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Archive for Kingdom

Life in the Kingdom

Believers in Christ live in hope. Many of us are already groaning within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the redemption of our bodies. For we were saved, having this hope but hope that is seen is not hope. Why should one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance (Rom. 8:22-25). There is coming a time when the King of this entire universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, will return to this earth and be crowned King over all of His created order. This small planet, so seemingly unimportant, will become the centerpiece of God’s amazing plan for this universe.
Christ’s universal reign will commence when He establishes a kingdom over a redeemed earth and reigns over it for a thousand years (Rev, 20:6–9). The thousand-year segment of this everlasting kingdom will allow God to finally and forever demonstrate to the human race and the angelic realm that the only political system that will ever work for humankind is one in which God alone rules over the hearts of people. It will not be a democracy, nor a republic, nor socialism, nor communism. It will be a kingdom ruled over by our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord’s kingdom will place on display the immense value of the second member of the Holy Trinity.
Just imagine a world dominated by what is right and fair. The new world will be ruled by a perfect government bringing true peace on earth and goodwill toward men. All weapons of war will be remade into instruments for growing food. No nation will dare to be aggressive against other nations, and war will be no more. The curse from the fall will be removed, and the environment will be restored to the pre-fall beauty of the Garden of Eden. Wild animals will no longer eat each other in order to survive, and small children will have no fear of any of them. This will be a world ruled by a perfect and glorious Ruler. Imagine a time when there will be no fear of deadly natural disasters or uncontrollable diseases. Think of a time when every court will deliver perfect justice for every case, when truth will be established in every conflict, and when all who deceive will be exposed and judged swiftly.
Picture a world where all children from every race and nationality will be fully educated by the King. Physical deformities and social, political, and religious oppression will be no more. All forms of slavery will be abolished. Imagine a world where the length of life will be restored and where the elderly will not grow feeble, will not lose their hearing or sight, and will not fear Alzheimer’s disease or cancer but will grow old with clarity of mind and a sound body. Imagine a world where what is appropriate and right marks every aspect of life, including relationships between people, businesses, and governments. It will be a world where there is absolute permanent peace and where that peace is enforced, a world filled with joy and good health, so much so that people live for hundreds of years (Isa. 9:6-7).
The King will renew this fallen creation and will rule with supreme wisdom and understanding (Isa. 11:1–9). The King will cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the dumb to sing. The desert will flow with water and the clouds will be rolled back (Isa. 35:5–6). The King will be known by all and all will have access to Him (Isa. 2:2-3). All sins will be forgiven and remembered no more (Jer. 31:34). All nations will flow to the Lord’s dwelling place to learn of Him and walk in His paths. His law will go forth from Jerusalem. All the scattered and lost sheep will be brought home. The people of Israel will be scattered because of their disobedience, but the Lord will gather a remnant of His flock from all countries back to their own land. They will be fruitful and have every need met. They will no longer be afraid or dismayed or lacking.
The Lord will raise up from David a King to reign and prosper and execute judgment and righteousness. His name will be called “the Lord Our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:5–7). King Jesus will be as a banner to the people so that even Gentiles will seek Him (Isa. 11:10–16). The King will rejoice over His subjects. In that day, Gentiles will realize that Israel is God’s chosen people, and all kings will recognize her glory.
God will give Jerusalem a new name, a crown of glory, and a royal diadem. She will no longer be called forsaken or desolate but shall be called Hephzibah, and her land will be called Beulah (Isa. 62:4). Jerusalem will be the city on the hill. The mountain of the Lord’s house will be established on the top of the mountains, and people shall flow into it. Many nations will 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 the law shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. War will be no more, and people will dwell in safety under their own fig trees. The Lord will gather His remnant and reign over them in Mount Zion (Micah 4:1–5:5). The whole earth will be filled with the King’s glory because He will be king over the entire earth (Psa. 72:1–20; Zech. 14:9).
When the King sets up His kingdom, we will see Him in His beauty. Our eyes will see Jerusalem, a tabernacle that will not be taken down. No stakes will be removed, nor cords broken. The Lord will be our lawgiver, our judge, and our King (Isa. 33:17–24). At the end of the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, He will turn His kingdom over to His Father, who will transform it into a new heaven and a new earth, wherein righteousness will dwell forever (1 Cor. 15:24-28). We will at last be home. Blessings!

