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The Kingdom in the Prophets (Continued)

Jerusalem has been under the control of the Gentiles since the time of Daniel, as illustrated by his visions of the successive Gentile empires. But a time will come when it will be trodden underfoot, and Israel will turn back to God, at which time the Gentile kingdoms will be subdued by God’s Kingdom.

Matthew 23:
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Zechariah 12:
8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Revelation 1:
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Romans 11:
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

This fits with the prophecies that God will never completely forsake Israel (Psalm 94:14; Isaiah 54:5-10; Jeremiah 31:35-40; 32:37-40; 33:23-26; Micah 7:18-20). The promise that God would establish David’s throne to a restored Israel is further elaborated on in all of the Prophets, expanding it to encompass the whole world. The focus of the new kingdom will be the throne of the Lord in Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 3:
16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, will be the center of a coming world empire, in which God’s vice-regent, or co-ruler, will administer a perfect government. “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, And a judge [literally, an administrator] will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness” (Isaiah 16:5, NASB). The New Living Translation words it this way: “Then God will establish one of David’s descendants as king. He will rule with mercy and truth. He will always do what is just and be eager to do what is right.” It is in that way that “the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 24:23).

A famous scripture in Isaiah describes the purpose of the Messiah’s birth. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder…Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

God’s king would be perfect and just in his judgments, and he would rule over not just Israel but the whole world. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion…thy King cometh unto thee…and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:9-10). God’s righteousness will encompass the earth by way of this kingdom centered in Israel.

Micah 4:
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 unto 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 pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

In Daniel, we are given a vision of future events, including a succession of world empires that would dominate Israel following Babylon. But the last one would be replaced by God’s kingdom on earth. “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” (Daniel 2:44).

Daniel 7:
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.

Not only will there be a great world empire ruled by God’s king, but the saints are given a part in ruling with him.

Daniel 7:
18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever

27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

In Daniel it is also revealed that the establishment of the kingdom would be preceded by a Great Tribulation, and then the resurrection of the dead.

Daniel 12:
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

There are many more details in the prophecies recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures. These are only a small sampling. The earth will be restored to its former perfection (Isaiah 65:17; Psalm 96:10-13). There will be peace and rest, and no more war (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:3). There will be perfect and just judgment (Isaiah 11:1-5), and nature itself will be restored to the way God intended, with peace among the animals (Isaiah 11:6-8). “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). This is indeed good news, which is what the word “gospel” means.

The Prophets proclaimed not only God’s judgment on the wicked, but also the good news of the coming kingdom of God, when wickedness would be no more. The hope of Israel throughout the Old Testament was the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham and David, specifically the coming righteous rule of God through His Messiah. Jesus preached the “Gospel” or “Good News” of the coming Kingdom of God. He declared that the reason he was sent was to preach the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43). Because Israel was quite familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures, when he came preaching that Gospel, he did not need to explain what he meant, because they knew from the Scriptures what the coming Messiah was all about, and they knew that he was coming to set up God’s Kingdom on earth.

Many of them did not believe that he was that Messiah, but there was no question in their minds about what the purpose of the coming Messiah was. As followers of Christ, we should be as knowledgeable about his purpose and function, why he came, and what he accomplished. When he proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was at hand, what did he mean? With the foundation from the Hebrew Scriptures, it will become clear what Jesus was preaching, when we consider his words in the Gospels.

3 Responses to “Old Testament Foundation (Part 6)”

  1. on 01 Jul 2010 at 6:06 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark C.
    This series of articles has been great, especially for someone like me with a limited knowledge of the OT. In your article you asked, “When he proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was at hand, what did he mean?”

    Luke 17:20-21, “Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, ‘The kingdom of God’ is not coming with signs to be observed, (21) nor will they say, ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

    I think Jesus is saying that the kingdom of God is connected with the Holy Spirit which dwells in all of us that believe and humbly ask for his Holy Spirit to guide us in our daily lives. This is what I think Jesus means when he says “The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” The kingdom of God is in the Good Samaritan and Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King and many many others as well.

    BTW – I love the way I can click on to the OT quotes in your articles and read what they say. It’s a lot easier than looking them up…

  2. on 02 Jul 2010 at 12:23 amMark C.


    I’m glad you liked the articles. The answer to the question of what Jesus meant is laid out in the section following that (called “Kingdom Come”) on my web site. Or you can read the articles I posted here, beginning with “The Kingdom is Near.” (Just click on “Who We Are” at the top of this page, and go down to my name.) The Holy Spirit is part of it, but there is much more to it.

  3. on 03 Jul 2010 at 6:29 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark C.
    I spent all afternoon reading the 3 articles “The Kingdom is Near.” I even read some of the comments as well. I agree with what your saying that the coming “Kingdom of God” is going to be a future event when Jesus returns at his second coming. After all Jesus told us (and his disciples) to pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    I also agree with what you said in “The Kingdom is Near, Part 3” comment #4 where you said, “I would say that the kingdom is ‘both now and yet to come’ ONLY in the sense of being in a preparatory stage now.”

    Jesus hints that it is partially here in Luke 11:20 where he says, “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” And in Luke 17:21 he says, “Nor will they say ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

    In this preparatory stage we can see the kingdom of God in some people through the work of the Holy Spirit and through the Wisdom God has sent to those who humbly follow him and his son Jesus/Yeshua the Messiah/Christ.

    At least in my humble opinion anywaze…


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