Monday, 26 December 2016

Go in the Name

"Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord".

Primarily it was a prophecy about Messiah, Jesus.

But when you go in the Name of the Lord, know that you deserve to be received in the Name of the Lord - that is, you ought to be 'blessed' in a way. You're not going illegitimately.

Jesus didn't promise you'd always be received and treated well, as He Himself wasn't always. But that doesn't mean you haven't gone out with authority, and deserving of provision and even of honour. 

Faith and Ministry

When Jesus needed a place to prepare the passover to eat with His disciples, He wasn't prepared in advance with resources to hire a venue. But in the spirit He knew exactly how it would transpire, right down to the detail of what the disciples would meet as soon as they entered into the city, and how the conversation should go. Jesus even put a demand on one of His unnamed servants.

And that's entirely legitimate in the life of faith and service (ministry)! The example of Jesus means that we don't necessarily have to be overflowing in resources to the point we own our own venue, or rent a venue in advance, and pre-plan it in the natural, although sometimes it can; but we can know in advance how the Father plans to provide for our need; we can see it or know it in the spirit; it can involve placing a demand on someone else's resources and willingness.

Go - and you will find...

Don't be intimidated into feeling that's always illegitimate or inadequate. Very often it's the Jesus way!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Despite being with Jesus for three years, and despite being well-versed in Old Testament Prophecy since childhood, the disciples didn't understand that Messiah had to die - until after His resurrection: then they understood it.
Point: Old Testament Prophecy can't really be correctly interpreted, understood and applied, except within the framework of New Testament theology and history.
Not even the most significant event of all was understood - let alone less consequential events and their details and sequences.
So unless we're smarter than the disciples were, we probably wouldn't be able to assert very much at all about the future, based on a logical and grammatical approach to the Old Testament Prophetic Scriptures alone.
We have to rely on what the New Testament says about it!
Especially the Epistles, and Acts. The Apostles explained Scripture and history. That's the only authoritative source we have of a correct understanding - not only of the Old Testament Prophets, but also of the synoptic Gospels.
When I first got saved, I was advised to read John's Gospel. After that, I decided to continue reading from Acts to Revelation first; then after that I think I went back and read Matthew, Mark and Luke next; then started at Genesis and read all the way through. The Epistles were written plainly and directly for us as believers - whereas applying the rest of the Bible requires explanation. I instinctively knew that, when I was only 12 years old.
So base your understanding of Bible-Prophecy on the Epistles! And on the sermons in Acts. In Acts, the Apostles apply the history contained in the Gospels, to explain the meaning of the Old Testament, and assert their Gospel. Then they explain their method and apply it in detail, in the Epistles.
So spend your time in the parts of the Bible that were originally written for you! Without neglecting to read the other parts. Base your view of Prophecy on the theology and applied history of the Apostles.
After all, they got their understanding of the Scriptures from Jesus, after His resurrection!
Take what you know from the New Testament, and make Old Testament Prophecy fit in that framework.
Two sample New Testament truths:
1. Jesus is Messiah. He already procured and offered Israel's salvation; many believed and received - then Gentiles also believed, as prophesied.
Widespread unbelief in Israel didn't mean however that God had closed the door to a Jew - because many Jews were getting saved. Any Jew could still be saved, by turning from unbelief - for as long as Gentiles were still getting saved. Paul's own conversion was an example of this happening.
This scenario was the manner in which Prophecies about Israel's Promised Messianic salvation were seeing their fulfilment and will continue to see it - and then the end will come. God hadn't shut the door on a Jew.
That's the first New Testament assertion.
2. Levitical priests, altar, Temple, sacrifices, circumcision, pilgrimages to Jerusalem and feasts are no longer possible, nor relevant this side of the cross.
Those two truths alone go a long way toward unravelling - rightly dividing, navigating - many Old Testament Prophecies today.
Interpretive key: any Prophecy which meant Levitical worship would be carried out, must have been fulfilled while the Old Covenant still stood - because God isn't into returning to the shadow.
That's an example of using New Testament truth to rightly apply Old Testament Prophecy.
It might eliminate some distracting ideas about the future, and help put our focus back on Jesus - the Gospel - the Apostles' doctrine - which is for all people without distinction, and without the deeds of the Law.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Object of All Scripture