The Second Coming

Following the exposure of the abomination of desolation, Satan is poised to finally finish his job by destroying the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the Son. Antichrist, still livid from the destruction of Babylon and from the Jews’ rebellion against the desecration of their temple, takes out unbridled vengeance on the Jews. Two-thirds in the city will die, one-third will escape (Zech. 13:8-9). Those escapees will flee to Bozrah to hide from the wrath of the Antichrist. After his destruction of Jerusalem, the Beast knows what has happened, reorganizes his army, and heads that way. As he approaches Bozrah, the signs mentioned in Matthew 24:29 begin to occur. The sun begins to grow dark and the moon begins to lose its light. The Antichrist’s army will surround and close in on the Jewish remnant. The Jews hiding in the rocks and caves will begin to call upon the name of the LORD in utter desperation. “Come, Lord Jesus, please come!” He will answer them, “‘This is my people.’ And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God’” (Zech. 13:9).
God will turn off the lights; no light anywhere. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven. Heaven will at last open, and the rider on the white horse, who is called “Faithful and True” will return in righteousness to judge and to make war. His eyes will be like a flame of fire. Out of His mouth will come a sharp sword with which He will smite the nations. He is called the “Word of God” and will rule with a rod of iron. All of the tribes of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with power and great glory. He will send His angels with the sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds – from one end of heaven to the other. He will tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of almighty God. He has on His robe and on His thigh the name “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:11–16; 2 Thess. 1:7-10).
John’s words add to this scene. “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ So He who sat on the cloud, thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped” (Rev. 14:14-20). The Lord Jesus will bring devastation with the sword that proceeds out of His mouth, and the great rescue will commence (Rev. 19:21; Job 41:21; 2 Thess. 1:7–10, 2:8).
The hiding remnant from Bozrah will see Him, the one whom they pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son (Zech. 12:10). They will know immediately that the Lord Jesus is the King they rejected, but this time they will not reject Him. After the greatest rescue in human history, Bozrah, like Babylon, will be destroyed (Jer. 49:13–14; Amos 1:12).
These words from Isaiah now ring loud and clear. “Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?—I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; Therefore, My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth.” (Isa. 63:1–6; 2 Thess. 1:7-10).
When the rescue ends at Bozrah, the King will move to the Kidron Valley for a meeting with the unholy trinity. It will be at that very location that the Antichrist and his false prophet will meet their doom and be cast alive into the lake of fire. Satan will be chained and thrown into the bottomless pit for one thousand years (Joel 3:2, 12; Rev. 19:19–21; Rev. 20:1-3). At the height of his success, the Antichrist will be broken and destroyed (Dan. 8:25). God said there would come a time when the Jews in their affliction would earnestly seek His face. This will be that time. The Jews will cry out for Him to come and heal them and treat their wounds. They will pledge to pursue knowledge of Him (Hosea 5:15, 6:1–6; Romans 11:11).
The King will ascend upon the Mount of Olives, where His feet will once again stand, just as God through the angels promised at His ascension (Acts 1:11, Zech. 14:4). This small mountain, along with other massive changes in creation, will return to their pre-Fall beauty (Zech. 14:5–8; Rom. 8:20-22). The King will be joined by His people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. There will be a magnificent celebration of His victory as He descends down the mountain.
This time will be much different than before. This time as He approaches the Kidron Valley, thousands upon thousands will be shouting and screaming praise to almighty God. This time they will throw olive branches before the King as He rides through the Kidron Valley toward Jerusalem. This time, He will not be riding on a donkey but on a beautiful white horse. This time, He will be destined to wear, not a crown of thorns, but the crown of a Mighty Victor. This time He will pass through the eastern gate, which was sealed shut, but this time it will be reopened. This time with one voice, His followers will shout, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:39).
And the Lord shall be King over all the earth (Zech. 14:9). Then will come the days of the King, and they will be blessed. Blessings!

