A Glimpse Of The Coming Kingdom

In Your Presence – By Paul Wilbur


I. Zechariah’s Prophetic View (520-487 B.C., George L. Klein, Ph. D., The New American Commentary, p 72).

A. Zechariah boldly surveyed the boundaries of God’s coming Kingdom. While many might think that it is a remote possibility to envision a restored Judah, Zechariah proclaimed the message he had received from God. The Lord’s declaration far exceeded mere restoration. Israel would become a place of blessing, security, and spirituality beyond anything she had ever experienced. Moreover, Zechariah announced that the whole creation would rest under the dominion of its sovereign Lord, renewed into the new creation that was free from the groaning caused by the blight of sin (cf. Rom 8). At several points in the book, the prophet spoke of God’s dominion extending to the farthest corners of the world. For instance, 4:14 describes Judah’s God as “the Lord of all the earth.”

B. The coming kingdom will evidence several unique features. One of the most prominent characteristics of the eschatological kingdom will be peace. The Lord’s Kingdom will have no place for weaponry since God Himself will maintain the peace. The Lord even promises to remove the chariots and war horses from the land, symbolizing the most advanced weapons of the day (9:9).

C. This well-being will not belong to Israel along, however. The book of Zechariah emphatically extends God’s blessings to all the nations of the earth who will finally turn to the Lord in repentance and true faith. Zech 6 broadens this miraculous tranquility to the entire world by developing the extend of God’s dominion to the four corners of the globe. Chapter 8 promises that “many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat Him (v 22). The same chapter declares that people from all nations, speaking every language, will come to worship with God’s people (vv 20-23).

II. A view of Zechariah’s prophecy makes it clear that the prophecy of the Kingdom is focused on Israel. Furthermore, none of the aspects of the Kingdom are present in the world now. The Kingdom has not yet come, but will be self evident when the prophecy of Matthew 24:29-30 is fulfilled for the whole world to see.

III. This website will discuss the stops along the way to the Kingdom (2 Samuel 7:8-16; Matthew 6:10). Refer to the articles that are listed to discover facts about each category of the following stops that discuss the journey to the Kingdom that God has promised to His chosen people (Deuteronomy 14:2).

A. When Jesus first came to earth, He didn’t bring the Kingdom with Him. In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist said, “the Kingdom is at hand,” which meant that “the Kingdom was near,” (Luke 10:9), but was not here. Jesus told the Jews to pray for the Kingdom to Come (Matthew 6:10). When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven (Acts 1:6) the disciples Him if it was the time for the Kingdom to be restored to Israel; “not yet,” was in our Lord’s reply. In all of the preceding instances, the only way that “the Kingdom would have come to earth,” would have required Israel to accept Jesus as God’s chosen King (Deuteronomy 17:15), which did not happen. Therefore, the offer of the Kingdom to Israel was not rescinded, but was postponed (Matthew 23:39).

B. The Kingdom “is not” within us (Luke 17:21, KJV/NKJV). The proper translation is “the Kingdom is in your midst,” or “among you” (Luke 17:21, CSB, Darby, ESV, HCSB, NASB, NET, NIV, NLT, TLV). The Pharisees were in the midst of Jesus and His disciples. Jesus was giving those unbelieving Jews a glimpse of the Kingdom, where Jesus and the Disciples would be present. Also, the Kingdom provide the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, which consists of Land, Seed and Blessing (Genesis 12:2-3). The Abrahamic Covenant is amplified in Genesis 15:18-21; 17:7-8. The Abrahamic Covenant is further amplified in Deuteronomy 29-30 (Land), 2 Samuel 7:12-16 (Seed), and Jeremiah 31:31-34 (Blessing); none of these examples of blessings can be contained “within anyone.” The Kingdom is further identified as being a time and place of perfection (Isaiah 2:1-4), which was lost in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1-2; 3:14-20). Consider the comment of Dr. Charles Ryrie, in the Ryrie Study Bible (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) on “in your midst:”

“the kingdom of God is in your midst.” The necessary elements of the Kingdom were present and needed only to be recognized. It can not mean “within you,” for the kingdom certainly was completely unconnected with the Pharisees to whom Jesus was speaking (v. 20).