1) All nations would be blessed, in Abraham's seed.
Seed singular, not seeds plural.
The Promise was spoken before Israel was born, and before the Law was given.
It was to be for all nations without distinction, and did not involve the Law.
2) Abraham's natural descendants were given a land-promise.
3) Israel was born a couple of generations later, and given a temporary law some generations after that. They were made custodians of the Promise. Israel and Judah later became divided. The prophets foretold that both Israel and Judah were soon to go into temporary captivity.
4) They were assured in advance that their ethnicity would not cease to exist while in captivity, but they would be preserved, rid of idolatry, then regathered to their land, reunited as a single nation, their Temple would be rebuilt, Levitical worship and sacrifices would resume, many of their enemy-nations would meet their demise, and proselytes from many nations would begin making the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem to observe the Feast.
5) In that setting, Messiah and His Kingdom was to come: as a teaching, healing Saviour; meekly, as a suffering, atoning servant, making a new covenant with Israel, all the dead will rise, there will be a final judgment, and He will reign gloriously as King, there shall be new heavens and a new earth.
6) But immediately prior to the Lord's debut on the scene, a messenger would come - 'Elijah' - to prepare the people of Israel for His coming; then the Lord would come - and together the two would see many in Israel turn to righteousness, including many priests. But still, for many Jews the Day of the Lord would instead end-up being a day of judgment, the prophet warned.
7) Salvation would be procured for all Israel, and proclaimed to all - but not all would believe and receive. Many would be blinded and hardened. A remnant would receive.
8) Gentiles also would hear and believe and receive and come into relationship with God. The isles would wait for His law.
9) In the historical setting of that taking place, the Temple and holy city sadly would again be destroyed, the sacrificial system would be made to cease, and the Jews would again be deported around the world. This didn't mean however that God was closing the door to Jews. A Jew could still turn from unbelief and experience the promise.
10) From that point in history onwards would come a period of history of unknown duration, in which many would be turned to righteousness and many would fall - and then the final resurrection will come, when the righteous will receive their inheritance and shine forever.
The revelation of the New Testament is that the prophesied coming of Messiah and His Kingdom-scheme has also been fulfilled - in two phases:
Kingdom now/not yet
First coming/second coming
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, we now live with a new and real sense of fulfilment - even though we still await His glorious second coming.
The remnant of true Israel within Israel - true Jews among Jews experienced it first - then Gentiles also came into the same experience, thus fulfilling Prophecy.
That is known as the Gospel. The Apostles' doctrine.
The Gospel scheme of things is the intended fulfilment of Old Testament Prophecy! It is what Abraham foresaw.
Paul explained, "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."
Jesus also said, "Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad."
All nations without distinction are justified by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ, without the deeds of the Law.
The purpose of all Scripture, and the effective of its objective historical fulfilment, is that it validates the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Gospel of grace, the Gospel of the Kingdom, the everlasting Gospel, and there is no other Gospel.
It's all about JESUS.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Israel's Promises

Paul's definition of the true Israel:
Imagine a circle, representing ancient ethnic Israelites.
Now imagine another circle inside that circle - that's the true Israel - a true Jew!
Next imagine people from outside both circles - people of all nations - streaming in and making that small circle the biggest circle.
Meanwhile imagine certain people in the ethnic-Israelite circle but not part of the true-Israel circle observing this, wanting in, and deciding to become part of the true-Israel circle (the circle which Jesus called "my church" - Gk Ekklesia - called-out ones, assembly, group - the body of Messiah - the people who are connected to God's prophesied Messianic program).
That was the manner in which Old Testament prophecies (which had said that "all Israel will be saved") were seeing their outworking, Paul explained:
The worldwide salvation which had been promised to Abraham (before Israel was even born, before the Law was ever given) - the promise of which ethnic Israel later became the custodians - it hadn't failed - the true Israel had obtained it, and all the nations of the Gentiles also came to participate in it, thus fulfilling the promise to Abraham - but the ethnic Israelites who didn't believe were missing out; 
And that outcome didn't mean God had closed the door to salvation (from His point of view) on a Jew. Any ethnic Jew who turned from unbelief to faith in Jesus Christ, could still get saved. Paul himself was an example of that very thing happening!
True Jews first, then Gentiles, meanwhile more ethnic Jews being added-in while the Gospel continues to be preached among all nations and Gentiles continue streaming in...
...and then the end will come, Jesus said.
That's the precise scenario which fulfils promise, type and prophecy!
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" ( Romans 3:28).