The King Comes, part 2

Our Lord’s coronation day begins with the King’s return at the end of the Tribulation – the seventieth week of Daniel (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 19:11-16). The King will return to rescue and restore the nation of Israel in order to fulfill God’s covenant promise to Abraham (Zech. 13:8–14:19; Rom. 11:25–36; Rev. 19:11–20:3; Isa. 61:2b–64:12). God will purge and purify the Jews from their rebellion against Him and prepare them to face their King (Zech. 12:9; Mal. 2:3–4). He will make the nation of Israel, now dead, to live again (Rom. 11:25–26; Ezek. 37:4–12). The King will also return to reclaim and renew the earth from the clutches of Satan (Isa. 11:3–9; Rom. 8:19–22; Luke 4:6–7; 2 Cor. 4:4; Jn. 16:11, 12:31; Rev. 5:6–10). And the King will return to reign over a kingdom on a renewed earth for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4–6).

 

The church is referred to as the mystery by Paul – the dispensation of grace, or the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:1-4). This mystery is a gap of time between Messiah being cut off (crucified) and the catching up of the church (Dan. 9:26). This gap has lasted for now over 2,000 years. The seven literal churches in the book of Revelation actually represent seven church ages: Ephesus (30-100 A.D.), Smyrna (100-313), Pergamum (313 – 600), Thyatira (600-1517), Sardis (1517-1648), Philadelphia (1648-1900), and Laodicea (1900 to the present).

 

After the church age, a series of judgments on God’s people (the Jews) will be unleashed. These judgments are broken down in Revelation 5-19 into seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls, each being worse than the one before. They come like waves on a beach. The first wave of judgment (the seal judgments) begins with the opening of the seven-sealed scroll. John was crying because there was no one to open the scroll. He then heard the roar of a lion that startled him, and he turned and saw a Lamb as though it had been slain (Rev. 5:6). The Lamb was worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals. The scroll is the title deed to the earth. With the opening of the scroll, the waves of judgment begin on the earth to reclaim and renew the earth for the kingdom to begin.

 

When the last seal is broken, the first of seven trumpet judgments begin. They are worse than the seal judgments. When the last trumpet is blown, it will usher in a time called the seven bowls – a time of horror like never seen before in history. The last bowl judgment ends with the great campaign of Armageddon (Rev. 16). This judgment begins with three insidious demons being belched out of where: the dragon (Satan), the Antichrist (the Beast), and the false prophet (another beast). These demons are commissioned by Satan to gather the whole world together at the Valley of Megiddo for the battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:12–16). Their mission is to destroy the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the Son (the Lord Jesus), but we already know from Genesis 3:15 that the Son is destined to kill the dragon, Satan.

 

Contrary to popular belief, there will be no fighting in the Jezreel Valley. There is really no such battle as the Battle of Armageddon. In the Jezreel Valley, storm clouds gather in the form of the armies of the Antichrist, preparing to destroy Jerusalem (Rev. 16:12-16). The battle is called “The Great Day of God Almighty.”  God will dry up the mighty Euphrates River to allow the Antichrist and his army to get to the Jezreel Valley. There is little doubt that one of these armies will include much of the revived Roman Empire which surprisingly is made up of a large percentage of the Muslim Arabic bloc that circles the Mediterranean Sea and surrounds the tiny nation of Israel today. What a coincidence! This army will be headed by the Antichrist himself. I made the observation in my book “A Glimpses of the Coming King,” that wouldn’t it be the one of the greatest “gotcha’s” of history for Islam’s coming Mahdi (Twelfth Imam), and the Beast mentioned in the Bible, to be one and the same. I really think – because of the identity of the Mahdi given in the Muslim writings – the Koran and the Sunna (the Hadith), and the characteristics identifying the Antichrist, that they are. Both Russia and China will be involved. These armies will realize the genius of the Antichrist, and they will pledge their allegiance to him. It is from this Jezreel Valley that these soldiers under the leadership of the Antichrist will gather, organize, and ready themselves for battle – to go first against Jerusalem.  One serious motivation for this looming battle could be the vast supply of oil and chemical resources of the Dead Sea. There is now technology available to mine those resources. It will be granted to him (the Antichrist) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:7–8). Remember the sign, “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place” (Matt. 24:15).

