The Kingdom Of Promise And Prophecy
I.troducThe New Testament often speaks of “the kingdom” of Christ.
A. When John the Baptist was preparing the way for the Messiah, he announced the “kingdom of heaven” was at hand (Matt. 3:2).
B. As Jesus began His earthly ministry, He also proclaimed “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).
C. Jesus went about Galilee “preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23). D. As He taught His disciples to pray, He spoke to His Father and prayed,
“Your kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10).
E. Jesus taught His disciples to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33). F. Jesus also said some in His audience would “not taste death till they see the
kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1).
G. On the night of His betrayal, when He instituted the Lord’s Supper, He told His disciples, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
II. The question before us today is: “What is the kingdom?”
A. The word translated as “kingdom” in the New Testament is from the Greek
word basileia (basileia).
B. In New Testament usage, the word kingdom “is primarily an abstract noun, denoting ‘sovereignty, royal power, dominion’” (W.E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
C. The word is defined by Thayer as “royal power, kingship, dominion, rule” (J.H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).
D. Consider Robertson’s comment on Matthew 3:2 (“the kingdom of heaven is at hand”): “Note the position of the verb and the present perfect tense. It was a startling word that John thundered over the hills and it re-echoed throughout the land. The Old Testament prophets had said that it would come some day in God’s own time. John proclaims as the herald of the new day that it has come, has drawn near. How near he does not say, but he evidently means very near, so near that one could see the signs and the proof.” (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament).
E. “It is a kingdom of heaven because its origin, its end, its king, the character and destiny of its subjects, its laws, institutions, and privileges—all are heavenly. In the teaching of Christ and in the apostolic writings the kingdom of the Messiah is the actual consummation of the prophetic idea of the rule of God, without any national limitation, so that participation therein rests only on faith in Jesus Christ, and on the moral renewal which is conditioned by the same. It is the combination of all rights of Christian citizenship in this world, and eternal blessedness in the next.” (Marvin Vincent, Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament).
III. In this lesson we want to examine two of the Old Testament prophecies
concerning the kingdom, or rule, of God.
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I. The Prophecy Of Isaiah
A. More than 600 years before Christ came into the world, during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah ruled over Judah (Isa. 1:1), God raised up a prophet by the name of Isaiah.
1. Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prophesied concerning Judah and Jerusalem between 758 to 698 B.C.
2. He exercised his ministry in a spirit of uncompromising firmness and boldness in regard to all that God sent him to do.
3. He concealed nothing and kept nothing back from fear of man.
4. He was noted for his spirituality and profound reverence for “the holy One of Israel.”
5. In his early youth Isaiah must have been moved by the invasion of Israel by the Assyrian monarch Pul (2 Kings 15:19); and again, twenty years later, when he had already entered on his prophetic office, by the invasion of Tiglath-pileser and his career of invasion and conquest.
6. The first five chapters of the book of Isaiah consist of prophecies delivered during the reign of Uzziah.
B. The second chapter of Isaiah contains a prophecy concerning the rule of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom (Isa. 2:1–4).
1. Something would happen in the “latter days.” 2. The “Lord’s house” would be established.
3. “All nations” would flow to it.
4. The law would go forth from Jerusalem (Zion). 5. Men would turn their “swords into plowshares.”
C. The fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.
1. Christ came at the proper time (Gal. 4:4; Matt. 3:1–2; Mark 1:15; 9:1). 2. He established His house (Matt. 16:13–19; 1 Tim. 3:15).
3. All nations would flow into it (Matt. 28:19–20; Acts 1:6–8). 4. Preaching began at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:4–5).
5. The peaceful nature of the kingdom (John 18:36).
D. The picture drawn in Isaiah 2 is an ideal one—but nonetheless real.
1. Not every man will come to God any more than Jesus would draw every single man to Himself (John 12:32).
2. The opportunity is there for Gentiles to learn from God and learn of the peace He offers mankind.
3. Isaiah painted a picture of potential.
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II. The Prophecy Of Joel
A. About 800 years before Christ came into the world, God raised up a prophet
by the name of Joel to deliver a message of doom to the nations and a promise of glory for Jehovah’s cause.
1. The book of Joel is an appeal from God to His people to seek Him through repentance.
2. Genuine repentance would bring forth an outpouring of bountiful blessings from God.
3. Although other Old Testament prophets hinted at the coming of the Holy Spirit, Joel is so clear in his prediction of what happened in Jerusalem in Acts 2, that he is often called the “prophet of Pentecost” (Joel 2:28–32).
B. Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). 1. The promise of Christ to His apostles (Acts 1:4–11).
2. The apostles returned to Jerusalem (Acts 1:12). 3. The Holy Spirit fell on the apostles (Acts 2:1–4).
4. Men from every nation were present (Acts 2:5–13).
5. Peter said Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled (Acts 2:14–21). a) God did pour out of His Spirit (Acts 2:33).
b) It happened in Jerusalem (Acts 1:12; 2:5).
c) Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:38–41).
6. The prophecy of Joel has been fulfilled!
I.onclusiPremillennialists teach that Christ is not now on David’s throne.
A. They claim He is not reigning over His kingdom.
B. Premillennialists say Christ will not receive His throne until He returns to this literal earth to reign over a literal kingdom.
C. In other words, they dethrone Christ now and say He will reign on His footstool, the earth (Isa. 66:1).
II. Christ has an invitation for you to share in His glory (Rev. 3:20–21).
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