The Coming Kingdom 032

The Coming Kingdom 032
Matthew 24:14 • Dr. Andy Woods • January 24, 2018 • The Coming Kingdom


Andy Woods

The Coming Kingdom

1-24-18          Matthew 24:14           Lesson 32

Let’s open our Bibles to Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 24 and verse 14 and as you’re turning there let me make a fast announcement.  This comes from Pastor Robert Dean at West Houston Bible Church, and he says I would like to invite the men of your church to join our men’s breakfast next Saturday morning (which would be this coming Saturday).  We will have as a special speaker Lt. Commander Retired Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy Seal who is running for congressman Ted Poe’s seat in the house of Representatives.  Congressman Poe is retiring, nine candidates will run for his seat in the March primaries.  I think that’s just a men’s group so that would be gender discrimination right there.  But I know we have a lot of political people here and so if you’re interested in going to that men’s breakfast, West Houston Bible Church, 7:30 a.m.  Wow, they start early over there.  And then you could hear from this aspiring politician that Robby, Pastor Dean, said is a pretty good guy, conservative guy.  I was supposed to announce that on Sunday and I plain forgot so I’m trying to do my penance.

Let’s open our Bibles if we could to Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 24 and verse 14.  As you all know we have been studying on Wednesday nights the doctrine of the kingdom.  And we’re really looking at what does the Bible say about the kingdom.  I hope and pray what’s happening is the Bible is starting to come together for you rather than seeing a bunch of fragmented pieces everywhere I hope what’s happening is you’re seeing the thread of the Bible connected.  That’s one of the goals of continuous study,  because we are going over the dominant theme of the Bible which is the kingdom.

We have traced very carefully what the Old Testament says about the kingdom and how that kingdom was offered to Israel on a silver platter, rejected by the first century leadership leading to the kingdom’s postponement.  And yet God does not leave the earth without a witness of Himself so God is clearly doing something on the earth despite the kingdom’s postponement.   And we talked about that, we talked about how the church fits in, but you see, we’re living in a time period where God is starting to wind up the age of the church I believe.  I’m not a date setter nor the son of a date setter but the key thing that God is going to use to bring His kingdom to the earth is the nation of Israel.  So the last couple of sessions we’ve talked about Israel’s discipline, under number 13, and restoration.  So the fact that the Spirit of God is moving again amongst the Jewish people, regathering them into their own land we would see preparatory for the manifestation of the kingdom.

And one of these days, and this takes us to number 14 and 15, we’re going to have the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel and then what will happen is the transfer of kingdom authority from the devil’s grasp back to the grasp of Jesus Christ.  So that’s where we are in our outline, we’re on numbers 14 1and 15, we’re really coming to the apex of our study, how this long awaited kingdom is actually going to come to the earth.  So the chapter that I tried to cover this in my book is chapter 13.

Paul, the apostle, in the Book of Romans, chapter 11, verses 25 writes, “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation that a partial hardening has happened to Israel….”  So Israel today, as a nation, primarily is in unbelief; you get a few saved Jews every once in a while but that’s not the norm.  The nation, although it’s regathered it remains in unbelief.  But you’ll notice that Paul clearly tells us there in Romans 11 that that hardening that Israel is under is “partial” and it will only last “until,” see the word “until” there, that’s a really important word, “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.”

So my interpretation of this prophecy is that there’s a set number, known only to God, of Gentiles who will get saved in the age of the church.  And once that number is reached the bride will be full, the body of Christ will be complete and you’ll have the rapture of the church once that number is reached.  And this kind of shows you why Satan doesn’t want you to do personal evangelism, because maybe the person you’re sharing with, Satan is not omniscient, he doesn’t know everything so he thinks maybe the person you’re sharing with could be the last one to come in and then the rapture will happen and Satan doesn’t want that because he doesn’t want the end times program to go forward because as it goes forward his days are numbered.  So that’s why he’s so anti-presentation of the gospel and so anti personal evangelism, and he’s working so hard to confuse the gospel by mixing it with works that no one can get saved at all.   And he’s doing that because he’s trying to stop God’s end time program.  He’s trying to prevent the full number of Gentiles from coming in.

