It seems quite odd really to be calling this the ‘conclusions’ part of this series on the final kingdom. Odd because I am yet to describe what the Bible shows us life will be like in that kingdom, despite the eight previous instalments. However, it was right to set out what the Bible is actually referring to when it speaks of kingdoms, kings, power, and authority for what has been made very clear to me as I have worked my way through these topics is that all authority is given by God Himself, and therefore, we should recognise the kingdoms which He establishes.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
That’s what the coming King said almost two thousand years ago. And, for some, it was. But not yet for all. That will come, as we will discuss in this final part. But, why did Yeshua say that back then? For something to be at hand is generally taken to mean that it is within reach. If you stopped the average Joe in the street today and ask him if he was aware of the Kingdom of God, what do you think he would say?
For some; those who are in the know, the Kingdom of God is here already. For those not in the know, any understanding of it might as well be as far removed as their conception of Quantum Physics, for example. However, what is very clear is that Yeshua’s Kingdom was first made available when He walked this earth. It didn’t leave with Him either. Like I said, for those in the know, it is already here. It would seem that the giving of the Kingdom was always designed to come in two stages – primarily to those whom God has chosen to reveal Himself to and to whom accept His message of salvation, as well as His leadership. When He returns, however, that will be a completely different matter. But before we take a look at what the Bible says of the Kingdom that is to come, let us briefly delve into what the at hand kingdom actually looks like.
Possibly the best freely available Biblical source on what life in the at hand kingdom actually looked like is the life of the apostle Paul. At least, there is more narrative on his life than that of any other of those whom God first appointed. But whilst I am happy to point to Paul as the epitome of what being a disciple in the service of the King looks like, there is nothing quite like a real and genuine up to date example. So, this description is less biographical and more autobiographical. Although, I will stress that if any of us were to follow the example which Paul laid down, we would be altogether more deeply in the King’s service.
This subject really revolves around that of discipleship. Without being called to be a disciple of Christ, we can never be discipled by His Holy Spirit, and without that teaching, we can never enter the Kingdom of God in its fullness. I can’t remember exactly when, but sometime ago I purposed, in my mind, that I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Paul and be devoted entirely to God’s service. Not just Paul either. It struck me as I thumbed through the pages of the book of Acts that these men had none of the resources we have today – no Bibles, no Bible apps on their smart phone, no smart phone…you get the picture. They simply had the one person whom Yeshua had promised to send them after He ascended to be at His Father’s right hand – He sent His own right hand, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s role is to run the Kingdom of God here on earth until the King returns.
And so, I purposed to set aside all that I already knew…or rather thought that I knew. I chose to forget it all and find a way to be like those in the early church who were forced, by God given circumstances (I call these opportunities now), to rely solely upon the Holy Spirit in all things.
Now, it is far easier to write those words than it is to put them into practice. In fact, putting them into practice is possibly the hardest thing of all…until you learn how to do it, and then you find yourself marvelling at how simple God has made it all. Please don’t get me wrong – I haven’t learnt how to do this; I am learning. And it will take some time, I am sure.
The problem I had at the start was that I thought I was already doing it. I thought that my life was run on the basis that I was part of the Kingdom of God simply because I believed in the salvation of Yeshua, and that I was consulting the Holy Spirit for guidance all the while. The truth is, I now know, that the voice I believed to be the Holy Spirit, was actually, on most occasions, my own. And my own voice has its own will. I suspect that this is a common issue throughout the modern church. And if the church in general already believes that they are listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and walking in the Kingdom of God, when in fact they are only listening to their own voice, then there is a real breakdown in both communication and the rules of the Kingdom as a whole.
Here’s the kingdom structure. There’s God. His name is Yehovah. He’s at the top, but because Yeshua (His Son) was obedient, Yehovah has given Him the Kingdom and all the power and authority that comes with it. However, until the fullness of the time of the Gentiles, Yeshua is with the Father. He is still in charge of that Kingdom – the Kingdom right now is made up of those loyal to Him (the church), who didn’t reject His message. He is the King of His Kingdom, but right now He is ruling from a far off land. However, He hasn’t abandoned us – He has left us His Holy Spirit to guide us at every step. The Son and the Holy Spirit are equal, beneath God. The Son is the head of the church, the King. It is His Kingdom and those whom choose not only to believe in Him for salvation but are willing to follow His leadership through the person of the Holy Spirit are all subjects in the Kingdom.
