GOD’S KINGDOM WILL COME

Christianity initially grew because of the suffering service of its adherents. It had no political power for several centuries yet it continued to gain followers. However, once it hitched its wagon to the Constantine cart it went off the rails because power found in weakness doesn’t gel well with a government that wants to flex its muscle. 

We need to be very careful when we try to use worldly power to promote a Gospel that is inherently about power in weakness. When we take Christianity into the halls of power we are in essence asking Jesus to leave His embarrassing life of suffering service behind and become the poster boy for a political cause. God has always worked through that which the world considered foolishness, yet we seem intent on making Him worldly- wise. We need to take Paul’s exhortation in the second chapter of Philippians seriously because it constitutes the rule of law for the Kingdom of God.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2: 5-8)

We cannot forget that we are citizens of another Kingdom where we render unto God what is God’s and obey God rather than men. We have been saved by a God who did not wield a hammer but yielded to the nails. Maybe we can let more of God’s Kingdom peek through if we practice a bit more yielding and a bit less wielding.

THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF JESUS

The coming Millennial reign of Jesus on this earth is when we will see His Kingdom truly come to earth. Biblical prophecy reveals Jesus will reign with the resurrected saints from a restored Jerusalem, with a rod of iron, for one thousand years. God has unfinished business with Israel, the nation He established to be an example to the other nations of His Kingdom on earth. It is a transitional period before the second resurrection of unbelievers followed by the White Throne Judgement and finally a new heaven and a new earth when Jesus hands authority back to our Heavenly Father. We are told that during Jesus thousand-year reign Satan is bound unable to deceive those born during this time. Sadly, we are also told that when Satan is released at the end of the thousand years, he is still able to convince thousands if not more to join him in rebellion against Jesus and His Kingdom.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years are ended. After that, he must be released for a little while.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:1-6

Wickedness of the heart of man

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.Genesis 6:5-6

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.Jeremiah 7:9-10

THE LORD HAS MADE A FOREVER PROMISE TO ISRAEL

The Lord revealed to all of the O.T prophets that He would restore the Jews to their land and have a descendant of King David to rule the nations from Jerusalem at His preordained time. Here are just a few of the Scriptures.

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Then you shall dwell in the Land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God (King).” Ezekiel 36:25-28

“My temple will stand in Israel for all time, and I will live among My people and be their God. Every nation on earth will know that My temple is in Israel and that I have chosen the Israelites to be My people.” Ezekiel 37:24-28

“I the Lord God, will protect Jerusalem. Even the weakest person there will be as strong as David, and David’s kingdom will rule as though My very own angel were its leader. I am determined to wipe out every nation that attacks Jerusalem. I the Lord, will make the descendants of David and the people of Jerusalem feel deep sorrow and pray when they see the one, they pierced with a spear. They will mourn and weep for him as parents weep over the death of their only child or their first born” Zechariah 12:8-10

“I, the Lord, have an agreement with day and night, so they always come at the right time. You can’t break the agreements I made with them, and you can’t break the agreements I have made with David’s family and with the priests from the Levi tribe to serve at my altar. A descendant of David will always rule as king of Israel, and there will be more descendants of David and of the priests from the tribe of Levi than the stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach.” Jeremiah 33:20-22

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God (King); then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me (righteousness). Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this Land, with all My heart and with all My soul.” For thus says the LORD: “<b><i>Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.” Jeremiah 32:37-42

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.Jeremiah 31:31-34

In the future, I will rebuild David’s fallen kingdom. I will rebuild it from its ruins and set it up again, just as it used to be… I’ll make Israel prosper again. You will rebuild your towns and live in them. You will drink wine from your vineyards and eat the fruit you grow. I’ll plant your roots deep in the land I have given you, and you won’t ever be uprooted again. I, the Lord God have spoken.” Amos 9:11-15

Listen to what Moses said to all Israel even before they entered the Promised Land

“Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deuteronomy 30:1-6

Paul also confirms that God has a wonderful end to the story for Israel – “and so all Israel will be saved”.

