The Coming Kingdom
2-15-17 Isaiah 9:6-7 Lesson 7
Let’s take out Bibles if we could and open them to 2 Peter, chapter 1, and around verse 19. For those of you that are visiting or are here for the first time we’re doing a study through the kingdom, what does the Bible say about the kingdom And it’s a synthetic study, really of the whole Bible because the kingdom is really the dominant theme, probably of the whole Bible. So the first major section that we’re looking at is what does the Bible say about the kingdom. And essentially what we’re doing is we’re starting in Genesis and going all the way through Revelation to try to develop a biblical understanding of the kingdom of God.
And then in the later parts of the study, as we get to them, we’re going to talk about why this matters, but we’re doing the hard part first, what does the Bible actually say about the subject of the kingdom. And to really get an understanding of the kingdom it requires a bus ride that has about seventeen stops on it. We’re up to stop number six tonight. But the first stop was the Garden of Eden where God established the kingdom through Adam. So God’s design was to govern a man, Adam, and he was to govern creation for God, actually God governed Adam and Eve and they governed creation for God. And when our forbearers stopped governing the animals but listening to the animals, in particular a talking snake, that’s where the kingdom disappeared from the earth. And Satan at that point became the god of this age. So the goal of history is how that kingdom that was established in Eden gets restored.
And from there we moved to God’s covenant with Abraham because it’s there we learn that God set aside a particular nation, the nation of Israel, and He promised them three blessings, land, seed and blessing. And at this point the nation of Israel was given ownership of those three blessings. The third stop on the trip is the Mosaic Covenant, and this takes us from the time of Abraham into the time of Moses and it’s there that we have an if/then language and another covenant that was made about six centuries after the Abrahamic Covenant was made. The Mosaic Covenant was also made with the Jewish people and that covenant didn’t give Israel ownership of her blessings but it spelled out the condition by which she would possess or enjoy her blessings.
And as we’ve studied the Mosaic Covenant the whole covenant points ultimately towards who? Jesus! Deuteronomy 17:15 indicates that the nation is to enthrone the king of God’s choosing. [Deuteronomy 17:15, “you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.”]
And we know from the New Testament that that king was Jesus, that’s why Jesus in John 5 said that when you read you read Moses you should read about Me for he spoke of Me. [ John 5:46, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.”] And really that’s what’s holding up the whole kingdom program, because once Israel complies with the Mosaic Covenant she is no longer just the owner but the possessor and once she is both owner and possessor what comes to the earth? The kingdom. So that’s the contribution of the Mosaic Covenant. And there has never arisen a generation within Israel that has acknowledged Jesus as her Messiah, so until that happens the kingdom remains, not in a state of cancellation but in postponement.
And then from there we moved into the divided kingdom which took place after the reign of Solomon who was the third king of the united kingdom, and because of his sins involving polygamy and all kinds of things that he was involved in, God divided the nation of Israel in two; so you have the ten northern tribes that take on the name Israel and then you have the two southern tribes that take on the name Judah. Now of those two groups which is the more significant? Judah, down south. Why is that? Because the Davidic Covenant governs Davidic kings which reigned in the south and beyond that we know that the Messiah, when He comes is going to come from which tribe? Judah, Genesis 49:10 says that. [Genesis 49:10, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”] So the north is scattered by the Assyrians about 722 B.C. and only tiny Judah remains, and that’s why she becomes the focus. And around 586 she is actually removed from her land and taken to Babylon for seventy years of captivity.
And then that takes us to the fifth stop on the bus which is the beginning of a time period called the times of the Gentiles; this is actually what we’ve been studying on Sunday mornings with the prophet Daniel. And this is where God reveals through Daniel that the kingdom is not going to come until various Gentile powers run their course. So the times of the Gentiles is really the period of time when the nation of Israel has no king reigning on David’s throne. The last king that reigned on David’s throne was Zedekiah and he was deposed of by Nebuchadnezzar and that started the times of the Gentiles.
And the times of the Gentiles goes through all of the Gentile powers and the last one will be the antichrist’s empire, and only after that future antichrist empire runs its course will the kingdom which Daniel describes as a “stone cut without human hands,” only after that period of time will that kingdom be established on the earth. [Daniel 2:45, “Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”]
So each little stop on the trip here reveals a little something different about the kingdom. And in number 5 we learn that the kingdom is not going to be established on the earth until the times of the Gentiles run their course. So the Old Testament is revealing information, not just about what the kingdom is but when it’s going to be established.