But, please be aware that you can believe in His salvation and yet never enter His Kingdom. You only enter His Kingdom through obedience, just as any subject of an earthly kingdom would have to obey what the king says, so too do we. This isn’t obedience to a set or laws or rules, but just as He did, it is obedience to the voice of God through the Holy Spirit. Sure, if you believe, you will be saved, but the New Testament writers who understood these things far better than anyone else alive today said that these who live like that will be saved as if they had been snatched from the flames.
The questions I had to ask myself (and one you can ask yourself right now), is ‘Am I in the Kingdom of God with Yeshua as my head and King? And am I being truly obedient to the Holy Spirit?’
The answer for me was, of course, no to both questions. I had been living a kind of a lie where I believed that I was doing both, but the reality was that I was living a life according to the will of Philip and not of Yeshua.
I’m not saying that no one is living as God intended His church should. I am quite sure that many are. But I am saying that my own self-assured cockiness about how I was living appears to be a common trait amongst many in today’s church.
I was thinking today about church; about how churchgoers consider that what they do on a Sunday morning is what God wants from them. The real trouble with such an approach is that it guarantees that the church, if it already thinks it is doing the right thing, will continue just doing that ad infinitum, never questioning. This is complacency. Complacency always leads to self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is pride. Do you see the problem? We have to stop and ask God the question, and wait for Him to answer. Do not take silence as approval. If we are not truly seeking God about what He wants from us, how do we ever expect to hear from Him? Take a good slow read of Malachi to see what God thinks of His people when they become complacent.
All this comes with a warning.
If you purposed to do as I did then life will get worse before it gets better. If you purpose to really seek God and be prepared not only to wait for His answer but to also listen to what He has to say, instead of assuming you already know, then there will be a wait, and probably a time of Him teaching you afterwards. If you purpose to live by faith (as they say) and rely solely upon God and His Holy Spirit for your every need, then the journey from where you are now to the place you want to be is terribly difficult at times. Why? Because that is how God teaches us to rely upon Him – see Deuteronomy chapter 8 for more details. He teaches us through hardship. He doesn’t abandon us whilst He teaches us. It will probably feel like He has at times. But He never does. He is always there, even in the darkest moments showing you the way; showing you how to break your own will and to take on His yoke. I will write more on this in perhaps the next article but for now, just so we are clear, the kingdom which Yeshua said to be at hand, is that of a life of obedience to what His Holy Spirit is telling you. It involves suffering. It always does. Without fail. For just as Christ was made perfect through His sufferings so too shall we.
And that (briefly) is the Kingdom that is now, growing up amongst the tares, just as Yeshua described in Matthew’s gospel.
The one which is to come is to be laid upon such foundations.
We have already dealt with the kingdoms that immediately precede the coming of the final kingdom in the previous eight parts of this series, so there is no need to go over that ground again. Just know this; that the coming of the King to reclaim His Kingdom here on earth comes during the middle of the worst troubles this world has ever known, and will ever know.
If we turn back to the place in which we started, we can get a view of the coming of the Kingdom, from one particular aspect. You will recall from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which can be found in Daniel chapter two, that the previous five significant kingdoms were all destroyed at the same time by a stone that cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. These five doomed kingdoms have been around for a while – perhaps ever since Satan managed to gain control of the earth when he deceived Adam and Eve. We have learned that whilst they are spiritual entities, that is to say that these kingdoms existed first in the heavenly realm, at various times throughout history the power and authority which comes with them have been gifted to men or nations of men. The stone which destroys them all comes not from man, but from God.
So, the first aspect of Yeshua returning to earth is to put an end to all previous kingdoms. Here’s Daniel interpreting the end of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream:
“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold – the great God has made known to the king (Nebuchadnezzar) what will come to pass after this.” [Daniel 2:44-45a NKJV (My Brackets)]
Right, a couple of reminders to take note of. Whilst each of the five kingdoms can be identified, it is likely that their power and authority was from a single source and given to Satan to distribute as he pleased. The final kingdom before the return of the Christ will consolidate all the power and all of the authority from all of the previous kingdoms to make one mighty kingdom. Christ’s return will see that kingdom, as well as all of its power and authority, crushed like dust and will be blown away like chaff from the summer threshing floors (see Daniel 2:35).