“A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so, all Israel will be saved. From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:25-26, 28-29

Finally, after the Millennium reign of Jesus there will be the second resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgement: “Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

JESUS SECOND COMING

There is arguably more about the glorious return of Jesus in our Bibles than there is about His earthly ministry from 27-30 AD. Moreover, many people are surprised to learn that the Bible is made up of roughly 27% prophecy, the large majority of which have not yet been fulfilled.

For this reason, it is not even possible to understand large portions of Scripture until we begin to seriously engage with the topics related to eschatology. If we claim to be Bible-loving believers, we should view Biblical prophecies, even if they are about still future events, as a critical part of the message God wants to communicate to us today. Even more important the second coming of Jesus is a central part of the Gospel message. It is not complete unless it includes the triumphant end of the story with Jesus ruling and reigning this earth in Jerusalem.. The more we understand Bible prophecy the more equipped we are to effectively share the Gospel with others. Good Biblical eschatology should always deepen our faith in Jesus, fortify our resolve to obey Him, and create a greater longing in our hearts for His kingdom.

GOD HAS REVEALED HIS “END TIMES” PLAN

The Bible is full of prophecies, at least 25% of its content and those already fulfilled were accurate. We can reasonably expect, the many yet to be fulfilled will also happen exactly as prophesied. However, those prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled are not so easy to interpret. There is a lot of disagreement on specific events, such as the last seven years prior to Jesus return and the timing of the Rapture.

I need to say that it has only been over the last two years that the Holy Spirit has burdened me to alert the church that recent events show clearly we are approaching the last seven years of Daniels 70 Weeks (Daniel 9:24-27). Moreover, God has miraculously connected me with the right partners to put together resources for the “last days” church. Check out http://www.powerpointsermons.net.

The Bible does reveal that God has an “end times” plan.

We know the end of the story, dead in Christ raised first, and the saints who are alive will be raptured before God pours out His wrath on an unbelieving world.

After God’s wrath has been poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements, Jesus will return with us believers in our glorified bodies, exactly as He said He would, to Mount Olives. He will then complete the unfinished work to save and restore Israel where He will rule and reign  from Jerusalem for one thousand years (Millennial Kingdom).

Make sure you are in a church that understands the urgency of the times. A church that takes seriously Jesus command to GO and take The Great Commission to an unbelieving world. A church like in the Book of Acts that is raising up disciples who in turn will raise up more disciples.

 

PREWRATH ESCHATOLOGY SIMPLIFIED

Prewrath eschatology sees the Parousia as a complex-whole, where God will fulfil a variety of purposes:

  1. Beginning with the revelation of Christ in the sky displaying his shekinah glory and power to the whole world .
  2. Resurrection and rapture of God’s people.
  3. Immediately followed by the wrath of God poured out on the earth with the trumpet and bowl judgements. It is the day of the Lord’s judgements upon the ungodly and Antichrist’s kingdom. Duration is possibly 1 year and 10 days, same time as God poured out His wrath the first time during the days of Noah.
  4. Jesus return to this earth with the saints, restoring Israel to salvation which begins Christ’s earthly reign on this earth for a thousand years. Curse is not lifted off the entire earth. People still die. At the end of Jesus thousand year reign, Satan is released and deceives the nations and a final battle occurs which God ends with fire from heaven. Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire and God’s word says he, the beast and the false prophet will be tormented forever and ever.
  5. The Great White Throne Judgement is held in heaven after the dead unbelievers are raised to life.
  6. Unbelievers will be cast into the lake of Fire, which for them will be ultimately, after due punishment, the second death. “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14 Also Jesus said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Only Satan and his minions face eternal torment in the Lake of Fire which was prepared for them. Matthew 25:41
  7. “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
    Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:2-5