Blindness in Part

Two things I'm sure about, concerning Israelis:
1. Their Saviour has already come. Their salvation is already on offer. Many have already been saved. Anyone still can get saved, if he only turns from unbelief to faith in Jesus Christ.
2. God's plans for them can't involve worshiping literally in the way described in Moses' Law, and needn't involve modern Judaism.
That's not bad news - it's good news!

To which someone retorted:

Acts tells us that Israel rejected Christ and the plan for their kingdom was put aside until a later date. That is still to be fulfilled as God cannot go back in His promises. We the body of Christ are not a continuation of Israel- we are part of the '
mystery hidden in God since before the foundation of the world'. We are a new creation under a new covenant. Yes Jew and gentile but not the Israel of old. We are the wild olive branches that have been grafted in to the tree at the expense of the natural. One day we are told that all branches will be restored and what a celebration then. Still though as christs body, we are not a spiritual Israel.

That view makes it sound like if all ethnic Israel had accepted Christ, the Gentiles wouldn't have been given the chance to get saved. 

But God promised Abraham before Israel was even born, that all nations would be blessed in his seed, which was Christ! Saving the nations wasn't an afterthought - that was the plan - all nations - without distinction - at the same time - including Israel which was born only after the Promise.

It's always been God's plan to save all who believe. Natural Israel came only generations after the Promise. They were the custodians of that Promise. But the Promise itself, which predated Israel and the Law, would be to all who believe. 

Jews who believed were true Jews - the Israel of God within Israel. Not all ethnic Jews were true Jews. The Promise didn't fail - but the true Israelis experienced it, by faith. Then afterwards Gentiles believed, and experienced the same Promised salvation. 

The Gospel of grace to Gentiles is not something different to the Gospel of the Kingdom proclaimed first to Jews - there is "no other Gospel" - only the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel of the grace of God.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ isn't something separate, something unforeseen by the Prophets - it is the very thing the Prophets foretold. It was a mystery in Old Testament times, because they didn't fully understand at the time how what they were prophesying about would all come together. But the Gospel-scheme fulfilled and explains it.

Gentile believers have been brought near, and made to participate along with true Jews who believed, in the commonwealth of the Israel of God - together called the Church, which is identified so precisely with Messianic Prophetic themes as to be called the "body of Christ (Messiah)". 

Natural branches, which were broken off, were already being grafted back in again, in the first century AD. Paul himself was an example. 

Paul said any Jew who turned from unbelief to God could still be grafted in, and that God was using the Gentiles' experience of salvation to provoke that very response from Jews. 

Paul was addressing a first-century misconception that God had closed the opportunity for Jews to be saved. His answer was that Jews could still be saved, just as Gentiles were being saved - that was a first-century reality - and still is. It's the very scenario which precisely fulfilled Prophecy, Paul said. 

It was in that manner - with that scenario - that the Prophecies which had said that "all Israel will be saved" were seeing their outworking. God hadn't permanently closed the door on a Jew. 

Salvation was procured for all - and offered to all - but not literally all have received it - but the true Israel, true Jews received it - then Gentiles were grafted-in to the same experience - and any Jew could still experience it, by only turning from unbelief to faith in Christ (all of these details had been foretold by the Prophets, even though its meaning was mysterious to them) - and this scenario will continue "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" - and then comes the end - and so (in that manner) the Old Testament Prophecies which had said that "all Israel will be saved" were seeing their outworking - the promise hadn't failed, nor had the door been closed on a Jew - (then all believers will enter in at the second coming, to the visible and eternally consummated Kingdom - the Kingdom-salvation scheme and message which has already been inaugurated by Messiah's first coming). Paul's explanation. 

Two problems with saying Israel's prophesied-salvation was instead delayed until the future:

1. If it's to be fulfilled in future, it implies a return to Levitical-style worship in future (because the Prophecies described Israel's salvation coming at a time when Israel would be carrying-out the Law). 