 

Stay safe and stay tuned.

 

And the LORD Shall be King Over All the Earth

Zechariah says it clearly! “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth, and His name one” (Zech. 14:9). You may respond, “God has always been King over this earth, right?” Yes! But not in the sense spoken of here. This world is in disorder and our nation is in confusion. Our government is shaky! Our laws are shaky! Whether we want to admit it or not (even before the pandemic), we no longer live in a “United States of America.” We have become more and more the divided states. The cultural elite (a highly educated wealthy class) that live in major coastal cities, determine the culture that the rest of us absorb. These cultural elites produce the movies that we watch, the books that we read, the songs that we sing, the professors that teach on our university campuses (that we send our children to), and they control the vast media that determines the news that we absorb – daily. There is a constant flow of graduates from major universities who have been brainwashed to believe that man, reason, and science are the only wells of truth worth drinking from. Belief in the God of the Bible is quickly jettisoned from their thinking. Our western culture worships at the shrine of indulgence and gratification. Pleasure-seeking is the motive behind everything we produce and do. Many bow the knee to the shrine of sensual satisfaction. The altar includes technology, sports, fashion, movies – you name it. It is impossible to miss.

We are living through a sexual revolution! In public areas, sex screams at us at every turn – from television to movie screens, from billboards to the pages of magazines. The shelves of bookstores bulge with volumes about sex and graphically display its wares. Television talk shows freely discuss pornography, impotence, premarital sex, group sex, sadomasochism and many other variations of sexual behavior. Sodomy is completely normalized.

High tech media shopping online, large metropolitan malls constantly bombard us with things that we simply cannot live without; new techno gadgets of every kind. Included are new homes, cars, guns, boats, clothes, and sporting equipment.

Our culture is sports crazy. We have hunting and fishing shows to appeal to every sportsman. We have the professional football, college football, major league baseball, college baseball, professional basketball, college basketball, golf, hockey, car racing, boxing, and tennis – and world competitions for each. It never lets up. Parents get their children involved in sports of some kind shortly after they learn to walk. Children learn quickly that winning is everything – losing is for losers. Parents make sure that every child is a winner. It is a self-esteem thing. Sports quickly become far more important than church, in the eyes of children. Oh, we may tell them that church is important, but children quickly see through that. What they see in us is far more impressive than what we say.

Our churches must comply with the world in order to survive. The majority of them are trying. Every church must have a “family life building.” That is where the real action takes place. There must be programs designed for every age group. Whew!

It sounds bizarre, but I have personally enjoyed the quiet during the pandemic. My little farm provides the perfect place to listen and to think. Every so often I imagine I hear blowing in the wind a quiet sadistic malevolent chuckle. Why? God’s Word tells me that Satan is the prince of this world and the god of this age and he blinds us to the truth (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4). In fact – God’s word says that the devil now holds the title deed to all the kingdoms of this earth. That’s impossible you say. But he has proof of ownership.  It is verified when he offered these kingdoms to Jesus Christ. He took Christ to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time – along with all their glory. That’s impressive.  Catch the glimpse. He told our Lord that all the kingdoms of the world have been delivered into his hands. And not only that but he can give them to whomever he chooses (Lk. 4:5-7). The devil offered Christ everythingjust to worship him. Jesus did not indicate that the offer was bogus, He just told Satan to worship God and Him only. John fully agreed with Christ saying that the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). The wicked one is very good at what he does.

I think I get it now – the truth of the words of Zechariah that the LORD shall be king over all the earth makes perfect sense. Catch the future tense – shall be! God is not now the King the way He is going to be king. Wait! Is God sovereign? Yes! Is He the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Yes! Does He control Satan? Yes! And God is now chuckling behind the chuckler. Jesus Christ will one day hold the real title deed to the earth in His hands. He will take it from His Father – the real owner.  “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne” (Rev. 5:6-7).  One day the Lamb will open this scroll – the title deed to this world – and take it back from Satan the usurper.  One day the devil’s time will end, and then will come “the days of the King.” One day when we stand before Him, we will wish we had lived [now] the way we should have lived. Many long for that day.  Stay safe and stay tuned.