C. The perfection of the Kingdom, which is present at the onset of the Kingdom , will be lost when those who are born during the Kingdom, but do not come to belief in Christ, revolt against God and His people at the Battle of God and Magog (Revelation 20:7-10). Perfection will be regained during the eternal state of the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-5).

IV. Neither the Church, nor the world, are now present in the Kingdom. The Church is not doing Kingdom work. The church can not do anything to bring in the Kingdom, which will be on planet Earth (2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16; Isaiah 2:1-4). No one in the Church will be present in the Kingdom until after Israel comes to belief in Jesus as Messiah, and calls on Him in faith to save them at the end of the Tribulation from utter decimation from the forces of Satan (Psalm 118:26, Matthew 23: 39, Zechariah 12:10).

V. The world and Church are now present in the Times of the Gentiles, (Luke 21:24). The times of the Gentiles have been present from the time that the last Jewish king (Zedekiah) was on the throne in Jerusalem in 586 B.C., until the day that Jesus takes possession of the throne, which will take place at His second coming to earth, at the end of the Tribulation (Matthew 24:29-30; 25:31). Consider the comment that is made in the MacArthur Study Bible (Dr. John MacArthur, M. Div., D. Div.):

A. This expression is unique to Luke. It identifies the era from Israel’s captivity (ca. 586 B.C. to Babylon; cf. 2 Kin. 25) to her restoration in the kingdom (Rev. 20:1–6). It has been a time during which, in accord with God’s purpose, Gentiles have dominated or threatened Jerusalem. The era has also been marked by vast spiritual privileges for the Gentile nations (cf. Is. 66:12Mal. 1:11Matt. 24:14Mark 13:10).

B. There is nothing that the church can do to “bring in the kingdom.” Regardless of the number of Gentiles who come to belief in Christ, it will only be when Israel comes to belief in Jesus as Messiah, that the Kingdom will begin. The kingdom will be on planet Earth, with Jerusalem being the capital of the Kingdom, from where Christ will reign (Isaiah 2:1-4; Zechariah 8:20-23; 14:16-19).

VI. The conditions that will be present in the Kingdom are stated in such Scriptures as Isaiah 2:1-4, 11:6-9, 65:17-25. The born-again believing Church will be grafted into the blessings that God has promised to Israel. God will graft unbelieving Jews back into those blessings, which are those Jews whom will come to belief in Christ during the Tribulation (Romans 11:11-24).

VII. “The Fullness Of The Gentiles” (Romans 11:25) must occur before the Rapture takes place. Until the point in time that “the fullness of the Gentiles comes in,” the Holy Spirit will be dealing with unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, drawing them to belief in Christ. When that “number of Gentiles” has been achieved, the church will be full, and will be taken to Heaven through the Rapture, “in eternal, undefiled bodies.” (1 Cor 15:50-54). At the time of the ascension of Christ to heaven after His death, burial, and resurrection, “Christ took the souls of the Old Testament Saints, with Him to Heaven, with many of them being united with their bodies (Ephesians 4:8-10; Ephesians Commentary, Dr. John Phillips, D. Min.,1927-2010). As will be the fate of unbelieving Jews, unbelieving Gentiles will be left behind on earth from the Rapture to come under the oppression of the Anti-Christ and the Judgments of God during the Tribulation; then, God will be drawing such unbelievers to belief in Christ as Messiah. God’s Holy Spirit will be calling unbelievers to belief in Christ during the church age (John 1:9-13); the church age will end, and the church will never be mentioned again in the Bible. The primary purpose of the Tribulation will be for God to deal with Israel (Jeremiah 30:7).