But returning to Levitical worship is logistically impossible, and not relevant this side of the cross. 

2. It would also place Jesus too early in history to be the Messiah, if Israel's salvation is still future. In which case our faith would be in vain. 

The revelation of the New Testament, mysterious in Old Testament times, is that Messiah would come twice. The first time to inaugurate the Kingdom-salvation of God - the second time to consummate it. And it would be received on the basis of faith - by Jews first, and also by Gentiles. That's the Gospel - of the Kingdom. "The Apostles' Doctrine" 1.0.1.

And it takes nothing away from modern Israelis - rather, it puts them in the best possible position, potentially. Because having fulfilled His promised scheme of salvation, God has never excluded Jews from it. 

Jews are on this side of promise and prophecy - not stuck back on the other side still waiting. 

Therefore at any time, any Jew can experience their promised salvation, just like Gentiles are experiencing it, and many Jews before him - by believing in Jesus, not by modern Judaism. 

That's not bad news - it's great news!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Not Antisemitic

If Old Testament Prophecies about Israel have now already been fulfilled, that's not antisemitic - it takes nothing away from modern Israelis - because once fulfilled, the promises were never revoked.

It puts modern Israelis in the best possible position potentially, because it means the Scriptures which contained the promises and prophecies about Israel served like articles of incorporation - articles of association - corporate charter - certificates of incorporation. Any Israeli can at any time therefore claim his rights and privileges.

Objective historical facts: God regathered Judah and Israel from Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, like the Prophets foretold. The Temple was rebuilt, and Levitical sacrifices were reinstated. In that historical setting, Messiah did come, as foreseen. He did make the New Covenant. He did inaugurate the promised Kingdom-salvation, through the way of the cross. Many Jews began experiencing it in power!

Israelis are on this side of promise and prophecy, not stuck back on the other side still waiting! And that door, once opened to Jews, has never since been closed to them - it's still open to any Israeli who turns from unbelief, and simply believes.

That's not bad new for Israelis - it's good news - and it's for all of us!

Isaiah 11 Aliyah

That was really nice seeing those Ethiopian Jews feeling so at home, arriving in Israel! 

(I also heard some black Jews think non-black Jews aren't real Jews at all. 

And I heard a report which claimed Israel some time back may have been wanting to discourage certain other blacks from staying in Israel at all.)

But about Isaiah's prophecy. When Isaiah prophesied that "the Lord shall set his hand again the second time" to bring Israelites out from the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:11), wasn't Isaiah comparing it with the first time God brought them out "as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt" (verse 16)?

Just as God had previously brought Israel out of Egypt - God would soon bring them out again, this time from many nations. And it happened! 

If so, then the primary application of Isaiah's prophecy was to the Jews' return from captivity - not to today's Aliyah.

Certain details in the chapter seem to place the timeframe in the past, rather than the present, if we take the details literally. For example:

If it was about the present, it would have to say "the third time" God will bring them out, not "the second time" (verse 11);

It mentioned nations which existed then, but no longer exist, such as "Assyria, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar and Hamath" (verse 11);

It distinguished between "Israel" and "Judah" (verse 12) - but that distinction ceased to exist after the return from captivity (as verse 13 said it would);

It mentioned the names of the nations which the Jews would defeat in their return, nations such as "the Philistines...Edom and Moab; and...Ammon" (verse 14) - each nations which no longer exist but which existed then;

It specifically mentioned the return from the Assyrian captivity (verse 16) - but it's impossible to prove the current Jewish Diaspora were descended from the Assyrian dispersion, it's more likely they descended from the later Roman dispersion, but we don't know.

If it's still future, then God's "holy mountain" in Jerusalem must once again become the required place of worship (verse 9). That would imply a return to Levitical worship in future - but Jesus pronounced that the time was coming and had already come when the true worshipers would no longer be required to worship in Jerusalem but in spirit and in truth. 

Each of those details was still relevant at the time of Israel's and Judah's return from Assyrian and Babylonian captivity - therefore the primary application of Isaiah's prophecy must have been to that return, not to today, because those details can't apply anymore, if we take the details literally.