And this takes us to number six and this is what we started talking about last time, the ministry of the Old Testament prophets. That’s why I had you open to 2 Peter 1:19, Peter, obviously Jewish, most believe he was writing to Hebrews Christians in 2 Peter, since he was the apostle to the Jews. And he says this: “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” And because of the kingdom’s postponement God began to, in Old Testament times, raise up prophets and these prophets had a lot of different functions or tasks but one of their tasks was to give a picture of what the kingdom is going to be like. So once the kingdom is established at the end of the times of the Gentiles, through the return of Jesus Christ, we start to get a very graphic depiction or picture of what this kingdom actually is. So we’re not left to our own imagination as to what the kingdom is. The prophets begin to spell it out in great detail.
And Peter explains that’s what gives us hope in an age where the kingdom is in postponement and Satan is running the world, the prophets remind us that the world system as it exists today with Satan in charge of it is just temporary and the day is coming where Satan will be bound and the kingdom of God will break forth on the earth, not before the Second Advent but after the Second Advent. So the prophets function like a light “shining in a dark place” and Peter says we would do well to pay attention to them.
That raises an interesting question, what do the Old Testament prophets say about the kingdom. And you might remember that I started off with just three Old Testament prophecies; one is in Isaiah 2:1-4, another one is in Isaiah 11:6-9, and another one is in Isaiah 65:17-25. And if you were just to read those three units of Christian you would start to develop an understanding of what the kingdom is like. It will be a time period when Jerusalem will be the center of the world and in political authority. It will be a time period of perfect justice and world peace, even peace in the animal kingdom . And the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. ——————————————————————————————————————–
Isaiah 2:1-2, “The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.  And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.”
Isaiah 11:6-9, “And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them.  Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.  The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.  They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
Isaiah 65:17-25, “Isaiah For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness.  I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying.  No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.  They will build houses and inhabit them; they will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  [22[ They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat; for as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, and My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.  They will not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, and their descendants with them.  It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD.”] ——————————————————————————————————————————-
And from there I took you to a list of about 14 attributes of the kingdom as described by the prophet. And rest assured I had to pare down this information dramatically because if you really get into what the prophets reveal about the kingdom it’s just an exhaustive study, it’d take your whole live to get your arms wrapped around it so I’ve just made a list of about 14.
We saw that the kingdom is going to be established by God, Daniel 2:44. [Daniel 2:44, “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.”]
It’s going to be eternal, Daniel 7:27. [Daniel 7:27, “Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’”]
It’s a time period where Jesus is not in heaven but He’s on this earth directly ruling and reigning. Zechariah 9:9-10. [Zechariah 9:9-10, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.”]
It’s very earthly, the kingdom is, Zechariah 14:9. [Zechariah 14:9, “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.”]It consists of God’s plans for planet earth so it’s not a thing where people are off in heaven with halos and wearing white sheets and strumming harps and singing the Hallelujah chorus ten thousand times. It’s very earthly the way it’s described. And it’s a time period where God fulfills His land promises to the nation of Israel, Genesis 15. It’s a time when the nation of Israel is head again over the nations, Isaiah 49. And where we left off last time it’s a time period where there’s actually going to be a functioning millennial temple.
So this takes us to number 8 and what I’d like to do tonight, as time allows, is just finish this list, numbers 8-14. You’ll find all this organized in chapter 6 of the book that I wrote but it’s all from the Scripture. And as we go through points 8-14 here you’ll start to see more and more information develop about the kingdom. So number 8, and I think someone asked me this during the Q and A time last time so we can get back to that if you want, if I don’t get your question answered, when we do Q and A. But the kingdom is a time where David is going to be resurrected, and he’s going to rule and reign. So notice Jeremiah 30:9, this is a millennial passage and Jeremiah says, “’But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.”
Now this is not the only place where the millennial David is spoken of. You’ll find it in Hosea 3:5, Isaiah 55:3-4, and then twice in Ezekiel, Ezekiel 34:23 and Ezekiel 37:24.
[Hosea 3:5, “Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.” Isaiah 55:3-4, “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David.  Behold, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.” Ezekiel 34:23, “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.” Ezekiel 37:24, “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them.”]
And people say what does it mean there when it says “David, their king, whom I will raise up for them,” what does that mean? What I think it mean is David, their king, whom I will raise up for them,” in other words, David means David in my mind. David is actually going to be resurrected and he’s going to be assigned a place of authority in the millennial kingdom.
