Psalm 47:7 – For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
Matthew 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 12:42 – The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Hello readers, new year and new blogs! The King of the earth is here! Today I will be talking about Jesus Christ and his kingdom. There can be a lot of (unnecessary) confusion and misunderstanding and misapplication when people read the gospels and think that there are contradictions or things that don’t make sense. There are no contradictions in the Bible, a contradiction (that we perceive to be so) or something that just doesn’t make sense isn’t because the Bible is wrong… but it’s rather us, we are the problem, we have knowledge gaps. Jesus has all knowledge, but we don’t. When we don’t get it, when we don’t understand it…. God’s word doesn’t need to be changed or massaged into our understanding, but we need to be enlightened and changed by it. We need to come to God’s understanding, not make God fit to our understanding.
The Bible is a big book, it is the book of life, and rightly dividing the word of truth is critical in understanding what God is saying to us today. We can be disappointed when we read stuff in there which just doesn’t seem to apply to our time. Things aren’t like they were back then, nor like things that will be. To what time do we belong? What can we expect in our lifetime? What does God have for us today? There are many parts of the Bible that are prophetic, or relevant to Israel… and although we can learn from them, they are primarily for those purposes. We can look at God’s word and be disappointed, or be confounded by things that don’t seem to match or make sense. Like Gideon, we can ask God… where be all the miracles which our fathers told us of? We have been at Christmas time, and we remember how Jesus was born and a phrase like peace on earth is used (Luke 2:14) … yet where is the peace? We read of a king born in a manger… the King of all the earth… yet where is his kingship? We can read God’s word and then because we don’t have understanding or context or a vision which sees and understands beyond the right here right now (the problem is we don’t see real good, Jesus can fix that!) … then we think that God doesn’t mean what he says, or that is word isn’t the absolute gold standard for truth that it is.
One thing that helps to bring understanding is to understand that Jesus Christ is coming again. You see, much of the Bible, in fact THE Bible is about Jesus Christ. Much of the Old Testament speaks of his second coming and events associated with that. But because people don’t believe what Jesus said, or what the angels at the ascension said, or just what the Bible says over and over… they get confused. They attribute things associated with Jesus’ second coming, his rule and reign on earth… to the time we live in right here and right now. People forget or just simply don’t believe that Jesus Christ is coming again. A lot of confusion is cleared up just by simply understanding that many things in the Bible are yet to be fulfilled because they weren’t fulfilled the first time Jesus came. The King of the earth is here! He sure was! They looked for it for hundreds to thousands of years… and then John the Baptist announced it … it’s here! You can start in Matthew and you see the wise men looking for the King of the Jews. Jesus is the King of the Jews, so many of the old prophecies describe him and his position and reign, but many aspects of him that weren’t realized the first time the came. He never was king the first time he was here. He didn’t rule, he didn’t reign. How does Jesus Christ work today? And what can we expect in the future? Get in the Bible and read! But to understand the timeline we can look at two phrases… kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God. They are similar but different.
Back in the garden of Eden… man lost dominion, and Satan became the god of this world. Authority was transferred to the devil… God had placed man over creation, but man sinned and it had spectacularly bad results. It introduced death, a curse, and a kingdom known as the world… with Satan as it’s prince. So the devil has some authority currently. But his authority is finished, because this world is finished. Jesus overcame the world. Jesus has got what man lost, and more than just got it. This present evil world, which the Bible calls it, takes after Satan… and just look at it. Please note that the world is distinct from earth, the physical creation. This world has an identity, a way of thinking, a course, a spirit. This world consists of lust and pride, it is a twisted fallen thing.
Sure, Jesus Christ is God, and reigns over all, but he hasn’t possessed the kingdoms of this world as yet. Indeed we look to Revelation to a time when he will… Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. But for now, it is like in Luke 4:5 – And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. When we start to understand God’s timeline and God’s plan (and we can and should understand things… although God is doing a work that is so far beyond us… I mean, the Bible says had they known it they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord) then we can correctly understand what Jesus taught… because there are many things in the gospels which may not entirely make sense if not understood by being able to delineate between things associated with Christ’s first coming and his second coming. For instance, when Jesus returns, it will be in wrath and judgement, but what will follow is a time of blessedness that this world has not known, but which it longs for (just minus Jesus Christ of course).