A. Consider the comment of Dr. John MacArthur, in the MacArthur Study Bible, which discusses “the fullness of the Gentiles.”

until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. “Until” refers to a specific point in time; “fullness” refers to completion; “has come in” translates a Gr. verb often used to speak of coming to salvation (cf. Matt. 5:20Mark 9:434547John 3:5Acts 14:22). Israel’s spiritual hardening (which began with rejecting Jesus as Messiah) will last until the complete number of elect Gentiles has come to salvation.

B. Consider the comment of Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016) in the Ryrie Study Bible, which discusses “the fullness of the Gentiles.”

“the fullness of the Gentiles.” I.e., the full number of Gentiles who will be saved (Acts 15:14). After that, God will turn again to the Jews and will save “all Israel” at the Lord’s return (v. 26).

C. Consider the comment of Dr. John A. Witmer (B.A., M.A., M.S.L.S., Th. M., Th. D.) in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, which discusses “fullness of the Gentiles”

There is a fullness for Israel (Rom. 11:12) and a fullness for the Gentiles. God is now “taking from the Gentiles a people for Himself” (Acts 15:14).

D. Consider the comment of Dr. Michael G. Vanlaningham (M. Div., Ph. D.) in The Moody Study Bible, which discusses the “fullness of the Gentiles.”

“Fullness of the Gentiles” refers to the “full number of Gentiles” who God has determined to be saved prior to Him lifting the hardening from Israel.

VIII. All born again people, whom are present with God in heaven during the Tribulation (Revelation 4-5) will return to Earth at the end of the Tribulation with Christ; they will rule and reign with Christ during the Kingdom Age (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:1-5, 9; Daniel 12:1-3; Matthew 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:2). Jews who come to belief in Christ during the Tribulation will enter the Kingdom in mortal bodies (Matthew 24:30-31…this is not the rapture). Gentiles who come to belief in Christ during the Tribulation will also enter the Kingdom in mortal bodies (Matthew 25:31-34). Jews and Gentiles who come to belief in Christ during the Tribulation, and die during the Tribulation, will be resurrected at the time of the return of Christ (at the end of the Tribulation. At Christ’s second coming (to stand on planet Earth; Zech 14:1-5), these Tribulation saints will enter the Kingdom in eternal, resurrected bodies (Revelation 20:4).

IX. The Kingdom Age will last for 1,000 years, from which the term “millennium” is derived. Six times in Revelation Chapter 20, “thousand years” is used, which means that “thousand years” means “thousand years.” Incidentally, in the Bible, Israel means Israel, church means church, and Babylon means Babylon. Any believers in Christ, who are alive during the Kingdom, will be grafted into the blessings that have been promised by God to Israel. Those who enter the Kingdom in mortal bodies will have been born again, and will be able to produce children. Children which will be born during the Kingdom Age will be taught by Christ (Isaiah 2:2-3), and will have to come to belief in Christ in order for them to receive a resurrection body, which will allow them to enter the eternal state of Revelation 21-22 (Revelation 21:5-8, 27; 22:11-15). Those Kingdom born babies, who do not come to belief in Christ, will a part of the force of Satan who will mount an attack on God’s people in the Battle of God and Magog at the end of the Kingdom Age (Revelation 20:7-10). Everyone who enters the eternal state must enter in an eternal, resurrected body.

X. It is important to know that the word, “Israel” relates to the bloodline that flowed forth from Jacob (Genesis 32:28, 35:9-12). The word, “Jew,” is derived from the name of Jacob’s fourth son, Judah, from whom the Jewish bloodline led to the birth of Mary, and through Mary to Jesus. Therefore, in order to be “a Jew,” or an “Israelite,” a person must be of the bloodline of Jacob. A person who is a Gentile, and is proselytized into Judaism, is not a bloodline Jew. A person who is naturalized, and becomes a citizen of Israel, may not be an Israelite unless such a person is a bloodline Jew. A proper understanding of being a Jew enters into the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 19:28, as well as the truth that “Jews” will inherit the promised land of Israel, and that Gentiles will not rule and reign over Jews during the Kingdom Age. Gentile believers (such as the Church, and tribulation saints) will rule and reign with Christ, but beyond the boundaries of Israel. Consider the following discussion from Jewish Virtual Library about the word, “Jew.”