Now most commentators won’t say that, they’ll say oh come on, David is just a reference to Jesus, it’s just speaking of David’s greater son, Jesus; you can’t take that to mean the literal David. The problem I have with that view (that I just articulated) is when Jesus is described through the reference to David, David’s greater son, there’s always a qualifier put in. Sometimes Jesus is called the root of Jesse, David’s father, the branch of David, the son of David, the seed of David, and that’s why there are references to Jesus in the prophets related to David. But when it’s talking about Jesus there’s a qualifying phrase inserted. What does Jeremiah 30:9 say? It doesn’t say here the root of David, the branch of David, the seed of David, it just says David. [Jeremiah 30:9 “’But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.”
So I’m sort of the type that wants to let the Bible say what it wants to say, and I don’t have any problem with a resurrected David. And the reason I don’t have any problem with the resurrected David is when you study the resurrection program what you discover is that the Old Testament saints are going to be resurrected, physically and literally, at the beginning of the millennial kingdom. You’ll see a reference to that in Revelation 20:4-5. [Revelation 20:4-5, “Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.”]
So if the Old Testament saints are going to be resurrected at the beginning of the millennial kingdom wouldn’t one of those Old Testament saints be who? David. So why can’t David be ruling Israel? The way I understand it is it’ll be a coregency, David will be governing Israel under the authority of Jesus Christ; Jesus will be over David but Jesus will be governing the whole earth.
I guess I’m a literalist in that way. John Walvoord took the prophecy that way, my professor, Charlie Dyer took it that way, I know some of you are students of Arnold Fruchtenbaum and he takes the passage that way, in a literal sense.
A ninth characteristic of the millennial kingdom is it’s going to be characterized by perfect righteousness. And notice, if you will, Isaiah 9:6-7. It says, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders…,” and then it goes on, it says,  “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, or the throne of David over his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” So it’ll be a time period where justice will be administered perfectly over the earth, so there won’t be any miscarriages of justice and things of that nature that we see today.
So you’re talking about a righteous reign. Now why will it be a righteous reign. Why will righteousness characterize the millennial kingdom? I have five fast reasons. Number 1, the New Covenant will be in full effect. Remember the land, seed and blessing? The blessing is amplified in which covenant? The New Covenant; remember we studied that New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34. It’s a time period where God is going to take His laws and put them where? Into the actual hearts of the Jewish people. So they are not going to be externally looking at an outside source of laws that they have to obey, like the Ten Commandments. They’re going to have an internal compulsion to obey Him. So this is the regeneration, if you will, of the nation of Israel.
And beyond that the earth at this time will be completely filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Isaiah 11:9 says, “For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.” So it won’t be a time period when God’s Word is inaccessible or outlawed, or illegal or kept in secret. The knowledge of the Lord covers the whole earth.
And also as I mentioned before the Old Testament saints are going to be resurrected at this particular time, Daniel 12:2 and other passages seem to indicate that. [Daniel 12:2, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”] And there are those who will survive the great tribulation period. The great tribulation period is something that precedes the kingdom; the great tribulation period precedes the return of Jesus. And there are people that actually survive the great tribulation period but guess what? You can’t get into the kingdom unless you’re a believer and that’s what the great sheep and goat judgment is describing in Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus returns, He sits on David’s throne, He gathers the nations before Him and as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats Jesus separates believers from unbelievers. The goats (or unbelievers) are cast off the earth into Hades and only the sheep enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies.
[Matthew 25:31-46, ““But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;  and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’  Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;  for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;  I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’  Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’  Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”]
So as I tried to describe last time there’s actually two groups of people in the kingdom, resurrected individuals and then those who enter the kingdom and repopulate the earth in mortal bodies, but the only people that enter the kingdom are believers. And you’ll find references to that, even in the Old Testament, in passages like Ezekiel 20:33-38, that’s the judgment in the wilderness where you have to pass under the shepherd’s rod to enter the kingdom. [Ezekiel 20:33-38, “ As I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you.  I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out;  and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.  As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” declares the Lord GOD.  “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;  and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.”]
Now this is for people that survive the tribulation period and unbelieving Israel will be cut off in the tribulation period; only believing Israel will remain. And that’s why Zechariah 13:8 says, “The two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it,  And I will bring the third part through the fire” that’s the tribulation  Refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”
So that passage, Ezekiel 20, the sheep and the goat judgment, all indicate that the only people, mortals, that are getting into the kingdom are believers. So the kingdom starts with all believers. Now it doesn’t end up that way because the earth is repopulated through these surviving mortal believers but what gets passed down through the bloodline or the genetics? The sin nature. So how does Jesus keep these sinners under control? Well, He rules with a rod of iron and you’ll see references to that in places like Psalm 2:6-9, [Psalm 2:6-9, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.  I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.  ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.  ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”]
There still is a sin nature in people in the millennial kingdom, not amongst the resurrected but the mortals. Ezekiel 45:22 indicates a sin nature in people. Zechariah 14:16-18 that we read last time indicates a sin nature in people. [Ezekiel 45:22, “On that day the prince shall provide for himself and all the people of the land a bull for a sin offering.” Zechariah 14:16-18, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.  And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.  If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”]
There still is a sin nature in people. So how does Jesus keep these rebels in check? He’s ruling with a rod of iron. That’s why Psalm 2:8 says “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”] So the righteous rod of iron is necessary to keep the sin nature in check during the millennial kingdom. And you put all of these five things together and that’s what creates righteousness for a thousand years.