Jesus came the first time to die on the cross for our sins. He will come the second time as King of kings and Lord of lords. The first coming proclaimed the acceptable year of the Lord… the second coming is a time of vengeance and judgement. When Jesus quoted a part of Isaiah at the beginning of his ministry he only quoted part of a verse, because in one verse the Bible sees and refers to aspects of both comings. Satan has dominion of the kingdom known as the world currently. When Jesus came the first time, the kingdom of heaven had come, because Jesus was here. He is the King, he is from heaven while we are of the earth … but there was a problem that needed to be dealt with first… sin. There are so many promises and things humanity has longed for, like world peace, like no more pain and suffering which are associated with the reign of Christ… but those things are elusive. Indeed, Jesus performed many miracles of healing and restoration, because when he comes back and cleans house… he will be the restorer and will fix everything. Our hope is not in a political party, or in a movement, or in the world getting better… because even as his parables indicate… it won’t. Things won’t get better yet. Why? Because Jesus Christ is not here yet. He went away, but he is coming back one day… at a time when we think not. He is coming for his church first, then he is coming to rule and reign on the earth. We can tend to think it’s all past, but there’s so much that awaits in the future, the Bible is historical, but more of it is current and prophetic. There’s so much stuff in there that hasn’t happened yet, that hasn’t been realized yet, that won’t be realize until Jesus Christ physically returns to rule and reign. When he comes back and his feet touch the Mount of Olives, he will find a world that has galvanized and gathered itself against him… and finally the Jews, for so many thousands of years a rabble of a nation, will believe their King.
The Bible says Jesus came unto his own and his own received him not. The next time he comes they will receive him, but they paid for their rejection of their Messiah in the meantime. But the poverty of the nation of Israel through rebellion and unbelief has been the riches of the world as Romans says. It resulted in the gospel being sent to the whole world. Jesus began building his church… which comes first. When the Jews showed themselves as a nation dead in sin, Jesus began to speak in parables. His parables were about the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God… there was some overlap. The kingdom of heaven is the literal kingdom of Jesus Christ here on earth, it is definitely more “Jew centric”… whereas the kingdom of God is spiritual. While the kingdom of heaven exists today with it’s King gone away…. the kingdom of God is within believers… that’s why Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you! When you get saved, your heart becomes a dwelling place for the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus dwells in the hearts of believers today, that’s the extent of God’s kingdom here on earth. The kingdom of God is Romans 14:17 – For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. If you are saved, you are a habitation of God through his Holy Spirit, and God influences the world through those who are saved and born again. If you are saved, you have been transferred (the Bible says translated) from the world and under the power of darkness… into the kingdom of Jesus Christ. It’s a kingdom change… that’s why you won’t fit in or think or do like the world anymore. But these believers in whom God dwells live in the kingdom of this world, who’s ruler is the devil. It’s why there’s no peace, it’s why there is war, pain, suffering, cruelty, death, destruction, bitterness, despair… the whole of creation is groaning under the weight of sin. Only the coming of Jesus to the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords will fix this.
The problem is… people assign things that will only happen at Christ’s second coming to nowdays. And this is where they get in to trouble. Churches try claiming promises that belong to Israel… today we are called to share the gospel, today is the day of salvation. Even Jesus showed the pattern, he did miracles, but they crucified him… they wanted a King and a position and so on… but they didn’t want their sin dealt with, they didn’t realize in God’s kingdom Jesus sorts the goats from the sheep, the wheat from the tares. You see, that hasn’t happened yet… there are many tares among the wheat… he hasn’t rooted them out yet, but he will one day. Look at the parable of the woman who hid leaven in the meal… and the whole thing was leavened. Leaven is not a good thing, it is bad… it pictures sin in the Bible… and since Jesus came, on earth everything’s gotten worse and worse, not better and better.