So that’s why when you share your faith there’s so much warfare and you have so much doubt in yourself and all that.  And you’re so worried about what are they going to think of me and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.  But in reality it’s not you that saves people because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.  Amen.  [Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”]  The word “power” that Paul uses is dunamis, from which we the word dynamite, dynamic.  The gospel is not found in  your presentation style; we strive for accuracy in the gospel gut the gospel is dynamic, dynamite power in and of itself.  So Satan would have you do anything other than share that with people because he’s trying to prevent this number from being reached.  But prophetically it will be reached and the rapture will occur.  And once that happens God is not senile, amen; God remembers His commitments to Israel which interpreted literally, as we have studied, remain unfulfilled.  And God can’t what?  Can’t lie!

So one of the best things that ever happened to me really in my life was studying under J. Dwight Pentecost at Dallas Seminary because he taught a class called Kingdom and Covenants.  And what he convinced me of is really what the Bible teaches, that if you can understand the covenants that God has made to Israel you can understand the Bible, and you can understand the direction of human history because once God covenants Himself to do something He has to move heaven and earth for those promises to be realized or else He’s the one with egg on His face, which He won’t allow to happen.

For example, the whole Exodus event that we study in the Book of Exodus, I mean, why did the Exodus happen exactly?  Did God feel sorry for His people?  I’m sure He did but when  you look at Exodus 2:24 it gives you the reason why the Exodus happened.  Other than the crucifixion the Exodus is probably the greatest redemptive act in history.  Why did it happen.  It says, 2:24, “So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His” what? “covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  Now you back up about six centuries to the life of Abraham and you’ll find right there in Genesis 15:13-16, when God made the unilateral Abrahamic Covenant with Abram and his descendants, and we’ve studied that in this series, that one of the things He promised is  you all are going to go into a foreign land for 400 years and you’re going to come back out of that land into this land (the land then was known as Canaan) with great possessions.

[Genesis 15:13-16, “God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. [14] But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. [15] As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. [16] Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”]

So Abraham dies and passes off the scene, the nation of Israel, around the time of Jacob and Joseph goes down into Egypt and you know the story, there arose a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph or what God had done for Israel so the nation of Israel is there for four hundred years of slavery.  And finally in history God moves His hand and says it’s time to come out.  Why is that?  It tells you right there in Exodus 2:24, God remembered His berith, which is the Hebrew word for covenant, or contract.  So God moves His hand in history consistent with the covenant that he has made.  See that?

And we have been talking about the kingdom that’s coming to the earth and how God is going to regather the Jewish people physically and bring them to faith as His instrument of bringing the king­dom to the earth.  And Ezekiel 36, a prophecy given much later in history, about the sixth century B.C., is one of the key chapters that talks about it.  It’s probably the key chapter that predicts the future regathering of Israel and the coming of God’s kingdom.  And yet why is God going to do this?  When you look at Exodus 36:22 it tells you exactly why.  “Therefore say to the house of Israel thus says the Lord God, it is not for your sake, Oh house of Israel, that I’m about to act.”

n other words, I’m not doing this for your comfort, I’m not doing this because a board voted one way or the other.  It’s not because of you that I’m doing this.  But what does He say, “But for my “ what? “Holy name,” which by the way you all have “profaned among the nations” wherever  you went,  you don’t really care much about My name, but I care about My name so I’m going to move in history, I’m going to regather the nation of Israel physically and spiritually and use that as my instrument to bring the kingdom to the earth.  And I’m not doing it for you, I’m doing it for Me because of My covenant that I made with Abraham all the way back in 2000 B.C.

And if God didn’t make good on what He said he was going to do then His holy  name would be not worth the paper it’s written on.  Right?  Because God would be a liar.  So this is really important to understand, that God is working in history, whether it be the Exodus or the end time program because His reputation is at stake and Paul connected to His covenants.  If you can understand His covenants you can understand what’s going to happen and why things are going to happen the way they’re supposed to happen.

So God is going to bring His kingdom to the earth because of His name and His covenants, which He’s promised.  And if those covenants are unconditional and unfulfilled, and they are, we’ve studied that, we’re on lesson 32 so we’ve done a lot of groundwork on this, then there has to be a time in history where He moves His hand and accomplishes His goal and fulfills His promises.

So how, then, is He going to bring His kingdom to the earth exactly.  And there’s four things we want to look at.  I doubt we’ll finish all four tonight, we might not even finish one of them tonight.  My goal by 8:00 o’clock is to finish at least two of them, but you know how that goes.  So there are four things under this… and if we don’t finish tonight we’ll just pick it up the following weeks, but the four things we want to talk about are: Number 1, the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel; Number 2, the transfer of earthly authority from the devil’s grip back to God’s grip.  Number 3, the actual establishment of the kingdom on the earth.  And then we want to also make some remarks about the duration of the kingdom, exactly how long is this kingdom going to last.  So that’s sort of the direction we’re going.