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/who-is-a-jew

A. The original name for the people we now call Jews was Hebrews. The word “Hebrew” (in Hebrew, “Ivri”) is first used in the Torah to describe Abraham (Gen. 14:13). The word is apparently derived from the name Eber, one of Abraham’s ancestors. Another tradition teaches that the word comes from the word “eyver,” which means “the other side,” referring to the fact that Abraham came from the other side of the Euphrates or referring to the fact Abraham was separated from the other nations morally and spiritually.

B. Another name used for the people is Children of Israel or Israelites, which refers to the fact that the people are descendants of Jacob, who was also called Israel.

C. The word “Jew” (in Hebrew, “Yehudi”) is derived from the name Judah, which was the name of one of Jacob’s twelve sons. Judah was the ancestor of one of the tribes of Israel, which was named after him. Likewise, the word Judaism literally means “Judah-ism,” that is, the religion of the Yehudim.

XI. The condition of our world that is shown in the Isaiah 2:1-4, shows total perfection, no sin, which will come from Christ ruling and reigning from His throne in Jerusalem in the Kingdom Age. At present time, no such perfection can be found anywhere in our world. Many people teach that Christ is ruling from Heaven now. However, if that would be true, our Lord would be doing a horrible job of being “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). So, “what gives?” Christ is presently not exercising his role of “King of Kings and Lord of Lords!” Such total and perfect rule, of our Lord Jesus, will not be exercised until He is present on earth, ruling from His throne in Jerusalem. The following verses show the perfection of our Lord’s rule when will He exercise such authority from Jerusalem in “the coming Kingdom,” Isaiah 2:1-4; 4:2-3; 9:6b-7; 11:4-9; 25:12; 27:6, 13; Ezekiel 34:11-17 (see sheep and goat judgment of Mt 25:31-33), Ezekiel 36:24-38; Matthew 19:28; 25:31; Philippians 2:11; Matthew 16:27; Jeremiah 23:5; 30:1-3; 7; 31:1-4; 33-34; 32:36-40; 33:7, 14-18.

XII. Consider the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant, that will come to Israel during the Kingdom Age, (from “Got Questions”), and in which Gentiles will be grafted into.

God promised many blessings to Israel in the book of Deuteronomy if they would obey His commands. Many important blessings are listed together in Deuteronomy 28:1–14. They include the following:

1. Prominence above other nations: “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1).

2. Successful cities and farming: “You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country” (Deuteronomy 28:3).

3. Blessings of children, food, and livestock: “The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks” (Deuteronomy 28:4).

4. Protection and power against enemies: “The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven” (Deuteronomy 28:7).

5. Bountiful harvest of food: “The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you” (Deuteronomy 28:8).

6. Set apart as God’s holy people: “The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him” (Deuteronomy 28:9).

7. Feared by other nations: “Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you” (Deuteronomy 28:10).

8. Prosperity regarding family, food, and farm livestock: “The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you” (Deuteronomy 28:11).

9. Appropriate rain and favorable blessing upon their work, including freedom from debt: “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none” (Deuteronomy 28:12).

10. Leadership among other people and nations: “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13).

XIII. Consider the course of this study of “Thy Kingdom Come,” as the following outline depicts:


Stop One: The Biblical Covenants And Eschatology


A. The Abrahamic Covenant

B. The Land Covenant.

C. The Davidic Covenant

D. The New Covenant

(more to come)

XIV. Recommended Reading: Ryrie Study Bible.

https://www.moodypublishers.com/authors/r/charles-ryrie/

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