He Came Preaching the Kingdom of God
Author’s note: By necessity, this explanation starts out seemingly slow for a few pages. It was necessary to lay some groundwork and to give some explanations that were required by my conscience and that are absolutely necessary for understanding the context. But after those first few pages, buckle your seatbelts and get ready for a ride! You will need to, and I hope you will want to, take the ride several times again. Blessings!
It has been several years now since I undertook the writing of the book “On the Way.” In that book, I put forth, with many scriptural proofs, that Yeshua, the apostles, and the early disciples preached, and practiced The Way as revealed to men of God and written down in the law and the prophets. In doing so, as I’m now aware (Glory to God!), it seems that I erred in the same way that countless sincere men have erred over the last two millennia. In short, I’ve realized that though “It was right,” (again, Glory to God), it also fell short. In this chapter I hope to “set things right.”
Even though it’s true that they practiced the Way, that is not (in totality) what they preached. They preached the Kingdom of God in Yeshua ha Messiach (Jesus the Christ), and they practiced The Way of Yeshua ha Messiach, the Way to the Kingdom.
Should we discard the whole of the work entitled “On the Way”? No, that would also be error. But I do humbly propose that the work was incomplete. The error of mine that I mentioned above was in reality the error of enthusiasm, of seeing something so marvelous and awakening that I couldn’t contain it; I “had” to share it. For a better understanding of the spirit in which it would be good to address this error, please see the story of Apollos, Acquila, and Priscilla in the book of the Acts 18:24-28. Note that, although Apollos was “mighty in the scriptures” and “taught the Way of God accurately,” he was still missing something…and was also open to correction. As a result, the Spirit of God found a way to set him straight.
What happens when we are “digging” and we find a “bit of gold” (or, a little truth)? Whether it is a small bit or a large bit hardly matters. We are excited. We go running to show the bit of gold to all our friends, desiring to share our exciting discovery with them. We run to them with our little nugget perhaps not entertaining the thought that if there was a bit of gold there then had we dug deeper and longer we may have discovered where that bit came from – we may have discovered the Vein, the origin, the source of the nugget. And we, and they, would have been richer for it.
For 15 years now (as of this edit 2017), I’ve been showing others my bit of gold (indeed a very pure nugget, aside from my not “seeing” more deeply) and have been puzzled that others couldn’t see the value in it! “Don’t you see?” I’d say, showing them all the proofs of the purity of the nugget. And despite all the proofs, they’d respond at times by first being excited, by receiving it gladly, but that excitement would wear off as they thought of the implications involved in investing in that bit of gold. “Is it worth investing in? If I invest all that I have in your bit of gold, how do I know I’ll get a good return?” For fifteen years I’ve been dumbfounded. “But, don’t you see the value? Look! Look!” In short, I’ve had little fruit (in my eyes) that I can discern.
For close to 2000 years, men and women, sincere people filled with excitement at their discoveries, have been making the same error. This error has produced a wide range of doctrines, and at the same time a disparity among those who are searching for the gold of God. We have taken our bits of gold and produced doctrines, or methods, to build systems of practice upon our discoveries. And now, at this point, there are so many systems that people have lost the reason why they should be excited about the gold in the first place. We all want to show everybody that our nugget is purer that those of others. “I like Apollos’ gold, and I Cephas’ gold…”
This will be an extremely difficult chapter to write, for it will perhaps appear as though “my nugget” was not so pure to begin with. But what I hope to show is that this nugget, though pure, only has its value when remaining with the whole vein; once removed from the vein, it becomes an idol, it becomes a system, a religion. And, those who are His sheep are sick of religion. In fact, the whole world is sick with religion, though we continue practicing it because we have lost the location, the knowledge, of the Vein.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” says the Lord.
This is explained in the Word of God, but we should deeply examine something that may at first confuse us. Please bear with me and follow through; please have patience with me. My intention is not to “throw a shocker” at you; but the statement that follows may shock you into considering a thought you may not have entertained before.