So let’s go ahead and start here with number 1, the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel and all of these things are happening after the body of Christ has been made complete and translated into heaven.  You all remember the offer of the kingdom to Israel, right?  This was something that was preached by John the Baptist, Matthew 3:2; Jesus Christ, Matthew 4:17, the disciples, the twelve apostles, Matthew 10:5-7, and then the 70, Luke 10:1, 9.

[Matthew 3:2, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’  Matthew 10:5-7, “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; [6] but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Luke 10:1, “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.”  [9] “and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”]

So what was that message?  It’s a message that we don’t really preach today and we’re not supposed to because we’re not Israel.  But the message that was preached to first century Israel was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is” what? “at hand,” and we showed you when we went through that that it had drawn near in the person of Christ.  So all Israel had to do was enthrone the King on the King’s terms and the kingdom would have come upon the earth.

And it wasn’t just John the Baptist who preached this, it was Christ Himself who preached it; Matthew 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  And if that weren’t enough He sent out the twelve to preach the exact same thing, “  [Matthew 10:7] “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”  And if you look back at verse 6 it’s very clear that… actually verse 5 also, and this is why we know we’re not to preach this today because He says, [5] “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; [6] but rather go to the” what? “lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”

So this was not a mission task that they were given; they were told exclusively to give this only to the nation of Israel because they are the covenanted people and their response to the King is what is either going to bring in the kingdom or it’s going to hold back the kingdom.  And after Israel, as we’ve studied, rejected this then God raised up the church and gave us the task of world evangel-ization.  But this is not something that you use in a missions conference, right?  This is something that was exclusively given to Israel.

We know the sad story of this, don’t we?  Matthew 12:24, “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘”This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.’”  So Christ gave them all the evidence they needed to receive Him as their King, through miracles and fulfilled prophecy and you name it.  And they instead tribute His miracles, which they couldn’t explain away because they were happening right there in their midst, and if you can’t explain away a miracle you just say well, the devil did that.  And that is the turning point of Matthew’s Gospel; once they do that it’s over for first century Israel.  They are not going to have the opportunity to receive the kingdom.

So as we have studied very carefully, and I won’t re-talk you through charts we’ve already gone through, there’s a huge shift in Christ’s ministry at that point, from Israel publicly, to a private ministry of raising up the disciples who are going to be the foundation of the new building project, which began in Acts 2 called the church, which is where we fit in.

And I really like this chart here because it shows you how the whole Gospel of Matthew is chiastically structured.  And you know a little bit about chiasms, right?  Because we’ve been studying Daniel on Sunday mornings and Daniel 2-7, if you recall, is organized like a chiastic structure.  So the outer edges of the chiasm basically agree with each other, and you work inward and those two points basically agree thematically with each other and the center of the chiasm is that thing right in the middle, sticking out, it’s right there, it’s the progressive rejection of the King, Matthew 11 and 12.

And that’s the centerpiece of Matthew’s Gospel because once they reject the offer of the kingdom by saying His miracles were done by the devil is the moment the whole gospel shifts.  And the reason the whole gospel at that point shifts is because the offer of the kingdom is withdrawn and never again in Matthew’s Gospel, until Matthew describes the tribulation period, do you find the expression “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Instead what you find is Jesus talking about a church, He says that’s something they’ve never heard of before, “I will build My church,” Matthew 16:18, “and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”

So He’s talking about an interim period of time that’s been going on for the last 2,000 years, that we’re part of today, while the offer of the kingdom is off the table and the nation of Israel is under the disciplinary hand of God.  And yet one of these days, as we’ve studied, God is going to be finished with the church in terms of her earthly mission; it will be over and we’ll be translated to heaven and God… has He forgotten about His commitments to Israel?  He has not!  I showed you some passages, Exodus, Ezekiel, where He can’t forget about His promises to Israel.  So what we believe is once the church is gone in the tribulation period the offer of the kingdom will be re-extended to Israel and that’s why I had you open up to Matthew 24:14, this is the Olivet Discourse when Jesus is discussing with His disciples what’s going to happen at the end of the age. And He says, “This gospel of the kingdom” now what’s the “gospel of the kingdom”?  It’s the phrase, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  It’s called “the gospel of the kingdom” I think back in Matthew 4:23.   [Matthew 4:23, “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”]

The opportunity to receive the King and the kingdom, and that message finally, once the church is gone, will be reproached to the nation of Israel.   It says, “This gospel of the kingdom” and that’s the only time  you see the expression after Matthew 12, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations,” and what does it say, “and then the end will come.”