But churches use the lure of future blessedness applying it to today in a completely different context and circumstance to mislead people. They behave like we are already in the kingdom, when actually Jesus hasn’t returned. They preach prosperity and wealth, but the Bible says God has chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith. They look for physical blessing like financial or whatever, but what Jesus has for us is spiritual blessing, forgiveness from sin and grace to live the Christian life. This world isn’t great. We are in a present evil world, a world that lieth in wickedness… and people of this world need to get saved. What’s important is that people get saved. Because with the coming kingdom… they won’t have a part in it if they are not saved. There will be no peace till Christ returns. See Jesus didn’t contradict himself when the heavenly host proclaimed peace on earth, but then Jesus came he said not to send peace but a sword… when you understand Jesus’ two comings, you’ll know that Jesus first came to send a sword, and he will come with a sword, but then there will be peace on earth when he has dealt with all the enemies at the time of refreshing and restitution of all things (as Acts says). Its funny because they were so unprepared for his first advent and we think why and how… yet we are just as unprepared and unready today for his second advent. What’s important for this time we live in now? Why did Jesus says this in Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Because before seeking things that belong when Jesus comes again like prosperity, health or whatever that is associated with the blessedness of Jesus reigning…. firstly seek getting saved. What you need is your sins forgiven, your debt paid for. Our problem isn’t our circumstances, our problem is our wicked hearts. Who we are is what God wants to change first and foremost. Look who Jesus found in Israel… people that were full of spiritual death, even with the exterior of religion.
The fact is we also have to understand there is a fundamental difference between the church and the nation of Israel. The church is the “body of believers” (of whom Christ is the Head), all those who have gotten saved since Jesus came to earth the first time. It is a spiritual body, it’s not a national entity, it’s just men and women around the world who repented of their sin, placed their faith in the Lord Jesus, and were born again spiritually. They entered the kingdom of God through the new birth, so spiritually they are of a different kingdom, even while here physically on earth and in this evil world. That’s why the Bible says we are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus and that our conversation is in heaven… from whence we look for our Saviour. People who are saved go to “church” which is a physical building where believers meet to hear God’s word and have fellowship. But the true church is not bricks and mortar… it’s you and I who have believed. And the church is not Israel and Israel is not the church, the church has not replaced Israel… it is an entirely new entity. The church is Christ’s bride, and Israel is his people.
Jesus was born a Jew. We are not Israel, we can be considered spiritual Israelites and although we all must be saved by grace through faith… we are a distinct people having different promises, outlook, place and future. We have no physical promises in the sense that Israel did. When Israel did good, God blessed the land, he sent the rain, they were prosperous… but you and I can be poor, sick or whatever… we can the offscouring of all things like Paul said he was… yet be rich spiritually. Our promises are spiritual. When Jesus returns, we will return with him, while the nation of Israel will be looking for him. We do not void God’s promises to his nation, of which there are so many and as yet to be realized. We have to understand that in the gospel, Jesus was talking of many future times and events concerning Israel, so while all the Bible is useful and true and profitable to us… not all of it is directly concerning us or our time. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and people have always been saved by grace through faith. Gross misapplication, doctrine, misunderstanding comes from a failure to have God’s vision on things in his word, failing to understand the times and places and events and contexts and the plan of God which he has made known to us.
So today, people are looking for kingdom of heaven type blessings when Jesus returns and reigns… while neglecting what matters. It seems funny how people live like the devil here yet think they want to be in and wouldn’t be out of place in a world wherein dwells righteousness. There was a man in the Bible Jesus spoke of who was at a wedding, but didn’t have a wedding garment… he was out of place… if you were directly ported to heaven right now… would you be out of place? Why do we think we can live like a dog down here, and it’ll all magically be fine in heaven. We’ll be these angels in heaven right. Wrong. Jesus said he that is filthy let him be filthy still. As you are here, that’s what you will carry to eternity. If you didn’t have Christ, even that which you had will be taken from you. This is why we shouldnt mess around. It’s no point living like and thinking it’s ok when it’s not. That’s what people are told… it’s all ok… when it’s not. Peace, peace… when there is no peace. And what’s the point of health and wealth and whatever if you’re going to hell? What’s the point of having money if you’re spiritually bankrupt… a slave of sin? They’re fixated upon and trying to make the blessedness and healing that will only come about by Jesus having come back. And it is a failure to see and understand true richness is the fullness of Christ in our life. He is our exceeding great reward… God told Abraham that… the best God can give us in himself. The “social” gospel is very popular, doing good, running programs and events, doing fundraisers, feeding the poor… but it neglects what people need most… the truth of the word of God. But it’s replaced the actual gospel, it’s replaced why Jesus really came, who Jesus really is, what Jesus really requires… and it doesn’t meet the most fundamental need, which is far more important than someone having food or getting clothed. Sure these are good works, but salvation is ultimately what matters. People want to feel good, but they don’t want to hear about sin, or hear that the life of following Christ is one of rejection and unpopularity…they want to have a good time and to live it up. Never mind that when Jesus returns the Bible says he will sort everything out, he will rule in righteousness, he will rebuke many people. They don’t even know the true Christ.