God’s Passion for Jerusalem

God is passionate for Zion (Jerusalem) with great passion. Christ’s throne will one day be located in Jerusalem. He will return to Jerusalem and dwell in its midst. Jerusalem will be called the city of truth, the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain (Zech. 8:1-3). Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem. There will come a time when ten men from every language of the nations will grab the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you [to Jerusalem]” (Zech. 8:22-23). How incredible is that?

The book of Isaiah, written 500 years before Christ, states that there is coming a time when peace will reign over this earth. Isaiah described a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace yet to come who will bear all the responsibility of governing this world.  This was simply not true during Jesus’s first coming. There was no peace on earth and goodwill toward men during His life – like that being spoken of here. There is coming a time when the King will sit upon the throne of David and rule over His kingdom. Every conflict will end in swift and fair judgment, and justice will prevail (Isa. 9:6–7).  

Micah wrote, “The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains and exalted above the hills [the highest mountain on earth] and peoples shall flow into it. Many nations shall come and say 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 Jerusalem the law shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off” (Micah 4:1–3a). The time is coming when the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed. Why? Because Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously (Isa. 24:21–23). Notice how often “Jerusalem” is mentioned!

It is true that believers today are saved by God’s magnificence grace, apart from the works of the law (Gal. 2:21; 3:21). We live our Christian lives by grace and not by the works of the law (Col. 2:6; Titus 2:11–12). But God has never abrogated or done away with His Law given at Mount Sinai some three thousand years ago (Ex. 19–20). Also, God’s laws instituted at creation—laws concerning marriage, one man for one woman for life (Gen. 2:24), and the killing of another human being (Gen. 9:6), and honoring the Sabbath (Gen. 2:1–3)—have been imposed by Him from the beginning and have never changed. These laws have everything to do with the coming of a child and His reign upon an earthly kingdom.

Speaking of this child we turn to history written some 500 years before Christ. God had sent Isaiah to Ahaz, the king of Judah, to tell him that Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, had plotted against him – to tear a hole in the wall protecting Jerusalem and set up a king for themselves. Isaiah told Ahaz that the plot against him would not stand. He told Ahaz to ask for a sign from God that the plan would fail. Ahaz refused! Isaiah’s response is often used (at Christmas) but seldom explained. He told this king that God Himself would give him a sign. He said that a virgin would conceive and bear a Son and call His name Immanuel (Isa. 7:14).

God predicted that an evil king would come against Jerusalem to destroy it. This one is called, “the Assyrian.” Note as you read the following passages, the definite article “the,” as in “the Assyrian.” It is speaking of a special person (Isa. 10:24; Isa. 14:25; Isa. 19:23; Isa. 52:4; Hos. 11:5; Micah 5:5-6). Isaiah told Ahaz that victory will lie in the hands of a virgin born child. Amazing! “The Assyrian” speaks of the Antichrist who will come against Jerusalem.

With that in mind, fast forward and hear the words of the Messiah. He was going away to prepare a place for his disciples and return (Jn. 14:1-3). They knew that He had promised to come back. Now visualize a magnificent gold-plated temple that took Herod some 70 years to complete. It was beautiful beyond description. The morning sun reflecting off it was so bright one would have to shield their eyes. The disciples called our Lord’s attention to it.

Jesus jarred them by telling them that the temple was going to be completely destroyed (Matt. 24:2; Mk. 13:2) What?  This provoked many questions but one that was special. What shall be the sign (notice again the definite article) of your coming (the one overwhelming can’t miss sign). Jesus’ answer is so very important! He said “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place. Whoever reads let him understand” (Matt. 24:15). Ponder this! The Assyrian mentioned above, and this abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, are one and the same person. In fact, this person goes by many names as we will see. The sign here must take us back to words spoken by Daniel – and it will.  Stay safe and stay tuned.