But the most important detail of all, which seems to place the fulfilment in history past rather than in the future, Enoch could be:

"AND THERE shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots" (verse 1) -

JESUS. He was to come in that historical setting - "in that day" (verses 10 & 11). If the primary timeframe therefore of Isaiah's prophecy is still future, then so is the stem of Jesse, the Branch - it would mean Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah.

Those might be the Orthodox Jewish view of Prophecy, but it wasn't the Apostles' view. The Apostles' view was that God had faithfully fulfilled all of His promises to Israel, and now (in their day) God had also fulfilled His Promise to send Israel's Saviour - just like the Prophets said He would - in the precise setting and timeframe spoken by the Prophets).

The Apostles were eyewitnesses! God had brought Israel's (and the world's) salvation. It's called the GOSPEL. 

Of course there are also themes in Isaiah's prophecies which extend beyond generations, even into eternity. But we mustn't confuse those themes with details in the Prophecies which had a primary application in history and are therefore now dated. 

Objective events of history therefore serve to establish Isaiah's Prophecy as a case for the historical Jesus of Nazareth being Lord and Messiah. 

If so, how can we explain modern Israel? If Prophecy has already seen its primary fulfilment, that places modern Israel in the best possible position, potentially - because God never explicitly subsequently revoked His promises!

God can be trusted to continue to act faithfully towards modern Israel, seeing both Scripture and history have demonstrated His faithfulness to them by fulfilling Prophecy and promise in the past. 

So of course God is still happy for Jews to be settled in a homeland prospering within secured borders, same as He wishes that for all. 

We can use past actions of God as precedents, in a sense - but that's different to primary fulfilment. 

Israel is on this side of promise and prophecy, not still back on the other side. And it's never been revoked.

Therefore the door has always ever since and still is wide open to Jews...

...salvation through faith in Jesus, without the deeds of the Law (and certainly not through modern Judaism). 

Apostles' Doctrine 1.0.1 !


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Judah and Israel

I'm not sure about the idea that the northern tribes are 'lost' and still have to be restored. Where do they get that idea from?
I know Israel were taken captive by Assyria about a hundred years before Judah was taken captive by Babylon - but the Bible says all Israel returned.
By the time they returned, Assyria had already been annexed by Babylon, hadn't it? So Israel and Judah were likely already seen as simply Jews, across all 127 provinces from Ethiopia to India, wouldn't they?
And a Prophet had foretold that when they return, both sticks would from then on be one stick, no longer two separate nations.
The New Testament (in the Gospels) mentions people from other tribes back in the land, besides just Judah, Benjamin and Levi.
And Paul said all twelve tribes were serving God. So Paul evidently didn't see the northern tribes as 'lost'.
The Apostles stated that God had fulfilled all His promises to Israel.
See, if Israel's restoration is still future, it implies that Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah - because the same Prophecies stated that Messiah was to come to Israel at a time when Israel was already restored to their land.
Another problem is that it would imply Israel must return to Levitical-style worship in future - because the same Prophecies also described Levitical-style worship being reinstated at that time when Israel gets regathered to their land. But Levitical-style worship is no longer relevant or possible, this side of the cross.
But by understanding the Apostles' assertion that Israel's promises had been fulfilled - we have a Scriptural and historical case for saying Jesus is Messiah. It also eliminates the need for Judaism in our future.
And it's not antisemitic - because if God has fulfilled His promises to Israel, and has never since revoked it, then the sky is the limit for modern Israelis, just like for all nations...
...but only through Jesus, not Judaism.
That sounds like the Gospel!

The Gospel =

The Gospel =

Kingdom Now/Not Yet. 


First coming/Second Coming. 

Old things have passed away/the world will pass away.

All things are made new/we await the renewal of all things.

We've passed already from death to life/we await the future resurrection.

The prince of this world is judged/coming Day of judgment.

We are justified/we shall be saved from wrath.

We have eternal life/we shall inherit eternal life.

Christ in you/the hope of glory.

The time that spans in-between Messiah's first and second comings doesn't change anything: it's all part of the same Gospel/Kingdom scheme.

This is something brand new - unlike anything that was available under the Old Covenant law.

We therefore already live with a sense of fulfilment, even though we await its consummation.

This is the Gospel of the Kingdom - the Gospel of grace - the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. One Gospel!