This is where a lot of missions groups get very confused, you hear them say this all the time, we’ve got to reach the whole world with the gospel for Jesus Christ to come back.  Ever heard them say that?  And you wonder where they’re getting that from; they’re getting it from this passage here but the reality of the situation is that’s not talking about church age evangelism, the church is gone at this point.  Matthew 24 is very Jewish; that’s why Jesus tells the Jews in this time period to pray that their flight would not take place on the what?  The sabbath.  [Matthew 24:20, “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.”]

We don’t worship the Lord in the church age on the Sabbath, you can if you want to but our normal worship pattern is the first day of the week.  Right?  The Sabbath or Saturday is the last day of the week.  So this is not talking about gosh, we’ve got to get out there and support missionaries, and get the gospel out there so Jesus can come back.  Now having said that, we’re very pro evangelistic, we’re very pro missionaries, we want to get out there and share the gospel because that’s our task, but we don’t believe that getting the gospel into the whole world as members of the church is some kind of… we want to do that but it’s not some prerequisite for Christ to come back.

The prerequisite for Christ to rapture the church is the fullness of the Gentiles.  Once the very last Gentile comes into the body of Christ then the rapture happens; then there’s an end time program, that I’m talking about here, kicks into gear.  So this passage really is, I believe, talking about the preaching ministry of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists that you’ll see in Revelation 7.  And there’s 12,000 from each tribe, each tribe of who?  Israel, it looks kind of Jewish to me.  This is the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and included in this is the reoffer of the kingdom to Israel after the church has already been raptured.

So whatever the church leaves unfinished in terms of world evangelization the nation of Israel, or the 144,000 Jewish evangelists will complete.  I think sometimes in the age of the church we have sort of an elevated view of our own importance, we think we’ve got to get it all done so Christ can come back and many, many missionary organizations will tell you that.  And don’t misunderstand, I’m, we’re very pro missionary activity, very pro evangelization but we don’t have such an elevated view of our importance that we think we’ve got to do it all for Jesus to come back.  Whatever the church leaves incomplete will be finished very nicely by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and part of that will be the offer of the kingdom being re-extended to Israel in the tribulation period.  You say well, the pastor sure has some strange ideas, where is he getting all this stuff from?  And this is why I kind of like to quote scholars that are of greater reputation that little old me because I want you to see that what I’m teaching is not some bizarre doctrine, it’s very consistent with our heritage.

Here is Charles Ryrie in his book, So Great Salvation, page 37.  He says exactly what I’m saying, or better, I’m saying exactly what he’s saying.  He said: “So the kingdom did not arrive because the people would not prepare properly for it.”  You’ve got to understand this about first century Israel, they wanted a King and the kingdom on their own terms.  They loved the miracles that Jesus performed in terms of feeding the masses with a few fish and a few loaves, and you’ll see this in John 6:15 and John 6:26. [John 6:15, “So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.”  John 6:26, “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.”’]

They were actually going to take Him by force and make Him the King.  And Jesus says in that chapter, verse 15 and verse 26, Truly, truly I say to you, you want Me because I just filled your stomach with food.  So they wanted Him to come and bring in all this prosperity and they wanted Him to get rid of Rome which they hated because Rome was taxing them excessively.  And as long as Jesus was talking that game plan everybody liked Him but the moment He gets to the Sermon on the Mount, which is the moral and ethical dimensions of the kingdom, you know, righteousness, you can’t get into it unless you have the transferred righteousness of Christ because you all are guilty according to the Law because the Law doesn’t just sit in judgment on your actions but on your heart and your thought life.  Because the Sermon on the Mount tells me that my heart has committed sins that my hands haven’t gotten around to yet; we’re all murderers and adulterers according to the Sermon on the Mount.

The moment He started talking like that and stopped just talking about politics is the moment they got uninterested in the kingdom.  And Jewish people today are like that; they want a Messiah to come in and fix their problems in the United Nations and the fact that the nations are bullying them into giving up land and they want that fixed.  They want political peace, they don’t really under­stand that you have to have peace with God in terms of your sin debt being paid before you can have lasing political peace.  So the Jews in the first century and the nation of Israel today, they basically wanted what they call shalom, peace.