Simply put, the bible is not the Word of God. Now wait, please. Stop and consider as I explain what I mean by this statement. After all, Abraham and David loved God’s Word – did they have a bible? What did they have? His spoken promise. His Word.
Instead, the bible we have today is a book, a book in which if we dig (Proverbs 2:1-9) we may discover the Word of God, and having discovered the Word, and believing it, we can ask then to “see.” That may seem simplistic; I assure you, and more importantly, His Word assures us, it is not simplistic. But it is simple. It is for us, the poor.
Billions of people today have bibles, but do they know the Word of God in anything like the way that David and the other prophets knew the Word of God? None of the scriptures were even written when Abraham walked to the land of Promise, but do we know the Word of the Lord even remotely like Abraham, the friend of God, knew the Word of the Lord? “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness.” Jesus explained the true reason for this; the Pharisees had the same problem that we do today. They were blind, and Jesus handed them the reason for their blindness.
“You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me.” They were not searching for him; they were searching for eternal life. They wanted heaven (or glory), and they wanted to be spared from sheol and destruction. “But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life.” Like us today, they wanted a savior, but they didn’t want a master (teacher)who would teach them the ultimate servant-hood. They were simply looking for an escape from the alternative.
Is our motive today more that we want to escape destruction, or “hell,” and that we want to “go to Heaven” instead of the alternative? I know that I myself have had that motivation for most of my life. We’re told at a very young age (more or less) that, “we’d better be good if we don’t want to go to hell.” But the truth is, avoiding hell is not a good enough motive for being good; otherwise, there would be a great deal more good people.
Throughout the original Scriptures is recorded God’s Word that does reveal the right motive, His motive, for “searching the scriptures daily.” Were the apostles searching for eternal life when they did so? No – they knew that we do not “die and go to heaven,” or to hell (David wrote that we are like the beasts that perish…we go to sheol, the grave or the ground). And besides, by that time they knew the true meaning of “eternal life” (not eternal, but life for an age, or aionios).” But we are taught all our lives that we have only two choices – die and go to heaven, or die and go to hell. But though we have “found” these two “choices” in the bible, the scriptures don’t show us these two options. Instead, they show us The Kingdom and Perdition.
You may state the obvious. It’s ok – I understand. “But the Kingdom is in heaven, and perdition is in hell!” Yes, both statements are correct – and our understanding of this is quite inadequate. If we dig through the scriptures for those words and their original meanings, we’ll find the Lord telling us something completely different than what a world full of people assume on an everyday basis. If we are to use only the Word of God as our source, no person goes to heaven and unbelievers do not go to hell upon “going to sleep”.
I will steadfastly avoid showing you my opinion on these subjects. After all, it’s our “own understanding” that has gotten us in trouble in the first place. I apologize for taking so long to come to “the point,” but it was necessary in order lay some ground and to show you that some things we “have always known” are incorrect when we look to the scriptures to prove them.
After years of sharing the contents of “On the Way” with others, I found that I “wasn’t really getting anywhere” with those whom I shared with. Many were “seeing;” very few were really moving forward. It was quite frustrating, and unsettling. But there was something else as well. In my own life, the “joy of my salvation” was missing. Yes, true. It’s no wonder that some were taking what I was showing as mere legalism. Oh, what I was sharing was “true,” there’s no doubt to me as I continue searching the scriptures. But the message, on its own, was a foundation built on sand. The combination of not “getting through” to others and the lack of my own, that “something was missing,” eventually led me to search for more. And that led to new astounding discoveries. It seems to me that God honored my discontent as long as that discontent led to my searching for Him, and not for “a way” to be accepted or to avoid hell.
Simply put, we do not comprehend the gospel. We see the gospel as “Jesus came and died to pay for our sins,” but we miss what Jesus taught, we miss what the scriptures “testify of him.” We miss the reason why we should humble ourselves, forsake all, “sell all that we have,” and stop living for this world. So we have not true agape’, because we have not the “love of the Truth.”