Now what a lot of people do with these kingdom prophecies, as I mentioned before, is they just drag them into the far right hand side of the screen there, to the eternal state and they try to say all these kingdom passages are just going to be fulfilled in the eternal state which is Revelation 21 and 22. But that dog won’t hunt, will it? The reason I say that is because in the eternal state is there any sin involved necessitating ruling with a rod of iron. There’s no need for Jesus to rule with a rod of iron in the eternal state because there’s no sin in the eternal state. See that? Revelation 21:8 makes that very clear. [Revelation 21:8, “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”]
But there is a sin nature still present in the millennial kingdom making the rod of iron rule of Christ necessary. That’s why today could not be the kingdom, because if you step out of line in the kingdom you’re immediately judged. Now does that happen today in your life when you step out of line? We can go through long seasons of rebellion and sin and sometimes God is very gracious with us, postponing discipline. But it won’t be that way in the kingdom. You step out of line, pow, immediate retaliation.
Zechariah 14:16-18 talks about people that won’t want to go to Jerusalem to worship Christ during the Feast of Booths and Jesus immediately deals with them by withholding from them rain or moisture that they need for their crops. [Zechariah 14:16, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.  And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.  If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”]
And that’s why when there’s a rebellion at the end of the millennial kingdom that John describes it describes that rebellion immediately being quelled as fire comes down from heaven just like that and destroys the adversaries. So the kingdom is characterized by this rod of iron rule of Christ which is not something that we see present today. So we can’t just convert these willy-nilly into eternal state passages the way many people do.
And number ten on our list, the kingdom is a time period when the curse that’s on nature itself is curtailed. It’s not totally eradicated because the sin nature is still there in people but the curse is rolled back to a very significant extent. And you say what curse are your talking about? Well the curse I’m talking about is the curse that the Bible talks about that was put on the earth in Genesis 3 because of our forebears and their sin against God. And the moment they sinned against God then Genesis 3, God imposed judgments immediately. The serpent sinned first so God spoke two judgments on the serpent. The woman sinned second so God spoke two judgments on the woman. The man sinned third so God spoke two judgments on the man.
So to the serpent his body was changed and he had to crawl on his belly and he was also told that there’s coming one from the seed of the woman, who’s going to crush his head, and that’s the first Messianic prophecy given in the whole Bible, called the protoevangelium, a very famous passage, Genesis 3:15. [Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel,”
And then God spoke two things to the woman, her childbearing would be painful, and also Genesis 3;16, I don’t really have time to develop it, but it talks about a relational conflict that’s going to exist between men and women, particularly within marriage. So what’s going to happen is the woman is going to have an ambition to usurp the place of headship in marriage, which belongs to the man, which is the beginning of feminism. The man is not going to like it, he’s going to resent that and he’s going to trample down the woman, which is the beginning of chauvinism. So people come into the office and they say we’re having marital conflict and my response is well of course you’re having marital conflict, the Bible says you have marital conflict. It’s not the way God designed it, but this is the repercussions of the fall.
And then God spoke two things to the man in Genesis 3:17-19, He said you’re going to have to work by the sweat of your brow so you can’t work for pleasure any longer, or luxury, you’re going to have to work to survive because you rebelled against Me and now the ground itself is rebelling against you, and one of these days you’re going to die because from dust you are, to dust you shall return. [Genesis 3:17-19, “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field;  By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”]
So this is the fallen world that we’re living in with these six judgments; we’re living with them today and yet the kingdom really is a time period when the curse that we read about in Genesis 3 is rolled back. Romans 8:20-22 personifies creation as groaning.
It’s a personification, it’s not a literal groaning but it’s a personification that the earth is in a state of travail or in a state of groaning, and the reason that the earth is in a state of travail or in a state of groaning is because of original sin. So Romans 8 puts it this way: ““For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” So that’s why we’re looking forward to this kingdom because once the kingdom comes this curse that we’re all living under starts to get rolled back. It’s not permanently eradicated till the eternal state but it’s curtailed or rolled back to some extent.