Ask a Jewish person why don’t you think Jesus is the Messiah?  They said there’s no shalom.  Now when they say shalom, peace, they’re not defining it the way you are as a Christian.  When you use the word shalom or peace, you’re talking about peace with God because your sin debt has been paid for.  When they use the word peace or shalom they’re talking about politics and world peace.  So this is what the nation of Israel wants, political peace without spiritual peace with God.  That’s what first century Israel wanted and that’s why the kingdom was postponed.  See that?

So Ryrie says, “So the kingdom did not arrive because the people would not prepare properly for it.”  Watch this: “But this did not mean that there would never be a Davidic, millennial kingdom. The Lord taught that it would not appear immediately (Luke 19:11),” talks about it, talks about the King going away for a long time and in His extended absence He gives to His servants certain monetary sums, minas, that they’re supposed to invest while He’s gone.  So His extended absence, because they thought, Luke 19:11, the kingdom was going to appear immediately.  He’s saying no it’s not, there’s going to be an extended absence.  The Lord taught that it would not appear immediately.  Why wouldn’t it appear immediately?  Because they wanted it on their own terms.  God doesn’t work that way.  If you want something from God you get it on His terms.

“The Lord taught that it would not appear immediately but He also predicted that the gospel, the good news of the kingdom, would be preached yet again in the future period of the Great Tribulation” and what verses is Dr. Ryrie quoting to prove that point? Matthew 24:14, the verse we opened up to.  “And in that wicked time when Satan and the forces of evil will have almost total free reign, it will be very good news to know that the Messiah will soon rule on the earth.” [So Great a Salvation, page 37]

So God knocks us down so that we what?  Look up, and that’s what’s going to have to happen for Israel to come to their senses and to understand that they don’t just need a political savior, they need that but they need a spiritual savior first.  And this is why the nation of Israel today in this condition is a sitting duck for the antichrist because the antichrist will come into power and he’ll start to fix the political problems and he’ll put a chicken in every pot, so to speak.  And world hunger and all these things get solved and the Jews think this is our guy because he’s giving them what they’ve always wanted.  And it’s going to take smack down, a betrayal by the antichrist to awaken them that the antichrist is not their savior; their savior came 2,000 years ago and they’re going to need a spiritual peace from Him before they can have their political peace.  And that’s where Zechariah 12:10 says they’re going to start to mourn “as one mourns for an only son.”  [Zechariah 12:10, “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”]

And there’s going to be great weeping amongst the Jewish people and it’s going to take some catastrophic circumstances to bring that to pass.  So when you look at verse 15 it gives  you the betrayal of the antichrist.  It says, “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),” and we’ve been studying this, haven’t we, on Sunday mornings.  He is going to, on Sunday mornings he’s going to replicate, antichrist is, what Antiochus IV did.  Remember how Antiochus IV betrayed the Jewish people, by desecrating their temple?  What Yogi Bear say?  It’s deja vu all over again.

Antichrist is going to take what one of their villains did in history and redo it in a much grander scale and yet a shaking of this magnitude is what is going to bring Israel to her senses.  And once she comes to her senses, if you drop down to verse 31, it says, “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet,” not the rapture, the rapture is for the church.  This is an earthly gathering of Israel after she’s in faith. “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect” study that in the Bible, it’s Israel, now we’re elect too in a sense, we’re chosen by God but that’s not the context here; this is not church age truth here, this is Israel truth, “ from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.  “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”  So this is the regathering that Jesus wanted to do with Israel when He was with them in the First Coming but they wouldn’t have Him.

And part of this shakedown is verses 21 and 22, “For then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until no, nor never will.  [22]   Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”  It’s a time of such intense judgment that if God allowed it to go one second beyond its allotted seven year time period every Jew on planet earth would probably have been killed, which is something God cannot allow to happen because He has to make good on His what? Covenants, so there has to be Jewish people on the earth to fulfill those covenants through.  And this is just describing the circumstances through which they come to faith.

So what is the end product?  Well if you go one chapter to the right and you look at Matthew 25:31 once Israel is in faith then you have on the earth the establishment of the kingdom.  It says, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory,” now again this is not the rapture for the church, it’s already happened over seven years earlier, this is the Second Advent at the end of the tribulation period, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.”  Now take a wild guess what throne do you think that’s talking about?  That’s the Davidic throne.  Why the Davidic throne?  Because that’s what’s promised in the Davidic Covenant.  Can anybody name the book and chapter where we find that covenant in?  I have some extra Hershey bars… I really don’t because I’m trying to cut down on sugar, I should have brought in some prizes of some kind, I could kind of toss them out… but anybody remember the chapter and book where we find the Davidic Covenant in in the Bible.  2 Samuel chapter  7 verses 12-16.

