different perspective. These ruling power of earth appear as wild animals [which tells us something about their character, guided by the passions of the flesh etc]. The 4th of these kings or kingdom/empires is noted as being especially cruel and aggressive towards the people of God. The 4th empire is also spoken of as existing in one form or another until the time when Jesus Christ [the Son of Man] comes to take over all the power, authority and rule on earth [Daniel 7:8-14 Daniel 7:8-14 [8] I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. [9] I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. [10] A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. [11] I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. [12] As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. [13] I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
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].

Daniel 8 Daniel receives a third vision of the kingdoms of the future. This dream only features the two kingdoms that follow Babylon but have not yet been identified by name to Daniel. These 2 are depicted as 2 rams battling it out. We find their identities in verses 20-21. They are Persia, followed by Greece. Note: the 4th kingdom that persists until the return of Christ is not revealed by name in scripture although it is commonly considered to be Rome.

Human Governments Will Be Replaced By Kingdom/Rule of God

The vision of the giant statue with its 4 sections and the vision of the vision of the 4 beasts that rise out of the sea end the same way. They are removed and replaced by the Kingdom of God ruled by Jesus Christ the King.

This is the kingdom of God which Jesus preached about to people while His days in the flesh.

The rule of God with Jesus Christ as king replaces all the earth’s human systems of government... its rulers & subjects, its laws, culture and tradition, and takes over their territory… in other words, the entire planet earth. All the earth’s territory will be given over to Jesus Christ and those who are with Him. This is when the meek will inherit the earth and all people will worship and obey Jesus Christ the Son of Man. This is the encouraging message Jesus came to teach, proclaim and expand upon.

The kingdom of God is not a state of mind, it is not a lofty ideal we can aspire to and perhaps achieve one day. The kingdom of God is a very real, boots on the ground, plan of action, with a specific timetable, to transform the earth into something amazing and wonderful.

Why Doesn’t The Kingdom Start Now?

Scriptural prophecy indicates that humanity will not achieve the ideals and perfections of the kingdom of God. Almost the opposite is the case, Jesus Christ Himself will have to stage an “intervention” before this world destroys itself.

For now, humanity has been allotted a specific [and finite] amount of time to rule themselves. It is what humanity has chosen and its what God has allowed… separation from God and a high level of personal autonomy. By the end of the allotted time humanity will have demonstrated themselves to be completely incapable of living in a way that is peaceful, just, prosperous, or healthful.

That vast human experiment will come to a screeching halt when Christ returns. The failed governments, culture and religions humanity has cooked up will be replaced with something new.

Prophecies About the Substance of the Kingdom of God

Micah 4:1-3 Micah 4:1-3 [1] But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow to it. [2] And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. [3] And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
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Isaiah 9:6-7 Isaiah 9:6-7 [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
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Under Christ’s rule humanity will at long last see what the kingdom of God is really about… people will learn God’s ways and experience the God way of doing things. This too will happen for a specifically allotted amount of time… 1,000 years based on what we are given to know from scripture.

A Time to Choose

After this 1,000 year period, folks are going to have to make a choice.

God: I gave you all plenty of time to run the world your way. It was a botch. Are you interested in my way now? Its been implemented for 1,000 years and you can clearly see the fruits of it… what its like and so forth… do you want to be a part of this?

Who will God be giving this choice to? … Everyone who has ever lived!

Yes, at the end of 1,000 years of righteous rule all people who have ever lived will be resurrected to life. The followers of Christ will have already been resurrected. The resurrection happened for them way back when Christ came to take over. In fact, they worked together with Him to put this 1,000 year demo of a God based world together. Revelation 20:4-6 Revelation 20:4-6 [4] And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. [6] Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
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After that 1,000 years a couple of very interesting things happen:

Satan is released [verses 7-10]

A session of judgment is set up and all people are resurrected [read 11-12]

What Conditions Will They Encounter?

All those who have lived and died will be raised back to life into a world that is the product of 1,000 years of righteous rule. They will see, hear, smell, taste, and touch what the kingdom of God is really like. Note: They will not have to choose the kingdom way based on faith… in something, they have not seen. In that way their time of choosing is different than yours.

Other scriptures indicate that in the kingdom of God free access to the spirit of God will be made available. Understanding of spiritual truth will now be possible for all those who were previously blinded. This is how we interpret the phrase “the books were opened” [verse 12].

The people of the 2nd resurrection will be judged based on what is written in the books [scrolls] and what they do [their works]. We do not know how long this session of judgment lasts. Long enough for them to make an informed decision.

People who opt out of the Kingdom of God will not have their names written in the 2nd book opened up … the book of life. They will die the second death mentioned earlier… and all memory of them will be removed forever.

Your Time of Judgment is Now

You are being asked to make your decision for the kingdom of God now. Your decision will be based on faith… believing in and placing your confidence in stuff you have not seen, touched, tasted, smelled or heard. All you know of the kingdom of God is what God has told you and what He has promised you.

God is calling you now to claim your place alongside Christ. To assist Him in setting up that 1,000-year long demonstration. God is calling you to declare yourself for the kingdom and start living and learning the kingdom of God way of life right now. He is calling you to a prized position in the eternal family as the bride and helpmate of Jesus Christ at His return.

After that… the kingdom of God continues on forever. Revelation 21:1-7 Revelation 21:1-7 [1] And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. [4] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. [5] And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. [6] And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. [7] He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
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