So if you look at Isaiah 65:20, it’s a very interesting passage, it says of the kingdom, “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die” now why do people die? Because of what happened in Genesis 3, “for the youth will die at the age of one hundred” see that, “and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred will be thought accursed.”
So the kingdom is a time period where death is still a reality but people’ lifespans are dramatically expanded to the point where if somebody dies when they’re a hundred everybody is going to say how sad it is for such a young man to die. So you see how the curse is still there, the ramifications of the curse is still there but it’s dramatically curtailed or rolled back.
Isaiah 65:22 says, “… for as the lifetime of a tree,” think how long a tree lives, through multiple generations of humans today, “for as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, and My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.” So you buy a house or you build a house and before your lifespan is over the house dissolves and you’re still there because lifespans are dramatically elongated during the kingdom.
So it’s sort of like how it was prior to the flood where Adam lived 930 years, Genesis 5:5; Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible, Genesis 5:27, lived 969 years. [Genesis 5:5, “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.” Genesis 5:27, “So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.”]
Now are those things happening today? No, Moses says in Psalm 90:10, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years,” so if you make it to age seventy and die I guess that’s sort of normal, but if you make it to age eighty today you’re really fortunate. Well, in the kingdom if someone dies at the age of one hundred even they look at it as just a young man that died. So notice death is still there but the curse has been rolled back or watered down to some extent. Now can this be talking about the eternal state? No, because what doesn’t exist in the eternal state? There’s no such thing as death. Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; [there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”] So this is not an eternal state passage; this is a kingdom passage which precedes the eternal state but it takes place after the Second Advent of Jesus.
The kingdom is also going to be characterized by peace. Notice Isaiah 2:4, it says, “And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.” Isaiah 9:6-7, particularly verse 7 of the kingdom says, “There will be no end to the increase of His government of peace.” [Isaiah 9:6-7, “And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”]
And so profound will this peace be that even the natural warfare between man and animals, and animals and animals, is called off. Isaiah 11:8 says, “The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the cobra’s den.” Think about how afraid we are when a child sticks their hand into a cobra’s den and yet in the kingdom that’s normal because there’s no longer any warfare between animals and humans.
And then even between the animals it says in Isaiah 65:25, “The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; [and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,’ says the LORD.”] So the animals, as I understand it, are no longer carnivorous in the kingdom; neither are people, except for maybe the animal sacrifices that we talked about last time but it seems to me like it goes right back to Eden where it says in Genesis 1:29-30, “Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;  and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so.”
See, originally there was no death so everything was herbivorous, not a meat-eater, carnivorous. So when it talks about “the lion will eat straw like the ox” to me it’s as if the animals are changed back to their herbivorous tendencies, no longer carnivorous. In fact, the animals really didn’t even become carnivorous in the Bible until the days of Noah, after the flood. You’ll see a switch in Genesis 9:3 where it says, “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” So the carnivorous aspect of man and animals changes after the flood, but that’s not God’s original design, and it’s moved away from being carnivorous back to herbivorous, it seems to me in the kingdom age. And this sort of contributes to the peace that will exist on planet earth between man and animals.
Amon 9:15 of Israel says, “‘I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,’ Says the LORD your God.” Ezekiel 34:25 says, “I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” So it talks about the nation of Israel entering a time of peace. Obviously that’s not today. Those green nations represent Islamic nations and that little tiny dot, which is about the size of New Jersey, that speck of a country, is the nation of Israel, fighting for its very survival in a sea of Islamic dictatorships and theocracies that are always threatening to drive Israel into the sea. So obviously the kingdom will be very different because she will be in her land, never again uprooted, always secure, never afraid, and so forth.
If you visit the United Nations in New York City what you’ll discover is Isaiah 2:4 is actually inscribed on United Nations property, about how they’re going to beat their swords into plowshares, and I can guarantee you this much, it’s not going to be the United Nations that’s going to bring in this peace. This is peace that only can be brought in by God Himself. And so when the United Nations takes Isaiah 2:4 and inscribes it on their own property you have to understand that they are taking a prerogative that only the Messiah can bring in, and placing it on their own shoulders. They’re assuming a messianic prerogative when they make that type of statement, and of course, as you study the United Nations there have been more wars after the advent of the United Nations than before. So obviously looking at the history of the United Nations we know that they will not bring in this peace; these are things that only can be brought in by Jesus Christ Himself.
So that’s why we are premillennial, meaning that first Jesus comes back, then the kingdom follows; pre meaning before, millennium meaning kingdom. If I was an amillennial teacher or a postmillennial teacher I’d be teaching that we’re going to bring these things about through our human power, through social engagement and the spread of the gospel and all of these kinds of things and I’m not amillennial or postmillennial, I’m premillennial. So I’m giving you a premillennial presentation of this information.