[2 Samuel 7:12, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. [13] He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. [14] I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, [15] but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. [16]  “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’]

That’s where there’s a promise that Jesus is going to reign one day on  the forever throne in the kingdom.  And that’s what’s coming into existence here in verse 31, and this is the manifestation of the kingdom when this happens.  Do you see that?  How do I know that?  If you go down to verse 34 it says, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom” that’s the Greek word basiliea, “prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  So when He comes back there’s going to be believers on the earth, they are called sheep, and then they enter the kingdom.

So when you look at this whole thing you’re going to have a reoffer of the kingdom and this time Israel gets it right.  They did not get it right in the first century but they’re going to get it right this time.  And this is something that you need to know about the nation of Israel.  The nation of Israel is a nation that always gets it right the second time.  They do not get it right the first time; they get it right the second time.  And I know that because of Stephen’s speech.  Remember who Stephen was?  The first martyr of the age of the church.  Stephen, in Acts 7, gives a speech and you can see why at the end of the speech they’re sort of grinding their teeth, or gnashing their teeth and they picked up rocks to throw at him till he was dead, because the speech is there to condemn what first century Israel just did with Christ by turning Him over to the Romans for execution.

Now there are about six parts to this speech and it’s just a wonderful section of the Bible to go through.  I wish we could go through all of it.  I just want to call your attention to part 2 of the speech which is verses 6-38 where Stephen says just what I just said, you guys get it right the second time; you never get it right the first time.  And to get his point across he uses two historical figures and this is what bothered them so much, he’s using their own history against them.  The first historical figure he uses is in verses 6-17, it’s the story of Joseph.  Remember the story of Joseph?  What did Joseph’s brothers do with Joseph when he announced to them God’s plans.  They left him for dead and ultimately sold him down to Egypt, and then lied to Jacob, their father, and told him that Joseph was dead.  And that was when Joseph was about the age of 17.  You read all about this in the book of Genesis.

Then 13 years passed, God providentially works in history where Joseph is now the second in command over all of Egypt and Jacob and his sons, beginning around Genesis 46 sojourned to the land of Egypt to receive grain in the midst of famine and you know the story there from the Book of Genesis that when they finally realized who Joseph is… it’s funny, Joseph recognized them before they recognized him.  And when they finally see who the identity of Joseph is they finally submit to him.

Notice what Stephen is saying here in verses 6-17, they got it right, not the first time, the second time.  They rejected him at age 17, they accepted him at age 30.  They got it right the second time.  And if that weren’t enough Stephen… by the way, Stephen was  a deacon.  Did you all know that?  People think being a deacon is some kind of low level position.  You read this speech, the Holy Spirit was all over this guy.  I mean, could we stand up and preach this today under pressure?  I mean, it was incredible what God did here with Stephen and he’s our first martyr in the age of the church.

Well, then you get to part 2, verses 13-38 he gives the second example, the example of Moses.  You remember the story, how Moses killed the Egyptian, this is around Exodus 2, and Moses sort of announces that he’s the redeemer and the Jews say to him, well are you going to kill us like you killed the Egyptian the other day?  And so they reject him, and Moses, because of this flees into Midian for forty years.  So he comes back forty years later, at the age of 80, announces himself as the redeemer, and this time around the nation of Israel submitted to his role.  See that?

So they rejected him at age 40, they accepted him at age 80.  It’s the same with Joseph, they rejected him at age 17, they accept him at age 30.  So obviously what’s Stephen saying?  Stephen is saying you guys, this nation that we’re all a part of as Hebrews, this is a nation that gets it right the second time.  And therefore, Stephen says, history is repeating itself.  You’re rejecting Christ just like you rejected Joseph, just like you rejected Moses.  But don’t worry, one of these days you’re going to get it right the second time.

Now when he weaves all of this Scripture together from their own history as a Jew you can see why they begin to grind their teeth and they came under severe condemnation, they began to grind their teeth or gnash their teeth and they began to throw so many rocks at him that he died, which means his material and immaterial separated, Acts 7:59.   [Acts 7:59, “They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”]  But this is just one part of the speech that made them so angry; his point there in part two of the speech is you get it right the second time, you don’t get it right the first time.  This nation never gets it right the first time, they always get it right the second time.