The Apostles' doctrine.

Are the Northern Tribes 'Lost'?

I'm not sure about this idea that the northern tribes still have to be restored. 

The Bible says all Israel returned to the land.

I know Israel were taken captive by Assyria about a hundred years before Judah was taken captive by Babylon - but by the time they returned, Assyria had already been annexed by Babylon, hadn't it? So Israel and Judah were likely already seen as all one and the same people, by then: just as Jews. Spread across all 127 provinces, from Ethiopia to India!

The Prophets said that when they would return, both sticks would become one stick. That must have happened, both sticks must have returned, because the New Testament (in the Gospels) mentions people from other tribes besides just Judah, Benjamin and Levi, back in the land.

And Paul said all twelve tribes were serving God. He evidently didn't see them as 'lost' tribes.

The other thing is: if Israel's restoration is still future, it implies that Israel must worship through Judaism in future - because the Prophecies described the resumption of Levitical-style worship at that time. But that's not relevant this side of the cross.

It would also undermine our basis for asserting that Jesus is Messiah - because Messiah was to come when Israel had been restored. If Israel's restoration is still future, then Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah.

But by understanding that Israel's restoration had already happened by the time of Jesus, it establishes our case that Jesus is Messiah; and it eliminates the necessity for Levitical-style worship in our future.

It puts the focus right back where it should be - on the Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. And that's the whole purpose of prophetic Scripture - to point us to Jesus, not to Judaism.

Prophecy, History and Faith

The Prophets laid-out Israel's (now-past) history in advance, so that:

1. The Jews would have courage to believe for their restoration, after they would go into captivity; 

2. So they would understand their need beyond that, of a Saviour; and would have a basis for recognising Him when He came; and

3. For us who believe, to authenticate and assure us of our position with God through the Gospel - through a Scriptural and historical basis - through understanding Prophecy and its outcome in (now-past) history.

They Shall Look Upon Him Whom They Have Pierced

The Gospel of John said Zechariah's prophecy was already fulfilled:

JOHN 19:36,37
36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 
37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

God has already poured out a spirit of grace and supplication on Jerusalem - in fact, He has poured out of His own Spirit upon them! 

He has already opened the fountain, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. 

If that was not the case, no Jew has ever yet been saved! And if no Jew has ever yet been saved, then neither has any Gentile ever been saved - because Gentiles were to be grafted-in to the same vine (into the same promised-salvation), not into something different.

The risen, ascended and seated Lord has already been given all power in heaven and in earth, He said. 

It's just that they were not all 'Israel' who were natural descendants of Israel. A remnant would believe, the Prophets foresaw. Then afterwards Gentiles would be grafted-in to the same promise. 

And there is inauguration and consummation phases to the Kingdom. That was the Apostles' revelation - that there was to be a first and second coming of the Messiah. 

Kingdom Now/Not yet - but only the born-again shall see it!

The Kingdom-Scheme of the Gospel

Israel's promised Messianic Kingdom:
Has it been delayed? Or, has it been inaugurated already/though not yet consummated.
Is the Messianic Kingdom exclusively future, and peculiarly Jewish? Or, is the Kingdom-scheme to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, already.
Is the Gospel of grace entirely unrelated to the prophesied Kingdom? Or, is the foretold Messianic Kingdom fulfilled through the Gospel scheme of things.
(Gospel = Christ's first coming > the Church (Jew first, and Gentile) > Second Coming).
What effect might our concept of the Kingdom have, on our view of:
End times;
The place of the Law; and
Jesus as Messiah.

Kingdom - Delayed? or Already/Not Yet

Which of the following two concepts best fits your understanding of the Kingdom of God?

Of the Scriptures. Of Bible-Prophecy. Of history. Of the nature of the Kingdom promised to Israel? and to you?

1. Inauguration/Consummation; or
2. Delayed

Or perhaps we could ask the same question another way:

1. Is the Kingdom for all - even though Jews heard it first, the Kingdom is for all nations; or

2. Is the Kingdom spoken of in the Bible entirely still-future - something that must be peculiarly Jewish.


One concept is that Israel's promised-Kingdom - the subject of Bible-Prophecy - has been totally delayed until the future;
that the current Gospel of grace for Gentiles - the Church - is really only something else - something unforeseen - inserted only temporarily, while we wait for God to get back to His real interest: finally restoring the Kingdom to Israel. Finally fulfilling Kingdom-Prophecy.