The Truth, the Word, the Promise, the Kingdom, Israel, the love of the saints, and Yeshua ha Messiach – they’re all the same thing, as the scriptures will show us. If we love the Promise, we’ll Love the Word, and we’ll love the Truth. This will become our motivation for following, becoming disciples of, the Way, as it was for the early “called out ones” (ekklesia). The Promise is shown to be an “if, then” Promise throughout the entirety of the scriptures, including the gospels and epistles.
What gospel did Yeshua come preaching? What Good News? All of the New Testament writings are consistent in their like-mindedness, their agreement, on the subject.
Yeshua ha Messiach came preaching the Kingdom of God. And though it seems at times that he came preaching the Kingdom of Heaven, what we miss is that he came preaching the Kingdom of God, of Heaven, on Earth. No where, not one place in the scriptures or in the New Testament, does it say that we die and go to heaven if we believe.
Before continuing on to show this as written in the scriptures and in the New Testament, please look at something that Yeshua shared with us. It is this: some of you, in fact most of you, won’t “see” what I’m attempting to prove, no matter “how good a job” I do of showing it. Only His sheep know his voice. It’s not my place to make anyone “see;” it’s Yeshua that gives sight to the blind, and understanding of the scriptures (Luke 24). My only responsibility is to show the Truth of His Word, and to exhort myself and others who willingly respond to obey His voice.
When Yeshua comes into his ministry, at first it seems that he comes mimicking John the Baptist. John would preach, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Matt. 3:2 After Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted of the devil, he returned and the first words of his ministry that have been recorded in the gospel, the first words out of his mouth after stepping into his ministry, were “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Matt. 4:17 Now, take a look at Matt. 4:23. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” He was absolutely demonstrating what the Kingdom would be like when He returned.
That verse, that declaration, is not constructed in that manner by accident. One of the things that God promised to the prophets was that His righteous one would heal the sick. But we all know that, don’t we? What’s so special about it?
Yeshua wasn’t pointing at himself at first by His words, but then at the same time, he was by His actions. He was pointing at the Kingdom, the age-old Promise of God to Abraham, and to David (actually two co-equal promises in one). That Kingdom required a fulfilled seed, a righteous one, the anointed one, in order to be established. That’s why as Yeshua progressed, people kept asking the question, “Who is this man? Is he the prophet?” Surely he wasn’t the prophesied son of God. After all, he didn’t come wiping out the gentiles and establishing his capitol at Jerusalem, as the scriptures “clearly show” he would. But before he could take possession of his inheritance, he had to fulfill all the things that were spoken of him by the law and the prophets. He had to learn and exemplify obedience, and then die, and rise again.
It must be understood that there were many mindsets involved in the Palestine of the day. One mindset was that of myth, with perhaps bits and pieces of scripture included, that showed the Messiah to be a super-king that would “ride in on a white horse” and save the Jewish people from their enemies, and establish them as the nation that would rule the world under his protective power. He would lavish them with everything they ever wanted. They would have bliss forever; they would be happy and prosperous (according to their own understanding). This mindset would be very popular among those who didn’t really know the scriptures, who hadn’t dug for the Truth with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Instead, though, he rode in humbly on a donkey, because he had not “finished” all that was said concerning him.
Another mindset would be that of the system. This would be the Pharisees, the religious people, and the economic and political “movers and shakers” who were “the established,” who didn’t really believe or know the promises of God, and who had come to the conclusion that “rules” were the way to “heaven.” Their power base, the Sanhedrin (or presbytery if you prefer), would make all the decisions for the religious people, tell them what they should believe and how they should act, and the people would respond by fearing them, or, by doing what they said to do. These people were afraid that they couldn’t survive outside the system, and so truth was idolatry to them.
And then there was the third mindset, the smallest, and the least influential (in a worldly sense). This was the mindset of faith, those who believed God and searched the scriptures for answers and looked for the coming of the promise. They also tended to obey God as a result.
Do we have the same three things occurring today?
For a long time now, I have erringly believed that I understood the parable of the sower. After all, Jesus gave his explanation of this parable to his disciples (who were not yet completed apostles), and through them to us. But looking closely, and admitting that we’re blind, we may be able to discern, with his help, that even his explanation was a parable.