Now if I was preaching,  you guys know how long I preach, I would have even added something, can  you believe that?  I would have added Numbers 13 and 14 where the nation of Israel got to Kadesh-barnea, they saw giants in the land, and God basically brought discipline on that whole generation and started working with their kids.  And He allowed the next generation forty years later to enter the land under Joshua and Caleb, the only two that believed God forty years earlier.

So with the conquest of Canaan they got it right the second time.  With Moses they got it right the second time.  With Joseph they got it right the second time.  And that’s how it is with Jesus Christ.  You see how this is all rich typology?  They rejected Him in His first coming, but guess what?  They’re going to get it right the second time around.  And that is what Israel’s destiny is and that’s why God is not finished with Israel because they have to fit into this pattern of getting it right the second time.

So the  second time the kingdom is offered to Israel she will accept it. The first time around she rejected it because they wanted the kingdom on their own terms so the offer of the kingdom was rejected at that point.  The second time around, after they had gone through the whole turmoil of the tribulation period and the betrayal of the antichrist, now they’re ready to accept things on God’s terms rather than their own terms and they’re going to get it right the second time.

And before you sit too strongly in judgment on Israel look at your own life.  I mean, isn’t it true with you a lot of the time, in almost every area, including salvation.  Someone offers you the gospel and you just think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard and what do you mean there’s nothing for me to contribute, doesn’t God know how wonderful I am.  And you push it down and push it away and so God says okay, let’s just see how you feel a few  years down the road.  And He starts kicking out the props from under your life and suddenly you realize, wow, I really need Christ and so  you hear the gospel again and this time  you receive it.  Or even as a Christian you’re so confident, we’re so confident in ourselves and all the things we can accomplish for God that we step out in the flesh and we fall flat on our faces and God says okay, you ready to try it My way this time?  So we get it right the second time.  I don’t think it’s just an Israel thing, I think it’s an Adamic sinful tendency in us that we have a tendency to get things right the second time.

So Israel will receive the offer of the kingdom the second time, which takes us into part two.  When they receive that offer of the kingdom then you’re going to have the transfer of earthly authority because who currently possesses authority over the earth?  The devil does; the Bible is very clear on this.  And you have all the verses there where you could look them all up.

[Job 1:7, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’”   Job 2:2, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Then Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’”  Luke 4:5-8, “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  [6] And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. [7] Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” [8] Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”  Romans 8:19-22, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. [20] For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope [21] 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. [22] For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. “]

He’s called the prince of this world, Satan is, the god of this world, he’s called the prince and power of the air, he is the one we wrestle with, he is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  1 John 5:19 says the whole world lies in the lap of the wicked one.   [1 John 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”]

And I love how Lewis Sperry Chafer describes this, like Satan is rocking the world, just like a mother rocks a child.  That’s how much control Satan has over this planet.  It wasn’t God’s design but that came about because of the fall.  And you know this because in the temptations, remember the three temptations that Jesus faced?  In the middle temptation, as recorded in Luke’s Gospel, Satan said to Jesus you can have the whole world.  Why?  Satan says because it’s been given to me and I can give it to whoever I want, it’ll just cost you a little bit of time  of worshipping me and I’ll give you the whole thing.  And you’ll notice that Jesus never said that’s not true Satan, because it is true.  Ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden the authority of this world is under Satan’s grip; not that God is not working, not that God cannot work but this is what the Scripture reveals concerning the present earth.

In fact, remember early Job, Job 1 God asks Satan where he’s come from; remember what he said?  From roaming the earth, going back to and fro over it. [Job 1:7, “ Why is he able to just roam the earth and to back to and fro over it.” ] Why is he able to just roam the earth and go back to and fro over it?  Because he owns it currently.  So the world, as we like to describe it, is in bondage.  And that’s why Romans 8:19-22 is so significant, it describes his current bondage.  It says, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.”  Creation itself can’t wait for Jesus and His angels to come back and start the kingdom and take this planet out of the bondage that it’s in.  Why is that?  Verse 20, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope,” who got us into the trouble that we’re in?  The first Adam.  The creation didn’t have anything to do with it, Adam did it.  And that’s why Genesis 3 describes the curse on the ground and death and all these things that happened in our world.  Verses 21, “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.”  So creation is in a state of slavery and corruption and it can’t wait to break out of these chains because of the satanic grip that it’s in.