The kingdom is also going to be a time of tremendous prosperity. Prosperity is going to break out all over the world. Amos 9:13 says, “‘Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; when the mountains will drip sweet wine and all the hills will be dissolved.  Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit.”
Isaiah 65:22 says, “They will not build and another inhabit, they will not plant and another eat; [For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, and My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.]” So it’s a time period of perfect social justice in the sense that what you make you keep, whereas under models of socialism or Marxism it’s the opposite. The doctrine of socialism says you work, I eat, and that’s not really social justice; why should my labor go to someone that didn’t earn it. Well in the kingdom it’s the opposite, you are actually retaining and keeping whatever your energy creates. And a lot of people don’t know this but did you know what George Washington’s favorite Bible verse is. I have it here on page 48, page 48 and 49 I quote Lillback and Newcombe who are historians of George Washington and they say probably George Washington’s favorite Biblical allusion referred to each sitting under his own fig tree. Washington used this phrase more than forty times in his writings; it comes from Micah 4:4 which says, “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.” So these biographers say he (that’s Washington) saw the new nation and especially his own Mount Vernon places where each citizen, including himself could enjoy the fruit of his own labor without fear of government intrusion.
So George Washington’s vision for America, his limited vision for America made him gravitate towards Micah 4:4. But we know that America, as great as she is, is not the fulfillment of Micah 4:4. That’s a prophecy and a promise that only can be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom. But prosperity is going to break out all over the world; you aren’t going to have layoffs, you’re not going to have economic downturns, you’re not going to have job insecurity, there’s not going to be the fear of inflation, the fear of social security running out, all of these economic fears that we live with today (those are all things of the past) where prosperity is the norm.
And number 13, the kingdom is going to be characterized by tremendous changes in the weather and the geology, geography, and really the topography. Let me give you some examples. The kingdom will be characterized by abundant rainfall, Ezekiel 34:26 says, “[I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing.] And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing.” Beyond that water, or waters I really should say, is going to break forth in places where it never existed, in desert places, in arid places. Isaiah 35:6-7 says, “…For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah.” Which is a desert area. “The scorched land will become a pool and the thirsty ground springs of water….” And one of the most interesting passages in the entire Bible, to my mind, we don’t have time to read it all, is Ezekiel 47:1-12 where it pictures the Dead Sea coming back to life.
[Ezekiel 47:1-12, “Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.  He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.  When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.  Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.  Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded.  He said to me, ‘Son of man, have you seen this?’ Then he brought me back to the bank of the river.  Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other.  Then he said to me, ‘These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh.  It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.  And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many.  But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.  By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”]
We spoke last time about the millennial temple and what Ezekiel 47:1-12 talks about is water is going to actually flow out of the millennial temple in Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. When you look at a map the city of Jerusalem where the temple will be functioning is not far from the Dead Sea, and that will actually flow into the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea is going to team with life, biological life, fish life, and you can read all about this in Ezekiel 47:1-12.
Now why do we call the Dead Sea the “Dead Sea”? Because everything in the sea is dead because of the high salt content. And it’s not like the Sea of Galilee which is up north, which has an outlet. The Dead Sea only takes in and if you just take in it creates this high salt content which leads to death and so there is no life in the Dead Sea. And that’s why when you go to Israel… and I say “when” you to go Israel because you’re going to get there one way or the other, you’re going to be ruling there for a thousand year so I suggest you go over now on a trip and kind of get the lay of the land a little bit. I’m working on, I haven’t announced this yet, but I guess I’ll announce it now, I’m trying to work out a SLBC Israel trip at some point, would you guys like to do that? Okay, we’ll see what we can do. But here’s my wife and myself floating in the Dead Sea. Now the Dead Sea, because of its high salt content even held me up, I’m close to 300 pounds (sadly). So all these people out there, they’re not standing on the ground, they’re floating. So you see my feet, you see my wife’s feet there. Here’s another picture.
Now this how I know we’re not in the kingdom because if we were in the kingdom I wouldn’t be floating in the Dead Sea, I’d be sinking and there would be biological life in the Dead Sea. So it’s talking about a profound topographical change which has really never transpired in human history.
Now people say well, let’s just make these prophecies the eternal state. Well that dog won’t hunt. Why is that? Because Revelation 21:1 of the eternal state, says “there is no longer any” what? “sea.” [Revelation 21:1, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”] We’re not going to have sea or oceans in the eternal state but they will exist in the millennial kingdom. And one of those seas will be the Dead Sea, for a thousand years, which according to Ezekiel’s prophecies is actually going to come back to biological life.