If you’re willing, I’d like for you to turn with me to Matthew 13:19.
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.”
Now, let’s move on just a few verses to Matthew 13:23:
“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word (of the kingdom) and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Now, please, hold the thoughts that those two points produced in you, and look to one of the admonishments that Jesus pointed out to his disciples:
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! …And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself…Then he said to them, “these are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms concerning me.” And he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the scriptures.” Luke 24:25,27,44,45
If we compare the two verses of the parable of the sower with what Jesus said after his resurrection, it is plain to see that we cannot know the scriptures on our own. It’s impossible. He must open our understanding, because “knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke…moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21
In other words, we can’t know the scriptures by our own will, because that is not how they were delivered and received…that is not the nature of the Holy Spirit inspired scriptures. This also explains why people study their bibles for years, and go to Christian colleges, and still don’t understand the Word of the Kingdom. We must seek, ask, and knock, and then Yeshua must open our understanding.
In His Words:
The whole vision has become to you like a book that is sealed,
Which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.”
And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”
Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate,
Saying, “Read this, please.”
And he says, “I am not literate.”
We simply can’t understand apart from his desire that we should know him. Why? This is what follows the above:
Inasmuch as these people draw near to Me with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men…
Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.
How much do we today “Honor Him with our lips” but do not fear and obey Him?
Let’s take a look at some other things that Jesus said concerning this:
“You err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24
“And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while he talked with us on the way, and while he opened the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
“But you do not have His Word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of me. But you are not willing to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:38-39 It’s clear that we must come to him, and ask, seek, and knock, that we may have his Word abiding in us.
We should know that God sent the prophets and Yeshua, and that He sent His Word of the Promise, of the Kingdom, through them. The prophets spoke of the Kingdom, and Yeshua spoke of the Kingdom. And Yeshua fulfilled “all that was spoken of him,” but not completely (Hebrews 2:8). But there’s more:
“For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man (in his own carnal mind) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:11-14
“Now these things , brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.” 1 Corinthians 4:6
“…that the God of our Lord Yeshua ha Messiach, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:17-18
Now, I’d like to encourage in you the full reading of Proverbs 2:1-9, so that you will know how He has instructed us to appeal to Him for this enlightenment, wisdom, and knowledge of the Scriptures by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, without whom we can not do, or know, anything. “Aside from Me, you can do nothing.”
Now that we have been firmly grounded in the truth that nothing can be sought or understood without Yeshua ha Messiach, by His Spirit, establishing it in us (we have no other advocate between man and God), let’s move forward to the hope, the promise, the inheritance, the revealing of Yeshua ha Messiach, and the manifesting of the sons of God, which is what the entire Word of the Kingdom is concerned with.
The fact is, we do not “die and go to Heaven.” The fact is, the Kingdom of God will come here with Yeshua ha Messiach and His saints, they will judge the Kings and Rulers of the Earth, and they will fix the Earth that God made “very good.” Proof? :
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the savior, the Lord Yeshua ha Messiach…” Philippians 3:20
“…we heard of your faith in Yeshua ha Messiach and of your love of all the saints because of the hope which is laid up (stored, waiting) for you in heaven…” Colossians 1:5
“…and to wait for His son from heaven…” 1 Thessalonians 1:10
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Yeshua ha Messiach at his coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (In other words, our hope is not in “dying and going to heaven).
“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of the Lord Yeshua ha Messiach with all his saints.”
“..when he comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe because our testimony among you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:10
“…who also said to them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11
“when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:4
“…blameless until our Lord Yeshua ha Messiach’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time…” 1 Timothy 6:14-15
“But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” Hebrews 2:8
“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him.” Rev. 1:7
Now, we can ask why the writers of the New Testament believed these things to be indisputable. They believed them to be indisputable, beyond argument, because their eyes had been opened to the Scriptures by first believing that Yeshua was the Messiach come in the flesh, then obeying him (repenting of their entire lives and being baptized into him by covenant), and then receiving his Spirit so that they could see. Then, with new vision, they had “new bibles,” and they began searching the scriptures as a priority because “surely I will do nothing without first revealing it to My servants, the prophets.” Then, they preached and wrote down what the Spirit of Yeshua ha Messiach revealed to them of himself, the Word, in the scriptures.