We are in a time known as the times of the Gentiles. Jesus said from the time of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence. What does this mean? Well John the Baptist was the forerunner to Jesus, he prepared the way. He proclaimed the arrival of the king… but his message was one of repentance. Because sin must be dealt with first. But the king had been born and the kingdom of heaven had begun, a time so long prophesied of, God coming to earth as man finally here … but Jerusalem was controlled by the Romans. This world has been under Gentile dominion, as they struggle over rulership of this world. Herod who was an illegitimate “king” of the Jews and who gained his kingship through the Romans tried killing Jesus Christ! This world doesn’t want to cede to Jesus Christ. Jesus never established his kingship the first time which he will one day. They wanted to make him king and he went away into desert places. Satan offered him kingship, but it wasn’t time, and it wasn’t how he would become king. Jesus won’t become king through Satan giving it to him… he received it from his Father. Jesus’ disciples didn’t get it! They thought he was going to be king, yet he was then talking about how he was going to Jerusalem to die on the cross! You see, without understanding that Jesus is coming again, and many things apply to his second coming, you would be a confused mess! As eagerly as they anticipated the coming Saviour, today we also live in the same anticipation (or should do!) of him coming back again. He found an unprepared and sinful and unbelieving people, and Jesus said when he comes again… would he find faith?
The truth is… even the angels didn’t fully understand! What they said was true regarding to Jesus Christ, but many things said still haven’t been realized today! Luke 1:32,33 – He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. These verses are true, and it goes to show you can hold to truth even if you don’t necessarily understand it all, even if it is not “true” or fulfilled or realized (however you want to put it) of that particular point in time… but God declares the ending from the beginning! Even if Jesus was not going to rule and reign, he was still the King of the Jews, because he is, and one day he will sit on the throne of David. There’s still so much to be fulfilled. God talks about things in the Bible seeing the whole picture, but us reading it… it can not make sense to us. That is ok, as it is a lifetime of learning, and without the illumination and understanding of the Holy Spirit, nothing would make sense. God’s ways and means are so far beyond us.
Things are only going to be in order when Jesus comes. We can dedicate ourselves to trying to “make the world a better place” but it ain’t gonna happen. Jesus said it wouldn’t… and it never has. What’s important is inviting people to the great marriage supper of the Lamb. To extending the gospel to people. But people want the blessedness without repentance. They want the perks of God’s kingdom on earth, Jesus reigning, when he isn’t here yet. They want his hand… but not his face. The wise men came looking and asking… where is the King of the Jews? Because through Israel all the earth will be blessed, and specifically through Christ, who is a Jew. The Jews and their Jewish king. God said to Abraham through his seed the nations would be blessed… that’s through the Jews and specifically the King of the Jews, Jesus Christ. But look at what’s happened… they’ve been scattered… lost amongst the nations… rejected, persecuted, despised, in sin and in unbelief…. they have never been the blessing God intdended… and if their leanness has been the blessing of the gospel sent through the world and God’s Spirit poured out upon all flesh… what of their fatness? Where is the showers of blessing, the wolf lying down the lamb… no more hurting one another, beating the swords into plowshares… that won’t happen through the United Nations or through the new tower of Babel… it’ll happen through Christ. When the heavenly rules on earth. The kingdoms have failed no matter the ruler. But when heaven rules on earth, that’s when it will be blessed.