The concept is that God will cease being focused on saving Gentiles at some future time, and will turn His focus instead to saving all Israel; which they say will involve...

...reinstating the Levitical system of worship - complete with priests, altar, Temple, sacrifices and pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feasts - and terrible curses on uncircumcised consumers of pork who fail to participate in the annual pilgrimage during a future age (with lifetime prohibitions on Canaanites). This, they say, is the real subject-matter of Bible-Prophecy regarding 'the Kingdom'.

It implies that the Gospel - the Church - is something else, something unforeseen and only temporary. Not the real subject of Kingdom-prophecy. Just an insertion.

That's the Kingdom 'delayed' concept.


Or do you instead understand the Kingdom - and history - with a concept of inauguration/consummation? Kingdom already/not yet. As follows:

God foretold the Gospel of Jesus ahead of time, when He promised Abraham (before Israel was born, before the Law was given) that in his seed (not seeds plural, but seed singular - which was Christ) all families of the earth (all nationalities, without distinction) would be blessed (justified, saved).

Later God chose the nation of Israel to be the custodians of that promise, until its time would come. Meanwhile he gave that nation a temporary Law, through Moses - foreshadowing principles of the real thing which was yet to come, which is Christ.

The Prophets foretold of the coming Kingdom, with themes like: Messiah's virgin birth, ministry, miracles, death, resurrection, and foresaw that not all would believe, but there would be a remnant of believing-Jews, and Gentiles also would come to faith; they foresaw the coming glory, judgment and new earth and heavens - but they didn't clearly understand it all, didn't understand that Messiah's coming and Kingdom would be in two phases.

The Apostles claimed that there had come, in history, the fulfilment of God's promises to Israel; and that there had now come - in their time - the fulfilment of the Kingdom-scheme: in two phases, two comings of Messiah:

They didn't know how much time will span between the two phases of Messiah's coming - and it doesn't matter, because it's all part of the same Messianic Kingdom-scheme.

They were eyewitnesses, and they were the first to clearly grasp, after Jesus' resurrection, that the King - the Messiah - had truly come among them, in the Person of Jesus Christ;

That the Kingdom of God had indeed come among them;

That Messiah had to die and rise again, and be seated in heaven, until the last Day when He will come again and death will finally be destroyed;

That the promised new covenant, salvation, resurrection-life, justification, blessing, Promise of the Spirit, Kingdom-life was inaugurated already, by the cross;

That faith in Jesus, and grace - not the deeds of the Law - was the basis upon which Jews could experience their promised Kingdom-salvation;

That widespread unbelief in Israel didn't mean their Promised Kingdom-scheme had failed, because the Prophets foresaw that a remnant of Jews would believe - true Jews, the Israel of God;

That Gentiles later came to experience the very same Kingdom-salvation, as prophesied;

That an unbelieving Jew could still be saved, by turning from unbelief - since God never revoked the Jews' privilege of participating in God's righteousness;

That all believers - regardless of ethnicity, and without the deeds of the Law - the Church - are the body of Messiah - that is, they are the group which is experiencing the very fulfilment of the Messianic promises of Abraham, and the Prophets; and

That this scenario will continue until the end -

That this is the precise way in which Israel's promised salvation was seeing its fulfilment; as predicted...

...and then Jesus will come; the Kingdom will come - for Israel, certainly - that is, for believing Israelites, for Jews who were true Jews, by believing in Jesus...

...but the Kingdom will come not only for Jews, but for all who believe...

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God, Jesus said to a ruler of the Jews.

Only righteousness will dwell in the new earth and heaven.

In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, but we are all one in Christ Jesus.

All nations justified (blessed) in Jesus - by grace, through faith in Jesus (Abraham's seed) - regardless of ethnicity, and without the deeds of the Law.

Thus fulfilling all the promises, principles and prophecies given by God since the world began.

Kingdom now/not yet.

Inaugurated already/soon to be consummated

First coming/second coming.

In Christ!

A new way. The only way.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Apostles' doctrine.

It's all about JESUS!