So, to prove this, first we need to believe who he is, then we need to respond in obedience because of who he is, then we need to receive his spirit so that we can see, because we can’t if we don’t, as seen above.
“Blessed are those who believe without seeing”!
After all, Abraham believed and obeyed without seeing. And if we’re to be “blessed with believing Abraham,” we need to be of his seed, and do the same after like manner.
So, if we’ve done this, if we’ve believed, and obeyed, and asked to see (because we’ve admitted that without his intervention we’re blind), then we might (Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God…) be able to see what he’s revealed openly, though hidden from the blind (those too proud to admit their need), the things contained in the law, the prophets, and the psalms.
First, following the example set by the apostles, allow me to point out in the psalms what the scriptures say about Yeshua ha Messiach returning to literally rule over the governments of the earth:
“For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah that they may dwell there and possess it. Also, the seeds of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His name shall dwell in it.” Psalm 69:35-36
“In His days the righteous shall flourish…He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow down before him, and his enemies will lick the dust…Yes, all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him…and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.” Psalm 72
“That your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations…Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth.” Psalm 67:1-4
At this point, I’d like to construct a paragraph entirely from the scriptures for us to examine, the purpose being that our hearts may be softened, and that we might believe all that is written concerning His Kingship and government here on Earth. The point being, we should not be looking forward to “dying and going to heaven” but instead we should hope in being resurrected and serving Yeshua the King here on Earth for an age:
“The Earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein… Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the Earth for your possession… You have given Him His heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of His lips… You have made Him to have dominion over the works of Your Hands; You have put all things under His feet, All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea… O Lord, how excellent is your name in all the Earth…You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked… He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples… The Lord is King forever and ever; the nations have perished out of His land… that the man of the Earth may oppress no more… For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise, says the Lord, I will set him in the safety for which he yearns… You have made Me the head of the nations… Their offspring you shall destroy from the Earth… All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the Earth shall eat and worship… And His seed shall inherit the Earth… unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living… For the Word of the Lord is right, and all His work in truth, He loves righteousness and justice, the Earth is full of the goodness of the Lord… For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the Earth… but the meek shall inherit the Earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace… For those blessed by Him shall inherit the Earth… The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell in it forever… Wait on the Lord, and keep His Way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it… your fathers shall be your sons, whom you shall make princes in the Earth… Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth… He is a great King over all the Earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet. For God is the King of all the Earth; sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His Holy Throne. The princes of the people have gathered together, the people of the God of Abraham… The joy of the whole Earth is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King… Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, our God shall come, and shall not keep silent… Through the greatness of your power, Your enemies shall submit themselves to you. All the Earth shall worship you, and sing praises to You… That your way may be known on Earth, Your salvation among all nations… For you shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on Earth… and all the ends of the Earth shall fear Him… Because of Your temple at Jerusalem, Kings will bring presents to You… Envoys will come out of Egypt; Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God. Sing to God, you kingdoms of the Earth… For God will save Zion, and build the cities of Judah, that they may dwell there and possess it. Also, the seed (plural) of His servants (the prophets) shall inherit it, and those who love His name shall dwell in it… He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the Earth… Yes, all kings shall bow down before Him; all nations shall serve Him… There will be an abundance of grain in the Earth, … All nations shall call Him blessed… and let the whole Earth be filled with His glory… to deliver all the oppressed of the Earth… Arise, O God, judge the Earth; for you shall inherit all nations… Sing to the Lord. All the Earth… Declare His glory among the nations… Tremble before Him, all the Earth. Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns”… let the Earth be glad… For He is coming, He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples with His truth… The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice… His lightnings light the world; the earth sees, and trembles… And all the peoples see His glory… His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations… All the ends of the Earth have seen the salvation of our God… Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the Earth… Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King… For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples… Let the Earth be moved! The Lord is great in Zion, and He is high above all the peoples… Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands… So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the Earth Your glory… He shall appear in His glory… he shall execute kings in the Day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations… He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries… His seed will be mighty on Earth… but the Earth He has given to children of men… Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem… All the kings of the Earth shall praise You… All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your Kingdom… The Lord builds up Jerusalem… Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! He makes peace your borders, He sends out His command to the Earth…
“Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment – this honor have all His saints…
I must admit, the above is selective. There is much left out that further clarifies the scriptures above. Please note that in all of the above scriptures, it is the Earth, the world, the kings, the nations, and the people He will judge, from Jerusalem. It does not say that this will be “in heaven,” but “on the Earth.” Do “the lands,” “the world,” and “the Earth” speak of a Kingdom in Heaven? Don’t get me wrong, though. I fully believe that there is a Kingdom stored up in Heaven, awaiting the Day to be established here. Why? Because the entirety of scripture says so, as we will see. After all, if He is coming, where’s he coming from?