And the sun, there’s my chart that I’ve been referring to throughout, I’ve got millennial passages in the left hand column and eternal state passages in the right hand column. And I’m trying to show how these passages don’t fit the eternal state. Over and over again the description doesn’t fit the way John describes the eternal state so there has to be an intermediary thousand year kingdom on planet earth for all of these prophecies to be fulfilled and literal interpretation drives you in this direction. Now if you don’t want to interpret these prophecies literally then you can make them fulfilled any way you want, today, the eternal state. But the problem is all of the prophecies related to Christ’s first coming were fulfilled literally, weren’t they? He was literally born in Bethlehem; his hands and feet were literally pierced, He was literally born of a virgin, I could just rattle off prophecy after prophecy that was fulfilled. So why would the Holy Spirit switch horses in mid-stream and say all of the Second Coming prophecies are non-literal. That’s a very inconsistent method of interpretation.
So once you make a decision as a Bible reader that you’re not just going to take prophecies literally whenever you can, that you’re going to be consistently literal… the word “consistent” is very important, that it pushes you in this direction of the eschatological model or belief system that I’m presenting.
Another topographical chance is the sun, now I’m not talking about the S-o-n son, I’m talking about the s-u-n sun. The sun is going to be seven times brighter than it is right now. Isaiah 30:26 says the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun. [Isaiah 30:26, “The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the LORD binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted.”] In other words, the brightness of today’s sun will be exhibited by the millennial moon. And then it says, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter.
And when I say stuff like this I have all these scientists telling me it can’t happen or raising all of these problems and my answer is well, I’m not a scientist but I think God’s got it under control. I mean, science tells us it’s impossible for me to live in their 900’s, doesn’t it, yet the Bible tells us that there’s a time in which they did into their 900’s. Scientists also tell us that men don’t rise from the dead, so if I’m going to follow what science is telling me I can’t even be a Christian because the whole belief system of Christianity is the bodily resurrection of Christ; that’s what gives us hope. And a lot of the things… at the end of 1 Timothy 6 it talks about things that are falsely called science. A lot of things, to my mind that are handed off today as science are really person’s philosophies in disguise. I mean, science has to conform to the scientific method, which it means it has to be observable, testable and repeatable. It’s like the law of gravity, we can test it, right? Objects fall at 32 feet per second.
When you’re talking about something that happens in the ancient past that no one was there to see that’s not science any more. When you’re talking about things that are yet future that I’m not there to observe or test that’s not science any more. That’s what you would call philosophical presuppositionalism. Anyway, that’s another sermon for another day.
So the sun is going to be seven times brighter than it is now. Now people say let’s just make that one, Isaiah 30:26, let’s make that be the eternal state, just drag it on over to Revelation 21:22. Well, as I’ve said before, that dog won’t what? Won’t hunt, because in the eternal state there is no sun, s-u-n, because what illuminates the eternal state? Not the sun (s-u-n) but the Son (S-o-n). Revelation 21:23 says, “And the city has no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they should shine in it….” In Isaiah 30:26 I just read to you a prophecy about the sun and the moon. So this doesn’t fit the eternal state. “And the city has no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they should shine on it, for the glory of the Lord has illuminated it and its lamp is the Lamb.”
Revelation 22:5 of the eternal state says “…they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illuminate them; and they will reign forever and ever.” So it’s a time of tremendous changes in the topography.
It’s also a time period when everybody’s diseases are healed. Won’t that be nice. Have you seen our prayer sheet, all of the sick and ill and surgeries and cancer and all of these terrible things? Isaiah 35:5-6 of the kingdom says, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.  Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.” Any disease in the body is taken away in the kingdom age.
And finally, number 14, it will be a time period when everybody’s prayers are immediately answered. It says in Isaiah 65:24, “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Now why is that? Because we’re all conformed to the righteous standards of God during the millennial kingdom. And so we don’t ask for prayers for self-serving reasons. Do you know the book of James tells us, “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not” what? “ask.” And “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,” see that? “so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
So many times we struggle with the Lord in prayer because it doesn’t seem like our prayer requests are being answered. And that won’t be the case at all in the Kingdom; in fact it says before you even speak the answer by God will be supplied.
So you can start to see why Jesus said we ought to pray “Thy kingdom come.” It’s established by God, it’s eternal, it’s the direct rule of Christ. It’s earthly, Israel’s land promises are realized. Israel is preeminent. There will be a functioning millennial temple. There will be a millennial “David.” It’ll be an era of perfect righteousness, the curse will be curtailed, there will be peace all over the world, prosperity all over the world, tremendous topographical changes all over the world, and immediate answers to prayer.
