THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM
The church was planned by God from eternity! False teachers tell us that Jesus came to establish a kingdom on this earth. They say He failed because the Jews rejected Him. Therefore, He set up the church as a substitute. He will come the next time to set up His kingdom. This is not true! Christ came at the right time (Galatians 4:4, 5). He set up the church (kingdom) as God had planned before the earth was created: “To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10,11).
The church was promised by God to the great men of old. God told Abraham He would make a great nation from his seed. All the earth would be blessed by his seed (Genesis 12:1-3). Christ is the promised Seed of Abraham Who blessed all nations by dying for our sins (Galatians ). Christians (members of the church and citizens of the kingdom) are the true children of Abraham (Galatians -29).
God also promised David that He would raise up his son to sit on his throne and rule over his kingdom: “When your days are fulfilled, and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel , 13). This promise to David was fulfilled in Jesus Christ who came of David’s seed (Luke -33; Romans 1:3).
The church was prophesied by men of
God in the Old Testament! God told Isaiah: “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, and 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
Please notice four things in this
prophecy: (1) The Lord would build His house; (2) It would be built in the
“latter days;” (3) All nations would come into it; (4) It would be built in
Daniel also foretold the coming of
God’s kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of
a great image which had a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and
thighs of brass, and legs and feet of iron and clay. Daniel interpreted the dream for him (Daniel -45). The head of gold
The prophet Joel foretold the
coming of the kingdom also. He said that
God would pour out His Spirit in the last days.
Whoever called on the name of the Lord would be saved. There would be deliverance (salvation) in
The coming of the kingdom was prepared by John and Jesus! John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Christ (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew ). John was not in the kingdom, but prepared for its coming (Matthew ). John preached that the kingdom was “at hand” (Matthew 3:1, 2). This means it was very near.
Jesus also prepared for the coming of His kingdom. He too preached it was at hand (Matthew ). He taught His disciples to pray for the coming of the kingdom (Matthew ). He sent His disciples out to preach that the kingdom was at hand (Matthew 10:7). He promised to build His church and to give the keys of the kingdom to Peter (Matthew , 19). This passage shows the church and the kingdom are the same. Keys are used to unlock and open. Therefore, when we see Peter use the keys we will know the kingdom has come.
Jesus made a two-fold promise to His disciples: “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power (Mark 9:1). Please notice two things: (1) Some of those who were living when Jesus was on the earth would see the kingdom come; (2) The kingdom would come with power.
The church came in perfection on the first Pentecost day following the ascension of the Lord (Acts 2). Jesus commanded His apostles “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which; He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4 He also told them: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
When Pentecost came, the apostles
were together in
The prophecies of Isaiah 2, Daniel 2, and Joel 2 are fulfilled in Acts 2: (1) It was in the last days; (2) God built His house (church or kingdom); (3) It was during the days that Rome ruled; (4) God poured out His Spirit; (5) Salvation was available to those who called on the name of the Lord; (6) It was during the lifetime of Jesus’ disciples; (7) The power came when the Holy Spirit came; (8) It was in Jerusalem.
The kingdom has come. You can be a member of it today if you will be born of water and the Spirit (John 3:3-5). When Jesus comes again, He will deliver His kingdom back to God (1 Corinthians ). Will you be in it?