So, let’s ask two questions to keep in mind as we continue – for it is only the Psalms that we’ve investigated here, and only the location of the judgment; we still have the prophets and the law to examine. These are the questions:
- Has the totality of this yet occurred,? and,
- Is God a liar? Or have we simply been confused by worldly, carnal thinking?
Now if we can move forward, we’ll examine what the prophets have to say about this coming Kingdom on Earth (“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven…)
There are many of two different mindsets (those of “the rapture” of all “believers” [when coupled with the “once saved always saved” doctrine] and those of the preterist/amillenialist [Yeshua already “reigns” on Earth through the “believers’ hearts”) will have difficulties accepting this viewpoint, both because of previous indoctrinations and because of convincing themselves already of some other outcome. I understand this, having previously fallen prey to the same things myself. But if we ask Yeshua ha Messiach to reveal these things to us by opening our understanding, seek in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms for the answers, believe all that they say about Him, turn from our ways so that we can be healed, be willing to turn from our own lives and our own minds, be obedient to what He has said to do, and knock for entry, He has told us that then we will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. The answer, then, is that the afore-mentioned two mindsets cannot be found in the entirety of scripture, nor in the gospels and epistles when compared to the Law, the prophets, and the psalms. So let’s continue to examine in the Scriptures with a noble mind what has been put forth above.
One of the things that is striking, one of the things that will most convince us of the TRUTH and undeniability of God’s spoken Word is the agreement between the men who, though not knowing each other and being separated by hundreds of years of time, nonetheless wrote exactly the same things concerning the Kingdom, and the King, and His saints. They all agreed that He would come to the Earth with His judgment, that He would come with His Saints (which has yet to occur), and that the people and the nations would see it (which has yet to occur). They all agreed that the government and administration of the Earth would belong to Him (which has yet to occur), and that the saints would carry out His work on the Earth (when being specific about just what that work is, that also has yet to occur), and that the wicked and the rulers would be destroyed and/or made subject to Him (which has yet to occur). They all agree that His righteousness would be established over all the Earth (which has yet to occur), and that the needs of the poor, the oppressed, and the humble would be met (which has yet to occur).
In order to exhort in love those of the mindset of preterism and of amillenialism, please allow me to show this from the Book of Isaiah:
We have been with child, we have been in pain;
We have, as it were, brought forth wind;
We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth,
Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
Also, one of the most repeated commonalities between believers in both the old and the new testaments is that they are all waiting for Him, and that they will rejoice when they see His Word fulfilled. This is their hope of glory, without which their faith and their love are ineffective, according to Paul and Peter, not to mention the Words of Yeshua. So, having said this, let’s move forward to the writings of just one of the servants of God, the prophet Isaiah and look at what he wrote concerning the Kingdom to come on the Earth.
…Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it…Many people shall 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, and we shall walk in His Paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people…Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore…They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the Lord and from the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily…In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy – everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem…He will lift up a banner to the nations from afar, and will whistle to them from the end of the earth…the whole earth is full of His glory…the cities are laid waste…the land is utterly desolate…the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land…And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will whistle for the fly that is in the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria, they will come, and all of them will rest in the desolate valleys and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all thorns and in all pastures…Here I am and the children whom the Lord has given Me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel, from the Lord of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion…And the government will be upon His shoulder…of the increase of His government and peace…upon the Throne of David and over His Kingdom…The Lord God of hosts will make a determined end in the midst of all the land…He shall strike the earth with the Rod of His mouth…the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord…He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth…Sing to the Lord, for he has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth…Cry and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One in your midst…They come from a far country, from the end of heaven – The Lord and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land…to lay the land desolate…I will punish the world for its evil…the earth will move out of her place…For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land…Prepare the slaughter for His children because of the iniquity of their fathers, lest they rise up and possess the land, and fill the face of the world with cities…This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations, for the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?…The Lord has founded Zion, and the poor of His people shall take refuge in it…the oppressors are consumed out of the land…In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth…All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth: When He lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it…In that time a present will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin…to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, to Mount Zion…In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria – a blessing in the midst of the land…He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem…Behold, the Lord makes the earth empty and makes it waste, distorts its surface and scatters abroad its inhabitants…the land shall be utterly emptied:
The earth mourns and fades away,
The world languishes and fades away
The haughty people of the earth languish
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants…
Therefore the curse has devoured the earth
And those who dwell in it are desolate
Therefore the curse has devoured the earth…
When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people…
Fear and the pit and the snare are upon you,
O inhabitant of the earth…
And the foundations of the earth are shaken
The earth is violently broken,
The earth is split open,
The earth is shaken exceedingly,
The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard…
It shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord will punish on high the exalted ones,
And on the earth the kings of the earth…
For the Lord of hosts will reign
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem…
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth…
And it will be said in that day:
“Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him, and He will save us,
This is the Lord;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
For when Your judgments are in the earth,
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
FOR BEHOLD, THE LORD COMES OUT OF HIS PLACE
TO PUNISH THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH
FOR THEIR INIQUITY…
…and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem…Now therefore, do not be mockers, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord of hosts, a destruction determined even upon the whole earth…For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem…So, the Lord of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill. Like birds flying about, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem…When You lift yourself up, the nations shall be scattered…your eyes shall see the King in His beauty…Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home.
I recommend at this point a thorough, prayerful reading of Isaiah chapters 34 and 35, for as it says,:
“Search from the book of the Lord, and read: Not one of these shall fail.”
We’ve come now slightly more than halfway through the book of Isaiah, and I hope that we’ve not become weary with the repetitive aspect of the verses I’ve shared. I’m doing my best to include only those verses and fragments that specifically show that the King will come on the earth with His saints to abolish the wicked and to rule over the nations from Jerusalem on Mount Zion. That this is literal, and not figurative, cannot be denied. How then can we say that He is already reigning when none of His Word concerning these specific things that He said will surely come to pass has yet to come to pass?
It’s extremely challenging to decide which verses to include and which to not, because they are all part of the whole, part of the entire picture, which show the completeness of what He intends to accomplish on the earth when He comes. He is being very specific, and declaring that not one of these shall fail. No one can truthfully claim that I’m “taking these verses out of their context,” because these verses are the context.
For example, Zech. 14:4 says: “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south…Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You.” Then, if we look to the book of the Acts of the Apostles, we see this in Acts 1:9-12: “Now when he had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they were looking steadfastly towards heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This same Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem…”
If we examine these two verses and the entire context surrounding them, we can see a very clear picture of the return, the coming from, of the King Yeshua in both examples. Does this fit the context of what Isaiah is telling us shall not fail ? You judge: “So the Lord of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill. Like birds flying about, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem.” There are other references to the King, and to the saints, flying down out of the air, or the saints up into the air, throughout the Scriptures; Paul didn’t pull his reference to them “out of thin air.” That it seems incredible to us, is no more incredible than “moving this mountain over there,” walking on water, or raising someone from the dead. All authority over the powers will have been given to Yeshua, and the saints will “be like Him.”
To (hopefully) be continued…..