This will take place at a time of great and unprecedented persecution of Isra’el and Hebrew peoples everywhere. Everything that has befallen them as a nation in the past will pale into insignificance at what they face during this period.
Once the Hebrews realise that they have been duped by the anti-Christ, they will start to truly call upon Yehovah for their salvation. Throughout the Bible we see that this is what the Hebrews do when they are being oppressed or taken captive or enslaved or surrounded. This time all of these things will happen to them. In the past, whenever the Hebrews called out to Yehovah, He raised up a Moses, an Elijah, a David to save them. This time when they call upon the name of Yehovah for His salvation, He will send to them the stone cut not by human hands; He will send His son Yeshua, whose very name means Yehovah Saves.
And Yeshua will come and defeat all of the enemies of Isra’el – the nations by which they are surrounded. Their names may have changed over the centuries, but the spiritual powers that influence them and rule over them haven’t. The Day of the LORD will be finally upon them and they will be destroyed.
It matters not at which account of the Day of the LORD you look (almost every prophet has written of it), you will find a common theme, that Isra’el’s age old enemies – the ones whom they failed to drive out of the land of Canaan, and whom are still there oppressing Isra’el on all sides, will be destroyed. The only exception is that of Egypt who will suffer at the hands of the anti-Christ and whom themselves will call upon Yehovah for salvation. He will save them too. In fact, it reads as if God may save them first. Check out Isaiah chapter 19. Try not to read the paragraph headings that the publisher of your Bible has added. Try not to read any study notes written next to the text. Just read the text and ask for God’s Holy Spirit to open your eyes. Chapter 19 is one of the few completely unfulfilled prophecies in the book of Isaiah – much of Isaiah is part-fulfilled in that what God said through Isaiah has come to pass or has come to pass in a way that foreshadows the main event, which is still yet to come. What we see in this act of saving Egypt is God’s true merciful nature, for the very first nation whom oppressed His people, He will show mercy to first.
The second objective of the final kingdom is that of restoration of Isra’el.
With all things which are to come it is worth mentioning that God has set out very carefully His intentions, not only in the words of the Prophets, but also in every single Law. All of the Old Testament is designed to point Isra’el to His salvation, which will come in the form of the person of Yeshua. It matters not that God allowed their eyes and ears not to perceive these things. They will see in full what they refuse to believe now.
So, with that in mind, when it comes to the subject of the restoration of Isra’el, you will have to understand something of God’s nature when it comes to what it means to restore anything. If, for example, someone accidently killed your best milking cow, they would have to give you five cows to replace them. One for the killed cow, and four for the inconvenience. If you read the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) you will see this principle at work throughout. And, perhaps the main reason why God insisted on such restitution, was to point all Isra’el to how He will restore them – not with the restitution of men, by with the overflow of His loving kindness.
It may have escaped your notice, but Isra’el has never fully occupied the land which God promised them. There are various reasons for this – most of which relate to their disobedience to following God’s word exactly (this same principle still exists for us believers today). If you were to set out a map of the Levant and the Fertile Crescent before you on a table, you will notice that Isra’el occupies a very small part of that land. She is surrounded on all sides by enemies – Arab nations whom all believe (without exception) that the land in which Isra’el currently presides is part of Ishma’el’s inheritance through their twisted version of the events of Abraham’s life.
The original Promised Land stretched from the great river in Egypt (the Nile) to the Euphrates in the north; and from the Great Sea (Mediterranean) eastwards to the Tigris river. That land mass, today, encompasses the nations of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine, to name but some of them. Let there be no mistake – of the land which Isra’el once controlled and then lost, God will restore it to them in the manner of His restitution. Of the land promised to them which they failed to conquer, He will give it into their hands.
Those nations that currently occupy those lands will be part of the coming Caliphate and will be under the rule of the anti-Christ, who will declare himself Caliph. When these (probably) ten nations who are in the Caliphate, sign a peace deal with Isra’el and allow the building of a third temple in Jerusalem, it will mark the start of the end. Those first three and a half years will be peaceful, when Isra’el and her neighbours will live in harmony. Then, as is the way with Muslims and their hudnas, they will break the peace deal. Just Google hudna to see what it really means. Today’s Muslims accept that it is fine to make a deal or treaty with an enemy in order to overthrow them and gain a tactical advantage. This is exactly what the Quran teaches Muslims to do with infidels and Jews. And they call it a religion of peace!