And this is why God, going all the way back to the days of Noah, said He cannot allow the earth to go out of existence until these prophecies are fulfilled. Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” So God is not going to allow this planet to go out of existence because He’s got to fulfill His Word specifically on this earth in the millennial kingdom.
Now if these prophecies are not happening today… do you think they’re happening today. Did you see this quote on page 50 that I have from doctors Quine and Toussaint? They write: “Why focus on the coming kingdom while many believers today in the present age today are overwhelmed by the millions of people who are killed by civil warfare, Aids, malaria and famine. Why be concerned about the coming kingdom when 250,000 lives were lost in a single day in the tsunami of December 2004 when the world faces the threat of the pandemic Asian bird flu, when the lives of many people are lost in hurricanes and people are dying in wars and terrorists attacks. True, the world has been beset by sin, wars and disease ever since Adam’s sin. This is man’s day and Satan is the god of this age. The conclusion is obvious. This is not the promised kingdom. Jesus is not now exercising absolute regal authority. However, someday the world will be blessed by the fulfillment of His Davidic inheritance. May that day come soon.” [No, Not Yet: The Contingency Of God’s Promised Kingdom, Stanley D. Toussaint, Jay A. Quine]
Amen to that. So the kingdom promises are not being fulfilled today and I tried to painstakingly show you they are not going to be fulfilled in the eternal state either. The only place they fit is in that thousand year period which takes place after Jesus returns. And there are people today, and I’m getting ready to wrap up here but I just want to show you a few quotes. There are people today that tells us that our belief, premillennialism, comes from only on text of the Bible. They say the only support you have for your doctrine is Revelation 20 which indicates that the kingdom will be a thousand years.
So here’s Berkoff, a well-known amillennialist, he says, “The only scriptural basis for this theory, premillennialism, is Revelation 20:1-6. After an Old Testament content has been poured into it. Now we just went through myriads of verses, didn’t we? Did I make a single reference to Revelation 20? I don’t think I even referred to Revelation once. Our whole understanding of the kingdom comes from the Old Testament. Revelation 20 just comes along and adds one little detail… oh, by the way, it’s going to be a thousand years. But the whole picture is developed by the Old Testament prophets.
Here’s another amillennialist calling us a one-text theology. “The one millennial occurrence in the New Testament (and in the whole Bible) makes mention of none of the earthly characteristics so arbitrarily placed within that thousand years).” Well that’s true but you can’t just look at Revelation 20 to get your doctrine of the kingdom; the whole thing is in the Old Testament. Revelation 20 is not repeating everything in the Old Testament, it’s just summing it up and adding a numerical detail.
Here’s another one, “The a-millennial theologian Archibald Hughes once directed a lady to study the New Testament for information on the millennial kingdom.” Well there’s the problem, he centered in the wrong testament; he should have centered in the Old Testament. “According to the report of Hughes, this is what transpired: ‘Many months later this lady came to me and said she had followed my advice but could not find a single reference to any millennium. I said, ‘well, have you learned something.’ She replied, ‘I have learned nothing!’ I said, ‘you have learned something, for you know now that the New Testament has nothing to say about a millennium.’”
Now that statement on its face, as I’ll be showing you in this course, is false. The New Testament does mention the millennium in several places, not as much as in the Old Testament but it’s mentioned. And even if it was mentioned in the New Testament why would it matter, it’s still, as I’ve showed you very clearly developed in the Old Testament. So this is why these prophets are so significant; they function as a light shining in a dark place, they give us hope for this coming age, and we would do well to pay attention to them.
So don’t let people tell you that we are a one-text theology. We are a technology that takes into account vast, vast amounts of biblical data and I’ve just shown you the highlights. If you are doing your own study on this you’ll drown in this information. There is so much here.
So we have finished stop 6 on the bus and for next time I’d like for you to read chapter 7 in the book, The Coming Kingdom. We’ll make a brief reference to the nation of Israel coming out of the exile after the seventy year captivity and then we’re leaving the Old Testament and we’re going right into the time of Christ with what’s called the offer of the kingdom where He’s going to give first century Israel an opportunity of a lifetime, to receive this offer of the kingdom, which as we’re going to discover they turned it down and that’s why the kingdom is still, as I speak, in a state of abeyance, or postponement. So read chapter 7 for next time and at this time I will stop talking. I did pretty good tonight, landed the plane at 8:04. And those of you that have to pick up your kids or take off you’re free to go at this time and we will open it up for Q & A should you guys want to do that.