A kingdom has a king, Jesus is the king, and Jesus is from heaven… but how his kingdom has gone is very different to what the Jews first expected. The parables were hid from them… but we can understand what’s happened, what’s happening and what is yet to happen. There are so many things we confuse in the Bible because we don’t put things where they belong, we simply don’t just believe what Jesus has said. How many times he said things to the disciples, they said they got it… but they hadn’t got it at all! We aren’t the end of the story, we can so often tend to view everything selfishly, or make it fit into our brief point of time here on earth. But the story goes on… and it’s a glorious and blessed future that awaits the believer. It is worth it to trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible isn’t just for us… it’s for Israel, it’s for tribulation saints… the Bible is also written to tribulation saints looking for deliverance from the beast. You see, Israel will go through a very tough time before they repent and realize who Jesus Christ is and believe. There are tough times ahead… Jesus said the times that we are in are just the beginning of sorrows. But a woman when she is having birth has sorrow but that sorrow stops when the child is born. Israel is going to go through a tough birth… just as we do when we get saved… the passage of God breaking us, of God convicting us, of God letting us destroy our own lives, of him breaking us spiritually can be very tough… but then the joy comes.
Matthew 24:13 – But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. See… this isn’t teaching the personal salvation is based on “enduring” to the end. Misunderstanding and error comes from not reading the whole chapter, realizing who and what Jesus is talking about in response to the disciples questions. It’s quite clear from the Bible that salvation is of the Lord. We can’t endure… noone ever has. Even look at all the mistakes of the Old Testament saints… even John the Baptist doubted in prison before his death. We don’t make it because we gritted our teeth and bore through… no we make it because Christ is in us. That’s what the burning bush is a picture of. We don’t burn… because Christ is in us. No burn out at the burning bush! This verse is speaking of a time in the future… remember Christ is coming back… when he comes in his glory the Bible says he will sit on his throne and sort the goats from the sheep, he will come in power and many will be destroyed at his coming, then he will set up his kingdom, and many people will be thrown into hell. Those people through the tribulation who trust in Jesus Christ will be saved… they will be delivered, God will preserve his people even through the darkest times of history, as he has done before… so he will do. It’d be a shame to make it through those times yet when the King is here… be cast out. Jesus is going to possess all the kingdoms of the world, establish his kingdom… and he will gather all things out of his kingdom that do offend! You see those tares amongst the wheat will finally be removed, those fakes, those falseys, those children of the wicked one. Understand the parables and you can understand the now and the future… how things work.
So this blog has been a bit of a collection of thoughts from God’s word. I hope it makes sense. The main thing to realize is though that Jesus Christ is coming again. He came once… and he will come again. There’s heaps of God’s word that is going to happen, and to understand God’s word it definitely helps to get a grasp on things like Christ’s second coming… otherwise some things wouldn’t make sense! Jesus is the King… and he is coming as King. The King of all the earth was here… yet he laid down his life for the sins of the world. The first parable Jesus taught was the parable of the sower. Because this life is all about the gospel (which is that seed the sower sows in the parable) … and seed finds all kinds of heart conditions, many of which are hostile and unreceptive… the seed never finds good ground, and there is no new life brought forth. Hopefully God has given you some grace to receive God’s word, to have love for it, to have a heart for truth… even if it offends you, even if it’s not what you want it to be or think it should look like… God’s word is the truth. Let God be true and every man a liar. If we can just do that we will be able to start to understand what God is saying to us. The most important thing today is to get saved… Jesus today is not visible, it’s by faith that we are saved… that’s what pleases God… that’s how God made it to be. Jesus died for your sins, you can be forgive and you can have eternal life if you want it. A one greater than Solomon was here… a one greater than Jonah was here… the Creator, the King the earth was here… and his word has gone into the whole earth today… you are invited to be part of his kingdom (because all kingdoms truly are and are going to be his) today. When he comes you will belong if you have been saved, and it is he that makes us worthy to belong. Thanks for reading, until next time!
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God's word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I'm just a passin' through this world... although most of the time it's more like hangin' by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports - particularly cricket... I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc - they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment on my blog, whatever suits. You can read more about me and my blog here - kjvbibletruth.com/about. :)