Verse 22, “For we know that the whole creation groans” that’s a personification to describe the condition creation is in, “For the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” So we’re living in a world that’s in a state of bondage and it’s been that way ever since the fall of man.  And which chapter of the Bible describes the fall of man?  Genesis 3.  When you understand this, let’s just slip over to Revelation and I’m going to stop in exactly six minutes so don’t panic, and I interpret numbers literally here (most of the time anyway).

If you look Revelation 5:1 you start to see what the big deal is about this seven sealed scroll.  Look at Revelation 5:1, it says, “I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.”  A seven sealed scroll! What is that seven sealed scroll?  It’s the title deed to the earth.  Once this seal is opened God reclaims the earth from the bondage that it’s been in ever since Genesis 3.

As you go down to verses 2-4, Revelation 5, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?’  [3] And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. [4] Then I” that’s John, “began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;” if this scroll remains sealed the earth continues on in Satan’s power.  See that?  If no one can open this this condition is a forever reality.  And this is why John starts to cry, describes himself as weeping.  But then he stops weeping because he realizes someone is qualified to open this book.  It says in verses 5 and 6, “and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals. [6] And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.”

Suddenly we discover there is someone qualified to open the scroll.  Well who’s qualified?  Only one person is qualified, the Creator and the Redeemer.  And that’s only one guy, right?  That’s Jesus Christ.  So what begins to happen is Christ, verse 7, takes the scroll.  Verse 7 says, “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”  And then what happens is heaven itself, and you can read about it in verses 8-14, explodes into worship.

[Revelation 5:8-14, “When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  [9] And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.  [10] You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”  [11] Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, [12] saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.  [13] And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”  [14] And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.”]

The church which has been raptured that’s in heaven, along with the angels is exploding into worship and why are they worshipping Christ?  Because He’s worthy to open this scroll to retrieve the earth from its chains.  See that?  And if you go back to verse 11 of chapter 4 it says, “Worthy are You, O LORD our GOD to receive glory and honor and power, for You” what? “created all things,” John 1, the Book of Colossians also says Jesus is the Creator, so He is worthy of worship.  That’s why it says “Worthy are You,” that’s why they are worshipping Him.

And then you go over to chapter 5 and verse 9, it says:  “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You” see how they’re worshipping Him, “to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”  See heaven itself is worshipping Jesus because He is qualified to open the scroll.  Why is that?  Because He’s the world’s Creator, chapter 4 verse 11.  [Revelation 4:11, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”]

And if that weren’t enough He’s the world’s what?  It starts with an R, He’s the world’s Redeemer, chapter 5, verse 11.  [Revelation 5:11, “saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’”]  That’s why the world is worshipping Christ because He’s qualified to open the scroll and reclaim the title deed to the earth.  And the seventh seal will launch the trumpets and the seventh trumpet will launch the bowls, telescoping.

And by the time you get to the end of that cycle the earth is going to be redeemed from Satan’s grasp and the glorious kingdom will come to the earth, Revelation 20:1-10, I won’t go into detail here but that’s why so many of the judgments in the Book of Exodus mirror the judgments of the Book of Revelation, because in the Book of Exodus God is taking His nation out of Egyptian bondage.  In the Book of Revelation He’s taking the whole world out of the bondage that it’s been in since the fall in Genesis 3.

[Revelation 20:1-10, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. [2] And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; [3] and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.  [4] 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. [5] The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. [6] Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.  [7]  When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, [8] and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. [9] And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. [10] And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”]

And you see, this is the mechanism, the seven sealed scroll is the mechanism through which the kingdom is going to come to the earth as the nation of Israel is receiving a second time the offer of the kingdom.  And this is exciting stuff to me.  Is this exciting to you?

See, we come to church, we’re kind of dragging in, oh, do I have to worship the Lord today?  Have I had my coffee?  Is that band singing my favorite song?  And we just don’t really know what we’re doing as a church many times, in terms of worship.   You worship the Lord because He’s the Creator and the Redeemer and the world is not going to continue on like it is.  I would cry too if I just thought that what is will always be.  Because he’s the Creator and the Redeemer He’s qualified to take the scroll and then He’s qualified to open it which is going to liberate planet earth.

So we’ll cut if off right there and I’ll try to rehearse some of that next week and take  you a little bit further.  So praise the Lord, I’ve got goosebumps just talking about it.