For the three and a half years that follow, the anti-Christ will set about destroying all the perceived enemies of Allah. This is likely to include the likes of Saudi Arabia and any other Muslim nations who flirt with Western nations, and don’t adhere to Sharia Law. It will be at the end of this tribulation that the world will see Yeshua reappear and destroy the enemies of Yehovah.
You can find much of what will take place in the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Revelation. In fact, most books of the Bible have some reference or another to some of the events that the world shall witness. Rather than me spelling it all out for you, I would encourage you to research this subject yourself with the help of the Holy Spirit. Learn to consult Him upon everything. Start with Scripture – ask Him to reveal its wisdom. He will. He always does.
The third objective of Christ coming back (these objectives are not in any order by the way) is the redemption of the earth. God put man upon the earth and gave him dominion over it and everything in it. However, man gave away all of that authority when he stopped listening to what God had already said and started listening to the lies Satan was telling him. You will need to read about the scroll in Revelation chapter 5. Look at the scroll as part title deed for the ownership of the earth, and part wedding contract for the Christ’s forthcoming marriage to His bride. You will need to gain a Hebrew perspective on both aspects to fully grasp the significance of what I am saying, and what the scroll is about. It is no use placing any modern frame of reference for it – you will miss the point entirely. Take a look at Jeremiah chapter 32 for how scrolls work in Hebrew property ownership. When it comes to Hebrew wedding contracts and customs, there is a whole range of excellent information on the internet but just make sure you ask for guidance first.
You will find that I recommend taking a Hebrew perspective on everything in the Bible. You shouldn’t need to ask why but may I remind you that God first called the Hebrews? He spoke to them in Hebrew. They wrote and spoke Hebrew. Everything He spoke to them about was related to the day to day Hebrew customs. Yeshua was born to Hebrew parents. He spoke Hebrew. Every parable, every blessing, every story He told was from the perspective of the Hebrew culture. I’m not advocating getting into the Hebrew Roots movement or joining a Messianic church. I’m just saying that if you want to understand what the Bible is really all about you will need to think like the people it was written for and written about.
The redemption of the earth is essential for the King to be able to return and claim what rightfully now belongs to Him. Yeshua is the last Adam. To Adam God gave everything and he gave it away. Yeshua, alone, is worthy to reclaim it all. And the great thing is, that He intends to give it all to those who are loyal subjects in His Kingdom.
The events that will take place we have touched upon – He will come to the rescue of Egypt; He will come to the rescue of Isra’el; He will destroy the enemies of Isra’el and of Yehovah, and after all that, He will establish His Kingdom for 1000 years.
This new kingdom, the final one, is what Yeshua described as the New Covenant on the night of His arrest. It is the New Covenant you will find described in Jeremiah chapter 31, and in Hebrews chapter 8. It isn’t here yet, despite almost all of the church believing that we are currently living in it. We are not. The New Covenant is the final Kingdom. All of the laws of sin and death that came about because of Adam and the fall of mankind will be annulled. People will no longer sin. Sin will not rule their lives. They will live according to the spirit and not the flesh, as we currently do. There will be no need for evangelism, because He will be here and all will see Him. He will live amongst us. For the first time in history, everyone on the planet will want to be a friend to the Hebrew people, because it is because of them that salvation has come to all who believe.
In that coming kingdom Yeshua will rule over the entire world. All of His enemies will be crushed under His feet. Jerusalem will be His headquarters and the nations of the world will flock to see Him. There will be no more war – only real peace made possible by the Prince of Peace. He will cause the earth to heal, and all the people with it. He will put His people in charge to rule and judge over the nations. The world will be as God intended it to be.
It would be impossible for me to list all of what the coming final kingdom will look like here. Thankfully I don’t have to. The words already exist in the pages of the Bible. Everything in the Bible ultimately points to Yeshua and what His Kingdom will look like.
The time is coming, very soon, when the current order will be overthrown. And the people will start to cry out to God. He will answer. He always does. His answer is Yeshua.